Good Morning, Booklovers!
Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair. Our guest in the hot seat today is writer Peggy Williams, one half of the mystery duo MJ Williams.
Welcome, Peggy! How do you take your coffee?
PEGGY: With chocolate in it. I’m actually not a coffee drinker per se, but I do love Café Mocha and in the summer Frappe Mochas.
Ally: Isn't it funny how chocolate goes with everything? Coming right up. While I'm getting our drinks, please tell readers about your background and something unique about you.
A brief bio:
Peggy Williams co-writes the On the Road… mystery series under the penname M. J. Williams. She also writes screenplays, corporate and educational video scripts, and feature articles for print and web media. In her day job she is an elementary school teacher specializing in teaching reading to struggling learners. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Something unique: I am a Yooper by birth and a Cheesehead by choice. Those from the Midwest will know what I’m talking about. ; )
(Ally Note: Since I'm from the Midwest, I'll attempt a translation: born in Michigan; moved to Wisconsin.)
Twitter: @MadCityWriter https://twitter.com/MadCityWriter
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/M.J.Williams.author
Ally: Okay, on to the serious stuff. What type of mysteries do you write? Cozies, traditional, thrillers? Do you include humor?
PEGGY: My On the Road… mystery series, which I co-write with Mary Joy Johnson under the penname M. J. Williams, is a cross between a cozy and a mainstream or traditional mystery. Our protagonists are a retired couple who travel in an RV. The RV community, even though in different locations throughout the country, give the stories a cozy feel. And our characters have small town dispositions and attitudes. But the stories have some action and appeal to both women and men.
We do infuse humor throughout the stories, but it is the kind of humor that arises out of human nature and the foibles of relationships.
Ally: Have you ever been involved in a real mystery or crime? If so, can you tell us about it? Um, not asking for any confessions here. :) How do you think you'd react? Like your hero or heroine?
PEGGY: Hubby and I were pulled over once under suspicion of being bank robbers. The police had an APB out for a young couple in a foreign sporty-looking car. Turns out we didn’t do it, so they let us go. And no, sadly, I doubt I would react like my heroine in any sort of real life mystery or crime. She’s far braver and smarter than I am.
Ally: Who is the primary audience for modern mysteries? Has this been affected by technology and/or the aging of the baby boomer generation?
PEGGY: Our books are doing well with readers in the Midwest because the location of the first book is Door County, a popular vacation spot in Wisconsin. The second book takes place in Boston, so we hope we’ve broadened our reach. Both men and woman have given us positive feedback and reviews. While we have a natural audience with people of retirement age, adults of all ages enjoy the books. We sell more Kindle editions, but the paperbacks do well also.
Ally: What are you writing now? Give us a hint what's it about.
PEGGY: The new book will be called On the Road to the Deadly Apostles. It takes our couple, Emily and Stan, to the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior where they get involved in exposing a smuggling ring dealing in Native American artifacts.
Ally: Let's try your hand at these quick answer questions:
- a. your favorite mystery author, living or dead: That changes with each book I read. Currently, my favorites include William Kent Krueger and Louise Penny.
- b. something still to do on your bucket list: I’d love to direct an indie movie based on one of my books or screenplays.
- c. most effective social media for reaching readers: We do pretty well with Facebook. That forum allows us to keep in touch with current readers and gain a few new readers. But the best way we’ve found of gaining new readers is to get our books reviewed by bloggers with niche appeal, for example RV bloggers and boomer bloggers among others.
- d. last meal you cooked: Oh, man! I am so not a cook. My hubby does most of the cooking in our household. The last meal…? Well, that would be…um…maybe chicken and veggie stir fry…?
- e. favorite television show: I’m pretty much a political news nerd, so that would have to be the Rachel Maddow Show. But I’m also a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory and Downton Abbey.
Ally: It's been fun to meet you, Peggy. I hope you'll visit again. Before you go, please tell us more about the book you brought.
Thanks for having coffee with us. Come back soon!
I want to welcome fellow writer Kath Marsh who has agreed to appear on this blog from time to time, including providing an occasional book review. Have at it, Kath! AS Storm Front (Book One of the Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher:
If Ivanhoe was a wizard for hire in modern day Chicago, he’d be Harry Dresden. Harry, who owes back rent and lives on the edge of eviction, is truly good, truly a defender of the weak, and assuredly the foe of evil. When a woman comes to Harry’s office begging him to find out what is going on with her husband, when at the same time Lt. Murphy asks for Harry’s help in solving the murder of a couple whose hearts burst out of their chests (according to Harry, not possible for just one wizard to have this much power), Harry won’t stop until he fulfills his promises to both. Doing so puts Harry on the wrong side of a major criminal, on Lt. Murphy’s enemies’ list, in the cross hairs of a White Council warden who wants Harry dead, and next on the list of the murderer. True to his heroic nature, (which Harry easily sees in others, but not in himself) Harry won’t quit until the murders are solved, and the evil is destroyed. Even hamstrung by the rules for a white wizard, Harry is awesomely powerful. No wonder the White Council fears him. Harry, with his tall good looks and his wise-cracking sense of humor, enchants. This was the third time I’ve read this book. I rarely read a book a second time, but I would read this one and the whole series over and over. To escape to Harry’s world of good and evil where good is funny, handsome, has the devotion of his thirty-pound cat Mister, and triumphs over evil is ... perfect.
Review by Kath Marsh. Visit her Letters from Earth blog
We've brought out the champagne!
It's party time as Eternal Fires (Guardian Witch Book Seven) is officially launched.
It's a bittersweet moment for me as this is the conclusion of Ari's story. I hope I sent her out with a bang!
“A super crow,” Doc Onway muttered, sounding exasperated. “What’s next?”
Exactly. Ari disconnected. During her conversation with the doctor, the bird hadn’t moved from its position on the fence. It was at least as large as a condor, and the murky haze around it wasn’t put there by nature. The creature cocked its head and stared at her. Witch fire tingled in her fingertips, but she calmed the magic and tightened her grip on her handgun.
Unless forced by circumstances, she wouldn’t use magical fire out in the open like this, where she might burn the farmer’s fields. And where motorists might observe her. Magic still caused a big stir—and a lot of fear—among humans.
“It’s not coming after us.” Ryan turned to look at her. “What did you mean by ‘a normal bird wouldn’t?’”
“It isn’t a coincidence that a flock of crows is called a murder of crows,” she said darkly. “They have a bad reputation. Their minds can be bent to evil by someone with the ability to call and control them—a werewolf, a witch or wizard, even a vampire. There are stories of powerful magic users who can morph into the creature’s form. Just look at it, Ryan. You can’t see the dark aura, but how do you explain that size?”
“Are you telling me that bird might be someone else? Someone supernatural?” Ryan’s hand moved to hover over his own pistol.
“Let’s find out.” Ari took off running, vaulted the fence, and headed straight for the crow. The creature stretched its head high before spreading its wings to their full span and lifting into the air. It released a loud caw and streaked away at astonishing speed. Ari came to a halt in the middle of the field. By the time Ryan caught up, she’d already put her gun away.
“Guess it wasn’t in the mood for a fight.” She shaded her eyes and watched the black object disappear into the horizon.
“How can a bird move that fast?”
Ordinary birds couldn’t. Ari didn’t bother to answer him. She started toward the fence line where the creature had perched.
“The residual magic might tell me what it is or who’s controlling it.”
Ryan didn’t comment, but she heard the cornstalks swish against his denim jeans as he followed her. He acted skeptical, which kind of surprised her after all the things he’d seen in the last three years. But Ryan had never been completely comfortable with the Otherworld. He’d rather believe the bird was genetically altered by some mad scientist than a magical manifestation.
She stopped at the wooden fence and ran her hands over the rails until she found a spot that tingled…and filled her with an unreasonable sense of dread. She lifted her hands and the oppressive feeling receded. Bad mojo.
“Hey, look.” Ryan pointed toward a black feather sticking out of the grass. He pulled a set of crime scene gloves from his pocket and handed them to Ari. “I suppose you need to handle it first.”
“You know me.” She snapped the gloves in place and picked up the glossy object. Scorching heat, devouring flames. “Yikes!” She dropped it from sheer reflex, the heat vanished, and her fingers had no sign of injury. An illusion. A strong one.
“What happened?” Ryan demanded, staring at the shiny quill as if it might come to life. “You act like it bit you.”
She eyed the feather, not eager to repeat the experience. “Try touching it.”
His brows shot up.
“Carefully,” she added. “See if you get the same vivid sensation of heat.”
“Why am I always the guinea pig?” But he pulled out a second pair of gloves, crouched, and extended a tentative finger. “Nope. I feel nothing.” He picked it up. “What’s that tell you?”
“It has a defensive shield that reacts to magic.”
“So you were right. It wasn’t a real crow.”
She gave a terse nod. “I couldn’t get past its shields to identify the magic user. Maybe the lab can do better.” She took off her gloves and stuffed them in a pocket. Ryan could carry the damned thing.
They headed back to the car. Ari kept a vigilant eye on the sky and trees around them, extending her senses to avoid a surprise attack. Although the nymph hadn’t died from the visible injuries of a crow’s attack, Ari believed they’d just seen the killer—or some form of the killer—and the cause of the nymph’s death was dark magic.
We're talking with Teen/YA paranormal author Jennifer Loiske this week. Nice to have you, Jennifer. How do you drink your coffee?
JENNIFER: With milk, and if I have a choice I never choose a regular coffee but something sweeter…caramel or vanilla coffee.
Ally: I can fix you right up. Why don't you show readers your bio and include something unique you don't usually reveal?
Author Bio: Jennifer Loiske lives in Finland in Naantali, which is a small sunny town on the southwest coast. She is a Teen/YA paranormal fiction author, with four exciting series available worldwide. McLean Twins series for teen readers, Immortal Blood series for mature young adult readers, Blood Hunters series, also for mature young adults, which is a follow up for Immortal Blood series and is created by the readers’ requests, and The Shape Shifter series for anyone age 16 and up.
Jennifer’s stories are full of creatures of the night. Vampires, demons, witches, shape shifters…but even if they are mostly fiction you can find a hint of a truth in every story. Jennifer loves to research so every time she gets an idea of a new story she does a crazy Google session looking for places, old myths, names, folklores, magical items…anything that could spice up her story and make it more real for the readers. Jennifer is also part of Authors For Charity, an international author alliance, and team member in Epilepsy FI magazine. She is a pre-school teacher by profession.
And something unique: I’m really scared of the darkness, which probably has a lot to do with my wild imagination. I sleep with my lights on (just in case…) and a knife under my pillow…paranoid much…ummmh…let’s move on to the next question…
Author links: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenniferLoiske
Ally: We'll start with an easy one. What type of paranormal beings do you write? And why?
JENNIFER: I write about vampires, demons, shape shifters and witches…basically about anything that interests me. I’ve always been drawn to anything supernatural but there are things (read ghosts) that scare the crap out of me, so yeah, I’m playing safe here and sticking with the creatures I can handle.
Ally: What supernatural creature would you like to be? Or what supernatural power would you like to have?
JENNIFER: Hmm…there are so many! I would probably want to be a vampire. Not a sparkling one, but more like the ones in The Vampire Diaries. It would be cool to be immortal, have some super skills but most of all I’d like to be able to read minds (Edward kind of mind reading)…it would definitely give an advantage in so many things! Oops, I think I answered both of your questions!
Ally: What's the most unusual marketing you've tried? Details please. :) Would you do it again?
JENNIFER: I once put my book on a bestselling YA books shelf on Barnes & Noble just to see if anyone would grab it. They did, which was kind of awkward since it wasn’t for sale there…lots of weird explanations followed, blushing and being baffled…Luckily I don’t have to do that again since now they have all my books on their shelves and people can buy them directly from the shop or through their website!
Ally: What's your current work in progress? Can you give us a hint what it's about?
JENNIFER: It’s the final part of McLean Twins series. Shannon and Ian (the protagonists) will have to beat the demon that is possessing their father, evict an evil witch into a perdition and form an alliance with the ancient witch coven. So it’s a busy week for thirteen-year-old teen witches!
Ally: Give me the first answer that comes into your head...
Ally: I've enjoyed sharing coffee with you, Jennifer. Before you take off to write the next book, will you show us what you brought with you?
- a. Did you drink green beer on St. Paddy's Day? – Nope
- b. Color and flavor of your toothpaste – White with blue stripes. Mint.
- c. Most unusual thing in your purse – Dog whistle
- d. An item on your bucket list – Black sailing boat…What? It’s an item…sort of. :)
- e. Favorite springtime flower – Grape Hyacinth
Blurb of Black Diamond (Book One of McLean Twins series): After her mom’s sudden death, twelve-year-old Shannon McLean has to move from the US to the English countryside to live with her mysterious father, Connor McLean, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a baby. Soon she discovers that he doesn’t want her around and her moving into his huge manor, Greyman Hill, is nothing more to him than a compulsory deal. But if he does not exactly give her a warm welcome, his servant Robert is most likely an incarnation of evil. He runs the house with an iron touch and makes everyone who works there his little puppets.
Weird things start to happen and the whole place scares the crap out of Shannon. Her dad can control her just by looking at her. The walls are full of secret passages and apparently she has the talent to awaken the ghosts in them. Every day is worse than the day before and she wants badly to run away but discovers it’s impossible. If she wants to stay alive she has to do exactly as her dad says or else she will not only jeopardize her own life but also the lives of the people around her.
While Shannon struggles to find the magic inside her, Connor is slowly turning into a demon. One carelessly spoken word from her could either save or destroy them both. In the end she has to decide whether to save herself and her loved ones, or lose her dad to the darkness and evil that threaten to eat his soul.
Buy Link for Black Diamond: http://authl.it/1ax
Buy Link for Demon's Touch (book two): http://authl.it/2mf
McLean Twins series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCgD_HB6j08
Blurb of Club Number Five (Book One of Immortal Blood series):
Samantha Green wanted nothing but to be normal, have a shallow life with smoking hot Jonathan Blake and an unforgettable senior year at Regents East High. But one morning she wakes up as a vampire. She has no idea who bit her or why. All she knows is she didn’t want it. Now her new life is full of secrets, deceit and fear, not to mention raw meatballs and red nectar that is definitely something else besides strawberry juice. Samantha tries to act normal. She pretends to like her mom’s chicken salad, goes to school and learns how to survive on her own, but what can she do when she finds herself inside of a devious conspiracy, strikingly fast hunters, secret clubs and mouthwateringly gorgeous boys and the only food she can catch is her best friend, Kate Walker’s, wrist?
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/CLUB-NUMBER-FIVE-Immortal-Blood-ebook/dp/B0095K4RMS
Book Trailer: The Shape Shifter series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJILpjPKsYI
Thanks for joining our coffee chat today. Come back soon!
Eternal Fires (Guardian Witch Book Seven) releases Friday, March 20!
Pre-release Book blurb:
The sides are aligned...
After the last three years, Ari and Andreas are almost used to being stalked by the O-Seven vampire elders and their paid assassins. But the stakes have changed…for both sides. Ari is carrying Andreas's child.
Because of false rumors and a prophetic vision, the elders are determined to kill the parents and steal the infant. Ari and Andreas will do anything to keep their child safe—even if she has to go into hiding, leaving him exposed to the wrath of their enemies.
A hot July day starts with the murder of a stranger, then the crows appear…but that's only the beginning. The elders will never give up until they've cut off their friends one by one and destroy everything they hold dear...
Unless Ari and Andreas can force this to a final showdown...winner take all.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Fires-Guardian-Witch-Book-ebook/dp/B00UW37DVY
While you're waiting for Friday's release (as I am), check out at least a few minutes of this long Youtube video. As you watch, think about how the crows' natural abilities might be used if they were under the control of an evil master...https://youtu.be/a43a-ZUBUpc
Welcome to our Wednesday book chat!
Today's guest is Ceri London, author of the Shimmer in the Dark series.
Nice to have you visit, Ceri. How do you take your coffee?
CERI: First let me thank you so much for inviting me to chat on your blog!
Coffee? I love filtered coffee with hot milk. I always seem to ask for a cappuccino though. The cocoa sprinkled on top sways me.
Ally: Since you love both, why don't I surprise you. :) Meanwhile, please show readers your bio and tell them something unique about yourself.
Ceri London (pen name) is an author of science fiction / fantasy who has just published the second volume in her Shimmer In The Dark series. She is a member of ASMSG, a league of international writers.
Back on Earth, life is very normal. Ceri lives in the UK, is married, a mother of two girls, and a piano tutor following a fifteen year career in IT within the international financial industry. She holds a BSc Honors degree in Chemistry & Computer Science, but acknowledges that in no way provides her any authority with regards to the science in her fiction writing, relying on research and drawing on the experience of others far more qualified.
Looking forward, Ceri is committed to completing her Shimmer In The Dark series and developing a range of related short stories and spin off novels.
And something unique? Wow, this proved to be a fascinating question. Anything about me is boring, but my grandfather was a children’s illustrator and my grandmother won Miss England back in the 1920’s/30’s. Curiosity piqued, I just did some research and unearthed several comics and books including artwork by my grandfather published from the 1930’s right through to the1970s. My grandfather illustrated the Wombles in the Jack & Jill comics and I often remember seeing him at work or looking at his latest painting when we visited as children. I also came across a French postcard of my grandmother as Miss Angleterre published to celebrate Miss Europe. So she entered that too, in Paris. There is something very exciting about finding memorabilia from your ancestors and discovering that a part of their lives has been captured online for future generations to discover.
Amazon Author Page
Smashwords Author Page
Author Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ally: Your series appears to be a unique blend of scifi, epic fantasy and thriller. How did you develop the concept?
CERI: Shimmer in the Dark dates back more than ten years to a story I wrote where the antagonist crossed timeflows to her advantage. I thought how amazing it would be to live an entire life in the blink of an eye where that blink is a physical action in a slower timeflow.
At the time, I was reading Francis Hitching’s book The World Atlas of Mysteries. Researching some of the unexplained and connected events over the course of Earth’s history led me to the idea of using a planet’s natural geomagnetic energy to affect the brain. I stumbled upon Sedona’s magnetic anomalies with its four vortexes of energy and then found an article discussing the brain’s EM output and how that magnetic output increases over the central nervous system. I also love films and TV serials where huge distances can be shortcut – stargates, wormholes, portals crossing space-time, jumping to alternate dimensions and universes – and so I incorporated all these different aspects into my first draft of Rogue Genesis.
I wanted Rogue Genesis to be a fantastical story, but have it evolve from a scientific base. Niall’s abilities derive from his brain’s ability to interact with and interpret its surroundings, only he does this way better than everyone else. The sequel Destiny Nexus goes on to explore why his brain is so much more advanced than the rest of the human race and leads him to darker times and faraway places.
Ally: What do you intend as the future of this series? Do you have a set number of books in mind?
CERI: I intend there to be four main volumes for the Shimmer in the Dark series, but there is huge potential for spin off stories. I have already written a dark, tragic, but also inspiring spin off set in the future with links to the main Shimmer series and characters, and I also have a couple of short stories that I offer to subscribers of my mailing list.
Galacticus Elecion will be the third volume in the series and I am currently outlining this one as there will be a lot of new characters and links back to the earlier volumes. This series needs to get considerably darker before any light appears, but there will be a lot of excitement along the way to balance some of the lows.
Ally: What are your hero's best and worst characteristics?
CERI: Niall Kearey is a great guy, described by one reviewer as having a heart of gold. He is the all-American military hero, dedicated to a life of service specialising in rescue and he loves his young family who he’d do anything to protect. However, he keeps his psychic gifts secret, an ingrained habit from his childhood. At first he does this because he thinks he’s going mad, then because everyone else will think he’s crazy or dangerous, and then because he’s protecting those he loves, and so on. This inability to be fully honest has consequences for him, his family, and mankind.
In Destiny Nexus, Niall is used to secretly doing as he thinks is best, but when a bigger enemy enters the picture he is forced to be honest about his past actions. Earth’s authorities are already suspicious about his abilities and the truth causes even more friction. Niall hates his powers being curtailed. He feels betrayed, and he starts to use his abilities a little too casually and with a growing ruthlessness. Readers will discover that behind his “heart of gold” is a trained soldier prepared to take out anyone he considers dangerous to his mission, the same man who waged war defending one alien race from their enemies at the start of Rogue Genesis.
Ally: What makes the villain a good opponent for your hero?
CERI: The villain in Destiny Nexus is an unknown. Balor is secret and powerful, a menacing presence already rooted deep in Niall’s psyche although Niall doesn’t realise this at first. Niall is very powerful, it’s his sense of duty and loyalty to Earth, his desire to be working with the authorities rather than against them, that holds him back, and this proves as much a weakness as well as a strength. Balor is a more clear-cut adversary. Niall can easily identify him as the enemy and as the series moves on this will allow him to embrace his abilities more and more. The problem is that Balor is even more powerful than Niall, and there is a merciless army and thousands of years of history standing between them.
Ally: Every author does a lot of marketing these days. What's your favorite social media, and why?
CERI: I use twitter a lot. I belong to an author support group that makes its use very effective. I also love Facebook for keeping me in touch with author friends.
Ally: Let's see how you do with some quick answer questions:
Ally: Thanks so much for spending time with us, Ceri. I hope you'll visit again soon. Before we close, can you tell us a little more about your books?
- a. most memorable book you read in 2014: Marcha Fox’s Star Trails Tetralogy. I have just advance reviewed the last book in the series: Refractions of Frozen Time. Her work is packed full of science and great for YA and adults alike.
- b. favorite daytime drink: Tea!
- c. favorite fashion accessory: Jewelry.
- d. an item on your bucket list: See the Grand Canyon.
- e. What's at the top of your TBR pile? Extinction Horizon by Nick Sansbury Smith, Maer Wilson’s Modern Magics series, and the last two books in Tammy Salyer’s Spectras Arise Trilogy. I really want to read Christoph Fischer’s The Healer too! I have time management issues.
Book Blurb: Rogue Genesis:
One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.
Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.
Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.
Buy Link: Amazon
Book launch page for Rogue Genesis: http://booklaunch.io/cerilondon/rogue-genesis
Book Blurb: Destiny Nexus:
“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”
Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.
Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.
The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.
How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him? Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.
An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.
Buy Link: Amazon
Find other books here: http://smarturl.it/CeriLondonAmazon
Thanks for visiting my blog. Please come back soon!
Good Morning, Booklovers!
If you're young or young at heart, pull up a chair and visit with today's guest, YA author, PJ Sharon.
What may I get you to drink, PJ?
PJ: I’m a tea drinker! Never acquired a taste for coffee. I prefer decaf Irish or English breakfast tea these days.
Ally: While I pour, please show readers your bio.
Brief Bio: Award winning author of young adult books, including PIECES of LOVE, HEAVEN is for HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and Holt Medallion winner SAVAGE CINDERELLA, PJ Sharon loves writing for teens and teens at heart. Her latest work, HEALING WATERS, along with books one and two, WANING MOON and WESTERN DESERT, completes The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael, a YA dystopian trilogy.
In her “real life” job as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yogi, PJ has been called “a powerhouse of positivity and productivity.” Her mantra is “find balance in all things, and live every day to the fullest.” A black belt in the art of Shaolin Kempo Karate, avid kayaker, and singer of Italian art songs, PJ has two grown sons and lives with her loveable and very handy husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever after.
Something unique about me? As part of my character Lexi’s journey, I wrote and recorded a theme song for PIECES of LOVE, my latest contemporary YA romance, which released in June of 2014. Lexi is a young singer and song writer who wrote this song for her sister who died. You can hear a sample of the song in the book trailer. I thought it would be a unique angle to offer a link to the song within the e-book. Pieces of Love Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/6qTpFSh_Q_U Available for download on i-Tunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pieces-of-love-single/id848325918
Contact the Author:
E-mail address: email@example.com
Amazon’s Author Central page: https://www.amazon.com/author/pjsharon
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+PJSharon/posts
Ally: We've already mentioned that you write Young Adult fiction. Can you tell us why you chose that genre?
PJ: I originally began writing adult romance about eight years ago, but quickly found that I was too embarrassed to have anyone I knew read them. I also knew that I wanted my writing to make a difference in people’s lives. Not that adult romances don’t inspire and entertain, but I considered the impact of sharing some valuable life lessons with teens in a way that wasn’t preachy, but would help them in understanding themselves in a new way. I write books that I wish I had had to read when I was a teenager.
My first several YA novels were contemporary (I’ve combined HEAVEN is for HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and PIECES of LOVE together in a box set called The GIRLS of THOMPSON LAKE. Included in the set is a novella that ties all the characters together into one story). In the midst of writing contemporary YA novels, I had an idea for a dystopian trilogy that wouldn’t leave me alone. If you’re a writer, you know exactly what I mean. You also know the characters won’t stop until you get them onto the page. It took me three years, but the Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy is now complete!
Ally: I'm always interested in other writers' plans for their writing. Do you have writing goals for this month? This year? Five years from now?
PJ: My writing goal this month is to make progress on a non-fiction project I’ve been working on—Ergonomics and Self-Care (A Practical Guide for Writers, Readers, Desk Jockeys and Couch Potatoes). The sedentary lifestyle prevalent in today’s digital world is causing significant problems for people, and as a massage therapist and personal trainer, I see it firsthand. With over twenty-five years in the health and fitness field, I have lots of helpful suggestions that I want to share with the masses. I’m hoping to have the book done this summer since I’m doing a workshop on the topic at the New England Romance Writers Conference and the CT Romance Writers Fiction Fest this fall.
On the fiction front, I’m working on a series of novellas in sequel to SAVAGE CINDERELLA, one of my earlier novels that Wattpad readers have expressed an interest in reading more of. With almost three million reads, it seems I have a built in audience for continuation of Brinn’s story. If I can finish one or two of those this year, I’d be really happy! Five years from now? Who knows? This industry is growing and changing so fast, I wonder where any of us will be in five years. Hopefully, I’ll have a significant stock of books on my cyber-shelf and be able to start making some money for retirement. :)
Ally: Can you write anytime, anywhere? Are you easily distracted or totally immersed? Could you write on the subway?
PJ: I can write anytime and anywhere, but for proper ergonomics, I prefer my home office. I like to practice what I preach. :) Oddly, I can work with all kinds of noise around me, but can’t work with music on at all. I’ve never tried to write on a subway, but I bet I could do it if push came to shove.
Ally: If you could claim ownership of any book, what would it be? And why?
PJ: OUTLANDER, by Diana Gabaldon comes to mind. I would have loved to write it for its shear brilliance, but now, I wish I’d written it for the massive financial success it has become.
Ally: Now for some fast answer questions:
Ally: Thanks so much for visiting with us. I wish you great success with your books. Before you go, tell us about the books you brought.
- a. What's your guilty pleasure? I’m a TV drama junky. I spend upwards of four-six hours a night sometimes, catching up on DVR’d shows, often staying up until 1 a.m. and regretting it terribly the next day. It’s a horrible addiction! But who can resist back to back episodes of Downton Abby, NCIS or Castle?
- b. favorite fashion accessory- Soft, fleecy scarves in winter. They’re so versatile! Besides, if my neck is warm, my whole body is warm. That and a fabulous pair of Merrill’s—my go-to shoe for comfort and style.
- c. favorite vegetable-Potatoes…I could eat them mashed, baked, fried, or by the bucket load. I’ve switched to sweet potatoes these days, but as a splurge, I’ll have a baked potato with a steak or lobster.
- d. an item on your bucket list- Ride a gondola in Venice.
- e. last book you cried over-Kristan Higgins’s books always make me cry…then laugh…then cry again. I know I’ll need tissues when I open one of her novels.
Blurb: The GIRLS of THOMPSON LAKE includes the award-winning Young Adult novels HEAVEN is for HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and PIECES OF LOVE by PJ Sharon. Filled with family drama, challenging teen issues, and sweet romances, these stories promise laughs, tears, and hopefully ever after endings. With the heroines all connected through their home town, you get a glimpse of their friendship in each book. Added as bonus content in this box set, and tying all the main characters into one heartwarming holiday novella, SAMI’S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST will have you rooting for our troubled teen heroine and falling in love right alongside her.
SAMI’S CHRISTMAS WISH LIST-Bonus novella (28K) Log Line: Can 17 year-old Samantha Owens bring her friends together to save the local church…just in time for Christmas? Or will the ghosts of her past keep The GIRLS of THOMPON LAKE apart?
Read a chapter on Wattpad:
Book Trailers: http://www.youtube.com/pjsharon64
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Girls-Thompson-Lake-Box-Set-ebook/dp/B00R334GSE/
Thanks, readers, for spending part of your day with us. Come back soon!