Author Spotlight: Emily Camp

This Week’s Author: Emily Camp

Book Spotlight:

Author Bio:

Emily Camp is an author of several young adult novels. She also studies literature and is currently working toward a creative writing degree.

Follow me and find my books here: https://beacons.ai/emilycampwrites

Interview With Emily Camp:

1. Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels? I write young adult and new adult romances. I have two that have mystery elements to them as well. A Homecoming to Forget is about a girl with amnesia and she tries to figure out what happened to her the night she lost her memory.  I like to write characters that people can relate to. I feel like I’ve accomplished that in my stories. 

I’ve been busy writing a story for Kindle Vella. It’s a soap opera type story, some romance and lots of drama. It’s called What Is Hidden. Vella is a serial fiction platform, so far I’ve published over 100 episodes for this and am still working on more. I’m planning on finishing at about 120 episodes. I’m also currently brainstorming a project for an upcoming anthology in May and have another YA romance with a little bit of suspense in the works. It’s about a girl who’s ex-boyfriend is stalking her. She fake dates a guy to get the stalker off her back, and we all know what happens when people fake date in fiction. The problem is, the stalker doesn’t give up that easily. I was wanting to have it ready by spring, but I’ve been focusing on my vella projects the last few months. 

2. What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? I fell in love with storytelling at an early age. I remember reading and watching things and trying to come up with my own endings before they happened. But my first time thinking I could be an author was when I was 13 and fell in love with the book The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I even wrote a story inspired by that book. I still have the story, too. If there would have been fanfiction back then I’m sure I would have written fanfiction for it as well. 

3. What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing? 

I started posting my stories on Wattpad to get a feel for what readers thought about my writing before I published on Amazon. I actually had a decent following there. But one thing I did was I made a document of all the kind messages readers sent me while I was writing there. I look at it whenever I feel like giving up. 

4.Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? Absolutely. I have used several life experiences. 

5. Who was your easiest character to write about and why? The easiest character I’ve written is Kacey from Boy of the Week. Because I got the idea of her from my teenage self. From some of the feedback I get about that book, I’m not the only one who was like her in high school. 

What was your hardest and why? My hardest character was Pierce from Sydney’s Last Night. I never really felt like I understood her at the time. She lost her sister and was grieving a sibling. I’d never experienced that when I wrote about it. However, I did lose my brother six months after I published the book. I don’t know if that would be harder to write now or not. 

Contact me at nikkiereads@starsbooksandtea.com if you’d like to be featured here!

Author Spotlight: Scarlett Kol

This Week’s Author: Scarlett Kol

Book Spotlight:

Author Bio:

Scarlett Kol is the USA Today Bestselling Author of dystopian, paranormal and fantasy novels for young adults. Born and raised in Northern Manitoba, she grew up reading books and writing stories about creatures that make you want to sleep with the lights on. As an adult, she’s still a little afraid of the dark.

Interview With Scarlett Kol:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I have a smattering of different novels out there. My debut novel was a near-future Robin Hood retelling. It’s a little bit dystopian, a little bit biopunk, and is told from the point of view of an upper east side Maid Marian named Mercury. However, my first and true love is more of the paranormal/urban fantasy type stories. Most of my novels to this point are standalones featuring witches, demons, wraiths, and anything else I can think up (Wicked Descent, Sleepless, Keeper of Shadows), however I always like to temper my magic with a little bit (or a lot) of romance as I adore writing those intimate moments between characters. My latest release will be Fierce which is book three from my Faraway High Fairytales series. This is a super fun series of fairytale retellings set in a contemporary Iowa high school in the fictional town of Faraway. So far, I’ve tackled the Little Mermaid but with angels (Falling), Sleeping Beauty but with Celtic mythology and portal magic (Dreamer), and the latest release will be The Twelve Dancing Princesses but make them a cheerleading squad and wolf shifters (Fierce). The nice thing about this series is that they all interconnect, but are completely standalone so you can read them in any order and still get a complete story. After that I plan on launching a brand-new series centered around tarot, so definitely watch my social media for that!

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

I was always a huge reader and had an amazing librarian who turned me on to paranormal and contemporary fantasy in middle school However, somewhere around my early teen years as I devoured Christopher Pike and Anne Rice novels, I realized I had my own stories to tell. I loved the books I was reading and started writing short stories for local contests, and even won a few. After high school, life kind of got in the way, but I still wrote some moody, angtsy poetry for a bit and focused on studying. After my first son was born, I realized I’d strayed away from what I loved and wanted to get back to something that felt like “me”. I started writing this Women’s Fiction/Reese’s Book Club type book, but it just wasn’t coming together. Around that time, a friend gave me this book she thought I might like that I’d never heard of called Twilight and it sparked the love I had back in my teens for those kinds of paranormal stories. I’d convinced myself I had to give up the childish things I used to love but here was this writer in her 30’s doing what I wished I had. I scrapped the novel I’d started and picked up a pen to write a YA story full of magic, mystery, and swoony romance. The rest was history.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

Omigosh! This is such a great question as I still battle with this on every single project. It doesn’t seem to matter how many books I write or how much I hear that people love them, I’m constantly struggling with the thoughts that this book won’t be as good as my past ones, or it should be so much better, or the book I’m reading is leaps and bounds more amazing than mine. However, if I let those thoughts take over, I’d never publish another thing! Fortunately, I have an amazing set of writer friends who are my cheerleaders and support system who put me back on track when I fall. But what’s really been working for me lately is promising myself that no one needs to read what I’m writing. “It’s a first draft, if it sucks, I won’t publish it/submit it/send to readers.” Usually once I get through the first draft, it might still suck, but there are pieces in there that I love and then I strive to make the book match those parts. Eventually, I’m a few drafts in and have switched to thinking about the release so it moves from “this sucks” to “it’s coming out soon, better make it shine”. I also put a photo of my cover in my workspace to remind me that if I finish the story I get to put that pretty on my shelf.

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?

All the time, whether I realize it or not (however, people I know will usually let me know). I think we all write what we know to some extent as that’s how we experience the world and we reflect it back in our writing. Most of time it’s usually a character or character trait, something minor like an object or saying, or a place fictional place I wrote about that is totally a real place somewhere that meant something to me. However, I do have one kiss in one of my books that is based on a real kiss I had once … I’ll let you all guess which one.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

The easiest character was Brea Vardan from Dreamer. She’s a bit of an overthinker and is probably one of the characters I’ve written that is most like myself in how they think and break down information. The hardest character was definitely Berkley James from Sleepless. I tore down and rebuilt this book about twenty times! I think she was the hardest because she has a ton of bad stuff that happens to her in the book and it weighs on her pretty heavy which makes it tough for her to try to fight her way out of it. My heart kind of broke for her a bajillion times while I wrote that book.

Contact me at nikkiereads@starsbooksandtea.com if you’d like to be featured here!

Author Spotlight: Amanda Marin

This Week’s Author: Amanda Marin

Book Spotlight:

About The Author:

When Amanda was a child, her father traveled frequently for business, always bringing back a book as a present for her. Whether she was getting lost in the pages of a tale about faraway knights, girls with supernatural powers, or kindly giants, she was quickly hooked on stories.

Nowadays, Amanda writes books of her own. She is a USA Today bestselling author and works in scholarly publishing. Her favorite things include Starbucks lattes, lazy summer afternoons at the beach, and stories with characters that make you go “awww.” She lives in New England with her family and furbaby, Snickers the Poodle.

Stay in touch!

Interview With Amanda Marin:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

Yes! Young adult fiction holds a special place in my heart. I got really into reading YA almost ten years ago while experiencing some major health issues. YA quickly became my go-to comfort read at the time, and as I recovered, I started to dabble in writing it. It took a couple of tries to get right, but I stuck with it. Eventually, I churned out a draft of my first novel to get published: North to Nara, a YA dystopian romance.

North to Nara grew into a trilogy (the Crimson Sash series), and it’ll always hold a special place in my heart! “North” (as I call it for short) is a forbidden love story that reinvents the Hester-Dimmesdale romance from The Scarlet Letter against a backdrop of modern social issues. I like to think that it has a positive, deeper meaning beyond the surface-level story of the two sweet, beautiful main characters who only want the chance to love each other.

Being a sucker for retellings, I also write fairy tales and mashups with a twist. The heroines in my Happily Other After short story series choose endings other than their originally crafted Prince Charming. I’ll be adding another story to that collection in early 2023. In the meantime, I have two mythology-based academy stories out (or coming out soon!) in anthologies in 2022. I love putting a modern spin on old stories!

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

Tough question … but mostly because the answer is SO simple! I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Even as a kid, I loved reading and writing stories. I was an early reader, and I used to walk around with notebooks and journals from the time I could write. To me, there’s nothing better than becoming immersed in a story—books are my cure-all when I’m sad and my happy place when times are good.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

I usually find comfort in knowing that other authors have experienced the same sorts of doubts. Imposter syndrome, lackluster reviews, rejections from agents and publishers—all the greatest writers have faced these … as have my own writer pals. There’s comfort in knowing you’re not alone in your struggles!

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?

Absolutely! Without pointing fingers, I will say that some of the guys in my Cinderella story, “Another Midnight,” have a similarity or two to one or more of my exes (shhhh—don’t tell!). Plus, I have lived with PTSD for many years. I drew on some of my treatment/coping experiences in my novel Sky to Sea, which is a sequel to North to Nara. I wish I could say that I could dance, paint, or foretell the future like the muses and seers in my Mythic Academy series … maybe someday if I cross my fingers and keep practicing!

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

Another great question … My hardest character to write was Micah, the cinnamon-roll hero in my Crimson Sash books. He’s SO good and selfless, especially at the beginning of the trilogy. Writing him made me much more aware that kindness matters in real life as much as a novel! I learned from him even while I invented him, I guess. The easiest to write was Corisande, a siren who falls for her intended victim, in my upcoming novella A Song of Salt and Secrets. She’s shy, awkward, well-meaning, and a bit nervous all the time. I can relate! LOL 🙂

Contact me at nikkiereads@starsbooksandtea.com if you’d like to be featured here!

Author Spotlight: Maria Vermisoglou

This Week’s Author: Maria Vermisoglou

Book Spotlight:

About The Author:

Maria Vermisoglou is an International Bestselling author of fantasy and paranormal with an obsession for witches. She loves throwing her heroes into impossible situations. Maria draws inspiration from books, travel, and…the ceiling. (So blame the ceiling!)
Maria started writing when the stories she read became too boring and the voices in her mind too loud.
When she’s not writing, she loves a good riding on the fantasy dragon, but a book can also be exciting, along with a cup of tea.
Nowadays, you can find her in Athens, exploring the mysteries of the ancient world.

Subscribe in her newsletter and you can stay up to date with her works and get first dibs on book sales, giveaways, all the fun stuff.https://maraki2311.wixsite.com/creativequill/
Follow Maria on social media: https://linktr.ee/portal_to_the_unknown

Interview With Maria Vermisoglou:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I started with YA novels featuring witches, but I have expanded to shifters, mermen and other paranormal creatures. I even have some holiday, fairytales and mythological books. I mostly write paranormal fantasy because I love magic and unexplainable stuff. My obsession is witches but not the classical evil witches, but I strive to craft a different image than the cliches. Healers, bartenders, fighters, you name it, and their goal is to save humans from demons and themselves. If they fall in love with a human along the way, all the better! Upcoming? I have planned a NA Alice retelling (shifters and elementals), several other witch books in my series and an entirely new series that has nothing to do with magic! *insert shocked face*  A genius on the run. The Irish mafia with a secret plan. Romance, mystery, and heists! I said too much, huh?

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

I didn’t know I wanted to be an author. It all started with a story. I always crafted stories in my mind. I took a part of the story and twisted it into something new, but never wrote it down. It helped me come to terms that this story had ended. The last goodbye to the characters I loved so much. Ha, ha. One day, I had finished another great story and the what ifs tortured my mind. What if the character was a witch? What if…? And that’s how my first story was born. I didn’t know if I wanted to know an author. I just wanted to quiet the noise in my brain. Word after word, page after page became a book. And then more books. I joined anthologies and published my own books. I never thought of myself as an author as in I never thought I’d become one, but I love it. Helps me cope with the challenges of life and it makes me happy. As a reader, books were my friends, my escape, so I want to offer that to my readers as well. A gateway to my little portal where we’re all accepted, we’re all heroes and we can all ride giant hippocampi!

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

My only doubt is: Someone can write it better than me. I’m a pantser, so half the time I don’t know where the story is going, so it’s challenging to overcome that fear. It never truly goes away, but I believe in my stories and I’ve learned a lot over time. Sure, there are many people who might have done it better, but they’re not me. These characters chose me as their voice and I will do my best to represent their stories as best as I can. My readers love my stories so instead of doubting myself, I should write faster 🙂

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

Yes. In the Hands of Zaztice is a Greek mythology novella that’s set in Athens, where I live and most of the story represents real events. Except the monsters. Haven’t encountered them yet. Ha. But even the monsters are symbols. I didn’t have a sword, but sometimes, one step is enough to light the path for you and the monsters to go away.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

Hardest: Violet (The Eulogimenoi series). I couldn’t tell what she was thinking. It was a hazy mess that made no sense. The easiest character is Eva because she was a witch and somehow, I could sync with her thoughts and understand her real easy. It’s like the story wrote itself. 

Contact me at nikkiereads@starsbooksandtea.com if you’d like to be featured here!

Author Spotlight: Lily-Ann Johnson

This Week’s Author: Lily-Ann Johnson

Book Spotlight:

Blondie's Hero (Heart of Teufel Hundens Book 1) by [Lily-Ann Johnson, Ash Arceneaux]

Mary-Alice Roberts (Blondie) owns one of the busiest Marine Bars on the East Coast. Getting dumped via Text Message is just the start of her problems. She also needs an experienced Bartender who can fill in right away.

Marine Staff Sargent, Jake Peterson is medically retired, and needs a job to keep his mind busy and not live in the past. The Bartending job at Teufel Hundens sounds like the perfect solution.

When Blondie’s Ex decides to blame Blondie and Jake for his misfortunes and retaliates against Blondie.

Will Jake be the Hero Blondie needs and save her? Or will revealing his actual wealth and him being the cause of her ex’s anger have Blondie doubting not only Jake but their budding love as well?

Seamlessly Yours (Seamlessly Erotic Fairytales) by [Lily-Ann Johnson]

Cynder Whelan knows three absolute truths in her heart, nothing is better than a man in a well-made suit, both her parents had wills, and forever love exists. Ever since her father died she has been stuck with her stepmother and nasty stepsisters. Cynder has made it her goal to make sure Willow Wolf, the fashion house her parents built stays in business and one of the best. Even if that means working ungodly hours for her stepmother Rachel and never getting credit for her designs.Santon James is a self-made man, who lives by the moto is work hard, play harder. He owns one of the largest high fashion textile distributing company in the city and all the fashion houses want access to him. He only deals with the best and now that he back, he is waiting just to snap up the best the city has to offer even if that means playing dirty. Will a chance meeting between Santon and Cynder spark a connection that will set Cynder free.

Originally featured in Suit Porn 2 Anthology at LLS 2019.

About The Author:

No description available.

Lily-ann Johnson is an amazon best selling muti-genre author who lives in North Carolina. Married very own Marine and high school sweetheart with two amazing boys, a dog and 5 cats. 
If you don’t find her with her nose in a book. She can be found at her local VFW Post supporting various different military and non-profit organizations. 

Interview With Lily-Ann Johnson:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I am currently just finished a Valentines story for the Military Romance anthology Cupid Wore Dogtags. My story is Valentine’s Hart. 
I am also writing a story Seamlessly Tied for Suit Porn 4 for LLS 2022 that will be part of my Seamlessly Erotic Fairytales retellings.  I have two books bookmarked for Heart of Teufel Hundens series. 

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

I always wrote poems and short stories but I knew I wanted to be a published romance author when I had so many ideas in my head they just had to get out.  Plus who doesn’t love a happy ending. 

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

 I have a circle of friends that I bounce ideas off. They are honest and if I have questions about my writing or the flow of the things they keep me centered and give me the kick I need to get back at it. 

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing?

I do put real life situations in my books. The crab scene from Blondies Hero actually happened but it was no where near as romantic. Hubby left me on beach getting attacked by crabs while he ran to safety.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

Easiest was (Blondie) Mary-Alice because I put a lot of myself into her. Easiest male would be Jazz from Seamlessly Wishful ,as I based him off a real life friend. 
Hardest would have to be Rich from Nikki’s Marine because he didn’t want to be happy at first. 

Follow me everywhere: https://linktr.ee/StarsBooksAndTea

Author Spotlight: Michelle Dare

This Week’s Author: Michelle Dare

Book Spotlight:

The Ariane Trilogy: The Complete Series by [Michelle Dare]

Enter the world of the Avynwood Pack with this complete trilogy.

A kept secret. A life altered. A new journey.

Ariane lived her life one book at a time. She would never have guessed those books were about to change everything.

They led her to Orion.

Tall, dark, with eyes only for her. The rest of the world ceased to exist when Orion was around. But during a fateful ash moon, he shifted into a wolf. Ari thought she was dreaming, but she’d recognize those eyes anywhere.

Fiction became reality. Fantasy was actually history. And soon, Ari would learn her role in it.

A pack war was on the horizon, and she was the only one who could stop it.

Nothing would ever be as it once was, because Ariane was now part of the Avynwood Pack.

With millions of pages read in Kindle Unlimited, find out why everyone is falling for the paranormals in this romance trilogy.

“One of the best written paranormal offerings I’ve found this year.” – Crystal M., Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Completely obsessed with this new series!! Total must read!” – TracyB, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“This story is AMAZING. I think the plot is genius.” – Nina, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

“Well written, passionate characters, suspense, twists and turns. So good!” – Nikki B, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★

About The Author:

Michelle Dare

Michelle Dare is a USA Today Bestselling Author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from paranormal to contemporary. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.

Interview with Michelle Dare:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels? 

I write romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, fantasy, new adult, contemporary, suspense, rom-com, and M/M. I’m currently working on book four in my fantasy romance series, The Iridescent Realm. I’m also working on my next co-written series which is M/M sports romance. Rebecca Brooke and I co-write it under the pen name Haven Hadley.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

This is a tough one. I’m not sure there was one moment but once I started writing my first book, it was like the flood gates opened and I got more story ideas than I knew what to do with.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing? 

Doubting myself is a problem I’ve definitely had to overcome. The more books I’ve written, the easier it’s gotten but I’m not sure it ever goes away. What helps is talking to my readers. They always know what to say. Their love of my stories and their words keep me motivated.

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

In every one of my books I like to put in tiny tidbits from my real life. Like a favorite TV show or a pet I had. Maybe a vehicle I once drove. Sometimes it’s the attitude of my characters. I’m very sarcastic and like to joke around. I think that comes through strongly with some of the books I write.

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why? 

There are some characters who stay with me. Ones that even after their story is told keep a permanent residence in my mind. Solomon Verascue has been hands down one of my easiest characters. His personality, words, mannerisms flow so well from me. The hardest… I can’t think of one particular character but I can say some books are easier to write. Where I just close my eyes and the words pour out of me. Others can be much more of a struggle.

Follow me everywhere: https://linktr.ee/StarsBooksAndTea

Author Spotlight: EJ Everette

This week’s author is EJ Everette. I will admit that I don’t know her as well as I should. Yet. I have a strong feeling that she and I will become very good friends. I can tell that she has a very kind and compassionate soul. Without further ado, I shall introduce her properly!

Her Books (Click book photos to buy):

All Gray Marshall wanted to do was spend her summer surfing and enjoying lazy days with her besties and watch movies with her kid brother, Charlie. Unfortunately, summer school had to ruin her lovely plans and she is forced to spend two months in geometry work hell. There is no way she will survive the monotony!!That is, until a tall, dark, and handsome guy literally bumps into Gray in the halls on day one and her entire world gets flipped upside down. Not only is Reid sexy as sin, he has a twin and three other friends who all qualify for panty-melting status. Despite their attractiveness, Gray is not a social person. Years in abusive homes have made her hesitant, anxious, and all-around antisocial. So why do these five guys make her want to spend every moment with them? Why doesn’t she fear their presence, a presence they basically force upon her within minutes of meeting? And what is with the way her body literally buzzes when they touch her” After decades bouncing between realms, Reid, Rip, Mitch, Chance, and Dean have finally found the prophecy girl they have been searching for. But…she has no idea who she is, what she is capable of, or how important she is to them and their people. Worse yet, the council has forbidden them from telling her anything until she comes into her power. That task, in and of itself, isn’t too hard, except that every single one of them know the truth and they can only resist the pull for so long before they claim what is rightfully theirs. Shit, it’s been prophesized. Waiting to Ignite is book one in a slow burn new adult paranormal reverse harem romance series. Gray has a lot to learn about who she is and where she really comes from, but first she has to survive summer school and the guys who guest star in her dreams at night. Not to mention someone, or some thing, has a special interest in her as well, and they aren’t looking to date her.

This can’t be real. There is no reality where I have… powers? And what do the guys mean when they say I am part of a prophecy? After Gray wakes up following tragedy, she is confused, frightened, and hell, a little bit angry. When the guys tell Gray just how important she is, she loses it. Gray is tired of manipulation. Tired of games. The old Gray let herself be a victim. Allowed herself to be a pawn in the plans of others. Those bones have been broken, scars have been formed, and the new Gray refuses to revisit that pain ever again. But when an enemy comes for her, Gray finds herself alone and once again her life hangs in the balance as someone else calls the shots. After they tell Gray the truth about who they are, where they are from, and the destiny that lies before her, the guys are beyond shocked when Gray demands space, pushing them away from her at every turn. This isn’t right. They are her guardians, hand chosen to protect her and keep her aligned with the path that leads to peace. How are they supposed to do that when she won’t even let them in the same room? Not to mention, now that the igniting has taken place, their bonds are stronger, leaving them all desperate to be with the one their lives are bonded to. When Gray goes missing, the guys have to put aside their own pain and focus on saving the woman they can’t live without, even if she doesn’t accept their love yet. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and the truest strength, comes from pain. Gray is about to find out just how much she can break and, in turn, how much she wants to survive. If she is going to bring about the prophecy she is destined for, she is going to have to ensure she is strong enough to conquer those who oppose her. Sometimes, we have to feel the burn of the flames before we can conquer the fire within.

About EJ Everette:

A little about me — I probably read more than I should since I am supposed to be writing these days, but books give me the perfect excuse to escape my crazy life for a few! This is why I strive to write characters, worlds, and stories that will do the same for my readers. I am a Mom (half an egg carton full of kids) and a military spouse. I have seen some of the world but my goal is to visit so many more places before my hips give out!

I enjoy short walks on sunset beaches (because long walks sound exhausting) and the occasional glass of wine or mug of beer. I sing as often as I can (even in stores where some might think it is frowned upon) and dance even though I likely scare those watching.

Mostly I am happy to be lucky enough by some f@#ked up miracle to live the version of my life I get to live right now and hope you enjoy hanging with me!

Interview With EJ Everette:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

Since the start of my writing career (a whole 6 months ago) I have published two books from my debut series, The Ignited Girl, and have another on the horizon! The Ignited Girl focuses on the life of Gray, a seventeen year old young woman who was dealt a crappy hand and had to fight for the life she finally has with her younger brother and Grams. Things are smoothing out for her, though she is far from pleased with her next hurdle in life- summer school. That is, until she shows up to campus and runs into a goofy sexy guy over and over again. Add in his friends of equal god-squad status, and Gray has her hands full. Not one to usually enjoy the company of people, especially men following a rough past, Gray feels oddly pulled toward this group of guys- safe in their presence and definitely attracted to them… all of them. The guys have a few secrets they aren’t sharing with Gray, though. She may not understand what she is feeling, or why, but they are very aware of the pull, it’s purpose, and know exactly how she is feeling. All five of them are following their path as it aligns with a prophecy shared with their ancestors long ago… a prophecy featuring a very clueless Gray… a prophecy that will change everything about her life, her past, and present her with a future she is not ready for. Books one and two (Waiting to Ignite and Igniting the Flame) are already out on Amazon and KU. Book three, When the Heart Ignites, is due out in the coming months. This series has six books total planned for it and so far each book averages about 118k words- I like them thicc!

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author?

When I was eleven, a horrible tragedy struck the United States – the Columbine school shooting. I had never heard anything about school shootings before, but this was everywhere. I watched interviews with parents and teachers. My school changed its policies for visitors, as did so many others, and security tightened. Within a year, there was another shooting all over the news. My heart, though still in pre-teen mode, was deeply saddened by what was happening around us. In the year 2000, I wrote a song in honor of those lost in the shootings and to bring attention to the chaos happening in the world. It was submitted to contests all over the US by my teachers and was even published in a book about a year later, though they chose to represent it as a poem instead of a song. The point is, regardless of publication and attention, I felt some sort of solace in expressing the emotions I had built up within me through words. It would be years before I would write something to publish again, but the writing bug got to me then and never left. I knew, even at that young age, that I wanted to chase that feeling of completion I received when writing. It took me a few decades, and quite a crazy life in between, but today I still write for the same reason- to express the emotions fluttering around inside of me on a daily basis. My hope is that just one person can be positively impacted by the scramble of words I put onto paper- able to feel all the intensity of my own passions woven within the text.

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

Oh what a great question! I wish I had the ultimate answer. I just recently left my corporate job to write full time and start my own business. It is TERRIFYING! It is one thing to work for someone else, but to work for yourself and know every penny you earn is directly related to whether or not your art is appreciated by others… bury me alive with spiders and scorpions and I would be less afraid! Still, the community of authors and readers is EXTENSIVE and so supportive. Between my epically amazing support system at home, my readers and other authors in my genre, and my own determination to finish the things I start no matter what the opposition, I find ways to keep myself moving forward. Also- I think it is incredibly important to take days of rest for my brain and my heart. Sometimes things aren’t as easy, words don’t flow as smoothly, or life is hectic (I have six kids- this is almost always for me!). The best way I have found to overcome the paranoia of failure and slumps in my writing is to take the emotional time I need whenever necessary to refresh, recharge, and allow myself to be human!

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

It is actually pretty much the opposite for me. I was married at 17 years old. I didn’t have a traditional high school experience nor did I live through the dating stage for very long before settling down. My husband and I just celebrated 17 years of marriage, still going strong, but the teen heartthrob moments, butterflies, and back and forth dating games? I never had any of that. I don’t regret meeting Mr. E or the life we have together, but I have found a way to live vicariously through my writing by developing characters that experience all the things I didn’t. It’s actually incredibly cathartic!

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

I have quite a few different, incredible characters in my current series. I absolutely LOVE writing Gray, my FMC. She is strong but not afraid to deal with the emotional turmoil she has lived through. She has so many hardships thrown her way, and she finds a way to rise above them. I am in awe of her determination and the way she looks after her little brother. She has some goofy moments, some very teen-like boy crazy moments, and her sarcasm makes my heart happy, but when the going gets tough, Gray embraces the suck and gets tougher. Her POV comes naturally to me- so natural I often find myself dreaming of her as if I know her in real life, not just in my head. She is, by far, the easiest for me to write! As far as the hardest to write, I’d have to say it is Chance. He is broody, angry about a life he can’t control, and basically an asshole in all ways. While those characters tend to be the ones I am attracted to the most in books and movies, writing everything from his moody perspective is a challenge. I have to remind myself that he is just angry, not evil, and convince myself not to have someone beat him upside the head when he says or does dumb things just to piss Gray off. He is one of my favorite characters, but getting into this mindset takes more time and energy than any of the others.

Follow me everywhere: https://linktr.ee/StarsBooksAndTea

Author Spotlight: Rose Alexander

This week’s author is Rose Alexander. I met her at the convention I attend in Savannah every summer. She’s a firecracker. We’ve grown really close over the last year. I’m so blessed to have met her and I’m glad that I can consider her a wonderful friend.

Her Books (Click book photos to buy):

Krissy is different… a fact she hid from everyone. She’s lived a sheltered life because of her paranoid mom who isolated her after her dad took off when she was six. Now her mom is missing, forcing her to return to her estranged father. Her life takes a dramatic change when she starts attending the academy where her father teaches.

With the help of three guys she will have to learn how to control her abilities, navigate this new world, and hopefully save her mom. The only question now is… will she succeed?

When a book magically appeared, Rue learned appearances can be deceptive. Visions of strange creatures and lands haunted her.
After meeting Atticus she began her journey to self discovery with the help of her new familiar, Smoosh. Now she must use this gift to save the man she’s falling for or she might lose him forever. Can she succeed, or is her love doomed to die for crimes he didn’t commit?

Life was simple as a demon spending my days torturing the souls of the damned. But things got a hell of a lot more complicated when Lilith appeared and dumped me in the mortal realm to face a different type of demon: my history.

Come to find out, my mother had been harboring a deadly secret about what I really am.

Now she’s dead.

All I learn before her final breaths is that I’m only part demon — a halfling.

Halflings are an abomination. It’s just a matter of time before every demon, angel, and gargoyle will be hunting me.

Like the three irresistible gargoyles who happen to live in the same apartment complex I moved into. Then add an over-protective, shape-shifting Cerberus to the mix. Nothing could possibly go wrong. Right?

The clock is ticking — things prophesied are being fulfilled.

The Huntsman Clan Complete Series Collection Books 1-4

Lia learns on her 16th birthday that she isn’t who or what she thinks she is. Not only is she adopted, but she isn’t a bear shifter as she always believed.
Follow her story as she learns to navigate a new world full of shifters she’s never met, dangerous assignation plots, and a race for a crown she never wanted. Will she succeed or will she run out of time?

Blurb for Nightfall a Book 1

My name is Lia, just your average sixteen year old bear shifter, or so I thought. The night of my first shift, I found out that was all a lie. Not only am I adopted, but I’m not a bear at all.
I’m taken away from the parents who raised me and thrust into a life I know nothing about. I have to learn to navigate the social structure of this new clan and try to survive a boarding school for shifters like me. Thankfully, I meet a group of guys the same age as me who want to help me fit in. Throw in a prophecy this clan swears is true, and you have a recipe for adventure, and a whole heap of trouble headed my way.

Murder and magic… a battle to reclaim the throne…

Being a water bearer for my community was easy: just my trusty mule, Lily, and me against the world. But when a bard arrived in town weaving tales about the True Queens of Nephalia, everything changed.

Those stories were supposed to be myths—tales told to children around a campfire. Yet, this man sung truths that had been buried long ago of the Dawnings that brought the queens to power and the magical patterns on their skin marking them as qualified for such a status.

Marks… described exactly like the one that appeared on my arm the very same day.

According to the legend, these women were hunted and killed by others—imposters—who claimed to have earned the throne.

The warning was loud and clear. But instead of living in fear, I intend to compose a story of my own: with the help of three amazing men, I must save myself and the other marked women from such a fate.

If we succeed, Nephalia will prosper.

If we fail, the rekindled magic of myth will remain as such: nothing more than a tale told around a dying campfire.

About Rose Alexander

Just a small town girl from Kansas living her dream of writing books. When not writing I enjoy spending time with my husband and son.

Interview With Rose Alexander:

Tell us about the books you’ve published so far. Can you tell us about some of your upcoming novels?

I write Reverse Harem PNR and enjoy adding a twist you wouldn’t expect. 

My next upcoming will be the Second book in the Hidden Truth series, which follows Ash, a half demon while she tries to survive and learn who and what she really is. 

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be an author? 

I’ve always enjoyed making up stories, but I was finally pushed to share them with the world a few years ago. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment since I had thought about it for years, but was always too scared to try. 

What are some things you do to overcome doubts about your writing?

I try to turn the negative thoughts into positive ones. If I’m feeling the imposter syndrome, I will read bad reviews on my favorite books. Because if people are crazy enough not to like those, my own negative reviews can’t be so bad. 

Have any actual life experiences reflected in your writing? 

I’m sure we all add our own experiences to our writing at least subconsciously. Our world is colored by our own experiences after all. But I haven’t written anything intentionally after my own life. 

Who was your easiest character to write about and why? What was your hardest and why?

My easiest character was Jade, from Becoming Ruby. I just connected with her from the get go. Lia, from The Huntsman Clan would be my hardest. She was stubborn and always pushed the story in unexpected ways I hadn’t planned for.

Follow me everywhere: https://linktr.ee/StarsBooksAndTea

Q & A With Teal Swan

Q&A WITH TEAL SWAN

BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF THE NEW NOVEL HUNGER OF THE PINE

Question: Tell us what your new book, Hunger of the Pine, is all about?

Teal Swan: Hunger of the Pine is my first fiction novel, and is a poetic novel about life on the streets in America. The book centers on Aria Abbott, a teen in the foster care system. She has been placed in a Christian foster home where the father is molesting her and her delinquency problems have turned her into the ‘scapegoat’ of the family. When the tension between her and her foster parents rises, she runs away and begins her life on the streets of Chicago. She soon meets Taylor, another homeless youth who is dreaming of fame, fortune and the sunshine of L.A. Together they board a Greyhound bus and never look back. In this bright new world, Aria will discover a whole community of people living in the shadows, in the margins of society. As Taylor follows his dreams, Aria follows her heart. But she will discover that it isn’t always clear who you can trust, that strangers can be kind, or treacherous, or sometimes as familiar as your own reflection, if you’re willing to look hard enough.

Q:What was your inspiration behind the writing the book?

Swan: As far as I know, no one has ever written apoetic novel about life on the streets of America. I wanted to highlight homelessness through descriptive writing and used a main character as a lens through which to see a snapshot. I also wrote it because I feel that we as a society — especially in America — need to look in the mirror at homelessness and see that it is a problem caused by many systemic failures within society. For this reason, there are many ‘reasons’ someone ends up on the street. And we aren’t really solving those reasons. People are complex, and it we need to see them with more compassion and understanding. And, it is with this ‘understanding,’ rather than labeling people good or bad, that we may see the root cause of behaviors and accurately resolve that root cause.

Q: You have written a lot of wonderful non-fiction books. Why did you decide to take the leap into fiction?

Swan: I want people to feel the raw reality of a side of life that they might never have experienced themselves by using descriptive writing to emotionally put them there. I am a descriptive writer first and foremost. My other books are informational, which I love, but they were not an opportunity to exercise my skills as a writer. Descriptive writing is a whole other beast than writing non-fiction that is engaging yet informative. It is to convey an emotion or sensory experience with words instead of to convey a concept for the purpose of comprehension. I want people to love the writing in and of itself, and remember it for the writing, and for their experience learning about homelessness as well as.

Q: Why did you decide to tackle the topic of youth homelessness?

Swan:  A Great many people don’t relate to homelessness or the issues surrounding it. But a great many do and those people are drowning in the feeling that they were just born to suffer. I wanted to show the reality of homelessness and make it relatable to those who don’t understand it. But I also wanted to insert some answers and hope into this novel for those who do. To be ‘real’ it had to be a mixture of “this is too much to surmount” and “you can surmount it”. It needed to be tragic but also inspirational. And people who relate to these characters, especially the main character will not have thought of themselves as a protagonist.. as significant…As someone capable of love and triumph and of finding belonging and love… until now!

Q: What do you think society can do to help the homeless population? 

Swan: The issue of homelessness is not an easy one because so many systemic factors within society contribute to it. This means there is not a one size fits all solution. For example, the failures within parenting and beyond that the foster care system cause youth homelessness.

 Society’s complete lack of care for the mentally ill and the fact that there is literally nowhere for them to get help if they don’t have money, contributes to homelessness in the mentally ill and veterans. The fact that a person on social security is not getting enough money to afford both food and housing and often medications causes senior citizen homelessness. The lack of prioritization within society when it comes to understanding and finding solutions for the needs of those who are in need, create this multivariable factor scenario where suddenly a great many people are on the street. It’s time to see the broken-ness of our system and stop thinking things are being taken care of by ‘someone else’ when they are not.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from A Hunger of Pine and Aria’s story?

Swan: I want people to feel the raw reality of a side of life that they might never have experienced themselves by using descriptive writing to emotionally put them there. Also, a better and more empathetic view of the homeless population. We tend to be so uncomfortable with homelessness that we compartmentalize it and tell ourselves that we could never be in the same position… That homeless are like a ‘breed’ of people or another species unto themselves. Understanding this why behind homelessness actually makes it impossible for us to keep this ‘separation’ alive. To keep them marginalized. When we stop seeing people as “other”, when we relate to them, we suddenly have the motive to do something because we identify with them instead. I wrote this book to create this identification, understanding and relatability so as to close this perceptual gap.

TEAL SWAN is an international speaker, best-selling author, and a survivor of severe childhood abuse. Today, having integrated her own harrowing life experience, she inspires millions of people around the world towards truth, authenticity, freedom, and joy. Swan is also the author of six internationally published books, the creator of hundreds of frequency paintings, as well as the popular “Ask Teal” YouTube series, which currently has more than 80 million views and almost one million subscribers. She is also the owner and founder of Teal Eye LLC, a company focused on bringing self-empowerment and healing back to the individual. In conjunction with her vision of creating positive world change, Swan founded HEADWAY FOUNDATION, a nonprofit company that enables ideas, goals and ventures that are aimed at positive world change by ending suffering. In the years to come, Headway Foundation will encompass programs, centers, scholarships and products that better our world; such as in the areas of justice reform, education, environmental endeavors, end of life care, health, parenting, integrative medicine and food industry reform. Headway Foundation seeks to create the changes within our society that will create a better life for all beings who call this earth their home.

Swan was born with a range of extrasensory abilities, including clairvoyance, clairsentience, and clairaudience. It was because of these abilities that she ended up being targeted to become a victim of abuse. In her own words: “Without the abuse and suffering I experienced, I would be someone who could give you a lot of esoteric information about the universe at large, but who would have no real grasp on the reality of human suffering or how to heal it. I would have only had ½ of the picture of human existence. The gift of my own suffering is that I now have the full picture and that has drastically changed both what I teach and the way that I teach.”

For more information, visit www.hungerofthepine.com and connect with Teal on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

Interview With Clare Flynn

Where do you get your inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere. I travel widely and have lived overseas in the past so I draw on these experiences a lot. I also read widely. Sometimes I get inspired by a place – for example the idea for The Gamekeeper’s Wife came to me while I was staying in a gamekeeper’s lodge on the Shuttleworth estate in Bedfordshire. I also visited a garden there – the Swiss Garden which had been a Victorian industrialist’s creation but had fallen into neglect after WW2 and since restored in all its splendour. I used that to create the sunken garden in the book – this time neglected as a result of the gardeners being killed in WW1.


Can you tell me a little about each book?
I have ten novels now so that would take far too long! I’ll tell you about some common themes. I write a lot about displacement – people being uprooted from their comfortable world and flung into a new and challenging one – often geographically distant.
My first novel A Greater World has the two main characters meeting on a ship to Australia from England – both forced to leave everything they have known due to sudden tragic circumstances.
Ginny in Kurinji Flowers has no future in England after being disgraced as a debutante so marries on the rebound and moves with the husband she barely knows to live on a tea plantation in India where she struggles to adapt.
My next book, The Pearl of Penang (published December 5th and now pre-ordering) is set in the beautiful island of Penang in Malaysia in the 1940s. Evie the main character ends up there after accepting a marriage proposal by post from a man she met once only when she was only fifteen, twelve years earlier.
I am fascinated by the whole idea of British colonials and the worlds they created in far flung parts of the empire. I also write about war and its after-effects (The Canadian trilogy – The Chalky Sea, The Alien Corn and The Frozen River).


What inspires you to write?
I love entering a whole new world that emerges from my head, and meeting characters who begin to assume a life of their own. I also love the way my books affect readers. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than hearing from them, reading their reviews and finding out how my stories have touched their lives. On the rare occasions I get discouraged, an email from a reader can galvanise me and send me straight back to the keyboard!


Tell me about how you got started as a writer.
I’ve always written. As a child it was poems, plays and stories. Later I had numerous attempts to write a novel (always knowing it would happen in the end) but got sidetracked by life and a demanding career.


When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?
It was in 2014. I’d lost a lot of time while my then agent tried to sell it. In the end I decided to self-publish and never looked back. My last book Storms Gather Between Us was traditionally published and while I have no complaints about the publisher or the process, I prefer being my own boss so I’m now reverting to being indie. I’m helped by the fact that I am an ex Marketing Director and publishing is all about marketing. I ran my own business for almost twenty years after a long slog in corporate life so I much prefer the control I have as an indie. Not that I do it myself – I use a professional editor and cover designer and invest a lot in my own development and training.


What advice can you give future authors?
Read as much and as widely as you can. Your craft improves with your exposure to and understanding of different styles, eras, genres, etc. I am blessed in that, since childhood, I have read voraciously from the classics to fast easy reads. I’d also say read your work aloud. That is an amazing tool to improving your work. And take your time to get it right. There is a big emphasis these days on pushing as many books out as possible – in some cases a book a week!! I doubt many of these will stand the test of time – and the toll on the writers will be enormous in the long run.


What was the easiest book for you to write?
The most fun was the latest one, The Pearl of Penang. It followed an unexpected writing drought when I was on a round the world cruise. I’d expected to write while I was away but it turned out I didn’t want to. After visiting Penang, an idea came to me and I set aside the book I was planning to write and started this one instead. I loved the writing and got so absorbed by the research I had to do. It was a sheer joy.


What was the hardest?
The one I am writing now! But I usually say that.


What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?
Distraction – I have a horrible tendency to stop to fact check something and then before I know it I am down the research rabbit hole – or off on a complete tangent as one thing leads to another and before I know it I am on YouTube watching old Pathé newsreels.


What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?
Very very hard. Even though my marketing background should theoretically make it easier!


How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?
My readers tell me they get hooked very quickly so I am responsible for lots of missed sleep and over-salted, overcooked meals – so many people have told me they walk around the kitchen preparing supper with one of my books in their hands! I try to write evocatively about the places in the books – I’ve been told it’s like vicariously travelling there as I aim to bring the sights, sounds, and smells of the locations to life on the page. I’ve often been told I write convincing dialogue and work very hard to make my characters believable and capable of evoking emotional responses in readers – good or bad. And the goodies are always flawed in some way and the baddies mostly have either some redeeming qualities or at least a backstory that explains how they ended up so bad.


Have you ever participated in Nano? If so, did you make the goal?
This is my fifth consecutive year and every time I have hit the 50k. This year is the hardest yet!


How supportive is your family of your books?
I’m single (which probably helps!) – my siblings are generally supportive but I don’t expect them to read my books. Sometimes they do. But I think your own family can be your toughest critics.


Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?
No. No one’s told me I shouldn’t do it. Not that I’d have listened anyway!


Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?
I am a member of a critique group of five published writers. We meet weekly to give each other honest feedback. I have a great team of editor, designer, proof readers, beta readers. I also have a team of advance readers who get an ARC pre-publication for review purposes – they also spot any missed errors.


How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?
I am constantly tweaking and tuning – a real iterative process – including the ongoing feedback from my critique group. By the time I’ve finished it’s pretty close to final draft. I then read it through again and make further changes. The editor gives me a report which may require further changes (this time hardly at all!) and she does a line edit which I work through. I have a final read-through and make any further tweaks.


Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?
Yes four are – A Greater World, Letters from a Patchwork Quilt, The Chalky Sea and The Alien Corn. I need to get a move on with the others! I also need to figure out how to promote them!


What are some of your favorite books and authors?
Aaaagggh! I hate that question as there are so many. I love some of the classics – Thomas Hardy in particular – life always seems better in comparison with the terrible things that happen to his characters, the Brontes, George Elliot and Austen. I love Kate Atkinson’s writing. Recently I hugely enjoyed reading Amor Towle’s A Gentleman in Moscow. Nowadays I also read books by authors I know. I particularly like Linda Gillard’s work. Her latest book, The Memory Tree has done extremely well and as soon as one of hers comes out I have to buy it. My personal fave is Emotional Geology set in the Scottish isles. Linda never shies away from tough subjects. While on my cruise I met Helen Carey, author of the WW2 Lavender Road series. I’ve since read three of them and enjoyed them immensely and must read the others. At the Literary fiction end Jane Davies stands out for me, winner of the Selfies award for her cracking novel Smash all the Windows which follows the lives of a number of people who had been caught up in a disaster on the London Underground and their search for justice and personal reconciliation with what has happened to them.


Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?
Not yet! I am afraid to jinx them. I will say my Nano project is a novella set in WW2 in the Pacific theatre. It’s not a military story though.


Where can we find you on social media?
In too many places!! And too often.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorclareflynn
Twitter – https://twitter.com/clarefly
Instagram – https://instagram.com/clarefly
And of course on my website – https://clareflynn.co.uk – if you sign up on there for my newsletter you will receive a short story collection as a thank you.