Friday, September 30, 2011

Spirit Seeker by Jamie Haden YA-Interview & Giveaway: Bewitching Tour Stop



Spirit Seeker
By Jamie Haden

ISBN: 978-1-61706-074-8
Price: $14.99
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
Available at: www.pillhillpress.com & most other online retailers!

Book Description
Life is strange and difficult for the granddaughter of a shaman. 
Sixteen-year-old Talisa Santiago was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January—the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn’t until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally called—secretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can’t resist Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way. 

For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her—Native Americans who know the way of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.
Book trailer links:

Spirit Seeker Mini Excerpt

They are flesh eaters.
They elegantly prowl the earth at dusk, listening to the sounds of creation.
Hungry, they wait for hours to pierce the skull of their prey.
It only takes them a few seconds to reach the brain.
I am now binded to them forever. Haunted by desire.
And willing to do the unthinkable.
For them—I give my blood.
For my lover—I give my soul.


GIVEAWAY

Enter to win! 5 Print copies of Spirit Seeker will be given away at the end of the tour. Enter at every tour stop to increase your chance of winning. You must enter by using the official entry form which you can access HERE.


And leave a comment on the tour stop.


INTERVIEW
Hi!  Welcome. I am really looking forward to finding out more about you and your books. Tell us about your current release.
Thank you for having me today. My new release is Spirit Seeker, a young adult novel about the life of sixteen- year- old Talisa Santiago. Life is strange and difficult for the granddaughter of a shaman. Talisa was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January—the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn’t until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally called—secretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can’t resist. Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way.

For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her—Native Americans who know the way of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.

Tell us about your next release.
I have completed the second book in The Talisa Santiago series. Following is the blurb that I just sent to my agent:

Secrets, communications with the spiritual worlds, dangerous desires, and deep-rooted beliefs are the back drop to Illuminate—Alive, she cried, the story of Native American shape-shifters.

Some say the concept of rebirth is simply a metaphor for living a better life, a holier life. For seventeen-year old Talisa Santiago, such a resurrection is anything but a metaphor. It is her reality.
Talisa knows she can communicate with the spiritual world. She is the granddaughter of a shaman and going between two different worldly dimensions is something she realizes she is destined to do. However, what she doesn’t count on is what fate has in store for her.
After surviving the first hurricane of the season on the island where she lives, Talisa learns that her life is in grave danger. She must leave immediately and retreat to live with a secretive clan of Indians on a remote reservation deep within the Great Smokey Mountains.
Her blood brothers, three shifters who have the desires of both man and animal surround her, promising everlasting friendship and protection. Now, Talisa will put her life in their hands, depart from her mother, and begin the journey of a lifetime. However, the majestic mountains hold many secrets and danger lurks in the night. There are evil tricksters everywhere that want her dead. As Talisa falls prey to the confusion of her own burgeoning sexuality, she unleashes an untamed passion that may get them all killed. 
  
Who is your favorite author?
Definitely Dante. I have read The Divine Comedy more than any other book. The second on the list would be Milan Kundera. 

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?If my daughters are in school then I write during the day. However, if they are home for a break or during the summer then I write at night when everyone is sleeping. Depending on the mood, I am in, I can write for hours on end. Some days I get in a ton of writing, other days, not so much. It comes and goes in waves.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
I am fortunate to have a wonderful support system. My family definitely encourages my writing career. My greatest inspirations are my daughters. I write all my young adult novels for them. 

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
So many people have asked me this question. The truth is that I don’t have critique partners or beta readers. When I am finished with a young adult novel, the first person I show it to is my daughter Alexandria. Of course, all my girls read chapters as I write them, but Alexandria will sit down and read the full manuscript word for word and tell me her honest opinion. 
 
What do you think makes a good story?
Honesty.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love staying at home by the pool with my husband and my daughters. Besides writing, my second passion is wine. My husband and I have a few cellars and we cave red wine. I love everything about Burgundy and Barolo.

What makes you happy?
Spending time with my three daughters.

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Nosce te ipsum. It is Latin for know thyself. I have it tattooed across my back under my daughter’s initials.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Haden lives in WilmingtonNorth Carolina with her husband and three daughters. Jamie has a Bachelor's degree in philosophy and taught special education in Kentucky and North Carolina. Pill Hill Press will release her young adult novel SPIRIT SEEKER-BOOK ONE OF THE TALISA SANTIAGO SERIES August 26, 2011. Jamie is currently working on ILLUMINATE-ALIVE, SHE CRIED, the sequel to SPIRIT SEEKER.

Important Links:

Author Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  
 

NEXT STOPS ON TOUR

Oct 3 Guest Post
That Bookish Girl

October 6 Review
Braintasia Books

October 7 Interview and Review
Oodles of Books.




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Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Bewitching Book Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 

THANKS FOR LOOKING!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri - Interview: Pump Up Your Book Tour Stop



Ava “Spike” Harrison might be a beautiful, classically schooled woman, but the single, 38 year old construction business owner is also plenty ballsy. Her late father taught her long ago how to handle the rough boys in an industry that’s almost entirely filled with hard-boiled men on the make. But now, with “the business dad built” from the ground up failing due to an unusual series of job-site injuries and just plain bad luck, Spike has no choice but to take on one last project she believes can pull the fledgling commercial firm from the depths of almost certain bankruptcy and family shame: The Renovation of Albany PS 20.

Problem is, Spike had no choice but to take the job on the cheap or, what’s known in the industry as, “at cost.” To make matters worse, she’s not only hired an asbestos removal contractor who, unbeknownst to her, low-balled his price, but she’s advanced him $10Gs from her own dwindling cash account as a “good faith” incentive to beat the project deadline.

Now, when that same asbestos contractor goes missing and it’s discovered by OSHA officials that he’s cheated on the project exposing more than 300 students to deadly asbestos fibers for months, the ever responsible Spike takes matters into her own callused hands and goes in search of him. What she discovers along the way however, is a path paved with deception, greed, murder, and eventually, her own ultimate demise.


INTERVIEW

How did you start your writing career?

Covering high school football games as a Stinger for The Albany Times Union
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

Dick Moonlight from Moonlight Falls and Moonlight Rises...Because he's so much like me.
His life can be a train wreck but he keeps plowing forward regardless.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I travel a lot, often to Europe. I spent half the summer in Italy recently, and plan to travel back to Asia this year and to Peru to see Machu Picchu. It all depends on how the finances pan out. 

Does travel play in the writing of your books?


Part of my traveling to Florence for a month this year was to research the upcoming Moonlight book, Blue Moonlight.

Tell us about your current release.

Concrete Pearl is about sexy but brassy Spike Harrison. When a guy she hires to remove asbestos on a construction job she's running goes missing along with ten grand of her cash, she goes in search of him and uncovers a plot of murder, greed and deception. She carries a framing hammer as an equalizer instead of a gun.

Tell us about your next release.

I'm currently signing a major deal with Thomas and Mercer of Amazon. They are publishing 5 of my back-list titles including the bestsellers THE REMAINS and THE INNOCENT along with one of my new ones, MURDER BY MOONLIGHT.

Who is your favorite author?

I have lots of them. Charlie Huston, Jim Harrison, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Meg Gardiner, to name a few.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

I do two 3 hour shifts morning and afternoon five days per week, and a morning shift on Saturdays. That schedule can change a little when I'm travelling


What is the hardest part of writing your books?


Knowing when to write THE END.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling author of the thrillers THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE REMAINS and CONCRETE PEARL. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, he has was a Stringer for The Albany Times Union Newspaper, and a contributor to New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine, and more. His short fiction has appeared in many of the leading journals and magazines, Orange County Magazine, Buffalo Spree, Negative Capability, The Maryland Review, Rosebud, The Best of Rosebud, Lost Creek Letters among them. His novels, stories, and journalism have been translated into many foreign languages including the Dutch, Japanese, French, Russian and Turkish. A freelance photo-journalist, foreign correspondent, and Blogger for RT, Globalspec and International Business Times, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.
For more on the author, go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM.









GIVEAWAY
Enter and comment to win a digital copy of Concrete Pearl.  This giveaway ends Oct. 8th 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be randomly selected using Random.org.







Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 
THANKS FOR LOOKING!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri-Review & Giveaway: PUYB Tour



Ava “Spike” Harrison might be a beautiful, classically schooled woman, but the single, 38 year old construction business owner is also plenty ballsy. Her late father taught her long ago how to handle the rough boys in an industry that’s almost entirely filled with hard-boiled men on the make. But now, with “the business dad built” from the ground up failing due to an unusual series of job-site injuries and just plain bad luck, Spike has no choice but to take on one last project she believes can pull the fledgling commercial firm from the depths of almost certain bankruptcy and family shame: The Renovation of Albany PS 20.

Problem is, Spike had no choice but to take the job on the cheap or, what’s known in the industry as, “at cost.” To make matters worse, she’s not only hired an asbestos removal contractor who, unbeknownst to her, low-balled his price, but she’s advanced him $10Gs from her own dwindling cash account as a “good faith” incentive to beat the project deadline.

Now, when that same asbestos contractor goes missing and it’s discovered by OSHA officials that he’s cheated on the project exposing more than 300 students to deadly asbestos fibers for months, the ever responsible Spike takes matters into her own callused hands and goes in search of him. What she discovers along the way however, is a path paved with deception, greed, murder, and eventually, her own ultimate demise.






GIVEAWAY
Enter and comment to win a digital copy of Concrete Pearl.  This giveaway ends Oct. 8th 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be randomly selected using Random.org.

WINNER - MELORA BROCK



MY REVIEW
5 Stars

A thoroughly captivating thriller mystery, I was grabbed at the prologue and remained mesmerized by the unfolding story all the way to the harrowing climax.  Ava Harrison, already operating her inherited, sinking construction company on a shoestring, steps into a nightmare scenario when she arrives at her single construction site, on an otherwise rather normal Monday morning. Ava, also known as Spike in the industry and to her friends, quickly finds herself fighting an uphill battle for her beleaguered company and her rapidly disintegrating reputation – then things just keep on spiraling down the drain from there.  As ever, obstinate, Spike has no choice but to track down her missing sub-contractor by hook or crook, fair or foul.  She has been set-up to take the fall, unfortunately for her unknown opposition; Spike steadfastly refuses to go down without a fight.

Told in a straight-forward, shoot from the hip, no-nonsense, style from Spike’s point of view, the events in the story will likely strike a chord with most any reader. Safety concerns regarding asbestos and the serious health issues that can arise from improper removal techniques are frightening. This novel delves deeply into many of the associated issues surrounding the topic.  It uses that as the jumping off point for a suspense thriller that is set firmly in a competitive industry where cutting-corners and bribery can garner immense profit for an unscrupulous individual.  In short, this story kept me engrossed, wondering how Spike could ever extricate herself from the deep morass of trouble raining down upon her.  At the end, I hated that the story was over – the journey was just amazing, and the resolution so, so satisfying. This is definitely an author from whom I want to read more.

Reviewed by Laurie-J      



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Vincent Zandri is the No. 1 International Bestselling author of the thrillers THE INNOCENT, GODCHILD, MOONLIGHT FALLS, THE REMAINS and CONCRETE PEARL. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, he has was a Stringer for The Albany Times Union Newspaper, and a contributor to New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine, and more. His short fiction has appeared in many of the leading journals and magazines, Orange County Magazine, Buffalo Spree, Negative Capability, The Maryland Review, Rosebud, The Best of Rosebud, Lost Creek Letters among them. His novels, stories, and journalism have been translated into many foreign languages including the Dutch, Japanese, French, Russian and Turkish. A freelance photo-journalist, foreign correspondent, and Blogger for RT, Globalspec and International Business Times, he divides his time between New York and Florence, Italy.
For more on the author, go to http://www.vincentzandri.com/.


NEXT STOPS ON TOUR

Thursday, September 29






Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sparks by Laura Bickle - Interview & Review:Bewitching Promotions

EMBERS
Anya Kalinczyk #1
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN: 978-1439167656
April 2010


“One of the most promising debut novels I’ve read in a great while… I’d highly recommend this book to anybody who reads fantasy. It reminds me in many regards…of another exceptional first novel…Emma Bull’s seminal War for the Oaks, and there’s not much higher praise that I can give.”
           —Elizabeth Bear on Tor.com

“Bickle has something great in Anya. Embers has everything: demons, ghosts, dragons, love, sex, police, and murder.”
           —M.L.N. Hanover, bestselling author of Darker Angels

“Gritty but never grim, Embers is a truly urban fantasy, where the soul of a city haunts every page. I can’t wait for more of Anya and the unforgettable Sparky!”
           —Jeri Smith-Ready, award-winning author of Bad to the Bone and Shade

Unemployment, despair, anger--visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city.

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.

Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced.

A free excerpt is available here.
EMBERS is available now from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

SPARKS
Anya Kalinczyk #2
Pocket Juno Books
Mass Market Paperback, $7.99
ISBN 978-1439167687
September 2010
The second book in Bickle’s series about Anya Kalinczyk is just as wonderful as the first—Anya is a compelling and likable protagonist and Bickle does an outstanding job in her portrayal of the city of Detroit; there are ruins, yes, but also hope in the ashes. Anya never takes herself too seriously and there is a scene in a baby supercenter that is absolutely not to be missed. (4 stars)
                 - RT Book Reviews

...a charming and inventive read.
                 -Elizabeth Bear, Realms of Fantasy Magazine, December 2010


WITHOUT A TRACE...
Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.
After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.

SPARKS is available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A free excerpt is available here.
Author Bio:
Laura Bickle has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses.
Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE.
More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here: http://www.salamanderstales.com/
Laura/ Alayna’s blogs
She’s a proud member of Word Whores.
MY REVIEW

Embers by Laura Bickle

I am currently reading Embers and I am about 30% into it.  This book starts off good and just keeps getting better.  Anya is a prickly protagonist who has some unique and scary special abilities.  Her familiar, Sparky, routinely steals scenes with his antics and misbehaviors.  I will write my full review within the next few days.

INTERVIEW
Tell us about your current release.

My current release is SPARKS, from Pocket Books. By day, Anya Kalinczyk is an arson investigator for the Detroit Fire Department. By night, she's the rarest kind of spiritual medium, a Lantern. While other mediums allow spirits to use their hands and voices to communicate, Anya incinerates them. With the help of her fire salamander familiar, Sparky, and a ragtag group of ghost hunters, Anya chases down unseen threats to her city.

In SPARKS, Anya’s investigating a rash of spontaneous human combustion cases. With the reluctant assistance of a soul collector from the Underworld, she must track down the supernatural source of the fires and keep Sparky’s newly-hatched newts safe from a malicious psychic. 

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

Most of them don't know! My husband is a great beta reader for me. But I get a little nervous when I imagine other people I know well walking around in my head and looking at the scenery. So...I don't tell them.

I did tell my mom a little while ago. It's very strange to have one's mother reading one's sex scenes.

She did say that they were "tasteful," at least. Whatever that means...

Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I confess. I'm a plotter.

I dislike staring at a blank page. It's intimidating. I want to have some idea of where I'm going and how I'm gonna get there.

I begin with a high-level outline. A skeleton or scaffolding. As I work through the manuscript, it becomes more detailed. Flesh gets added to the bones. There are ideas that need to be reiterated, loops that need to be closed, threads to tie up. It eventually breaks into a scene-by-scene outline.

That's not to say that I have no serendipities, no flow. I do chase ideas down rabbit holes and find my own little synchronicities. The outline is not sacred - it's meant to be torn apart and reconstructed. But I like having a light in the darkness to show me where I'm going.

Like a Lantern???  Haha!!  Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

Stick with it. Persistence is important: persistence in keeping the butt in the chair, finishing manuscripts, revising, submitting...it's all about determination. It's easy to get disillusioned, but the key thing is to keep working through it.

I also recommend that writers try National Novel Writing Month at least once. It really helped me integrate writing into my daily life and improved my productivity. And the sense of community is unbeatable.

What hobbies do you actively pursue?

My husband and I are amateur astronomers. I also belly dance a bit...but not in public. Nobody needs to see that, trust me! ;-)

I initially became interested in belly dancing because I wanted to help overcome my shyness. Since I spend so much time in my head, it helped me think of my body a bit more, get outside of myself. I still wouldn't dance in public, but it's a lot of fun to get together with a group of women to laugh and shimmy.

What would we find under your bed?

Okay, I just looked.

There are an embarrassing number of dust bunnies. There are almost as many cat toys, of various shapes and sizes. A couple of pens and a notebook. A deck of Tarot cards. And a remote control that I haven't been able to find in forever...thanks!

Too funny!!  We also have cat toys under EVERTHING... they do it deliberately.  LOL  Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?

Definitely an introvert. I've taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory several times, and I always score very strongly on the "Introvert" axis. I'm a pretty solid INTJ (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging).

I tend to meet a lot of fellow introverts among writers, and it's neat to be able to share experiences with folks who perceive the world in a similar way. I have an ongoing joke with a friend about introverts needing to flee to their hotel rooms to recharge their batteries between sessions at conventions. It's entirely true for me.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

I can be found on the web at http://www.salamanderstales.com/and http://www.salamanderstales.blogspot.com/. I try to keep the cute cat pix to a minimum, but don't always succeed.




Monday, September 26, 2011

The Gladiator Prince by Minnette Meador-Interview:Goddess Fish Tour Stop



                                                           BLURB

Prince Thane is the last surviving royalty of the Trinovantes Tribe in Roman Britannia, having surrendered to the Romans after the Boudicca Revolt to save his two daughters, whose identities he sacrifices his freedom to protect. He is condemned by Nero himself to become a gladiator, to fight until he dies in the arena. When his two daughters are taken in a slaver's raid, Thane escapes, forcing the daughter of his master to take him to Rome to save his children. Little does he know that the beautiful Syrian woman holds not only the key to his passion, but a secret that triggers a disaster that ignites the world. Will this spoiled willful girl betray him in the end or sacrifice herself to save them all? Book III of the Centurion Series.

BUY LINKS:

Kindle  |  Nook



GIVEAWAY
Comment for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Follow the tour and comment, the more comments the more chances you will have to win. See the full tour schedule HERE.



INTERVIEW

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I have many favorites, but I have been in love with Archie Goodwin from the Nero Wolf series since I was very young. If you haven’t read these amazing books, you really should. They are brilliantly written. Archie is handsome, debonair, funny, and a true gentleman through and through.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I have always wanted to go to Italy. It is where civilization as we know it was created from the ground on up. Plus, it is at the heart of my historical books. In The Gladiator Prince, they travel to Rome to find Thane’s daughters who have been taken in a slaver’s raid. Putting this simple Celtic Prince up against the splendor of the city was amazing. Italy is also a Mecca for art lovers and I can’t wait to go through all the museums, cathedrals, and streets to admire the statues and paintings. I’m sure I could spend days just walking the streets of Rome, Florence, and Pompey. DH and I are trying to save up for a trip in 2013, our 20th anniversary, to go there. Fingers crossed!

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
I have been inspired by many authors including Mary Stewart, Ann McCaffrey, Robert Heinlein, Spider Robinson, Piers Anthony, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rex Stout, Terry Pratchett, and many more. Spider Robinson and Piers Anthony took the time to help me when I was first starting by reviewing my very first fantasy, Starsight. Their encouragement and patience were amazing. However, I think it is my brother, Roland Smith, who has been most helpful; he gave me the benefit of his wisdom even when I didn’t want it and I’m very grateful he did. I’ve learned a lot from him.

Where do you research for your books?
I research to the book, which means, I research only those things I need for a particular section I’m writing. Having said that, I find myself lost in research all the time and it has taken discipline to keep me on track. History is like an aphrodisiac to me; I can’t get enough! I research wherever the questions lead me: The internet, books (I have many, many books on this particular time in history (1st Century Roman Britannia)), library, specials, videos, museums, and experts. As I said, it is very easy to get lost in the maze of history. I’m a vigilant closet historian and proud of it!

What do your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My family has been so incredibly supportive; in fact, they pushed me back to writing after taking a 20-year break. My sons have read my books (although, for some reason, they won’t read the ones with sex in them – LOL), illustrated covers and children’s books for me, smacked me around when I tarried from the road, and generally been there for me every step. My DH has listened to every word I’ve written and given me invaluable input and encouragement; he’s great at telling me when it’s good, but even better at telling me when it’s bad… don’t tell him this, but he’s usually right. I could not have done this with without my family’s support and patience, especially when I disappear into my computer for days at a time.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
Number one: That I could do it at all! Who knew?
Number two: That other people actually liked them.
Number three: That the characters you write about live in your heart and are always there with you. Even when you abuse them terribly!

What was the scariest moment of your life?
Two moments vie for the title: a 3am call from the emergency room saying my son was in an accident and having a car with no lights to get to him (an hour and a half drive one way). The second was being stranded on a 600-foot mossy covered cliff with nowhere to go, and handfuls of soggy moss coming off the cliff no matter where you grabbed. Both incidents I survived, of course. :o)

What is the next big thing?
I have another new book coming out in October: The Bell Stalker, an urban fantasy thriller set in modern day Portland, Oregon

For a year, Belle Stark has struggled to conquer fears plaguing her since being attacked by a maniac who continues to roam free and the murder of her father. And she nearly succeeds, until she discovers her lover's murdered body spread over the furniture, making Belle a prime suspect. Certain her attacker is to blame, she seeks help from her ex-husband, homicide detective Mike Cranston, the one person she swore she would never let back into her life, or heart. In their hunt for answers, the two uncover more than a lunatic: a supernatural underworld hidden beneath the tall skyscrapers of the city and a secret that could kill them both. Faced with a terrible choice, Belle surrenders herself to the hands of a monster and Mike must solve an ancient mystery before it's too late to save her--- THE BELL STALKER, October 17th Release

Thanks so much for inviting me, Laurie! What an amazing blog you have… it was a blast! Minnette :o)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Somewhere between thirty and dust...red hair, blue eyes...six kids, one slightly used husband, and any number of pets from time to time... wanttabe hippy... wanttheirmoney yuppie... pro musician and actress for 20 years...native Oregonian... lover of music, beauty and all things green. Willing slave to the venerable muse.

Minnette currently resides in Portand, Oregon with her husband and one dog. The dog, Pierre, pretty much runs the show. (from Goodreads author page)

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Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Goddess Fish Virtual Book Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 

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