Thursday, June 13, 2013

Interview with Donna McGarry

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Welcome all. 
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Donna McGarry author  of Zodiacts: Leo Limelight Lunacy:Dance of the Dueling Divas.

Where were you born and where do you call home? 
I was born in the Bronx, New York. I currently live in Nyack. NY.

Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.
I’m very excited that I got current and transformed Zodiacts: Taurus Treehouse into a multi-touch ebook for ITunes!

What date were you born? - you can leave off the year if you like.
June 24. Like I said I’m a Cancer(homebody) with an Aquarius Moon(I’m an eccentric weirdo) and Sagittarius rising (When I do leave the house it’s for hiking and seminars).

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?
Zodiacts: Leo Limelight Lunacy: Dance of the Dueling Divas
This book introduces young readers to the energies of the zodiac sign Leo. Starrkitty finds her arch rival Lola Leo performing in a solo show, and promptly embarks on upstaging her.

If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say? Starrkitty would say, “It certainly was kind of me to extend myself to that poor, unfortunate, one-trick pony Lola Leo!”

Do you have plans for a new book?   Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I’ll be starting on the Virgo book next. It’s tentatively titled ‘Vinny d’ Virgo and his Venison Stew.’
What books have influenced your writing?
I’m a big Dr. Seuss fan.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Charles M. Schulz or Tennessee Williams

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
My Sun sign is Cancer, so I’m one of the old sticks in the mud who prefer a hardcover.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
I love to wander around the bookstore or library and browse that way.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
I self-published the series. It never occurred to me to seek a traditional publisher.

Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
My books are all in print. I just finished an interactive, narrated version of Zodiacts:Taurus Treehouse for ITunes and an ebook for Kindle Fire. I’m going to convert the other 4 this year.

What book would you like to read again?
Because I happened upon it today and couldn’t remember it very well, ‘I Know This Much Is True’. I remember loving it.

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
Get back to me on this one.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
The Book of Pluto by Steven Forrest in paperback.

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?
I just this year fell for T.C. Boyle. I love his flawed characters, his pacing, the vocabulary, and the topics.
Who designed the cover of your book?
I do all the artwork in photoshop.

Do you buy a book by the cover?
I get attracted by the cover, but then like to go to the middle of the book to check out the writing style.

Do you have a book trailer?
I did a trailer for my book Zodiacts: Taurus Treehouse

What are your thoughts on book trailers?
Some are fun, but books aren’t movies and I don’t think they necessarily have to be.

Do you write under a pen name?

Do you have a nickname? 
My niece started calling me Puppy when she was 2 and it stuck.

Did you have a favorite toy as a child?
I had a big Raggedy Ann collection when I was little. My family and I imbued them with specific personalities and used to talk in their voices as a way of communicating with each other.
An early childhood memory - 
Being shushed.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
As we speak.

What are your pet peeves? 
Unkindness and people who just run water for no apparent reason.

Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?
I have a 15 year old shih tzu who is the boss of me. He sleeps 23 hours a day with one eye open. As soon as I try to slip out he goes ballistic. His barks sounds like, “Where’s the help! Heads will roll!”

White wine or red?

Coffee or tea?

So you like to cook?  Do you have a favorite food?
My sesame noodles are yummy, and my vegetable lasagna is delicious. Pizza is my favorite.

Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
Berry sorbet
What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?
Yoga, banana, get to it.

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
Shoes. I roam unencumbered.

Sleep in or get up early?
Early riser

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Your favorite gadget - 
I’m not into gadgets at all. Finally got a cell last year, but I do love the photoshop!

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
At home and whenever I can.

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad - 
Not being media savvy, I find it hard to get my work out into the world. I’m going to go with ‘any press is good press.’

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Bill Murray- I’d have to risk him putting dead animals in my sleeping bag but he seems like entertaining company-
Steven Forrest -he’s a great storyteller and I could talk astrology with him-
Michelle Obama-She can garden and stand up to Bill Murray

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
One of your favorite quotes -
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?
Water Music by T.C. Boyle. I was at the end of my seat with this one. It’s set in the late 18th century, is entertaining and chock full of action-adventure.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell-I love the multiple story lines, the various writing styles and the time travel.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen- I wasn’t crazy about the writing, especially the dialogue, but I’m fascinated by carnie life and loved the story.

List 3 of your favorite movies?
Groundhog Day-my favorite romantic comedy
Hannah and Her Sisters-I’m a big Woody Allen fan
Fargo-Love that Steve Buscemi. I had a dream once where he fixed my car and I ran after him yelling . “We’ll work together one day Steve.”

An actor or a book character you have a crush on -
I had a crush on that Pullo from the TV show Rome

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?
I’m behind on Game of Thrones because I don’t have HBO but I really got sucked in to the first two seasons. Love that Arya

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?  Feel free to add pics.
It would be voices since it’s illustrated so:

 Sofia Vergara or Mae West! for Starrkitty

 Maise Williams as Sally Sagittarius

  Arnold Schwarzenegger for Grannitaurus

 Since you reminded about my Steve Buscemi fixation, he’s in for Andy Aries!

David Hyde Pierce for Leo

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Sit down and do it!

Where can your readers stalk you?


Guest post by NoteBookBlogairy

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How to Find a Literary Agent

This is a topic that is widely discussed amongst writers and novelists-in-the-making.  It’s a topic that very relevant now because of the precarious relationship between traditional publishing and e-publishing.  Many still feel that traditional publishing is still the way to go because you still will have the veneer of success stamped on you because a traditional publisher accepted and published your work.  This is the epitome of the author having arrived.
However, with so many success stories of independent writers who are making a name for themselves and selling their books through their own marketing efforts (John Locke, Amanda Hocking, Richard Phillips to name a few…), you wonder if it is possible for the average writer.
John Locke has a book ( that describes how he sold one million books in 5 months.  It gives step-by-step details – but do you have the time, patience and tech/software savvy to handle all of the simple steps and the ongoing promotions and marketing required?
Well, that’s something only you can answer.  However, even if you don’t self-publish, creating a brand and a platform in social media is becoming increasingly more important even when in contract with a traditional publisher.  Publishers want to know that you can engage a decent amount of readers and are not clueless in today’s new publishing arena.
So, if you think your manuscript is polished with tight grammar, spelling and punctuation let’s move on with acquiring a literary agent!
Step #1: Make sure the literary agent you are submitting to is not the first person to read your completed novel.  Have a dry run editor and/or beta readers who provide feedback on your work.  And then, make sure you listen to this feedback and get some other opinions to ensure that you know from a few readers what are the high points and low points of your story.
Step #2: Once your manuscript has gone through the beta readers and/or editor and gets a green light go ahead and begin making the edits/changes suggested from the feedback.  Re-read, or have others re-read again to ensure that you’ve fixed the items that needed clarifying, expansion, contracting – or whatever was needed.
Step #3: Begin creating your query letter which will be your book’s introduction to the literary agent(s) of your choice.  The query begins with an introduction detailing why you chose the agent to pitch your book to and to show that you know something of that agent.  Research and read as much as you can about the agent and incorporate what you’ve learned in that first paragraph.

The second paragraph is your book’s synopsis.  Tell what your novel’s about in 250 – 400 words – less if possible!  Give them sizzle and pizzazz.  Make the agent want to read what you’ve written.  You can compare your book with a similar set of books so they get the idea quickly.  Give them a titillating blurb that will make them want to ask for more pages of your book.  You must also tell them where your book will go on the shelf of a brick-and-mortar store, or where it will be cataloged in an online bookstore.  Is it a psychological thriller?  Is it a historical romance?  Is it a Christian Western romance?  Let them know!  How many readers are in this market?  If you know, you can share that!
The third paragraph is your bio – why are you the right person to write this particular book?  Who the heck are you???  Let them know of your quirky personality through eclectic language that is uniquely you.  This is the time to showcase your ability as a writer!  If you’re having trouble writing about you, pretend you’re writing about someone else!  Be as objective as possible but funny as all get out if that’s who you are!
Step #4: Get another pair of eyes on your query to ensure you didn’t omit something important!  When trying to condense we sometimes overlook extremely important pieces.  While you’re at it, have them check for typos and any other glaring mistakes.
Step #5: SPELL THE AGENT’S NAME RIGHT!  Yeah, I know this is silly but it is extremely important.  If you read the blogs and follow agents’ social media accounts, you will see that simple things like not spelling their name right labels that author as ‘sloppy’ or worse – lazy.
Step #6: Send out that query according to the specifications of the agent’s blog or post.  If they ask for a query with 5 pages of your book – give them what they ask for!  Do not give them more or less.  If they ask that you paste it in the body of the email – DO THAT!  If you send an attachment, in most cases, they will not open it and your query will be discarded without being read.  Following instructions at the outset (and throughout the process) is important.
Step #7: Repeat steps 3-7 until you acquire an agent!
There’s no magic bullet or pill that will find you an agent in 10 days.  You can attend literary events in your area to get up close and personal to a living breathing literary agent but that agent will be inundated with hopeful authors such as yourself throughout that event.  But, having met an agent face-to-face, you can make an impression that can make the request of seeing your manuscript come much more quickly than if you had simply sent your query via snail mail or via email.

To help you find agents, please check out these links:

About this Guest Poster:

Rochelle Campbell is a Brooklyn-based writer who has written two full-length novels and over 15 short stories.  Chambray Curtains Blowing in the Wind was published in 2009 by Bartleby-Snopes Literary Magazine.  You can buy her short story collection, Leaping Out on Faith, on Amazon for 99-cents (  Or, you can connect with her on her blog, The NoteBook Blogairy (


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Interview with Barbara Oliverio

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Welcome all. 
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Barbara Oliverio author of Love on the Back Burner: A Tasty Romantic Comedy 

Hi Barbara, thank you for agreeing to this interview. 

What were you like at school?

I was always academically at the top of the class, from grade 1 through college and graduate school and was a curious learner. In addition to maintaining a high GPA, I was a pretty normal kid and participated in a wide variety of activities including marching band, newspaper, yearbook, drama, student government, and 4-H club. 

Were you good at English?
I maintained excellent marks in English. I particularly enjoyed diagramming sentences. 

What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
I want to continue creating and sharing my characters in my fiction, but I have a few ideas for some non-fiction work as well. 

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have been a writer in one shape or form all of my life. Before I started concentrating fully on writing fiction, I wrote marketing materials, technical documentation, magazine articles and content for the Web. 

Which writers inspire you?
I am inspired by all the greats throughout the ages: Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters, Flannery O’Conner and others in the Western Canon. Modern writers that I admire for various reasons include Khaled Hosseini, Susan Howatch, Susan Isaacs and Marian Keyes. 

So, what have you written?
The most notable magazine piece I wrote was “A comparison of RGB and CMYK color models”. In addition, I wrote manuals for image processing software, graphic arts software and an oscilloscope. My marketing writing has been varied. Currently, I regularly write feature articles for the bi-monthly newsmagazine at my parish. Love on the Back Burner is my debut novel. 

Where can we buy or see them?
You can find Love on the Back Burner here: 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Alexandria is a typical young woman in her mid-20s who feels that she has her marketing career under control, but wonders why love has eluded her. An accomplished cook, she determines that if she learns how to cook the childhood favorites of her suitors, she truly will find the way to their hearts through their stomachs. She is fortunate that she has a solid moral background gained from her multi-generational ethnic (Italian-Catholic) family and she lives her values as part of her day-to-day madcap life. 

How long does it take you to write a book? 
The answer to that depends on your definition of “writing the book”. I spent about six months in a pre-writing stage, doing research, outlining, creating personas for my characters, etc. The actual writing of the book took four months. Another book may not come together that quickly. 

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I wake up and attend 6:30 Mass, then sit down to write a minimum of 1000 words. Despite what the movies lead us to believe, there is no “muse” that strikes…a writer needs to sit down faithfully every day and write. Some days what comes forth is good, other days it may need rewritten. 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can’t write holed up in a silent corner. I need to have some noise around me: music, TV, chatter at Starbucks, etc. 

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 
This book was inspired by my friend telling me that I should release a collection of my own recipes (my mother’s, those from my own former suitors’ families) as a cookbook. I thought that weaving them into a story would be more fun than a traditional cookbook. I have two other comedic novels in mind that were inspired by stories I heard on the news. 

When did you write your first book and how old were you? 
This is my first novel. Let’s just say I’m no longer in the 35-49 demographic. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I cook, do New York Times Crossword puzzles, and visit with friends. In addition, my husband and I enjoy rooting for our favorite sports teams – football, baseball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse – and enjoy traveling throughout the U.S. and abroad. 

What does your family think of your writing?
My husband is my biggest fan. My parents are both deceased, but my brother feels that this is just naturally where I have been leading all my life. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Since I previously concentrated on non-fiction, this switch to fiction gave me the refreshing ability to create my own world and change it whenever I wanted to. My family has a motto: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”. This is the best way I can live up to that motto. 

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? 
The initial feedback on this novel has overwhelmingly been positive. Readers like the characters and the humor and in addition they like the fact that a romance can be told without sex or crude language. 

Do you like to create books for children?
I haven’t written any children’s books. 

What do you think makes a good story?
I think the formula is a) relatable characters b) realistic dialog and c) a good plot, all written well. 

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
I did that and it was very successful for me. 

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I hired a professional editor from three who were recommended to me. The three each took a chapter from the book and edited it on spec. I chose Susan because I could tell she had a good grasp on what I was trying to convey in the story. 

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
I gave my designer a creative brief that outlined the story, the characters, etc., and included images of covers that I liked from my genre. 

Who designed your book cover/s? 
I selected a professional designer after looking at the portfolios of three who were recommended to me. 

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Definitely. My cover is very obviously one for a romantic comedy – chick lit. If I would have had a dark, morbid cover on it, my target audience would not give it a second look. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
The best advice I can give is to READ, READ, READ – everything you can get your hands on. You can learn from the best and learn what not to do from the rest. 

Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Although there is a spike in e-publishing, I think there will always be a place for the printed word on paper. There is just something about picking up an actual book that can’t be replaced. 

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I want my readers to know that my own faith and values inform my life and my work, but I am fully assimilated into the "real" world. I feel that my writing ability is a gift that I can share whether it is in writing for business, periodicals, or creating fictional characters. 

How can readers discover more about you and you work? 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Pinterest for Business: a Complete, Updated Guide for Ultimate Success

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Take your business to new levels by using Pinterest the RIGHT way. "Pinterest for Business: a Complete, Updated Guide for Ultimate Success" will teach you basic and advanced, original techniques to curate your best content to make your Page and pins stand out on the world's fastest growing social media site; use Pinterest's technical updates to your benefit; attract and KEEP a massive following; optimize your website for Pinterest; drive enormous traffic to your website and dramatically increase sales; maximize the benefit of linking your Pinterest Page to other social media platforms, and much more. You'll also learn how to implement "secret" techniques top pinners have used to earn a large following; and avoid mistakes associated with creating a Business Page and using affiliate links on pins. In short, this text, which has an enormous amount of insight and analysis not found elsewhere, is all you'll need to succeed on Pinterest.


I Am John I Am Paul by Mark Tedesco

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"Adventure, intrigue, faith, commitment, love and hate and everything between! Mark Tedesco has done it again, fashioning what is arguably his best work yet! He entices you on a phenomenal journey into the fascinating lives of two 4th century Roman soldiers, John and Paul, in a tale of loyalty and love that grabs you by the throat from the very first sentence and holds you spellbound, gasping for air as you're swept from chapter to chapter with barely a moment to breathe. An unbelievable marriage of fact and fiction that will leave you applauding or appalled but never bored or indifferent. A must read!"
-Tony McEwing, Fox News

Author Bio :

Mark Tedesco is a published author and history teacher in Los Angeles. He was born in California but lived for many years in Europe. There he developed a unique perspective which is apparent in his teaching and writing.

His first book "That Undeniable Longing - My Road to and from the Priesthood" is a memoir of his sojourn in Rome in a Vatican seminary leading to ordination. Readers have been taken aback by his honesty and integrity in recounting his journey. His account continues as he eventually decided to leave the priesthood in order to be "true to himself".

His second book is "Loving Hoping Believing - Poetry to Live By". Poetry comes alive here as the words express the love possible between two persons, the joy of being united, the anguish of loss and the hope of fulfillment.

Mark's current work is a work of historical fiction on the forth century soldiers John and Paul. Mark enjoys drawing the reader into the historical genre especially of the ancient world. "I am John, I am Paul: A Story of Two Soldiers in Ancient Rome" is this work which Tedesco considers to be his greatest.

Besides writing, Mark's passions run the gamut from archeology to sports and fitness. His colleagues consider to him to be somewhat of a Renaissance man. He enjoys imparting to his students his thirst for life and happiness. This thirst, or quest, is apparent in every work Mark devotes himself to.


A Wandering Warrior by Harry E. Gilleland, Jr

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Author: Harry E. Gilleland, Jr
Genre: Action-adventure, Historical fiction

Publisher: 4RV Publishing  (see: ) Book
published 15 April 2013 as paperback, 28 May 2013 as eBook.

ISBN-10: 0985266198  &  ISBN-13: 978-0985266196 = paperback print version

Page/word count: 212 pages; 66,010 words

Brief synopsis: In late twelfth-century England, a commoner and itinerant soldier, Thomas Beaumont, travels to avenge the cruel slaughter of his older brother while a captive after a battle lost. Along the way, he encounters a band of Travelers and falls in love with the dark beauty, Emalda, the leader's daughter. In his future wanderings, he finds many adventures involving battles, the rescue of two young ladies of nobility, the search for his lost love, trials of honor by combat, tragedy, new love, and encounters with knights and royalty. This book is for readers ages mid-teen to ninety; adults.

Author Bio:  

Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. is an award-winning poet and author who lives with his wife Linda in Shreveport, Louisiana. At age 68, Harry, happily retired from his career as a Professor of Microbiology, now engages in writing full-time. “A Wandering Warrior” is Harry’s eighth published book. Harry has published four books of his poetry and four works of prose. Harry currently serves as Editor-in-chief for the Editorial Department of 4RV Publishing, a small traditional publisher headquartered in Oklahoma.
Harry Gilleland was born and raised in Macon,GA. Harry received a B,S. and M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Georgia in Athens before serving as a captain in the U.S. Army from 1968 - 1971, including a tour in sunny Southeast Asia (Vietnam). Harry received his
Ph.D. in Microbiology from UGa in 1973, followed by a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, where he nearly froze his butt off during the harsh winters. Harry fled south to join the faculty of LSUHSC's School of Medicine in Shreveport in 1975, where he remained until retirement in 2004.

After retirement, Harry became a creative writer, poet, and novelist. Harry is a really good guy and quite likeable, who is good to his wife and treats children, grandchildren, and small dogs with kindness.



Concealed in the Shadows by Gabrielle Arrowsmith

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Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033—her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister, who is her only family and entire world. She hopes they will be lawfully reunited, but is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape the captivity of Miles County so that they can be together.

Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to those who dare to cross the electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of technology. Even if they were to survive the escape, disappearing into the forgotten forests and towns of the past seems an impossible task.

What Sydney doesn't know is that she is the particular interest of two opposing forces. With deceit, fear, and warfare surrounding her—can she trust the party that aims to help with her fight against the other? Can she open her heart to receive and return unexpected love? When her sister’s life becomes jeopardized, Sydney will have to weigh a new love against the only enduring love she has known. The cost could be deadly…

How will she choose?

Author Bio:

Gabrielle Arrowsmith was born to her loving mother, father, and older brother on August 16th,
1988. She grew up in the small town of Ham Lake, MN enjoying soccer, school, and adventuresome play with her brother and cousins.

As she grew older, her desire to write led her to fill many diaries and notebooks with her thoughts, poems, stories, and scripts. Her other childhood hobbies included reading, playing soccer, acting, and playing piano.

Gabrielle recalls high school as the time when she first believed in the worth of her writing. Her AP Language and Literature course both challenged and celebrated her craft. Aiming for perfection caused her to slave over her work, but only so much as to allow time for her other college-level courses, soccer, track, National Honor Society, and school plays.

From 2006-2009 she attended the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. Atypical of a college student, Gabrielle looked forward to writing papers in her various courses. Gabrielle played collegiate soccer for the Saints, held work-study positions, acted in theater productions, and volunteered often.

Since college, Gabrielle has enjoyed teaching third through sixth graders in various school settings. She is now substitute teaching in order to pursue her passion for storytelling through both writing and acting. She also continues to play and coach soccer.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Emerge by S.E.Hall

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Laney Walker is a quick witted, athletic, southern girl who lets few get too close. Evan Allen is her rock; the chivalrous hometown hero who’s always loved her. No sooner than they finally delve into romantic feelings for each other, college sends them packing, miles apart.

Laney is slow to adjust to life with a new team, fanciful roommate and co-ed dorm, but one night changes everything and her heart is left divided.

Dane Kendrick is sexy, debonair and mysterious…and the pull to him cannot be ignored. He draws out parts of her she never knew existed. What would happen if she let go of her lifelong reservations and took a leap of faith into what she never knew she wanted? A jump that Dane seems more than happy to help her through.

What do you do when there is no wrong decision? 

Author bio:

S.E.Hall resides in Arkansas with her husband of 17 years and 3 beautiful daughters. When not in the stands watching her ladies play softball, she enjoys reading YA and NA romance.

What people are saying : 

Review by
Do you ever get that shaky feeling, you know the mix of excitement, anticipation and nerves all rolled into one when you read a good book? Well neither do I, but I do get those feelings when I read an extraordinary book and this is one of them!

Laney is your average tomboy with some major trust and self-esteem issues from her mom leaving when she was young. What she doesn't realize is that she is the only one who sees her as average. Everyone else sees a gorgeous, intelligent girl who isn't afraid to be real and herself. She has no idea the effect she has on people especially the opposite sex.

Evan is your hunky All American boy next door who just happens to play football as well and just happens to be Laney's BFF. He has loved Laney with everything thing he is since they were 10 but his timing is atrocious. He decides to tell her how he feels towards the end of their senior year. When they realize they have to separate and go to different schools their perfect world starts to fall apart. Evan makes some horrible decisions at school and Laney is well all alone. In comes Dane.

Ah Dane, how to describe him. I guess you could say he is the rich bad boy because he is dark, handsome and mysterious, but man he treats Laney like a queen from the get go. He keeps everything close to the vest but sees something different about Laney and winds up watching his sturdy walls of defense come down brick by brick. He tries to give her the time she needs to choose him but a man like that can only wait so long.

I hate to love, love triangles but I guess it is a guilty pleasure of mine. I didn't know who to root for because I loved both Evan and Dane. I totally understand why Laney had such a difficult time choosing between the two. Usually the girl ends up looking selfish and just ugh, but not in this story. Laney was honest and kind and made everyone fall in love with her. Honestly, this book made me want to kick Evan when he did something stupid, shake Dane for not being completely open with her, but mostly I wanted to grab Laney into a big hug and cry with her because she is exactly the kind of girl I want as my friend. (BTW I am not going to give it away but I wanted to so smack a certain someone across the face. Man she made me angry.) Who will she choose Evan or Dane? Read it to find out trust me its worth it and I can excitedly say I can not wait to see what happens next.  

Laney is the innocent, tomboyish, raised by a single father, girl next door. Evan is the sweet, all American, football player, boy next door. Seems perfect doesn't it? They thought so too. Being separated for college is not what they expected to happen to them. Laney thinks it is best for them to return to being best friends instead of boyfriend/girlfriend, she doesn't want anything to ruin the friendship they have had since they were 9 years old.

As Laney settles in at her school she easily becomes friends with her new roommate. They attend a getting to know you event in their dorm and they meet Dane.

"His eyes are big and brown and he smiles all the way through them. His skin is dark, like he's tan all year round, and he carries himself with a kind but yeah, I know you're looking air."
Laney is trying to find the balance between her new friends, the mystery that is Dane, and her life with Evan. She is not technically with Evan but she still feels guilty for the feelings she has developing for Dane. Dane is sweet, protective, understanding, respectful....he does not push Laney into anything and he takes his time with her.

"It means, Laney, that I want to get to know you better."

Meanwhile Evan is trying to stay connected to Laney, wanting so much more than to just be friends. When obstacles get in their way he fights to make things right and get to the bottom of things.

Laney is confused about Evan's feelings for her because of their agreement to be friends and their distance.

" 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder' my ass. How about 'absence makes the head dizzy and fills the heart with aching bewilderment'."

Emerge (Evolve Series) is written from multiple POVs, allowing the reader to see this story from different angles. Most of the book is from Laney's POV however the snippets from Dane and Evan made it hard to choose sides. Both of these boys truly care for and love this girl. The flow of their story is well written, it is not all over the place but it still keeps you wondering....

....who will give up everything for Laney, and at what cost? Read Emerge (Evolve Series) and find out!
I could not get enough of this story and I would love your feedback as well....go buy it today, read it and comment below!

interview with J. Aleksandr Wootton

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Welcome all. Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing J. Aleksandr Wootton, author of Her Unwelcome Inheritance.

Hi Mr. Wootton, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hello! Call me Jack. I'm a folklore professor at Lightfoot College and a literature enthusiast. I've been called a bookworm, which makes sense if by 'worm' you mean 'dragon' – I hoard books in shelves and spare rooms and like to sleep surrounded by them, like Smaug on his pile of treasure.
So, what have you written?
Quite a lot! Her Unwelcome Inheritance is the big thing going right now – it's been out since August 2012 and we're due for a sequel shortly.
My recent essay On the Unsuitability of Fairytales for Children has been very popular on DeviantArt and elsewhere (you can Google it easily).
And of course there's my blog,, where I post poetry, short fiction, and various writing scraps.
Where can we buy or see them?
A lot of my writing is available for free through my blog. Her Unwelcome Inheritance can be had on your computer, tablet, or ereader for $3USD in Nook and Kindle formats from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It's also coming out soon for iBooks, Smashwords and a number of other digital formats – even audio!
The best way to keep up with all that is through my official author page, There you'll always be able to find direct links to buy my books wherever they are sold. Plus, you can sign up for my email list to be notified when I come out with something new.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Petra Godfellow, the protagonist of Her Unwelcome Inheritance, would like to be just your average highschool grad heading off to college – but the exiled Fayborn won't let her.
They believe she's descended from Robin Goodfellow, heiress to the legendary Puck legacy... and if she bows the knee to James Oberon, true-blooded successor to the throne of Faerie, he can use her homage to forge a spell restoring his shattered kingdom.
There's just one catch: if she does, she becomes James Oberon's sworn servant. Forever.
Petra doesn't know any of this, though. She doesn't want to know. And no matter who tries to warn her about it – her aunt, her godfather, her university professor – all she wants is to have a good start to her four years at Lightfoot College.
She's sure there's a more rational explanation for James Oberon's ongoing harassment of her family, convinced that the increasingly... uncanny... abduction attempts her friends have so far defended her from are not as extraordinary as they seem. James Oberon and his right-hand man Wormsworth might be crazy, but they certainly aren't fairies. And neither is she. The very idea is ridiculous, impossible.

What are you working on at the minute?
I've got a number of projects nearly completed, a few of them coming out later in 2013. I expect to release The Eighth Square, sequel to Her Unwelcome Inheritance, before summers' end. Forgetting, a collection of original poetry, is finished and ready for release in the fall. I'm also in the very early planning stages of a nonfiction project for students and their parents, to be called [How To] Go to College at 16: An Unconventional Guide to Coming Out Ahead Despite the American Educational Meltdown.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to try writing my first novel at the ripe old age of 8, and I've been at it ever since.
Why do you write?
A large part of my motivation is to somehow pay tribute to books I've loved reading. While I've never enjoyed writing (or reading) fan fiction, I love clever allusions and new imaginings of great stories – it's like meeting old friends in unexpected places for new adventures. Her Unwelcome Inheritance is thick with references to many of my favorite stories and full of disguised-yet-familiar characters.
The other big reason I write is simply the challenge of spinning out my thoughts onto the page, the nervous thrill of putting them where others can read and react to them. There is nothing quite like having another person thank me for articulating a thought, a feeling, an experience they had had themselves, only they hadn't the time or the patience or the words to express it.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
The realization that if I didn't start, I wouldn't finish; and if I didn't finish, I would never know whether I had made something good and true and worth making; and if I didn't find out whether I could make something good and true and worth making, I would never improve.
And if I never improved, I would never make something good and true and worth making.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Full-time since February 2012. I wrote part-time on various schedules for about fifteen years prior to that.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Mornings, first thing, are best for me. As the day goes on, my to-do lists come crowding around and I find it harder to focus.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or ...?
Every day. You never know when you'll have a day when the words won't come.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
I try to write one chapter or short section per day – typically two to five pages, or about one to three thousand words. My goal is to visualize one whole scene or argument, see it through to the end, and stop. “Slow and steady wins the race!” said the tortoise to the hare.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I've never enjoyed working on a typewriter. I use a computer (custom-built desktop, with a full-size bamboo keyboard!) for long projects, but I tend to write poetry and notes on mini legal pads. 
Where do your ideas come from?
Someone once told me that a writer is only as good as the writers he reads. That's true for both style and material – great ideas beget more great ideas, or at least more good ones.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
For short projects, or in the very early stages where I don't know where something will go yet, I like to just see where it takes me. For longer projects I use a pretty rigorous outlining method I got from Ian Caldwell, co-author of The Rule of Four. He recommended summarizing your story in about five paragraphs. Then you elaborate on and expand each of those paragraphs into a one-to-three page synopsis. Then you further elaborate each of those pages into an additional three to five pages. This time you include excerpts – scenes, bits of dialogue, specific descriptions – that have occurred to you along the way.
Now you've got a really thorough synopsis, probably between 20 and 50 pages long. Your story and characters are fully described. Along the way you've encountered – and devised solutions for – all of your plot holes and story hiccups. It can take awhile (months even) but with that foundation laid, once you begin actually writing your book develops very quickly.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
The stuff I was writing in high school and early undergraduate was pretty juvenile in terms of plot and character development – my stories tended to be a series of “cool scenes” strung together, with little going on to move the characters around or the story forward.
The big thing for me in the past decade has been theme and motive, the spirit and power behind a good story. Understanding and working with those concepts have also led me to be able to write short fiction and poetry, two genres I couldn't really enter before, as well as given me a much greater appreciation of good storytelling in books, movies, tv, etc.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
All of it. Or none of it. Writing is the hardest thing about writing.
Diligence is the hardest thing about writing.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Controlling my excitement so as not to get ahead of myself!
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Wanting to write. No effort required there at all.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About one month for every 10,000 words of first draft, if I'm allowed to focus. Depending on my early reviewers' and editors' feedback, getting from first draft to final version might take an additional two to five months. Not counting outlining, that is.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Not really. I do get it sometimes when working on longer projects, like novels, and I've realized that it's almost always a sign that there's a problem with my outline.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
On the macro level, write about things you care about. If you can't always pick your own projects, find some reason to care about the project you've been assigned.
On the micro level, detach yourself for a few minutes. Walk around the room, look out the window, walk around the building, run an errand, exercise. Do something physical. Then come back and resume staring at the page.
 Whatever you do, DON'T look at cat videos. Don't even open a web browser, or your email.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
It is and it isn't – it's more like one very long book that's been split up into three volumes of more manageable size. Her Unwelcome Inheritance ends on a cliffhanger; The Eighth Square picks up exactly where it left off, and the third book, A First or Final Mischief, will carry on exactly from the point at which the second one stops. So really, once they are all out, you will be able to read from the first straight through to the third and it will feel like one story.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
Of course! My Goodreads page is full of my favorites ( High on my list of favorites would be Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, Peter S. Beagle, and Neil Gaiman.
Who designed your book cover/s?
Jill. (Sorry, that's all I'm allowed to say!)
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I'm sure it does – otherwise there wouldn't be a proverb instructing us not to judge books by them! We're actually in the processing of redesigning the Her Unwelcome Inheritance cover art to make it clearer that HUI is a fantasy novel.
How are you publishing this book and why?
For the moment it's all indie, all digital. Once the three books are done I'll be on the lookout for an agent and a traditional publisher.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Self-publishing gives the author a lot more control, obviously, and a bigger cut of the sales. On the other hand, your work doesn't automatically get the professional editing help that can turn a good story idea into a good book – you have to arrange for that yourself. Also you have to do all of your own marketing when you self-publish, so your book doesn't get the kind of jump-start a traditional publisher can give it.
Of course, there's no guarantee of success in either route. If you've written a good story, you have to just put it out there and hope that it gets noticed. Word of mouth is the only thing that really sells books, no matter how they're published.
How do you market your books?
Mostly by being active on social media – Facebook, Book Blogs, Goodreads and DeviantArt are my main focus. I'm exploring a lot of other routes as well. It seems like every other week someone recommends a new service or website, and I haven't had time to take advantage of them all yet. When I do, I plan to put a “what worked, what didn't” write-up on my blog.
Why did you choose this route?
Digital self-publishing has a much faster turnaround than traditional print publishing. It gave me the opportunity to put my work out there and see what people thought of it, to build up a fan base, before my stories go to print. It seemed like a logical first step now that I'm writing full-time.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
I don't currently, but I'm open to the idea.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Definitely. Follow my blog to get the whole scoop! Or contact me through any of the sites listed below.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
None. I've discovered that I can't work on a long creative project at the same time that I'm marketing a finished one. They're too different – the type of brainwaves needed for marketing cancel out the type needed for writing, and vice versa. So I go back and forth, doing my marketing in between writing projects or while I'm waiting for feedback on early drafts.

What do you do to get book reviews?
Hang out on Book Blogs and Goodreads and email reviewers whose work I like and who I think might be interested in my book based on the kinds of books they've written about already.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Decent – over half the reviewers I've contacted so far have asked for my book. I'm still waiting on a few reviews from bloggers who received Her Unwelcome Inheritance last year, but that's okay!
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
If the review is honest, then it's a good review as far as I'm concerned. Not everyone who thinks they're going to like a book does, and that's just life. Negative feedback can still help me become a better writer and storyteller. I can turn any honest, well-explained criticism into constructive criticism for future work.
Which social network worked best for you?
Goodreads and DeviantArt are probably my biggest networks right now, especially for connecting with people that I haven't met in real life. Networks like Facebook and Google+ are great for reaching out to people you know, but not so good at connecting you to strangers who share your interests. 
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Traditional publishers are going to catch on to the fact that they need to change the way they think about ebooks and the independent ebook equation. Once that happens, traditional publishers will probably start using self-publishing as a vetting process to discover new talent. (That's already started happening, here and there, but soon it will become the rule rather than the exception). So publishing is never going to go back to the way it was, but the big publishing companies aren't going to let themselves become obsolete, either.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Wil Wheaton's Law (“don't be a dick”) is a good place to start; never disobey it, in any context, for any reason, ever. Be friendly; be courteous.
Next, add in some wisdom from New Economy marketing guru Seth Godin: “Don't wait to be picked. Pick yourself.” (from Stop Stealing Dreams). The Internet is a big place. No-one's gonna find you out there if you don't do some hand-waving.
Lastly, from Jeph Jacques, one of the world's few full-time webcomic creators: “I strongly believe that the Internet is a meritocracy, and that if you do good work you will eventually be recognized for it.” There's debate about whether or not the Internet is a “true” meritocracy, but the fact remains if your work is not good nobody's gonna tell their friends to read it.
So do good work. Put yourself out there. And be nice about it. That can take you pretty far.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
  1. Write.
  2. Read what good writers write; read what good writers write about writing.
  3. Write more.