Meet USA Bestselling Author Julie Morgan

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have a special treat for you. USA Today Bestselling author Julie Morgan has stopped by to chat with us. She is the queen of steampunk literature and has published fifteen books that are all available for sale. Come stop by and join us. If you have questions for this amazing woman, you can ask in the comments.Author Photo 2 

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

Tell us about yourself.
I currently live in Winter Haven, FL, and am originally from Burleson, Texas. I’m married, going on 13 years to an amazing man, and we have one child together, who will be 10 in August. Growing up in Texas, there was no shortage of fun to be had with rodeos! Although I’ve since hung up my spurs, I do occasionally enjoy a horseback ride.

How long have you been writing professionally?
Since 2013.

Let’s talk about your book, Deadly Alchemy. How did you come up with the title?
The story is about an Alchemist and what she created because so deadly for her, the name came about that way.

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What part of the steampunk culture do you like the best? Why?
I love the Victorian era with the corsets and bustles! With the gadgets worked in, you’re able to create a world where only your imagination is the limit. Steampunk you can make anything happen.

Steampunk fanSteampunk watch

 

Would you describe your protagonist as a strong and wise woman?

Strong and smart, yes. I feel wise comes toward the end of the story.

Did anything significant come to the surface as a result of writing this book?
Nothing in particular, no. 

What has been a great life accomplishment? Tell us about it.

I would have to say my daughter. She’s my daily inspiration to want to be a better person. She is the best thing I have ever done in my life.

Julie and daughter2

What types of music do you enjoy listening to?
I’m all over the board from classic rock to Mozart. It really depends on my mood.

Where is a great family oriented place that you can recommend for everyone?

If you’re visiting Polk County, Florida, give Manny’s chop house a try. Amazing food and the staff are always super friendly!

Do you follow Lesfic literature? If so, who have you read?
I don’t necessarily follow one genre over another. I enjoy reading to escape. I have read so many authors it is hard to nail it down to one.

What has been the greatest gift from becoming a mother?
Aside the love of my daughter? Learning more about myself.

Julie and daughter3Autism Awareness 2

 

What intrigues you about paranormal stories?
It pushes the boundaries of what real life is. Imagine having the ability to fly, or grow gills to swim under oceans, shift to run through woods, or never having to sleep? It would be something different for sure.

Where is the most exotic location you’ve ever visited?
Europe. My husband took me to Venice back in October, then we took the Orient Express train to Paris. It was SO amazing!

How has your family been supportive of your success?
Yes, absolutely! My husband has been my number one supporter since I started this adventure.Family Photo 2

Describe the feeling you had the first time you made the USA Today Bestselling list. What, you didn’t hear me scream? HAHA! Excitement. Thrill. Disbelief. Amazement!

What is next for you?
I’ll continue writing and discovering new worlds and new characters. I love world building and bouncing ideas off my fellow authors and readers. As for what is coming next, I’m going to be working on two different series storylines, both paranormal. I’m pretty excited for them!

Purchase Deadly Alchemy

Keychains

Before you go be sure to check out Julie’s blog where you can read more about her. Her book series, Symphony of Night received a facelift, although the story is the same. She has worked with Desiree Orto and the two of them rebranded the series.

juliemorganbooks.com

In addition, she has social media sites you for you to read.  She welcomes new followers to don’t forget to follow her:

webpage: www.juliemorganbooks.com;

Facebook: www.facebook.com/juliemorganbook;

twitter: www.twitter.com/juliemorganbook;

Instagram: www.instagram.com/juliemorganbooks

I want to thank Julie for stopping by to talk with us. It has been a real pleasure. Stay tuned for next week’s blog as I will be featuring Lacie Harmon and Robin Greenspan from the Lacie and Robin show, which is on YouTube.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017
Printed with Permission

#FF Flashback Friday – Meet author Missouri Vaun

Hello friends, today is #FF Flashback Friday and I am featuring an interview from Missouri Vaun, originally posted on Feb-27-15. With the arrival of her new book, ‘Crossing the Wide Forever’ (debuting Jun-01-17), here you can get to know her. Come stop by and meet this magnificent multi creative woman. Enjoy.

‘Crossing the Wide Forever’ excerpt

 

Crossing the Wide Forever Cover

Purchase ‘Crossing the Wide Forever’

 

Good afternoon and welcome my friends.  I have had a very busy two weeks.  During this time, I got to chat with author Missouri Vaun.  Her most recent work is her upcoming novel, ‘All Things Rise,’ from Bold Stroke Books, which she will be discussing today.  It is a f/f romance and is planned to be released this May.

All Things Rise 150 DPI

“Feeling unable to let Audrey go, Cole pulled her close and kissed her. It was as if the two of them together were able to create a space that only they inhabited, from which the world fell away, the sea of pedestrians separating to move around their embrace as if they were a craft upon the open sea.”

Missouri Vaun grew up in rural southern Mississippi, where she spent lazy summers conjuring characters and imagining the worlds they might inhabit. It might be a little-known fact that Mississippi breeds eccentrics, and eccentrics make for good storytelling. Missouri spent twelve years finding her voice as a working journalist in places as disparate as Chicago and Jackson, Mississippi, all along filing away characters and concepts until they seemed to rise up, fully formed. Her stories are heartfelt, earthy, and speak of loyalty and our responsibility to others. She and her wife will celebrate their sixth anniversary this summer.

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What is ‘All Things Rise’ about?

Cole rescues Ava, a pilot from the Cloud City of Easton who crash-lands near her farm, setting in motion events that will alter the course of her life. It’s a hundred years after peak oil and the rich have risen above the Earth, inhabiting great Cloud Cities, while those left behind live a rural existence, off the grid. After suffering a vicious attack, Cole is transported to the Cloud City of Easton for emergency surgery. While recuperating and adrift in the unfamiliar social landscape of Easton, Cole begins a journey of discovery. When she meets Audrey, a beautiful doctor, the attraction they share is penetrating and possibly life altering. Explosions, staged by a ruthless underground movement, nearly bring Easton to the brink of collapse. The crisis that rocks the city forces Cole and Audrey to weigh what truly holds meaning and what each is willing to sacrifice for love.

Because of an injury, the main character, Cole (featured on the cover), who is from a rural area is transported to a city for medical care. She finds herself in a world that she’s never experienced. But she’s not the only one changed by the encounters she has there. Those she comes in contact with are changed as well because, by just being who she is, Cole challenges long held stereotypes.

What or who inspired you to write ‘All Things Rise?’

Initially I think it was coming to the realization that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. We are living in a time of increasing disparity. And I thought, what if this keeps moving in the same direction until the rich leave all of us behind altogether? In my future world, the super rich have completely separated from everyone else. So the elite live separated from the ground in these big urban centers. The middle class and lower classes have been left on the ground for a hundred years basically living a 19th century existence because oil has peaked and the power grid no longer exists. (And I had this idea on paper two years before that lame movie, “Elysium” came out.)

After I submitted my manuscript there was actually an article in Vanity Fair about these new super high, very narrow skyscrapers for the extremely rich in NYC. In the article they said something about the rich separating from the earth and living in the clouds and I thought, wow… that’s basically what happens in my book.

I don’t want the future setting to make this book seem like it’s pure science fiction. It’s really not. In fact, a lot of the book takes place where Cole lives so those parts are almost like reading a story set at the turn of the 20th century. The “science” in this book is a minor character. The book is really about the relationships that develop between the three main characters.

What was the deciding factor for you book title?  Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?

The title is a tribute to a book by Flannery O’Connor, “Everything That Rises Must Converge.” It was really my first idea and it just sort of stuck.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for this story?

I tried to create a trio of very different characters. In the beginning they had more of a love triangle but as the story evolved that thread dropped away and while all three characters have very strong feelings for each other the primary romance ended up developing between Cole and Audrey, even though Ava is the person who brought them together.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I didn’t do much writing in school. I was a fine art major. I actually did the illustration of Cole that Bold Strokes Books ended up using on the cover. After graduation I worked for a string of newspapers for about 12 years, both as an illustrator and as a staff writer. But if anyone does a search for Missouri Vaun they won’t find the name listed on these projects because that is a pen name. Missiouri Vaun was my great-grandmother’s name. All my other writing has been published under Paige Braddock.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?  If so what did they do?

I think great writers inspire me, although, my own work doesn’t come anywhere close to theirs. In my favorites list I would put: Eudora Welty, James Agee, Cormac McCarthy

I think of myself as more of a storyteller than a writer.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?

My goal would be for readers to emotionally connect with the characters I’ve created. That would be my wish. That these characters seem real to the readers in such a way that readers become invested in what happens to Cole and Audrey and Ava.

Do you have a favorite quote from a favorite author?  What does it mean to you?

I have a few… from Cormac McCarthy: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.” This quote actually inspired the second book in this series, which will be released later this year.

What hobbies do you have?

My biggest hobby is drawing. I probably spend every spare minute either writing or drawing.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least fave?

I think my favourite part of being a writer is the freedom it gives you to create characters and worlds. There’s nothing more fun that starting with a blank slate and building a world. In terms of least favourite, I don’t think I have anything yet… ask me again next year.

What was the last movie (theatre or dvd) you saw?  Would you recommend it?

‘I Origins’ was the last movie I watched. And I would recommend it.

Where would you go for your dream vacation?  Would you ever use that location as the main location in a future story?

I love the desert of southern California. Joshua Tree is one of my favorite places as is Death Valley. I would definitely set a story there at some point. I actually have a western on the back burner at the moment, some of which would take place in the arid places in northern New Mexico. Cormac McCarthy wrote “Blood Meridian” and set it in the same borderlands area. That’s a great book if you’re into that genre.

What is in the works next for you?  If you can’t share, I totally understand and respect this.

My second book is titled “The Ground Beneath.” It’s a novella that focuses on one of the secondary characters that I really liked from the first book. I wanted to give her a happy ending. This novella will be a digital release in August.

The third novel, “The Time Before Now,” will be out in October. It’s a prequel of the first book. After one of my beta readers finished the first manuscript, she said she’d love to know more about two of the older characters in the story, so book two is their story. It takes place twenty years prior to the first book and focuses on the story of how they met and fell in love.

Missouri’s hard work and dedication is really evident.  In addition to working on her next book, she has done some really incredible interviews. This one is a live chat with Liz McMullen and if you haven’t checked her out, you are in for a real treat.  Liz is the creator of The Liz McMullen Show and Lizzy’s Bedtime Stories.

Live Chat With Liz McMullen

Also, take some time to check out Missouri’s blog.  Here she writes about fun things, including her story, “Jane’s World” and other news in her life.  While there, feel free to add comments and join in her conversations.  Also don’t forget to like the blog.  If you want to connect with Missouri, sign up to receive blog updates.

Missouri’s Blog

Missouri has been kind enough to provide an exciting excerpt from “All Things Rise.”

Cole placed the basket and fishing rod on the ground and walked slowly toward the ridge where she’d noticed the glowing object. Dry twigs snapped underfoot despite her best efforts. She didn’t want to make too much noise, not knowing what to expect. And then Cole saw it clearly. It was a shiny capsule of some sort. The glow was coming from a glass window in the center of what looked like an oval door. For what seemed like longer than a minute, Cole stared at the gleaming object. It was all slick metal and glass, the only modern thing for miles in any direction, and here it was, less than half a mile from her family’s cabin. 

Cole took a few steps closer and saw the dark shape of someone inside. The cruiser must have crashed, but it looked none the worse for wear. There was a pile of upturned dirt at the front of the vehicle. The crash landing had cut a ditch of sorts through the brush before it abruptly stopped right next to a giant oak. There were scratches all along its sides, probably from tree limbs, but no punctures were easily visible. Cole had never been this close to an aircraft, but had seen photos of various kinds in old books. She’d always wondered what it would be like to fly one, to get a bird’s eye view from something higher than the old fire tower on Black Mountain.

There was a handle on the exterior of the vehicle that seemed like it would open the door. It was colored red as if to say, “Open here.” Cole reached for it and then stopped her hand midair. She had a momentary thought that this felt like one of those times when you knew you were doing something that you couldn’t take back. When you knew you were doing something that would change everything that came after this one action. Ignoring her fears, she pulled the release.

Here are Missouri’s links where you can follow her.

Missouri’s Facebook Page (Don’t forget to like the page)

Missouri’s Twitter Page

I want to thank Missouri for stopping by today.  It was a pleasure speaking with you and we are looking forward to the release of ‘All Things Rise.’  I can’t wait to read this incredible story!

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Thank you for joining us today. Like I mentioned above, Missouri’s new book, ‘Crossing the Wide’ is now available for purchase. Feel free to use the comments to talk about both of these books, as I am looking for discussion. In the meanwhile, check out her website under Paige Braddock displaying her artwork. It is very amazing as you can see from the above pictures.

Paige Braddock Art

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2015/2017

My Review for Linda Bates’, ‘It Drew Pale’

Good Afternoon Everyone!  I hope you all had a lovely holiday, for those who chose to join in.  Today  am featuring my review for Linda Bates’ ‘It Drew Pale.’  This book recently debuted, just in time for this holiday season.  Come on in and join us for this fun journey.

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Her greatest asset was her determination, and if you wanted to succeed in something in Oregon, or anywhere in the world for that matter, you had to have plenty of spirit!

Linda Bates

 

It Drew Pale takes place in the 19th century in the rural west. A man named Jack Preston was moving to Oregon to start a new life. Jack is tough but even keeled. He is witty, has a nice sense of humor, and is respectful of others. Jack is as honest as he can be. However, he has a big secret that your going to need to read the book to find out.

Eleanor and Marianne are sisters who enter Jack’s life. They are daughters of a shop keeper and they dress very well. Their beauty radiates and they are both very nurturing.   it’s no wonder that their family business is doing so well. These two women reminded me to stay optimistic. You can’t help but feel good when you are around them. They are both attracted to Jack’s charm. It’s no wonder that Jack is attracted to them. The question is how are they going to feel once they learn Jack’s secret.

All three players are solid. They are brave in their own ways. Marianne, under pressure, never showed any weak characteristics.   Nor did she cry out for a man when she was in an unpleasant situation. Marianne’s heart is as big as the world. Her strength is very visible and I applaud the author for creating her.

Eleanor doesn’t put up with nonsense. She knows how to hold her own ground and get her point across clearly. She isn’t afraid to use force either. She knows what she wants. No isn’t an option for her. If she wasn’t so attached to her family, I could see her going out on her own and starting a life someplace else. I found her to be a bit standoffish, but after learning a few things, I understood.

Jack has inner strength that is comparable to a super human. Jack isn’t afraid and doesn’t allow physical pain to slow him, especially when fighting for justice. Emotions are well tamed and never take over any situation.   I could see Jack stealth his way across a battlefield unnoticed.

This story is quite an adventure. There is a little bit of violence that made me pause from reading for a moment. The read itself kept me at a slow pace and I had to backtrack a few times so I wouldn’t miss anything. The story hooked me and I enjoyed the ride. You are going to want to carve out time so that you can fully experience the entire story without interruptions. And don’t forget to read the introduction before the story. I found it to be very inspiring.

Here are two excerpts from this fine story for you to check out.  Enjoy!

Excerpt 1

Stepping onto Oregon soil, Jack immediately began to feel the familiarity of it all. It had been eight months since the tired legs had set foot on some good old honest earth. It felt wholesome and fresh. And firm, too, after the bobbling about on the schooner. People were still around to trip over in the busy port-side, yet already Jack felt free. It was certainly a welcome contrast from the life Jack had led back at the claim. There were some real women milling about! Jack was not the type who discriminated against those women who wore trousers and flannel open-necked shirts. After all, in the gold fields it was more practical for a female’s needs, but in Jack’s mind, there was no female figure that was not the embodiment of nature in crinoline and frills! It was the way of it, and Jack had no mind to change the laws of nature. The others, Jack observed, were also viewing the magnificent local scenery.

Excerpt 2 

The busy storekeeper and her sister heard the slam of a door, but were too busy to attend their aggrieved relative. Besides, they had experienced the tantrums of the twenty-year old, and were quite used, after years of the same, to Eleanor’s behaviour. Her father always had the same answer when Eleanor was ‘in a sweat’ as he would call it, and deduced she would desist being out of sorts as soon as she found herself a strong man to calm her temper. And that would anger Eleanor the more her father would vocalise his philosophies. They would never see eye-to-eye on the ideals that matched the general populace, because Eleanor did not see herself as one of the crowd. Rather she was an individual, with needs of her own she had not quite worked out yet.

 

Four Stars!

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016

 

Meet Author Emma Lynn

Good afternoon, Everyone!  Today I’m interviewing an author whose work really touched my heart.  She is Emma Elliot aka Emma Lynn, author of Darkness Reigns, a story about a trapped woman who discovers who she really is.  Emma is here to chat and answer questions.

Recently, I had the honor of beta reading her upcoming novels, Dare, which is now available for purchase.  It and the second book of the Love series, Marko, will take you down a path of love, courage, and determination.  Dare, especially is touching and the author really lays out the foundation of the story well.

Author Photo

 “This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.”

Amanda Hocking

 Who is Emma Lynn? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I’m from Washington State, so when I’m not writing or reading the latest romance novel, I’m cheering on for my team, the Seahawks! I’ve been writing for the past four years but daydreaming about story ideas since I was little. On days when I don’t feel like getting words down on paper, I head outside with my camera to get some cool shots.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends – during this time of year?

Because it’s cold here, I like to sit in my comfy chair with a blanket, cup of hot chocolate and a good book, or catching up on TV shows.  

What is “Dare” about?

Dare is about the journey a young woman goes through as she tries to forget her past. She has rocky times, many secrets come to light, and a budding romance she isn’t sure she’s up for. It’s heavy in romance and light in mystery.

What was the deciding factor for your book title?

I wanted a short title, something catchy but made sense. I had many ideas but they all seemed wrong, and at the time, Dare’s name was actually Austin. I just couldn’t see that name as the title, so Dare came to mind. It sounds more dangerous and alluring.

Dare Photo

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?

Although I try not to do it, a lot of my (female) characters take after me. Either their quirks, sarcastic remarks (those were fun to write), and the way they think. Physically, just an image of someone-usually someone famous-and make my characters that way.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

As I’m starting out in this industry, it’s a lot harder than I anticipated, so I just really want to thank those who take the time to read my stories and grow attached to the characters that I myself am fond of. I love hearing from you guys and reading comments are really great. So thank you!

What is your favorite venue to see live classical music?  Can you share a bit about your favorite composers?

Oh, I haven’t actually been to see live classical music be played, but I love Tchaikovsky! Nutcracker is my favorite to listen to.

Can you share a bit about your love for the Seattle Seahawks and how you became interested in football? 

No matter what, win or lose, those guys are winners. I haven’t met any (unfortunately) but they really can be selfless. I love hearing stories about them helping out, volunteering, or visiting children at the hospital. As for how I became interested? Football in my house is a staple! I grew up with it on, so it only makes sense to love the sport!

 House Flag Template Example

Let’s give a shout out to Seattle, Washington.  What places are fun to visit and can you share something about them?

I love going down to Pike Place Market! There are so many cool shops there, some quirky that are adorable. I always love watching the men throw and catch the fish, or walking around and checking out the vendors. There are some really cool places to visit in Seattle, the Underground tour being one of them. I’ve gone so many times, yet it never gets old.

What other authors do you follow?  Can you recommend some books?

I follow a lot! I can recommend anything by Shelly Crane, Richelle Mead, Abbi Glines, Sarra Cannon, and Colleen Hoover.

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 Author Richelle Mead and Emma

I understand that you are a ‘Star Wars’ fan.  Have you seen the latest installment?  If so what was your experience?

Not yet! I’ll hopefully be going to see it soon, I’m dying with anticipation!

What is your favorite part of being an author? 

Being able to write! It’s a lot of hard work, but in the end it’s rewarding because it means I get to do what I love.

Me:  One thing Emma enjoys is her blog.  This you have to check out and Emma has included fun things about herself.

Emma’s Blog  

What are you currently working on?

I’m working finishing up with the second book in the Love series, Marko and it will be published soon.  Currently, I’m working on books 3 and 4.  Both stories branch out with more adventure and love.

Emma has provided a few excerpts for us.

Dare PhotoDare:

“Why are you staring at me?” he asks, breaking me out of my trance.  

I clear my throat. “I didn’t realize I was. Just lost in my thoughts.” A few seconds later I ask, “Is your name really Dare?” 

He chuckles humorlessly and turns to me. “That’s been bothering you, hasn’t it?” he leans down, getting close to me and my heart stutters. “If it weren’t my real name, I wouldn’t tell you. Know why?” 

Swallowing over the lump in my throat, I shake my head, eyes wide. “No. Why?” I ask hoarsely. 

His eyes slowly move down, pin pointing directly on my lips as I lick them. “Because that would mean you’re close to me, and I don’t let people in. I won’t let you in, Jennifer. So I won’t answer yes or no. I’ll let you think on it, let it push into your thoughts late at night and drive you crazy because you’re thinking about me.” 

Darkness Reigns Cover 

 Darkness Reigns:

I smile, watching the fireflies flicker and zoom around, little beacons shining in the air as their backdrop is the orange and pink sky from the setting sun. The day went by fast as I’ve been preparing for school to start up tomorrow. The last day of summer is filled with familiar rituals, always managing to keep the anxiety of first day jitters down and buried. I may be a senior now, but the first days are always the hardest.

Stretching my legs out, I shift on the porch steps and pick my book up, setting the place marker on the page before closing it with a sigh. The backyard is my favorite spot here at home. Our house sits on a hill, a direct view of Puget Sound in our backyard and if I squint just right, I can make out the Space Needle, standing proud in downtown Seattle.

The weather is always changing here and for once it’s nice and sunny. A gentle breeze picks up my hair, twisting it around. No doubt I’ll have troubles brushing the long black strands later on.

The fireflies are slowly subtracting, becoming a tiny group of three before, they too, disappear. Looking at my watch, I realize dinner will be soon and decide to stand up, stretching my back side to side. Before heading inside though, I lean against the railing and watch the sun disappear into the Sound, the water a mesmerizing glow.

I would like to thank Emma for stopping by.  For more on her work please check out her links below.

 

Emma’s Facebook Page

Emma’s Twitter Page

Purchase ‘Dare’ – Amazon 

Purchase ‘Darkness Reigns – Amazon

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Printed With Permission 2016

My Review of Amy Dunne’s, ‘The Renegade’

Hello Everyone and good afternoon to you all.  Today I am sharing my review for Amy Dunne’s ‘The Renegade.’  For those of you who are new, I recently interviewed Amy.  Since then she’s been hard at work with her next project.

Amy Dunne’s Interview.

Renegade Cover

This story takes place in the future, involving a deadly epidemic.  Right from the start the author’s descriptions draw in the reader. I loved how she described one of the main character’s father. He was a positive inspiration for Alex, despite his own destiny.  A chill ran through me at her wise choice of words that clearly defined the situation.

Alex is a young woman determined not to let fate destroy who she is. Unfortunately because of this epidemic she has shut down socially and has become somewhat apathetic to others.

After learning how to survive on her own, she took the reins on fear and used it in her favor. It was amazing how well she handled herself. True bravery was shown here and she was not afraid to fight for her own life.

Alex didn’t want to love again.  It was too painful.

I loved the way the strong woman emerged and grew as she transformed.  During the story, we are led to believe that she is only going along with the motions.  The descriptions of the scenes and the overall character building made me appreciate and admire her.

Then there is Evelyn, a woman living hostage in a survivor’s camp. She is forced against her will to marry the camp’s leader, a man claiming to channel the word of God.  She is the community’s doctor and goes well beyond her duties.  The author shows examples of Evelyn’s selfless-like qualities throughout.

Evelyn is sweet and caring, which is shown right from her introduction.  Immediately the reader will feel connected to her.  I admired her strength in that she never gave up.  I applaud the author for showing Evelyn’s maternal side as well.

As I was reading, I could feel the emotions of both main characters. I really had distain for one supporting character for being emotionally abusive. You will find this emotional roller coaster and very interesting and hard to put down.

There is a romance in the story that was very well thought out and believable.

The story is easy reading and the pages themselves will lead you along the journey of Alex and Evelyn to a climax that you’d never think about.

Renegade Cover

I have included a touching excerpt from this page turner.  Enjoy!

Evelyn Bennett dried her hands on paper towels as she watched Tanya leave the medical room. She dropped the crumpled towels into the bin and tried to quell her anger.

“Bastard,” she whispered.

Tanya disappeared out of sight and Evelyn rushed to lock the door. The blinds were already drawn, so she took advantage of the limited privacy to hide her stash of tablets. Kneeling on the floor, she pried the small iron grate with her fingernails to remove it. The packets of tablets were wrapped in cloth and zipped inside a black waterproof makeup bag. She pushed them deep into the narrow gap, scraping her knuckles on the brickwork in the process.

 A loud knock sounded on the door.

“Just a moment,” she said, trying to sound casual. She fumbled with the grate and eventually managed to get it back in place. Scrambling to her feet, she shoved the heavy cabinet with her shoulder, moving it in front of the grate.

The pounding continued to rattle the wooden door.

Evelyn scanned around the room to make sure she hadn’t left any of the contraband out. She couldn’t see any and didn’t dare to waste any more time. As she walked to the door, she ran her hands over her curly red hair tied in a ponytail. She swept the plastic apron aside and brushed down the scuffed knees of her jeans.

She braced herself, flicked the lock, and opened the door.

“Hi, Mum,” Jamie said, beaming a smile that showed the gap where his left lateral incisor was missing.

She blew out a shaky breath and wrapped her arms around him, drawing him close. “What was all that banging about?”

He looked up at her. His brown eyes sparkled with vitality but were also wise beyond their years. The unprecedented horrors he’d witnessed had left their marks. There was no such thing as innocence anymore.

“I missed you,” he said simply.

“You did?” she asked. She ruffled his sandy hair affectionately.

“Yeah.”

“I missed you, too.” She hugged him tightly.

Purchase ‘The Renegade’

Purchase ‘The Renegade’ Amazon UK

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Linda Bates (‘Everlusting Love’)

Good afternoon Everyone! It is great to see you. Today author Linda Bates, author of ‘Everlusting Love’ has stopped by to chat with us. Her story has a dynamic complex main character and is full of twists. It will take you on a journey to exotic places of the world as well as into the depths of your imagination. Get set for a breath taking experience. Let’s give Linda a warm welcome.

 Author1

 ‘Smile at the World and It Will Smile Back.’

 Everlusting Love

 Who is Linda Bates?

She’s an author of many books, some published, some ready for pubbing, and some are in the making.

I am a Yorkshire lass first, and a Brit second. Where I come from, you don’t have to ask why that is so. I did a great five day talk on BBC Radio called ‘Life Stories’ where I talked about my life and my writing. I found the process really interesting. I suppose I should put them on YouTube for the benefit of those who didn’t get to hear the recordings. I had a fascinating day with Kevin (Fernihough – pronounced Ferni-ho), he was really nice and easy to talk to, and I had a lovely chat with the producer there talking about his career and how he might see himself in five years’ time! We joked because he said he felt I was the interviewer, and he was the guest, but we got on so well, and was it was so relaxing, like a home from home, really, that everything came naturally. I am never ill at ease with people, I love them, and animals, of course, though I stress, I am not a vegetarian. Sorry, you guys, but I have so many food allergies and have a careful diet, that I can’t afford to purposefully cut out what I can, and meat is one of those products.

In your childhood, you did a lot of traveling. Can you share about your favorite places?

I am well-travelled, and so are my books, and if any of you have bought American Dream paperback from either of the outlets-there are 52 countries and I sell in Barnes & Noble, too, as well as in my beloved Cumbria, the local bookstore holds copies of American Dream, and will soon be stocking my latest full novel, Everlusting Love-there is a write-up on the back that will tell you from where I originate. I also have a blurb on my website for Everlusting Love that will give you all the information of where I have travelled since I have written of the places I have been, and know. New York is not one of them, though I would love someday to visit with my friends over there.

Africa  

What is “Everlusting Love” about?

Everywhere I have ever been and everywhere I would love to go! Everywhere in the whole wide world! I just love the differing cultures of the world, and embrace them wherever I go. I enjoy people, I’ve said that (giggle) but I really must stress that it is for the people I write. I write the books I always wanted to read as a youngster. I started out reading so many westerns in my youth, I read every single one in the library where I lived. I then began thinking that most of them held a straight romance as a running thin line throughout the books, so I wanted to create a different character, a strong woman, with no axe to grind, but someone with grit and a bit of a personality about her, and I think I accomplished that back in the day when I wrote American Dream. I wanted to write about significant women on the periphery of society, and focus on bullying, so that is how Everlusting Love started out with the initial title Basop a lo Vampire – from my South African days. I was writing the last piece of the last chapter when I thought it was too limp a title, and people might not really get what the book was about, it was not all about a S. African vampire at all, even though Africa features in the book, so does a lot of places around the world in equal measure, but it WAS about people who find themselves on the periphery of society. Those of us who find we are marginalised because of one or two, or maybe more, aspects of our life that stands out from the rest of humankind, and I wanted to portray that as a positive aspect, pointing to those of us that might view the world differently.

What was the deciding factor for your book title?

The book title came from a song that was playing in my head Everlasting Love…you know the one…”open up your eyes, then you realise, here I stand with my…everlasting love…” and so forth. Well, I was singing that in my head whilst I was putting the final words to the book, and I thought the lyrics really epitomised my story, the tale of extremes, and of lust, so I just changed a little part of the title to make Everlusting Love, and Karissa was born!!

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?

Creating the main characters? I never created them, they were born, they lived within me the whole while I was growing up, and I already had them inside me, so I did not create them, rather I think they created me, and made a monster (Laughing).

Me: Take a few minutes to check out Linda’s book trailer video for ‘Everlusting Love.’

Everlusting Love book trailer

Have you received any awards or recognition for your work?

My recognition for my work is with the readers, and the readers alone. If only one person reads my books, then I will have achieved my goal of reaching someone who needed to read my words, my work, and take it that they are never alone in the world. That is my main achievement, and that is how I view my writing. A story that people can relate to is reward enough. Of course, if people wish to bestow physical achievement awards upon me, then go ahead, knock yourself out, I will happily accept, but ideally, for me, it’s people who count.

Author 2

If you were to write a biography, who would it be about and why?

I have approached an artist regarding his biography, and he has agreed. Because I have so many books I need to focus on at the moment, this project is a much larger and important factual book that needs my full, undivided attention, so I am waiting for the right moment to get his historical data written down in a way that appeals to his audience. I love his work, and his life is fascinating, so I don’t really want to wait too long…all I can say is watch this space, that book begs to be read, and has been half written already…

In your blog you mention Being negative only makes the journey more difficult.” What does this mean to you?

I have a quote on my desk that goes something like this…’Being negative only makes the journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it!!’ This is the kind of humour that makes people sit up and take notice, so it appealed to me on all sorts of levels. It’s ironic that the gifts we have been given are locked away and not utilised until we get a burr up our saddle. I took over thirty years to decide that my writing was good enough, that I was good enough. American Dream, for instance, was written so far back in my life, and then shelved because I simply felt too insignificant. But one day two years ago or more, I shared a short story privately with a Director/Producer/Writer and she placed it not only on her film company page, but it turned up on all her pages, and on FB – the feedback was phenomenal! I got around 50 replies in the first hour, and thousands just in one week, telling me how they had enjoyed my story and asking me what else I had written. At the time, when I only had about a handful of friends on Facebook, and no website to call my own, I was really affected by that positive charge, and from that moment came the inspiration to edit and get American Dream out there, along with the start of Everlusting Love. Ironically, it was this kind of loving gesture from, yes you’ve guessed it, Nicole Conn (Perfect Ending, etc.), and Barbara Niven’s inspirational video that shoved that cactus where it belonged by telling me point-blank that ‘I was enough’. I deserved to be counted! And so do you!!

Author 3

Can you share with us a bit about your love of poetry?

I started writing poetry at the tender age of ten! I was writing poetry on all kinds of subjects. I read some out to my family on one occasion, but it didn’t go down too well. I really wrote about taboo subjects, too, that I did not read out to anyone. They were my deepest moments. I could find no other outlet at the time for my feelings of a coming of age lesbian, preferring to hide rather than be bold.

I had parents, and I am sure many of you can relate to this, who had a mind-set about such things, and although they were tolerant on the outside, their beliefs were stuck in the Victorian British stiff upper lip of children, especially girls, were seen and not heard! I was amusing, but I was discouraged from expressing a voice, since they felt sure once I had grown up, all I would do was get married and have lots of babies. I knew from the age of nine, I think, that I was not going to have children at all, but try telling a determined parent that. I laugh now, but then it was infuriating. I was stuck in their world, hence it took me such a long time to find my voice, let alone relinquish the hold of twenty-seven years of straight talk. I did, and I never looked back!

So poetry is not something I am overly fond of, yet it was my beginnings to expressing myself, that I really enjoyed, if for myself, it was very private, very pleasing to me at the time. I have written poetry in my latest creation ‘Everlusting Love’, a book I so enjoyed writing. I love the characters, even though they can be hurtful to each other. We are all flawed, we are none of us perfect, and that is what I find fascinating about human nature. We are multi-facetted, multi-dimensional. I am not a pigeon-hole, I am a human. That is why I chose Karissa as one of my main protagonists in this very complex, compelling tale. Simply, she is not a human, yet she was once, and it is this that she explores in every aspect of her relationships with people. I love her because she will bare all, and be damned!! She’s a survivor, thousands of years old, she wanders into relationships whilst on the periphery of society. I wrote about that because it is close to my heart. I wrote about women close and beyond the edge of a world that seems to tip ever so slightly to the borders of our very own psyche. Karissa, Victoria and even Jane, find it difficult to keep from revealing themselves, and this, quite frankly, pushed my buttons. They are essentially women who seem plucky, determined and feisty on the face of it, yet are ruled by their own spheres of perception, but they are not afraid to examine that. Someone recently said to me that there are a lot of descriptive, inventive paragraphs that seem to exude poetry in their symmetry, and I have to agree with them, because I have this innate need to bring all the reader’s senses into play when describing my scenes.

For instance, not giving too much away in the book, there is one place where Victoria discovers a shrivelling mass at the end of a deep, dark tunnel. The descriptive there conjures up the sight, smells, visual effects, taste of the place so palpably it has even me riveted to the spot every time, and my heart beats like an express caboose following the storyline through a grotesque collage of descriptive prose. That is my kind of poetry! I write; some poetise. I love the English language, and I revel in its many terms and twists. Don’t you?

What authors do you read? Who would you recommend?

I could recommend everyone read Dickens, especially his Bleak House, or the famous A Christmas Carol. It can be awkward in its composition with its long phraseology, sentences as long as your arm, but if you embrace the ingenuity of his work, and the way he used to publicise it, you can’t help admire the determined effort of a man who originated from out of a blacking factory! Both stories tells a lot about his drive, and his reasoning behind his writing. I admire an author who has a story to tell that matters in the scheme of things, he wrote to change the world’s perception on poverty and snobbery.

Charles Dickens

 

What is your favorite part of being an author?

I write because I need for people to feel they are not alone, that there is someone out there who can relate to their pain. I also like to break rules, and with Everlusting Love, as with American Dream in a way, I have broken the rules on how a novel, especially a lesfic novel, should be written. I follow no approved, tried-and-tested model. I write to innovate, reinvent, and question the art of writing today. I do not apologise for my intensity or my psychological questioning, invoking the reader to examine their own values whilst they are reading my book. I enjoyed every minute of getting to know my reader, getting under their skin with the wheedling determination of a dress-maker with a stitch picker!

What gets you into the zone? 

I work differently than other authors, I know, and this uniqueness reflects in my work, I think. I don’t need silence. For instance, I wrote most of EL during a holiday by the sea, or I was in my front room with TV blaring, people chattering in the background, and a kitty pushing my nose for attention! I get my material from thing I hear, see, and understand. My characters are with me 24/7, so this means I get inspired any time. I can rise during the night, I can suddenly be in the car, out with friends, cooking, cleaning, or any chore that allows my mind to meander towards them, and bam! I am there, and in need a pencil, pen, paper (including toilet paper, laugh), in order to get down an idea, a palpable, plausible plot, a poem, a sentence, a clever piece of dialogue, whatever has just popped into my head to include in my current novel. I start at the beginning, I work my way through the novel, and I finish at the end. I do not deviate from that. I continue in a dogged, passionate way, until I am finished. I don’t plan it! I don’t go through chapters; I don’t follow a set model. I just write and write until I am done. I have the characters, the stage, the whole story in my head and I play it out scene by scene until it is over. I can’t do anything else. And when I write it is off the cuff. No pauses, no going over and over the paragraphs, or chapters, changing and re-changing them. I write from scratch, verbatim as it were, until the very end. I pause for food, and domestic chores, but mostly I write until I am done. I am driven. Some people don’t understand this. It can be quite disturbing, I guess, when you have someone continuously focussed on writing the whole time, but I am an excellent communicator, and intuitive, so allow for that side of me to surface occasionally. I say this last with tongue in cheek, of course, but I am aware of people’s feelings and those whom I love know I love them. Ask any of them, they will tell you how well they understand my need to write, my passion for writing, because they know how important it is to me, how intrinsic it is to my well-being. I need to write, I need to feel, I need to find ingenious ways of getting a reader’s attention so that I can make a difference to the literary world.

 Cumbria

 

What is next for you?

Because of the recent floods in Cumbria, UK, I have had to shelve my latest project which is a collection of amusing cat stories, I call ‘Two Tuxedos and Five Peas on a Plate’. I will pick this up just as soon as I am able. Meantime, I am currently writing the sequel to ‘American Dream’ and of course the sequel to ‘Everlusting Love’. The sequel to EL, as I endearingly call it, is proving to be a most amusing turn of events centred around the beautiful, charismatic Karissa, but I am determined not to follow my own pattern from EL, so it will be a stand-alone book in itself. Any further books in the series, if I so choose it to be a series, will all enjoy their own style, their own taste, their own perceptions on Karissa, so that you eventually see by different perspectives just how complex one life can be. It’s called social inclusion. I am big on that!

And there you have it! Lynn, you are a great person, with a big heart, and an excellent client base, I am very impressed with your credentials, very pleased to have been invited to ‘talk’ with you, and very happy to know you. I am honoured that you chose to feature me amongst such prestigious and hallowed company, and proud to count myself in as a literary figure of some standing with you.

For more exciting news about Linda, be sure to check out her links:

Linda’s Website

Linda’s Facebook Page

Linda’s Twitter – lhb50

Linda’s Blog – Feel free to leave a comment.

 

I have included an excerpt from ‘Everlusting Love’. Enjoy!Everlusting Love

I do not actually know what had made me do it.  I was afraid of the dark.  When I was young, very young, my brothers used to dress in white sheets and appear in my bedroom to frighten me. At four, five years old it had done the trick. They had mocked and laughed at their antics, as older siblings are wont to do, but it had left a lasting impression upon my memory.  I was older now, of course, yet neither reason nor common sense engaged when I was presented with the darkness, night-time still held its horrors.  And so here I was, in this solitary, silent place.  I listened to that silence with a renewed belligerence.

I shouted out as loud as I could, “You don’t scare me anymore!”

There was no one there to hear my clattering, drunken scream.  I was alone.  The night was cold. I knew this because my warm breath showed on the midnight air as the moon peered from behind a mystic cloud.  I was too drunk to feel it, of course, but I felt tremendous pain, nonetheless.  Physical, tortuous, agonising, unrelenting guilty feelings had haunted me both night and day.  Tonight was no different from any other, except that tonight I had chosen to share my grief with the frosty midnight sky, the earthy soil.  The granite of my soul stung with excruciating concreteness.  It hit me then, at that precise moment, in my stupor, that I wanted to be dead.  I had been dead for some time. I had just been going through the motions of living.  I had lost those whom were all-important to me.  It had come as a great shock to me to lose them so quickly and so clinically clean as a click of the fingers would sometimes make a magic trick. Just as if I had clicked my fingers and then they were gone.  It had all been as quick as that!  I’m not going to encompass you with the grief, or the morbid details, suffice to say, that they were dead. I was not. The guilt?  It should have been me; after all it was my car!

It was a cold night, as I have said; yet I could feel nothing of it.  For days, weeks, months, years, I had felt nothing.  Not one iota of what one should feel.  I just felt pain, and I had reached an impasse.

Author 4.jpg

Here I was.  I was stood upon the old bandstand, in the middle of the lawn, in Alkincoats Park, screaming to no one but the frosty midnight stars.  The bottle I had discarded lay at my feet now. Empty.  I had had to accept that the bottle, like my whole life, was empty.  Oh, I had coveted the bottle, as if it were my last friend.  It was, of course, my only friend, now.  I had nursed the empty receptacle since it ceased to give me its last droplet.  People had long since been replaced by the fiery comforter.  My last remnant of fiery liquid had dissolved into the bottomless pit of my consciousness, and had left me still feeling the pain: The interminable pain.

I cried.  Real tears flowed cold and wet upon my cheeks and down onto my sick-soaked clothes. Time had rendered my apparel scraggy and dishevelled.  Time was supposed to have been the great healer, but it wasn’t.  Instead, time was too much of what I had.

I had cried real tears and felt the pain every tormented and tortured moment.  Tonight nothing was different, except for the fact that I was usually in my decrepit pit of a bed, in a bed-sit.  This time I had chosen to share my grief with the stars. I loved the frost, cold and clean against one’s skin, except, I could not remember when I had washed last. Oh, the beauty of a frosty night!  The stars were so clear against the agate sky.  I was not frightened.  Nothing could scare me. I did not care anymore.  I think that was why I was not scared; that, and the numbness of drink.  At least it was good for something!  Life was just too stupid, and I was so sick of it.

Author 5

I looked down upon my clothes.  My tattered coat hung where it touched.  I spread my arms out wide to accentuate the unbefitting over-garment in the moonlight. I tittered to myself; I looked like a vampire!  I noticed then that it was a full moon.  The clouds were too widely dispersed to have an effect upon it.  It looked at me and I looked at it.  The bright and shining moon up there told me nothing.

“Look at me!”  I shouted up at it.  I expected nothing in return from the moon.  After all, it is a dead planet.  There is nobody there except perhaps the company of the odd astronaut or two every once in a while.  Like me it was alone.

“Look at me!”  I screamed belligerently once more.

And it was then that a purely soft sensuous whisper close to my ear said, “I’m looking!”

I spun round, anxious to catch the one who had spoken.  Blackness!  I spun a complete circle.  I got dizzy and fell over.  I peered into the blackness.  The cold air encompassed me as a renewed soberness blinked consciously upon me.  I think I spoke again.  This time I did not shout, I know.  But there was nothing.

“Just me and my bloody mind!”  I said out loud.

“Oooh!  You do have it bad.”

That voice again: A woman’s voice.  It was educated, and mocking.   I was confused, yet strangely I could tell in one instance that I was not alone, and this was not just my mind playing tricks on me.

I had heard voices in my head before: Those voices of my father, or brother, or my ex-lover, or all at once sometimes when things were really bad.  Yet, this was different.  I knew that this voice was not something I had strewn in my fuddled memory.  The voice was real.

Again I looked about me.  I even peered upwards, trying to locate the sound.  There was nothing, or so it seemed.

I began to feel frightened.  I gathered myself from the frosty ground, shivering either from the renewed sense of cold, or the prickling sensation one feels from plain fear.  I staggered towards what I knew to be the exit from Alkincoats Park.  I could see the distant street light at the bottom where the park gates were.  I took comfort from the fact that it was only a few hundred yards away.  As I weaved towards it I was suddenly stricken with panic, and I began to run.

The woman’s soft voice came at me from behind.  “You can run all you like, I still have you!”

Author 6

I turned to try to see who it was who was haunting me so.  The hair on the back of my neck stood bolt upright, and I stumbled forward trying my best to reach the comfort of the distant light.

I never got there, to that lamp.  It’s extraordinary how one faces fear.  In a trice I had turned about.  I was going to face my tormentor head on. I did.

“I don’t care.”  I spoke to the air.  “Have me then, if it’s what you want.  I don’t care!”

And then she appeared.  God, she was beautiful!  She just appeared from out of the darkness.  One minute I was alone, the next I was opposite such a picture of utter loveliness.

“You like what you see.”  She whispered.

I was going to speak, but I found I could not.  I was speechless.  I could not move.  This spectral sight had me riveted to the earth.  It had its own light.

“This is how I appear to you, because I know how encapsulated by beauty you can be.”

She had said this so simply that it somehow did not sound corny or conceited.  It was a statement of truth.

I cannot say how I knew, but I just knew somehow that she could read my thoughts, my dreams of yesteryear, my emotions and also my actions before I could even have acted upon them.  She knew my past, my present and my future: All of it.

“And I accept it all.”  She threw open her arms then.  I was encompassed by her comforting, warm embrace without even understanding the process of how I had arrived there, head to her voluptuous breasts.  I was not frightened, though somehow I felt that I ought to be.  There was no reason in it.  I could not feel anything but warmth for this womanEverlusting Love

I looked up into her face.  I could perceive no wrinkles, and yet I had a sense that this stranger was older than I could ever imagine.  One perfect brow arched.

“You are very astute.  I can see that, now.”  Her red lips shaped a smile.  “But you do realise that I can’t kill you.”

Again, this last sentence was not a question, but a statement.  I waited, wantonly impassive.

“You,” She said provocatively, “Are too beautiful for that.”  She placed her cold finger on my trembling lips as she spoke.  In an instant I knew that I would surrender unconditionally to anything she wished.  She had the commanding air of one who is accustomed to giving orders, and for having those orders carried out.  One whom would say jump and you would ask how high!

After that I could not tell you what happened until I awoke the next morning.  And awake I did!

 

I want to thank Linda for stopping by to chat today. Her book, ‘Everlusting Love’ is available to download right now. Authors love reviews so please leave one when you are finished.  Also feel free to leave a comment here.  We’d love to hear how you liked it.

 

Purchase ‘Everlusting Love’

Purchase ‘Everlusting Love’ Amazon UK

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Like me/Friend me on Facebook:

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Follow me on Twitter:

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Printed With Permission. 2015

My review of Olivia Howe’s ‘Pretty Bird’ 

Good afternoon Everyone and a warm welcome to you.  This month I participated in a blog blast for author Olivia Howe, creator of the dynamic thriller suspense story, ‘Pretty Bird’ which recently debuted.  Pull up a chair and read on.

Blog
Tour:
Pretty
Bird
by
Olivia Howe
Dec
1st – Dec 8th

 

“Life is messy. Love is even messier. Love makes a person do crazy things. It breaks you down, making you exposed and vulnerable. It’s like you’re standing naked in front of hundreds of people, showing parts of yourself that only you see.”

                                                                                                        Kenna – ‘Pretty Bird’

Olivia

Kenna is a spunky woman who has it all, a dream job and the love of her life.  All is well until she is in a devastating tragedy that leaves her in pieces.  Suddenly the one person who she trusted with all her heart is now a stranger.

She is so determined to make matters right, that she takes the biggest risk of her life by embarking on a dangerous mission, leading her into a swamp of trouble and humiliation.  During some scenes, my fingers balled up in anticipation of what was going to happen next.  Several times I feared for Kenna’s life, the drama was that intense

It was heartwarming to watch Kenna grow into a strong woman.   Even though there were overbearing men involved, never did she become the frail girl that is portrayed in so many love stories.  It was amazing how she handled tough situations, considering all that she’d been through in such a short period of time.  Her valor radiated and she was a true warrior.

As Kenna steps into the new chapter of her life, new ambitions and desires come into play.  I was pleased to see that not once did she feel sorry for herself.  She showed me that no matter what curve ball is thrown at you, there is something great waiting for you.  It’s just up to you to seek and find it.

Great description of the sensual scenes, which were sweet and tasteful.

Good buildup of the story. It was easy to join along and I had a clear picture of each setting.  Each character had their place in the story and the conversations had purpose.  A few times I shed some tears, so keep tissues handy.  This book is a perfect escape for an afternoon.  Make sure to set some time aside for the ride.

Read below for an exciting excerpt from ‘Pretty Bird’.

I check in with Rebecca at the front desk for this floor. I get Jeff’s coffee. After, I confidently make my way to my desk. I set my things down and gather his schedule, continuing on with our morning ritual.

I knock before entering his office. I can do this!

“Come in.” Jeff doesn’t look up from his paperwork.

“Good morning, Mr. Avery. I brought you your morning coffee, and I have your schedule ready to go over.” I place his cup onto his desk.

Jeff takes a deep breath. His jaw drops. “Thank you,” he stutters. “Stop messing around. You know we need to talk.”

I take a seat. “What can I do for you, Mr. Avery?”

Jeff throws his pen onto his desk and leans back into his chair. “I don’t think this is going to work out anymore, Hilary.”

“What do you mean?” I act oblivious.

“Hilary, this job isn’t a right fit for you. I appreciate everything you’ve done, but this will be your last day.” Jeff shows no emotion on his face. Coward!

I lean back in my chair, crossing my legs. “Is this because I didn’t have sex with you last night?”

Jeff chokes on his drink. “Absolutely not,” he says, laughing.

“Jeff, I really need this job. Please give me one more chance. I can do a better job here. I know I can,” I plead. I hate begging, but I have to. I have no choice.

Jeff stares around his office, not making eye contact with me. “Hilary, I’ll give you one more chance.” He stares right into my eyes. “But there’s a catch.”

“Anything, sir.”

He leans on his desk, still staring at me. “Let me take you to dinner tonight.”

 

That is all I’m going to share at this time.  To find out what happens next, click on the purchase link below for your copy.   Scroll down further for more about the author, Olivia Howe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia Howe resides in a small town located in Maine. Born in 1994, she is a very young bestselling author. Originally from Florida, she considers herself a Mainer. In her spare time, she loves to write, listen to rock music, and spend time with her family and friends. She’s big on supporting authors and their books. She owns a book blog called Beautifully Broken Book Blog.

Check out her other blogs too, Beautiful Promotions and Author Olivia Howe.

Olivia’s family is her life. She has three beautiful nieces whom she adores. They’ve helped inspire her to continue her writing career.

She’s known for the two Amazon bestselling series: The Dark Love Series and The Killer Novella Series.  She has many more books in the works and some being  published soon.

Olivia’s a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors, Patriots, and Red Sox. She’s  a TV show fanatic. Her favorites include: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking  Dead, Under the Dome, Blue Bloods, Vikings, Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C., Orphan  Black, Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, Homeland, Chicago Fire, Revenge,  Chasing Life, and many more. She loves rock music. Her favorites include: Led  Zeppelin, Nirvana, Tesla, The Cure, Godsmack, Audioslave, Motley Crue, The  Honorary Title, Candlebox, Evanescence, Lynyrd Sknyrd, and many more.

 

  

 

 

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Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Amy Dunne

Good afternoon, Everyone and welcome!  It has been a busy few weeks, but I haven’t forgotten about you.  Today I have an author whom you are going to love!  Amy Dunne is the author of “The Renegade” which debuted on 14-Sept-15 by Bold Stroke Books.  She is here to chat with us all and has a giveaway to these of you who would like to leave a comment or question.  Let’s all give Amy a warm welcome.

Author Photo

“The worst thing you’ve ever written is better than the best thing you’ve never written,” –Unknown

Renegade Cover

 

What is “The Renegade” about?

“The Renegade” is a speculative fiction romance. The story starts with the aftermath of the Red Death pandemic that has wiped out most of the human population.  We meet Alex and experience how much she has lost because of the Red Death.  She has no one left alive, no plans or destination, only a rucksack full of belongings, and the promise she made to try and survive.  We join Alex on her journey as she meets other survivors all with their own agendas and fights to stay alive. The new world is dangerous and unforgiving, but over time Alex begins to trust and care for her two companions.

We also meet Evelyn, a medic in the Rapture’s Haven Camp. It quickly becomes apparent that there is something dark and disturbing lurking beneath the camp’s friendly exterior. Evelyn and the other women are trapped inside the camp and are nothing more than slaves. There’s no way out and worse still, many of the camp members have willingly embraced their roles. With a son to protect and the camp leader’s jealous unrequited lust to deal with, Evelyn is desperate and will do whatever it takes to keep her son safe.

When Alex’s companion is attacked there is no choice but to pledge allegiance to Rapture’s Haven Camp and its deranged cult leader. Instinctively drawn to one another Evelyn tries to warn Alex of the terrible danger they’re in. Unable to deny their desire they desperately try to keep their relationship a secret, for fear of the potentially fatal repercussions. As the stakes change and their situation deescalates, their lives and the lives of their loved ones are thrown into deadly jeopardy. Escape is no longer possible. They must fight for their freedom—or die trying.

What or who inspired you to write “The Renegade?”

I’ve always been a huge fan of reading speculative fiction and watching TV shows and films of the same genre.  The concept for the story had been developing in my head for some time. I wanted to know what it would be like to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. I didn’t want zombies or mass destruction on a grand scale, because they don’t offer out much hope for the survivors. I wanted nature to take back what was once its own and there be a reasonable chance of survival and living off the land. Would we adhere to the laws of the old world or make new ones? What would become of religion, sociology, medicine, morality, technology, agriculture, and knowledge? How would this new world affect and develop the emotional, psychological, physiological, and spiritual aspects of the survivors? Could we survive or have we lost the basic knowledge and practical skills to develop communities and relationships, hunt, forage, fish, build, produce medicine, protect, teach, farm the land, and tend livestock? What of roles within a community? Would we uphold the same values regarding equality, race, gender, religion, rights, diversity, and sexuality? Are we morally obligated to procreate in order to save the human race? These questions were the driving force.

UNity-in-Diversity

The biggest problem I encountered was fear. My own fear. Fear of writing a first attempt at a new genre. The fear that the story was too big for little old me to do it the justice it deserved. The fear of letting my publisher and readers down. Fortunately, my beautiful wife soothed all of those fears away with her unwavering belief in my writing abilities. Whenever I came close to giving up, she would insist I sit back down and do another hour or two of writing. She would listen to my worries and fears and give me the encouragement I needed. Without her, I don’t think The Renegade would ever have seen the light of day. She is my inspiration.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for your story?

In all of my stories, I try to insist that both main characters are of equal importance to the story. They both show a unique set of emotions, thoughts, fears, actions, and ambitions that are integral to them as a character. I like that we see the relationship from both of their points of view.

I knew I wanted Alex to be physically fit, powerful, practical, a problem solver, able to protect herself and others, self-righteous, stubborn, and a fiercely loyal person.  Surviving comes naturally to her. Her flaws, like Evelyn’s, are just as vital to the story as her positive traits. She is very wary of others, reluctant to create relationships, and doesn’t trust easily because she’s been hurt so much by the affects of the Red Death. I like that she’s a bit of a loner and is fiercely independent.

Evelyn is a medic and a mother. Her character traits are very different to Alex’s. She’s empathetic, caring, feisty, maternal, protective, loving, resourceful, brave, invested in others, selfless, highly emotional, quick to anger, social, intelligent, funny.

Although Evelyn doesn’t necessarily have the same practical skill set as Alex to make surviving easier, she is strong willed and determined. They compliment each other by making up for what the other person lacks. That I think is the beauty of watching characters and their relationships develop.

 

 

Did you do any types of writing while you were at school? If so, did you receive any awards or recognition of your work?            

English was my favourite lesson at school. I enjoyed reading books but also having a go at writing my own stories. My debut novel, “Secret Lies” is based on the short story I wrote for my GCSE coursework. I always knew that if I was going to have a story published that would be the first one.  Other than coursework, I never really wrote with the intention of others reading it. I was shy and didn’t have much confidence in my writing at that time.

Secret Lies

Although, I must admit that I was good at public speaking. I enjoyed writing speeches to entertain and inspire others. I was elected Head Girl of my secondary school by the students and staff. I was even invited back and presented with the Robinson’s Public Speaking Award in 2002. So I suppose you could say that I always enjoyed entertaining others.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write? If so, what did they do?

My wife is the biggest inspiration. She encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming an author. She believed in me every step of the way. When I received rejection e-mails, she comforted me. When I wanted to give up, she gave me the push I needed to carry on. When I succeeded, she praised me and told me how proud I made her. When I go to book events, she’s by my side supporting me (often wearing a t-shirt with my book covers on). She’s incredible. And I don’t think I can ever repay her selflessness, unconditional love, and support, but I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying.

Amy with Wife

Another inspiration, was my Irish gran, Mama Bridie, She passed away in 2007 and I still feel her loss as acutely today as I did on the day I found out. She was short (like me), caring, funny, strong, a great storyteller, fiercely protective, had a wicked sense of humour, and believed my sister and I could do anything. Sadly, she never got to see me play rugby, graduate from university, meet my amazing wife, watch us get married, see my books get published, or win a Golden Crown Literary Award. But I think she would’ve been proud of me. And there’s not a day goes by when I don’t miss her or think about her.

Amy's Gran

“In this world, you have a choice: survive as a slave or fight for your freedom.” What do these words mean to you?

These words embody what “The Renegade” is about. In this dangerous new world everything has changed and not necessarily for the better.  It’s the beginning of a new dawn of human existence. Every decision that is made and put into motion is going to affect if and how the human race survive. All it takes is one deranged self-appointed leader to wreak havoc on our future. It is the time to stand up against what is wrong and fight for what is right. There are no second chances. You have to fight tooth and nail for what you want this new world to be. It would be easy to stand back and accept the world that is given to you. There’s no risk of punishment or death if you do what you’re told to. But ultimately, the lasting affect and consequences of choosing to be passively subservient will taint the future of generations to come. It’s my hope that if ever such an occurrence should happen, there will be strong women and strong men who will fight for equality and diversity, rather than taking the easier options.

Do you have anything in specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for your support and wonderful messages. It means so much that you’re prepared to embark on the different literary explorations of genres with my characters and I. I know that in some instances sticking with one genre would make marketing easier, but the characters and stories in my head refuse to conform. Every time you buy and read one of my books, there’s a different set of characters and storyline compared to the previous books and I’m thrilled that this doesn’t put you off. Thank you for sticking with me. I hope that you gain as much enjoyment out of reading the stories, as I do from writing them. Without you, writing would be pointless.

Amy’s WordPress Blog

Thank you so much!  Amy’s debut novel, “Secret Lies” won a Golden Crown Literary Award in 2014 in the Young Adult Category.

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What has been your favourite part of being an author? The least fave?

Honestly, I’ve enjoyed every part of the writing, editing, and publishing process. I love learning new information, and every book brings a whole host of new experiences and lessons. Writing, is more than a hobby. It’s a bit like an addiction, because it takes over your life. I eat, sleep, and think constantly about characters and stories. If I didn’t write them down, I don’t think I’d get any peace. But my absolute favourite parts are growing to care about the characters as if they were family and friends, and hearing feedback from readers about how the story and characters have impacted on them. I’ve had reader’s write to me to say that because of Secret Lies they now have a better understanding of self-harm and abuse. That they manage to access resources for themselves or a loved one. That Season’s Meetings has given a new meaning to Christmas, and for the first time since a personal tragedy, those readers are going to celebrate Christmas and make the most of it because life is precious.  How incredible are those message? To have been able to write something that emotionally moves people and helps them, is by far the best part about being an author.

My least favourite part is writing sex scenes. I’m a huge prude in real life (I blame my Catholic background) and so writing those scenes is something I really struggle with.  I’ve been told on many occasions, “just don’t write them then.” If only it was that easy. Let’s be honest, sex is a hugely important part of our relationships. So to not include it, seems firstly, unfair to the characters and secondly, it hinders the character, story, and relationship development. It’s in no way gratuitous, to put it quite simply it’s vital. But that doesn’t make it any easier for me. I have to psyche myself up and drink—a fair bit of alcohol. To make matters worse, in Season’s Meetings and The Renegade both sets of characters insisted on another sex scene when I’d originally only planned one. We had a heated debate, but ultimately, they won—they always do.

Leave A Review

Me:  One thing that all authors love are book reviews, so please leave one when you are through.  It shows the author that you care.  Here is a Five Star review from a reader on Amazon:

Another good book from an award winning author.

By RLynne on September 27, 2015

Format: Paperback

“The Renegade” is set in what’s left of a world ravaged by The Red Death. Survivor Alex Clarke has been prepared by her father to survive on her own. And, with his death, which was preceded by her mother’s death and the death of her lover, Alex has set off to find a place that will be safe. She meets Murphy, an Irish survivor, who joins her on the journey as does Paddy, a puppy she rescued. The three of them are rescued and taken to Rapture’s Haven Camp. The camp medic, Evelyn, warns Alex of the dangers in the camp, particularly for women.

Dunne has done a wonderful job of world building, providing plenty of details to help readers visualize Rapture’s Haven Camp. There is much that is dark and sinister, but Dunne has provided readers with lovable Paddy, and Jamie, Evelyn’s son, to add to add warmth and lightness. She has also given the camp some good people along with those who are cruel and mean. This is a very good read which gripped me until I turned the last page!

What other authors do you follow?

I have so many authors that I follow. I’m a huge fan of the following: Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Dashner, Stephanie Meyers, Veronica Roth, Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Robin Hobb, L. J. Smith, Anne Rice, J. K. Rowling, Gerri Hill, Gill McKnight, Katherine V, Forrest, Meghan O’Brien, Kim Baldwin, Radclyffe, Kiki Archer, Clare Ashton, and to be honest, this list could quite easily be never ending.

How has the artist Dolly Parton been an inspiration to you? What does your favourite song of hers mean to you?

I remember from a very early age loving Dolly’s voice and music. As I grew older, that love for her music remained and I’ve never been ashamed of admitting it. I’ve seen many interviews and films with her in and she’s just such an incredible woman. She successful, a brilliant business woman, a gifted musician and songstress, but also so genuine, down-to-earth, and funny. What’s not to like?

Dolly-Parton-Social-Media

And how did I know I‘d found my true love and soul mate? I found someone who likes Dolly as much as me. Our first date was front row tickets to see Dolly live in concert. It was awesome and Dolly even winked at me. At our wedding, our first dance was “Think About Love” by Dolly and I’ve set it as my wife’s ringtone and as my alarm clock. It reminds me every time she rings and every morning of how lucky I am.

On the day you are featured on “Ellen” what is the first thing you are going to say to her in person?

“Thank you for being awesome, Ellen. And, err…are you sure I’m meant to be here? Just checking.”

What is of local interest of yours that you’d like to brag about?

Living very near to the city of Nottingham is a privilege. As a student I worked as a costume performer in the authentic real old gaol, prison, and underground caves. I learnt about all of the history and the people who lived there. It was one of the best jobs ever. It was so rich in history and to be fair, gory and spooky accounts. I now work in the Theatre Royal and the Royal Concert Hall. The Theatre Royal was built 1865 and is stunningly beautiful and historic. It’s a pleasure to work in such regal settings.

theatreroyal

 

Can you describe your love of Irish rugby?

Yes, even though it pains me greatly after our defeat in the knockout matches of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup two days ago. I’m still disappointed.

I discovered a passion for rugby at university. I joined the team and then later got elected as the Team Captain and led us to the university finals in London. It’s such a great sport. It’s physical, fast paced, skilful, and a great team sport. My family are Irish, so that’s where the support of Irish rugby comes from. My whole family support Ireland and we watch the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup with passion.

My favourite sport and my favourite place.

Rugby

Let’s give a shout out to Keele University. What would you like to say?

I will always be a fan of Keele University. Some of my happiest memories and life-long friendships were made there. There were tough times, but there were far more wonderful times. Over my four years, I came to realise who I was as a person and accepted my sexuality. Without Keele University, the experiences, the friendships, and memories, I have no idea what my life would be like now. So thank you. And as all Keele students new and past will know…”Never Forget.”

Keele University

 

What is in the works for you?

There are two stories that are fighting for attention at the moment. A romantic comedy and a sequel to “The Renegade.”  I’m not sure which one will win and be written first, but I imagine it will come down to which one shouts the loudest. Either way, I’m looking forward to both.

Don’t forget to leave a comment or question as you will be entered to win a copy of this fab book! 

Below I have an exciting except:

Renegade Cover

Chapter One

Alex Clarke tried to keep her composure, afraid that if her true emotions surfaced they would only add to her dad’s suffering. She bit down painfully on her tongue, silencing the hysteria clawing up her throat. A hot trickle of coppery blood was enough to keep her screams at bay.

She watched as her dad suffered yet another violent coughing fit, his gaunt face contorted with pain as he struggled to catch each labouring breath. The rattling sound from his chest had grown louder. His bulky frame was misleading, as his body was helplessly weak and frail. His clothes were saturated with sweat and bloody mucus. A thick layer of perspiration coated his skin, while his body shivered as the raging fever continued to ravage him.

Alex looked away. She knew he hated her to see him so weak. In truth, he no longer resembled the strong and powerful protector of their family. The anguish of remembering him as the gentle giant who’d taught her how to ride a bike, told exciting bedtime stories, and taken her on adventures hurt more than she’d believed possible.

As an only child, she’d never wanted for anything or been lonely. The three of them had been content and happy with their little family unit. Her parents wholeheartedly supported her in whatever she’d endeavoured to do. At sixteen, she’d finally gathered enough courage to tell them she was a lesbian and they’d accepted her without judgement. In later years, her partner Dianne had been warmly welcomed into their family, and for eighteen months they’d all been happy together.

Things had been perfect.

The perfect days they shared had turned into perfect months and had passed by quickly. In the blink of an eye, all hell broke loose. Within months, everything had gone to shit. Everyone and everything she loved, except for her dad, was gone. Soon he’d leave her, too.

She sensed the coughing fit subside and reluctantly returned her gaze to him. Besides herself, he was the only living person that remained.

“You’ve everything packed…like I showed you?” he asked, his voice nothing more than an audible rasp.

“Yes.” She grimaced at the pain it caused him to speak.

He gave a weak nod and his gaze met hers for a fleeting second before she looked away. The familiar blue rings of his eyes were set against the startling red backdrop that had once been white. Although his eyes had been this way for two days now, she still found it impossible to bear. The cause of the unnatural red eyes hadn’t been properly explained. It’d been listed as one of the main symptoms of the strain. She guessed it probably had something to do with the pressure caused from the violent coughing. Regardless of its cause, it was another indicator of the final stages of the Red Death. The sensational name was first used by the media, and by the time scientists had come up with an official name for it, the Red Death had already stuck.

She’d witnessed its devastating course from beginning until end twice before—first with Dianne, then only days later, with her mum. She was certain her dad was in the last and most horrific stages. Worse still was the knowledge there was nothing she could do to help or even mildly relieve his suffering.

He coughed again and thick bloody mucus, more black than red, spilt down his chin. With a trembling hand, he wiped himself with his soiled cloth.

Alex fought hard against the urge to heave and clenched her hands into painfully tight fists. Her nails cut into her palms, verging on breaking the skin. Hysteria stalked close to the brink again, and she mustered what little resolve she had left to swallow it down.

“Your mum and I love you—” Another coughing fit cut him off. The pain was obvious, but a few moments later, he continued, “You’re destined for something big, Alex. I’ve known it since the day I held you in the hospital. I’m just sorry I can’t be with you.”

A searing lump of emotion lodged in her throat. She forced her words over it. “I’m destined to die like Dianne, Mum, and the rest of the world. In a few days, I’ll start with the symptoms.”

He shook his head. Pink tears tainted with blood streamed from his burgundy eyes. “You’re immune.”

She glared defiantly and tried to swallow, but the lump made her wince. Boiling tears welled in her eyes. “That doesn’t make sense. Just because you’ve always said I was your miracle baby doesn’t mean I’m immune to this. You only started with it a few days ago.”

“I was lucky to last this long. It allowed me to teach you how to survive. I’m ready to be with your mum and Dianne. There isn’t time to go over this again.” Another coughing fit tore through his body, crippling him with pain.

Alex couldn’t hold back the tears. “I don’t want to be alone. I can’t go on without you. I can’t…I’m not this special person you think I am. I’m just me.”

“Alexandra,” he said, his lips and teeth coated with rank blood. “You will go on. You swore to me on your mum’s and Dianne’s graves that you would go when I told you to and never come back. We didn’t raise you to be a liar or a coward.”

She felt like a berated child, which made her sobbing worse. “Dad…please—”

“Promise me again, now.” His voice was raspy and disjointed because of his shallow breathing, but she still heard his steel determination. He wouldn’t back down.

In desperation she tried to get him to see sense. “I’ve nowhere to go. And I need to look after you—”

He lifted a weak hand, immediately silencing her. “I don’t need looking after. There’s nothing you can do for me. You know it. You’re not going to watch me turn into a corpse.”

Alex knelt before him. “I need to be with you until the end. I can’t just leave you. I won’t do it.”

“We went through this with Dianne and your mum. We both know what happens in the end. Soon, I won’t even know you’re here.”

“But I have to bury you with Mum.”

He sighed, which turned into another coughing fit. When it lessened he whispered, “I’ve made my own plans. This pathetic excuse for a body is nothing more than a slab of rotting meat. Burying it is pointless. Your mother and I will be reunited in whatever comes after this life. Now, promise me that you will go on living and never return.”

Alex couldn’t speak. The words were stuck behind the lump that choked her.

“Please?” He reached out and gently held one of her hands. “Promise me.”

His huge hand felt clammy as it trembled in hers. His desperation was so urgent and intense, it was claustrophobically palpable.

“I won’t come back here,” she said, swiping tears away. “I promise.”

He closed his eyes for a moment. “Thank you. Now take your things and leave. You’ll need to find somewhere away from the town to set up camp before dark. Try to remember everything I’ve taught you. Keep your wits sharp and avoid people.”

“Everyone’s dead!” She felt guilty for shouting, but her frustration and anger at their situation was too much. “We haven’t seen anyone in weeks. Months even.”

survivor

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze. “You’re still alive and there will be other survivors. Everything’s changed now. Survival and self-preservation will rule people’s minds and hearts. You must be wary, sweetheart. Now, please pass me my box.” He indicated to the silver box resting on the coffee table.

Her stomach lurched as she got to her feet and picked it up. Inside was his Beretta handgun. She had the exact same model upstairs. They’d spent many hours practicing with them in recent weeks. Confused, she offered the box out. He’d emptied the fifteen-round magazine the previous day, ordering her to pack it with the rest of her ammunition.

“Thank you. Your mum and I couldn’t have loved you any more even if we’d tried. We’re so proud of you. We’ll be with you, watching every step. You’ve got to be brave. It’s going to be hard, really hard, but I know you’ll make it.”

Unable to speak, she tried to convey everything she felt and wanted to say in the fierce hug she gave him. His fevered flesh shook beneath her touch. She could already smell the familiar sickly sweet and pungent stench that came with the last stages. He didn’t have long.

“I love you,” she said, choking through muffled sobs.

“I love you, too. Now leave me.” His voice strained trying to remain strong and commanding.

She held on all the tighter, not ready to let go of him. When she did finally pull away, she refused to meet his eyes. She’d be strong for him. She’d gather her things, leave, and then when she was far enough away, she’d allow herself to break down. But not one second before, because she was brave, just like her dad.

She went to her room and checked everything one final time. It was hard to resist the urge to take more. Her bag was packed solid and heavy. But as she longingly surveyed the room, she saw photos and other sentimental belongings that she’d always taken for granted. Every single one of those items now seemed invaluable.

She laced her boots with trembling hands, shouldered her large rucksack, the weight pinning her. She slung the shotgun over her left shoulder and checked the gun holster on her right hip. Her own handgun was safely in place. She adjusted the leather sheath attached to her belt, allowing her fingertips to briefly caress the familiar smooth hilt of the six-inch hunting knife. In theory, she was ready to leave. The stark realization that she was ignorant and unprepared for what lay ahead was enough to physically paralyze her.

courage

The sound of her dad coughing downstairs snapped her from her thoughts. It was time to go. She gave one last longing look around the room that had been hers for her entire life. Even when she’d moved into a flat with Dianne, her parents had remained adamant that this room would always belong to her. They’d never changed a single thing. She stepped onto the landing and closed the door behind her, resigning herself to the knowledge she’d never enter again.

Downstairs, she lingered at the front door. She could hear the sound of her dad’s gasping breaths from inside the living room. She waited silently. A sharp pain stabbed through her heart. Neither spoke. The foreboding filled the silence between them. She racked her brain for something to tell him, desperate to initiate one final conversation or to just hear one more word from him. But there was nothing left to say. It’d all been said, and there were no words that could voice her heartbreak and grief. She refused to make this harder for him. She knew intuitively that however unbearable and painful this was for her, it’d be worse for him.

She gripped the door handle, pressed it down, and pulled open the door. She stepped over the threshold like she’d done thousands of times before and was greeted by the warm June morning. With bated breath, she paused one final time, her ears straining for the familiar voice. After a few long torturous seconds of silence, she closed the door behind her. She followed the orders he’d given her; she engaged the lock, pushed her keys through the letter box, and heard their jingle as they landed on the welcome mat.

She took her first tentative step away from the house, her heart tearing in her chest. She took another step, leading her away from the home and burial place of her mum and girlfriend. She wanted to go back to the garden one last time and say good-bye, even though she knew it was useless. There would never be enough time to grieve fully, or enough ways—or words—to say good-bye. Although the solitary future she now faced would probably offer her ample opportunity to try.

She reached the end of the driveway and closed the creaky iron gate behind her. Without purpose she allowed her feet to carry her down the familiar but deserted street. Cars lined most of the driveways and pavements. She numbly passed by each house, remembering the familiar faces of those who used to live there. She’d babysat for most of the kids on their street at one time or another. She’d laughed and danced with them during their street parties only a few years ago. They’d celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic Games with quintessential homemade buffets, plastic cups, patriotic bunting, and a mismatched variety of tables and chairs.

She rounded the corner as a sudden loud bang erupted, causing her to flinch in shock and grab for her gun. The silent morning echoed with the resounding sound of the single gunshot. Familiar. She knew it’d come from her dad’s handgun. With startling clarity, she knew if she checked the rounds in the magazine he’d given her yesterday, there would be one missing.

A single renegade tear escaped. She briskly wiped it away with the back of her hand. Inconsolable hurt filled her to the brim, but there was also a flicker of relief. He wouldn’t suffer the same excruciating, degrading, and horrific fate that her mum and Dianne had.

She’d never return to the house and break her promise.

There was nothing to go back for now.

“I love you,” she whispered, looking up to the sky, then bitterly chastised herself. Whispering was pointless when there wasn’t another living soul around to hear. Truly alone for the first time in her life, she began walking again.

No destination in mind.

No end in sight.

Renegade Cover

Purchase “The Renegade” Amazon UK

Purchase “The Renegade” Amazon US

Purchase “The Renegade” Bold Stoke Books

I want to thank Amy for stopping by to chat.  It was fun getting to know her and her book is one that I don’t want to miss, and neither do you.  Don’t forget to leave a comment or question for a chance to win a copy of “The Renegade.”

For more about Amy, check out her links below:

Amy’s Facebook Page – She’d love to hear from you so stop by.

Amy’s Twitter Page –  Send a shoutout!  @giftofthegaborg

Amy’s Goodreads Page

Amy’s WordPress Blog – She loves comments!

authoramydunne@hotmail.com – She’d love to hear from you!

Amy’s Instagram Page – Like her photos.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Samantha Jacobey

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BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Recombined
SERIES – The Irrevocable Series, Book 3
AUTHOR – Samantha Jacobey
GENRE – New Adult
PUBLICATION DATE – September 1, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – Approx. 160 pages/52K words
PUBLISHER – Lavish Publishing
COVER ARTIST – Nicolene Lorette Designs

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Read on for my review of three books of “The Irrevocable Series.”

Beautiful, charming Bailey, appears to be a confident teen – yet she is a bit of a “people-pleaser”.  One of the people most important to please, is her mother.  Bailey’s outward appearance and upbeat personality covers a darker, more introverted mentality.  She holds painful true feelings deep inside – locking her heart away.

Book 1 Photo

How do you survive, when the only life you’ve ever known disappears in a single night?

Early on in the story, something crucial to Bailey is ripped away, leaving her in incredibly stifling – circumstances. Though trapped intently within her private thoughts for what seems to be her whole life – finally, she’s forced to find strength from within and what happens will glue you to the pages of this adventurous story.  This character’s rich intensity – gave me literal goose-bumps at times.  I really couldn’t put it down.

As the story goes along, Bailey’s attitude shifts. It was refreshing to watch her move thru this transition – becoming a resourceful woman who is fearless about doing fighting for her survival in a messed up situation.  At the same time she learns about gratitude and how to appreciate the things most people take for granted.

Book 2 Photo

There is a chilling theme within the plot that challenges social boundaries, yet does add to the intrigue and at times, rather disturbing revelations.

Suddenly danger looms, affecting millions and time is running out!  Bailey faces complicated decisions which needs to be made immediately.

I found myself pausing at the end of each page, anticipating what was going to happen on the next.  In fact, the drama builds as the story goes on, so it is important to read the series of three books in order.  I will warn you, there is some violence, but it is not domineering.

The author painted Bailey’s thoughts so precisely that I could easily view the world from behind her eyes.  I applaud the author for creating such an energetic and independent young woman, as opposed to some of the weaker characters I’ve read in other books.  This character encouraged me and gave me hope that I too, one day, may be as fearless as she.  If you love strong women, you’re going to love Bailey as much as I do.

I loved this book and am shouting out for you to read it!  Five Stars.

Book 3 Photo

I have included an excerpt from the story:

As soon as they were inside the second structure, Rebecca Burns grabbed the older girl by the shoulder, giving her a strong hug, “We’re so glad you made it back here!”

Stunned, Bailey stared at the other girls, Kristen’s shock at the move evident, “Well, I’m glad you guys made it out of Pouty. Only, I wish my brothers could have escaped, too.”

“Don’ worry,” Amber reassured, “Our dad’s still there, an’ he’ll look out for them!” She grinned at the tallest girl, having grown close to her through months of Facebook chat. “I know mom still don’t think much o’ you, but she’ll come around.”

“Thanks,” Bailey sighed, “I think,” she flicked her eyes across their faces nervously. “Let’s start here and work our way through the house and finish on the other end.” Quickly going over the process she had been using to clean up the mess and get the space reorganized enough to make it livable, the group set to work. An hour later, they were ready to move on, the work much quicker with four sets of hands.

Outside, the sun had begun to break through the clouds, casting a soft grey glow across the landscape. Bailey had noted it was nearly nine, by the clock on the wall in the Knight kitchen, but the dark overcast made that hard to believe. Arriving at their next stop, the group surveyed the Burns’ home in disgust.

“Jesus Christ,” Rebecca swore loudly, “Those bastards tore up everything!”

“Yes,” Bailey joined in her friend’s displeasure. “It took me hours to clean up what they did to the Cross house. It almost looks as if they were after something, the way they pulled everything out and ransacked it.”

“Maybe,” Kristen frowned. “I guess this means my house is gonna look the same way?” she indicated the adjacent structure through the wall with an open palm.

“Pretty much,” their leader sighed. “No use crying over it though. We need to gather everything up and you guys can go through it later when you have time.” Handing out the trash bags, she put an end to the discussion matter-of-factly.

Half an hour later, the group was still working on the living room and kitchen, when a horrific boom caused the small dwelling to shake. Bolting to the door, they moved to the porch, noticing that the big CAT had been over turned and lay on its side. Her eyes wide in horror, Bailey blinked rapidly, realizing what she was seeing through the haze; Caleb’s body lying a few feet from the capsized machine.

Please remember to leave a review when you are finished with the series.  Authors really appreciate it and it shows that they care.  Below are legitimate safe purchasing links.

From Amazon U.S.

Purchase Irrevocable Series #1:  Rendered

Purchase Irrevocable Series #2:  Retained

Purchase Irrevocable Series #3:  Recombined

Purchase “Recombined” Amazon UK*

Purchase “Recombined” Amazon CA*

Purchase “Recombined” Amazon AU*

These sites also have “Rendered” and “Retained” available.

Purchase Irrevocable Series from Kobo Books

Purchase Irrevocable Series from Barnes & Noble

Enjoy this 5-Star read!!!

Continue on reading for my awesome author interview with Samantha Jacobey.

Good morning friends, fans, and readers.  It is great to see your smiling faces, eager to meet my author friend, Samantha Jacobey, author of the thrilling/suspense epic, “The Irrevocable Series” whose finale, “Recombined” just debuted.  It is a three part story that will keep you on your toes the entire ride.

Samantha Jacobey is an intelligent and determined woman, putting her heart out in all that she does.  Formerly, a secondary science teacher, Samantha shared her love and encouragement to her students.  With her BBS in Management, she contributed her knowledge, skills, and wisdom to a variety of industries, including medical.

Her passion for life is clearly shown in her writing.  She enjoys creating action and adventure stories, peppered with some love and romance.  Her work is appreciated world-wide and she never ceases to amaze her readers and fans.

Author Photo

“Forget aliens, zombies, and atomic bombs – Our existence has been under attack for decades, but most have been too blind to see; when the world goes critical, will we have the resources to survive and rebuild, or will it be the end of mankind?” 

 

What is your story about?  

Let me answer this in my best ‘announcer voice’ – it’s a TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE end of the world scenario, where a group of preppers face the apocalypse. Together, they battle a rival group, who are determined to take what they have at any price. Will Bailey and Caleb survive the end of the world?

What or who inspired you to write it? 

As a science teacher, I have had the privilege of teaching a few thousand students about the connection between us and the earth. That’s really what the IRREVOCABLE series is about – our place on the planet. Everyone wants to read an end of the world scenario that is exciting, and I think I have given my readers that. But for me, it also had to be realistic. That’s what this is – something that COULD happen, or maybe even already is…

Book 1 Photo

What was the deciding factor for your book titles?  Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?

I like my titles to be representative of what is going on in the story, but I learned the hard way that they also need to be marketable. With my most recent works, I checked them on Amazon to make sure they are not over-used, as well. The titles in this series fit so well with all of those things, and I love them.

Your main character shows a lot of strength for a youth.  Can you describe how you created her? 

Actually, as I mentioned earlier, I was a high school science teacher for several years. I’ve been around kids; good ones and bad ones. I have seen and known so many of them, and have always been fascinated with how different they are, one from another, and yet so many patterns emerge. I loved creating Bailey, and had a few young people in mind that I based her on – ones that gave her that quality of strength; her beliefs and behaviors. Plus all of the other little things that I have noticed that are different about these guys, versus us when we were young. Really fun to play with and develop.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so, did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I have never been a creative writer, but I wrote continuously for academic purposes. I think my high marks in that arena gave me the courage when I finally decided to write my first novel. My college entrance essay (when it was returned to me just before graduation) had a note on it: “Writing displays excellence.” It received a perfect score, and I have always been a little proud of that. Oh, and I placed at the state level in high school in an essay writing contest. Yes, I have good mechanics, and knowing that made me feel more able to do this whole… author thing.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?   If so, what did they do?

I actually have a relative that was a very famous author. He’s deceased now, and wrote in a totally different genre, but I think that is kind of cool. I’ve only read one or two of his books, but I liked the idea that I could be like him. There are a lot of teachers in my family, professionally speaking, and my sister writes children’s books that she hopes to one day publish. Our cousin stirred and inspired that part in us, and maybe it’s a new trend for our family, to be writers as well as educators.

Author Signing

 

Can you tell our readers more about NOLA? (New Orleans Book Signing Event).

WOW – more than you have room here to share, I’m sure. I do plan on making more blog posts and reflections on some of what I saw and experienced while I was there, so let me just say here… if you get the chance to go, take it. And go on some of the tours while you are there, as there is so much to see and learn from the locals; and not just the French Quarter – the whole area is fantastic to visit.

Lynn:  In her blog, Samantha writes more about her adventure in “The Big Easy.”

Samantha’s NOLA Book Signing

 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you explain what has worked for you?

Hmm… the thing I want to say most to my readers is THANK YOU – for fans make this a much richer and enjoyable experience. As far as what has worked for me, and I assume you mean in connection to my readers, I have thoroughly enjoyed my fan club. It’s a great place to hang out and get to know them, and to share what’s coming up.

Book 2 Photo

How do you think you’ve grown as an author since you published your first novel?

I think that my taste for writing has changed. I often see comments made by others, as far as preferences in what they read, and I think about them. I even catch myself doing things differently with my current works, and exploring new concepts after these times of introspect, and it is a testament of my growth, I think.

What has been your favourite part of being an author?  The least fave?

I love my fans – and that is definitely the best part. While I was at NOLA, I had several people who got very excited to see that I was there and stopped to talk to me about CAPTIVE and the New Life Series. I never get too much of that kind of praise, and love to meet each and every one of them. My least fave would have to be the learning curve – I dread so many new things, such as formatting, but once I conquer them, I laugh at myself about it. I make such a big deal about things like that, mentally, but once it’s been done, it really wasn’t a big deal. I just needed to get in there and do it!

Samantha.jpeg

What is in the works next for you?  If you can’t share, I totally understand and respect this.

Oh, I can share – I love talking about my dreams and what’s next. I have a Halloween book coming out this year, “The Wicked Awakened,” and it will be on preorder soon, if not already by the time this is posted. My current WIP is a Christmas Dark Elf story, and I have another Christmas short to write, plus I have 2 fantasy books, 3 more summer novellas, and 3 rocker romance / thrillers all slated for next year… plus another Halloween story and Christmas tale. I love to write…

Lynn:  I am huge Halloween and Christmas lover and enjoy these types of stories.  How does a haunted Christmas mystery sound?  LOL

Before we go on, take a look at this 5 star review from an Amazon reader:

Has me hooked!

By diducky on June 7, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

Bailey Dewitt’s life has turned upside down as she goes from being the pampered daughter of wealthy parents to an orphan with a brother she barely knows. While her uncle is stepping up the plate to act as guardian, there are many things that just don’t add up in the new household. There is just something ‘off’ and she can’t put her finger on it. Rebelling against the previously unknown restrictions and responsibilities in her life, this first installment to the series sets the tone for what is to come. Not everything is as it seems… Along the way she meets Caleb Cross who is a light in the new darkness that has become her life but how will he fit into her new life?

I really enjoyed this first installment to the series. Bailey quickly went from a self-absorbed teenager to a young adult struggling, but maturing, as she is forced to grow up quickly. Bucking authority is not a new concept but the author weaves it into a story that is refreshing in its twists and turns. A great writing style, a mysterious plot with dark undertones and by the end, I was thoroughly hooked into Bailey’s story. I can’t wait to see where the series takes it.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy this book.

Book 3 Photo

Now for the best part, the excerpt:

The exhausted group fell into slumber quickly, only to be awakened a few hours later when John Cross came stomping through his house. Only glancing at the bodies that had begun to stir in his living room, he scowled at the sight of his son lying on a mattress, the Dewitt girl curled in his arms.

Continuing his ruckus, he clomped up the stairs to see who else had returned. He opened his bedroom door, and closed it quickly in front of his own face, having discovered a couple in his bed, “Devon?”

“Yeah, whattcha need?” the large black man called while sitting up slowly, trying not to disturb the young woman lying next to him.

“We got work t’ do,” John stated loudly through the wood. “Get your family together an’ bring ‘em down t’ th’ ranch house quick as you can. We got food an’ a place for them there with the other women an’ children.”

Returning to the hall, he knocked on Carson’s door before opening it and called through the crack, “Who’s in here?”

“Kathy,” the woman replied, “I’m decent, John,” she sat up on the bed, still fully dressed.

“Tha’s good,” he stepped inside, “Breakfast’s at the ranch house,” he nodded to their medical staff and closed the door behind him. He then made his way to the stairs to rouse the rest of the crew if they hadn’t made it to their feet already.

Inside the master’s quarters, Amanda sighed loudly, and rolled over. She slid out from the sheets, pulling their daughter to the edge to change her diaper and dress her tiny frame. Having only moments before completed their morning feeding, she smiled at how much lighter her breasts felt at the moment, amazed that she could make all the sustenance her infant needed; at least for the time being.

“Things‘re gonna work out, aren’t they, Dev?” she turned to locate her own clothing.

“We’ll be ok,” he agreed, “Jus’ need t’ stick together. Get yurself ready an’ I’ll take ya down like he said,” he commanded, moving to the bathroom for a quick shower before he dressed to face the day.

Downstairs, Caleb had awoken when his father came through the room, and lay staring at Bailey’s sealed lashes when he returned. “Get up,” the older man instructed, “Get down t’ the servin’ line an’ get fed. We got a full day o’ work ahead o’ us gettin’ the walls blocked off ‘fore those asshats come after us.”

I want to thank Samantha for joining us today.  It was a real pleasure getting to know you.  If you haven’t read this story yet, pick up your copy today and start reading.  You will be amazed.

Please remember to leave a review when you are finished with the series.  Authors really appreciate it and it shows that they care.  Samantha loves reviews.  Below are legitimate safe purchasing links.

From Amazon U.S.

Purchase Irrevocable Series #1:  Rendered

Purchase Irrevocable Series #2:  Retained

Purchase Irrevocable Series #3:  Recombined

Purchase “Recombined” Amazon UK*

Purchase “Recombined” Amazon CA*

Purchase “Recombined” Amazon AU*

These sites also have “Rendered” and “Retained” available.

Purchase Irrevocable Series from Kobo Books

Purchase Irrevocable Series from Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out Samantha’s links for more exciting news.

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