Interview & Giveaway ~ I had fun with this interview with Jamie Ford, author of two amazing novels!

Jamie Ford with scarf

I just had to interview Jamie Ford because I kept finding him all over the place with his books getting tons of 5 Star reviews and lots of other accolades!  

I was simply drawn to him, so I wanted to have him as a guest on my blog.  I am so grateful that he accepted the offer to let me interview him. I was rather humbled, to be honest.

The next few days, I will be spotlighting his books. So, be sure to check back. 

Comment Below to Enter your chance to *WIN

a signed copy of both of his books!!

(Pictured Below)

*Winner will be announced on Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist? 

When I went to Norway for a book tour. That’s when I realized I’d created something that had taken on a life of its own. Basically, it feels like my book has a career now and I’m just along for the ride. (I stole that line from Pamela Anderson who once said, “My boobs have a career, I’m just along for the ride.”)

 Annie ~ You are funny!! I love it..

Songs of Willow FrostHotel on the corner of bitter and sweet

Q:  As you geared up for your Books being released, what was the most exciting part(s) for you? 

Writing a novel is a like giving birth to a ten-pound baby, sideways. So after laboring for months and sometimes years—to finally hold that printed book in your hands is an amazing moment. Also, my wife who is a Labor & Delivery nurse just assured me that the sideways baby thing is not possible.

Annie:  I can imagine how wonderful it is to hold the book in your hands for the first time!!  You had me concerned that a baby could be born sideways. Thanks for getting that visual out of my head. 🙂

Q:  You have written two novels so far; what is that your favorite topic to explore?

I love forgotten history. I’m like a little kid, I love turning over rocks and looking at the squishy things underneath—the stuff that we forget as a society.

Annie: Your stories definitely show that this is where you heart is!! 

Q:  Will you always write Historical Fiction? 

I cheated a little bit last year and wrote a trio of steampunk stories. They’re published in the Apocalypse Triptych—three anthologies about the “end of the world as we know it.” But, there was a lot of research involved and they have a historical vibe. And I have a bit of crime noir in the works. Let’s just say that I’m enlarging the canvas of my imagination a bit.

Annie: Make sure I get to read your crime noir book! It sounds very different for you!   

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style? 

This isn’t a comparison as much as it’s pure admiration, but I love Pat Conroy’s writing. He’s a pure storyteller, who also weaves in amazing, lush prose that never obfuscates the story. Some people have lucid dreams where they’re flying. In my dreams I’m writing like Pat.

Annie: That was beautifully said! My friend, Sonya met Pat Conroy. Just recently, I was so sad to hear of his passing.  The best thing though is that his books will live on. Sonya LOVES Pat Conroy….I am going to look for their picture and send it to you. 

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us 

I write in the mornings, upstairs in my office, surrounded by books, comics, and research materials, with my three dogs lazing about. Around noon I take the dogs for a walk to the Missouri River, about a mile away, then edit. Life, and writing, is better with dogs.

Annie: Dogs do make life better! That is for sure!! I have one dog, and he is enough to take care of, LOL..I could not imagine having three. Where do you live? Jamie Ford reading

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books? 

Fiction: Pat Conroy – The Great Santini

Non-Fiction: Jon Krakauer – Into Thin Air

Short fiction: Harlan Ellison – Deathbird Stories

Poetry: Buddy Wakefield – He’s a slam poet. Best seen LIVE.

Comics: Marjorie Liu – Monstress  

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author? 

Doing interviews! Kidding. In Italy I once did 11 interviews in one day, with an interpreter. By the end, my brain was tapioca.

Honestly, the best part has been meeting some of my favorite authors. I’m still just a fanboy.

 Annie: I love that you are still a fanboy!!! You are so cool!

Q:  Any hobbies you’d like to share with us? 

I like red shoes. I like Hiking. I especially like hiking in red shoes.

Annie: Love it!!!  This is a great picture! #HAPPYFEETJamie Fords red shoes

Q:  I see that your books have been translated in to 34 languages, and you won an Award. Can you please tell me more about that…? 

Books in translation are amazing; in fact, HOTEL was #1 in Norway for nearly four months. I always credit the translator—they must be doing something right. They could put zombies in my books and I’d never know

As far as awards, they’re a lovely validation, but nothing compared to getting a tweet from a high school student who says “This is the first book I’ve been forced to read that didn’t actually suck.” That kind of stuff makes my year. 

Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

As soon as I finish it. I’m close—and this time I meant it! The new book (no title yet) is about a mixed-race boy who was raffled off at the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle. That part’s true.

Annie: A must read, for sure! 

Lastly, Book or eBook? 

Book. I do read eBooks as well, but prefer comfort over convenience.

Annie: I am an Old-School person too. I have a library in my home, and my husband has a man cave.  I love being surrounded by books…it is rather calming for me.

Jamie Ford Hotel

Annie: Thank you Jamie. I appreciate your time, and patience.

I have enjoyed all of your answers, and getting to know you better!!

Keep me in mind when you release your next book!

I am a fan!!

 

#Interview & #Giveaway – Meet author Maha Gargash!!

Maha Gargash ap1Meet Maha Gargash: Author of the newly released book “That Other Me”!

http://bit.ly/ThatOtherMe

She is a fascinating woman and author. This is an interview not to be missed.

Comment below to win one of two copies of “That Other Me”
(US/CA Residents)

That Other Me - Maha Gargash
Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist?

When I got my first novel published! That’s when I could introduce myself with confidence as an author.

Q:  As you geared up for your Books being released, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?
I’m usually geared up even before I finish a book. The most exciting parts are when the editor says we are ready to go to print and when I receive the advance author copies.

Q:  You have written two novels so far; what is that your favorite topic to explore?

I love to put my protagonists in tricky situations or push them to the edge of desperation. I have an idea of what they will do and then, it’s a question of writing it all down. But we all know how characters can get. They take a life of their own and surprise you with all sorts of possibilities—and before I know it, they are the ones pulling me along. The Sand Fish

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

I think this should come from the reader because, quite simply, like most writers, I get so engrossed in the whole process of writing a book that it’s near to impossible to provide an objective comparison.

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us…

Think of exercise: it always gets easier once the effort has been made with the feet snug in socks and sneakers. For me, it’s the same with writing: the mind alert yet lazy, sifting through all manner of trivial distractions and chores. Should I wash that mug or watch a bit of news on television or play a quick round of solitaire on my Iphone?

I have to jump up and hurry to my desk, shake the mouse to wake up the screen and start. My desk is modern and broad. I chose this shape so that I have hand and elbow space whenever I feel the urge to slide my arms about (a quirky habit). That means I can’t write unless it’s organized. And even then, concentration is not something that occurs magically.

I have to keep telling myself to just sit and do it. And that’s when it comes. Ideas form and flow. Then, the hard part becomes pulling myself away from the story.Maha's Desk
Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books?

Oh, so many!

All time favorites include: Rohinton Mistry and his ‘A Fine Balance’; Arundhati Roy, and her ‘The God of Small Things’; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’; and more recently, Adam Johnson and his mind blowing ‘The Orphan Master’s Son’.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author?

There are days (and weeks) when the writing goes smooth as butter. The words and sentences don’t thin no matter how much you spread them. These are rare time spans where everything falls into place, and I find myself thinking, I love being an author.

Q:  Any hobbies you’d like to share with us?

Reading, of course, and photography. I enjoy watching BBC documentaries and television dramas. Years ago, I used to collect tiny perfume bottles. But the interest waned when I realized that the fragrances were not going to stay bottled up forever and that the tiny things might as well be filled with water.

 Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

Nothing concrete yet. I’m dabbling with many ideas at the moment, flinging a hook with the hope that something will soon bite.

Lastly, Book or eBook?? 

I feel more grounded when reading a hardback or paperback copy. It’s to do with the texture of the paper, the solidity of the book, and seeing a page number (as opposed to being told on a monitor) that makes it more real, if that makes sense. Having said that, an eBook brings the convenience of instant delivery (and that wonderful built-in light) and the choice of many books at the same time: very handy when traveling.

For more detailed information on “That Other Me”, Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: The Girl without a Name by Sandra Block

YOU COULD WIN THIS BOOK AND PART 1 TO THIS ON MONDAY!!!The Girl without a NameThis book was fabulous!  I wish it was not over, and I can only hope there is more to come! Sandra Block is a magnificent story teller!! A psychological thriller at its best! I need to go back and read Sandra Blocks first story with Dr. Zoe Goldman, “Little Black Lies”.

The story begins with a patient being admitted…..

Read the rest of this review at Chick Lit Plus:

http://chicklitplus.com/bookreview-the-girl-without-a-name-by-sandra-block/

 

#BookReview: “Coming to Rosemont” by Barbara Hinske

Coming to RosemontSummary:

Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul’s wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her?

Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.

With a quiet, orderly — and distinctively solitary — life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?
This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in! Coming to Rosemont is the first book in the Rosemont series.

Review:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I want to move to the town of Westbury and be Maggie’s roommate in that awesome house known as Rosemont! This is a story that will touch your heart…..

After Maggie’s husband passes away, she learns that he had many secrets from her. After 25 years of marriage she is in a bit of shock. One of the things was that her husband had a huge home called Rosemont in the town of Westbury. He left this house to Maggie.

Maggie travels to Westbury with the plan of setting the house up to be sold. Only she did not expect it to feel like home when she walks through the door.

Maggie is a character that you will simply adore. Her heart is huge, and she is so smart and generous.

While Maggie needs saving, so does this town. Together maybe they can help each other.

Barbara Hinske introduces us to so many fabulous characters, and truly brings this story to life. Her writing is a talent that you cannot make up.

You will be rooting for them as both individuals and a community.

I look forward to the next book in her “Rosemont Series”, and I am recommending this book to all of my family and friends that read.

5 Stars.

#AuthorSpotlight ~ Barbara Hinske

Barbara HinskeThis week we will be meeting Barbara Hinske! Her Interview and Giveaway will be posted on Friday! I will introduce you to all of her books, as well as my review of “Coming to Rosemont”!!!

Be sure to check back every day for new and exciting information!

Author Bio:

Barbara Hinske is a BookBub Bestselling Author. She is an attorney by day; novelist by night. Barb inherited the writing gene from her father who wrote mysteries when he retired and told her a story every night of her childhood. She and her husband share their own Rosemont with two adorable and spoiled dogs. The old house keeps her husband busy with repair projects and her happily decorating, entertaining, cooking, and gardening. Together they have four grown children.

#BookReview: “Plan Bea” by Hilary Grossman

Plan BeaSummary:

Could falling in love allow a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman to open her heart back up to her family?

Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She has no relationship with her grandchildren and the only time she speaks to her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes and impressing the ladies at her country club.

We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?

On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, and an amazing job. The only thing missing is her mother’s love. When Bea begs her daughter to help plan her wedding, Annabel reluctantly agrees. Little does she know the impact of her decision or the surprise that is in store for her!

This emotional and honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

Review:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

AWESOME!! AWESOME! AWESOME! I read this in one sitting, and the ending was perfection!

Hilary Grossman wrote a story that will touch your heart. She hit the nail on the head regarding Mother and Daughter relationships that need healing.

I was so very absorbed in this story, that I stayed up late just to find out what was going to happen to this family. Annabel and Bea had a turbulent relationship, rocked by family secrets that will either make or break them. Annabel would hold on to her mother in the hopes of her loving her, even after many years of feeling second rate. Her husband, Cole tells her to give up…. but, she won’t.

The question is…will the wait pay off, or is Cole right?

I loved that this story may have been shorter in pages, but still chuck full of a wonderful story!!

(I will be getting this book for some of my friends)

5 Stars

dangled carat smaller

PS…..I will be reading her other book “Dangled Carat”, ASAP!! I am thinking it will be as awesome as this book..

I want to be her fan before she has written all of her books! Hilary Grossman is an author to follow!!

#BookReview & #Excerpt ~ “What the Heart Remembers” by Bette Lee Crosby

What the heart remembersSummary:

TWO LOVERS. ONE CHANCE AT HAPPINESS….When Max Martinelli returns to Paris in search of her lost love, what she finds will change her life forever.
For three years the memory of Julien Marceau has haunted Max. Her life is stuck on hold simply because she can’t stop wondering what would have happened if she had gone back. Was Julien simply part of the magic of Paris? Or was he meant to be her destiny?
After a New Year’s Eve party that ends in disaster, Max decides to find out once and for all. She is going to return to Paris and search for Julien. But will her search bring forever after happiness or a truth so ugly it will change her life forever?
What the Heart Remembers is Book 3 in the Award-Winning Memory House Series

Excerpt:

Before I left Wyattsville Annie told me that after her mother died she kept going back to the places they’d gone together. The same restaurant, the same beauty parlor. She even went crosstown to the same library. She claims doing that was a big mistake. It was never the same, according to Annie, and going back spoiled her good memories. She said when you’re happy and having a good time you can’t see the imperfections of a place, but if you go back and look at it with a critical eye trying to figure out what it was that you enjoyed so much you’ll discover it’s nothing like you remembered. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe she isn’t right.

Review:

This is the Book 3 in the “Memory House Series”, and once again, I was enamored.

Bette Lee Crosby’s writing is just so beautiful.  Especially when writing about Paris in this story. I felt like I was given a guided tour of the city!! When she writes about her character’s thoughts, you feel as though you are in their head. She paints a very vivid picture, and it is truly magical.

Annie and Ophelia are still a huge part of this story, but the main character in this book is Maxine (Max) Martinelli. She has been Annie’s best friend for about one year now. Their connection is powerful.

It was a year of love; the best love Max has ever known. She will not be able to move on in her life until she finds Julien, and gets answers. She met him in Paris, where she spent her junior year of college, studying abroad.

It has been three years since she has seen him, but he is ingrained in her heart and mind so deeply, that her life is limited. As if he is going to show up at her doorstep one day.

As Bette wrote in this book, “What the heart remembers isn’t always a true picture of what was”!! I could not wait to find out what the true picture was…

A return trip to Paris is definitely in order! She is determined to find out why Julien had never joined her to the United States as he had promised her. She believes with all of her heart that whatever happened, it was not because he simply chose not to join her.

Will she find Julien? Will their love be restored? Or, will she regret this trip forever? Going against everyone’s advice, she heads for Paris.

If you have a lost love…. you do not want to miss this book. If you want to travel from your couch, you do not want to miss this book.

If you love a great story, I highly recommend “What the Heart Remembers” by Bette Lee Crosby.

You do not want to miss this book.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Lei Crime Series: Esther’s Gift (Kindle Worlds Novella) by Bette Lee Crosby

Esthers GiftsSummary:

In the days before hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai the forecasters predicted it would stay south of Hilo. But Esther Ka’awai, a psychic and gifted wise woman of the ancient culture has seen the future. She knows of the devastation that will come to the island. She has warned those she loves; now all she can do is pray.

As she struggles to accept this gift of knowing, Esther discovers that even the most wonderful gift can sometimes break your heart.

A story of love, faith and a belief in the future.

Review:

Once again, Bette Lee Crosby delivers a story that will grab you on the first page.

Esther has the gift of knowing things before they happen, like the hurricane coming to the island she lived on in Hawaii.

She meets a man named John who came to Hawaii after purchasing a local Resort. He meets Esther, and their lives are changed forever.

This book will prove that even though things fall apart…they can be rebuilt. Both your home and heart can come alive again where you thought it wouldn’t.

Bette Lee Crosby is by far one of the most talented writers I know. I admire her. For 2016, I plan to read the rest of her books!

Her words are always a “lyrical dance”.

5 Stars

#BookReview: “Faithfully Yours” by Peggy Frezon

Faithfully YoursWith inspiring stories of devotion, protection, healing, compassion, and faith, Faithfully Yours explores why we love animals so much. You will meet:

• A schnauzer that rescued his owner after a devastating lighting strike.
• A 40-foot whale that shocked her rescuers when she helped to save a baby whale trapped in a fishing net.
• A miniature horse that guides a blind teacher.
• A cat that comforts stressed-out college students. As well as people who love animals in extraordinary ways:
• The dog trainer who transformed an unwanted shelter dog into a Broadway star.
• The man who became a voice for the humane treatment of farm animals.
• The woman who gave up everything to help street dogs and, in turn, learned lessons of trust and love.
Faithfully Yours will warm your heart and enhance your appreciation of God’s wonderful creation. For anyone who’s ever loved, and known the love of, a special animal.

Review:

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was original in that I have never read a book about the relationships between animals and humans. Or, between the animal kingdom.  And, this book was simply beautiful. The prose was very engaging.

I really enjoyed every single story.  It was nice, because you could choose to read a small chapter each night…but, I read it fast because I did not want to put it down. I loved reading about all of the bonds, it was very captivating.

When I finished reading it, I put the book down and went to spend time with my beloved dog and cats.  Our bond is amazing, and this story was a beautiful reminder!

And, started a list of who to buy this book for! I loved the poetry, and the prayers and bible verses woven in to this book. If anyone has a pet, or has ever had one…READ THIS! This book is also a great gift for any of the animal lovers in your life.

5 Stars.

#MADETHEBACKCOVERS: My quotes on the Back Cover of Colette Kebell’s books!!

This is a huge perk of being a Book Reviewer!!

To get noticed in a sea of reviewers is amazing.  I actually have some of my quotes on the back cover of Colette Kebell’s books!! I DID IT!!

Colette Kebell has used some quotes from the reviews I wrote of her two books, and I have to say that I had a huge sense of pride when I saw them in person…

Needless to say, I think many readers would enjoy GiGi’s stories!!

You can read my quote for “Blue and Green should never be seen! (or so Mother says) right here:

Blue and GreenFullSizeRender

And, check out “The Retail Therapist” here:

The Retail TherapistIMG_9527