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Good morning, booklovers!

This week's guest on the Coffee Chat is contemporary romance writer, Marianne Rice.
Welcome, Marianne. May I pour you a cup of coffee?

MARIANNE: 
Ick. I absolutely love the smell of coffee but have never acquired the taste for it. I’m a tea drinker. I love my Yogi Green Tea: Blueberry Slim Life. Yummy and helps my body get rid of the vodka and chocolate I had the night before.

Ally: Then tea it is. While the magic pot is fixing your tea, please show readers your bio and tell them that extra something about you that's unusual.



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Bio:
Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, relaxing with fancy drinks and romance books.
Something unique: Most people see my shoe porn (that I truly wear and can actually walk—even run—in) and think I’m a girly-princess. Well, I love to be treated like one, but I also love to get dirty. I’ve run in over ten muddy obstacle races—the dirtier the better. I’ve signed up for my third Tough Mudder this fall (the most badass twelve mile obstacle course there is…designed by British Special Ops), and have run a slew other mudslinging obstacle races. It’s the best and most fun way to get a workout in.


Author contact links:

Website:  www.mariannerice.weebly.com
Amazon Author page:  amazon.com/author/mariannerice
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/MarianneRiceaut
Good reads:  https://www.goodreads.com/MarianneRice
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/mariannericeaut
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mariannericeaut



Ally: Are there required elements for a contemporary romance?

MARIANNE:  I don’t think there is a list of official requirements other than Happily Ever After, but for me contemporary means real life, real places, real issues. Granted the towns/cities/buildings can be made up, but they should sound and look like real places. I love to write (and read) about conflicts that most of us face in life in some way, shape, or form.

Ally:  What are your heroine's best and worst qualities? How do they influence her love life?

MARIANNE: In False Impressions, Samantha Chase, despite being a young widow and single mom, is perky, optimistic, and is emotionally and physically strong. Falling for Cole Tucker isn’t hard, but when she learns he’s been dishonest with her, she has a hard time forgiving him. She lets past ghosts and fears get in the way of what she really wants.

Ally:  What is your idea of the ideal book boyfriend? Is he the ultimate alpha? Or a laid-back guy with a good sense of humor? Or something else?

MARIANNE: Tough question. I want a guy who has it all, but that’s unrealistic and I like to write reality. Each hero in the McKay-Tucker series has different qualities. I am attracted to the alpha male (my husband was a middle linebacker in college…yum), but that doesn’t mean he should be obnoxious or domineering. In False Start, Connor is a bit more forceful, while Mason in False Hope is quiet—the observer. Cole is the funny guy. I really enjoyed writing Cole’s story in False Impressions and plan on incorporating more humor into my future books. Tough guy appearance but funny with a soft heart. Yeah, that’s my kind of guy.

Ally:  Tell us about the next book. Will it be a follow-up to this one?

MARIANNE: With the recent release of False Impressions, the McKay-Tucker series is complete, but I’m super excited to announce Secret Cravings Publishing has picked up another series I’ve written starring the Wilde Sisters. They’re unique and supportive of each other after being neglected by their parents. Sweet on You comes out in September, with the rest of the series coming out in January and May of 2016.

5. Here's a few quick answer, get-to-know-you questions:
  • a. favorite after five drink:   Anything with flavored vodka (Pinnacle is THE best brand)
  • b. a day on the beach or a hike through the mountains:  Eeek, pressure. Am I with friends or family? Family—hike through the mountains. Solo or with girlfriends--beach
  • c. Can you keep a secret or do you have to tell someone?  I can totally be trusted, but if the secret won’t hurt anyone by telling my BFF, I gotta share.
  • d. favorite type of jewelry:  Dangly earrings. But funky bracelets are a close second. Oh, and fun rings.
  • e. What author would you like to take to lunch?  Jill Shalvis. I want to be her. :)
Ally: Thanks so much for visiting today. Good luck with your writing! But before you go, let's take a look at your book...


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FALSE IMPRESSIONS
(McKay-Tucker Men Book 3)


Recovering alcoholic and former party animal, Cole Tucker would be an idiot to start something with his newly hired right-hand woman, Samantha Chase. It figures he can’t seem to keep his mitts off the sexy, five-foot-nothing single mom who can toss a sack of shingles over her shoulder and rewire a house better than the crew from Extreme Home Makeover. Her incredible strength and self-confidence draw him in; something Cole has pretended to have for years. All he has to show for himself is his uncanny use of pick-up lines, a hand-me-down farm and some small-town rental properties. When he learns Samantha’s husband and daughter were killed by a drunk driver, the shame of his past experience with a DUI and near-death accident is the last thing he wants to mention to her.

Samantha has no problem accepting her new boss, flaws and all. His simple life is charming and exactly what she hoped to find for herself and her son in Newhall, New Hampshire. Cole wins her over by befriending her fatherless son and making her laugh again, something she hasn’t done in four years. When she learns about his shady past with the bottle, her heart tells her to forgive, but the painful memories of her past are too deep to overlook. 

Buy Links:

Amazon http://goo.gl/rqT03b
Amazon UK http://goo.gl/hcl0cK
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-impressions/id1001761582?mt=11
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/false-impressions-marianne-rice/1122058236?ean=9781622102013 



Thanks for joining us for coffee/tea! Come back soon...


 
 
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Welcome, everyone!

Pull up a chair, pour your favorite drink, and join this week's author chat. Our guest today is Barbara White Daille.

What may I get you to drink, Barbara?

BWD:
Tea drinker here.  Black, no sugar, not too strong.

Ally: While I fix our drinks, please tell readers something about yourself.




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BIO:

Barbara White Daille lives with her husband in the sunny Southwest. Though they love the warm winters and the lizards in their front yard, they haven’t gotten used to the scorpions in the bathroom.

Barbara loves writing, reading about cowboy heroes (among many others), and chocolate. Come to think of it, she enjoys writing about those subjects, too!

Barbara’s new series, The Hitching Post Hotel, features a matchmaking grandpa determined to see his three granddaughters wed. The series began in April 2015 with The Cowboy’s Little Surprise and continues with A Rancher of Her Own in July and The Lawman’s Christmas Proposal in December.

And you asked for something unusual:
  I usually read my favorite authors’ books in chronological order, but once in a while to mix it up, I read them alphabetically.  I guess that qualifies as unusual, if not downright odd.  :)  But I’ll bet some of you do that, too.  If not, you should try it!

Author Links:

Website  http://www.barbarawhitedaille.com
Blog  http://www.barbarawhitedaille.com/blog
Newsletter http://www.barbarawhitedaille.com/newsletter
Twitter https://twitter.com/BarbaraWDaille
Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/barbarawhitedaille
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/BarbaraWhiteDaille
Amazon Author Page  http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-White-Daille/e/B002J6B0QQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1422840898&sr=8-1 



Ally: Why don't we start with the type of books you write. Who is your biggest audience?

BWD:  My books are short contemporary romances, home and family stories with a touch of humor.  They’re set in small towns and usually feature cowboys and ranchers.  And there is always a cast of fun secondary characters—family and friends, matchmakers and meddlers—who interfere in the heroes and heroines’ lives because, of course, they know what’s best for them.  The heat level ranges from sweet to slightly heated, although I sometimes see spicy ratings if the book has a love scene.

In my opinion, my largest audience is anyone who likes what they’ve read above!  : ) Overall, my readership is female and probably enjoys books from authors such as Debbie Macomber and Kristan Higgins.

Ally:  How do you best reach your readers? Online? Book conferences? Etc?

BWD:  Blogging, Facebook, and Twitter, for the most part.  I love to chat with readers, and the Internet is such a great tool for being able to meet and stay in touch.  Readers can also contact me through the Contact form and Newsletter link at my website.

Ally:  Do you have other books or write in other genres, under other names? What is your present work in progress?

BWD:  Currently, I’m working on a three-book series that’s going in to my editor any day now, so everyone, please cross your fingers and think good thoughts.

I also have a couple of mysteries and some romantic suspense manuscripts, which for now live in file cabinets or my computer hard drive.  And I have lots of ideas for other books in the works, all living in those same locations.

Ally: Let's do a few quick answer questions:
  • a. favorite color of nail polish - fingers or toes?  French manicure with white tips.  On both.
  • b. name a guilty pleasure:  Long soak, hot bath, good book.
  • c. strangest thing in your handbag/purse: The best I can come up with is a small plastic tube filled with a stash of peanut M&M’s for emergency purposes.
  • d. favorite outdoor activity:  Walking from the parking lot into the library or the bookstore.
  • e. last time you took a selfie: You know, I hate to confess this, but I’ve never taken one. 
 Ally:  We're almost out of time for today. Thanks for coming! It's been fun talking with you, but let's not keep readers waiting any longer to see your book...

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A Rancher of Her Own

A REASON TO STAY 

Ranch manager Pete Brannigan has no interest in playing tour guide to a city slicker like Jane Garland. But spending a few days with the headstrong photographer is a small price to pay for everything her grandfather has given the single dad. Though Pete's drawn to Jane's sharp wit and striking beauty, he won't hurt his young children by falling for another woman who puts her career before family. 

Jane's seen the world through her camera…and used it to shield her emotions. With Pete, she can finally let her guard down. If only he could do the same. Despite their powerful bond, Pete still can't trust Jane with his kids or his heart. But if he keeps pushing her away, he may ruin any chance their relationship has to develop.

Buy Links:

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Rancher-Her-Hitching-Post-Hotel/dp/0373755775
Barnes & Noble:   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-rancher-of-her-own-barbara-white-daille/1121000580?ean=9780373755776
Books-a-Million:   http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Rancher-Her-Own/Barbara-White-Daille/9780373755776?id=6239306653739
Harlequin:   http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=59367
IndieBound:   http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780373755776
Kobo:   https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/a-rancher-of-her-own 



Thanks for stopping by. Come back soon!

 
 
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Good Wednesday, Booklovers!

I hope you're in the mood for a little romantic suspense. Author Ellie Eden is visiting this week with her novel, Letting Evil In. (There's a nice bod on the cover!)

Welcome, Ellie! What can I get you to drink?

ELLIE: 
Coffee with cream. Tanned and sweet but not too sweet - like I like my guys :)


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Ellie Eden thinks the next best thing to hot romance is reading or writing about it. And she finds it even better to be somewhat scared or totally petrified at the same time. That's why she loves Romantic Suspense/Thrillers. She favors strong, protective alpha heroes, but finds murderous but good-looking bad guys fun too, at least on paper. And she loves to escape into an exotic, preferably crime-ridden, location.
In another life, Ellie Eden writes as Ellie Crowe, the best-selling author of two cultural travel books about the Hawaiian Islands and a number of award-winning biographies about mostly alpha heroes such as Surfer of the Century, the Life of Duke Kahanamoku.

Contact the Author:

Website: 
https://edenauthor.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EllieEdenAuthor
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellie-Eden/274326029400077


Ally: Let's start by telling readers what kind of books you write.

ELLIE: 
I've written a number of travel books, children's books and biographies, written as Ellie Crowe. LETTING EVIL IN, written with the pen name Ellie Eden, is my first romantic suspense novel. I love to read Romantic Suspense/Thrillers and it was really fun to write on the dark side. I found myself falling for the hero, Tony, so good-looking, hot, caring, strong, and enough of an edge to make you wonder if he is really too good to be true. One of my bad guys was cute too - Azul, the drug dealer with the blue, blue wolf's eyes. Of course the real villains were a scary evil lot. I also enjoyed writing from the perspective of Nara, the bad girl. Its liberating to be on the dark side! The heroine, Kristi, had a lot to contend with!

Ally: 
Setting can add so much richness to a story. What's the setting for Letting Evil In? Is it important to the story?

ELLIE:
  I love reading books set in exotic locations. LETTING EVIL IN is set in Rio de Janeiro. I traveled to South America and thought Rio a fascinating location for a book. Its a beautiful but dangerous city and the people are lively and attractive. The rainforests are deep and dark - a great place to lose a heroine. There is even a spooky mausoleum that I simply had to bring into the plot. And there is a voodoo religion with a powerful but fickle goddess still worshiped today. What more could one want! The setting itself is a big part of the story.

Ally:  You described this book to me as a "little racy." What can readers expect? Is this hot and steamy sex or just a touch of spice? But don't give too much away. :)

ELLIE:
  When I read love scenes I like to feel I am there, part of the intense feelings, the sizzling sensations. I don't like books that read like a how-to-do-it-manual or Sex 101. I think the reader grasps the general idea - the emotions and sensations and longings are something I try to convey. A lot of readers said the book was hot - I'm glad!

Ally:  Describe your journey to publication. Did you have an agent? Did you know someone? Random query?

ELLIE:
  I sent the novel to a few agents and was rejected despite the fact that most said they enjoyed reading it. That was depressing, so I decided to go directly to a publisher. I then looked for a publisher who published similar books and was open to accepting books directly from writers. I sent the novel to two publishers and both accepted the book. I liked the sound of the editor at Etopia Press, so I chose Etopia Press. I really like the other authors I've met through Etopia. Its been a great experience to get to know these writers online. I also love the cover Etopia designed.

Ally: What's your next writing project?

ELLIE:
  I want to write a dystopian novel. I'm working on the plot at the moment. I nearly crashed the car the other day while thinking about it while driving, so writing can be a dangerous occupation!

Ally: Are you ready for a few quick answer questions?
  • a. a favorite musician:  My son, Adam Crowe, - that's one of his songs on my YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBj0-Y90NNA. A few summers ago my husband Will and I became groupies and followed Adam's band FreeSound on tour around California, Montana, Washington and Idaho. We really enjoyed the colorful scene at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival and the Seattle Hemp Fest. One of the best parts was at a nightclub. On the dance floor, I noticed a pretty girl fumbling around under her sweater. Then she took off her bra, ran up to the stage and looped the bra around Adam's microphone cord. Wow - I couldn't believe it! My son! Will and I cracked up, silently! Adam, playing lead guitar, was oblivious. He had his eyes closed as he played so didn't even notice. Later the bra took a place of honor in the tour van.
  • b. a favorite author:  Joy Fielding. I love that type of romantic suspense/thriller where the characters are all people you can relate to who are unaware they are in perilous situations until its too late. I love lots of turns and twists in a plot. That's what I try to write.
  • c. Are you a spike heels or sneakers girl?  I'm 5'4" and would love to be taller so I usually wear heels. I'd love to have them really high but I'd probably fall over, so they are more like medium. I wear sneakers for hiking.
  • d. a favorite summer sport: Hiking. I also love to snorkel.

Ally:  Thanks so much for visiting today. I hope you'll come back and chat again. Now, let's take a look at your book...

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Blurb: LETTING EVIL IN

When Michael goes on a photographic assignment to Brazil and fails to return, Kristi and her son fly to Rio de Janeiro, desperate to find him. Instead she finds that during the cold New Jersey winter, her husband has spent his time in steamy chat rooms with Nara, a young woman desperate for attention and involved in the Rio drug world. 

As she searches for Michael in exotic but crime-ridden Rio, Kristy finds herself way out of her league. She turns to Italian-Brazilian Federal Agent Tony Lamazzo for help. As the harsh truth of her marriage brings a dose of reality to her life, she finds the temptation of getting closer to the strong, capable—and totally hot—Tony difficult to resist. She’s in Brazil on the Day of Dead, a day when Brazilians go wild. Why shouldn’t she go wild with Tony, for just one night, before returning home to start the new life alone she’ll have to learn to make for herself? 

But when her son vanishes too, Kristi doesn’t know where to turn. Michael’s affair with drug-dealing Nara has exposed them all to the murderous wrath of a ruthless drug lord, and while she longs to trust Tony, she can’t trust his powerful and politically corrupt family. But in the dangerous slums and rainforests of Brazil, the danger mounts for both Kristi and her son, and a cold-blooded enemy has an agenda of his own. If she trusts Tony, she might save her son. Or it might just get them all killed…

BUY LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/Letting-Evil-In-Ellie-Eden-ebook/dp/B00JRFVP2G
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/letting-evil-in-ellie-eden/1119257208?ean=2940149345595



Thanks for stopping by the blog. See you next week!
Don't forget to buy her book! :)

 
 
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It's Wednesday! Time for our weekly book chat!

Today's guest has visited with us before, and it's a pleasure to welcome back PJ Sharon. Just to give her fans a heads up, read all the way to the bottom of this post if you'd like to win a couple of free books! :)

Welcome, PJ. Can you believe this heat? I confess I'm drinking my coffee iced today.
I assume you're still a tea drinker! Do you have a summer drink preference?


PJ:  I do love a good glass of iced tea, but if I want something with a little more zip, I’m partial to Sangria! I love to make my own. I start with a nice blended red wine (Apothic Red works perfectly), add ginger ale (2/3 wine, 1/3 ginger ale), and pour over frozen berries. I like to garnish it with an orange slice. It’s refreshing and reminds me of Barcelona.

Ally: Ooo, I want that too! But maybe later in the day. While I'm pouring drinks, please tell readers about yourself.



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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 Yoga instructor, PJ Sharon 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 brilliant engineer of a husband in the Berkshire Hills of Western MA., where she writes YA…because every teen deserves a hopefully ever after.

Contact links:

Website: http://www.pjsharon.com
Twitter: @pjsharon      http://www.twitter.com/pjsharon
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pjsharonbooks
Amazon’s Author Central page: https://www.amazon.com/author/pjsharon
Sign-up for PJ’s Newsletter: http://circlepad.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=0fd89e9ae21de08e7c6a097b9&id=8b525d66a1


AllyLet's start way back at the beginning. When did you write the first story you shared with someone?

PJ:  I had shared poetry with friends and classmates as a teenager, but it wasn’t until I’d completed my first novel at forty-two that I had any desire to have anyone read and critique my work. It was terrifying, but I trusted the person to be honest and helpful. As a retired high school English teacher, she was brutal with her red pen, but an incredible tutor. She became my writing coach, and later, I hired her as my first editor when I decided to self-publish.

Ally: Since we're talking about your trilogy today, tell me how that evolved. When and how did this story become a trilogy? Can each book be read alone?

PJ:  The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael came to me fully formed as a trilogy. Even the title sprang to mind quickly. I saw Lily clearly from the start and knew that three books would be needed to tell the complete story. Once I answered the question of “what is Lily’s core conflict,” I knew the beginning and ending of each book…Lily’s conflict being that she is a healer in a world where killing to survive is often a necessity. She struggles with this concept through all three books, her arc taking her ever closer to coming to terms with the issue. I needed to show her evolving in her environment without losing her core beliefs and what makes her heroic. Each book can stand alone, but the reader learns important information along the way that is integral to understanding Lily’s journey, her need to protect her brother, and her relationship with Will Callahan, the young drifter she meets in book one who steals her heart but causes her no end of grief throughout the trilogy—he being a firm believer in the end justifies the means.

As for how the story idea evolved, living in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, I’m situated out in the woods, about a half hour from anywhere, LOL. My husband and I have little entertainment out here other than to watch Netflix or hang out with our neighbors on Saturday nights and play cards.

We adore our neighbors—who are retired, listen to public radio all day, have a killer organic veggie garden in the summer, and see more wildlife in their back yard than you’d see at a local zoo on any given day! Conversation over cards and wine often turns to current events and the “what if” kind of questions that lead people to prepare for the worst. My husband—being an engineer—often has very technical and creative solutions to problems, spurring my creative brain to see it all play out in story form. Since I set the story in the not too distant future, it’s easy to imagine how the world might evolve in the next fifty years if certain conditions come to pass. The twists and turns that happen along the way are pure imagination, lots of research, and two years of blood, sweat and tears.

Being a writer of Contemporary YA, writing a dystopian trilogy might seem like I jumped the rails, but teens in any era are still teens. They struggle with figuring out who they are and where they fit into the world, they struggle with relationships and falling in love, and they deal with parents, sickness, trauma, and emotional angst at every turn. The bottom line is that once Lily was in my head, I knew I needed to tell her story.

Ally:   Although a lot of us read mostly e-books today, there's still something special about print copies. What did you do with the first print copy of your first book? Are all of your books in print?

PJ:  I love print books! And OMG, the first time I held a copy of HEAVEN is for HEROES, my first published contemporary YA back in 2011, I cried, I danced, I sang. Hysteria ensued. LOL. It was a surreal moment and continues to thrill me every time I open a box of books. I do have the first printed copy of each book in a book case right next to my desk. It helps me to see how far I’ve come when I get down on myself for “slacking”. All of my books are in print and I enjoy doing book signings on occasion or having them to offer to family and friends—as well as libraries, reviewers, and bloggers. I’m amazed at how many readers still want the print copies, and how much they appreciate having a signed book. It may seem counter intuitive, but YA readers, in particular, seem to prefer the print version.

Ally: Do you purchase swag for your books? If so, what kinds, where, and what do you do with it?

PJ:  I design them myself, but get most of my promo materials through Vista Print or Next Day Flyers. Both are fast, reasonably priced, and create quality products. I have bookmarks, post cards, and business cards on hand at conferences, book signings or just to hand out at restaurants (I find lots of waitresses are college age, and many are avid readers of YA). I send swag to contest winners, offer up gift baskets of books and swag as raffle prizes, or even leave them at movie theaters, book stores, libraries, or malls. I basically plant them anywhere that teens and readers of YA might congregate. You never know who will pick one up!

Ally Do you make public appearances? Do you feel these bring you new readers or are they a thing of the past?

PJ
:  Public appearances and book signings are a labor of love for me. I enjoy meeting readers and chatting with people about books and the writing process. Many avid readers are wannabe writers. They are fascinated by how we do what we do, and want to connect with someone face to face who has accomplished the great feat of creating a whole world from nothing. A short conversation or piece of advice I can give to inspire someone goes miles toward making it worth it for me. If I find new readers along the way, all the better.

By the same token, writing is a business, and at the end of the day, everything comes down to return on investment. I’m very selective now about where I do appearances. I do two to three large local fairs each year where I know I’ll have thousands of people walking by. It’s a big time commitment, but I usually sell a decent number of books and meet tons of interesting people. Bookmarks and post cards end up in the hands of hundreds of potential readers so I think it’s worth it. I also use the time to work on my latest project in between “rushes.”

I do fewer library talks these days because they don’t bring in enough people anymore. It’s sad, but it’s the same for book stores. Unless you are with a group of other writers and backed by a big name who have advertised the crap out of the event, setting up and attending book signings at my local indie book store is a huge time suck and not worth the effort for me.

Ally: Here we go with five quick answer questions:
  • a. favorite tv show: Ha! Being a TV junkie, that’s a hard one. I love cop shows, action/adventure, and romance, so anything along the lines of NCIS, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Blue Bloods or Hawaii Five-O make my top 10 list. And then there is Outlander—which for me is like a hot fudge Sunday with nuts and a cherry on top. If you’re asking me to decide between Alex O’Loughlin and Sam Heughen…alas, I cannot pick just one. I’ll take both please!
  • b. a food you absolutely hate: Cilantro. Need I say more?
  • c. favorite kind of pie or cake: I love pie! Any kind will do, but if you can add coconut and dark chocolate to pie or cake, I’m there.
  • d. How do you backup your writing? Everything goes to One Drive these days so at the very least, it’s all on the Cloud. I also have an external storage that I back up onto weekly just to make sure I don’t lose anything major.
  • e. next vacation destination: We’ll do some camping over the summer, but are most looking forward to a romantic getaway to the Bahamas in November.
Ally: It's been a pleasure, PJ. I hope you'll visit with us again soon. Before you show us the trilogy you brought, I think you had something you want to tell the readers...take it away.

*
PJ: Thanks so much for having me. It’s always great hanging out and chatting with you! I’m happy to answer reader questions and since WANING MOON is free, I’d love to gift copies of WESTERN DESERT and HEALING WATERS to one of your readers so they can enjoy the whole trilogy—on me!

                      *Leave a comment and let me know you’re interested and I’ll randomly choose one winner. *


The Chronicles of Lily Carmichael Trilogy:

WANING MOON (Book 1)

In the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a polar shift threatens the survivors of a widespread pandemic with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically enhanced Lily Carmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet town and journey to the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit her abilities. 

Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest, killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the tension between them grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put Lily in far more danger than traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have told her to run the minute she found him.


WESTERN DESERT (Book 2)


Genetically enhanced sixteen-year-old Lily Carmichael, and seventeen-year-old Will Callahan embark on a journey across a sun-ravaged and decimated US in the year 2057, bound for the Western Desert on a dangerous rescue mission. The survivors they meet along the way put Lily’s healing abilities to the test and challenge Will’s resolve to find his missing father—no matter the cost. But even with the burden of life and death on their shoulders, and the Industry hot on their trail, the greatest challenge they face is trusting their hearts to each other.

HEALING WATERS (Book 3)


Lily Carmichael and her friends are in the midst of a daring escape from Las Vegas. In this final installment, Lily faces her ultimate challenge. After a failed rescue attempt, and no home to return to, Lily and Will reunite to join with her uncle and his Network of rebels, taking on Vice President Malevich and his army of agents, drones, and Guardians. With Malevich systematically enslaving the city-dwellers who depend on the New Government for their survival—he’s made it clear he will eliminate anyone who stands in his way.

Leading the rebellion while staying one step ahead of the Industry takes Lily, Will, and their friends on a harrowing journey from the desert southwest to the new Capitol in Chicago, where they’ll face a fight to the death. But Lily’s greatest gift—her driving instinct to heal and protect—may also be her greatest enemy. As Lily’s abilities grow, can she do what it takes to save humanity, while taking down the madman bent on destroying it?


Trilogy Buy Links:

Amazon Buy Link for trilogy
 
B & N Buy Link for trilogy and prequel
Apple iTunes Link for trilogy and prequel
Kobo Link for Books 1, 3 and prequel
Smashwords Link for trilogy and prequel 

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Short story prequel to the trilogy: SOUL REDEMPTION

Lily’s thirteen-year-old brother Zephron deals with the emotional turmoil of living with the genetically-induced ability to take life with just a touch. In this first person account of Zeph’s struggles with being an adolescent with such a destructive and powerful “gift,” Zeph must face his lack of control and discover whether he has a place in his world, or if he’s better off leaving his family behind in order to protect them.
If you had this terrible “gift” what would you do?


Read it on Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/2398301-soul-redemption

Download it for free from Smashwords, B&N, Apple, Kobo (links above)


Don't forget you can download book 1 for free. Leave a comment here and you may win the other two. Need a comment topic? Tell her which cover is your favorite!


 
 
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Good Wednesday, Booklovers!

Our guest this week is Maer Wilson, who wears more than one hat in the publishing world.  I hope she has her author hat on today, so we can talk about her Modern Magics series. :)

Welcome, Maer. What can I get you to drink?

MW: I only drink coffee once in a while. I had to give up caffeine (I know, horror story right there, huh?), so I usually drink water or herbal, non-caffeine teas. When I do get a coffee treat it’s the flavored ones like Café Caramel made in my Keurig or a Frappuccino from Starbucks.

Ally: Although I have a serious addiction to Starbucks, I won't tempt you. One cup of herbal tea coming right up. Please introduce yourself to our readers while I'm gone.



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BIO:

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she's a writer. She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She also co-hosts the literary podcast MythBehaving. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her three dogs, a chihuahua and two poodles.

You asked for something unique/unusual that isn't in my bio: I’m currently working on a zombie story featuring my toy poodle, Cienna. No, it’s not for kids.

Her books include Relics and Portals, Books 1 and 2 in the Modern Magics series. The upcoming third book in the series is Magics. There are also four novelettes in the series - “Ghost Memory,” “Unwanted Ghost,”  “Ghost Dancer” and “Wedding Ghost.” You can find all books and novelettes in the Modern Magics series at Amazon and other online retailers.

For more info, visit Maer’s website at http://maerwilson.com/.

Maer's Links:

Website - http://maerwilson.com/
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Maer-Wilson/e/B00CDX29YW/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maer-Wilson-Author/149085628472833
Twitter - https://twitter.com/MaerWilson
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7040319.Maer_Wilson
Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/maerw/boards/ 



Ally:  Now that everyone is settled, would you explain how you chose the genres you write?

MW: It’s more like the genres chose me. Fantasy, Sci Fi and Mysteries have been my go-to genres for decades as a reader, so it was only natural to write in those genres. In fact, it didn’t occur to me in the beginning to write in anything else. That probably explains why my books and stories are actually cross-genre.

Ally:  Does each novel start with a story idea or a character? What comes next? Do you know the ending from the time you start?

MW: It’s definitely characters for me. Once I know who I’m writing about, the story flows from there. I put them in situations and see what happens. And yes, I usually have a vague idea where I’m going to end up.

Ally:  Does your family read your books? Do they give you feedback?

MW: LOL Some of my family read the books after they’re published, but they’re not involved in the writing process. They give me lots of positive support after the fact.

Ally: How did you spend your first author check? Do you still have a copy of it?

MW: No, I didn’t save it because it was an online payment. It went into my bank account, and I have no clue what I eventually spent it on.

Ally: Let's try a few quick answer questions:
  • a. ice cream or yogurt – Ice cream
  • b. last movie you saw in a theater – Into the Woods
  • c. favorite movie ever – Fellowship of the Ring
  • d. favorite snack food – Frozen custard/gelato/ice cream
  • e. a place you haven't visited but hope to someday - Australia

Ally:  Thanks so much for chatting with us this morning. I hope you'll visit again, but before you go, please tell us about the book you brought.

MW: Relics is the first book in the Modern Magics series. Portals, book two, and four novelettes are already out, and the third book, Magics, will be released soon.

Ally: I love series! Okay, let's take a look…


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Relics (Modern Magics book 1)

Blurb:

Most of Thulu and La Fi's clients are dead. Which is perfect since their detective agency caters to the supernatural. But a simple job finding a lost locket leads to a big case tracking relics for an ancient daemon.

The daemon needs the relics to keep a dangerous portal closed. His enemy, Gabriel, wants the relics to open the portal and give his people access to a new feeding ground – Earth.

Caught on live TV, other portals begin to open and the creatures of magic return to Earth. The people of Earth are not alone, but will soon wish they were.

When Gabriel threatens their family, Thulu and La Fi's search becomes personal. The couple will need powerful help in the race to find the relics before Gabriel does. But maybe that's what ghostly friends, magical allies, and daemonic clients are for.

When the creatures of myth and magic return to Earth, they're nothing like your mother's fairy tales.

Relics Book Trailer   


Buy Links for Relics:

Amazon - Kindle - myBook.to/RelicsKindle
Amazon - Paperback - myBook.to/RelicsPrint
Barnes & Noble - Nook - http://goo.gl/CMn4EP
iTunes - http://goo.gl/S12nbK
Kobo - http://goo.gl/CI889R 



Thanks for joining us! Please come back soon!
Don't forget to subscribe to the blog (at the top) so you never miss an author chat.

 
 

NEW RELEASE!


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A Dose of Danger
by Kim McMahill


Genre:        Romantic Suspense
Series:        Volume: 1

Formats:    ebook and Paperback
Publishing date: 29th of May 2015
Publisher:  Prism Book Group

Blurb/Synopsis:


  Will passion ignite from the embers of tragedy…

When researcher, Grace Talbot, and her team discover a possible solution for weight loss, they become targets of a group dedicated to controlling the multi-billion dollar a year diet-product industry. Her unsanctioned testing methods bring tragedy to the family ranch, and the attention of the local sheriff’s deputy. With her colleagues either dead, missing, or on the run, she soon realizes she must trust the deputy with her life, but can she trust him with her heart?

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Dose-Danger-Kim-McMahill-ebook/dp/B00V50EEBA/





A DOSE OF DANGER EXCERPT:

“Until what?” Grace screamed into the receiver, which was now dead. 

Blue bolted from his position curled up in front of the fire, teeth bared, hair standing on the back of his neck, a low growl resonating from deep in his chest. Aussie joined in, and the two dogs’ reactions sent terror through Grace’s mind.

Hanging up the phone, she raced to the window and froze at the sight of headlights approaching the house. She prayed it was Logan, but after Sheriff Harris’s call she knew it was only wishful thinking. Grace grabbed the shotgun, and pulling the curtain back just a fraction, she peeked outside and waited for what felt like an eternity.

With the headlights shining directly at the house, she couldn’t determine anything about the vehicle, its make, or the number and identity of its occupants.

Grace’s mind raced through the possibilities, trying to determine the smartest course of action. What could she do? No landline and no cell reception…she was on her own. She could try to text someone, but doubted she had the time or that her trembling fingers could navigate the tiny keyboard. 

She had a double-barreled shotgun, but that gave her only two shots before she’d have to reload. Aussie and Blue were ready to battle, but they weren’t trained guard dogs, just loyal. She had no intention of putting them in danger. She tried to rationalize the situation and not overreact. The vehicle might belong to a neighbor, a scared and lost traveler, or as far as she could see from her location, Logan.

The engine was silenced, but the headlights remained on, shining in the window, nearly blinding her. Grace focused on the scene, and after several moments a person stumbled out of the vehicle, a parka’s hood covering all identifying features.

As the lone figure slowly approached, Grace decided the most prudent action would be to keep her visitor at a distance until she determined his or her intent. She ordered the dogs to stay, and cracked the door just enough to wedge half her body and the shotgun into view.

“Stop right there. Don’t take another step, or I’ll blow you back to where you came from!” She was surprised at how steady, strong, and convincing her voice sounded as her knees threatened to buckle.




About the Author:

Kim McMahill grew up in Wyoming, which is where she developed her sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Since leaving Wyoming she has enjoyed many opportunities to see the world, and has lived amid some of America’s most stunning landscapes. Kim started out writing non-fiction, but her passion for exotic world travel, outrageous adventures, stories of survival, and happily-ever-after endings soon drew her into a world of romantic suspense. Along with writing adventure novels Kim has also published over eighty travel and geographic articles, and contributed to a travel anthology and cookbook.

Author Links:

Website: http://KimMcMahill.com

Blog: http://KimMcMahill.blogspot.com

Twitter at https://twitter.com/kimmcmahill

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/849945.Kim_McMahill

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Kim-McMahill/e/B007IK0EJW/
 

 
 
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Welcome to our Wednesday book chat!

I have a new Etopia Press author visiting today. Welcome, Laurie, um, I mean Liah Penn. :) May I pour you something to drink?

LIAH: 
I'm not a coffee drinker but I love a good cup of English Breakfast tea with sugar and milk.

Ally:  No problem. My magic pot can produce anything. :) While I pour, please tell readers something about yourself.


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BIO:

Liah Penn is an author and attorney who resides with her husband and two sons just outside of New Orleans, LA.  A former prosecutor, she has practiced law on an Indian reservation, on the Mexican border, and in a small Louisiana town.  A former baseball coach, she is also an accomplished visual artist and potter.  Although she lives in Louisiana, she is a die-hard Red Sox fan having watched many games from the bleacher seats at Fenway.

And something unique about myself: I saw my first dead body when I was ten, a woman who had drowned by Martha's Vineyard. (Ally comment: No wonder you write mysteries!)

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/liahpenn
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Liah-Penn/761321027261872?fref=ts
Email: 
liah.penn@gmail.com 


Ally:  I'm always interest in why authors write what they do. Why did you choose a mystery as the framework for your story?

LIAH: 
I love the challenge of a mystery, and having the romance revolve around danger and action makes the romance so much more intense and palpable. 

Ally:  Tells us something about your two main characters. What would make them a good couple and what works against that?

LIAH: 
Ina and Sam are both damaged physically.  Ina was abandoned as an infant due to her defective hand, and her adoptive parents died when she was young.  She is intelligent but wary of others.  She must learn to trust Sam, even though he has a defect, as well.  Sam is a rookie detective, so he must also learn to trust Ina's instinct.  They are partners so they must also keep their blooming relationship a secret from their supervisor.

Ally:  How did you learn your book would be published? What was your immediate reaction? Who did you tell first?

LIAH: 
I received a lovely email from Annie Melton at Etopia Press.  I was so excited I called my husband and my parents and couldn't wait to tell my children.

Ally:  Do you have a new work in progress?

LIAH: 
I am almost done with "Pure Justice" which is the second in the series involving Ina Stone and Sam Fujimoto.  At the end of "Pure Death" there is a bit of a cliffhanger, and that element plays a big part in book 2.

Ally:  I love quick answer questions. Let's try a few.
  • a. favorite accessory:  I love long necklaces.
  • b. Do you have a hobby? I paint, mostly abstracts or landscapes.
  • c. Name a book you wish you'd written: To Kill A Mockingbird
  • d. What are two of your favorite foods?  Tuna salad and chocolate chip cookies.
  • e. What would be your dream vacation?  I would love to go to Australia.

Ally: I've enjoyed getting to know you, Liah, but it's time for us to hear more about your book...

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PURE DEATH (An Ina Stone and Sam Fujimoto Mystery)

An Impure world, a perfect murder...


A murdered society debutante, her body sprinkled with 89 Costa Rican butterflies. A headless, gutted corpse washed up on shore with a beautiful, dead teenager. The case is anything but straightforward, and in an uncertain future, where resources are limited and the genetically defective are banished to a ghetto territory for Impures, Chief Detective Ina Stone and her partner, rookie detective Sam Fujimoto, must cross into Pure Territory to find a killer. An Impure herself, Ina must overcome her defect. And when her life is threatened, she must learn to rely on Sam, whose interest in her seems more than just professional.

Yet the Pures may have created a world in which even they don't want to live anymore. Resources have become too scarce to hide, and a black market for medicine comes to light. When a third murder is discovered, Ina and Sam know there's a connection. With too many suspects and not enough time, they must find that connection before the killer strikes again.


Buy Links:  Amazon           B & N           Etopia Press



Thanks for stopping. Come back soon for another author chat!

 

Memorial Day 2015

05/25/2015

 
 
 
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Happy Wednesday, booklovers!

It hardly seems like another week has gone by, but this is the day we have the pleasure of visiting with another author. Today's guest is James DiBenedetto.

Welcome, James! What may I get you to drink?

JJ:  Orange juice is my usual morning drink (never got the taste for coffee).

Ally:  Well, we won't hold that against you. :) One glass of OJ coming right up. In the meantime, please show readers your bio.


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BIO:

J.J. (James) Dibenedetto's fans would swear he's got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy.

His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment.

Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.

Ally: Tell me something unique/unusual that isn't in your bio:

JJ: I married my wife at Graceland, in the little chapel on Elvis Presley’s estate.

Social Media Links:

My Website
Audiobook Samples
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Smashwords
Pintrest
Amazon Author Page 



Ally: What type of paranormal books do you write? What led you to that choice?

JJ:  My books are a combination of paranormal romance and suspense.  It wasn’t really a choice to write that.  The idea that led to the books (my heroine, Sara, can step into other people’s dreams) brought the main characters and the plot right along with it. 

Ally: Lay out your writing day for us: when, where, how long, etc.

JJ:  Whenever I can fit time in.  Usually I try to do an hour at least when I get home from work, but any other spare minutes I can find, I use.  And I’m always thinking about the current or the next book, playing out scenes in my mind when I’m on the bus or out walking or wherever.

I work on my desktop computer (I can’t write using the touchscreen keyboard on my iPad, and I can’t read my own handwriting, so using a notebook to write by hand is out).

Ally:  What is your current work in progress?

JJ:  I’m 10,000 words into the tenth and last Dream Series book, DREAM WEDDING.  It brings the series full circle – at the end of the first book, Sara is about to get engaged to her college sweetheart, and in the new book, her daughter’s doing the same thing.

Ally: It's time for a few quick answer questions:
a. favorite summer sport: Baseball
b. favorite current song: that’s tough.  I listen pretty much exclusively to my iPod, and almost exclusively classical music and opera.
c. What kind of car do you wish you drove?  Before I can answer that, I’d have to learn to drive!
d. How many books do you hope to write/publish in the next five years? 10, two a year, ideally.
e. a word you overuse in your writing: “that”

Ally:  Thanks for visiting today! I've enjoyed chatting with you. Before we wind things up, tell us a little about the Dream Series and show us the book you brought.


JJ:  
What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?  That’s the question Sara has to wrestle with in the Dream Series.  We first meet her as a shy, bookish college student who doesn’t think there’s anything extraordinary about herself.  And then the dreams start…

Over the course of the series, Sara learns to live with these supernatural dreams and all the trouble they plunge her into.  At the same time, she grows from a student to a practicing doctor; and from a single girl to a wife and mother.  But every time she thinks she’s got everything figured out, life – and her extraordinary dreams – teach her that she’s always got more to learn… 


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Blurb for new book, FEVER DREAM:

Dr. Sara Alderson isn’t used to her patients dying for no reason. When a young boy succumbs to a mysterious illness that defies all her efforts to treat it, she refuses to accept defeat. 

After two months of questions, Sara has attracted the attention of powerful people who don’t want their secrets uncovered, and will go to any lengths to make sure they stay hidden. 

Now, time is running out for Sara to unravel the mystery before anyone else falls victim to the illness. And before her career, her family, and her freedom are taken from her by enemies she doesn’t even know she has. 

Fever Dream is the ninth book of the Dream Series 

Buy link:

http://getBook.at/FeverDream (Amazon)

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fever-dream-jj-dibenedetto/1121883488?ean=2940151910132 (Nook)

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/541054 (Smashwords)

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fever-dream-dream-series-book-9 (Kobo)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fever-dream-dream-series-book/id992995707?mt=11 (Apple)

Audible audiobook 


Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon...


 
 
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I Heart Robot
by Suzanne van Rooyen


Published: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books

Genre: YA science fiction

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won't belittle her musical aspirations.

Q-I-99 aka 'Quinn' lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.

Tyri and Quinn's worlds collide when they're accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn's love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?

Praise for I Heart Robot:

"The tension between the groups, the obvious attraction between the main characters, the ticking time bomb of Quinn’s real identity and the secrets surrounding Tyri’s birth makes for compelling reading. The world building was exceptional and the characters well developed."~ The Australia Times Books

Book Links:

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22674531-i-heart-robot

Amazon - http://amzn.com/0692337334

B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-heart-robot-suzanne-van-rooyan/1121128310?ean=9781942664109

Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/i-heart-robot

Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Soih6uQTyas 



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About the Author:

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Author Links:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-van-Rooyen/304965232847874
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Suzanne_Writer
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/SuzanneAuthor/
Website - http://suzannevanrooyen.com/