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Blog Blizzard Presents – Rebekah Roberts – Author

What genre(s) do you write?

Christian Teen Romance, but every now and then I have to take a break and write a little horror.

What genres and authors would we find you reading? 

I love romance, Meg Cabot, Stephanie Meyer, Gail Carson Levine. I’ve always had a thing for classic as well, Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier,

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting up the courage to send it out to a publisher.  Writing it was pretty easy, editing it was harder but still fun, but after it was finished it sat in my computer collecting digital dust for over a year.  Finally a very wise woman asked me, why not?  I’m so glad I listened to her and sent it out into the world.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A little of both.  I hate to have everything plotted out and I never plot on paper, but I can’t get things done if I don’t have at least most of the major scenes figured out in my head.  So, I guess I am a plottser?

 Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

Because even though fairy-tales are big and there are a lot of choices out there right now, my stories are different because they deal with real life.  They don’t have magic so in the end my characters have to deal with the messes that they have made without a magical spell to set them free.  I’d like to think this is a fresher take on the old tales.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories? 

That there is hope and love in the world.  And that they might feel a better sense of the fact that there is a purpose for their lives.  That’s what I want my characters to learn, so that’s what I am hoping to show the reader through my characters.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That everything has beauty in it and that God uses that beauty to do great things.  I want every girl, (or guy) that reads my book to feel like they too are beautiful and that they are important.

How long have you been a writer? 

Since I was about 9.  I started my first novel, The Mystery of the International Twins.  It is a completed work that I hope will never see the light of day!

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

About three years.  A year and a half to write and edited; and the same amount of time in procrastination.

What other careers have you had?

Wow, I have been everything from a receptionist at a funeral home to a full time nanny.  I’ve been a homeschool teacher, a personal assistant, a waitress, a dog/cat sitter, a sales person and I’ve worked at a dry cleaners.  I feel like there are far too many interesting things to do out there to just pick one, but throughout it all I have been a writer.  I think all of those jobs have helped me not only be a better person, (ie. I try to tip better now) but a better writer.

Do you write under more than one name? Why?

Nope.  My parents gave me a superhero name, (double initials, like Peter Parker, or Lois Lane), and because of this I think it’s kind of catchy.

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?

Yes and no.  My characters all seem to have a little bit of me in them.  It’s hard not to write in first person and not give them a little of yourself.  Also, the character Sammie, (Petals), is based on a lot of different people that I know.  He’s a mixture of my brothers and other teenage boys I grew up with.  Some of the things he says are direct quotes from those guys and it makes me happy to see them alive in Sam.

How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers? 

I’m a very loving, girly, loud laughing, deep feeling person.  I’m a true romantic and I try to find the beauty in everyday life.  Mostly, my relationship with my Jesus is the centerfold of my life.  As I learn to fall more deeply in love with Him, I hope that I am becoming a better person along the way.

What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?

Oh, that’s so hard.  When you live in your own skin, your life seems sort of boring, but I guess, the fact that I played drums in a rock band from the ages of nine to twenty, is pretty cool.  I grew up in this exclusive world of local independent (or indie) bands.  It’s a very close knit community and I learned a lot from those years.  I never wanted to be a professional musician and i am glad I chose writing over the band, but I still miss those days.  There is nothing that compares getting all the beats just right.  It’s a thrill like no other.

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

That it’s fun.  I write about hard topics, but in the end I really want to write a good story.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Meg Cabot’s All American Girl had a big impact on me as a teenager.  It’s all about a girl wanting to be anyone but herself, but in the end she realizes that being herself is the best person to be.  I wanted to write books that made girls think about themselves in a better light.  Also, Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted.  It was the first novelized retelling of a fairy-tale that I ever read.  It made me want to write a new version of a fairy-tale for myself.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?

They have all been so excited and supportive.  It’s been really wonderful seeing how many of them have stepped up and not only bought a copy but are being little foot soldiers and getting the word out there.  I couldn’t have gotten this far without them.

Where are you from?

I am Texas born but Oklahoma bred.  I guess you might say that I have red dirt in my veins.

How do you come up with the titles?

Petals was originally called, Calla and Griffin: A Modern Day Version of Beauty and the Beast.  I laugh now, when I think about how long that would have been.  After I came to my senses and realized I didn’t need the whole storyline on the cover, I changed it to simply Petals because roses are such an important theme in Beauty and the Beast as well as my novel.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?

I think my writing finally has some weight behind it.  When you have spent years just typing on a laptop pr scribbling in a notebook and claim to be a writer no one really takes you seriously, but after you are published suddenly they are asking you to edit things for them.  It’s funny how that works.  In a lot of ways I feel like I just graduated.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I can’t multi-task well.  I try to keep up blogs and facebook, maybe a short story, while writing a novel, but I can’t get my brain around more than one novel at a time.  I get distracted too easily, and that is how projects go unfinished.

When not writing, how do you relax?

I love to go to the movies.  I try to see anything that even looks halfway good.  When I was a little girl, my dad and I would watch a movie at home every night and we would go out to the theater at least once a week.  I still love to watch a good movie, but I am much more apt to fall asleep these days.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.

I am 24 years old.

I’m an avid walker, I take the twins that I nanny out on a walk every morning and I love to go walking by myself or with a friend.

I played the Scarecrow of Oz in my church’s huge interactive play and I just got the cast list, so I am excited to be playing it again this year.

Before I went gluten-free my favorite snack was cold egg-rolls, now I love to chop up a banana and put a little salt on it.

What Projects are you working on now?

I am working on the sequel to Petals, a novel called Sheltering Snow.   It will be a modern version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which in my mind translates into: A teen runaway, with a secret, is befriended by a family of quirky siblings who have a few secrets of their own.

 Links:

http://www.facebook.com/RebekahRobertsWriter

https://twitter.com/RebekahFRoberts

www.RebekahRoberts.net

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Blog Blizzard – Sara Barnard – Upcoming

Sara Barnard presents her new upcoming book, A Heart on Hold

Author Bio:  Sara Barnard

Sara Barnard is a military wife whose own heart has been on hold more often than not.  She holds her B.A. in History.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including REFRACTION (Marble Press, 2010), THE HARSH AND THE HEART: CELEBRATING THE MILITARY (Silver Boomer Books, 2011), CAMPFIRE TALES (Coolwell Press, 2012), and will appear in an upcoming Canadian anthology titled LIFESTYLES.  She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Abilene Writers Guild.

In addition to reading and writing, Sara loves helping her children with their homework, spending time outdoors with her family, and traveling.

Sara, her husband, and their four beautiful children live in the historic Oklahoma hills along with their three rescue dogs, two cats, two rescue kittens, eleven chickens, and one awesome horse.

www.sarathreesuns.blogspot.com

www.sarabarnardbooks.com

sarathreesuns@gmail.com

facebook.com/sara.barnard6

facebook.com/sarabarnardbooks

Pen Name:  Sara Barnard

Book Title:  A Heart on Hold

Series Title:  An Everlasting Heart

Number in the series:  1 of 3

Book description as it will read on the back of the book:

Charlotte’s lips only took a moment to find those belonging to her beloved.  He tasted faintly of molasses and she was immediately drawn into the warmth of his embrace.  Their bodies were perfectly pressed together, fitting as though one had been divinely made for the other, as Sanderson’s kisses trailed from Charlotte’s lips down her neck. 

Her hands found his softly stubbled face and guided him back to her lips.  With his strong arms around her, she’d never felt more safe.  Or more vulnerable. 

War.  Devotion.  Deceit.  Death.  How long can a heart hold on before it breaks?  Most women would carry on with their lives after being thrust into widowhood, but not Charlotte Adamsland.  Upon learning that her husband, Captain Sanderson Redding, was killed in a botched escape from a Confederate prison in Illinois, she clings to his promise to return to her no matter what, and quickly heads north through a war-ravaged country with only her faith in God and her beloved horse to bring her beloved Sanderson home – one way or another.

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Blog Blizzard – Sara Barnard – Author Interview

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

I have enjoyed creating stories since I was a little girl, playing with my dogs in the backyard. I remember all through school, I wanted to be a forest ranger … we would take our aptitude tests and I would answer all of the questions so that it would point to “outdoors career” but whenever it came to talking about the classes about making that happen, it was all science-related, which made me kind of turn up my nose. I kept writing all the while, winning a contest here, being published in the school paper there. It wasn’t until my husband deployed to Afghanistan and I had three little kiddos at home that I seriously put pen to paper. Once I started writing, I felt that all of the chaos that came with my everyday life kind of made sense out of itself once I got it down on paper (or typed into a Word document). I began my novel, A HEART ON HOLD, at that point and a mess of other short stories and kid’s stories. Now, I finally feel at peace!

What genre(s) do you write?

Children’s Nonfiction, Adult Historical Romance, and Children’s Fiction.

What genres and authors would we find you?

I would be honored to be on the shelves among literary greats such as Lucia St. Clair Robson and Larry McMurtry with my adult historical romances and Sandra Boynton with my children’s books.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

I faced many challenges writing A Heart on Hold (Book One of An Everlasting Heart series). First of all, Dear Hubby was deployed so that was an emotional roller coaster in itself. Secondly, I underwent surgery for a malfunctioning thyroid gland soon after beginning work on it. Then, I kept writing through my husband’s homecoming, a cross country move, the buying of a first house, epic PTSD-related breakdowns, the birth of baby number four, and another cross country move to our present duty station in the historic Oklahoma hills. Then came the three rewrites!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A pantster in fiction, all the way! I love writing the stories because the characters take on a life unto themselves and I am living and experiencing the adventures and adversities they face right along with them! I am plotted in nonfiction.

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

They shouldn’t.  They should choose my books AND the other authors!!

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

Life experience, a feeling of hope, and happily ever after.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Perseverance, faith, trust. Oh yeah, and above all, LOVE. Love for Him and for him!

How long have you been a writer?

For as long as I can remember! I won my first writing contest in the 3rd grade and constantly came up with adjectives that described my animals. For instance, when I was eight, I remember we Sevin-Dusted our dogs. My dog, Callie, went bounding through a giant white spot of Sevin dust and I recall thinking “And Callie bounded happily through the Sevin dust …”

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

I began A Heart on Hold in 2008 and it was publsihed in 2012.

What other careers have you had?

A wildlife biologist intern catching and removing snakes, counting bats, and tracking mountain lions; selling cancer insurance; Army wife; mommy of four; media relations specialist; legal secretary; courthouse researcher; and book acquisitions assistant!

 Do you write under more than one name? Why?

No. I write what I won’t mind my children reading someday. I want people to know that it’s me!

 Are any of your characters based on real people or events?

Yes. In my children’s story “The Big Bad Wolf Really Isn’t So Big and Bad”, the narrator, Cocoa, is based on my late wolf-hybrid of the same name. In A Heart on Hold, Sanderson is based on two people: Captain E.A. Adams of the Confederate Army who really died in Alton Confederate Prison, after lasting longer than most of his comrades, three days before the war ended; and my sweet husband. Cotton is based on my eldest son, while the three children Charlotte has to rescue is based loosely on the rest of my children. Minerva is based on my best friend, Rochelle, while in Charlotte, I tried to show a little of myself. In all honesty, Jackson is based on Jackson Rathbone’s character in Twilight.

How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?

My name is Sara, I love reading, writing, traveling, animals, my family, and trips to town. (We are country folk.) Larry McMurtry and Lucia St. Clair Robson have molded me as much as anything. Once I got out of my horrendous teenage years, I fell in love with school and excelling at subjects I enjoyed and learning as much as I could about those subjects I didn’t. The core of my soul though is centered around the conservation of our natural resources and wildlife.

What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?

My passion for animal rescue. All of our cats (four of them) and all three of our dogs are rescued animals with a story all their own.

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

I am a metal head. At work, I received a call from the management representing some eighties hair metal bands who want to write books about their lives. When the management official told me their names, I squealed like a groupie. Sheesh.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Ann Swann, because she is my mother and her writing has captivated me since I was small.

Stephen King. I don’t read horror (mostly because I read the newspaper and that is horrific enough), but my mom’s collection of his works surrounded me as a child. I remember looking at the book covers and the way they smelled and looked on the bookshelves in our southwestern-decored home … and that will always be home to me.

Larry McMurtry and Lucia St. Clair Robson, for obvious reasons.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?

Everyone is very supportive, particularly my sweet mama. While I believe her writing blows mine out of the proverbial water, she insists we simply have different writing voices.

Where are you from?

Odessa, Texas, land of the most beautiful sunsets in the world! I have called New Mexico, Georgia, Alaska, Italy, Colorado, and Oklahoma home, as well.

How do you come up with the titles?

My books have always sort of named themselves, if that makes sense.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?

Yes, it has gotten busier! But in my quest to become published, I learned many tools of the trade with I believe has helped me grow and evolve as a writer. I flatter myself to think (hope?) I have gotten better.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

Oh I multitask!!

When not writing, how do you relax?

Relaxation? What’s that? I work full time, write, and raise a family alongside my husband. Plus, I try and get outside as much as possible to remember what life is all about.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.

I was almost a guest on The Next Great Baker.

I used to dance at Powwows.

I watch mostly nonfiction nature shows if I have control of the remote … if I don’t, it is either Pocoyo or jail shows.

I am trying semi-hard to learn French.

I have been accepted to graduate school in hopes of earning my Master’s degree in Fish and Wildlife management.

Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.

I have several children’s books under consideration with 5 Prince Publishing including CHUNKY SUGARS, an infant book, LITTLE SPOON, THE BIG BAD WOLF REALLY ISN’T SO BIG AND BAD, and THE THREE LITTLE JAVELINA’S: THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, TEXAS STYLE.

Books 2 and 3 of AN EVERLASTING HEART series are coming, too. A HEART BROKEN and A HEART AT HOME.

I have several other titles in the works as well: another children’s chapter book for my daughter, more nonfiction plants books, and some more historical family dramas.

Please share any links you would like listed.

www.sarathreesuns.blogspot.com

www.sarabarnardbooks.com

sarathreesuns@gmail.com

facebook.com/sara.barnard6

facebook.com/sarabarnardbooks

 

 

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Blog Blizzard – M.J. Kane – Author Interview

Meet M.J. Kane

 What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Being able to get the people that inhabit my mind out on paper! For years I’ve gone to bed at night with scenes (well, I didn’t think of them as scenes at the time) replaying over and over in my head while I waited to go to sleep. I had no idea that the stories I made up would ever become something to write about!

What genre(s) do you write?

Interracial Romance, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

What genres and authors would we find you?

Not sure I understand the question. But if you want to know where my book would be found, Women’s Fiction and Contemporary Romance would suite my writing best.  I’m can’t say that I would compare my writing to anyone author in particular. I’ve strived to create my own style, something new to me and hopefully my readers.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Perfecting the minor details…punctuation, monitoring the use of dialogue tags, and staying in the same tense throughout without switching between past and present. Those things take time, patience, and lots of practice! My original manuscript has had at least ten sets of revisions to get it where it is today, and that was before it even saw an editor! After that would be learning when it’s time to put my baby down and entrust it to my beta readers and editor, praying they see my story the way I want it to come across.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am proud to say I am a reformed panster! LOL! My stories didn’t reach the level of writing I wanted them too until I sat down and plotted! Don’t get me wrong, I have been known to change my plot when my characters tap me on the shoulder, but I have to have a detailed road map to point me in the ‘write’ direction!

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

I don’t want anyone to choose me over any other author, but I do want to be an author that a reader chooses. There are so many stories to be told, and so many different ways to tell them…as a new author I want someone to give me a chance and not push my book away because they prefer another author. Before I stared writing, I was one of those who read the same authors faithful without giving anyone else a chance. The minute I dropped that mindset, I found myself exposed to a wider variety or stories, unique and different writing styles and voices. Expanding my reading expanded my mind. I wish for my readers to do the same.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

I want my readers to understand that no matter what our backgrounds are, or where we are from, someone somewhere is experiencing the same thing that you are, good and bad. What matters most is how we deal with those experiences. Everyone may not have the love and support they need to help them make the decisions best for them. Reading how my characters endure, overcome, and evolve into stronger individuals due to the obstacles I put in their path is what I wish all my readers will learn. The ability to evolve into more is something that is possible in all of us.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Never give up going for your dream, despite what anyone says. Dig deep within yourself to find the courage you need to push through the negativity. Somewhere out there, there is someone else who is going through the same thing.

How long have you been a writer? 

I’ve wrote my first short story, a fan fic of the show, LOST, in 2005 as a prompt for a fan site. It eventually turned into a 30 page story. But it wasn’t until 2009 that I hijacked my hubby’s laptop, raided my local library for books on writing, and began writing as a hobby. It took a year for the hobby to turn into a way of finding myself again.

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

Four years! During that time it went from a hobby to a career. I’ve given up, gotten frustrated, and then reinvigorated. Thank god I didn’t give up!

What other careers have you had?

Let’s see, I’ve been a cashier, customer service rep at K-Mart, Dispatcher for UPS and Safelight Auto Glass, Floral Designer for Hobby Lobby. I’ve worked as a 10-key Operator for several major banks in their Operations centers. And of course, I am also a wife and mother of 4 kids!

Do you write under more than one name? Why?

No, my pen name is all I can handle. I spend too much time in my character’s heads to give myself yet another name! LOL!

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?

Yes. Most of the men in my stories are loosely based on a facet of my husband’s many different careers and skill sets. The women in my stories are different pieces of women I know. They are also loosely based on the different aspects of my own personality, whether pronounced or hidden.

How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?

I love reading stories about strong women living lives and working careers that I can relate too. My goal is to bring what I feel is missing in storytelling to my readers through a fresh voice and different style of writing. My books will not only entertain you, they will offer encouragement, comfort, and support to those in need.

What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?

I survived a series of strokes in 2006 that nearly killed me. I was in ICU for two weeks, and paralyzed on one side of my body for several days. Every time I meet someone and say that, they think I’m lying. Believe me, I lived through it, it’s not an experience I would make up or wish on anyone! The fact that I have been able to recover and discover a talent for writing and to have gotten published is a blessing. There are many authors out there who have strived to get to this level for years and are still trying. Since surviving the stroke, I’ve learned a lot about me and what I can overcome. That is why I focus on the ability to overcome life’s adversities in my stories.

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

When I write, I try my best to tell stories I feel my readers can relate too. I like real characters, real situations, real everything. I literally cry with my characters when I put them through the wringer. It was a struggle to learn that hurting my characters and watching them grow stronger is the only way to tell a good story.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

There are so many!! I will say that as of late, I have studied the writing styles of three very different authors: J.R. Ward (Erotic Paranormal Romance), Suzanne Brockmann, whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting a book about my favorite characters autographed! (Military Romance), and Janet Evanovich (Comedy, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance). All three tell very different stories using unique and intriguing voices. I have read and studied every book in their series and have learned so much. I don’t think my series would exist if it wasn’t from learning from them!

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?

For the longest my family thought of it as just something I did to keep busy, then again, so did I. It wasn’t until I reached a very changing point in my life when I put writing to the side for a month to focus on my personal growth that I realized the newly developed people in my head wouldn’t leave me alone. From there I made moves to learn as much as I could about writing. It was then not only me, but my family began to see this as something I cared about. Since then, they’ve had my back, and continue to do so. Outside of my house, not very many people know about my writing. I prefer to keep outside negative influences away and concentrate on those who are either supportive or interested in my work.

Where are you from?

Atlanta, Georgia, yes I am indeed a Georgia Peach!

How do you come up with the titles?

I think about the story and what theme flows throughout. I love symbolism. So if there is something symbolic about my characters life, or relationships, I try to tie that into the title. The original title to my debut novel was The Healing Heart. Since the heroine is a Veterinarian, her job entails taking care of animals, healing them when they are sick. But the story doesn’t focus on her job. It focuses on her experiences outside of work, events that test her as a woman, lover, and friend. Thus, A Heart Not Easily Broken. It suggests strength, endurance, and the desire to never give up. The title of the second novel in the series is called Jaded, and fits the hero and heroine perfectly!

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?

Uh, no, other than being a lot more tired by the end of the day! I still get up and drop people off at school and work. Still have to make sure the bills get paid, homework done…lol, the wife/ mother duties never change. If anything, I’ve made myself busier! Every day is a struggle to remain on task and find a schedule that works. Since I am not the best at scheduling or staying on task, it’s always a challenge. I’ll get it down eventually!

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I little of both. Whatever deadlines my publisher has for me takes precedence. I still have times where no matter what I am working on, characters from one of the next five books pop in and demand my attention. After a week of being bombarded by their voices, I will pull out my voice recorder and dictate the scenes playing in my mind, then put it away. Many a scene has been dictated while I’m driving or sitting in the parking lot of the high school waiting for my kids! If I have time, I grab pen and paper and write it down. Each novel already has bits and pieces of the stories outlined, scenes written, character charts worked on. But nothing is set in stone until it’s time to focus on that book.

When not writing, how do you relax?

Relax? What’s that? My characters won’t shut up! When I do force myself to take a mental break, I read books by my favorite authors, or new authors I have met. I also watch TV, but have found television boring and lacking, so I pick back up another book. I play The Sims sometimes, talk to my kids, and play with my two pit bulls.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.

  • I am an only child.
  • I am hard headed…lol.
  • When I was younger, I      wanted to be a mermaid.
  • I am a Star Wars Fan! But      you will never catch me in the Princess Leia Slave Girl outfit!
  • I don’t like spending a      lot of time in the kitchen.

My debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, Book One of the Butterfly Memoirs, will be published September 20th as and eBook, October 4th, in paperback.

Jaded, Book Two of the Butterfly Memoirs will be available March 2013. Look for a excerpt at the end of A Heart Not Easily Broken!

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Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

Available now from 5 Prince Publishing! Buy Now!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.J. Kane stumbled into writing. An avid reader, this stay at home mom never lost the overactive imagination of an only child. As an adult she made up stories, though never shared them, to keep herself entertained. It wasn’t until surviving a traumatic medical incident in 2006 that she found a reason to let the characters inhabiting her imagination free.  Upon the suggestion of her husband, she commandeered his laptop and allowed the characters to take life. It was that, or look over her shoulder for men caring a purple strait jacket. And the rest, as they say, is history.

No longer a television addict, if M.J. isn’t reading a book by one of her favorite authors, she’s battling with her creative muse to balance writing and being a wife and mother. She resides in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her high school sweetheart, four wonderful children, and two pit bulls. MJ can often be found hanging out at the local library where she is director of a local writer’s group, or online connecting with readers and other authors. Other activities she enjoys include: creating custom floral arrangements, assisting her children in their creative pursuits of music and art, and supporting her husband’s music production business, 3D Sounds.

You can find MJ on social networking sites, sharing writing tips, talking about music, life, and family. She’s always excited to meet new people. Connect with her via the websites below.

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

This Writer’s Life Blog

The Butterfly Memoirs Blog

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A Heart Not Easily Broken: Excerpt:

The song ended, and I opened my eyes to cheer with the rest of the crowd. I was noticed all right. Various men in my immediate vicinity threw out catcalls and whistles, which were flattering, but the drummer paid me no attention. In fact, no one in the band seemed to notice me, except for one man.

One of the guitar players watched me intently. Astonished, I nearly stumbled in my heels. He was attractive but… he was white, not what I was aiming for. My lips tilted in a small smile before I moved out of his line of sight, placing myself in front of dancers who’d moved closer to the stage blocking my view of the drummer.

The next song played, and again, I tried to get lost in the music. My eyes closed, it was impossible to find my groove again without feeling stalked. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, drawing my attention down the length of the stage and to the guitar player, who once again, watched me with a predatory gleam in his eye. When the song ended, I worked my way back to the bar.

Neither Yasmine nor Kaitlyn were there.  They must have gone to the bathroom.

“What can I get you, miss?” the bartender asked, interrupting my thoughts.

Music from the loud speakers blasted again, after the MC announced the band was taking a brief intermission.

“Margarita, extra shot of tequila, please.” The bartender nodded and went to fill my order.

“Did you get a load of the blond guitar player? He’s hot!”

My attention turned to a busty brunette who’d taken up temporary residence in the empty seat next to me. I recognized her as being one of the women who’d been dancing next to me. She adjusted her boobs, primping while talking to her friend.

“He doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going home with him tonight,” she continued. Her friend giggled.

Good luck. She had a better chance than I did of finding a man tonight.

“Here you go.” The bartender placed a napkin in front of me with my drink.

“I’ve got this,” a deep voice said close to my ear, making me jump. It was incredibly sexy despite the fact it scared me. It also sent a warm tingle down my spine. Intrigued, I turned and found myself face-to-face with the guitar player. The same one my barstool neighbor wanted to go home with.

Any sort of coherent words failed me.

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Blog Blizzard – Meet Melynda Price

Author Bio:

Melynda Price:

An avid lover of paranormal romance, Melynda was inspired to write her own series after reading the Book of Enoch. She’s always had a fascination with stories about angels, and the role they’ve played in the history of our multi-dimensional world.

She attended Bethel University in Minnesota and graduated in 2003, holding AA, ASN and BSN degrees.

She lives in Northern Minnesota where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua, and a hot cup of coffee, to write. She’s blessed with two amazing children, and a wonderful husband of seventeen years.

Until Darkness Comes:

 “Writing Until Darkness Comes has been a fantastic adventure, culminating a world of mystery, suspense, love and deception. Have you ever wondered what it might be like if we could see beyond our dimension? Step into Olivia Norton’s world, where nothing is quite as it seems, and evil lurks where she least expects it.”

Visit Melynda at www.MelyndaPrice.com

 

Book Blurb:

A guardian angel… A forbidden love… Eternal consequences…

Olivia Norton was born with a gift—a gift heaven has sworn to protect, and hell is bound to destroy. Her perfect world is turned upside-down when two handsome strangers, Max and Liam, step into her life. Olivia soon discovers that her ‘Mr. Perfect’ is actually a perfect nightmare.

The rules of engagement have changed and Liam, Olivia’s guardian angel, is forced to cross dimensional borders or risk losing the woman he’s sworn to protect. Suddenly, thrust into a world unlike anything he’s ever known, Liam isn’t prepared to come face to face with the young woman whose life he holds in his hands.

But nothing is as it seems, and secrets abound that will ultimately force him to choose between two impossibilities. Max will stop at nothing to finish what he’s started, and Olivia is soon plunged into a battle between good and evil. Her very life hangs in the balance as two forces fight to win her heart.

                       

Until Darkness Comes Excerpt ~ First kiss…

Olivia took a brave step closer to Liam and cupped the side of his cheek, forcing him to look at her. “Then who are you? Surely you can tell me that. And don’t you dare lie to me, because I know you’re not normal. I’ve never met anyone like you before. Normal guys don’t act like you. Normal guys don’t look like you, and if they do, they’re usually more like…”

“More like what?” His eyebrow arched curiously.

“More like Max, I guess.”

“Well, I can promise you that I am nothing like Max. More like the exact opposite, to tell you the truth.”

“Why do you hate him so much? At first, I thought it was because he was my boyfriend, and that you were just jealous or something. But it’s more than that, isn’t it?”

“There’s a darkness in him, Olivia. Can’t you feel it?”

“I’m not sure how I feel when I’m with Max anymore. I used to feel…carefree—wild and reckless, you know? But lately, I’m starting to just feel…afraid. Like I’m walking on a tightrope and I’m about ready to fall.”

“I’ll catch you,” he whispered, slowly trailing his fingers down the side of her neck.

Her pulse beat erratically beneath his touch; she opened her mouth to say something, but stopped. Instead, she moistened her bottom lip with the tip of her tongue. His heated gaze fell to her lips and she felt Liam’s resolve snap. A wave of desire blasted into her and a soft groan of defeat rumbled in his chest as he lowered his head, capturing her lips in a tender embrace. His kiss tore through her like fire. What started out as tentative and sweet, quickly escalated to urgent and demanding as a rush of adrenaline flooded her veins. She melted into his arms, her lips fitting perfectly against his, like she was made just for him.

He tasted exactly like he smelled—faintly of cloves, delicious. She parted her lips, aching for more and instinctively he responded to her request as if she’d spoken it. Drawing the kiss deeper, his tongue brushed against hers. The more he kissed her, the hungrier she became, fueling an insatiable fire deep in her core.

Olivia wound her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. She’d never felt more starved and yet completely satisfied as she did at that very moment. He tightened his arms around her waist and pulled her against him, as if he couldn’t get close enough. Her feet left the ground as he molded her to his lean, powerful body.

Time momentarily ceased. She had no idea how long they stood there in each other’s arms as the floor of the boat rocked beneath his feet. The captain’s voice crackled over the speaker, announcing the end of their tour. A reluctant groan escaped Liam’s lips as he broke their kiss and slowly released her. Olivia stumbled when her feet touched ground and his hand shot out to steady her…

 

GUEST BLOG:

 I’ve been doing several interviews lately, and would like to take the time today to talk a little about my journey from unpublished to published author. Everyone has their own story to tell and I love hearing about other author’s success, but even more, I also want to hear about their failures. No, I’m not sadistic, lol, but I believe there’s a lot to be learned in these failures—my own and others.

Patience, perseverance, and gratitude are a few qualities that have grown in me through rejection. So, today’s stop, I want to pay special attention to the unpublished authors and to those who are struggling in their career. I’d like to share something I’ve learned through my journey.

It only takes one “yes.”—five simple words, yet so profound. This little bit of advice and encouragement was given to me by my good friend and author, Laura Breck, and it will stay with me forever. It only takes one “yes” for your dreams to come true, so try to take each “no” as a learning and growing experience. Easier said than done, I know, I’ve been there and I still have those days.

But this is what I’ve learned and truly believe: Often, the rejection to contract Until Darkness Comes was based solely on the query letter alone. When you have a project you’ve loved, nurtured and cherished, it’s hard not to take that rejection personally, but you can’t. A query letter isn’t your novel, and if it’s rejected, they’re not rejecting you or your work per say, but the query itself.

I rewrote my query letter numerous times, and by far I found it more difficult than writing the book itself. I knew I’d finally gotten it right when I started getting requests to submit my manuscript. At the time I signed Until Darkness Comes with 5Prince Publishing, I’d gotten two offers to contract this book. I took me a year of submitting, getting rejected, tweaking my query letter and re-submitting, before it all started coming together. I’ve talked to other authors who have said it took them as long as five years to get their first book contracted. In researching the dreaded query letter, I found a few helpful examples and included them on my website under “Writing Tips.” Feel free to check them out. I hope it helps. Thanks for stopping by today, and I wish you all the best in your literary journey.

Melynda Price

www.melyndaprice.com

 

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Blog Blizzard – Mylnda Price – Author Interview

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

I love creating and world building. Being an author of paranormal romance, I get to create characters that are larger than life and stretch beyond the borders of our world as we know it. My only challenge is to make the unbelievable believable. I love it when someone asks me, “Is that really a place, or did that really happen?” Then I know I’ve done my job well.

What genre(s) do you write?

Paranormal Romance.

 What genres and authors would we find you reading?

I only read Paranormal Romance and I prefer series. It’s so sad when a good book ends, I like series because it keeps the characters alive. The bigger the book the better, I don’t like investing my time into a shooting star story. I want development, strong plotting and believable world building—that takes time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Writing the ending. It’s hard for me to say goodbye to the characters I’ve fallen in love with. I also find it the most challenging to wrap up a story that brings good closure and a conclusion that doesn’t leave that reader feeling cheated or rushed.

 Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a pantser by nature. Most of the time I don’t know what’s going to happen in the story until I’m writing it. But, I have been doing some plotting when it comes to the endings. I just don’t have the patience to plot out an entire storyline before I start writing it. I like being surprised by my characters, lol. J

 Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

I wouldn’t necessarily say that a reader should choose me over other people. I don’t believe in putting others down to build yourself up. All I can say is that I believe I have a very original storyline and a good “voice” in my writing, that I hope people enjoy.

 What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

I hope that my characters become so real to them that they find themselves thinking about them for days after the book is finished. I want them to be as sad as I am that the book has ended and excited to read the next one. J

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

There are a few messages in my Redemption Series that I hope come through strong. First, true love often requires sacrifice. Second, we all make mistakes. Third, it’s never too late for second chances.

 How long have you been a writer? 

I’ve always enjoyed writing and did quite a bit of it in college. After that, I needed and outlet for my creativity, so I picked up writing again. I’ve been doing it now full-time for the past three years.

 How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

It took me a year to find the right home for Until Darkness Comes. During that time, I probably rewrote it six times. When the offer came through to contract with 5PP, I also had another offer for the book. It was very flattering because so much of this industry is rejection. You really have to have perseverance and thick skin in this business.

 What other careers have you had?

Well, I was a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon at Mayo Hospital, but, ultimately, I’ve found that writing is my true calling. 🙂

 Do you write under more than one name?

I only write as Melynda Price.

 Are any of your characters based on real people or events?

My characters are all my imagination. Inspiration to write a fallen angel series came from the Book of Enoch. However, this story is its own and does not replicate any specific angels or events. I just found it a fascinating read.

 How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?

I write fast-paced, voice-driven novels without a lot of filler. They’re believable, high-stakes stories, with good vs. evil conflicts and eternal consequences. Also, I like cheap wine and expensive chocolate J

 What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

I wasn’t really a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. I just made that up, because I’m rather good at making sh!t up. (:

 What books or authors have most influenced your career?

I would have to say that I most enjoy works by Lara Adrian and J.R. Ward.

 How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?

For the most part my family and friends are extremely supportive. I have a few that beta read for me and that’s really fun. It’s hard to find balance with writing and family sometimes because my characters aren’t always willing to punch a clock. (:

 Where are you from?

Originally, I lived in Clear Lake, IA. Now I live in northern Minnesota, though I’d prefer sunny California.

 How do you come up with the titles?

I make a list of ones I like and then research them to see if there are other books with the same titles. I narrow them down and take a poll if I can’t decide.

 Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?

No, not really. I’m the same I always was, except I’m busier with marketing now and have less time to write sometimes. Some days it’s hard to fit it all in.

 Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I was writing one project at a time. I think I work faster and more efficiently that way, but now I’m multi-tasking with another series I’m writing and sometimes those characters don’t want to wait their turn, lol.

 When not writing, how do you relax?

To me, writing is relaxing, but when I’m not doing that, I’m spending time with my husband and two children. We sit down almost every night together and watch a movie, though some of them are pretty terrible. They tease me that I’m a horrible movie picker. Other than that, I really just enjoy sitting down with a glass of wine, a good book, and my Chihuahua, Ren.

 Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.

  1. I have a very  sick sense of humor. My daughter even has a facebook page called “Things  Mother’s Should Never Say To Their Daughters.”
  2. My Chihuahua is  named Ren. Yes, from Ren and Stimpy.
  3. I’ve been on  seven wine tasting events in California with my brother and sisters, and an $8 bottle of Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot is still my favorite. J
  4. I love slapstick comedy and laugh inappropriately when people get injured, especially my  kids. They don’t find it nearly as amusing as I do. They’ve stopped getting mad at me for being so insensitive and usually join in after they’ve finished crying, lol.
  5. I have horrible  fashion sense. My favorite outfit is sweatpants and a t-shit. My daughter dresses me when I have to go out in public.

I’m currently finishing Shades of Darkness, Book 2 Redemption Series. The third book, Courting Darkness is completed in first draft. I’ll start getting that one ready for submission as soon as Shades of Darkness has been sent to my editor.

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/melynda.price.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/MelyndaPrice1

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13829312-until-darkness-comes

Blog: http://melyndaprice.wordpress.com/

Website: www.melyndaprice.com

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Blog Blizzard – M.O. Kenyan – Author Interview

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

I love the fact that I can create different worlds, characters and be a direct influence to a character’s life.

What genre(s) do you write?

I write Romance and Fantasy. It’s easier to make two people from different worlds and with different personalities fall in love. And creating a beautiful guy who suddenly turns green is awesome too.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part would be keeping in touch with reality. Even in writing fantsy I want to keep cloe to reality. The last thing I want is a reader to go like, “oh Please, are you serious!”

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I plot, I think it’s important to know where you want to go at a certain point in the story. But apart from the basic skeleton I let the story and the character’s lead me. I could never force an independent character to suddenly rely on someone else.

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

I think every author drums their own beat and everyone should dance to it. You can’t possibly say choose mine cause I am better. We all have our audiences.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?

That I put in my 100% into the story. Hoepfully they can find a little piece of themselves in the story and maybe and Oh! Moment.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I try to push the neccesity of love and family and truth to oneself ij everything I write. At the end of it all when we are stripped bare all we have are the self, love and family.

How long have you been a writer? 

I would like to say all my life, but the first novel I ever wrote was a fantasy trilogy (not yet published) back in 2010.

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?

My first book forever. My first published book (shades of spring 1964) took about a month to write and four to publish. In total it took about six months before it became and E-Book.

 What other careers have you had?

 I’m still a student, so I wouldn’t call anything else I have done a career. But from being a receptionist I learnt a lesson in human interaction, an intern at BBC I learnt the importance of truth in a story and from being a legal aid I learnt the importance of work.

Do you write under more than one name? Why?

 I write fictional romance under M.O Kenyan, although my fantasy books are yet to be published, I write under M.O Knight. I think it’s important for their to be separate names for separate genres. It helps your audience distiguish which genre the book is written in without having to read the back cover.

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?

Most of my writing if not all have a piece of me in it. And if I have interacted with you in the past twenty three years you are probably in it too. But I try not to make it so obvious.

 How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?

Loyal, honest and a contradiction. Happily ever after is not my thing, yet I make sure all my characters get to that point.

What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?

I honestly don’t know. Most people think I’m crazy but considering all the voices and people in my head maybe I am.

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?

Besides the 100% I do my best to please myself first before anyone else. Being tru to myself and my characters is important.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Nora Roberts, Stephanie Meyers, Nicki Charles, Brenda K. davies, Stephanie Meyers, Ruth Ann Nordin and the list goes on.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?

One word, interesting.

Where are you from?

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya.

 How do you come up with the titles?

I come up with title before writing some of my books. And sometimes a sentence or a word just jumps at me. No real thought process I am led by instinct.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?

Honestly no, maybe. Having my work out there does make me nervous on how people receive it. But I am yet to have my Oh my God moment. I don’t know why.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I write books one at a time. But plots and ideas may come to me at the same time. I may say multitask because if I think of a story and a scene seems very crucial to me I will start with that, then be done with it before I start working on another scene.

When not writing, how do you relax?

I sleep.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.

I am impatient, and when someone gives me a bad impression that’s what sticks with me. I like getting somone commited to my work as much as I am. If I don’t I loose interest.

Please share with us your future projects and upcoming releases.

I have a number of books that I am now comfortable with quering. ( THE MARA SONG- valentine themed) Right now I am writng a book called ONE PERCENT.  It’s about a woman who only knows how to interact with life by measuring her odds.

www.mokauthor.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/MOK_Author

http://www.facebook.com/MokAuthor?ref=hl

http://5princebooks.com/buy.htm