Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Entrapped by Barbara Kyle - Interview & Review : Nurture Tour Stop


Entrapped
Author: Barbara Kyle
Genre: Fiction – Thriller/Suspense
Published by: Barbara Kyle (June 15, 2011)
Age Recommendation: 18+ For Mild Sexuality
Format: eBook
ASIN: B0056AEQVI
Number of pages: N/A


Entrapped by Barbara Kyle

Set in Alberta, Canada, Entrapped is the story of Liv Gardner, an ambitious young oil executive intent on stopping farmer Tom Wainwright who is sabotaging her rigs after a spill of lethal “sour” gas poisoned his wife. Desperate to save the company she built, Liv plants evidence to frame Tom. But when the evidence is used to indict him for a murder he didn’t commit, only Liv can save him.

My Review
5 Stars


What an all-engrossing read! This fast-paced story leaves me feeling quite divided. Beautifully and tightly structured, the novel flowed brilliantly to its near fairy tale finale.  While my interest was wholly engaged throughout, the behavior of the characters in the first half of the book made me feel disgust.  As the book starts, Liv Gardner, an executive for Falcon Oil is spying in an effort to catch a saboteur.  The company is at the brink of bankruptcy; personally, Liv is almost broke. Liv also has deep concerns about her mentally challenged younger sister.  She can no longer afford the private institution and must care for Chris, along with her numerous other responsibilities – not always an easy task, even though Chris is one of the few main characters I genuinely liked until much later in the book.  Bottom line, I was mightily disturbed by events, actions and conversations during the first half of the book.  The author lets the reader see both sides of the nasty controversy.  I personally strongly dislike, lies, subterfuge, and the general sense of unrestrained, out-right wrongness.  I hate having my belief in the idea of a quintessential right and wrong shattered – yet this book managed to do that. 

Tom is a man fighting back against injustice.  He’s an intelligent man fighting against overwhelming odds.  Falcon oil provides good-paying jobs for the community. A small tight-knit group who is overwhelmingly thankful for the jobs and prosperity they enjoy.

Falcon Oil must stop the terrorist who is waging such a war on them.  Time is rapidly running out, and short-cuts will be taken to get production back on schedule and reassure antsy investors.  Events spiral out of control – Terrorist or victim? The answer becomes more and more muddied until hatred and chance coincide resulting in a final, devastating act on a rainy night.

The latter part of the book deals with the aftermath. Lies are uncovered; the whole ugly mess is finally exposed.  I relished the unfolding events, my mind happy that truth, integrity, and honesty can finally be used to scour off the black crud of deceit that clung to Liv and tarnished so many others, as well. I reveled in the reclamation of sanity and the inexorable challenges of righting grievous wrongs.

This book stirred my emotions, ultimately forcing me to question myself while pondering some serious ecological issues.  What is the price we must pay for prosperity?  What is my price? This fictionalized account of an actual true story is a thrilling journey that both entertains and educates. Outstanding!

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Buy the eBOOK at:

 

INTERVIEW

Tell us about your current release.

Entrapped is a book that I loved writing. It’s based on a true story of a man whose land was surrounded by oil companies’ rigs and gas flares, and whose livestock were sickening and dying from the poisoned air and water. His complaints were ignored, so he took matters into his own hands and sabotaged the rigs. Using this crucible, I created the novel Entrapped. It’s set in Alberta, Canada, and is the story of Liv Gardner, an ambitious young oil executive intent on stopping farmer Tom Wainwright who is sabotaging her rigs after a spill of lethal “sour” gas poisoned his wife. Desperate to save the company she built, Liv plants evidence to frame Tom. But when the evidence is used to indict him for a murder he didn't commit, only Liv can save him.

Tell us about your next release.

I’ve just released The Experiment as an e-book. It’s about stunt-woman Alana Marks, who is fearless in her work but is haunted with super-human knowledge of a past she could not possibly know. When she learns that she’s the result of a Nazi genetic experiment that enabled a mother's knowledge to be transferred to her offspring, she also learns that she's the target of the gene's creator, Dr Viktor Schiller. Schiller is on a mission to exterminate his new Eve before she can foster a master race that will turn human evolution onto a brutal new course. Here’s the link to the amazon.com page for The Experiment: http://tinyurl.com/3qwvu9c
Also, my publisher, Kensington Books in New York, has signed me to write three more books to follow the first four in my “Thornleigh” series of historical novels set in Tudor England, so I’m now at work on Book #5. The series follow a rising middle-class family, the Thornleighs, through three Tudor reigns: Henry VIII, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. My Thornleigh characters live through some of the most harrowing years of English history. Readers can find info about my “Thornleigh” books on my website:  http://www.barbarakyle.com

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

I thrive on routine in my writing life. I write from about 8:00 in the morning to about 4:00 in the afternoon. The morning I devote to “fixing” - revising - what I wrote the day before. The afternoon is for a creating the next “bit.” It’s a system that works well for me. At around 4:00 I knock off and take a long walk or, in the winter, go to the gym.
Where do you research for your books?

The research for Entrapped was fascinating. I spent time driving around northern Alberta, talking to farmers and ranchers and rig hands, getting a feel for their lives and problems, and a feel for the land. The Peace River area of northern Alberta is stunning, really breathtaking in its natural beauty. I also did a lot of reading about the oil and gas industry. I’m a stickler for getting facts right.

How do you describe your writing style?

Cinematic.
What do you think makes a good story?

Characters thrown into situations of tremendous pressure, forcing them to make hard decisions. Readers respond to this empathetically. We ask ourselves, What would I do in that situation?

What books have most influenced your life?

As a writer I’ve been most enthralled by great sagas like James Clavell’s “Shogun,” Herman Wouk’s “The Winds of War,” Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind”, Larry McMurtrey’s “Lonesome Dove.”

What do you do to unwind and relax?

My husband and I are sailors, and we sail our Cal-46 ketch on beautiful Georgian Bay, Lake Huron.

 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Barbara Kyle is the author of the Tudor-era “Thornleigh” novels including The Queen’s Lady, The King’s Daughter, The Queen’s Captive, and The Queen’s Gamble, all published internationally. Barbara previously won acclaim for her contemporary thrillers under pen name ‘Stephen Kyle,’ including Beyond Recall (a Literary Guild Selection), After Shock and The Experiment. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold. Her latest thriller, under her own name, is Entrapped. Barbara is passionate about helping emerging writers. She has taught her “Writers Boot Camp” for the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations. She offers twice-yearly Master Classes that focus on work-shopping each participant’s novel-in-progress. Her popular series of videos “Writing Fiction That Sells” offers ten hours of tips, techniques, and inspiration, and is available online via her website. Before becoming an author Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.





Find and follow Barbara Kyle at:

List of works by Barbara Kyle:

BEYOND RECALL (pen-name ‘Stephen Kyle’) 2000, Warner Books
THE EXPERIMENT (pen-name ‘Stephen Kyle’) 2003, Warner Books
AFTER SHOCK (pen-name ‘Stephen Kyle’) 2002, Warner Books
THE QUEEN’S LADY 2008, Kensington Books
THE KING’S DAUGHTER 2009, Kensington Books
THE QUEEN’S CAPTIVE 2010, Kensington Books
THE QUEEN’S GAMBLE 2011, Kensington Books
ENTRAPPED 2011


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                                         Full Tour Schedule & 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 Nurture Your Book Virtual Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 



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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee - Interview : Sizzling PR Tour Stop


A Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor and a whole lotta sexy…
Blake Harrison:
Rich, titled, and charming… And in need of a wife by Wednesday so he turns to Sam Elliot who isn’t the business man he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, engaging and spunky with a voice men call 900 numbers to hear.
Samantha Elliot:
Owner of Alliance , her matchmaking firm, and not on the marital menu... That is until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. All she needs to do is keep her attraction to her husband to herself and avoid his bed. But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and charm prove too difficult to combat. Now she needs to protect her heart so she can walk away when their mercenary life together is over.

Kindle  |NookSmashwords  

INTERVIEW

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Critique Partners. Hands down. I think it's more important for a story to flow, for the reader to care about my characters, then I worry about a beta read. In the end, I have a line editor for all the tiny details.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

I'm shocked at how my stories change. How the characters take on a life of their own and act out of turn. Only a writer understands this concept. When I try to explain this to a reader, they usually shake their head and say… 'but you wrote it, how could you not know what was going to happen next?'

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

I have started hearing from readers on a fairly consistent basis in the last few months. Which is awesome by the way.  They usually tell me about the latest book of mine that they've read, or ask me when my next book is going to come out. Occasionally I'll have someone tell me about a plot idea they'd like to see turned into a book.


Plotter or Pantser? Why?

Pantser… but I'm really trying hard to be a plotter. Tends to make the writing process faster and easier.


Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Listening to music is distracting to me. I can't write with noise in the background… even my kids.

What are your favorite TV shows?


I love Modern Family. When I need a little paranormal hit, I watch Supernatural. I liked Buffy and miss Gilmore Girls.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I listen to a lot of groups from the 80's. On my Pandora radio station, I'm all into Nickleback right now.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

I was a Drama Club geek and Choir geek. My most memorable roles on stage were Annie Sullivan in the Miracle Worker and Marty in Grease.

Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?


I hate mornings… nuff said.

What would we find under your bed?


Lint.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Duah… Scotland. Can they send me back in time, too?

Do you have a Website or Blog?

Both… and twitter… and facebook… you can find me everywhere.
 
 
 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/catherinebybee
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Catherine-Bybee-Romance-Author/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2905789.Catherine_Bybee
Catherine's Blog: http://catherinebybee.blogspot.com/
Catherine’s Website:  http://www.catherinebybee.com/
 Thanks again for having me here today. I hope everyone enjoys Wife by Wednesday. I hope to have Married by Monday out by spring of next year.

 MY REVIEW

Read my full review HERE. It was just posted December 1st at Coffee Time Romance and More.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Bybee is known for her time travel / paranormal romance books. Wife by Wednesday is her first straight contemporary with more in the loop coming. This is Indie Published with 4.5 and 5 star reviews already coming in.
Award Winning Author for Silent Vows Paranormal Category of the More than Magic 2011 contest
Amazon Bestseller in Time Travel/Historical/Fantasy-Ghost (All MacCoinnich Time Travel Books) + Anthology's (Soul Mate)
ARe- Bestseller (Soul Mate - Kilt Worthy)
Fictionwise Bestseller (Soul Mate)






THANKS FOR LOOKING!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Queenie's Brigade by Heather Massey - Interview : Featured Author

Captain Michael Drake desperately needs an army to save Earth after a crushing defeat by alien invaders. When his damaged starship docks at a remote prison colony, he discovers Earth’s last best hope—an army to replace the one he lost.

But, Queenie, the feral goddess ruling the prison, has other plans for the rugged star ship captain. After imprisoning Drake and seizing his ship, she prepares to lead her blood-thirsty band to freedom before the invaders track them down.
Despite her intentions, Queenie secretly falls for the sexy, hotshot captain. Drake makes it plain he wants to win back Earth with her by his side. But is following her heart worth betraying her people?

Reader Alert!: Captain Michael Drake burns with desire upon seeing Queenie’s endless parade of tight-fitting outfits, even while he knows that claiming her will have to wait until he can convince her to join him in the fight against alien invaders.


Buy Links:   Kindle  |  Nook


GIVEAWAY
Enter HERE and comment below for a chance to win a digital copy of Queenie's Brigade. Ends Dec 10th 11:59 PM CST.






INTERVIEW


Does travel play in the writing of your books?

I write science fiction romance, so absolutely. It’s like being a cosmic travel agent because I have the pleasure of entertaining readers with heroes and heroines who journey to far-flung, fantastical settings. We may not be able to visit other planets or galaxies in our lifetime, but I like to take readers there in stories.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

I adored Alpha from Catherine Asaro’s Alpha. The heroine is an advanced android who is evolving in terms of sentience and artificial intelligence. As she develops awareness of new emotions—and her attraction toward the hero—she’s at a very vulnerable point in her life. The hero provides her with acceptance and emotional support even while she’s kicking his butt! That dynamic is very exciting for me.

What is your favorite meal?

I love, love, love Indian food. I used to work for an Indian couple and they’d occasionally invite me to sample their home-cooked meals. That was my first introduction to the cuisine and as a result, I am now a palak paneer fiend. And a samosa fiend. At least once a month is a Tasty Bite night in my house.

What book are you reading now?

A Pirate’s Passion by KS Augustin. Before that, I read the Cybershock anthology of cyberpunk romances from Samhain Publishing. I pretty much read science fiction romance all the time because it offers a lot of diversity and great, empowering heroines.

Tell us about your current release.

Queenie’s Brigade is a science fiction romance (Red Sage Publishing). Think: The Dirty Dozen in space, but with a Latina gang leader in one of the key roles.

Here’s a brief description: After ruthless invaders occupy Earth, a military starship captain must convince the headstrong leader of a remote prison colony that her band of convicts represents Earth’s one and only chance for freedom.

The story promises readers the following:

*a smart, charismatic, and honorable Alpha hero with a touch of angst
*a kick-butt Latina anti-heroine in search of redemption
*a biracial romance (of the enemies-to-lovers/opposites attract variety)
*high stakes & high-octane action-adventure space opera featuring underdog heroes

Queenie’s Brigade is a dark, edgy tale featuring a take-no-prisoners (!) romance. Here’s an excerpt:



EXCERPT

Minutes—or was it hours?—later, Drake awoke to an onslaught of pain radiating throughout his entire body. He felt as though he had been turned inside out and rubbed across steel spikes. The hard cot upon which he lay only compounded his discomfort. But even those sensations paled beside the return of his memories from the recent attack: First in brief flashes, then in steady pulses, and then finally in a crashing, furious wave.
Relief flooded him that he wasn’t dead, but…. What the hell? They must have the ship by now. What’s happened to my crew? And why did they bother keeping me alive?
The questions faded, though, when Drake noticed something else—a presence nearby. A warmth. As he inhaled, a rich, almost too-sweet scent permeated his senses despite the odors of dirt and dried blood.
He cracked open one eyelid, followed by the other, and found himself facing a set of thighs beyond a barrier of pale green metal bars. Female thighs. Braced apart, their sensuous lines were bound in a pair of tight black pants.
Drake had to know more. He groped and clawed his way into a sitting position. The sight tore away his breath. Standing outside his cell was some kind of feral goddess, an Amazonian warrior from the land of myths. She was tall, dark haired, and curved like a nymph. Black hair flowed wildly, a tumultuous river of glossy tresses extending down to her hips. These hips were crisscrossed with two gunbelts, fiercely accessorized. Her dark clothes stretched tightly everywhere except her torso, where they exposed a dangerous amount of ample cleavage.
Deep brown eyes regarded him brazenly, expression guarded. Yet her silent study of him betrayed her curiosity. How long had she been standing there, watching him? More importantly, who was she?
Behind her, five swarthy men stood in a row. Though their clothing appeared mismatched and threadbare, each bore weapons ranging from daggers to handguns to rifles strapped to their limbs and backs. Their eyes promised death.
Despite the dour welcoming committee, perhaps now Drake would discover the answer to his questions. Perhaps he could leverage his life into some kind of hope for his crew, if they were still alive. Perhaps. But the sight of the stunning woman suddenly left him bereft of thought. He tried to shake this unfamiliar feeling off, no doubt a result of his lingering exhaustion.
Irate at such a piss-poor performance, he rose to full height. Ignoring the pain and his swollen left eye, he bore himself as he would aboard the bridge of his ship. He crossed his arms, displaying muscles sculpted from years of combat training. “I’m Captain Michael Drake of the UFE Relentless,” he said in his customary rumble. “Who are you?”
“I’m the woman who wants your ship’s codes,” the stranger said, her husky voice laced with threat. “And


I’m the woman who’s going to get them. You don’t need to know more than that.”




What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

That my Muse is a russet potato named Tularkey.

Do you have a Website or Blog?

My author site is www.heathermassey.com. While there, you can download a free, three-chapter excerpt of Queenie’s Brigade (multiple formats available). There’s also a free, near future sci-fi romance you can grab called Heroes Are Forever.

My blog is www.thegalaxyexpress.net where I cover a wide variety of science fiction romance topics for your reading pleasure.




Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for science fiction romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express.

When she’s not reading, she’s watching cult films and enjoying time with her husband and daughter.







THANKS FOR LOOKING! 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deadly Pursuit by Nina Croft - Interview, Review & Giveaway: Bewitching Tour Stop




Title: Deadly Pursuit (Blood Hunter, #2)
Author: Nina Croft
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance/Vamps/Shifters
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-88-6
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-89-3

BLOOD HUNTER SERIES - Book Two by Nina Croft


Book Description:

Breaking assassin Jonathon Decker out of a maximum security prison on Trakis One seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, pursued across space by the two most powerful factions in the universe, the crew of El Cazador are having second thoughts. They’d like to give him back. Unfortunately, that no longer seems an option.

Jon is used to working alone. Now, he’s stuck on the space cruiser El Cazador until he can work out just what he’s supposed to know that puts him on everybody’s most-wanted-dead list. He’s not happy that the crew includes a runaway priestess with designs on his virtue—such as it is. Jon likes women, but he gave up the role of protector a long time ago, and Alexia, High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, is an accident waiting to happen.

After twenty-four excruciatingly boring years of doing her duty, Alex is finally having some fun. She never meant to run away—it was a rash impulse—and she means to go back—eventually. But first, she’s going to squeeze enough excitement out of the situation to last her a lifetime. And what could be more exciting than a stunningly gorgeous werewolf?

Meanwhile, the Church are chasing their missing priestess, and the Collective are pursuing their escaped assassin. Being hunted has never been more deadly…or more fun.




GIVEAWAY
Enter HERE and comment on this post for a chance to win a digital copy of Deadly Pursuit. Ends December 10th 11:59PM CST.



MY REVIEW

4 Stars
Action-packed, this story is brimming with an odd assortment of characters.  This is the second book Nina Croft’s Blood Hunter series; and in this episode, the crew of the El Cazador get fleshed-out a bit more.  While each of them still have their own demons and mysterious pasts, the author does dole out some juicy morsels which serves to keep interest on high alert while satisfying that basic desire to discover more about the unique characters I have come to care about.

Chased by two wealthy and highly motivated factions, the ship plays hide and seek in space, barely escaping several close encounters before the final nail-biting showdown. Jon, a lone wolf assassin finally begins to question some of his strongly-held beliefs, and to hope that maybe this time he will be able to prevent the pending catastrophe.  However, fate and one pint-sized, curvy priestess may be his complete undoing.  Determined to make up for lost time, Alexia, knows that the brooding, over-protective werewolf is worth all the effort she has expended, and then some.

When you are crew, you belong.  Jon begins to accept his new, unexpected circumstances and learns first-hand what it means to be crew. A quick death beats a slow, lingering demise in the Meridian mines, afterall.  This engaging story is another winner.  If you have read the first book, Breakout, then this will be another treat for you to read. However, this book does stand alone quite nicely, so do not be afraid to pick it up right now and jump into the adrenalin-charged adventure.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

*The review copy was provided to me from Net Galley via Entangled Publishing, the author, and Bewitching Tours. The thoughts presented in the review are my own. I am under no obligation to write favorably about any book I choose to read.

INTERVIEW

How did you start your writing career?

Back in my twenties—a good long time ago—I spent a few years doing voluntary work, with my husband, in Africa. We lived in a village on the banks of Lake Kariba, a manmade lake in Zambia formed by damning the Zambezi River a little way down from Victoria Falls. The place was stunningly beautiful, but had no electricity, no internet (nowhere did then!), and hardly any books. I’ve always been a voracious reader, so this was hard for me, and I started writing as a means to overcome my withdrawal symptoms.

When we left Africa, writing was put aside for a while, but the book I started back then eventually became my first rejection.


Tell us about your current release.

My current release is Deadly Pursuit, which is the second book in my Blood Hunter series.

The series is a mixture of science fiction, paranormal and romance and is set in a future where man has fled to the stars and there discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Extremely rare and exorbitantly expensive, Meridian is available only to a select few, and a new class has evolved—the Collective. Super-rich and immortal, they rule the universe.

The books follow adventures, romantic and otherwise, of the crew of the space ship, El Cazador de la Sangre, which is Spanish for The Blood Hunter.

Does your significant other read your stuff?

Although my husband is really supportive of my writing, and never moans when I spend all day glued to my laptop, so far, he hasn’t actually read my stuff (he tries occasionally over my shoulder—it makes me really twitchy). But now he’s threatening to. I’m off to the UK next week to visit my sisters (I have three) and he says he’s going to read them all while I’m gone. I might come back to find the locks changed. I mean, I’ve told him I write romance. I haven’t told him I write hot romance. I’m really hoping he’s not going to be too shocked.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I have a fabulous critique group called Passionate Critters. We’re all romance writers, and we write across the genres. It’s a great place to not only get crits and beta reads but also to share industry information, interesting articles, recipes… anything really. I strongly recommend it.


How do you describe your writing style?

Hmm… maybe dark with touches of humor


Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I’m a plotter. I’ve tried pantsing it, but I invariably get stuck in the middle or sidetracked along the way, and I end up doing loads of rewriting.  So now, I plot, and really quite detailed, down to a scene by scene breakdown.  I like to think of it as doing my pantsing while I’m plotting as that’s when I allow my imagination to run free. At that point, anything can happen.

But I also think plotting gives you time to get to know the characters before you start the actual writing.
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don’t use formulas when I start out. I usually begin with a situation or a character that just pops up in my mind and I spend a while playing ‘what if’. I’ll come up with other characters and plot strands, but I’ll eventually get stuck and then I’ll turn to the formulas. My favorite is the Hero’s Journey, but I have a load of how to write books and I’ll pick one depending on my mood. And then play about with my plot, fitting it in to the formula, until eventually something clicks and I’ll be able to move on. It’s not so much using a formula to plot as using it to stimulate my brain into working again.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An assassin. I did, honest. I think it was because I was allowed to read unsuitable material at an early age (actually, I used to pinch books from my older sisters and hide behind the sofa to read them. My mother did her best to keep them from me but I was tenacious.)

What are your favorite TV show?

24 – I love 24! I’m a total Jack Bauer fan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Related Posts:
Read my Breakout (book 1) Tour Post Here.
Read my Review of Breakout Here.



THANKS FOR LOOKING!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

No Holly for Christmas by Julie N Ford - Interview : Tristi Pinkston Tour Stop




As Brian McAlister struggles to move past being jilted not once, but twice by the only woman he's ever loved, he's all but given up on relationships. Then, on special assignment for the DA's office, he crosses paths with ex-socialite turned social worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter-and romance blossoms.


Widowed, practically penniless, and reduced to shopping at WalMart, Holly is dreading the approaching Holiday Season. However, her angst isn't due to her husband's untimely death the previous December 25th, but because of a secret that could reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid the coming Christmas.

Love at first sight quickly turns frigid for Brian and Holly when Holly gets pulled into a manhunt for an accused murderer who now has his sights set on her. His case unraveling, Brian finds himself tasked with keeping Holly and her two daughters safe while bringing an assassin and the powerful man who hired him to justice.

A heart-warming story of suspense, healing, giving and receiving, No Holly for Christmas is the perfect addition to everyone's holiday reading list.

Buy Links:


Amazon Kindle  Print     


INTERVIEW



Tell us about your current release.

No Holly for Christmas is a follow-up of sorts to my first novel, The Woman He Married. My early readers liked one of my sub characters, Brian McAlister, so much I decided to design a plot around him. In this book, Brian is still reeling from being jilted not once, but twice, by Josie, when he’s asked to step in for his father at the DA’s office who has recently suffered a heart attack. A defense attorney, Brian feels like he’s been pulled over to the dark side by accepting a special assignment to bring an assassin, and the powerful man who hired him, to justice.

Enter ex-socialite turned social worker, Holly Cavanaugh Winter. Forced to leave her posh lifestyle behind, move to a rural community south of Birmingham, Alabama, and start shopping at WalMart, Holly is dreading the approaching holiday season. Her husband passed last December 25th but his untimely death is not the reason for her angst. She has a secret, one she worries will reveal itself unless she can find a way to avoid Christmas.

However, love at first sight quickly turns frigid when Brian inadvertently pulls Holly into the manhunt for a murderer that now has his sights set on her.

I love this book. It has romance, suspense and all my favorite holidays rolled into three hundred or so fast paced pages.

Tell us about a favorite character from the book.

Of course I love Brian. He’s sexy in that tortured brokenhearted sort of way, while casual but commanding with a fun sense of humor. But Holly is the character I really think is fun. I get tired of the same old romance character: pretty but doesn’t know it, meets a man who finds her attractive but somehow doesn’t see it, blah, blah and blah. So, I did the unconscionable and wrote a pretty character that actually knows she’s attractive. Holly is stylish and she knows that too. She’s snobby and yes, a wee bit shallow. But just like the rest of us she has her struggles and as the plot unfolds, goes through some very life-altering changes. In the end, like Brian, she finds that love, happiness and joy can be found in the most unexpected places.

 How did you start your writing career?

I’d always played with scenarios for stories and movies in my head but had never considered writing any of them down. In my second year of graduate school for a Masters in Social Work, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma. After enduring chemotherapy, I escaped with my life and an unrelenting desire to tell Josie’s story. The only thing I can surmise is that somehow the chemo had an effect on my creativity, kind of how a superhero will receive his/her powers after falling into a vat of toxic waste. After a few days of the dialogue and narration for The Woman He Married knocking on my brain, asking to be released, I finally decided to sit down and write a page or two. A few pages turned into twenty and then I asked a friend to read it. She liked the story and wanted more so I kept writing. It was so much fun that four months later I had a whole novel.

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

After I completed that first manuscript, as you can imagine, it was a mess. My sister suggested that I hire an editor to help me clean it up and gave me the name of a friend, author/editor, Heather Moore. I sent her the first chapter of my manuscript and then swallowed my pride when it came back bleeding from abundant strikethroughs and bloated with suggestions. Really? I’d naively thought I’d gotten it perfect the first time. As the editing progressed, she helped me navigate the modern writing world and all the “rules” I would have to follow in order to get published. Somewhere along the way we became friends. I don’t think I would have gotten this far without Heather. Now, after three published novels, Heather is still the first person I go to with questions and/or for support. A regular occurrence, as the field of publishing is brutal terrain. Tread lightly. 
 Who is your favorite author?

I would have to say my overall favorite modern author is Kristin Hannah. She writes great women’s fiction with just the right mix of narration, dialogue and description. Her characters and scenes are always vivid and they draw me into her stories. Jodi Picoult is another. I also enjoy romance/women’s fiction, that incorporate suspense, like novels by Karen Robards.

 If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I’m actually working on a novel I hope will become a series. Book one is titled, The Cadaver Ball. It’s about a woman, Marley Evens, who travels from California to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt Medical School’s, Cadaver Ball. While there, she meets and falls in love with a politician, Daniel Cannon. Two weeks later she’s saying, “I do,” in a room full of strangers to a man she’s already beginning to worry may be harboring a few very dark secrets. In this first book Marley uncovers a pocket of human clones whose prime objective is to usher in the end of the world. Using greed, war, and decadence these abominations exist with only one purpose—to bring humanity to its knees. But there is one they fear, one foreordained to bring them down. And, it will likely take a few more installments for her to do so.

Does your significant other read your stuff?

I forced my husband to read the first manuscript. He’s a good sport and suffered through with minimal griping. The next two he didn’t “get around to” reading until he fell victim to a fairly serious motorcycle accident. Destined to spend three-four weeks laid up in a hospital bed with a dislocated knee, he asked me to bring him something to read. Devious Laugh. I brought him my second and third manuscripts, which both had been contracted for publication later that year. He read them and genuinely enjoyed both. Needless to say, I’d learned a thing or two about writing after the first one. 
Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?

At home. I am a serious homebody. I love to work in my office on my writing and promotions with my music blaring. I have a hammock out back where I often read until the sun sets after which I can then rock, watch the lighting bugs and muse about plots and characters. I enjoy cooking and spending time with my two daughters, watching movies and talking about books, politics and high school drama. I also like to clean, organize and do my own yard work. There’s nothing better than the feel of perspiration on my skin from hard work in the Tennessee sun, the way the grass and shrubs look when they’re freshly trimmed. Barnes & Noble, a quiet library, a canyon hike or an evening at the ballet would be my next choice.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in English Literature from San Diego State University. In addition, she earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. She has worked in teaching, childbirth education and family therapy. Besides writing, she spends many hours working along side her husband at their UPS Store franchise, but hopes to re-enter the Social Work field someday.
She is the author of three women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married (March 2011) and No Holly for Christmas (November 2011), published by Whiskey Creek Press. The third, Count Down to Love (July 2011), published by Bonneville Books.
Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one very feisty fish.

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