Book Review: FREE DOWNLOAD 4.5 stars! Steps To Find Health, Wealth & Inner Peace by Francis O’Neil @FrancisEONeill @SomeInspired

Review Free Download

About The Book:

This self-help guide will give you all the information and tools you need to get all fired-up and get healthier, wealthier and find inner peace – indeed make a success of your life in mind, body and spirit.

Steps… offers valuable insight into getting your body healthy and staying healthy. It contains essential principles, tips and advice on changing your life – through the use of self-hypnosis and creative visualisation. It offers a beginners guide to meditation and Buddhist steps to a better spiritual life.

Steps… is a compact gem of a book and does what it says on the cover.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Read in one sitting, sixty eight pages of delight. I must say most of this was like reinforcement for me of what I know already, but almost needed to remind myself of. As a free download this is a great book for anyone and everyone especially, as we enter a new year. I’m glad I stumbled across it as a recommendation ,and would not have been disappointed if I paid full price. I would recommend it to anyone seeking positive vibes, love and light in their life. Not much else to say! grab a free download and get ready for 2018! Free to download on Amazon, or you can get three e-books free directly from the Author’s site here http://someinspiration.com/si-christmasbookbundle/

Making 2018 Our Bitch #writers #poem

Having been an independent and traditionally published author I have to say I enjoy doing things my way!! Great poem Didi!!

Didi Oviatt

To the Independent writers who charge each New Year,

With a fresh boost of confidence overpowering the cheer.

We lower our brows and draw conscious breath,

There’s no room for stagnancy we’ll write till the death.

The independent road’s rough, it’s yet to be paved, 

We hustle and work to make our own way.

Our bodies know nothing of rest or of sleep,

Our brains are too busy to let in the weak.

 Sometimes we’re distracted and sometimes we get weird,

Our projects have tendency to be permanently seared.

Our characters take over our personalities and minds,

We can never escape them its all part of the grind.

As the New Year approaches so does that itch,

And the confidence is cranked to make 2018 our BITCH!!

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Happy writing, Indi-warriors!! The New Year is approaching and I can’t wait to see what it brings!! I know I have big plans…

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T’is The Eve Before New Years Eve: Thank You Every Follower, Reader, Voter, Book Reviewer. Here’s What’s Next In 2018! #gratitude #amwriting #newyearseve

 

So it’s the eve before New Years Eve (for me in my part of the world). I have no idea what I want to write, all I know is I want to say thank you. I’ll just write what comes to mind to you all. This time of year I always get so reflective (even more than I normally am as a person),  I look back and think what have I learned, gained, lost, survived etc. But most of all I always ask myself what I am grateful for? The answer to this is you! Yes, you reading this, you make my list of gratitude.

I started blogging in 2016, just before my first novel A Stranger In France was about to be released. I did it just on a whim as I read ‘ that’s what authors do’ I had no clue what I was doing, but I started to have a lot of fun, I have connected with so many great people that I would not have, if it were not for WordPress. Over the past year and a bit my blog has grown, I’ve grown as a person, writer, mother and I want to thank:

  • Anyone who reads this.
  • Every Twitter, FB and blog follower.
  • Anyone who has liked or shared my rambles and posts.
  • Everyone who has read and reviewed anything I’ve wrote.
  • Every one who has read or even taken an interest in my writing and stories.
  • Every single one of you who voted for me and my work in the summer ,when my novel was nominated for the award ‘ Best Romance 2017’ by Virtual Con Literary Awards. I can’t believe I was even nominated, let alone managed to claim that title!!
  • A personal big thank you to my writing buddy, co-author and girlfriend from afar place Suspense and Thriller author Didi Oviatt. Who I love to bits.
  • Every author I that has allowed me to interview them for Meet The Author features. It’s be an honour to feature you all.
  • I am not religious much more spiritual, but I do ‘believe’ if that makes sense in some kind of universe power and higher being, that guides and protects us. I want to say thank you universe, for giving me such a challenging but rewarding year in 2017. And lining up things so that as of next year I can spend more  of my time doing what I love writing!!
  • I want to thank my mum. She is the most strongest, kindest, and  most understanding and supportive being I know. I’m the daughter of an immigrant,she  left the Caribbean  then came to the UK with nothing! But has shown me exactly what you can achieve with hard work. Even when your back is up against the wall and the shit has more than hit the fan. Thanks Mum.
  • I want to thank my four year old boy. 🙂 ahhh! That boy, he makes me smile so much. He has changed my life so much for the better. I can’t even imagine life without him he is my #1 thing I am grateful for, up there with my health.

So, that’s the end of 2017…. I can’t say I’m sorry to say good bye to it, it has been a very challenging year for me personally, but fantastic for writing. All though personally I don’t think I was as productive as I would have liked to have been. But like I said on the eve of New Years Eve, I look back and would not change it. I’m pumped up for 2018……. so what’s next.

  1. Finish  writing volume #2 of The Suspenseful Collection for January release.
  2. Go back and finish writing ‘ Once Bitten, Twice Shy’ book #3 of my Romance Set In Paradise series. Hopefully release this the end of February 2018. Try to write one or two more short stories for my Romance in The City series. First book released this month! First two chapters uploaded as a preview.
  3. Go back and finish writing my full thriller novel. I have named it but I’m not gonna share it in case I change it last moment. I say this because I started writing this thriller before I wrote A Stranger in France about three- four  years ago. I’ve chopped it, re wrote it, chopped it, switched it up tooooooooooo many times to be happy. Now I think I am happy, with about seven chapters finally! I hope to be done with it by spring/ summer 2018. Stay tuned. 🙂
  4.  I’ll let the cat out of the bag on this one, Didi and I already have volume #3 of the Suspenseful Collection outlined…. an all female line up! The kind of women?? I won’t share that as yet… stay tuned!! This one is going to be amazing to write with her.

2018 looks set to be a year of ‘ The Productive Writer’ I’m happy to say!

In advance,

Happy New Year each and every one of you. May 2018 be full of blessings, prosperity, goal achieving, happiness and good health. Thank you for your support in 2017.

Thank You

My top shares from Bloggers, top views from my FB Book Page and fav reading choices May, June, July, August

Thank you Susan for nominating mine and Didi’s volume #1 of suspenseful tales as a top read for August 2017. Made my morning, what a way to start the day. I guess Didi is asleep across the Atlantic she’ll wake up to a lovely surprise! Volume #2 released January 2018, we hope you enjoy it also.

BOOKS FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

This is my second day of three for my top books for 2017. There are so many brilliant books that I have read this year actually 336 of them. which can be found on my BLOG or on my GOODREADS CHALLENGE. I would love to share some of the most popular with you. My blog has grown over the year so I thought that this was the fairest way to judge.

I have split the year into 3 so each day there will be 3 posts for each month over 3 days to cover the year:

Book with most likes that month from Bloggers

Book with highest views that month on my FB Book Page

My favourite read of the month.

MAY

THE SUICIDE PLAN by Emma Clapperton

Shared by Bloggers 54 times

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The Suicide Plan by Emma Clapperton #Bloghounds #Blog Tour @EmmaLClapperton @BloodhoundBook

GUILTY INNOCENCE by Maggie James

The…

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2018 Blogging & Reading Challenge Sign Up: 20 books, What A Year It Will Be! #amreading #books #bookworm

blogger shame challenge.jpg

 

Good morning,

I’m still up reading at past 1am. I just received an email from Herding Cats about a reading challenge ‘the blogger’s shame’. Bloggers who are book lovers receive LOADS of author review copy books (ARC) that we don’t always get to read, the pile grows. Over at Herding Cats they are pushing us bookworms to whip through the ‘to be read’ pile in 2018, with a cool blog challenge. I thought why not? Sounds like a great challenge, and blog hop. I will continue to do read and reviews for Enchanted Book Promotions and Net Galley. I’ve gone through my TBR on my Kindle, ARC emailed books,  and Netgallery here is a list of books  to read for 2018, no excuses. Take a peek if you’re an author maybe you’re there! If you have sent me an ARC of your book and it’s not here contact me here I don’t want to miss it. If you’re a book lover head over to Herding Cats see what this is all about, sign up.

I hope to complete this list. I know I will get side tracked with other great books that come up, but the intention is to read them all. 🙂 #bookworm

  1. Snatch Girl- LJ Kane, thriller ( reading this now)- FINISHED 12.1.18 reviewed here.
  2. Alpha Male- AC Melody, paranormal romance
  3. Reunited- Tammy Tate, romance
  4. Kiss & Tell and Dead Man’s Hand- Luke Murphy, thriller
  5. The Professor & The Bird – R. Franklin, romance.
  6. Pearls of The Past, M Rajakumi, fiction, contemporary.
  7. Search For Maylee- Didi Oviatt, thriller, mystery
  8. When Black Boys Are Left Alone- K. Harry, African- American.
  9. Claimed by Vampires, Seduced by Werewolf- Krissi Fortune, paranormal/ fantasy
  10. Pure Hollywood- C Schutt, contemporary fiction/ short story anthology- FINISHED 13.1.18 reviewed here.
  11. Coffin Path- K Clemants, Mystery, crime.
  12. 19 Souls- JD Allen- Thriller, Mystery
  13. A Cold Day in Hell, L.M Redman, thriller mystery
  14. Riders- Jilly Cooper Erotica, romance ( 900 pages!! I stopped about 400 pages through such a fun old classic).
  15. Daddy’s Girl- Ben Burgess, African American fiction
  16. Love & Happiness – Ben Burgess, African American fiction
  17. Wounded- Ben Burgess, African American Fiction
  18. Alice In Wonderland- Lewis Caroll – The FRENCH version not in English 🙂 ( Just cos I feel like reading this book in French  to remain bi-lingual I’ll add it).
  19. Capital Crime- Lisa Wilson, crime fiction
  20. A Time To Kill- John Grisham, fiction ( I have had this on my shelf for too many years).

Update 30th December 2017… The list just keeps getting bigger!!

  1. Make that twenty one books! How can I forget Only One Women – Jane Ridson & Christina Jones!!
  2. Infatuation books #1 and #2 – Kandie Marie- Erotic Urban Novellas
  3. Be The Architect  Of Your Mind, Body And Soul- Lara Alexiou, mind, body soul genre.
  4. One Love-  Denna Cabinian, Fiction

Throwback Thursday x2! I love this Artist, Inspiration While Writing. @rihanna #throwback #music #dance

I love Rihanna no doubt about it. I have been inspired by her work as an artist on two occasions while writing, I’ve referenced her songs in my books. My four year old son (apparently) is in love with her, if a Rihanna song comes on he races to the radio or TV to dance. I first noticed his ‘love’ for the Caribbean beauty when he started to stare at her on the TV without a blink and smiling to himself. Then one day in the car I heard him sing ‘wild wild wild thoughts’ really clearly  I cracked up LOL.

This song here I’m throwing back is possibly the inspiration for the 2017 hit featuring Rhi Rhi. The beat is from the original beat of Santana’s ‘ Maria Maria’. I like the updated version which features Rihanna… and so does my four year old. How good does she look in this totally ‘wild’ outfit in the video?  It’s 1999 and 2017! Let’s dance and salsa if you can.

Wild Thoughts:

 

Santana Maria Maria – 1999

Throwback Thursday!: How David Bowie Influenced The World Of Hip Hop! #music #dance #hiphop @DavidBowieReal

This song came on the radio earlier this week, I could not help but… dance! And turn it up. It reminded me of the influence this song had on the world of hip hop, the rapper Puff Daddy, (or whatever he is calling himself these days) sampled David Bowie’s hypnotic beat in his song ‘been around the world.’ I’ve posted both videos so you can see the influence one artist gave the other.

When David Bowie passed away there was a massive tribute to him in south London, in a place I have wrote about many times called Brixton. I love that part of London so vibrant. So it’s 1983 y’all I was three months old when the original came out by David. And seventeen, just leaving school  in 1997 when Puff Daddy sampled the original. Both of these tracks make me wanna dance, I am a hip hop lover as much as an 80’s pop culture lover.

Let’s Dance! Put On Your Red Shoes And Dance It’s Throwback Thursday!

 

1983

 

1997

Hip Hop sample!

 

 

Book Review: Amy’s Christmas Casserole by Tammy Tate 5* @authortammytate @tammytateauthor #amreading #romance

Christmas CasseroleChristmas reading challenge off to a great start, one down,three to go! Thank you to the best selling romance author Tammy Tate for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review. First thing to say, I have read and enjoyed EVERY book I have been lucky enough to get my hands on by this author. It’s really easy to see why she’s a best selling romance author….. let’s get into the review.

About the book:

After being attacked in the parking lot of her San Antonio apartment complex, Amy fears all men. One day she stumbles upon Sawyer Creek. Using all her savings, she buys a small house and café and her Chicken Dorito Casserole becomes an all-time favorite among the community. After four years, the nightmares have stopped, but the panic attacks haven’t.

Christmas is four weeks off when the Sheriff calls saying a shovel hit the backdoor of her café, setting off the alarm. Vowing to never be a victim twice, she arms herself with the shovel only to learn that he’s been shot.

Can she help him despite her fear of men?

My Review: 5 Stars

Amy’s Christmas Casserole is a feel good love story set against the backdrop of Christmas. The plot has  a love triangle element, but not your average love triangle. This is what I really enjoyed about the book. Often, this author’s work features some kind of well thought out (or even suspenseful) conflict for characters. This is exactly what happens here. I don’t like spoilers so I’m staying mum about that whole plot however,the plot is gripping, I found myself wanting to know what Amy will do. To be honest, she did not do what I thought she would do! Faced with two yummy men I thought she would swing the other way. Amy  went with her heart and her Mr. Right, rather than ‘Mr. Right Now.’ This reading experience surprised me and was enjoyable to watch the drama play out.

Alright! Mr. Tall Dark and Handome himself…. this author has a ‘habit’ of creating male leads that do make me go ‘aww’ and sometimes laugh a girly to myself, in a good way. They are always swoon worthy, no exception here. The female lead, I did like her as a woman. I did understand her feelings given the past, she was well crafted.

Overall, I am a Tammy Tate fan ( like you can’t tell). Her stories are well crafted, often a bit steamy with the sex scenes in her longer books, and pack a punch with the plot even at novella length. Her writing style is fast paced and to the point, who else would say ‘women go bat-shit crazy about him’ LOL. Another great job done. Thank you Tammy, I look forward to the next one, 5 well deserved stars, keep spinning these great romance tales.

Here you  can see my review for other books of Tammy Tate’s. My favouite is The Homecoming. A really fast paced paranormal romance novel… steamy too! I’m waiting for the second part of the trilogy to be published! Hurry up!!

 

Meet The Author Christmas Special + Excerpts Fantasy Author Charles. E Yallowitz @cyallowitz #amreading #fantasy

 It’s Christmas day! And of course being the 25th it’s time for Meet The Author. This month I have a fantasy author. I have so much respect for authors in fantasy/ paranormal / sci-fi genres. The talent needed to create a ‘new world’,  is a whole new level of creativity.  Let’s get to know Charles’ style….

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Nice to meet you too and thank you for having me.  I’m from Long Island, New York, which is that long pronged piece of land you see at the bottom of the state.  People say it looks like a fish, but I think it’s more like an alligator with its mouth open.

Besides writing, I do low key stuff like reading manga, watching anime, and cooking the dinners around here.  The reason is because I’m also the stay-at-home parent, so when I’m not writing, I’m wrangling with an 8-year-old.  We read together, play with Legos, and just have fun once his homework is done.  I find that most of my non-writing hobbies revolve around doing stuff with my son these days because I like sharing what I love to do with him. Oh, going to zoos, aquariums, and nature preserves are a big thing too.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

It’s been so long that I can barely remember.  Way back in 2nd grade, we had work stations that we rotated through during the week.  One was a writing station and I figured out how to make books.  These were mostly about animals, my toys, or jokes.  They’re still in a satchel somewhere too, but this is where I fell in love with telling stories to others.  People were interested and I felt like they were happy.  I did hide under the table to keep writing after station time was done, which cost me that spot for a while.  The thing is that I didn’t think of this as more than a hobby until high school.  I’d read ‘The Books of Lost Swords’ by Fred Saberhagen and just felt like I could do that.  I was always dreaming up stories and adventures, so putting them to paper ended up being a natural transition.  Been doing it ever since and I grab inspiration from just about anything around me.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

Legends of Windemere is a fantasy adventure series that follows six young warriors who are destined to save the world of Windemere from an ancient evil that had been erased from history and mortal thought.  It begins with only one of them, Luke Callindor, stumbling into his first adventure and learning that he has a long way to go to be as successful as his famous ancestors.  From there, more heroes join and their true path is uncovered with each of the 15 volumes having its own adventure.  Much of the story also deals with how these characters grow knowing that they have to fight for the world and that their destiny only says they enter the battle.  There’s really no assurance that they’re going to win, which makes them repeatedly wonder if they are doing the right thing or should plan for the future.

As deep as that is, my series is primarily a fun action adventure with tons of magic, humor, and characters that I hope people connect to.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

It was fairly nerve-wracking at first, but having each book contain its own story helped out.  Most of the links are through the characters evolving and growing into what they need to be for the final battle.  I felt like the heroes and villains should be the ones to give the story a natural progression instead of forcing the connections.  Also, I do a lot of planning, so I had outlined all of the books beforehand.  I knew where I was going and would just alter stuff to accommodate any changes that happened when I was actually writing.  Keeping myself fluid in thought really helped make this project a lot easier to put together.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I’ve dabbled in a few other genres with various levels of success.  Long ago, I tried my hand at horror with a slasher/psychological story that I still published for some reason.  My second attempt has gone better and I’ve done three volumes of this story that I post on my blog throughout October.  It starts with a young man going to a mental health facility where strange things happen and then goes from there.  It’s hard to explain without doing the big spoiler of the first book.

I also have a dystopian action comedy series that I have a lot of fun writing.  The United States has been cut off from the rest of the world by walls on the borders and an international navy.  Soon after that, someone nuked D.C. and everything fell apart to create the Shattered States. The series follows a young woman named Cassidy who is traveling with a serial killer who she let out of prisoner to help her travel from NYC to San Francisco.  Her mom was killed after a decade of protecting her and she promised to toss her ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge.  I like playing in this world because I get to cut loose with the language, violence, and everything else since it’s an R-Rated story.  My fantasy tends to be more PG-13, so the Bedlam Series is a great release of both stress and imagination.  Especially since I can make so many odd villains in a world like this.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

This might sound strange, but I would say when Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero got onto the Top 100 lists soon after it debuted.  I had no idea what I was doing in terms of marketing and blogging.  I didn’t even know about blog tours and hadn’t touched Twitter at this point.  To this day, I’m not sure what I did right, but it gave me a great foundation to keep going forward and push through a lot of obstacles.  Is it right to be proud of a moment that could have just been dumb luck?

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Never because of what I was writing, but I have a touchy relationship with technology.  For example, my new laptop needed to go back to the manufacturer twice for repairs before I had it for 6 months.  Problems with the sound system.  I’ve had hard drives crash because of Windows updates, printers burst into flames, and full system wipes without any warning.  Those usually lead to me wanting to Frisbee through my laptop off the roof.

Kim: haha ‘ through the roof.’ 

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

I’m such a plotter that I plot about plotting.  I usually start a project with a story blurb to get the general idea and then I make character bios.  These help me establish subplots and basic evolutions.  Then I do a chapter by chapter outline that simply tells me the goal of each section.  It helps me because I live in a house where distractions are common, so having this to work off of means I can move in and out of a story with more ease.  Basically, it’s became a survival tactic because I’d get nowhere if I didn’t do a lot of legwork beforehand.

Kim: you sound a lot like me, I do bios and chapter outlines too! Help rid any plot gaps.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

Commas are an odd thing, but I remember an English teacher once sat me down to explain them.  The reason was because I never used them beyond lists and when mentioning who you’re talking to in dialogue.  What I was told is that you put a comma when you hit a point where you would naturally pause if saying the sentence out loud.  Even with this rule, I miss some because people talk at different cadences.  It’s funny too because I’ve been accused of not having enough and using too many.  Now, if we’re talking semi-colons, that’s where I run away screaming.

Kim: Lawrd, I understand all of that. I was taught the same rule and try to follow it. I’ve learned people breathe and pause at different speeds, so my commas are always moved around by my editor.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

  1. Write what you love because that love will come through your words.
  2. You are the only who makes the final call. Ask for advice if you’re stuck, but don’t think you have to take it because only you know the story in your head.
  3. Not matter what you think, you can improve your skills. Just like your characters, you are always evolving and developing until the end of your adventure.

Kim: good advice there I like all that.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Well, I just released Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age, which is the final book of the series.  So, I’m kind of feeling a little lost since I started working on it in 1998. I already finished the first book of my next series, which is War of Nyte.  This looks into the rise of the Dawn Fangs, which are a new breed of vampires in Windemere with magical powers and the ability to walk in daylight.  I’ll probably tackle the next one because I like keeping my writing ahead of my publishing.

All that being said, my next release will be the 3rd volume of my Bedlam Series.  I typically do that in February.

So… where can we get your books?

All of my books are available on Amazon for Kindle.  You can check them out on my author page HERE.  (After all these years, I still feel weird doing blatant self-promotions.)

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

This is a really tough question because most people think it’s financial and they’re very quick to tell me this opinion.  Personally, I think success is when you publish your book and people read it.  Hearing that somebody loved one of my characters or stayed up late with my stories feels like a better victory than making a fortune.  As far as saying I’ve made it, I don’t know if I’ll ever fully believe I have.  There always seems to be a new level to reach for whether it be in style or career.

Kim: I think I agree with a lot of that. Financial is good, but nothing beats making a connection with readers who really enjoy your work.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I love this question because ego is seen as a negative so often.  Yet, we need at least some to help us move through the slings and arrows that come with being a published author.  I think a big ego can protect an author from the cruel comments and help them push forward with their own vision.  Yet, it’s also dangerous because letting it call every shot means you ignore good advice.  It’s like wielding a very large sword.  It can help you in battle, but only if you maintain control.

Kim: what a comparison 🙂 swords and egos!

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

With my fantasy stories, I don’t do much research beforehand because I created the world.  Much of my research was done back in college when I designed the basics.  Many of my monsters are made on the spot and I’ll look up certain weapons when I need them.  A lot of times I have to go back to my own notes, which could count as research.  Now that I think about it, I probably spend more time on names than anything else. This is the opposite of my dystopian series because I work within Earth.

For Bedlam, I’ve had to research all manner of modern weapons and check to see how far from reality I’m going with certain ideas.  The big thing for this series is planning the characters’ route because their adventures always involving traveling.  So, I spend a day or two looking up towns within the states that they’re passing through.  I love finding small ones with a quirk that I can build into a strange culture like a town that worships peanuts or one that is a strange mix of Egyptian and Norse.

What was your hardest scene to write?

For Warlord of the Forgotten Age, I had a hard time with the entire book because I was saying good-bye to the characters.  The toughest one has to be the final scene where closure is finally achieved.  Although, the overall series has one scene that I would put above the others.  I originally planned for a character to die a certain way in Ritual of the Lost Lamb, but it didn’t feel right until I went with my gut. The good is that it came out beautifully.  The bad is that I can’t even read that scene with crying.  Actually, I’m starting to tear up now because the visual is stuck in my head.

Kim: aww.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a lot of indie authors through my blog and we comment on each other’s ideas. We also help promote each other’s books when we have a new release.  Over the years, I’ve been very thankful to work with C.S. Boyack, John W. Howell, Nicholas Rossis, Olivia Stocum, Victoria Zigler, Sue Vincent, Don Massenzio, and the list will just keep going.  Honestly, people can come to my blog and check the comments to final plenty of authors.  There’s also the Rave Review Book Club where many indies can be found supporting each other.  I highly recommend it to people who are starting out and needing a positive foundation.

Kim: Rave Review sounds good, I’m on my way over…

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Starting at the initial planning stage, a full novel can take me 3-4 months to get the first draft.  This is on the high side because I’m factoring in school breaks, family gatherings, and weekends being busy here.  It’s basically 2-3 weeks to get the first stage done and plan a little of the future to get an idea of where I’m going.  1-2 months to write the first draft.  Then another 2-3 weeks to do a first edit.  One thing that helps is that I spent 10 years doing the some of the initial work for most of my 30+ ideas.  I use this stage as a break between projects too, so I’m always pushing ahead on some future project.

What would you like readers to know?

I write to entertain.  That’s my biggest goal when I tell a story.  To draw a reader into my world and take them on the adventure.  It’s one of the reasons why I’ve gravitated towards Present Tense 3rd Person style . . . and people go running for the exits.  This is something I have to be upfront about because it can be a jarring style since we’re all used to reading past tense. Probably should have started with this warning.

Kim: HIGH FIVE!!! In my genre present tense third person ( or even first) is so frowned at ( romance). Me being me, I did it, I still do it, and I’ll keep doing it if I’m feeling it for that story. * Kim sticks her tongue out.*  There are no rules! Just your own. I love present tense third person for the exact same reason you do…. the journey. It also comes more naturally to me when I write. I love first person as well, a fast paced thriller/ crime story just works so much better this way sometimes, get up close and personal with the villains. * Kim sticks her tongue out again.*

What music do you like?

Various types of Rock n Roll and metal.  Sort of orchestral if you count the video game music I listen to like Final Fantasy themes.  Honestly, it’s a little hard to think beyond my first answer because Pandora is playing Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and my dad is giving me strange looks whenever I start singing.

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I haven’t done a lot of traveling, so there’s a long list.  I’d really like to see Greece one day because I’ve had an interest in Greek mythology.  Many of my Windemere deities were based around how those gods and goddesses acted.  I’ve heard it’s a beautiful country too.  Australia comes in a close second, but I have a really big fear of spiders and anything poisonous.  Maybe I should just try for New Zealand and wave at Australia.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

I start every character off with a flaw like a temper, reckless behaviour, a phobia, etc.  This isn’t for them to get over it though because some flaws stick with you for life.  They can be reduced, but I like having these key points rear up in certain situations.  A reason for this is because I don’t think characters should only rise when developing.  Real life is like a rollercoasters with ups and downs, so it should be the same for fictional heroes.  They have losses and victories, which give them a natural evolution.  As much as I plan where I want them to go, it’s the spontaneous reactions when I’m writing that really develop my heroes and villains.  So, it seems the answer here is with a little guidance and then by the seat of my pants.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?
As much as I would love to say Luke Callindor because he started it all, I have to go with Nyx.  This is a female caster who debuted in Prodigy of Rainbow Tower and has the power to lay waste to a small army.  She started off with a nasty temper, but has softened over the course of the series.  At times, it feels like the books are all about her development because she’s different from the other champions.  Unlike the rest, Nyx was raised knowing she would be going into the battle, so this destiny is all she’s known.  There’s a vulnerability to the character because she’s scared of thinking about a life without this ancient evil looming over her, which is something she’s never done before.  It doesn’t matter that she can hurl powerful spells and is a character who will take a beating and get up to keep fighting.  This human aspect of Nyx makes all of that secondary and rather appealing to most of the readers.  It’s made her a joy to write and I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to make a character like her again.

Thinking about it, she’s probably the one I had the hardest time saying good-bye to at the end.

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

First, I wouldn’t have tried to take everyone’s advice on how to write.  This cost me a few years because I had turned my first book into a hodgepodge of styles and concepts.  Took me a while to fix it after I learned that I had to follow my gut.  Second, I would have started in on self-publishing earlier.  It’s hindsight now, but I feel like I spent too many years submitting queries and manuscripts.  Fear was definitely the reason I didn’t jump at the chance when it started, so I kick myself for stepping up rather late in the game.  Third, I’d not take negative reviews too personally.  They happen and it’s best to move on even if you’re getting private messages about them.  You can’t please everyone and even a friendly debate with someone who didn’t like your book can lead to a mess that takes time away from writing.

Kim: *salute* great learning curve.

Pick one: a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Longevity every time.  Bestselling author is nice, but I’d rather win at the long game than the short one.  That means I can keep writing, which is what I need to do make this a lifelong career.  After all, what’s the point of an award or title if that’s where your progress stops?

Kim: Amen to that. An award or crafting a  best seller is just the starting point, and all the confidence you need to just keep doing your thing= writing. I totally agree longevity is the route.

Thank you so much for your time today, it has been a pleasure to meet you and hear your view point on a lot of things Charles.

 Connect With Charles Here Social Media Links

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter: @cyallowitz

Facebook: Charles Yallowitz

Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

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Excerpt: Luke’s Awakening

 

With a groan, Sari’s eyes flutter open and she bats at the beams of light that are striking her face. Rolling off the small couch, the gypsy lets her enchanted boots glide her to the floor where she remains for a few minutes. Ivy dangles from the ceiling, which she is sure had been bare when she passed out last night. Slipping off her boots, she enjoys the cool stone on her sweaty feet and lets the sensation ease her tense muscles. Holding up her arm, Sari can see that her dress is getting worn around the seams, the garment being the only thing she has worn for the last four days. The urge to change or take a bath still eludes her, so she pulls out a bottle of perfume to hide the smell that she is beginning to notice. Sitting up, the gypsy takes in the sight of the well-furnished bedroom and enjoys the strong breeze coming through an open window. Claiming a half-eaten cookie as her breakfast, the blue-haired woman flips to her feet and turns to face the canopied bed that she has refused to stray far from.

The food falls out of her mouth when Sari sees that Luke is sitting up, the blonde-haired forest tracker staring ahead like a zombie. Light bounces off the gold flecks in his chocolate brown eyes, but the glistening orbs hold very few signs of awareness. It is only when he reaches up to touch the pink scar crossing his torso that the gypsy finally accepts that she is not dreaming. Moving slowly across the room, Sari keeps her attention on Luke as if he is a wild animal that can be startled at any moment. Reaching a pile of pillows, she nudges an exposed arm with her foot in an attempt to wake her companion. All she receives is a whimpering moan and a gentle slap to her heel from the bronze-skinned limb.

“Luke is awake, Grasdon,” Sari whispers at where she thinks her friend’s head is. Sitting on the pile, the gypsy locks her body to prevent Kira from rushing to the bed. “Don’t make any sudden movements. He’s sitting up and staring at something. Not much blinking and no sign that he knows I’m here. I’m as excited as you are, but we need to be smart. Yola could have put a spell on him or maybe he’s possessed by a ghost.”

“Get your butt off my face, gypsy,” Kira angrily growls before pinching her companion in the thigh. Freeing herself from the immovable woman, the heiress crawls to a basin where she hastily washes her face and hair. “Hand me a clean towel and turn away because I’m changing out of my travel clothes. Luke woke up an hour after you fell asleep. Sorry I didn’t tell you, but it was . . . All he did was cry until he just stopped. No build up or slow down. He simply started weeping and it cut off abruptly. That’s why I buried myself under the pillows because I can’t see him like this.”

“You didn’t try to get a reaction from him?” the gypsy asks, stealing some of the basin water to clean herself. Caring very little about privacy, she changes into a clean shirt and new layered skirt while liquid tendrils run along her skin. “I know Dariana told us to be careful, but we can’t leave him like this. One of us has to be able to get through to him. I mean, he’s obviously awake, right?”

Book Review: Framed – Black Swan Investigation ( thriller / Crime Fiction) by Wayne Kerr 3*

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Title: Framed – A Black Swann Investigation

Author: Wayne Kerr

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

Toronto’s newest homicide detective, Reggie Swann, seemed to have it all: great career, handsome husband and plans to start a family, until she was framed for murder…

A cop has very few friends in prison.  After surviving ten brutal years behind bars, Reggie’s conviction is finally overturned thanks to her tenacious mother, a new forensic test and a very clever lawyer. She quickly discovers that getting her old life back won’t be as easy as she hoped. To many, she was still as the media had dubbed her: ‘Black Swann – murderer and cop-gone-bad’. The Toronto Police Department still considers her to be a suspect, Reggie’s husband has remarried and the real killer is still on the loose.

Before Reggie can return to Toronto and solve the crime that ruined her life, she reluctantly agrees to investigate a murder in her home town of Penticton, only to discover the two cases which are separated by ten years and five provinces might somehow be connected. Will anyone believe the wild theories of the disgraced detective?

The real murderer does. He framed her once, this time Reggie Swann must die!

My Review : 3 Stars

Thank you to Enchanted Book Promotions for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review. I am sorry this is a little late… I had a deadline to meet! Forgive me.

Ooohh kay, the first thing to say is this novel of almost 200 pages is well written, in the sense that it is impeccable with the editing, great job. The second thing to say is the plot outline is a great one. It moves at a good pace also.

There are readers out there who will love this book to a five star rating, this is just my personal reading experience. What I did find (as a reader) was the plot had been wrote so simply and straight forward.  We learn who the villain is before the victim and watch his actions play out, while the victim is unaware. Great I love this and this storytelling never fails to grip me! And a real chance to take readers on a journey and ride. In this case,  for me it is so straight forward in the storytelling, everything falls into place neatly.

The characters, I had a bit of confusion with the villain. It took me a while to work out that he is Schizophrenic and has two personalities. The villain ‘who dun it’ and the normal him were hard to separate as two people. For me this was because all I learned through the victim’s POV was ‘ his eyebrows changed shape/shoulders slump forward,’ to define which personality was present in dialogue.  I guess what I’m saying ( in a respectful way) is the villain for me as a reader was not crazy enough, considering the volume of crimes that he carried out. How he came across (to me as a reader) was straight forward, not mentally ill- like really sick considering what he was doing.

I also found that how the author tried to tell readers a character’s ethnicity a little hard to swallow. Reggie has a conversation with a lady who is African- American I read  ‘ we are so different in every way, I looked into her brown African eyes’…  Okay, anyone, of any race can have brown eyes. An African- American person’s eyes are just as brown as the next person’s regardless of the next person’s race, they are not ‘African’  eyes they are brown, just like the next person. There are so many other ways to show, rather than tell a person’s ethnicity in description than just ‘ African eyes’. I read this right in the last chapter.

Overall, I’m giving Framed- Black Swan Investigations 3 stars, as for me as a reader it was okay, moved along well, but simple with a simple villain carrying out very vicious crimes. I respect the authors attempt at being diverse with characters of  a different ethnicity…. but African – Americans are not defined by  ‘African eyes’ , just like a Chinese /Asian person is not defined by ‘Chinese eyes’ they are brown eyes just like anyone else. Work needs to be done on how character’s of different races are represented in this author’s work. Overall, three stars.

Author Bio

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Canadian author, Wayne Kerr, was born and raised in the small town of Biggar, Saskatchewan (New York is big, but this is Biggar).  He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, thirty-nine years ago and has lived happily ever since.  They resided in the United States for the past twenty years, but recently returned to Canada and now call the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia home.  The writer honed his story-telling skills while keeping his five younger siblings and later his daughter entertained during long cold winters.  When not reading or writing thrillers, Wayne is probably hiking, biking or playing tennis.

For more information on the author and his books please visit: waynekerrnovels.com or follow him on twitter: @waynekerrnovels

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