Interview with Tanuja Chandra

Whoever has not heard of Tanuja Chandra? She was the screenwriter of Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and directed Dushman (1998) and Sangharsh (1999), all of which I happen to adore and some I have watched more than once. So when I got to know that she has penned down a book, I was all ears. I was also curious to know about her journey from a screenwriter to a director to an author and wanted to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So here it is.

Me: How did this transition from a film maker to writer come about?

Tanuja-Chandra1

Tanuja Chandra (TC): I was a writer first. In school and college, I wrote poetry as well as small pieces for newspapers and magazines. Even after joining films, I first wrote
screenplays before starting direction. For me it was simple – as a director, I had to be a writer as well. But yes, writing a book took a long time even though I had wanted to write one many, many years ago. I guess it was just too scary! When the opportunity to do it came by, this idea of short stories of Uttar Pradesh which I had nursed for a while, seemed just the most natural thing to do.

Me: Haha, you are right, the idea to pen down a book is downright scary! Where did the idea for Bijnis woman come from?

TC: The stories I had heard from my parents as well as several members of my extended family from Uttar Pradesh, always stayed with me. They were funny, strange, bizarre, touching, but always memorable. Unique tales of ordinary people in specific situations, when life sort of took over. So appealing to me, so interesting, and most importantly, stories that would be lost in the haze of time if they weren’t recorded. Who cares for ordinary people, right? The fact that I was able to do this is wonderful and I feel lucky.

Me: I am glad you could do this because it would give us readers an opportunity to know those stories. Bijnis woman will appeal to which readers?

TC: I would like to think – all kinds! The stories are dramatic and entertaining and very unusual, they’re all about a time gone by – so I would think they would appeal to younger readers who would never be able to experience that kind of life, while for older readers, I imagine the book would be a nostalgic trip. There are several stories about women so I would hope female readers would enjoy and relate to them, but at the same time, there are some really unique male protagonists which I hope would appeal to all kinds of readers.

Me: Wow, that does take into consideration all readers. Does Bijnis woman give a message to the society? What is it?

TC: I didn’t start out writing this with the intention of putting a message out there. However, what is important to me as a writer is to look at the characters in these stories with affection. Even the most annoying, small-hearted, sad sort among us need to be looked upon as human beings, and that’s what I’ve tried to do. I suppose this also came from the narrators telling me these stories – they had a tone of affection and that is probably what percolated down to my writing. If I’ve successfully been able to do that, it would be very fulfilling to me personally.

Me: That indeed is a message worth remembering. No matter who we are, we need to be treated as humans. What is your favorite book and why?

TC: IMPOSSIBLE to put down one favourite. But if you were to ask me for three, they would be To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, and My Little Friend by Donna Tartt. Interestingly, all three female authors! It’s difficult to say why I love these books – I guess the fact that I can go back to them anytime and come away enriched is the most telling. There are plenty other books I love as well, but there’s something special about these three.

Me: Haha. I know. When I was penning down this question, I was like, Tanuja will kill me! But glad I took that chance. I still have two of them to read. *adds to TBR* What do you think are the prerequisites for becoming a writer?

TC: To live. To feel. And then, to be resilient and hard-working, because the craft of writing is a skill that you can spend a lifetime trying to master, and never be able to master. Thinking about writing is useless, one just has to get down to it.

Me: That is some really good advice right there. It is indeed a skill you can keep improving upon but one must start. Are there any other books in the pipeline?

TC: Yes, a novel which I actually began work on before Bijnis Woman. For me, that one is a bigger struggle because it’s a story that was born inside my own heart, not something I had heard from family. But hopefully, I should be able to finish it soon. (Best laid plans of mice and men!)

Me: Well, I do hope you finish it soon so that I can read it! I have loved your movies so I am sure a story born inside your heart is something I am all ears for. Thank you for being at Reviewing Shelf, Tanuja. I hope to see more of your writing out there.

Buy it here – Amazon India | Amazon US

Here’s an excerpt for you to get a flavour of the book before you dig in.

“They never discovered where Ranvir was through the night; he would step to the front door the next morning, hardly aware where he had been. He slept right through the desperate screams which went on for an hour as his family watched, shamefaced. Thakur Rajpal couldn’t help but feel pity for this girl in her crazed, unhinged state, shouting so

Thakur Rajpal couldn’t help but feel pity for this girl in her crazed, unhinged state, shouting so violently he thought she would faint. The blame would be his to shoulder if something were to happen to her; would she be at his gates still when the sun was up, wasn’t it wrong, shutting his door on a helpless girl, alone in the night? He had never faced such embarrassment. Her inconsolable, unstoppable screams unnerved him, and his own son’s doltish, stupor-filled, insensible state angered him. The family was now gathered inside the second-floor library, watching the scene at the gates below, exchanging troubled looks with pursed lips as a cluster of villagers gathered around Amrita.

All of a sudden, from behind him, Thakur Rajpal heard another loud voice. It was Jwala. ‘If anyone opens the gate for this girl, I will kill myself,’ she yelled. ‘I will kill my children and then I will kill myself. Everything will be ruined. Everything.’

Now, with their backs to the gates, they gawked at Jwala, open-mouthed. This small, frail, nervous girl, to hear whom one had to strain one’s ears even in an intimate conversation, stood there bellowing ultimatums, her body shaking with white-hot anger. ‘Don’t you dare move, any of you! Let her shout till she drops dead,’ she growled. ‘He will never hear her, never!’ And then, they heard the commotion at the gate. Everyone turned back towards it. What they saw made their blood go cold. Amrita had broken through and would soon be riding towards the front door.”

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Book Launch: Happy Birthday & Other Stories

I hardly go to book launch events as they’re too late in the day for me to be there but when this invitation landed in my inbox, I decided to give it a chance. And that is how I came to be at the book launch of Happy Birthday! and other stories by Meghna Pant. The author has previously written and been appreciated for her book, One and a Half Wife.

The surprise of the day was (which I already knew because you know how thoroughly I research authors before going to an event) that it was Meghna Pant’s Birthday and it was so fitting as her book is named Happy Birthday.

The book was unveiled by author, actor, marketing and management guru, Suhel Seth who also went on to read one of the stories from the book, ‘The Gola Master’. His flawless and brilliant voiceover of the story lent itself to a mesmerizing listening experience. The story itself was stark, bare and real in its essence and made one ponder over it.

50% of the proceeds from the book will go to Safar Trust, a Mumbai-based NGO that helps slum children and trafficked girls lead financially stable lives and a video was shown to that effect. It was very touching indeed.

Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

Author Meghna Pant who is in the process of writing her third book, ‘Son of Gods’ talked about her writing process IMG_0202and how this short stories’ book almost flowed out of her spontaneously unlike her first one where she edited and re-edited. She said it was almost like asking a mother to choose her favorite child when she was asked about her favorite story from the book. Nevertheless, she said she really liked ‘Clip and Cane’ which is about a blind person. She further added it was difficult for her to write it, to get into the mindframe of a blind person and thus the story stands out for her. She also likes another story ‘Lemon and Chilli’ which got published earlier and spreads over a spectrum of emotions.

When asked about her writing process, she talked about her crazy imagination and how from one line or one character, she ends up building a novel around it.

When asked how much of her work is autobiographical, she answered with, ‘I hate navel gazing. I want to explore dimensions that I have not yet experienced. Most of the stories are from the perspective of old, retired gentlemen’. She went on to elaborate how she never even knew her grandfather but she is still able to anticipate their fears, and needs. She further added that via her stories she experiences something that may happen to her in the future.

Regarding how her stories come together in a single collection, she said that unlike being woven with a central theme, all her stories are disparate and each story is an individual master in that sense.

About her next work, she mentioned working on a sexual and adult theme which of course, gathered a lot of interest from the audience.

A self-proclaimed crazy writer, she talked about being possessed by writing. She talked about how she was a business writer and having a MBA in finance, she wasn’t supposed to be a writer but now writing has taken over her.

When asked the short story writers who influenced her, she mentioned Premchand whose ‘Kafan‘ she adored. She also mentioned liking Alice Munro, O’ Henry‘s story endings, Paul Theroux, Franz Kaffka, Michael Cunningham’s ‘White Angel’ which was beautifully written and Preeta Samarasan.

Praised and grilled for churning out a book a year, we can now expect more books from Meghna Pant as she says she is now unemployed since 2 weeks which means she’ll have more time to write. So buckle up your seat belts and wait for her next book after you’re done reading this one because I’m sure that’s coming right up. 😉

Happy Birthday & Other Stories

Happy Birthday! (Random House, India) is a beautifully written, compelling and emotionally intelligent collection of short stories by award-winning novelist Meghna Pant. These finely nuanced stories provide a rare glimpse into the complex and mysterious inner lives of human beings.

A dedicated friend undertakes one last labour of love for a childless woman. Nadia – married into money – finds herself facing uncomfortable truths about her comfortably numb marriage. A Mumbai slum-girl dreams of speaking words valuable enough to be translated into English. An American tourist seeking nirvana sets off a sudden chain of events when his bag is stolen, and destiny plays her hand. A retired civil servant of modest means struggles to support his snooty foreign-returned daughter.

Meghna Pant’s knife – sharp stories are compelling, emotionally intelligent and provide a rare glimpse into the strange workings of the human heart. They evade neat categorization and
are the perfect read for all curious spirits.

“These are stories with a large heart and a keen eye, deeply aware of the complex, sometimes uncomfortable realities of India, its many layers. Meghna Pant knows how to create characters that will surprise and move you.”
– Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

“Deft, merciless and expertly-tuned parables for the new Indian century.”
– Jeet Thayil

“Meghna Pant pierces one’s heart with the reality and depth of her stories, wrapping up her tales with unanticipated yet undeniable flourish. Exceptionally thought-provoking narratives that manage to be provocative and inspirational in the very same breath.”
– Ashwin Sanghi

“These intimate stories juxtapose a range and register of aerial and emotional perspectives, with craft, delicacy and an intensely human sensibility.”
– Namita Gokhale

About Meghna Pant

Meghna Pant is an author and financial journalist. One & A Half Wife—Meghna’s debut novel—was published in 2012 to critical and commercial acclaim. It went into multiple reprints, won the Muse India’s Young Writer Award, and was shortlisted for several other awards, including the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Meghna’s short stories have been published in over a dozen global literary magazines, including Avatar Review, Wasafari, Eclectica and QLRS. An economics graduate with an MBA in finance, Meghna has worked as a TV anchor for Times Now, NDTV Profit and Bloomberg-UTV. A nomad at heart, she has lived in Delhi, Singapore, Zurich, Dubai and New York City. She is currently based in Mumbai. Meghna will be donating fifty per cent of the proceeds from Happy Birthday! to Safar Trust, a Mumbai-based NGO that helps slum children and trafficked girls lead financially stable lives. Happy Birthday! is Meghna’s first published collection of short stories.

Find Meghna Pant – Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Interview & Giveaway (US): Eileen Goudge, The Replacement Wife

Cambria Hebert

Let’s welcome Eileen Goudge, the author of The Replacement Wife, a book that played havoc with my emotions last year and found a spot on my top 10 books of the year. You can read my review here.

Did you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes! From the time I learned to read & write, I knew I was born to be a storyteller. I wrote my first “bound” book (a notebook, actually) when I was eight years old. A ghost story. I still have it. Not bad for an eight-year-old!

What is that one book or series of your writing which gave you the most satisfaction?

Each one of my novels is close to my heart. My Carson Springs trilogy was the most fun to write because I created a fictional world that I got to live in for 3 books (“Stranger in Paradise, “Taste of Honey” and “Wish Come True.” Many readers wrote to say how they wanted to move to Carson Springs, which is based on the real-life town of Ojai, California. I got the most reader mail for the trilogy than for any of my other novels, I think.

What are your few favorite books?

I first read “Jane Eyre” when I was eleven, and have read it twice since. I never tire of it. The story is timeless and the writing grabs you by the throat. I also love Stephen King’s “The Stand,” which is the best post-apocalyptic novel ever written, in my opinion. The James Herriot books are favorites of mine as well.

Are you working on an

y new book right now? If yes, can you give us a little teaser what it’s about?

I’m currently writing a mystery. A return to my “roots” (the ghost story I wrote when I was eight). It’s so much fun! I love mysteries. Starting with Raymond Chandler and James Cain, whose novels I read as a teenager.

What do you think are the prerequisites of becoming a writer?

I think you have to be a voraci

ous reader. I have been devouring books since the “Dick and Jane” readers that taught me to read in first grade. Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, the first rule in becoming a writer is that you have to, well, write. Every day, even if it’s a diary or journal. I don’t know of any published writers who don’t have stashes of scribblings and/or unpublished manuscripts to show for it.

If not a writer, what would you have been?

I love to bake! That’s what led to the publication of my cookbook “Something Warm From the Oven.” When I’m not at the keyboard, I’m in the kitchen baking a cake, pie, bread or cookies. I have 2 sweet potato pies cooling on my kitchen counter as I write this. It makes for a nice yin

g yang with the writing. They complement each other.

Your best read(s) of 2012?

I adored John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars.” It made me cry but was ultimately life-affirming. And beautifully written. Never mind it’s a YA novel – it should be read by all ages.

I’m currently reading “Defending Jacob” by William Landay. A real page-turner! Makes you wonder, “What if it were my child?”

Wow! Writer as an eight year old and a voracious reader at 11, Ms. Eileen you’re an inspiration. I get intimidated by Jane Eyre’s sheer volume even now and you read it as an 11 year old! Thank you for being on Reviewing Shelf. It was a pleasure having you here.

Giveaway(US)

Ms. Eileen Goudge is very graciously giving away a paperback copy of The Replacement Wife.

Entry-Form

About the Author

Some say writers are born, not made. Personally, I think it’s both: Natural-born talent is basically useless without the persistence to go with it. I was lucky enough to have been blessed with a deep and abiding love of books and writing coupled with an insane stick-to-it-iveness, which, let me tell you, is a double-edged sword (great when carrying on in the face of rejection and hardship; not so great when it comes to relationships that should’ve died an early death).

As I child, I read voraciously–as many books per week as I could carry home in my bike basket. My early writings were inspired by fantasy and mystery (I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew). I won praise from my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Cherry, for my short story “The Secret of the Mossy Cave,” which is probably what inspired me to become a writer. An aspiration cemented, in high school, when I won third prize in a state-wide poetry competition and took Honorable Mention for another poem, in a nationwide contest.

When I took up writing as a profession, as a young single mom, mostly what I did those first few years was collect rejection slips. However, I persisted and went on to publish 32 novels for young adults (starting with the successful “Sweet Valley High” series), and, to date, 15 novels of women’s fiction, as well as numerous short stories and magazine articles. Also a cookbook, inspired by my passion for baking, titled SOMETHING WARM FROM THE OVEN.

My first adult novel, GARDEN OF LIES, enjoyed many weeks on the “New York Times” bestseller list, both in hardcover and paperback. I can still recall the thrill I felt when I saw it displayed in the window of the Barnes & Noble store on Fifth Avenue, in New York, where I live. As I stood there on the sidewalk looking in, it was a dream come true, the culmination of what I used to envision, in those early, hardscrabble years, as I was sat at my typewriter, on my desk in the kitchen, where it was often a struggle to put food on the table.

My definition of success? Getting up one more time than you fall down.

As for love…I finally found it in the most unlikeliest of all places: when I was home alone. I was being interviewed over the phone by a radio talk show host named Sandy Kenyon, formerly of CNN and now a correspondent for WABC-TV, here in New York City. He sounded so nice that when he asked if he could call back later on, I said, “Sure!” We talked for three hours that night…and every night after that. Six weeks later, when we finally met, sparks flew. We were married in September of 1996, and all these years later we still feel like we’re on our honeymoon.

Happy endings do exist, in life as well as in fiction. You just have to write your own happy ending.

Find Eileen Goudge – Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Blogoversary Special: Interview & Giveaway #7 (US)

I’m very excited for this post and you’ll shortly know why.

Today on Reviewing Shelf, we have April Henry, the author of The Night She Disappeared, a book I read and really liked this year. Read my review. In fact, it got a spot on my Top 10 Best New Authors I found in 2012. So that has to say something, right? I invited April to the blog today to interview her.

Welcome April!

Did you always want to be a writer?When I was young, I did.  As I got older, being a writer seemed impossible, like thinking you could fly if you flapped your arms really really hard.  I figured writers were probably rich people who went to private boarding schools and spoke French.  I was from a small logging town in Oregon.

Which book of yours has given you the most satisfaction?

That’s like asking which of your children you like best!  I love the twists and turns of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die.  The research for Girl, Stolen was fascinating, especially the day I spent at the Guide Dog School for the Blind.  And I still think that an old book of mine, Learning to Fly, has an excellent plot.

What are your few favorite books?

I loved Ashes by Ilsa Bick.  Flip by Martyn Bedford.  The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, Jump Off Creek by Molly Gloss, and Wonder by RJ Palacio.

Are you working on a new book?

Yes, I have only a few weeks to finish the first in the Point Last Seen mystery series for teens.  It’s inspired by a real local group, led by teens, that looks for people lost in the woods, and also does crime scene evidence searches.

What are the prerequisites for becoming a writer?

Read a lot, and in all genres.  When you don’t like something, try to figure out why.  What’s harder is figuring out why you do like something, but see if you can.  You also have to learn to write even when you don’t feel like it and to find a way to deal with rejection.

What would you have been if you weren’t a writer?

A doctor.

Best read of the year?

The Dog Stars.

Thank you so much Ms. April for being on Reviewing Shelf!The Girl who was supposed to die

About the book (releasing June 13, 2013)

“Take her out back and finish her off.”

She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.

And that she must run.

This nail-biting thriller involves murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.

Reviews

“A thrill-packed story with twists and turns you’ll never see coming. Hop on board for an adrenaline fueled ride!”

– New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons

“The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die had me from the first page: a psychological mystery wrapped in a thriller with a smart and resourceful heroine. Great read!

– Alexanda Sokoloff, screenwriter and bestselling author of The Harrowing

 

Giveaway (US only)

April Henry is very graciously giving away…

An ARC of June 2013 release, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die (squeal!)

Now you know what had me jumping up and down?

Enter here.

About April Henry

I write mysteries and thrillers. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family.

If you’ve read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.

When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children’s magazine.

My dream of writing went dormant until I was in my 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now I’m very lucky to make a living doing what I love. I have written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. My books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and short-listed for the Oregon Book Award.

I also review YA literature and mysteries and thrillers for the Oregonian, and have written articles for both The Writer and Writers Digest.

Find her – Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Blog

Blogoversary Special: Interview and Giveaway(INT)!

Didn’t I tell you this week was going to be special? So here’s another giveaway post.

I read The Last Beginning by Rachel Firasek this year and liked it enough to want to share it with you.

Let’s get to know Rachel Firasek a bit more – 

Did you always wanted to be a writer?

Not really. I enjoyed creating stories when I was young but found more love with visual arts. A few years ago my husband spent a year over seas so I began studying the craft of writing to fill up my time. Now I don’t know what to do with myself if I’m not reading, writing, or editing.

What is that one book or series of yours writing which gave you the most satisfaction?

Piper’s Fury has my fave heroine, so probably that one. Or quite possibly my current WIP–I have details about it on my Drowning page on my website.

What are your few favorite books?

Poughkeepsie, anything by Lyndsay Sands, erm… It’s been a while since I’ve read strictly for pleasure. 😉

Are you working on any new book right now? If yes, can you give us a little teaser what it’s about?

Drowning is my working title for my current WIP, but here’s one of my fave lines from it so far:

Because the two of us would always know that no matter what, we were worthy of each other. Tainted blood sinks in its own kind. And we were both drowning. He just didn’t know it yet.

I just survived a really dark year in my personal life and both of these characters are survivors. I’m not sure when it will be ready for submissions, but I’m very excited about it.

Thank you so much for having me on and hosting my book for your Blogoversary giveaway. Good luck everyone.

Thank you so much Rachel for being on Reviewing Shelf on this very special occasion.

Find Rachel – Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Win an ecopy of The Last Beginning

Ends 19 December

Enter here.

Interview & Giveaway (INT): Lauren Clark, author of Dancing Naked in Dixie

Have you read Stay Tuned by Lauren Clark? It won the WritersType First Chapter Competition in October 2011, was in the top 5 Finalist for the 2012 BookBundlz “The Book Pick” contest and was awarded the 2nd place in the 2012 ROYAL DRAGONFLY ebook Awards. What an accomplishment! I bring you an interview with the author, Lauren Clark and her upcoming book Dancing Naked in Dixie.

Interview – Lauren Clark

Me: Tell us about your journey from a TV anchor and Journalist to a Writer?

Lauren: I’ve always loved writing and books, but the six years I spent as an anchor and a reporter were NOT what I’d planned on. I was working as a PR coordinator for a hospital when I met the General Manager of WWNY-TV. At the time, she was looking for a health reporter and she was willing to let me take a shot at it. I ended up loving it, and took a full-time job at the station soon after. After a few years of doing the 2 am – 10 am shift as the morning anchor at WTVY, I decided that I wanted to stay home with my kids. It was then that I began to look seriously at writing fiction.


Me: How did you decide about writing contemporary women fiction and not something else?

Lauren: I love a strong, flawed female protagonist, someone with a career, interests, and friends. She likes the idea of love, but isn’t necessarily waiting around to be rescued by Prince Charming. Contemporary women’s fiction appeals to me because it mirrors real life and should transport readers to a new place or situation (the Deep South, behind the scenes in a newsroom). If I can inject some humor along the way, even better!


Me: Is there anything you need in order to write? (a place, food item etc.)

Lauren: I really have to have my flavored coffee, my macbook, and a quiet place to work. I’m such a social person and love catching up with friends, so it’s easy for me to ‘lose’ a few hours surfing the Internet or posting on Facebook and Twitter. The local library is ideal — I have to shut off my cell phone and I don’t have the Internet password!


Me: Your new book Dancing Naked in Dixie is releasing soon (May 21). Tell us about it.

Lauren: It’s really a story about a girl who finds happiness where she least expects it. Julia Sullivan is about to be fired from her job as a travel writer, but gets one last chance to prove herself. She’s sent to Eufaula, Alabama (kicking and screaming) to cover the annual historic Pilgrimage. Julia winds up getting herself tangled up in family issues, city development projects, and a number of other crises. In the end, the experience changes her life.


Me: You are a library geek. How many books do you read a week/month? What is the last book you read?

Lauren: I love the library. I really love all libraries. The solitude appeals to me, as does being surrounded by thousands of books! I read at least 4 or 5 books a month. I just finished James Patterson’s Guilty Wives and Cindy Roesel’s Viewer Discretion Advised (another TV reporter/behind the scenes novel).


Me: What is one book you think everyone should read?

Lauren: Gosh. I absolutely adore Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper. I loved the ending, I actually cried, and I thought that Picoult did a masterful job with the changing POVs. I have to say that The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is also one of my favs, as it is set in the South and embraces diversity and friendship between women. And I have to add The Poisonwood Bible.


Me: Who is your favorite author?

Lauren: Sophie Kinsella. I love her. She makes me laugh out loud.


Me: What after Dancing Naked in Dixie? Any other Work in Progress?

Lauren: I am researching for my next novel, The Pie Lab, which is a real restaurant in Greensboro, Alabama. This story will follow a girl who’s gone off to a big city (like Atlanta or New York) and vows NEVER to come home. She’s forced to return to Greensboro, though, when her romantic relationship falls apart. Since she’s burned a lot of bridges, it will be interesting to see how she makes amends.

The Pie Lab, as a business, is a great concept, as it offers on-the-job training and the owners are very active in the community. Added bonus…the pies are delicious! The Pie Lab has been featured in Southern Living and The New York Times.



Me: How do you react to a bad review?

Lauren: Bad reviews are never easy to read, but criticism and rejection come with the territory. Every single writer deals with it. I’m careful to look very hard at the comment or suggestion, learn what I can from it, and move on to the next page or next project.


Me: Tips for upcoming writers?

Lauren: Tenacity and Optimism. There’s no substitute for doing the hard work. It can take years to develop an idea, write it all down, revise, and then revise again!

It’s really a complicated game that involves skill, hard work, luck, and timing. I’m a very positive person, and even I find that being an author is a daunting business. You have to love books, love writing even more, and be willing to look for the silver lining in the darkest of clouds. I consider myself so fortunate to have found a supportive group of fellow authors, bloggers, and readers that keep a smile on my face and a put a little magic into every single day.



Me: What is your favorite quote?

Lauren: Words are a lens to focus one’s mind. – Ayn Rand



Thank you for being on Reviewing Shelf, Lauren. It was wonderful to have you here.


Find Lauren Clark – Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

A Sneak Peek into Dancing Naked in Dixie

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she’s offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia’s story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?


Dancing Naked in Dixie – Goodreads | Amazon

Stay Tuned – Goodreads | Amazon (Only $2.99) | Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

GIVEAWAY

3 ebooks of Dancing Naked in Dixie (in epub and mobi formats)
Open to everyone (must be a blog follower).
Runs from May 12 – May 20

To Enter – Do as many of the following. Comment for each in a different comment for more entries.

1. Comment Below with your email address (mandatory entry)
2. Like Lauren’s Facebook Page (optional entry)
3. Follow Lauren on Twitter (optional entry)
4. Like Reviewing Shelf on Facebook (optional entry)
5. Follow Reviewing Shelf on Twitter (optional entry)
6. Fan Lauren on Goodreads (optional entry)
7. Add Dancing Naked in Dixie to your TBR shelf on Goodreads (optional entry)


Interview & Giveaway (INT): Claire Gillian, author of The P.U.R.E.

Claire Gillian is a number-crunching executive by profession, an after hours writer by passion, and a darkly romantic curmudgeon. Published in short stories and anthologies, The P.U.R.E marks Claire’s official, and debut, transition to the publication of her work in novel form. While Claire’s writing spans all ages and subject matters, she’s happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice. Claire lives in the boggy Pacific NW with her husband and two teen-aged sons.

Let’s get to know Claire better.

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.

Claire: I’m married and have two teenaged sons. My primary job is CFO/COO for a services subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company. I grew up a military brat but my parents were southerners and that’s where they finally settled when I was sixteen. I kept moving after college to England, then Texas, then New Mexico and most recently to the Portland OR area where I’ve lived nearly twenty years. My evenings and weekends are devoted to writing, and have been since 2008 when I started writing in earnest. The P.U.R.E. is my debut novel but I’ve previously published short stories in anthologies and in e-zines under two different pen names.

Me: Did you always want to be a writer?

Claire: No. Writing was up there with winning an Olympic gold medal—something I would have loved to have achieved in my lifetime but not something I ever really gave myself credit for being able to do. I didn’t think I had the patience to write something as extensive as a novel. I’m sure in my youth, I did not. I started writing fan fiction and had my first taste of putting my work out there for others to read because of the online fan fiction community at Live Journal. Prior to that, I’d always had people tell my non-fiction newsletter articles and Christmas card “brag rags” were entertaining, but never did that translate into, “Gee, I’ll bet I could write a really awesome novel!” not until my fan fiction blossomed into a story that grew longer and longer and before I knew it had surpassed the 80k mark. It was crap, but at least I knew I could sustain some sort of plot for the requisite length.

Me: Where did you get the idea for The P.U.R.E?

Claire: The P.U.R.E. came from my own first hand experiences in public accounting. Though the people and situations in my book are 90% fictional, I drew upon the collapse of my former employer, one of the Bix Six public accounting firms, and the overhaul of the industry as a whole because of the Enron and other scandals of that day. I made my story’s crimes a little more salacious and sensational, but many of the heroine’s feelings of being out of her league, being misjudged, concerned she’d made the wrong career choice, concerned about dating co-workers lest she taint her career opportunities in a then very male-dominated profession, and concerned about sexual harassment and sexism—those I drew from my own experiences.

Me: Is there anything you need in order to write? (a place, food item etc.)

Claire: It’s no secret I’m addicted to Diet Coke, so I usually have one at hand no matter where I write. I do 99% of my writing at a computer but that could be my Mac in my home office, my little netbook or my company computer on my lunch break (though I can’t save and have to email anything I happen to create).



Me: What is one book you think everyone should read? (except yours, of course)

Claire: Ooh, that’s a tough question. There are so many wonderful books I’ve read that I’ve gushed to others as being MUST READS at various points in my life. But in retrospect, some of the novels that made the biggest impressions on me have been Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, and Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. Oh, and I’d probably throw in the short stories of O’Henry and a comprehensive tome of Greek myths including the works of Homer. That’s way more than one. Sorry.

Me: Any book(s) you are eagerly awaiting for in 2012?

Claire: I’m looking forward to Stacia Kane’s next Downside Ghosts book and probably the next Stephanie Perkins book because I LOVED Anna and the French Kiss as well as Lola and the Boy Next Door. I usually snatch up anything by Charlaine Harris and have fallen hard for Annalise Ryan’s “Stiff” mysteries featuring a coroner’s assistant. Alex Adams has an awesome post-apocalyptic book coming out the day after The P.U.R.E. called White Horse. I’m looking forward to that one too.

Me: Are you working on something new?

Claire: Definitely yes. I have so many in process projects, it’s pathetic. I have an anthology of short stories nearly ready to submit to an e-publisher under my erotica pen name, then I’ll probably dig into my YA novel and do some heavy-duty editing to get it ready for querying. I have an urban fantasy series plotted with the first book completed but in need of some polishing. I have a UK-based thriller I’ve worked on for two National Novel Writing Month challenges in a row and STILL haven’t finished because honestly, it requires more skill than I currently possess. That story has been brewing in my head for nearly two decades and won’t settle for anything less than my best. I have two other YA novels I’ve started. Then there are all the stories bouncing around my head itching to get out. I write a lot of short stories, have over 100 I’ve published on my blog. Given that many of my novels started off as shorts, that’s a lot of stub outs for possible future works.

Me: If you are asked to write in a genre other than what you write, what would it be?

Claire: I am an eclectic reader and writer, and because of that I have dabbled in horror, paranormal and contemporary romance, steampunk, chick lit, mysteries, humor and contemporary YA. The common thread is usually a romance, that can be anywhere from steamy to sweet. The P.U.R.E. happens to be a romantic mystery, and I do love a good mystery. They are mentally challenging to write but very satisfying when done well. If I couldn’t have my romance, cozy mysteries would probably be the genre I’d pick.

Find Claire – Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter



Buy it here – AMAZON (ONLY $4.99) | Goodreads


About The P.U.R.E

No one ever said Gayle Lindley’s first job would be a killer.

Fresh out of college, Gayle’s career path should follow the yellow brick road straight to the top. Thanks to a menial errand gone wrong, a wayward tongue, and a randy supervisor who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, Gayle’s stuck in corporate hell.

Discovering a company secret only turns up the heat.

The one part of her life not going down in flames is her friendship with the gorgeous but intensely private, Jon Cripps. Jon would make the perfect consolation prize for Gayle’s pity party if dating a co-worker wasn’t career suicide. Then again, with all Gayle has been through, maybe falling in love is the lucky break she needs.

Hitting the cool sheets with Jon soothes her mind and body, but it also enrages whoever’s behind the smokescreen she’s uncovered at work. Someone is willing to kill to protect their secrets, and Gayle and Jon are the targets.

With both her heart and livelihood at stake, Gayle’s early career-limiting moves could turn into life-terminating ones.

GIVEAWAY

One ecopy for the winner.
Open to everyone.
Running from 18 April to 25 April.

ENTER HERE.

Interview & Giveaway (INT): Forgiving Trinity Author Liz Reinhardt

I recently read and loved Forgiving Trinity. Did you read my review here?


Without further ado, I introduce to you Liz Reinhardt, the author of Forgiving Trinity, Double Clutch, Junk Miles and Slow Twitch.


Me: You started writing after Twilight. What was it about Twilight that made you start writing?

Liz: Twilight was actually the book that made me realize that I wanted to write not just romance (which I’d tried before) but YA romance! The characters had all of these issues figuring life out, growing, changing, falling in first love, and that’s all stuff that goes along with being a teen. I actually tried a vampire para first, but it wasn’t quite right. I finally figured out that it was the love triangle aspect I wanted to play around with, and Double Clutch jumped onto the page. After that, I couldn’t stop writing!


Me: Where did the idea for Forgiving Trinity came from?

Liz: It’s partially based on real life. Someone I really love and am close to got caught up in an addiction and it messed that person’s life up, but not completely. I’d read these horror stories about addicts and the downward spiral of addiction and how it can just implode a life. While these are extremely worthwhile stories, I wanted to tell about what it’s like when addiction impacts your life in all these everyday ways, and the craziness that can come from trying to just get back to normal…or at least to a form of normal that doesn’t involve drugs or using! (And the person this was inspired by is in an amazing, sober place. Didn’t want to leave you hanging on that piece ;)!)


Me: You like smart and hot romance books. How much of that does Forgiving Trinity have?

Liz: I hope there’s a lot of both! Trinity is a little less hot than my other romances. Because Trinity had been promiscuous when she used, and because that part of her life disgusted her, it felt really unnatural to just have her hop into bed with Aidan. But they do kiss…a lot! And I think their kisses are smoking! When it becomes appropriate to move farther, I leave it a little more open to interpretation. Honestly, that was so their private moment, I didn’t feel like intruding (so rare for me!!). But as far as smart? I love smart. I love all kinds of smart, and I try to balance book smarts with emotional smarts and practical smarts. My characters can be very different, but I think they’re all very smart and very aware of themselves. Which is what, in my opinion, makes them fun to write about!


Me: Is there anything you need in order to write? (a place, food item etc.)

Liz: Nada! I’m easy! The thing is, I started writing with the intent to publish when my daughter was 2. I had to have my eyes on her every second if I didn’t want her covered in lipstick or butter or little ripped-up pieces of my favorite books. So I got used to writing fast, wherever I was, and tuning out most of what was going on around me (except to keep her safe, of course!). If I can, I like a comfy chair, laptop on my lap, and a killer mix. But that’s a set of luxuries I can’t always afford.


Me: Are you working on something new?

Liz: I am! I wrote a series called the Brenna Blixen Books. Brenna makes a friend on her trip to Ireland, a crazy girl who’s charming and full of insane fun…and a little trouble. Evan Lennox gets her own book this summer. I also have a witch/shieldmaiden para in the works. I’m loving both of them. I like to work on different things so I can switch over if I get stuck.


Me: How do you react to a bad review? 

Liz: I don’t read them now. I used to obsess and wonder WHY the reviewer hated me! (WHY?!!?!) Hahaha! It’s pointless. First of all, everyone has an opinion. I can’t change a review, and wouldn’t want to. But it does get me feeling negative about my writing, and that is something I want full control of, so I don’t read them. I have to say, the vast majority of reviewers, no matter if they like my book or not, are very respectful. Some, very few, are awful. They attack personal aspects, say rude things, have disdain for readers who actually like my work, accuse higher starred reviews of being ‘paid for.’ As far as I’m concerned, those are not reviews. They are nasty gripes, and they make me sad for the book community. But, like I said, the majority are totally respectful!


Me: If not a writer, you would have been? 

Liz: I was a teacher! I taught middle school and high school English. There were aspects I loved, but writing is definitely, hands down, my passion.


Me: What is one book you think everyone should read? 

Liz: I think everyone should read The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. I know, I know, some people are groaning and complaining that their teachers made them read that book and it sucked…well read it again! Read it because it’s real and honest and may be the first YA book. It talks about life and death and embarrassment and growing up and never growing up. It’s beautiful and raw and real. Read it! Read it right now!


Me: Any book(s) you are eagerly awaiting for in 2012?

Liz: There are so many! Too many! Abbi Glines has a follow up to her very addicting The Vincent Boys, called The Vincent Brothers that I will be downloading to my Kindle the second it comes out. I’ve been dying to read Tammara Webber’s Easy, a mature YA about a college girl who gets a bad reputation. Nichole Chase has a paranormal called Flukes about mermaids that is making me swoon with anticipation!


Me: Can you give suggestions as to who would love Forgiving Trinity?

Liz: I think anyone who likes character-driven novels, YA mature novels, books about serious issues that have a lot of humor, books about quirky friends…any of these readers will probably be happy to read Forgiving Trinity.


Me: What is your favorite quote? 

Liz: “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” ― Maya Angelou


Me: Thank you Liz for gracing us with your presence today.

Liz: Thank you so much for having me!


More about Liz | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


Buy it here – Forgiving Trinity| Double Clutch| Junk Miles | Slow Twitch


GIVEAWAY(INT)

Win an ecopy of Forgiving Trinity. Fill this form.

If you are in the US, you can also enter for a paperback of Double Clutch or Junk Miles here.

Review and Interview : Fearless Author Tawdra T. Kandle

Goodreads Summary: Tasmyn Vaughn didn’t expect much when her dad’s job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn’s ability to hear other’s thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town’s secrets aren’t just bizarre, they’re deadly.

Buy it Here – Amazon (only $3.99 on Kindle)| The Book Depository

My Views:

Things I liked

Just get past all that and you will find a book that hooks you with its very first word and pulls you in. Every line was interesting and I wanted to know what would happen next. I loved the characters and that I got to know all of them so intimately despite the book being from a first person point of view, but the subject matter entitled me to know what every character was thinking and feeling. Marvelous!

Things I didn’t

For all those who steer clear of sappy romances, a word of caution. This book has a lot of it. Though I usually don’t mind it but sometimes I got a little too much. Similar scenes/ dialogues were repeated that could have been avoided. And hence the book could have been a lot shorter.

I will admit that I liked the first half better than the latter one because I wished something else had happened. I’m not saying that the concept is not good enough, it was just my expectation that something else had been the theme, the revelation.

I will probably read the second one in the series.

All said and done, this one is a good enough book that you should give a chance.

3/5 stars – I liked it.

INTERVIEW

Let’s meet the author with the purple hair (Click here to know the story behind her purple hair).

Read Fearless Excerpt

Find Tawdra T. Kandle – Tawdra T. Kandle’s site| Twitter| Facebook

Me: From non-fiction to fiction, what prompted the change?

Tawdra: My first love was always fiction. I published my first short story in A Child’s Life magazine when I was thirteen. But the ensuing years gave me more opportunity to write articles on what I was living: parenting, homeschooling and family life. A few years back, I had a crazy year of life changes, which opened doors of both time and inspiration. . .and within a few months, my first novel was written.

Me: Where did the idea for Fearless came from?

Tawdra: It came together in bits and pieces. The inspiration for Tasmyn’s talent came from a wry joke my sister and I had about our babies being able to hear our thoughts in the middle of the night. That made me think about what raising a child who was born with a special ability might look like. New schools and mean girls definitely came from my own childhood experiences. I discovered the perfect setting for the story when we moved to Florida and visited some small towns in the area. Once all the elements came together, Fearless was born.

Me: Travelling is one of your passion. What is your favourite destination?

Tawdra: New Orleans is always one of my favorite places. It’s one of those rare cities where history is just amazingly present. . .and where it is pretty readily accepted that there is far more to the world that meets the eye. My dream would be to write there one day, although I ‘d have to be very disciplined, because the food there is incredible.

Me: Is there anything you need in order to write? (a place, food item etc.)

Tawdra: I can write any place, though I do most of my work either in my green leather recliner in the middle of the night or in my extremely comfortable bed during the day! When I’m finishing a book or in a crucial spot, I like to go away to really focus, so I try to escape by myself for a few days. When I do that, I take lots of Vitamin Water (XXX flavor) and peanut M & M’s. And I always, always need music.

Me: What is one book you think everyone should read? (except yours, of course)

Tawdra: That’s a tough one! I love history, and I always recommend good historical fiction in order to bring the past to life. Literature-wise. . .probably A Wrinkle in Time or any book by Madeleine L’Engle. She was an incredible writer and a fascinating person. Her stories are timeless.

Me: How do you find the time to write amidst homeschooling two children and managing other three? Some tips please.

Tawdra: Happily, my children are older (20, 16 and 11 still at home), and they are very self-sufficient. They respect my work and do whatever they can to help. But it is still and always a juggling act. Planning is paramount; I need to have my curriculum and lesson plans in order. But then, flexiblity is also essential. I try to be open to opportunities when they arise, whether it’s writing at baseball games, at the hair salon or in the middle of the night. When I was writing Fearless I never went anywhere without my laptop, just in case I had a few minutes.

But I try never to lose sight of my priorities. Writing is my passion, but my family always is most important. If I need to take time away from a project in order to focus on one child or another, I’ll do it without hesitation. I think the fact that my children know that makes it easier for them to be supportive and understanding when I do have to work.

Me: Any book you are eagerly awaiting for in 2012?

Tawdra: Oh, always. I am a huge Nora Roberts fan, so I’m looking forward to her annual hardback release as well as the rest of her current trilogy—and her JD Robb books. Julia Spencer-Fleming might have the next book in her Reverend Claire series out this year. I’d love to say I expect Diana Gabaldon to release the next Outlander book in 2012, but that is highly doubtful!

Me: Are you working on something new?

Tawdra: Always. Right now I am just beginning deep edits of the third book in the King Series—Restless—and at the same time working on the fourth and final book. I’m also doing some preliminary notes on two other books related to the King Series, and I’ve begun a new series—adult this time—that is a good deal lighter than my other books.

Me: If you are asked to write in a genre other than what you write, what would it be?

Tawdra: Historical fiction! I find contemporary adult and/or YA fairly easy to write, but I’ve never seriously tackled historical fic. I’d love to do it.

Me: Can you give suggestions as to who would love Fearless? (eg. People who have enjoyed so and so book would love Fearless.)

Tawdra: Although I hesitate to compare my books to any well-known series, I know lots of Twilight fans have enjoyed Fearless, mostly because of the romance factor. But to my mind, I’d have to step out of the literature world and say that fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer would like Fearless. No demons or vampires in King—at least, that we know of—but it has the same idea of getting through high school intact, whether you’re facing so-called normal problems or supernatural angst.

Me: Thank you Tawdra for being on Reviewing Shelf today.

Interview & Giveaway: Aimee Laine, author of Hide & Seek

Hi everyone! Let’s welcome Aimee Laine, the author of Mimics of Rune series. After Little White Lies (1) and Into the Unknown (1.5), the second one in the series, Surrender (2) is coming up on September 4. Remember my Cover Reveal? But well, September is so far off. No problem.

Aimee Laine has written a new series and the first one was out on March 1st 2012. It’s titled Hide & Seek (Games of Zeus #1). And apart from the cover being totally delicious, the book is being loved by everyone out there. Let’s talk to her!

Me: You call yourself a workerbee. Can you elaborate on that?

Aimee: Absolutely. I work full-time in a ‘real’ job, which pays the bills. I’m also an entrepreneur and own my own business (have for 6 years). I also have to ‘work’ around the house – can you say Mom-is-Maid? So I’m a workerbee … just like the regular ‘ole honey bees who just keep on plugging away, doing what’s necessary to make life keep going.

Me: You have an MBA and a degree in Applied Mathematics!! (mind-boggling) What are you doing writing away? How and when did writing enter your life?

Aimee: My mathematics degree came because I wanted to graduate in 4 years and in the middle of my 4 years, I decided to change my major. I needed something and I’d taken SO many math courses, it was a no-brainer to get finished.

I went back to get my MBA because I have that entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to own my own business, understand business and enhance my position in corporate america (aka the ‘real’ job).

So, one day, I quit corporate America and ventured out on my own. Unfortunately, economic factors called me back TO corporate America, but not before I’d said, one day, “I want to write a book.” And I did.

That was 11 books ago.

Me: Wow! You are a multi-tasker! What kind of photography you find yourself most drawn to?

Aimee: I AM A HUGE multi-tasker. 🙂 There isn’t an activity/day that goes by that I am doing it and it alone. That comes with being a Project Manager/People Manager in my real job as well as being a writer (in my real job, too) and needing to play multiple hats.

As for my photography … I am a people photographer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to show relationships. How fitting given what I write is romance which is also showing relationships.

Me: Is there anything you need in order to write? (a place, food item etc.)

Aimee: Just my Macbook Pro. Me and my computer. That’s it.

Me: How many books do you read a week/month? What is the last book you read?

Aimee: The last book I read was a Don’t Bite the Messenger by Regan Summers. I read 1-2 books a week, but many, many, many of those are unpublished manuscripts for friends. Sometimes, I read them 2 or more times as they go through their beta/editing/final phases.

Me: What is one book you think everyone should read?

Aimee: Mine.

Me: You are a romantic at heart. Does it show in Hide & Seek?

Aimee: When you read the end, I’d like you to tell me if it shows. Just you wait. 🙂

Me: With three kids, how do you find the time to write? Some tips please.

Aimee: Ha! People ask me how I can work, be a photographer, be a writer, be a Mom. It all comes to multi-tasking and priorities. I give them my time when they need me. But my kids are a little older (14, 7 and 7) so it’s not like I need to be changing diapers or anything. They are very independent. But again, when they need me, I’m there. For example, my son was sick with pneumonia in February and we ended up in the ER. I took my laptop. For the 2 HOURS that we waited doing nothing and he dozed, I wrote. It’s all about not wasting any available time.

Me: Hats off to you, Aimee! Any book you are eagerly awaiting for in 2012?

Aimee: Mine. Oh, you mean others? Yes. A friend’s novel, Crux, comes out in July and while I’ve already read it, it ROCKS. It’s a YA Urban Fantasy. Truly awesome.

Me: Are you working on something new?

Aimee: Always! My alter-ego, Emi Gayle, is writing the 3rd in The 19th Year Trilogy – A YA urban fantasy/paranormal romance. The first comes out in October, 2012. But the third is the end and it’s been tough to write. So far it’s taking me longer than any other book I’ve written. The longest was 75 days. The shortest, 21. This one is already at 45 days, but only 1/3 through. I LOVE the story though and the characters and the promise of the end. After that, I’ll be editing the 2nd book in the Games of Zeus series and writing the third in the Mimics of Rune.

Me: If you are asked to write in a genre other than what you write, what would it be?

Aimee: I’d be writing mystery/thrillers. Many of my romances are almost closer to that than romances. And I LOVE a good thriller. Wait ’til you can read JC Martin’s Oracle. I just did and it’s fabulous.

Me: Can you give suggestions as to who would love Hide & Seek?

Aimee: Anyone who loves romance with a twist on Greek Mythology is number one. Anyone who loves Alpha males, magic, mystery and thriller/suspense where romance is the cause and effect.

Me: Thank you so much, Aimee for being at Reviewing Shelf today!

 

Buy Hide & Seek at Amazon or J.Taylor Publishing. Add it on Goodreads and discuss it here.

 

Find Aimee Laine on Goodreads, her Blog, Twitter & Facebook. And if like me, you love photography, check out her site. Ooh, I love it!

 

Giveaway

Aimee is graciously giving away an e-copy of Hide & Seek. Open Internationally. You want to win it? Enter HERE.

 

Here’s a little of Hide & Seek

Lie, cheat or steal, no one can catch Tripp Fox. Except one woman.

Lexi Shepherd’s knack for finding whatever is asked of her isn’t sheer luck. It’s a gift from the Greek god Zeus.

That Lexi doesn’t use her ability to search for “Mr. Right” comes from one of many personal rules she has set for herself. Number one is not to let fate dictate her future.

Falling in love with Tripp breaks all the others.

Despite her principles, Lexi’s unable to stay away from the bad boy, and she finds herself toeing the grey line of the law for him.

Zeus, though, didn’t give Lexi and Tripp their talents to make their relationship a simple, easy alliance. He designed it to be exactly the opposite. Impossible. Always.

With their separation, Lexi expects Tripp to forfeit love in favor of destiny. He, on the other hand, intends to beat Zeus at his own game. With a plan in place, Tripp challenges Lexi to take the one action no one else can.

Find him.

The question isn’t can she … but will she?

Ooh, the book sounds really amazing! What do you think?

Interview & Giveaway: ‘Caged Moon’ Author Rachel Deagan


Let’s meet Author Rachel Deagan today. Her book Caged Moon is gaining a lot of praise. She is stopping by on Reviewing Shelf as a part of her Blog tour.

Interview


Me: You wanted to be an Actress and an Olympic Equestrian Rider! So how did writing come into the picture?

Rachel: Good question! As a kid, I was always the one with the crazy imagination. If I wasn’t creating my own theatrical productions with the neighbourhood kids, I was carrying out adventures in Horseland, concocting magical spells in my basement, and swinging from ropes trying to rescue the other princesses from my evil brothers. One day, I decided to put my creative spirit into writing. I instantly fell in love. Here was a place where I could literally make my own fantastical worlds and daydream on paper. I think I was about ten when I realized this.

Me: You wrote your first book when you were in fourth grade! Do you ever plan on bringing something from that book into your current writing?

Rachel: Probably not. I did write my first book in the fourth grade, but it was bad. It was a 60 page chapter book about a horse named Dapple who got kidnapped by some evil people – where the heroine had to try to save her. Looking back, it was quite cheesy, but it was a great experience. My interests have also changed vastly from writing about horses, although I still enjoy them.

Me:Is there anything you need in order to write? (a place, food item etc.)

Rachel: Not really, except it takes me some time to settle down into a ‘focused mode’. I tend to check my email, glance over Facebook, and few things first. It’s bad. But once that’s out of the way and off my chest, I can write for hours.

Me: Are you working on something new?

Rachel: Yes! I have another YA novel in the works under the working title, “The Star Children.” This one has a hint of Sci-Fi in it, although mostly falls into the category of urban paranormal. It revolves around three teenagers who discover they bear unusual ‘gifts’ while staying in a psychiatric hospital. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones who discover this, and soon learn that not only is the government are after them, but something much darker and greater too. I love the character chemistry in this book. Despite the face paced, supernatural thriller storyline, the characterization is what carries it most. So, stay tuned.

Me: How many books do you read a week/month?

Rachel: I tend to read about a book a week. When I start a book, especially if it’s good, I have a hard time stopping. For me, it’s like watching a movie part way through, and then putting on pause for a few days. I can’t do it. It’s been the source of many all-nighters.

Me: What is the last book you read?

Rachel: Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick. I should be reading the next in that series, but took a break to read ‘The Iron King,’ by Julie Kagawa. After this one, I plan to get back to that series.

Me: What is one book you think everyone should read?

Rachel: That’s a tough one, but since this genre is Young Adult Paranormal, a favourite series of mine, “The Mortal Instruments,” by Cassandra Claire, comes to mind. I LOVE that series, especially (believe it or not) the last one, “City Of Fallen Angels.” The character chemistry in that book had me laughing through the entire thing. I’m also a softy for Simon. I can’t wait for the next instalment to come out.

Me: Which fictional character would you most like to meet?

Rachel: Sam, from Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver. I don’t know why, but he has this quiet, gentle,hot thing going on. He seems very sincere and true to himself. He also is an artist and plays guitar.

Me: What do you do in your free time?

Rachel: Free time? What’s that? Just kidding! I have two little boys that keep me pretty busy when I’m not working. Otherwise, I like to fill my time writing and working on my novels, writing in role playing games, reading, or watching a good movie/tv show. I’ve recently become hooked on The Secret Circle.

Me: Any book you are eagerly awaiting for in 2012?

Rachel: Yes! “City of Lost Souls,” by Cassandra Claire. I can’t wait!

Me: Can you give suggestions as to who would love Caged Moon? (eg. Readers who have enjoyed so and so book would love Caged Moon.)

Rachel: “Shiver,” by Maggie Stiefvater, P.C Cast’s “House of Night Series,” “Twilight,” by Stephanie Meyer, and “Hush Hush,” by Becca Fitzpatrick are a few that come to mind.

Me: Thank you so much for stopping by, Rachel. Wish you the best for Caged Moon.

Want to know more about CAGED MOON? Find the excerpt here.

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Barnes & Noble







GIVEAWAY (17-25 February)

Rachel is giving away One Paperback copy of Caged Moon to US/Canada resident. You know you want it.

Enter to win HERE!