Meet G.R. Holton, US Award-Winning Science Fiction Author

read-tellG.R. Holton, US award-winning science fiction author of YA novels, is visiting us today. Bob’s novella “Soleri” won the 2010 Best Science Fiction from Booksandauthors.net, while his horror novel “Deep Screams” won in 2011, the year Bob also won TheAuthorsShow.com’s “50 Best Writers You Should be Reading”. Bob also writes children’s picture book and screenplays.

Born in a little town in Massachusetts G. R. Holton served 4 ½ years as an Army Military Police officer until he had a severe breakdown caused by Bipolar. After a couple of failed marriages he found his angel who led him to Christ and changed his life. He appreciates those around him and loves life. We will chat with Bob about his soon-to-be-released novel “The Mob” and his writing life.

 

"I have three words that are printed out and taped above my monitor. They are Faith, Focus, and Patience. As a writer you need to have faith in your writing, maintain a focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and above all the patience to work the story through."

“I have three words that are printed out and taped above my monitor. They are Faith, Focus, and Patience. As a writer you need to have faith in your writing, maintain a focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and above all the patience to work the story through.”

 

Hello Bob, a warm welcome, a very happy wish on your birthday, and congratulations on your soon-to-be released novel THE MOB. Let’s chat about this one first. What is it about?

The Mob is a 1930s mobster story, a tale of a woman’s revenge for the death of her father. It is a new novel and screenplay due out on June 1st, 2013.

Would you like to give readers a one-sentence synopsis?

A ten year old girl swears vengeance for her father’s murder by a young mobster.

Where will it be available?

The book will be available on my website www.grholton.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million, and most eBook sites.

What compelled you to write this one?

It is a collaboration work with Producer Marlene Mendoza. She had the idea of a woman wanting to become a singer and then marries into the mob. I thought it would be great to have it start out as a little girl losing her father to a gangster and then having her living for nothing but revenge.

What sets this one apart from the rest of your books? Is this a repeat or are there new excitements? 

This is an altogether out of the box for me. My other works are science fiction and fantasy. I loved the thought of the 1930s and gangsters. I grew up around an old Italian neighborhood where the mafia was known to be.

Tell us about the characters. Which actors would you choose to play these characters in a movie rendition? 

Well there is of course Antonio Capresi, the husband of Maria. I would love to see someone like Leonardo DiCaprio. Maria the vengeful wife… Hmmm…  Jessica Biel comes to mind first.

Why is this a must read?

Not only is this a story of a woman losing her father, but it is about the depths she would go to make his killer pay and include anyone that gets in her way.

When is the planned release?

Tell us your latest news. The book is now in final edit and is slated for release by World Castle Publishing around mid-June.

Coming soon

Coming soon


Sample paragraph, please?

Once they landed in Cozumel, Antonio took her straight to the room. Maria unpacked the suitcases while Antonio stood out on the balcony smoking a cigar and drinking a glass of Scotch from their in-room bar. She then went out on the balcony and joined her husband.

“Antonio, do me a favor and pour me a glass of champagne?”

“Sure doll, but do you want to drink before we go to supper?”

“Yeah…we are celebrating, aren’t we?”

“You got me there. One sec and I will get it.” Antonio said as he turned and faced her. He looked deeply into her eyes, took her face in his hands, and kissed her passionately. Maria returned the kiss as she had many times before.

Antonio opened a bottle of champagne and poured them both a glass. Returning to Maria on the balcony, he handed one of the drinks to her. “Maria, a toast. To us—may we have many beautiful years together, and love as long as time itself.”

“Cheers,” Maria said, placing the glass to her lips.

“Okay, enough with the drinks. I hope you are hungry, because I made reservations at the most renowned five star restaurant in the area.”

“I am ready to eat. Can I go freshen up my makeup?”

“Sure dollface, you have plenty of time. Go do your thing and then we will go.”

Maria went to the bathroom and stared into the mirror. She knew what this was all leading up to, and it almost made her want to vomit, but she was locked in. There was no turning back now. She had to play it through no matter what it took. She fixed her makeup, and then the two of them went downstairs to the front of the hotel. There they took a horse drawn surrey around town before stopping at a beautiful restaurant called Sammy’s Place.

After they had dinner they went dancing, and Maria had a few drinks. In fact, she had planned to get a little tipsy, because she knew she could never handle what was to come if she was sober.

 

 

White Magic, Black Magic, Ogres, Trolls, Dragon’s, and Fantasy galoreWould you like to tell us about Dragon’s Bow too?
Two sisters both seek the power of a fabled bow to change their lives, but for different reasons.

How real are your characters?

I like to consider my characters as real people in my head. They are often made after people I know and not just by name. I add their character also.

How long did it take you to write Dragon’s Bow?

My mentor has a name for me… “the machine”. I can sit and write 5,000 to 8,000 at a time if the day is good. But usually I average about 3,000 a day. This book took me just under two months to write.

How did you come up with the title?

Actually like most of my work it came to me in a dream. I was walking in a cave and found the bow and as soon as I picked it up it began to glow and the dragon that protected it came around corner. I woke up at that point and came out and started to write.

What is your favorite paragraph in Dragon’s Bow?

It is the poem that my wife and I came up with to locate the bow: Above the altar the wall shall be the secret of the wall to see. The holder of the heart must own, and be placed upon the wizard’s stone.

When did you first know you just had to write?

Writing was never a thought for me until I met my mentor Derek Milton, a movie director/screenwriter. He let me read his work and I knew at that point I had to try. It became the best therapy I could ever do.

Who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?

Ray Bradbury is one of the biggest. There is something about his style that just forces me to read further. When I read Fahrenheit 451 I couldn’t believe the way he put me in that story.
What story would you like to share about the joy, challenge, or hardship of writing?

Well I am a disabled veteran. I said earlier that writing was therapy. I suffer from severe Bipolar disorder and can’t work around people. But with writing I can escape the real world and immerse myself into the worlds I am creating.

Who gives you the most encouragement? Why is that important to you?

I get my biggest encouragement from my Mom who lives with me and my wife. She is always asking me about my stories and telling me that I need to write when I am depressed or my manic side is getting the best of me.

How do you see writing Bob? And why?  

Writing is now my career. I love sitting and creating new worlds or new characters. It is either that or I go back to playing Farmville… I don’t think so…

How much do you have in common with your protag? 

I am nothing like my protags. They are usually very heroic, outgoing, and straight forward types. I am happy in my little house and to have my back to the wall whenever we go out to eat.

What are your hobbies?

I do a little bit of Fishing but other than that I play angry birds usually as a way to escape writer’s block. But that is going to change. I just found out I have congestive heart failure and need to make my hobby exercising.
When do you find the time to write?

Being disabled I am lucky I guess that I can write anytime that the people in my head want to talk. I usually do most of my writing in the late afternoon and evening. I am not a morning person.

Tell us a bit about who and what matters to you.

I am a fifty-year-old happily married man with three absolutely fantastic children, two cool step-children, and three of the most beautiful little granddaughters you could find. My granddaughters mean the world to me; though they are far away they are always in my heart.

How has your published work influenced others and their attitude towards you?

My family can’t believe that I have become a writer. They support me and always want to be characters in my work. People treat me so nice when they hear that I am a published author and that I have won awards for it.

What one thing is important for your audience to know about you? Why?

I am an award-winning author and I am very proud of that. I won the 2010 Books and Authors.net’s Best Science Fiction for my book “Soleri” and again in 2011 for “Deep Screams”. I was also named as one of the “2011 Best Authors you Should be Reading” by The Author’s Show.com. I do the best I can at writing good stories people will like.

Any tips for us on reading and writing?

Yes… I have three words that are printed out and taped above my monitor. They are Faith, Focus, and Patience. As a writer you need to have faith in your writing, maintain a focus on what you are trying to accomplish, and above all the patience to work the story through.

Thank you so much for your time Bob, and I hope you will win many more awards. Best wishes for all of your books!

Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting R.G. Holton. Come check out his website and follow his updates on

Click on the book covers in this interview for the books’ Amazon links.

Soleri100

 

 

Soleri: Three teens are teleported to another galaxy to help the aliens turn on a defense shield.

 

 

Deep Screams 100

 

 

Deep Screams: Horror and Death abound as a Space Station searches for a new Earth.

 

 

GuardiansAlliance 100

 

 

Guardian’s Alliance: A Science Fiction Space Opera where nine elite fighters brought together to protect the Heledrium Galaxy.

 

 

Click cover for Amazon US

 

 

SQUAZLES!: Teach your child with this picture book how not to judge others by appearance alone.

 

 

 

And here are my mini reviews of Soleri and Dargon’s Bow:

 

 SOLERI, reviewed by Ia Uaro 

Title: Soleri
Author: G.R. Holton
ISBN: 978-1938243707
Wesley, the son of an electronic engineer, builds a robot. When he uses Dad’s new transducer chip, he, together with his sister Macy, her best friend Ashley, and their dog Poston are accidentally teleported to an alien planet.  This planet called Soleri, and the Solerians are slaves of their cruel neighbours the Tojinians, who force them to grow food.  The Solerian leader informs the teen about an imminent attack from the Tojinians and he needs to activate his defense shield. However the shield controller, which will also needed to help the teens return to earth, is deep within the catacombs of Soleri and is under the control of the Tojinian guards.
Einstein once said that if you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it enough. G.R. Holton clearly shows a fantastic imagination in creating a brand-new planet and its inhabitants, and he knows how to explain it simply with just the right amount of fascinating details as the story flows.
Soleri is a steampunk science fiction peopled with likeable characters and filled with lively dialogues and suspenseful obstacles. Highly entertaining and moving, this is a book for readers of all ages.

 

DRAGON’S BOW, reviewed by Ia Uaro
Title: Dragon’s Bow
Author: G.R. Holton
ISBN: 978-1938243691
Inventive author G.R. Holton creates horrible creatures and beautiful humans in the island Kratonin and its surrounding fantasyland, and weaves fun interaction among them as he rolls out an exciting plot of white magic clashing with dark magic.
Evil Malahan plots to deceive the white-witch Queen of Kratonin in order to obtain a powerful offspring from her, and twin sisters Adria and Audra are born as the results of this mix black magic and white magic. Audra is determined to follow their father’s evil ways and conquer the world, while her twin is determined to cleanse her sister’s dark soul.
Trust Holton’s ability to give young readers an entertaining fun-pack action adventure and to throw in moral values without shoving it down their throats. The twins’ training and dangerous challenges are detailed with excellent imagination, as always, and thoroughly thought-out.

 

 

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Meet Liliana Soare, Australian Author of Romantic Action Comedy Novel

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Liliana Soare, Australian author of romantic action comedy novel Listen to the Heartbeat, is with us today. She has two children and a 10yo mongrel dog by the name of Dodi. Her (almost) 17yo daughter goes to TAFE and works part-time, her 22yo son is doing his doctorate in quantum computers. Liliana has two other novels awaiting publications later this year, and another one in early 2014. Let’s visit Liliana’s debut novel.

 

Liliana blog

I believe that the purpose of writing has something infinite about it. Once the writing bug bit us, we authors fight our entire life to bridge the gap between our vision and its ultimate expression. A perpetual, painful challenge that clings to every word we write, yet the most rewarding experience.

 

Hello Liliana, so glad to have you coming in. Would you be so kind to give readers a one-sentence synopsis of Listen to the Heartbeat ?

When two powerful business tycoons clash over an orphan’s love, one’s interests will endanger her life while the other’s will keep her alive. Which one will achieve what he wants?

 

Why is this a must read? How is this different from others of the same genre?

The action of the novel takes place in the ultra-rich world. A world that is fascinating to most of us, untouchable. The book brims with action, humor and snappy dialogues. It is a tale of love and betrayal that takes the readers through a provocative mix of events, and is aimed at women aged between 18 – 40 years. The characters display very strong personalities and constantly challenge each other throughout the novel. The evolution of their relationship will be very appealing to the readers.

 

Interesting. What compelled you to write this book, Liliana?

Just impulse. When I start writing a book, it’s just ‘on-the-spot-inspiration’. I only know how it begins. Whatever comes next, it’s just a blank page in my mind. It fills up as I go along. Sometimes it works, sometimes I stall for a very long time.

 

How real are your characters?

Well, not much. I must say I picked some very romantic, ideal characters that would make women dream. Both my heroes and my heroine are gorgeous, ultra-rich young people, but they do go through emotional turmoil, heartache, life blows, just like everybody else. So it’s easy for the reader to step in the characters’ shoes and get engrossed in the story.
How long did you develop the book to its final state?

It took me 16 days to write the book and probably ten times as much to finalise it. The work with the editors was painstaking, but very rewarding I must say. I have learnt a lot from it, a priceless lesson that I will use for all novels to come.
How did you come up with the title?

The title came up naturally from something that happens in the novel. I am very pleased that it fits so well, and it is so relevant to the book.
What’s your favourite paragraph of the book?

Dear God, that’s a good question. I doubt I could pick one, really. ‘Listen To The Heartbeat’ is my baby, I love it from the beginning to the end. If I were to start looking for a particular paragraph, I’d be at it for hours, and I’d still be undecided in the end. Why don’t you, dear readers, choose one for me instead? J
I’m sure they’ll have many favourite paragrahs, Liliana 🙂

 

listentotheheartbeat-300

When two powerful business tycoons clash over an orphan’s love, one’s interests will endanger her life while the other’s will keep her alive. Which one will achieve what he wants?

 

 Now, when did you first know you just had to write?

I find that most authors believe they had the gift of writing from the moment they were born. They nurtured it throughout their lives, started by writing essays, short stories, participated in all sort of literary activities, you name it. I didn’t have a clue that I could write novels. Then one day, some three years back, I sat down in front of my computer and started doing some bullet train typing, all because an idea had crossed my mind. It sounded fun. Obvious enough, my writing ability must have been born sometime along the way. Couldn’t tell when, because I know no reliable study to have researched the period of gestation of personal skills. One thing is certain, my aptitude had mellowed by the time I started writing my first novel. When I finished it, I thought it was a masterpiece. And a masterpiece it was, being the ripe fruit of my heart and soul. I still love it to pieces, even though it now sits on a shelf, full of dust that makes me sneeze and hazes my eyes with tears every time I look at it.
Who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?

It would definitely be Margaret Mitchell. I read ‘Gone with the wind’ so many times, I lost count. The first word that comes to my mind when I think about her writing is ‘perfection’. There is a purity and a simplicity in the flow of her words that I believe no other author was ever able to attain. Simply magnificent.

 

Any specific reason for writing romantic action comedy?

I think it naturally suits me. I can’t see myself writing something different. Not that I have ever tried…
What story would you like to share about the joy, challenge, or hardship of writing?

I believe that the purpose of writing has something infinite about it. Once the writing bug bit us, we authors fight our entire life to bridge the gap between our vision and its ultimate expression. A perpetual, painful challenge that clings to every word we write, yet the most rewarding experience.
Who gives you the most encouragement? Why is that important to you?

My children represent my greatest encouragement. Knowing that I can make them proud is the most wonderful feeling in the world.

 

What are you working on right now? Tell us your latest news.

I have just started a new novel, but since it is in its very early stages, I will stay tight-lipped. A little patience, I’m a fast writer. 🙂
Liliana, how much do you have in common with your protag? 

Well, I am probably just as stubborn and loud-mouthed. But that’s about it.
What are your hobbies?

Now you are going to find my little secret. I’m absolutely crazy about fishing. I have six fishing rods and a mad fishing tackle kit. I could go fishing and be gone missing for days, that’s how much I am in love with it.

 

Who are you when you’re not writing?  What is your other profession?

Staying at home and writing for the time being. I plan to start a business in the near future.

 

Who or what matters to you, Liliana?

First and foremost, my children. My relatives. My friends.

 

What one thing is important for your audience to know about you? Why?

I always strive to be original in everything I do, and that is reflected, I believe, in my writing as well. When I have first submitted ‘Listen to the heartbeat’ to my publisher, I have received an email in return from the head editor. This is what she had to say, I have to boast a little 🙂 , ‘You have an open invitation to send complete manuscripts to me any time you have something completed.  If your complete work is a fraction as entertaining as your cover letters, your books are sure to be huge hits.  Your emails make me smile and have cheered me up—they are indeed their own little works of art.’

 

Share with us some unique experiences about living in Sydney.

Well, I guess that everything about Sydney is unique, so every step I take around this beautiful city is a wonderful experience. From the sandy Bondi beach to Paddington’s terrace apartments with wrought iron lace balconies and leafy streets, to the Rocks district with its boutique shops and fine art galleries, and well beyond that, Sydney always has something magnificent to offer. I always enjoy walking around, and I think there’s never enough time to discover it all.

 

Any tips on reading and writing?

One advice that I would give to anyone: never, ever schedule your writing. There’s no set number of hours of writing a day that can bring quality to your work. Write only as much as you feel like, be that ten minutes or ten hours. Inspiration doesn’t follow a schedule.

 

Thank you so much for your time Liliana. Best wishes for your work!

 

Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting Liliana Soare. Her book Listen to The Heartbeat is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Musa Publishing. Liliana can be reach at her website, and come follow her on Shelfari, her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

 

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Meet Reyna Hawk, US Author of Mafia, Murder Suspense and Psychological Thriller

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~If it is to be~it’s up to me~

(Reyna Hawk)

Reyna Hawk, American author of romantic suspense Valentine/Petrilo Series, the standalone paranormal Angels & Arrows, and the psychological thriller The Alter-Ego of Insanity, is with us today to chat about her novels and her writing life.  She is a 45 year old mother of one son and grandmother to one beautiful 4 year old little girl. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio Reyna has always loved writing and story-telling. Her passion for telling stories began at a very young age when she was making up stories to tell her school friends. Reyna has an Associate of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology. Other than writing Reyna also has a passion for photography and image manipulation; when she’s not writing she can be found wandering parks and cemeteries taking photographs.

Reyna Hawk, US author of mafia, murder suspense and psychological thriller.

Reyna Hawk, US author of mafia, murder suspense and psychological thriller:
“I think each person needs to be grateful for the things they have instead of unhappy and miserable for the things they don’t have. It is also about time women woke up and realized that playing “dumb” and the damsel in distress routine is not attractive.”

 

Hello Reyna, thank you so much for coming in. Let’s first visit your newly release: The Alter-Ego of Insanity—a psychological thriller about a mafia boss’s son that discovers he’s a necrophiliac. Would you be so kind to give readers a one-sentence synopsis of this book?

At the age of 18 Gino Poletti discovers not only is his father the Boss to one of Chicago’s biggest crime families; but also that he himself is a necrophiliac?

You have an Associate of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology.  Is this book based on your interest in these fields?

Somewhat, my Associate’s degree in Psychology helped me to understand and better write about those that are mentally ill. The Bachelor in Cultural Anthropology helped me to study those with the fascination for the dead and just how ordinary they see themselves; many seeing nothing wrong with their lifestyle.

How real are your characters?

I think they are very real characters. They are the type of people that you would find living next door to you; then when the secret comes out about whom they really are everyone in the neighborhood is shocked to learn that these types of people would be living such normal lives.

What compelled you to write this book?

Well my niece and I had discussed a book with this basic platform; it did not originally start off this way. I can honestly say this is one of those books with characters that literally took over and wrote the book themselves. I wanted something different and dark from what I had normally written; and I sure got it.

How long did it take you to write The Alter-Ego of Insanity?
Surprisingly very short; if I add up the time of writing, editing, and proofreading then maybe a week.

How did you come up with the title?
I actually had help with that. I couldn’t decide and was discussing it with my cousin. I wanted something that spoke about Gino’s mental state and his desire to live a normal life. After turning over many titles my cousin suggested it and I thought it was perfect.

What is your favorite line in this book?

“Well ole Dave here is about to become part of the concrete slab in the new bakery.” Angelo laughed.

At the age of 18 Gino Poletti discovers not only is his father the Boss to one of Chicago's biggest crime families; but also that he himself is a necrophiliac?

The Alter-Ego of Insanity, a psychological thriller
by US author Reyna Hawk.
At the age of 18 Gino Poletti discovers not only is his father the Boss to one of Chicago’s biggest crime families; but also that he himself is a necrophiliac.

 

Reyna, how do you see writing?

I don’t see it as a job. I see it as my career but also my escape from reality.

When did you first know you just had to write?

When I was about 25 I had the overwhelming urge and desire to put the stories in my head onto paper and share them with the world.

Who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?

I would have to say there are several: Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, VC Andrews, Mary Higgins Clark, and Charlaine Harris. Each one of them have a uniqueness about their writing that makes their stories not only believable, but pulls you into the scenes leaving you to feel to like you’ve lived the life of the character.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio Reyna has always loved writing and storytelling. From a very young age she was making up stories to tell her friends.” What story would you like to share about the joy, challenge, or hardship of writing?

The biggest joy is to have someone compliment your writing and tell you how reading the book really touched them in some way. I find it fascinating how each person will have a bit of a different perspective on the characters.

Tell us about The Valentine/Petrilo trilogy. Would you be so kind to give readers a one-sentence synopsis of each title?

The Valentine/ Petrilo trilogy: Twists and turns of Janie Valentine’s life when she becomes entangled in the Petrilo Crime Family’s webs.

The Valentine/ Petrilo trilogy: Twists and turns of Janie Valentine’s life
when she becomes entangled in the Petrilo Crime Family’s webs.

Looking Through Blind Eyes: Janie Valentine has to cope with the reality of learning that the love of her life is not who she once thought he was and the untimely suspicious death of her brother.

Reflection of Secrets: The world Janie has come to live and love turns out to be nothing of what she had dreamed it to be.

Shattered Visions Haunted Memories: Janie’s reality turns to suspicion and vindictiveness as the past comes knocking on her door.

Revealing Visions: This is where it all began for Janie, Daniel, Rico and Malachi are brought into perspective.

Seeing Karma: Twenty years has passed since Janie’s fateful fall off the cliff in NC, yet here that day is coming back to haunt not only her but also her and Rico’s daughter Sophia.

 

How  about Angels and Arrows, Reyna?

“Angels and Arrows”, a novel by Reyna Hawk and L.K. Russ,  based on true paranormal events that happened either to the authors or a close family member.

“Angels and Arrows” (Co-written by L.K. Russ) was released in October of 2012 and is based on true paranormal events that happened either to the authors or a close family member. 

Would you like to  elaborate on the true paranormal part?

Many of the events that occurred in the book occurred to me or someone close to me. I am currently in the process of completely revising the book and I think many people will want to read the new edition even if they’ve read the first one. I have included many events that happened during and after the first initial writing. I also have changed the point of view from third person to first person.

How do you find the experience of co-authoring and how did you manage this?

It was a bit tricky but a lot of fun to include one of the main witnesses to the events in on the writing.

Who gives you the most encouragement? Why is that important to you?

That would be two people, my cousin and best friend Lisa and my niece and also best friend Jen. It’s important because I feel that at the end of the day when I am doubting myself, there is someone in my corner to show me why I chose to publish my work and to knock sense back into me.

What are you working on right now? Tell us your latest news.

Well right now I have two things in the works. I am revising Angels and Arrows and I am writing another “paranormal” stand alone titled Between the Pages. I will release more information on it as I get further along; right now it is the beginning stages and I don’t like to give too much detail about it.

reynas website

How much do you have in common with your protag?

Anyone who knows me would say a great deal! LOL

That means you’re a fabulous friend and mother 🙂 What are your hobbies besides writing?

Reading, photography, and spending time with my family and friends.

What is your other profession? When do you find the time to write?

Here lately I have been tutoring but I would consider writing my profession. I write at any opportunity that I can or when an idea comes to me; albeit that may be at 3am.

You are a grandmother to one beautiful 4-year-old little girl. Would you like to share your most memorable experience/moment with this little one?

This little one cracks me up every day with her words and actions. I’ll never forget the day she came home from preschool and announced “I’m going to marry Preston when I grow up. Of course, after I go to college and get a career.” Smart girl!!

Tell us a bit about what matters to you.

Wow, there is so much! I believe wholeheartedly in the Golden Rule. To me if everyone practiced that there would be less drama, prejudice, racism, discrimination, and hatred in this world. I think each person needs to be grateful for the things they have instead of unhappy and miserable for the things they don’t have. It is also about time women woke up and realized that playing “dumb” and the damsel in distress routine is not attractive.

How has your published work influenced others and their attitude towards you?

This has been good and bad. Many people have stepped up to show moral support and then others chose to walk away. I’m not sure why, but they have. However, instead of dwelling on it I chose to take the high road and understand they are the ones missing out, not me. Many have come forward and said that inspired them to begin writing again; which always brings a smile on my face. All I want is for my writing to matter and to make a difference to someone.

What one thing is important for your readers/audience to know about you? Why?

That I am a real person with real thoughts and feelings. Who I am online is who I am in real life. I am goofy, funny, and yes sometimes a dork but I’d have it no other way. I do not want to be this uptight proper person; it’s just not me. I want them to know this so that they know it is not an act. I am who I am. I get cranky, sad, hurt, happy, and goofy just like everyone else.

Any tips for other authors in marketing?

My suggestions are to try everything at least once and go with what works best. Keep in mind even though something may not have worked once, doesn’t mean next month it won’t work miracles.

Thank you! Really appreciate your visit. Best wishes for your work!

Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting Reyna. Her books are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Come follow her latest updates from her websiteGoogle+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook’s page and group, Goodreads, Pinterest, Author’s Den and AuthorsDB.

 

 And here is my mini review of The Alter-Ego of Insanity:

 

 Do Not Read This Book Before Sleep!

Book Title: The Alter-Ego of Insanity

Author: Reyna Hawk

ASIN: B00CB7ZQUO

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Mafia

 

The novella opens with the warning that it contains graphic language and graphic violence, that some scenes contains blood and gore; and that it is intended for very mature adults only. In other words, faint-hearted me shouldn’t be reading this. But I trudged on in trepidation.
Under one of  Chicago’s bridges Gino Poletti witnesses his father shooting his colleague and the violence gives Gino euphoria. The blood smells wonderful to Gino and the dead body thrills him. It is his 18th birthday; his mafia father wants him to learn the family “business”.
Alas, his father doesn’t kill for fun, but as the last resort. So Gino satisfy his newfound fascination for tortures by watching gore videos of an online necrophiliac community. However, this proves addictive and life can only get worse…

This is a very sad story written with clinical detachment by an expert of the mentally ill. Gripping my seat in fear, I’m not the right person to review this kind of material, but the author sure knows what she is talking about. Surprising and shocking, The Alter-Ego of Insanity shows readers the way some people live. It could be that charming neighbours of yours…

If you are brave, and strong, and curious, this one is for you. Just don’t read it before you go to sleep!

 

 

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Meet Jan Ruth, Welsh Author of Contemporary Fiction

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Our guest today is Jan Ruth, Welsh author of  contemporary fiction ~ love stories with strong, identifiable characters, about family life and relationships.

Jan has been writing for more than 30 years and despite various dalliances with the more traditional publishing routes, she is now pleased to be an independent author.

Jan was born in Bowden, Cheshire, and moved to North Wales in 1998, although she has always maintained a strong connection with the area from a much earlier age. Her feel for the Welsh landscape is evident in all of her books.
Jan started writing at primary school, winning prizes for poetry and short stories. Her first novel attracted a London agent, but failed to find the right niche with a publisher because it didn’t fall into a specific category- not quite light enough for romance but not literary fiction either, sitting somewhere between these two genres. Her second novel, again snapped up by a London agent; suffered the same fate. Undeterred, Jan has continued to write, believing her market is out there.

After a polish makeover, Jan has recently re-release her four romantic dramas: The Long and Short of It, Midnight Sky, White Horizon, and Wild Water.  Jan is with us today to give us  a glimpse about her work and her life as a writer.

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“I like to think my books convey some serious threads with a good blend of humour, a balance of light and dark. Different, I feel from the majority in that I often write from the male perspective.” ~ Jan Ruth, Welsh author of contemporary fiction.

 

Hello Jan, thanks for visiting! Would you be so kind to give readers a summary and short excerpts of each of your books?

Readers, please click on the book titles for the US links, and on the book covers for the UK links.

Click on book title for the US link. Click on the cover for the UK link.

The Long and The Short Of It:  An emotive collection of stories and excerpts from the Welsh Mountains of Snowdonia.

Excerpt: Tom gave the group a furtive glance and sidled into the shrubs to relieve his bladder. He pushed through a thicket of gorse; no sooner was he in an uncompromising position when two things happened. First of all he spied Helga’s unmistakable shape through the trees, but there was something else unmistakable too. What the… what on earth? She was stood, braced, like a man taking a pee. Helga was clearly, unmistakably, a man! Tom’s mobile suddenly sprang to life, but before he could silence it, the theme tune from Live and Let Die filled the small copse with a dramatic burst of music. Helga quickly turned and met his eyes and for a nanosecond of embarrassed shock, both men stared at each other.

Click on the book title for the US link. Click on the cover for the UK link.

Midnight Sky: Opposites attract? Laura Brown, interior designer and James Morgan-Jones, horse whisperer – and Midnight Sky, a beautiful but damaged steeplechaser.

Excerpt: James placed the bottle down carefully, nestled it in a bed of gorse. He still held her eyes, then he held her, as if she were made of porcelain. It was different to the other times, in that she was very aware of his heart hammering against hers. When he pushed his hands into her hair and began to kiss along her collarbone she almost stopped breathing, it was so exquisite. Then he traced along her throat, every nerve ending on fire until lips touched lips. She opened her mouth to his. The soft hardness of his body, and the funny sadness of his mind were both finally in her arms.

 

White Horizon, a landscape novel by Welsh author Jan Ruth

White Horizon: On-off-on lovers Daniel and Tina marry in typically chaotic fashion, witnessed by old friends, Victoria and Linda who become entangled in the drama, their own lives changing beyond recognition.

Excerpt: Victoria made to dive across the bed to the door, but Max was faster. He grabbed her ankle and she fell awkwardly, hitting the side of her face against the solid oak headboard. For a moment she was stunned by the pain of it. Victoria somehow found the strength to grab the brass bedside clock and hurl it towards Max. It fell several feet wide of the mark. She listened to it thud against the door and roll to a halt on the deep pile carpet. He laughed. Slowly, he dragged her back towards him by her ankle.

 

Wild Water, a landscape novel by Welsh author Jan Ruth

Wild Water: Jack Redman, estate agent to the Cheshire set. An unlikely hero, or someone to break all the rules?

Excerpt: Anna took him outside before the light failed. There was a listed barn and a dairy, some broken farm equipment, and a lot of hens.
“How many acres altogether?” Jack shouted above the wind.
“About twenty,” she shouted back.
He followed her to the little cottage by the lake. At first Josh and his ghosts had amused Jack but now he changed his mind. The water was like ink and full of moving reflections, the only relief being long islands of dead grasses. There was a rich sense of ancient atmosphere here, haunted even. Anyone with half an imagination could take it all very seriously.

How real are your characters?

My characters actually exist, of course they do! If I didn’t believe this, then they would be very sad people indeed. I think each and every one of them has a little bit of me in their psyche, poor souls.

What compelled you to write these books?

I think my writing is driven by two factors, inspiration and experience.
The different stages of life with all its highs and lows, bring a whole range of experiences to draw on, and this is the foundation of my fiction, the spark that gives my characters life. I tend to use landscape as a character in its own right, so I feel lucky to live in the area which most inspires me; the Welsh Mountains. It is rich in history, diverse and dramatic, it’s a great backdrop for my stories.

How long did you develop them to their current state? Tell us about John Hudspith too.

Wild Water was written 25 years ago, and I was lucky enough to have two traditional agents, both of whom worked quite hard for me. However, my work was knocked back so many times by publishers claiming that the books fell ‘between genres.’ How many times have we heard that from self-published authors? So then a long barren period when family and job took centre stage, and then my son persuaded me to look at self-publishing a couple of years ago.
However, I didn’t really tackle the editing, formatting and marketing with very much enthusiasm! I had a lot of falling over to do before the books reached their current state of ahem… near perfection. All of the technical aspects of publishing have been a huge learning curve. I was recommended to John Hudspith after a lot of false starts, and my covers were designed by Jane Dixon-Smith. Editing and design costs money, but I do think it is important to offer the best quality we can.
Wild Water won Cornerstones book of the year 2011, and it is listed in the eFestival of Words book nominations. All my titles are also listed with The Awesome Indie Site, which is a seal of quality approval. So I do feel that two years of editing (yes!) has paid off and yielded some very satisfying results.

Good on you, Jan! Now, how did you come up with the titles?

My first book was called Under Offer, but then my agent changed it to Wild Water. Midnight Sky was a natural follow on, and then I found that I had a theme going, and it has worked itself into a brand. The titles sit very well with the landscape. The work in progress has already moulded itself into Silver Rain (but that could change!)

When did you know you just had to write?

I’ve always been a bookie kid, and it just went from there. I recall winning little prizes at school for creative writing, but it wasn’t till I reached my twenties that I realised writing a novel was a craft that had to be learnt. I made a lot of mistakes.

Who would you say have been the most influential authors in your life? What is it that really strikes you about their work?

George Orwell. I loved the social message and the depth of character. On a more current theme, I enjoy Linda Gillard’s novels, and my all-time favourite The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna. There are lots more but I think I’m a character freak and if it features big Celtic landscapes, then it’s got me hooked, just a personal preference.

What story would you like to share about the joy, challenge, or hardship of writing?

My first novel Wild Water attracted agents and publishers, then it went on to win an in-house competition in 2011 and it has recently been listed on the Festival of Words 2013.

These boosts are great, but the ordinary reader feedback is the best, the reader with nothing to gain and who takes the time to get a message to you, to say how much they enjoyed reading your fiction. The downsides are probably negotiating the sometimes rather insidious, nasty side of the internet.

Who gives you the most encouragement, Jan?

My readers give me the most encouragement.

What are you working on right now? Tell us your latest news.

My latest work in progress is called Silver Rain. I’m hovering around chapter four, working through a lot of plot threads in my head, so day dreaming is a common state! It’s another romantic drama, but this time the main characters are in their fifties. I also have ideas for another set of short stories based on my recent travels, so a sort of global assortment.

Best wishes for Silver Rain. This time you will have John to assess it for  restructure and to edit before publishing, I guess. It will give you so much confidence against naysayers when an expert has already given his approval. Now, what’s your best marketing strategy?

To write quality fiction.

 

"I tend to use landscape as a character in its own right, so I feel lucky to live in the area which most inspires me; the Welsh Mountains. It is rich in history, diverse and dramatic, it’s a great backdrop for my stories."

“I tend to use landscape as a character in its own right, so I feel lucky to live in the area which most inspires me; the Welsh Mountains. It is rich in history, diverse and dramatic, it’s a great backdrop for my stories.”

 

How much do you have in common with your protag, Jan?
Oh, I think there is a little of me in all my characters!

What are your hobbies?
I have a passion for horses, so after books, I love riding, with walking the hills a close second.

How nice! When do you find the time to write?
I’m lucky to have lots of time for writing, I’m at that age where I can be my own boss, my time is more or less my own. Adult children are a wonderful invention
What one thing is important for your audience to know about you? Why?

My books are sometimes described as romance, but there is a strong element of drama and reality. Lots of male readers have enjoyed White Horizon, and Wild Water is mostly written from the male point of view. There’s a sprinkling of black humour too.

Any tips on reading and writing?

If you want to write well, you need to read a lot too.

You visited Sydney recently. Would you like to share with us some experiences from this trip?

Loved Sydney! It has the wacky wow factor; bold, brash, buzzing. A sprawling cosmopolitan city with a complex waterfront connected by bridges, walkways and several quaysides. Old fashioned ferries next to multi-million pound boats and cruise ships had me in mind of Windermere crossed with London – there’s even a Kings Cross and a Paddington – but clearly with more sun. Some of it was touristy with boomerangs for sale and folk playing the didgeridoo, but I liked that, it gave the place a strong identity; I would have felt miffed if I hadn’t seen all the trademark Aussie paraphernalia in the flesh. Rolf Harris, Crocodile Dundee and Dame Edna just couldn’t belong anywhere else. And where else could you buy a genuine kangaroo scrotum?
Only in Australia! 🙂

Thank you so much for your time Jan. Have a smooth sailing onwards!

Readers, I hope you have enjoyed meeting these fabulous author. Come visit her website: and find out more about her work and follow Jan’s Twitter to stay up to date with her latest news.

 

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You can read Sydney’s Song on your iPhone or iPad

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Sydney’s Song

 

Olympic fever runs high in the Australian summer of 1999 and 17-year-old Sydney has caught it. Little does she know taking a holiday job in the beehive that is the Olympics’ public-transport call centre will be life altering. Shaken by her parents’ divorce, the sheltered Aussie is further plagued by abusive callers, obnoxious government agencies, constrictive office rules, and liberated friends. She is trying to negotiate these challenges as her own personal Olympics when Pete finds her. Pete, Boston’s former child prodigy whose soothing voice floats across her workstation, sees through Sydney’s tough outer shell. Pete knows what it takes to present a dignified front when all you want to do is howl at the moon. Treating their friendship like an art, he invests time and creative effort to pull Sydney out of her despair.

Tragedy strikes when an accident leaves Pete with a major brain injury in a Boston hospital. Their families think Sydney is too young to cope with all the complications, but she doesn’t agree. After all that he has done for her, Sydney refuses to leave Pete with people who view him only as an endless chore. Deferring her university studies, alone in a foreign land facing new trials, Sydney stays at his side—even when he doesn’t recognise her.

Humorous fiction, socio fiction, coming-of-age adventure fiction and best love story, SYDNEY’S SONG follows an undefeatable girl’s courageous journey to adulthood. Set in Sydney and Boston where heartbreaks are juxtaposed humour and based on true story and real events, this novel with an Australian accent also shows the world that living with disabilities does not prevent a person from attaining happiness.

Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/sydneys-song/id636344884?mt=11

 

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Click picture to download from iTunes.