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Happy Wednesday! A familiar face has joined us today on the Coffee Chat!

Welcome, Sara Hubbard!

Now, last time Sara was here for an interview--in November 2012-- she got waaay off topic. Instead of telling us about her book, Blood, She Read, she talked about Christmas Trees.
Well, it won't happen this time. We're going to keep her strictly on task with a series of questions. Lol. 
Since Sara doesn't drink coffee but prefers chai tea, my magic pot is steeping away. :)

While I'm pouring our drinks, why don't you tell our readers a little about yourself, Sara.

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BIO:  Sara Hubbard is the author of romantic novels for both young adults and adults. Her debut novel BLOOD, SHE READ released fall 2012 and was a NEORWA Cleveland Rocks winner and a RCRW Duel on the Delta finalist. Sara lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two children (four if you count her husband and her needy labradoodle) and works as a registered nurse with the military.

Find out more about Sara and her books here: 
http://www.sara-hubbard.com 
http://twitter.com/SaraLouHubbard 
http://pinterest.com/saralouhubbard
http://www.facebook.com/sarahubbardauthor


Ally: I usually ask guests to reveal something about themselves that isn't in their official bio. What deep, dark secrets are you hiding? Lol

SARA:  
I don’t know! This is a tough one. My bio states I’m military but it doesn’t say that one of the best times of my life was Basic Training. And no, I’m not a sadist. The camaraderie at Basic is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, and I still remain close with several of the people who completed it with me, and that was back in 1998. 

Ally:  Thanks for sharing that. Now on to the book talk. Is this your first NA novel? Did you find writing it any different than writing YA?

SARA:  Yes, it is! In fact, this was one of the first books I ever wrote, although it has changed dramatically since then. What I like about New Adult is the exploration of intimacy between the hero and heroine. You have to be careful not to add too much spice to Young Adult novels and it was nice to be able to write the intimate scenes between my characters without any restrictions. 

Ally:  What do you like best about your heroine? Why do you think the hero is the right guy for her?

SARA:  Hmm…I think what I like most about her is you would do anything for the people she cares about, even risk her life if she needs to. She’s also a little naïve and trusting and, for me, it makes her endearing. I’m not sure if the hero is right for her (you’ll have to read the book and decide for yourself!) but, I do think there is undeniable chemistry between them and exploring their relationship was a lot of fun. 

Ally:  Readers often want to know where our characters come from. Did you have an inspiration for Isame?

SARA: You know, when I wrote this novel I was writing it while Pride & Prejudice played in the background. I think it inspired the time/place/feel of the novel but I can’t really say that I had any inspiration for Isame. The novel began with a scene in my head about a girl running from giants in the woods. It all kind of morphed from there. I wanted to have some yummy heros and giants just weren’t cutting it. Tattooed warriors from a distant land were a little more swoon-worthy.  

Ally: Describe the unique setting you used in By Force.

SARA:  Think 12th century England. Sort of. The place is completely made up, but I guess this era has a similar feel to it, with castles and men and women on horseback and knights, etc. There are five islands that make up this world: Northern and Southern Copaxa to the East, Optavia to the West, Faemell to the Southwest and Ghost Island to the Northwest. Each island has their own unique features. Isame comes from Copaxa and is kidnapped by savages to be taken to Optavia, the land of the Daentarry (or savage folk). Faemell is an island filled with half species and fairies, or I should say, is “rumored” to be the home of fairies. Wink, wink. And Ghost Island is the land of the dead. 

Ally:  Putting our books in the hands of readers is a struggle for all authors. Have you found a magic wand or even a tip or two on marketing that you could share with other writers?

SARA:  I wish I had a magic formula, and if I did, I would gladly share! Sadly, I don’t really have one. What I’ve found has helped is to be very active on social media and to ensure you engage your readers. Be grateful to them for helping you live your dream. :) 

Ally:  It's almost time to share a quick look at your new release, but I do have one last question. Given our last conversation was all about Christmas trees and your great love of the season, dare I ask? Is your tree still up?

SARA:  
Lol. Actually, my Christmas tree is now down, although there are still pine needles kicking around the house. I never can seem to get rid of them! 

Ally:  That's why I've gone with artificial. It was a pleasure to have you visit, Sara. Come back anytime. We'll end today's chat with a peek at your book...

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Book Blurb:  By Force

Kidnapping Isame would set them free…

Isame wanted freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wanted over the life—and the husband—her parents had chosen for her. But when Isame leaves home to accept another man’s proposal, she happens across five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home, but she never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her. Not even after they kidnap her.

Remmie is a man of honor and fierce loyalty. So when his king commands him to find a specific young woman on the island of Copaxa, he’s prepared to obey. But he’s not prepared for the woman to change everything. Isame is special. He can see it from the start. But how can one puny woman make him question everything he’s always known, including the rightness of doing what he’s promised?

Heat rating: mature YA

Excerpt:  He dropped my arms immediately and left my side. When he returned, he carried a wool blanket. Confused by his kindness, I watched his face as he carefully tucked the blanket in around my half-sitting body. His eyes flashed down, meeting my gaze. Something about the way he looked at me did strange things to my stomach. He looked…sad…regretful. But he said absolutely nothing. He wrapped the rope around my wrists and tied them with enough slack for me to easily wiggle out of them. I could have escaped if I had any energy left in my body, which I did not. I considered thanking him for the blanket, but how could I express my gratitude toward a man who had stolen me from my family?

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It's Wednesday and you know what that means ~ coffee & books! 
We're joined today by author Cindy Carroll.
Welcome, Cindy! May I pour you a cup of coffee?

CINDY: Yes, please! I like my coffee double double. Canadians will know what that is. :) It's double cream and double sugar.

Ally: Coming right up! In the meantime, why don't you share your bio with our readers and add something personal about yourself.


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Bio:  A background in banking and IT doesn't allow much in the way of excitement so Cindy turns to writing stories that are a little dark and usually have a dead body. She writes screenplays, thrillers, urban fantasy and paranormals. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her fiancé and three cats. When she's not writing you can usually find her painting landscapes in oil or trying space paintings with spray paint.

Something personal? I
 love Nickelback. (Canadian rock band)

Author Links:

Website: http://www.cindycarroll.com
Newsletter signup:  http://www.cindycarroll.com/blog/newsletter 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CindyPCarroll
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCindyCarroll 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/writesbooks
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/writesbooks


Ally: When you and I first talked, you expected your urban fantasy to be released this month.  Unfortunately the release was delayed to March, which happens in this business, so much of what we do today will be a cover reveal and a sneak peek at the future. :) I love being the first to know, so let's talk about Almost Normal
What is the setting for your novel, and what type of characters live there?

CINDY:  Almost Normal is set in a fictional Ontario city based on Oakville, Ontario. It's full of culture, a lake shore, a beautiful downtown area with quaint shops and cafes. My main character is a cop, dedicated to the job with no desire for a social life. Her best friend is a little more flighty, likes to have fun and keeps her grounded. Everyone in her circle tries to draw her out, set her up, pull her into a social life she wants no part of. 

Ally:  So what super powers does your cop heroine possess? Why did you choose this power? How does it add to the story?

CINDY:  She's a shapeshifter. Actually I was trying to come up with a story idea for a call for submissions for shapeshifter stories. Once I started plotting it out I realized it would be great for the first book in a series so I had to come up with another story for that call for submission. Her shapeshifting ability helps her solve crimes. Her sense of smell and sight is much better than a normal person. 

Ally:  Do you write other genres? Is there something we could go buy today?

CINDY:  I do write in a lot of different genres. My first published story was a horror short story. I have two crime stories in an anthology. My urban fantasy is the first in a series, but I also have a paranormal series (with ghosts) on the go.
A couple of stories can be purchased on Amazon. Check out my author page: here.

Ally:  Where and when do you write? place, time of day?

CINDY:  The day job pays the bills for now so I write in the evenings usually in front of the TV on my laptop. Once I get my office set up (right now it's a storage room) I plan on writing in there. 

Ally:  Let's wind up with a few quick answer questions:
  •  a) spring or fall - spring because there's still summer to look forward to and it means winter is over.
  • b) favorite author, living or dead - Dean Koontz
  • c)  Do you have pets? If so, what? - we have three cats, but I consider myself the owner of six cats. Three of them live with my sister. She got custody when I moved out. :)
  • d) One item on your bucket list - Visit Australia
  • e) Last place you went shopping - Metro - grocery store.
Ally:  Cindy, it was a pleasure to have you visit. I hope you'll let me know when Almost Normal is released so I can pass the info to my readers. Now for the big reveal...
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Blurb:  

Sierra Sands is a detective with a secret, on the trail of a serial killer. Not only does she have to stop him before he can kill again but she also has to make sure her suspicious partner doesn't learn the truth about her. 

The truth is she's a shapeshifter.

Only two people know her secret. Her best friend thinks it's cool. Her sergeant keeps trying to figure out how he can use it to catch killers.

Unedited Excerpt:
        Walking in someone else’s shoes was hard.  That’s why Sierra always bought her own.  When her supervising officer marched towards her desk with that doom and gloom look on his face she knew a shopping trip was in her near future.  And she knew she wasn’t going to like it.

        “Sands, grab your jacket. We’ve got a live one.”

        The surprise was momentary.  She composed herself, grabbed her jacket off the back of the chair and jumped up.  The fact that Raymond was taking her to the hospital meant he wanted to use her special gift.  He called it a gift.  On good days she could bring herself to think of it as a gift.  Mostly she thought of it as a curse.  No one liked being a freak.  And no one liked the fact that the only reason they were alive while the rest of their family was dead was because they were a freak.  She pushed painful memories aside and followed her sergeant out of the station.

        In the car Raymond filled her in on the latest victim.

        “She’s alive, barely.  Best guess is that the killer was somehow interrupted and left her for dead.  Maybe she escaped.  We don’t know for sure.”

        “Still no physical evidence?”

        He shook his head, a worry line going through his forehead.  “Same as the others.  Almost.”

        She knew what he meant.  This guy hadn’t left any of them alive so far.  She wondered what could have interrupted him enough that he would leave before making sure she was dead.  Right now it didn’t matter.  It was the break they’d been looking for since they connected all the victims.

        When they arrived at the hospital they stopped outside the victim's room.  There was something her sergeant wasn't telling her.  And from the look on his face she wasn't going to like it.  Two officers flanked the door.  He wouldn't tell her until they were in the room.  

Watch for Cindy's book coming soon: http://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Carroll/e/B00E0WJ4QA/
         

 
 
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I have my coffee--and I needed it today--but I'm ready for another author interview!
Today we're joined by Rebekah Ganiere, who writes paranormal and steampunk. 
How do you take your coffee, Rebekah?

REBEKAH:  I don't drink coffee, but I LOVE hot chocolate, which is ironic because I don't like chocolate. My kids say I make the best hot chocolate ever. Mostly because I make it with a Ton of creamer.

Ally: Okay, while I'm fixing your hot chocolate, why don't you introduce yourself to our readers?

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AUTHOR BIO AND LINKS:

Rebekah's love for stories began as a child with Shel Silverstein poetry. She began writing her own poetry and short stories in junior high and high school and then went on to study theater in college.  Ultimately she ended up going back to writing so she could stay at home with her kids. Rebekah is a member of Romance Writers of America as well as the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal Chapter, her local Los Angeles, Orange County, and Young Adult chapters. When she isn't spending time telling the stories of the characters constantly chattering inside her head, you can find her hanging out with her husband, four children and menagerie of pets. A dog, a rabbit, 2 bearded dragons, 1 Russian Tortoise and 2 Leopard Tortoises. The escaped snake has yet to be located. 

Website: www.RebekahGaniere.com
Twitter: @VampWereZombie
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/VampiresWerewolvesZombies
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/VampWereZombie

Ally:  Now you've shown them the official bio, tell us something unique about yourself you wouldn't ordinarily mention.

REBEKAH:  
Oh wow! Uhm... I am secretly obsessed with Monster High dolls. I can't wait till my three daughters get sick of theirs so I can add them to my own small collection. My favorite is Weberella. The limited edition Comic Con one I got this last summer at Comic Con San Diego. It has all the creators signatures on her box.

Ally:  That is unique! And I'm not quite sure how we transition from that to writing, so let's just make the leap. :)  Tell us how you chose the genres you write. Are they the same ones you read? 

REBEKAH:  I write Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy and Steampunk. I read mostly in those genres and have loved fantasy since I was a child. I've always had a healthy obsession with vampires, from the time I was young and before it was commonplace. I don't know if I chose that genre or if it chose me. But growing up on Star Wars and Star Trek, Dragonlance and the Hobbit, I think it was just a place I identified with and loved. 


Ally:  Describe your writing cave: whether its an office, a corner in your bedroom, or just a place you have to go in your head to write. 

REBEKAH:  Oh man, my writing cave is my bedroom. I have an amazingly squishy foam bed that I love to sit on while I write.  It is usually surrounded by my kids that I homeschool, my writing books, and my two writing buddies, my leopard tortoises Hulk and Loki that are in their tank next to me. My television is always on with court TV, if I'm not listening to Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Katy Perry, Green Day, Live, 3 Doors Down or Broadway Musicals.

Ally:  All of our supernatural creatures have special powers of some kind. If you could choose, what power would you like to have and why? 

REBEKAH:  I would love to say I'd be a vampire, but honestly, I think drinking blood might make me sick. So, I think teleportation or telekinesis would be fun. I would love to move stuff with my mind. Or not have to sit in traffic.

Ally:  We all have favorite authors who either inspire or entertain us but very few that we reread. Do you have authors, living or dead, that you have read any/all of their books more than once? Who are they? 

REBEKAH:  C.S. Lewis, Edgar Allan, Shakespeare. J. R. R. Tolkien as well as L. Frank Baum and Lewis Carroll.

Ally:  Quick Answer Questions:
     a. pantser or plotter : Both. I Plot the points and Pants how everything gets there 
     b. favorite after 5 beverage : Shirley Temple
     c. last place you went on vacation : Comic Con San Diego. Best Vacation Ever!
     d. number of pets you have (and what they are) 7 - 1 dog, 2 Bearded Dragons, 1 Rabbit, 3 Tortoises
     e. favorite tv show (past or present) - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Ally: We've now arrived at one of my favorite parts of the Coffee Chat, the revealing of another book. Today's feature is Rebekah's latest release, Dead Awakenings.

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BLURB:

Evaine, a struggling New York theater student, enters an unsanctioned drug trial in an effort to pay bills.  She awakens in a derelict hospital, chained to a bed with no memory of who she is, or how she got there.  A band of pale skinned men, led by the gorgeous Luca, burst in, whisking her away to safety. 

Once at Haven House, Evaine is introduced to The Family. Like them, she has become A Deader, a reanimated Undead.

Luca is hell-bent on stopping the experimentations, and killing those responsible. He has no time for a Newborn who is struggling to control her rages, hunger, and powers. Nor does he have the desire to deal with the feelings she's awakening within him.

Despite their best efforts, Evaine and Luca find their connection intensifying when suddenly, she remembers not only who she is, but also her fiancé, Tristan; who is still looking for her.  

Torn between her first love and her new heart’s desire, Evaine runs back to Tristan putting everyone in danger. When a rogue faction of Deaders, called Feeders, attempts to kidnap her, Luca suspects Evaine is the key to the experiments. 

Can everyone band together to keep Evaine off the cutting table of those she escaped from? Or will second death tear her away from everyone, for good?

Book trailer: 
http://youtu.be/YiCqYd9UBMk

Buy Links:       Amazon            B&N