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(Vicki Rose) Or through my Facebook page.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

*Author Feature* Mariah Lynde


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Our next author interview is ready to go & I can't wait til you get a chance to meet the lovely Ms Mariah Lynde, who is a fantastic author & also one of my closest friends! She took a bit of time to answer our questions recently & now I'm sharing them with you! 
Mariah's links are at the bottom of the page, after the article.
Enjoy! 

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1) Why did you decide to start writing?

I don’t think that it was much of a decision. Writing was always something I did. If I got bored, I would write a poem, or a short story. In the end, when I found myself facing a second deployment with a military spouse overseas and a child at home, I needed something to pass the time. So, I started to write.

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2) Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre?

I think that depends on the writer. Every writer needs a break, something outside what they do daily to give them a kind of respite and let their mind wander. This allows for them to come back to a troubling story or piece and find an answer later. Writing across genres can help with that. For myself, I love the challenge of trying to write outside of my comfort zone and making a cohesive, interesting story for my readers. So, I keep challenging myself with new ideas.

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3) What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing?

The biggest reward? That’s a hard question. Writing is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. However, for me, the payoff is in simple things. Like, people coming to ask me about certain characters. Others who want to know why I ended a story the way I did. After the release of Dark Fury, it was my readers who dictated the next book. Many of them came to me to ask about one character specifically, and in the end, I began writing his story.

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4) Who are some of your favorite authors & why?

Well, I have a list, so here we go:
Stephen King – How can he not be on any authors list? I mean, this is the man who has virtually taken description to a whole new level. We felt his fears, we related to his characters. Those things that we all believed went bump in the night – he brought to life. As if that weren’t enough – he expanded past horror and gave us poignant books and mysteries like The Green Mile, The Running Man, and Shawshank Redemption.
Christine Feehan – Here’s where things get a bit dicey. Yes, she writes Paranormal erotica. I admit this, BUT, she was the first author to do so with a long term story in mind. Yes, there’s lots of sex, but there’s some story and honest to god, it opened my eyes to the idea of paranormal/fantasy worlds with MORE story and some romance. Maybe a little sex, but not to the degree she used. Her character descriptions were so well done, that you couldn’t help but love or hate the characters.
Sherrilyn Kenyon – Okay. Her books fall in the erotica category as well, but the truth is, there’s less sex than people think and a lot of story. There’s a rich universe in her Dark Hunter series that is layered with things that are both interesting and in some ways historical. Yet, it’s still fantasy. Her descriptions, the world she had built, the characters we are given (Acheron is my forever book boyfriend) made her books come to life, at least for me.
Edgar Allen Poe – The Raven. That is all I should have to say. The man was a genius.
Issac Assimov – The futuristic worlds he envisioned were breathtaking. While I could have done without some of his long winded purple prose, the possibilities he wrote about were endless and intriguing.
Jules Verne – The beginning of modern day storytelling in my opinion. He gave us so many wonderful adventures and stories. Most of those stories were dealing with what might be in front of our very eyes, but gets overlooked in the day to day doldrums of our lives. He captured the imagination and had us travelling into our own world for adventures untold.
J.K. Rowling – Look at this vast universe she gave us. A hero, a villain, and a word that exists behind our very walls. Where magic is real and the impossible is possible. Yet, even with all this, every character from the lowly house elf slaves, to the giant, warm-hearted keeper of keys that support this story, are people we love and cherish.

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5) What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author?

For me, feeling like I’m on the right path. Yes, I love to write, and I continue to do so, but it’s hard for me. I put out books, but I hear nothing on what people really think about them. Are they bad? Are they okay? Do they need more work? What would you like to see instead? I love writing, doing this is me sharing my world with others, but, I don’t know how they like it. What few sells come, are ones that are generated from what little promo work I can afford, but there aren’t reviews left behind. People don’t send me messages or emails to point things out or ask questions. In some ways, it feels like what I have written, is not good and people just won’t say anything. So I struggle while I write the next book. There’s always a huge amount of self-doubt. Especially when I cannot afford the coverage many other authors can. I can’t hire a PA, I can’t hire a publicist or create Beta groups because I just don’t have the income or money to organize it. So in the end, you’re left with your books, and no idea what people actually think or where to go. That kind of self-doubt and hurt claw at your brain and cloud you writing anything else.

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6) Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers?

Get it done!
Seriously, that is my advice. So many new writers give up half way through. They look at something or get  frustrated and  just chuck their work aside and say, ‘No, I can’t do this.’
You can!
I promise.
I did it,  so can you.  In the end, you just write your story, the rest will work itself out one way or another.
Don’t listen to people saying you can’t do it. Listen to yourself and say, “I want to write,  and I’m going to write this!”

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7) Tell us a few random personal things about yourself, personal & professional!

I used to be a Paramedic.
I once got out of a speeding ticket for doing 115 in a 55 because I was on my way to a car accident, as a fire fighter.
At eighteen, I had written  two full length novels, and after someone read the  first two chapters to tell me ‘no one would read my work’, I burned them.
I spent 12 years not writing a single, solitary word.
Mariah Lynde is a pen name. Mariah is actually my middle name and Lynde is something I made up.
I have one child.
My husband is former military, and both of us are now  trying to get civilian jobs. I still write daily, and have started a stream on twitch to try floating the boat.
Contingency’s characters are based on real life people I’ve known.
I am an avid Star Wars fanatic.
I share a love of Dr. Who with Author Jaz Primo.
I currently have four books available on Amazon & Barnes and Noble.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

*Author Feature* Alaina Stanford



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Our next feature involves another author friend! Please meet the lovely Alaina Stanford! Alaina writes in multiple genres so chances are, she has a book you'd like to read!
Alaina's author & book links are at the bottom of the interview! Enjoy!
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1) Why did you decide to start writing? 

I've written since I was a child. It’s been a passion of mine since I was six years old. I enjoy the creative outlet.

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 2) Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre? 

I am a multiple genre author. I think multiple genres are the up-and-coming thing. Some fans will float from genre to genre, others won’t, so you have to keep each genre active. I’m working on a multi-genre series called Royal Duty, each book will be a different genre but the books will all have a theme based on the difficulties of an heir to the thrones, royal obligations and how they will, or will not, adhere to the call of their Royal Duty.

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3) What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing? 

Sharing my stories with others hopefully allows my readers to escape from their lives for a short time and enjoy an adventure or a romance.

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4) Who are some of your favorite authors & why? 

Terry Brooks is a favorite author of mine. His Magic Kingdom For Sale series got me interested in the fantasy genre.  George RR Martin is another favorite although his style is vastly different from mine. His imagination is staggering. Lastly, of course, JK Rowling.

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5) What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author? 

Most authors, especially when they first start out can’t afford an editor or even a professional proof reader. Even once established they still struggle to afford editing services. A street team is such a valuable asset but again, it’s difficult to find people to join a team. Marketing is also expensive and terrifying. Just take it one step at time. Get a good editing program to start out and engage an editor as soon as you can afford one, Marketing is the same, start small, $10 ads on each social media sight. Log your ads and your results. Watch what other authors are doing. Establish an author page on Amazon, and an author website.

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6) Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers?  

Take it one step at time. Get a good editing program to start out and engage an editor as soon as you can afford one. It doesn’t have to be a $2500 editor. Get one you can afford. Marketing is the same, start small, $10 ads on each social media sight. Log your ads and your results. Watch what other authors are doing. Establish an author page on Amazon, and an author website. Write your books in a series. Make sure you have a good cover and description. You’ll make mistakes, keep in mind you’re only human.

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7) Random things about me: Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional!

I love country music.
I am a cat person, but I’m allergic to cats so I have a wonderful golden retriever named Jack.
When I was young I wanted to grow up to be like Carol Brady: 6 kids, big house, lots of love.
I binge watch Netflix or Amazon Prime when I have writers block or get stuck on a plot-issue.
I am shy. I’ll be the one at a party sitting quietly on the sofa watching everyone else have fun.
I cry at movies, weddings and funerals.
I love flowers. If I could I would fill my house with bouquets in every room.
I am a girly girl. I love feminine outfits, hairstyles, and nails as well as flowery perfumes.
I don’t like gossip or bullies. I believe in kindness and tolerance, my books reflect that.
I love to sing, I play the piano- badly. LOL
I have knight in shining armor in my living room named Lancelot, he’s been with me for over 10 years.
Not long ago a nurse accidentally doubled my morphine after surgery and I hallucinated that my hospital room was covered in icicles complete with a frosty mist floating about the room.  Brrr!

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*Author Feature: Normandie Alleman



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Our next author feature introduces us to the lovely Normandie Alleman! Normadie is a fantastic multi-genre author & a recent addition to the USA Today best sellers list! 
Please check out this awesome interview & don't forget to check out Normandie's author fan page & book info on the bottom of the feature!

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1) Why did you decide to start writing? 

I was a blogger, and I was inspired to try writing fiction when I heard Stephanie Meyer say that the story in Twilight came to her in a dream. It made me vow to write down my next dream. It happened to be a dirty one, and things took off from there.

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2) Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre?

Oh, I hope authors can succeed in more than one genre because this year I’m starting two other pen names (Amity Allen has a YA Cozy Mystery already and N.D. Hill will be releasing a psychological thriller later this year). I read in several genres so I wanted to stretch myself and write in other genres. It keeps my work fresh.

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3) What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing? 

I love hearing from readers!

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4) Who are some of your favorite authors & why? 

Lisa Gardner, Jodi Picoult, F.X. Toole

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5) What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author? 

Discoverability. It’s difficult to get noticed with so many new books being released all the time.

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6) Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers? 

Keep working on craft. Always work on craft. You can always get better.

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7) Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional! 

I’m addicted to salt. I put it on almost all my food. But don’t worry – I don’t have high blood pressure. Also, I have a 500 lb. pet pig named Petunia. She lives outside thank goodness because pigs are super smart, and she would have figured out how to open the refrigerator if I let her near it.


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**Author Feature** Bree Lewandowski


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Our next author feature involves a gal who has not only made me fall in love with her work, but she's also become a great friend of mine, as well! I hope you'll adore her as much as I do! Meet the gorgeous Bree Lewandowski!  
Bree's books are in the drama/romance/suspense genres and involve the often-scary underworld of a professional ballet dancer!
Check out her interview!
(You'll find her links at the bottom of the feature.)

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1) Why did you decide to start writing?

 As a little girl, the answer to why I decided to start writing was because it was fun. I liked creating characters and living out my own small fantasies. Older, it became a drive to share those stories with an audience. However, the original answer is still true. I write because I enjoy it. I continue to write because the desire has yet to fade. 

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2) Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre?

Definitely, authors can succeed in various genres.Nora Roberts is a prime example. While she writes vibrant romance novels, under an alias, she bangs out gripping dramas. In terms of "sticking to your knitting," I think it's great when authors branch out. Quite frankly, I hope to genre jump in time. 

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3) What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing?

Honestly, and you can laugh-getting it done. One of the biggest hurdles for me with writing was beginning stories and never finishing them. Knowing I'd left characters and plots dangling really wormed its way into my psyche and whispered doubts of never reaching my goal of "the end." But, this jump into Indie publishing has let me see I can begin a world, color it, and offer it to those who might want to see.  

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4) Who are some of your favorite authors & why?

Edna Ferber, Alexandre Dumas, J. R.R. Tolkien, Victor Hugo, George Elliot, Dean Koontz. 
Edna Ferber is incredible. She has this gift for putting the little, everyday, fleeting thoughts everyone has down on paper. It makes her characters jump to life and their struggles so relatable. 
Dumas is my hero. He writes characters that sizzle on the page. Men mightier than the world they live and move in. He's my guilty pleasure author. 
And while I won't go through them all, I'll finish with Elliot. Her writing stabs the reader in the heart with its simplicity. Characters simple as snow seem to melt into the reader and reveal a depth not expected. 

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5) What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author?

Myself. Honestly. Taking time to write can feel selfish. I know I'm putting off chores, friendships, my marriage. And frankly, writing doesn't look like much. I'm not swearing at the computer screen, typing till my fingers bleed. Most often, I'm just sitting, staring. Allowing myself to take the time, proving to myself it's time worth taking, has been the biggest obstacle. 

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6) Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers?

Write. Write all the words. And read too. Writing without reading is like a painter saying he/she wants to be among the greats without studying what made them great in the first place. And to the new writer, understand that you're working your brain. And the brain is a muscle. At first, just like all physical exertion, it's going to be difficult. However, just like going to the gym, you'll always feel better after. 

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7) Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional!

I can't swim. In fact, I'm terrified of the water. I drink too much coffee and noodles are my Kryptonite. If you seem to notice a dance-related trend in my novels, it's because I am a dance teacher in real life. When writing, I can't listen to music with lyrics; it totally distracts me. Only instrumental. But when the writing is done for the day, I love to rock out to Kpop! 

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*Author Feature* Jenn Windrow



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We recently had a chance to chat with Author Jenn Windrow! She's a lovely, graceful & intelligent author of snarky paranormal romances & you'll adore her work! Check it out! 

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1) Why did you decide to start writing? 

My husband traveled for a work a ton, leaving me with two toddlers under 5. My whole life was about his job, the kids, the house, groceries, and I had nothing that was really for me. I was slipping into depression, things were getting kind of ugly, so I started to take my day dreams and put them on paper. I turned them into stories. Then one day I decided to go to a local writers group to see if I was any good. Turned out I didn’t suck, so I kept going and it became an obsession. It also became something in my life that was just mine. Four years later, I have three books published, multiple contest wins, and a career I am really proud of.

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2) Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre? 

I do. If they write in genres that kind of mesh together. I write in Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, they kind of go together, so it’s not a stretch for me. I did try writing in contemporary romance, but kept wanting to add vampire fangs to all my characters, so I gave up pretty quick :)

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3) What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing?
 
Making my readers cry or laugh or feel an emotion along with my character. If they can feel what my character feels, then I have done my job.


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4) Who are some of your favorite authors & why? 


Jeaninne Frost, Darynda Jones, JR Ward, Kelley Armstrong, Karen Marie Moning. They all write stories that I can’t stop reading. Characters that I think about after I close the book.

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5) What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author? 


Rejection, but I’m sure you’ve heard that before. And not just the rejection you get before your published, but the rejection that can come from readers too. My other is writing in genres that publishers and agents don’t even want to consider buying at this time.

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6) Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers? 


Don’t give up. Seriously, no matter how bad you think it is don’t stop. Find yourself some like minded writers in your area and work together to make your writing stronger. They will turn out to be your greatest support staff.


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7) Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional! 


1 Husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 rabbit, and 1 horse. I kind of have a zoo, but I love them all. The first book I wrote was the third to get published.

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Here are some links to check out Jenn's Author Fan Page & her books:




Tuesday, February 14, 2017

**AUTHOR FEATURE** Lara Bernhardt


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Our current featured author is Lara Bernhardt!

Lara recently released her first novel "The Wantland Files" through the Amazon Scout program. I had the chance to meet Lara in person about a year ago & she is an absolutely lovely lady, inside & out! I'm thrilled to be able to work with her to help get her new book out to readers everywhere! 
Lara recently took a little time to sit down with us & answer a few questions... Hope you'll take a moment & check her interview out! 



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Author Q & A Questions
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Why did you decide to start writing? 

I can’t remember a time I didn’t write. I’ve read voraciously for as long as I can remember. Going to the library was the biggest treat as a child and I always left with a stack of books. I told my younger siblings bedtime stories I made up and I started writing my own stories in elementary school. Why? Because I love it! I love to escape into a good book and always wanted to provide the same thing for others.

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Do you think authors can succeed in multiple genres or should they stick with a single genre? 

I read almost any genre - if it’s a good book, I’ll read it! Traditional publishers want authors to stay firmly in one genre. I think if you write a good book, it will be a success. I hope that proves to be true because I don’t want to be constrained to one. I love what I’m writing now but have lots of other ideas too.

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What do you feel is the biggest reward to you with writing? 

My biggest reward is hearing people tell me how much they enjoyed my book.

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Who are some of your favorite authors & why? 

Jojo Moyes, Katherine Center, Jodi Picoult - these authors write beautiful women’s fiction, moving stories that grip me emotionally with protagonists I enjoy spending time with. Dean Koontz - read everything of his I could get my hands on as a teen - loved his intriguing stories with sci-fi elements. Douglas Adams - not only hysterical but brilliant - stories take you on a wild ride with even wilder characters and keep you laughing - they’re timeless as well, considering my 16-year-old son just read them at my recommendation and loved them. He was a visionary - imagined computers and devices half a century before they existed. Ann Rice, JR Ward - vampire stories before the genre exploded that captivated me years ago.

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What are the biggest hurdles to overcome as an author?

Finding time to write is my biggest hurdle. Now that my first book is published, the biggest hurdle is marketing.

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Is there any advice that you can offer for new writers? 

Take the time to seek out writing instruction prior to hammering out that first novel. Writing is a craft like any other art. You’ll be less frustrated with the process and far more satisfied with the completed project if you learn the craft first.

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Tell us a few random personal things about yourself personal & professional! 

I love Asian food - noodles, rice, sushi. I love to cook. Some of my favorite movies are Poltergeist and Ghostbusters. The X-Files remains one of my favorite series ever. I have 5 biological children and 3 stepchildren (4 boys and 4 girls so extreme Brady Bunch).  My favorite place to write is in a hot bath with a mug of hot green tea.

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Join Lara at her Facebook Fan Page: *CLICK HERE*


The Wantland Files by Lara: *AMAZON LINK*