Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Danielle M. Orsino – Fantasy

Author name: Danielle M. Orsino

Please tell us about your publications/work.

A fantasy epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and rebirth — Birth of Fae: Locked Out of Heaven. The book was born from my time working as a nurse and treating a patient who needed some distraction during long I.V. treatment sessions. I jump into the  realm of angels, fairies, dragons and mermaids retelling their origins from a new perspective .

How did you become involved with bundles? (For Bundle Authors)

Stephanie Rabell  my PR rep.

Do you think the written word (or art) bring power and freedom? Yes it levels the playing field and gives people a voice.

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey? so much, there are scammers just waiting to pounce, don’t doubt yourself. The whole “if you write it they will come.” line doesn’t work. YOU have to work at it. The publishing world is a game like anything else and you need to learn it.   

What’s your greatest networking tip? Book clubs, and the bookstagram community are phenomenal be appreciative of them.

If you could have dinner with any literary character or author who would you choose, and what would you eat. Shannon Mayer or Laurel K. Hamilton. I have to know how Laurel writes her sex scenes and how Shannon can write so many different characters and tie her universe together she is truly prolific. A food old fashion Italian family style dinner.   

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I have done a lot of religious text research and looked at tons  of conspiracy theories for book four. So probably the shadow government stuff dealing with the supernatural was pretty weird.  

How influential is storytelling to our culture? It’s ingrained in our culture when you think about it, storytelling was our first real source of verbal entertainment.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Be yourself.

What’s the worst piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Change for your audience.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? A Fae. 

Which authors have influenced you the most? Ann Rice, Laurel K. Hamilton, for their fearlessness. Jim Henson and Walt Disney for their ways of showing how to craft a story.  

What is your writing space like? I handwrite all my books first so my space is anywhere. 

Tell us about your latest piece? I am editing book four, but we are getting ready to release Book two in which the Fae will see what happens when you can’t remember why you started a war and how it has affected their kin and their human worshippers. We will see the Fae in the end of Tudor England and the beginnings of Queen Mary the first.

What’s your next writing adventure? In book Four the Fae will be in the 21st century and I am currently editing book four and about 25 chapters into book five.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work? NO I think the more people who read the better, price and money should never be an obstacle,  reading is not a privilege it is a right that everyone has.    

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Depends. if the review is inaccurate and coming from a nasty place and the author feels they are being demeaned it is up to them same if it’s a touching review and they want to say thank you they should. 

How do you deal with bad reviews? I am working on dealing with the reviews. I negate the best and the worst, together. Each review has merit. The ones that bother me are when its clear the person has a bias because I am a female author. An example is the subject of romance; I have had reviews about people wanting more romance. I have said book one has no romance. But because I am a female author they feel I should have romance. The reviews are bad because it is someone else’s opinion about me as a female author and their assumption. The book does not really get a fair shot. I have also had a few people have issues with the religious subject matter so I have warned people of the religious undertones some are offended by that and the violence which once again coming from a woman colours their view and the book. The reviews usually say something like “the religious stuff doesn’t bother me but…” and they go one to pan the book. It is clear the religious subject matter was an issue or “The violence is not appropriate for YA readers.” but my book is not listed for YA, I had someone write “for a woman she is angry and violent.” I am a world-class martial artist of course I write great fight scenes! Those are the types of reviews which bother me but, I am learning to deal with them. Everyone in entitled to their opinion and I respect it.    

Sort these into order of importance:

Great characters

Good plot

Awesome world-building

Technically perfect

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling? I hope so, I think the big publishing machine has controlled and limited the voices long enough it is time for a change. 

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline? no I don’t think physical books are in decline but the way we shop is changing, the versatility of e-books can’t be denied. I think to each their own, I love the way a book feels in my hand and the magic of opening it. 

 Are indie/self published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I believe there is still a stigma and lack of validation that a big publisher did not “chose” you to publish so readers are still unsure to spend their hard earned money on you as an author which is unfair, many indie publishers have educated themselves on the ins and outs of the publishing world and do not want to be anchored to the contracts and want control of their works. 

What is your greatest success? Sitting down to write and having the guts to introduce my version of the Fae to the world.

How important is writing/art to you? it has become like air.

What are your hopes for the coming year? To have more readers enter into the Veil and perhaps forget their reality for a little while. The greatest joy for an author is to be someone’s tour guide into the world they have created.

Tell us a silly fact about yourself. I dressed up as Wonder Woman every year for the first 10 years of my life every Halloween. Then I went to see Lynda Carter perform a few years ago in concert and I dressed up as Wonder Woman because it was a few days before Halloween. Guess what I was the only one dressed up. 

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’? Wonder Woman I wrote essays about it

 

Links to book

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/birth-of-the-fae-danielle-marie-orsino/1136777080

https://bookshop.org/books/birth-of-the-fae-locked-out-of-heaven/9781734764505

https://www.amazon.com/Birth-Fae-Locked-out-Heaven/dp/173476452X

Book Spotlight – Missing in France #Crime #Mystery

 

Title:  Missing in France  (Book #4 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series)

Author:  Rita Lee Chapman

Genre:  Crime mystery

Main character description (short).

Anna Davies is the protagonist of this series.  She is curious, persevering and tenacious.

Synopsis:

When Mike accepts a two-year contract in France, Anna is delighted at the prospect of spending time in Paris and Marseille.  She doesn’t anticipate being drawn into yet another mystery, one which puts her own life in danger. 

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

Chapter One

The Chase

I could hear footsteps behind me as I ran down the cobblestone street.   It was narrow and dark and I knew I had to get to where there were some people.  My chasers were closer now, their footsteps echoing off the walls and I didn’t know if I could keep going for much longer.  My breathing was coming in heavy gasps and my chest was burning. At my age, I was not used to running.  Surely there were people around somewhere, it wasn’t very late.  I had to find help, or somewhere I could hide. 

Everything was closed; there didn’t seem to be anyone around.  I turned a corner and flew up a flight of steps to the next street, where I could see street lights throwing their welcoming light.  The men were not far behind.  I had no idea who these men were or why they were chasing me.  Did they want to kill me, or only to frighten me?  I didn’t know – but I wasn’t slowing down to find out.  I felt real fear enveloping me.  In fact, I was terrified.  I had to keep running.

I saw people lying in the street up ahead.  Why were they lying in the street?  Were they dead?   As I came closer, a few heads popped up, but nobody moved to stand up or to help me.  Why was no-one trying to help me?  They stared at me with eyes that didn’t see and turned away.  I ran past them, they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, help me. I kept running; down another cobbled alleyway, around another corner.  I had a stitch in my side now and I was gasping for breath.  How much longer could I outrun them?  

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

This book will appeal to readers who enjoy mysteries combined with travel and a touch of romance.  As a stand-alone book, it is not necessary to have read the previous three books in the series.

 

 

Links etc.

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WZ4KCN3/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X69SNJZ

Large Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X63F2BN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X63F2BN/

 

Website:  http://www.ritaleechapman.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rita.chapman

Character Interview – Clyde the Vampire #Fantasy

CHARACTER NAME:  Clyde

  • Tell us a little about yourself:

Let’s get the obvious out of the way.  I’m a vampire.  Not the kind you’re thinking of, but a species called a Dawn Fang.  In fact, I’m the first one due to this thing called the Great Cataclysm.  It washed over the world and turned my execution into a rebirth type of thing.  Now, I’m faster, stronger, and immune to the sun.  A few accidents later and I realized I could make more of my kind, which resulted in me creating a kingdom called Nytefall.  I’ve been leading the Dawn Fangs for a few decades now and it doesn’t get any easier.  Running a gang of vampiric thieves is one thing.  Now, I have to run a kingdom in the face of a civil war, sun-worshipping priests, hunters, usurpers, and all manner of enemies.  The worst part is that I can’t kill all of them if I want to prove to mortals that Dawn Fangs aren’t monsters.  Not that I haven’t considered it.

  • How did you end up in the situation you’re currently in?

The mess I’m in is rather complicated.  As far as I know, I haven’t done anything to anger this vampire hunter.  He calls himself Alastyre and keeps ripping the heads off vampires.  Swears he’s the one who’s going to kill.  Scary part is that he might not be wrong since he’s the strongest enemy I’ve ever faced.  Nobody else has managed to match my power and primal brutality like this guy.  So, I’m going to have to do something I haven’t done in over one hundred years.  I have to train and get stronger in order to stop this maniac from killing my people and destroying my kingdom.

  • Do you believe in monsters?

Of course.  I am one.  Don’t go thinking all monsters are heartless beasts that can only destroy.  Sure, that’s basically the definition, but that way of thinking is why Dawn Fangs are having trouble.  We are vampires, which makes us monsters.  Yet, we’re able to live like mortals, so we’re in the middle.  Personally, I think any species can be seen as a monster in certain situations.

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be?

I guess you could say that I do.  Hard to tell since I use illusions to trick people, especially in battle or when I’m stealing.  Guess you could say that my moral code depends on who I’m dealing with.  If I’m facing an honourable person then I’ll act the same.  Pit me against a jerk and I’ll do whatever it takes to either kill them or knock them down a few thousand pegs.  One constant rule I have is that you don’t draw children into your fights.  They can join when they grow up, but let them be kids before that time.

  • Would you kill for those you love?

I’ve proven that I would on several occasions.  Not only for the woman I love, but my friends too.  They’re my family and I’m going to protect them with this great power I’ve been given.  In return, they watch my back and make sure I don’t surrender to the monster in my soul.  Guess that desire to retain my humanity makes the whole killing for loved ones rather strange.  It makes sense if you’re a vampire.

  • Would you die for those you love?

Tough one here because you can only do this once.  It would have to be a very specific situation.  My sacrifice would need to result in my family being safe for the rest of their existence.  Otherwise, I’d get myself killed and they’d still be in danger, which means I made a mistake.

  • How do you define ‘heroism?’

Heroism is the ability to stand by your convictions and defend others.  It’s very easy to change your mind or abandon people to save your own skin.  In fact, I’d say most people do this once they’re challenged.  Those with heroism ignore their own survival instinct to make the world a better place.  Although, to be honest, I don’t have that much use for the mortal version of heroism.  For a vampire, it’s closer to having the ability to control your destructive tendencies for the good of your people.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset?

I would have to go with my illusions, which work off my cunning.  Sure, I can shatter mountains with my fists.  My Lord’s Rage allows me to get even stronger at the cost of my self-control.  Those work for slaughtering enemies and physical obstacles, but they can be undermined.  My illusions are much more difficult to get around and they create opportunities for my strength to be used.  I can create decoys, false attacks, or mask my true form to confuse my enemies.  That and it’s simply fun to mess with people.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell)?

This is the big question.  In fact, it’s the reason I’m on this ridiculous training quest while my friends are trapped with Alastyre.  I need to figure out my greatest weakness in order to overcome it.  After decades of never feeling threatened, I can’t imagine what it would be.  Could be overconfidence, but I’m trying really hard to stay humble while I rule a kingdom.  I really wonder why people can’t just show up and tell me the answer here.

  • Do you believe in god(s)?

Definitely.  I come from Windemere, which has active gods.  There’s a whole pantheon that lives on an island and watches the rest of us.  They have this rule against physically interfering in events because of past mistakes.  Actually, I recently had my first god encounter.  The guy was a jerk and I’d have punched his face in if I didn’t think he’d smite me.

  • Do you believe you will be successful in your quest?

Yes to both quests.  I believe I will find a way to become stronger and defeat Alastyre.  There’s no reason it wouldn’t happen since I always find a way to win.  I need to be patient and think hard about the problem.  That or beat up whatever’s in my path until they give me what I need.

My other quest is the big one.  I want to prove that Dawn Fangs can live amongst mortals without posing a danger.  This is possible since we can eat regular food and drink blood without killing.  The biggest hurdle is that we’re still vampires, so people see us as monsters.  Doesn’t help that we have a civil war going on between Nytefall and those who wish to stay in the shadows.  Once I get that cleared up, the big quest will be nothing more than a simple test of patience.

  • What do you think of your author/creator?

He’s got a pretty good imagination, but I have a major grievance.  It took the moron about 15 years to get to my series.  He pretended to be me in this imagination game for about a year, but then shelved me for nearly half of his life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m happy that he’s given me the spotlight, but I waited so long and I can see that my time isn’t going to be as long as that of his previous heroes.  We’re definitely going to have to chat once he goes to bed.

For the author:

Books in which this character appears:

War of Nytefall Series–  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KBFS2LK

  • Loyalty
  • Lost
  • Rivalry
  • Eradication
  • Ravenous
  • Savagery

Bio-

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After spending many years fiddling with his thoughts and notebooks, he decided that it was time to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house with only pizza and seltzer to sustain him, Charles brings you tales from the world of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and drawing you into a world of magic.

Social Media

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cyallowitz/

Links etc

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

The War of Nytefall – Savagery #Vampires #Fantasy #Adventure – Book Spotlight

Title:  War of Nytefall: Savagery

Author:  Charles E. Yallowitz

Genre:  Fantasy, Vampires, Action Adventure

Main character description (short):

In the magical world of Windemere, Clyde was your average vampire thief who ran a gang of criminals.  Then, the Great Cataclysm struck in the middle of his execution and transformed him into a new breed of monster.  Able to retain his strength in the sun and possessing a heartbeat, Clyde realized he could pass as mortal.  He also learned that he could turn old-world vampires into what would come to be known as Dawn Fangs.  For years, he has defended the hidden kingdom of Nytefall as he waits for the day vampires and mortals can coexist.  It doesn’t help that he really enjoys fighting and keeps looking for trouble.

Synopsis:

After years of defending Nytefall and the Dawn Fangs from all enemies, Clyde may have met his ultimate challenge.  Matching the destructive vampire in power and ferocity, Alastyre the hunter is the first to make him feel fear.  Before he knows what is happening, Clyde has been driven from his home while his friends remain trapped with this new threat.  His only hope is to find a way to become stronger and return to reclaim his kingdom.  Yet, how can a monster who splits mountains with a single blow become more powerful?

Brief Excerpt:

The instant the longbow clatters on the floor, Clyde and Alastyre vanish for a moment and reappear on opposite sides of the courtyard. The force from their failed strikes create matching blasts of air and they whirl around in unison to face each other once more. Another charge results in the combatants crashing together, the shockwave sending a circular wall of sand billowing away from them. Palms pressing against each other, they appear to be evenly matched until Clyde is struck by a swift headbutt. Having been caught by surprise, his back-leg bends and he loses the leverage that was preventing him from being forced away. With his knee on the ground, he is bent backwards and left open for another shot to the face. It is only by increasing his Lord’s Rage that he avoids falling and musters the strength to shove Alastyre to the side. He dislocates his wrists to free his hands from the hunter’s grip and creates four illusions of himself to gain time to heal. With his own body masked to blend into the nearest boulder, the Dawn Fang crouches in order to pounce on the first opportunity. Instead, he has to leap away when his enemy ignores the decoys and punches exactly where he is lurking.

“I’ve studied your tactics, so your tricks are pointless,” Alastyre says as he throws the cracked boulder over his shoulder.

“Guess I’ll have to take you seriously then,” the Dawn Fang retorts with a grin.

Why should readers buy this book?

The only reason to buy this book is because it’s a fun adventure.  I write to entertain with humour, exciting action scenes, and colourful characters.  Like my other books, War of Nytefall: Savagery is pure, relaxing escapism.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

 

Forbidden – Blog Tour and Giveaway – Fantasy Romance, Fairytale Retelling

Forbidden: A Red Riding Hood Retelling
by Adrienne Woods
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance
This is not The Little Red Riding Hood we grew up with.
Supernatural races—vampires, werewolves, witches, you name it—all exist.
Eighteen-year-old Rue Chaperon and her family belong to an elite hunting society, the S.H.A—Supernatural Hunting Association—and what the Chaperons hunt best are werewolves. When a new hunting group convinces the Chaperons to team up with them and try a different approach to hunting the supernatural by taking out the Alpha, it sounded like a great idea.
Taking out the Alpha meant they’d eradicate the entire race.
Piece of cake, right?
But nothing is ever easy when you’re a hunter.
A Little Red Riding Hood retelling with a spin that will make you believe not all fairytales were meant for children.
Adrienne is a USA Today Bestselling author.
She’s been in love with books all her life and knew at the age of 13 that she is going to be a writer one day.
That dream happened ten years ago and she started to pen her stories down on paper. Firebolt, her debut novel, was released 4 years after that, and she hasn’t stopped since.
Now she almost has 15 novels under her belt, and it doesn’t look like she is going to stop soon.
Go to her books to discover her series and those that still need to come.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon

Bounty – Blog Tour – Urban Fantasy

Bounty
by Bobbi Schemerhorn
Genre: Urban Fantasy
On a world called Olympia, a terrible disease plagues the race of gods. As rumors spread about the disappearance of the anomalias, many infected gods flee through portals from Olympia to other worlds, including Earth, hoping to avoid a similar fate.
When the disease infects Rion, a bounty hunter who once helped return anomalias to Olympia, he, too, seeks sanctuary on Earth. But Rion’s partner, Temis, hunts him. Temis still believes the lies told to the bounty hunters about the anomalias. She believes they are violent, paranoid, delusional.
Rion’s only hope is to convince Temis to see the dark truth. But how can he convince her that everything she thought she knew is a lie?
A race against time to discover a chilling truth with powerful consequences.
Bobbi Schemerhorn was born in Nova Scotia, but raised in Alberta. She has lived all across Canada, living in at least five different provinces, thanks to her military husband. Bobbi enjoys watching a variety of TV shows and movies; she is a Sims 2 playing fool, and loves working with her hands making crafts. Although she has no human children she does have one beautiful kitty who has reached her 19th year.
Bobbi is self-published in the fantasy genre. She has dabbled in Steampunk and Greek Mythology as well as Urban and Epic. Outside of her own writing Bobbi takes pride in helping her fellow authors with their work with her content editing and beta reading. She is known for her tough love both in her professional and personal life.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$15 Amazon giftcard,
ebook of Bounty
– 1 winner each!

The Electric Girl – Blog Tour and Guest Post – YA/Fantasy/Magical Realism

The Electric Girl
by Christine Hart
Genre: YA SciFi Fantasy, Magic Realism
Polly Michaels is trying to forget that her mom has cancer. She keeps busy at school and plods through a normal social life. Until a freak electrical storm and a unicorn appear in the orchard next to her house.
Sy’kai wakes on an orchard floor to the smell of rotting cherries and wet earth. She doesn’t know where she is-or what she is-but she knows something is hunting her.
Polly recruits her friends to find the mysterious creature she saw from her window while Sy’kai, a confused shape-shifting endling from another dimension tries to piece her mind back together. Once the human girls find Sy’kai (whom they nickname Psyche) the mystery unravels and the danger facing all of them comes into focus.
A gritty struggle ranges throughout the girls’ rural hometown and in the wild terrain around it. All while two questions hang over their heads. Can an alien deliver a miracle for a human mother? Can a group of teens defeat an interdimensional demon?
Located on BC’s beautiful West Coast, I write from my suburban home outside Vancouver. I love writing about places and spaces with rich history and visually fascinating elements as a backdrop for the surreal and spectacular.
In addition to my undergraduate degree in writing and literature, my background also includes corporate communications and design. I am a current member of the Federation of BC Writers and SF Canada.
When not writing, I have a habit of breaking stuff and making stuff – in that order – under the guise of my Etsy alter-ego Sleepless Storyteller. I share my eclectic home and lifestyle with my metalworking husband, dancing daughter, and future rocket scientist son.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$25 Amazon

Writing YA Novels as a Pop Culture Fan

Many of us have been binging all our old favourite TV shows and movies over the past year. So, we’re not surprised to see nostalgia making its way into the novels of 2021. Today, author Christine Hart is sharing the scoop on all the pop culture influences that shaped her new book, The Electric Girl.

Christine, can you tell us a bit more about the role pop culture plays in this novel? So many people have a love/hate relationship with pop culture, but the older I get, the more I realize that I should be writing what I want and drawing inspiration from what I truly like. Rather than trying to be a literary author, I’ve embraced genre fiction – and it feels like the right choice for me. And with The Electric Girl, setting a story in the 1980s was an irresistible opportunity to infuse my worldbuilding with the pop culture of the time.

 Which movies and television shows influenced this story? The most obvious first influence is The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle – both the book and movie, drawing on the idea of a unicorn becoming a girl. When I picture Psyche opening portals to another world, I can’t help but remember the inter-dimensional doors opened by Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife.

 I also believe the nebula imagery and the concept of an alien that exists primarily in astral form comes from my days watching Star Trek: The Next Generation every day after school. I also watched a lot of Twin Peaks and I’ve always loved David Lynch’s ability to be delightfully bizarre just for the sake of it.

 Most recently, getting addicted to Stranger Things, and combing through old toys and games that I saved for my children surprised me by having the power to evoke both memories and positive emotions.

 Do you see The Electric Girl ever being made into a movie? I have a very clear picture of the story in my mind, mostly because I used my hometown of Vernon, BC for the real-world side of things.

 If The Electric Girl could become a movie, I’d like to see it done with as much historical authenticity as possible. I tried my absolute best to make my readers feel like they’ve been drawn into 1988. So that’s what I’d want from a movie as well.

But at the end of the day, I’m a pragmatist at heart. I used to indulge in daydreams about one of my novels getting an upgrade to film format. Now, 40-something me knows it’s not very likely, so I don’t think about it as much.

To keep the retro 80s fun going, Christine has put together a playlist including a handful of songs and bands mentioned in the story.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4Oibmyx7Wmu9X1vFPOPQgd

 

 

 

Marked for Death Blog Tour – Urban Fantasy

Marked For Death
Arbiters of Shadow Book 1
by Becca Blake
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Demon hunter Riley Collins has discovered a dark secret… and she’ll have to give up everything to bring it to light.
Riley Collins swore an oath to the Arbiters of Shadow to carry on her family’s legacy of hunting demons. After a hellhound attack in Omaha ends in disaster, the Arbiters assign her a new partner: Jacob Thorne, the arrogant son of one of the highest ranking members of the Council.
Their first assignment together leads them to a demonic ritual that gives Riley and Jacob more questions than the Arbiters are willing to answer. By defying Marcus Thorne and the rest of the Council in her search for the truth, Riley uncovers a conspiracy that runs deep within the demon hunting organization.
Caught between her desire to do the right thing and her duty to the Arbiters, Riley has to make an impossible choice. Will she resign herself to a dark truth within the organization she’s pledged her life to, or will she become an Oathbreaker and spend the rest of her life running from death?
Fans of Supernatural, Jim Butcher, and Ilona Andrews will love the dark twists and turns of MARKED FOR DEATH, book one of the ARBITERS OF SHADOW urban fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Becca Blake.
Becca Blake writes dark and deadly fantasy stories. If you ask her about her hobbies, she’ll tell you she likes to spend her time seeking vengeance against her enemies, but in reality she spends most of her free time curled up on the couch watching Netflix with her cat. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and their two kids.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Enter to Win here:

Author Interview and Blog Tour – V. J. Allison – Romance

Welcome to V J Allison

How did you come up with name of this book?

Stricken came from the song by Disturbed. Its second chorus was exactly what had happened to Ewan. He was being haunted by Marti’s face and what she did to him, even if it was unconsciously.

Away to Me was suggested by an old school chum. It’s a herding term, and it means to go around and come back. Kelsey went away and came back to Neil, so it fit perfectly.

 Under Your Scars was influenced by Godsmack’s song of the same name. Seth and Alexis had a lot of emotional scars from previous relationships and they fell in love despite everything.

 Sweet Child of Mine was influenced by a song I listened to growing up.

COVID’s Arrow is a play on Cupid’s arrow… Love happening when least expected. Since it was written during the pandemic, and features two essential workers during a pandemic, I thought it was fitting.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I like to start with a general idea of where the story will go – the main characters, and how they get their happy ever after at the end of the story. After that, I tend to just let the characters run with it, and if something doesn’t work, it’s axed and something else put in. I find if I just write without planning too much, things fall in to place much easier.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

One of the biggest ones is thinking they have a “best-selling idea” or story, when in reality, it’s probably not even a blip on the radar.

 Another one is thinking that if they have their own distinct style that goes against the grain of grammar and writing period, they’ll get noticed by a big name publisher and again, have a best-selling book.

 Some think that once the writing is done, the work is too. It’s the exact opposite. Once that story is drafted, the work is only beginning. Whether you go the traditional route or the self-publishing one, you still have to edit the story several times to get it as perfect as possible, get it proofed, have a cover made, and after it’s out there, promote it to death.

 Some also think that others should do their work while they do nothing. Not true. If you want to be successful, you have to work your butt off to get anywhere in this business.

 What is your writing Kryptonite?

Noise. Distractions of any kind. They’ll throw me off so badly that I lose track of things, get frustrated and have to stop for the day. Ugh!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell myself to ignore the naysayers, and keep writing… I’ll have a few problems and some road blocks at a few points, but I made it, despite everything. Keep going. Never give up… And check out an independent publisher out in British Columbia. *wink*

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

It depends on many things – if I have a lot of alone time and my chronic pain issues are not acting up. If Hubby works day times while my son is in school, and I am deep into a story, I can sometimes clear 6K a week. I’ve written books in less than 3 months while writing only a day or two a week.

 On average, I’d say it is about six months to a year. If I can put out a full novel once a year, I’m happy.

 

EXCERPT from Stricken

Release Date: March 17, 2017

Series: Feathered Tartan 1

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Second Chance Romance

Pages: 206

Word Count: 58867

Flame Rating: 3 Flames

COVER ART: Syneca Featherstone

EXCERPT from Chapter Three:

The tan door was ajar, and he could see the blue and cream tile turned into a soft blue carpet at the threshold of the office. With a hope Kara was wrong, Ewan glanced around quickly, but a movement to his right drew his attention.

Marti’s back was to him as she rooted around in a file cabinet drawer and shook her head periodically. Her outfit was professional, from the roll of hair in a French twist at the back of her head, to the black skirt suit with brown pin-stripes, and the suede two-inch heeled shoes on her feet.

As he tapped his fingers on the doorjamb, a vision of her wearing nothing but one of his t-shirts and a solitaire engagement ring flashed through his mind.

“Yes?” Her voice was distant, cool and polite.

“Dr. Brown said you were in.”

Her back stiffened as he spoke to her without an audience for the first time in years. “I have no clue why you would want to see me,” she replied and dug a folder out of the drawer.

A soft sigh of exasperation came out of his throat as he entered the office and stopped halfway between the doorway and her desk. “I owe you an apology.”

“For what?”

“Saturday night. Shannon treated you like dirt, and—”

“I’ve dealt with people like her before and it hasn’t killed me yet.”

“That doesn’t excuse it—hell.” Ewan rubbed a hand down his face as he tried to find the right way to express himself.

“Maybe that will teach you not to take someone like her around your friends and coworkers.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It’s your life and your choice. If you want to go dumpster diving, that’s your business, but if I were you, I’d be careful on what I brought home.” She flipped a page in the file. “I have a meeting in less than an hour, and I’d like to be fully prepared for it, so if you don’t mind…”

“Look, I know this isn’t the ideal situation, but can’t we at least try to make an effort, for everyone’s best interest?”

So he wouldn’t look at her, he glanced around the room, and his gaze finally landed on a picture frame in her book-case. An unwelcome, searing bolt of jealousy zoomed up his spine when he saw it was a photo of her and a man with their arms around each other.

His eyes moved to the large windows facing Citadel Hill, and locked with hers via the reflection, a memory’s shadow of their first date at the Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg.

Like that day, almost nine years ago, Marti was the one to break eye contact.

“How are we going to do that?” she asked.

“I don’t know, but unless we try, Kara and Dennis are go-ing to chalk it up to something big, and from what I’ve heard, you’re not open about your past.”

“That’s my life and my choice, isn’t it?”

Ewan sighed and raked a hand through his hair as he took a step toward her. When she stiffened, he stopped and shoved his hands into his coat pockets.

“Dr. Lewis—Marti…” He let out a long breath. “I am sorry about invading your life. If I had known you were living here, I wouldn’t have taken the promotion, and told Miran-da I was moving on.”

“Some things are beyond our control or knowledge. Hali-fax is a big place. I’m sure you and I can avoid being in the same area at the same time as much as possible.” With a shrug, Marti turned to face him.

As her cool and detached gaze met his, Ewan nodded, and his stomach dropped as the full impact of her calm and professional air hit him.

What was I thinking when I thought that maybe…

Hell.

The girl he knew was gone, replaced by this cool, sophisticated, and distant woman.

“Okay,” he murmured, and wondered why he felt as if his heart had been ripped out again.

Marti’s expression softened as she held up the file. “I’m not chasing you out because—I really do have a meeting, and I’d better get moving if I want to be ready for it.”

Ewan nodded and moved his gaze to a spot on the carpet. “Yeah.” With a final nod, he turned and walked out of her office, not understanding the heavy feeling around him.

Stricken
Feathered Tartan Book 1
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A heartbeat later, he was alone—shattered, confused and suicidal. Why had Marti walked away from him?
Years later, in another place and a new chapter of Ewan’s life, fate brings them face to face again.
They start building a friendship, but Ewan wants more. He wants Marti as his wife, while she seems to prefer their current status as friends.
Can he convince her that taking another chance at their failed future will be the start of the best part of their lives?
Sweet Child of Mine
Feathered Tartan Book 2
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
In the city on the harbour, miracles happen.
It’s Christmas Eve.
Ewan and Marti Campbell are hoping to have a quiet holiday season, their first as a married couple, and the last one before their new baby arrives.
A crisis at the real estate agency tosses a huge wrench into their plans, as does the sudden onset of Marti’s labour. As Ewan fights to get home before his child appears, more crises are flung at him. If he is to make it on time to help his wife bring their baby into the world, he’ll need a miracle…
A big one.
Away To Me
Tri-Town Book 1
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance
What would you do if you found out your late spouse wasn’t the biological parent of your stepchild as they had led you to believe? Would you let it go, in hopes the child wouldn’t go looking for their birth family, or would you help them in their search?
This is the dilemma Neil Falcon faces when he first discovers his late wife, Rita, wasn’t the biological mother of his teenage stepdaughter, Rikki.
His decision to look for her roots puts them on a path that leads them to a part of Neil’s past, one he thought was locked away forever.
Kelsey Wagner is shocked to see the man she once adored appear on her doorstep with claims that Rikki may be her biological child. After finding out her daughter wants her to be a part of her life, she agrees.
Amidst the confusion of raising a teenage daughter, the old feelings resurface. They know their daughter wants them to become a family, but can they make it work?
Under Your Scars
Tri-Town Book 2
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Alexis has that special something about her that Seth can’t fathom. His friend Mirabelle’s new employee is even prettier than the merchandise she sells. Too bad she’s distantly polite when he tries talking to her.
Alexis is attracted to Seth, but she’s in hiding from her past and her mistakes. Getting involved with the one person she’s attracted to could blow her cover.
When they’re forced to work together, their libidos ignite. Alexis is terrified to open up and give in to her feelings for Seth. If he remembers that night five years ago, he’ll never speak to her again.
It becomes a question of whether Seth will expose her and force her to keep running, or if he’ll help her face her past.
COVID’s Arrow
by V.J. Allison
Genre: Contemporary Romance
When two people are in love, social distancing cannot prevent them from being together.
Vicki has been half in love with her friend and co-worker, Mason, since she started working at a grocery store eight months ago. When a pandemic reaches the province, social distancing protocols are installed, and their friendship is put on hold. A break at work brings them back together, but will they have the time Vicki hopes to pursue her hidden desires?
**Only .99 cents!**
V.J. Allison was born and raised in southern Nova Scotia, Canada, and her work reflects her strong Maritime roots. She is a stay-at-home mother to a son on the autism spectrum, married to the love of her life, and “mama” to a rescued Maine Coon cat named Marnie. She has been writing various stories of novel length and short stories since her school days, and sees writing as a vital component to her life.
She is a small town erotic romance author published by eXtasy Books, and her novels have been received with great acclaim. Her second novel, Away to Me, is a recipient of the eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies’ Editor’s Choice Seal of Excellence and Enjoyable Reading.
On January 4, 2021, she released her first independently published story, COVID’s Arrow, which had been previously released in the Together We Stand charity collection of stories about essential workers.
When she isn’t writing, she loves to read romance and science fiction novels (notably Star Wars); listen to music (heavy metal, rock, alternative); and do graphics design. She runs her own graphics design company, Veridian Rose Designs, specializing in book promotional posters and Facebook cover photos. This self-proclaimed geeky rocker chick is a warrior and advocate for various chronic illnesses including Occipital Neuralgia, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Diabetes, Migraines, and Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia. She is also an advocate for the prevention of animal cruelty and is a voice for Autism Awareness.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$15 USD eXtasy Books gift card

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