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.

#BookExcerpt: Allerleirauh

Prologue

“If you ever decide to remarry, you must marry someone who is as beautiful as I and has my golden hair.” The words seemed to echo all around the darkened, red room as my dying mother whispered them. Candles were lit all across the room, creating a gloomy and death-like atmosphere around us as they flickered against the stone walls; the only solace of light were the flames, curling out from the fireplace.  My mother’s hair, like spools of golden thread, lay against her forehead, clinging to her dying, pale skin as she lifted her hand, reaching out to my Father for his answer. My mother, the Queen, was dying in her bed with my weeping father on bended knee, taking her hand and kissing her knuckles and the corner of her lips.

“My wife…” His words were soft and full of a clouded grief I knew I didn’t understand. My father and mother were hardly ever affectionate behind closed doors. I often saw them together in the throne room, together in my father’s den, but never close; never touching. His loss of her was a mystery to me.

“Promise me,” she hissed at him, her breathing was growing faint as she shifted and grunted, trying to look at him more closely. Perhaps it was her only solace that her husband, my father, would never truly love anyone after her. Perhaps she hoped a new wife would only be a constant reminder of his first.

I stood in the background, watching the scene between my mother and father, clinging to the thick red bed drapes, my own golden curls tied back with a black ribbon. I had been pulled from my tutoring lesson with Mousier Rayner, learning French from the brittle books of my father’s library and had dressed for the occasion of my mother’s death in a simple black dress. I hadn’t known how to feel as the black silk brushed against my skin. I felt almost as if we were being paraded into her room to watch her die like an animal. Was this how life truly was?

We were born, lived the life God granted us, and then, just as quickly, our flame dulls until it becomes a wisp of smoke in a darkened room and we’re gone. As the servants and house-hold hands guided me into the room, I stood frozen in the back. It was often said by the Courtiers I looked much like my mother; I had the same golden hair and the same blue eyes. I wondered now how true it really was. Did I truly?

I felt fear as her last breath slipped between her lips, her hand slowly falling from my father’s shoulder. Everyone in the Kingdom knew the King did not have a male heir, and in turn, would need one to carry on the Royal Line. Who would be next? I could see eyes staring at me; I was my Mother’s reflection: my Mother’s legacy. I felt a cold shiver run up my spine as I heard my father reply, “I promise.”

Allerleirauh

Chantal Gadoury

Genre:  YA Fantasy / Fairy Tale / Romance

Self Published © Chantal Gadoury

Date of Publication:  December 21st 2015

ISBN: 1522880801

ISBN-13: 978-1522880806

ASIN:  B019O4UAN4

Number of pages:  232

Word Count: 54,551

Cover Artist: Chantal Gadoury

Photography:  Ivan Bliznetsov

 

Book Description:

Once Upon a Time…
In the Kingdom of Tränen, a King makes a promise to his dying wife to only remarry someone who has her golden hair. With time, the King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting impossible gifts: dresses created by the sun, moon and stars and a coat made of a thousand furs. When Aurelia discovers his success, she knows she must run away from her privileged life and escapes the kingdom disguised by the cloak and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.”

Aurelia enters the safe haven of the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht, where she is taken under the care of the handsome and gentle Prince Klaus. Hoping to not be discovered by her father’s courtiers, Aurelia tries to remain hidden under her new false identity. Unexpected love is found between Aurelia and Prince Klaus and is challenged with an approaching arranged marriage between the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht and a neighboring ruler. With the possibility of discovery hanging in the air, Aurelia must face the difficulties of her past with her father in her journey of self-discovery before the Prince and his entire Kingdom learns the truth of her real identity, and she looses him forever.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/lEB-X-A5f44

 Available at Amazon  BN  Kobo Createspace 

#ASI: Stephanie St. Klaire

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

I write steamy romance full of drama, suspense, twists, beautiful people, happily ever after’s, and of course some snark and sarcasm along the way!

I am a book nerd turned writer, when I am not being a busy wife and mom to five, yes FIVE, kiddos.  I have always been a story teller, even as a child.  I have often toyed with writing, but life always came first.  Some unfortunate circumstances surrounding my health slowed me down to a point where I not only had the time, but the need to write and escape my circumstance.  Irony at its best, I suppose!  So here I am…an Author!

This is my crazy life, raising 5 kiddos, 2 dogs, and a husband! LOL!  I am so excited to be on this journey, and sharing my stories with others!  Kind of a dream come true!

Discuss your newest book.

Rescued is my debut novel.  It is book one in a series of six, with a five book spin off series that will follow.  It takes place in the Pacific Northwest, Cascade Mountains of Oregon.  It takes place in a small town that actually represents a real town that I grew up visiting, and remains my absolute favorite place to hang out with my family!

There is plenty of drama, suspense, twists and turns…and of course beautiful people that bring the steamy romance!  There is plenty of humor in there as well…I love a good laugh!

Stephanie2.JPGSounds great!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I don’t recall a specific time or experience that sealed the deal for me, but I do know that I have always been imaginative, and creative…a real story teller since my youth.  Throughout my life, people have asked me if I write, and said I should when I answered no.  Being a grown up is time consuming, it was always that thing I would do when I “had time”, or when the kids are grown.  I’m glad I didn’t wait that long after all!

What are your current projects?

Rescued, Book One, released on March 16th, and has had great success…it seems everyone loves it!  Woohoo!  I am in the midst of book 2 with plans to release it in June.  As I stated before, there are six books in this series with a 5 book spin off series – that’s a lot of books!  My goal is to release a book every 3-4 months, give or take, so there is always something fresh and new coming.  This series is designed in such a way that each book can stand alone, even as a series and you can even read out of order without confusion.  That was really important to me as a writer because as a reader, I hate long waits!  LOL! Keep an eye out for release dates!

I have several other projects that I will work in to my writing schedule.  I have a holiday series, a few standalone’s, and another series brewing.  After I get McKenzie Ridge going, I will start releasing some of my other work…I want to keep it interesting!!

What books have most influenced your life most?

There isn’t a single book that has really influenced me more than others.  As a hopeless romantic myself, I absolutely love this genre.  Romance is full of love, hope, determination, overcoming adversity…things that people can relate to!  So, as a whole, I would say the genre is my greatest influence, with a several Authors really standing out.  I am a huge super fan of Marina Adair, Catherine Bybee, Nancy Naigle, Sylvia Day, Marie Force, Bella Andre, Terri Osburn, and Tracy Brogan…just to name a few!  LOL!

What inspired you to write your first book?

Life.  Sounds cliché, but that’s my truth.  I found myself in the middle of a major health crisis that really took over my life and dictated my every move.  I wanted to take something back, reclaim my life, and fight back.  Writing helped me do that.  It was an escape, it helped me overcome a lot of hard days, it was very therapeutic.  Another cliché here, but none of us are promised tomorrow – I wanted to achieve my dream, and set an example for my kiddos.  So I just did it.

Much of McKenzie Ridge consists of real life experiences, places, and even people.  So I suppose that contributes to the inspiration. I’ve been there, so glad you pulled through and are using the experience in a positive way.

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

Dawson Tyler, swoon worthy, loyal, kind, and sexy as hell.  Dawson has his own demons to conquer when he decides to go after what he wants, Sam Taylor.  I love that he is open minded and willing to see things for what they are, and that he is brave enough to take chances with his fragile heart.  I absolutely love him…chapter 5 and 18 give you other things to love about him too.  Have your fan ready though.

Sam Taylor is a total hardass that knows abandonment, heartache, and that men are good for one thing and it usually last around five minutes.  Throughout the story you see her become flexible in her convictions, and leaving her past in the past.  I love how strong she is, that she knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to fight for it.  She is good for Dawson!

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

I didn’t really go into this novel trying to deliver a specific message, but I think you can certainly walk away with a few.  I love how the story defines family as the people you choose, not necessarily those that you’re born to, and that it’s okay.  I love how give and take enters the story and finding balance becomes a goal.  There is forgiveness, humanity, trust, love in different forms, and so on.

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

If you follow me on Facebook, Dawson is a no brainer!  I absolutely LOVE the model, Nick Bateman, for Dawson!  I had no clue who he was, but knew he was my Dawson as soon as I saw him!  I found out who he was much later!  LOL!  It’s a perfect fit!

In my mind, Sam looks like Megan Fox, but has the personality of Jennifer Lawrence for sure!  Down to earth, confident, real. Love mashups!

When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a writer some time ago, but picked up the pen when my youngest started kindergarten this past fall.  I wrote almost every day from September until 11pm on December 29th!  LOL!  Boom, I was suddenly a writer!

Why do you write?

I write for a lot of reasons.  I write because it’s therapeutic for me.  I love to get lost in the story and create something that is engaging and entertaining.  I write to be an example to my children, to chase their dreams and never give up.  I write to leave a legacy, something my family can be proud of.  I also write because its friggen fun!  LOL!

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I think I have answered this pretty much already.  It was timing.  I needed to do it, to start and finish something that would help me accomplish my dreams and goals.  My Grandmother was dying of cancer during this time and she told me to write and not stop…to finish it.  She had started writing a book when she was young and never finished it…I think that bothered her since she knew her time on earth was nearing expiration.  That really affected me, especially given my own health.  I had to, and so glad I did. I’m sorry for your loss, grandma’s are treasures with wise words.

Do you write full-time or part-time?  

Both.  LOL!  My intention is to write full time, whatever that means.  I always have my laptop and notebook within reach, but with the kiddos and such, it isn’t an easy gig to do all the time.  I usually get a bit of time in while they are at school, and then in the evenings and after they are off to bed.  I think it’s fair to say I get a few hours in each day, some days I’m on a role and it’s literally all day that I am writing.  It just depends!

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Confidence.  I am sure a lot of this is because it is still so new to me, but I overthink the hell out of everything.  I have such vivid ideas that I want to show through my writing so painting that picture for the reader, with confidence gets me.  I guess I pulled it off in Rescued; it is one of the most common compliments I have received to date.  It’s so much easier to tell a story than write it, so I struggle there a bit and overthink the crap out of each scene!  LOL!  I’m sure it will always be something, no matter how seasoned I become.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The hardest part wasn’t writing, it was sharing it!  I felt like I was throwing my child to the wolves, every step of the way!  When I sent it to my Beta’s…I got sick.  When I sent it to my editor…I felt sick.  When I sent it to the ARC’s…I felt sick.  When I actually published the thing…I pretty much had a panic attack!  LOL!  I was so afraid it wouldn’t be received well, and it’s actually been well loved instead…go figure! I was a wreck with my first “baby” as well, I think that’s normal. LOL

What is the easiest thing about writing?

I don’t know that there is an “easy” part.  I think that there are less “stressful” parts though.  I definitely had an easier time with the setting, the story line, etc.  It just poured out at every turn and just kept writing itself.  I got lucky.  LOL.

What book are you reading now?

I am reading “Malibu Betrayals” by MK Meredith!  I LOVE her as a person, and absolutely love her book!  If you haven’t read her, you need to!

I also just started Marina Adair’s latest release, “Need You For Mine”.  It’s the final installment of her St. Helena series…cannot wait to read it!

What is one random thing about you?

I am obsessed with bean dip right now!  Seriously, I have always loved refried beans, but I’m obsessed right now.  I eat it every day, literally!!!

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

Both!  I started by writing out my outline/plotting.  Then turned to the laptop to fill it all in and go crazy.  For some reason, though, the laptop slowed me down.  I stopped and went back to my notebook and wrote out most of the story.  When it was time to type it up, I added and fine-tuned the story as I went.

This time around, I am strictly writing by hand.  It’s more than an outline, but not quite the whole story.  When I finish that, in the next week or two, I will get it in the computer with all the little details that come to mind while doing so.  A little weird, but it works for me!  HAHA!

What does your writing process look like?

I basically just described it above.  I write half, type half, and the story comes together somewhere in there.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Oh yes.  I have to use a certain type of notebook, and the same pen until it dies.  Nobody is allowed to use that pen but me.  If it turns up missing, I don’t write until I find it.  It’s like bad luck or something!  It isn’t even a specific type or brand of pen, just the same pen.  If it dies before I am done (which it will), it’s fine, I just get a new pen…but it has to begin and end on my pages.  I’m not one to borrow trouble or ask for bad luck, so I am sticking to this method!  HAHA! If it works, it works! Sacred tools of the trade are not to be tampered with! lol

How important are names to you in your books?

VERY!  I named my characters like I named my children, with very specific things in mind.  Is the character serious and strong; is the name supportive of that and have a strong ring?  Are they whimsy and fancy free?  The name should represent that too.  Sounds weird, but it works.  I love making up names!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Nothing that I haven’t already mentioned.  The one challenge that I will likely never find a solution to is that I just can’t write fast enough!  I need like three of me to get it done as fast as I would like!  There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all out!  I have so many stories to tell and want to share them all now!  LOL!

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?

OH YES!  I trusted the wrong person and it cost me a lot of time and money – nearly cost me a timely book release.  This round, I am already planning my promos, release, etc and the book isn’t even done yet!  Rescued came with a lot of hard lessons!  Book two will be a lot less sticky, I hope! Good luck!

What is your favorite motivational phrase?

You only get one life – live it!

What is your favorite book and why?

I don’t have a single favorite.  I love several, all for different reasons.  One of my fave’s is a pretty popular choice though; I LOVE “The Notebook” by Nicolas Sparks!  It may or may not be because it has an awesome movie too…  LOL!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Chase your dream, follow your heart, and write what makes YOU happy.  I am new at this so my advice is limited as I am still learning.  I was fortunate enough to have a few awesome mentors that are already well established, seasoned, in the industry, and that was my take away from them!  You aren’t going to please everyone, and that’s okay…thick skin is a good quality that comes with writing!

My other piece of advice, from the business stand point, would be to know who you are working with!  Build a strong team!  Do your research!  Don’t settle for mediocrity!  This is YOUR book, YOUR vision, and stay true to you.  There are a lot of hustlers in the industry; they can kill your book and cost you financially…watch out for them.  There are far more good, honest, dedicated people that will help you succeed…find them!!!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I LOVE the Hallmark channel; it’s literally one of the only things I watch.  So I am kind of a Hallmark junky.  When I’m not watching that, it’s the DIY channel, Fixer Upper specifically. I’m a sucker for the Property Brothers…

I looooove DIY’s, it’s kind of a bad habit!  I paint and repurpose everything…it is kind of annoying, but I enjoy it!  LOL!

Of course, I love spending time with the fam!  As the kids get older and get busy, family time gets less and less.  We make sure to carve out time; no matter what…those are my favorite times!

From where do you gain your inspiration?

Everywhere.  Everything has a story, the lady next door raising her kiddos by herself, to the dude walking down the street that just tripped and made it look like he meant to do it.  I drive my family crazy because I say, “that would be a great story”, several times a day!  We are surrounded by inspiration…you just have to be paying attention.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I cannot speak to traditional methods since I lack experience there.  I can tell you why I chose to self-publish though.  It was important to me to have control over my book, and to learn the industry.  I like being able to decide when I give books away, change pricing, how often to release them…I love that freedom.

I know there are likely advantages to traditional publishing, but none of them really appealed to me right now.  Down the road, if a publishing house approached me, I would absolutely entertain it, but I am still discovering who I am as an Author and want to continue to do so, on my terms!

How do you market your books?

Social media!  I am a huge Facebook junky!  That is my main mode of marketing.  I have several people behind me already, helping me share who I am and what I am up to…love them.  The bloggers and reviewers have been great!  I think this is very much a word of mouth industry, it’s the oldest and most successful form of marketing there is and I am all over it!!  LOL!

Why did you choose this route?

I pretty much summed this one up above.  I like the control, that my successes and failures are all mine.  I didn’t feel comfortable putting it in someone else’s hands, without having the experience and knowledge I am gaining by going this route.

Would you or do you use a PR agency?

I don’t use one, but I wouldn’t hesitate if it made sense to do so.  I am very open minded on this journey, learning to do whatever it takes to become successful!

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Sell yourself, not just your book.  Again, I am so very new to this, my experience is limited.  What I am learning though, is that the readers are all about the books, but they also want to know the Author!  Tell them who you are, gain their trust, and they will catapult you to the next level!

Also, put in the work!  Don’t just stick it on Amazon and sit back and watch.  Get involved everywhere!  Participate in events; get to know your readers, reviewers, and bloggers…put in the time!  I am online off and on throughout the day chatting with everyone!  I love it!!!  It helps me determine who I am writing for and what my next step is an Author from both a writing perspective and a business point of view!

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

A lot!  I would say that I spend equal amounts of time writing and marketing!  My book just came out two weeks ago so there is a lot of work to be done yet, so I find the balance between that and writing!  Both are important!

What do you do to get book reviews?

What can you do?  LOL!  I did the ARC in exchange for an honest review, I do giveaways in exchange for an honest review, I post online asking for readers to review if they have a minute.  It’s the one thing you really have no control of…it is really up to the reader.  I have heard of people using other methods, but I am all about honest reviews.  I want a reader to walk away with the same feeling as those who wrote the reviews that convinced them to buy it.  I want reviews, but only if they are real, and honest.

If you know a trick, I’d love to know it!  LOL!

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

As a newbie, I don’t have much to compare.  I think I have been successful though, considering.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?

Ask.  LOL.  Plain and simple, I just ask.  There isn’t much strategy involved.  Reality is, out of all those that promised to review, only a handful do.  Most of my reviews are from others that just bought the book and loved it, go figure!  People are funny that way…they will blast you on their Facebook account; send you messages of praise, but that review?  Crickets!  LOL!

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

It is what it is.  You aren’t going to please everyone!  So far, I have been pretty lucky and have had great feedback, but I know not everyone will like my story.  Oh well…I don’t like everything I read either!

As long as it is honest, fine.  If bad reviews are written out of malice and spite…well, that is a shame.  I hear that happens, often, but again, what can you do?

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?

Not yet…but I’m sure they are coming!  LOL!

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

As I stated above…it’s the best way to get the word out, especially on a budget!  LOL!  I’m not sure billboards, or commercials are for everyone!

Which social network worked best for you?

I’m pretty much everywhere, but Facebook has been the most interactive for me.

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

Just be you.  Follow your instincts.  It’ll all fall into place as it should!

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

I had a really bad experience that nearly cost me my launch on time.  Bad advice and learning the hard way kind of defeated my big blitz and all that goes along with it.  What worked for me is being present before the release, getting my name out there.  Then the bloggers!  LOVE the bloggers!  They came to my rescue and did shout outs throughout release week.  Then the reviewers…LOVE them!  They were quick to read and get the word out too!  I love that part of this industry.  I am a nobody newbie and there were so many willing to help me out of a crap situation!

Next round…plan ahead.  Way ahead!  LOL!

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

That is a tough one for me.  I don’t really look to celebrity.  I tend to find your average person that overcomes remarkable circumstances more interesting.  That said, I don’t know who I would love to meet.  There are so many to choose from!

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

Ha!  Anything Nicolas Sparks!  His stories are great, but more so because they all turn to films full of hotties!!  LOL!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Do it!  You have nothing to lose!  Put in the blood, sweat, and tears!  Chase your dream!  Even if you never become the “next big thing”, you have accomplished something many are too afraid to and it’s there forever!  Don’t be afraid, make your dream happen!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook is my biggest outlet for information and interaction, but I am also on Instagram, and Twitter.  My books are on every major platform, so I am pretty easy to find!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.st.klaire

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

Twitter: @stephstklaire

Instagram: @Stephanie_St._Klaire

Email:  stephaniestklaire@gmail.com

#Musical Monday Review #3: Shrek the Musical

Overview: Shrek is an ogre that just wants to live alone in his swamp. Lord Farquaad, is lord of Duloc and wants to be King, but in order to do so he needs to marry a princess. He also has issues with people who are different than him, and sends all the fairytale creatures to live in Shrek’s swamp. Princess Fiona, is his choice, the only problem (he knows about) is that she lives in a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon. In exchange for the deed to his swamp, Shrek is roped into finding the princess and bringing her home. With a talking Donkey along for the trip, Shrek rescues Fiona and heads back for Duloc. Along the way Shrek and Fiona start to fall in love, despite their obvious differences, but Fiona has a secret that keeps them stopping and making camp for the night. Trying to hide her secret, Donkey finds it out, and urges her to tell Shrek. She refuses, says some nasty things that Shrek overhears, and believes she is talking about him. Instead of professing her love, as he was about to do, he runs off and brings Lord Farquaad to her in the forest. The wedding begins, Shrek comes to his senses, wedding is crashed by him and other fairytale creatures and in the end true love prevails.

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Opinion: I must confess, Shrek movies are a guilty pleasure of mine in general. Throw a wonderful cast, and great music and of course I’m hooked! The musical really highlights the fact that real life isn’t always as perfect or pretty like fairy tales. Sometimes it is ugly, smelly, confusing, or down right mean. Prince Charming doesn’t have to be handsome and wealthy, as long as you make each other happy and want to share your lives together it doesn’t matter what you or they look like.

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The musical also supports the message that no matter how different you are, you should always be you. My favorite song would have to be “Let Your Freak Flag Wave.” The fairy tale creatures sing about being yourself and never being ashamed.

As you see from the video, it is a staged production, but it is still wonderful. I think that stage productions add a quality to the shows that make them more magical. Take the Pied Piper song, it would be a bit odd if small rats magically (without a fairy-godmother present) became big and started tapping on a movie version. On stage it works perfectly.

While the lessons it portrays are pretty heavy, the show is light and will keep you in stitches throughout the whole show. If you love the movies and are skeptical, the musical stays pretty much on the same path but of course somethings were added or taken away or done differently. Depending on how well it would or would not work for the stage. Plus we get to see insights into how Shrek came to live in his swamp, which is a bit heartbreaking, and we get to see Fiona through the years. We see her at three different stages in her life as she grows up in the tower waiting to be rescued. The lyrics are hilarious and the music is beautiful. We don’t get to see the band, but we can see the head of the conductor through the floor, I think it is poor placement but it works.