Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Quitting is never an option, but detours are part of the journey

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Author Yolanda Renee, when did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 

I was in elementary school when I discovered my love of reading and writing, but I was in my thirties when I met my first author and became hooked on the possibility.

What makes you passionate about writing?

When a story idea hits, it unfolds like a movie in my mind. The ending is always a surprise, and the accomplishment immensely gratifying, made more so via the feedback of readers.

What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

After receiving hundreds of rejections, I chose self-publishing because I finally wanted to share my story with family. I only planned to print a few books, but the response from non-family was so positive I decided to try traditional publishing again. I worked hard to go the conventional route, and I achieved that goal via a small publisher. But after a dispute over royalties and the realization that self-publishing was no longer a stigma, I decided to publish my books via Y R Publishing. I enjoy being in charge of my own destiny.

Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Yes, there’s were several moments when I wondered if I could write a trilogy, but I soon found that reading brought back the inspiration and drive. Quitting is never an option, but detours are part of the journey.

What books have most influenced your life?

            I was in the fourth grade when I first got a library card, I read Nancy Drew, then Judy Bolton, and from there every book I could get my hands on. Gone with the Wind is one of my all-time favorites. I have to say that romance novels, westerns, science fiction, even autobiographies have all influenced my love of reading and writing. My greatest desire is to own a bookstore or at least a massive library filled with first editions.

Please tell us about your book, Tick Tock: A Stitch In Crime & my story is Cypress, Like the Tree.

 

            Cypress, Like the Tree, is a story about the murder of a young airman. His wife is the first suspect, but Detective Cypress soon learns multiple suspects wanted the man dead.

What genre is it?

Mystery

Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?

An idea or story usually comes to me so fast that I must write it down immediately. It’s like listening to a Dictaphone or watching a movie. The first draft is usually written in a notebook, using my own style of shorthand. Then comes the computer version. Outlines are done for my novels but only after the first draft is completed. I use one sentence descriptions of the chapters. This helps me coordinate the timelines, red-herrings, and characters.

I will admit that when I’m looking for a subject, I do steal from my life. I use the what if scenario. Cypress, Like the Tree, is one of those instances.

Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

            All the authors I’ve had the pleasure reading have been an influence, but primarily Margaret Mitchell. Her determination and talent for sure, but it was also the obstacles she overcame to succeed.

But more recently, Denise Covey a writing friend from Australia, she and I host a writing challenge every other month called WEP: Write…Edit…Publish, but before I joined her, her challenges via RFW, where she and Donna Hole took the time to teach via their critiques.

I was amazed and honored when she asked me to join the team as a co-host. Denise has been an enormous influence, and now I learn from all the writers who participate.

What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?

I rely on the people I know or have met to create my characters. Their traits, looks, and idiosyncrasies all come into play, but I mix it up, so no one recognizes themselves.

Besides writing what other talents or hobbies do you have?

I’m a very organized individual, a place for everything and everything in its place. It must be so, or my muse doesn’t come out to play. I’ve also always enjoyed working with numbers (I’m a former accountant) I even enjoy doing taxes. I enjoy photography, even though my pictures are less than amateur, I keep trying.  And hiking has always been my go-to for relaxation and rejuvenation.

How do you come up with your character’s names?

I’ve used family names, and I’ve taken the names from the obituaries in the newspaper, mixing them up for something new or unusual. But I’ll steal from whatever is handy, even inanimate objects in a pinch.

What is the best compliment you could receive from a reader?

When they write, “I can’t wait for the next book!”

Where can readers go to find your books?

            Amazon Author Page

            My Blog: Defending the Pen

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime – Cypress, Like the Tree

            The Snowman

            Murder, Madness & Love

            Memories of Murder

            Murder & Obsession

 

If only she knew who was working with the thieves and who she can trust in this high-stakes game of finders keepers

Sunday, March 25th, 2018
Finders
Keepers
The
Jane Barnaby Adventures Book 1
by
J.J. DiBenedetto
Genre:
Light Suspense Thriller
230
pages
 
All
archaeology student Jane Barnaby had to do was deliver a box of
pottery shards to her professor at his dig site, along with his new
car. Yes, his office was in Oxfordshire, and his dig site was in
Spain, a trip of 1,400 miles across three countries and two bodies of
water. Still, it should have been simple.
That
is, until everything went wrong.
Now,
Jane has the wrong box and is being chased by thieves who want it and
aren’t particular about how they get what they want.
Add
to that, she’s picked up a pair of passengers who both claim they can
help her get her professor’s pottery back and return the artifacts to
their rightful owner. If only she knew who was working with the
thieves and who she can trust in this high-stakes game of finders
keepers.
**Only
.99 cents!**
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Losers
Weepers
The
Jane Barnaby Adventures Book 2
226
pages
 
Jane
Barnaby had everything going her way: a prestigious internship at the
Museum of Natural History, a fantastic Upper West Side sublet
apartment, and helping plan her newly-engaged college friend’s
wedding.
Until
a casual lunch with her friend’s fiancé set off alarm bells, and
sent her digging into the rabbit hole that is his past.

When
that rabbit hole leads Jane and her on-again, off-again boyfriend to
the English countryside, uncovering secrets dating back to World War
2, searching for priceless art treasures looted by the Nazis, and
fighting off the thieves who will kill to get those treasures for
themselves, will they discover the truth, or lose their lives?

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Her
Brother’s Keeper

 

The
Jane Barnaby Adventures Book 3
175
pages
 
Jane
Barnaby has planned the perfect Christmas vacation. Her father and
his fiancé are joining her in Spain at her archaeological dig.
They’ll see her work, meet her mentor, and they’ll all enjoy a few
days of sunny Mediterranean beaches in the dead of winter.

 

 

 

But
it all falls apart when Jane’s annoying brother tags along and lands
in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
To clear her brother’s
name, all Jane has to do is chase a wily female con-artist across
Europe, catch her, and confront the woman and her accomplices. Oh,
and outwit an ex-KGB agent and his personal goon squad along the way.

 

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J.J.
DiBenedetto is author of the Dream Series and the Jane Barnaby
Adventures and lives in Arlington, Virginia with the love of his life
and a white cat who rules the roost. 

 

 

His
passions are photography, travel, the opera, the New York Giants, and
of course writing.

 

 

Mr.
DiBenedetto is devoted to writing books with a sense of mysticism to
entertain and perhaps invite his readers to suspend belief in a way
they might never have.

 

 

Since
he was very young , he has always been intrigued with the
supernatural and things that can’t be explained rationally.

 

 

By
always asking way too many questions, it piqued his interest to the
point of setting his writing off and running when he grew up! All the
curiosity building up all those years were finally getting put into
words to captivate readers. And it hasn’t ended. His main goal is to
share all the stories he has inside, putting pen to paper. And that’s
how the Dream Series was born.

 

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Internal battles, dirty politics, and sinister secrets

Saturday, October 14th, 2017
Case: 0
Annalise Storm Chronicles Book 1
by May Freighter
Genre: Dystopian Mystery, Romantic
Suspense
It’s
the year 2330. At the end of the twenty-second century, the human
race has divided into two distinct groups—purebloods and the
‘modded’. Those who are unfortunate enough to be genetically
modified are now nothing but servants for their pureblooded
masters.

 

Living
in this time, you know your place, and you do not cross the line. So,
when a violent death occurs in the Bronze District, Annalise is
ordered to take this as her trial run at Divinity PD to prove that
she can do the job as a member of the Human Possession
Department. 


 

To
defy her father’s wish to marry her off, and keep her Chief happy,
she is determined to solve this murder by any means necessary—even
if it means going to districts she has only read about in textbooks
and fighting her forbidden feelings for her servant.


 

With
internal battles, dirty politics, and sinister secrets, just how
exactly will Annalise solve her Case: 0? And more importantly, will
she live to see her next one?


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Case: 1
Annalise Storm
Chronicles Book 2
It’s
official, Devlin is Annalise’s new partner. He’s charming,
caring—a perfect gentleman who caters to her every need. That is
until he starts to mix work with pleasure to convince her to marry
him as per agreement with her father.

 


With
her servant, Mavel, gone from her side, the cracks in the wall she
created around her begin to come undone. To take her mind off the
torment her heart is going through, she takes on another possession
case in her old school, Montgomery Institute. But, what starts off as
a simple case full of bad memories twists into a web of deception and
lies involving everyone she cares about.
Goodreads
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What can we expect from you in the future?

That’s a tough question. I love writing with all my heart. It brings me joy to give life to my characters and tell their stories. It always makes me happy to see my readers enjoying the works I’ve created, too.

So far, my goal is to write 100 books I’m satisfied with. In these past ten months, I’ve released seven and have three more to go before the end of the year. Afterwards, I believe I will slow down to 2-3 books a year as I will have to write books from scratch again instead of releasing the material I’ve already written over the past three years.

To answer the question, hopefully, I won’t be buried under a mountain of other pen names out there. I have a lot of stories to tell and look forward to finding new readers.

 

Tell us about a favourite character from a book.

I love Watson from Sherlock Holmes. People often think that Sherlock is the one who should get the trophy, and he is the main character in his own right, but Watson managed to become a friend to such an oddball and still not pick up any of Sherlock’s bad habits or addictions. He can easily stand on his own, protects those he loves and cares about, and he is a good friend. What else can you want in an awesome character?

 

Describe your writing style.

Every author’s writing style changes and morphs throughout their career. It can depend on many factors such as what they’re reading at the time, their feelings, thoughts, emotions, heartbreak. I don’t believe my writing style has yet stabilised. I know that I have my own voice in my works. My stories often talk about life and the choices we make, prejudice, love and hate, being backed into a corner, manipulation, greed, lies and deceit, etc. There is also some of my philosophy hidden between the lines.

 

What makes a good story?

Mystery. A story without something hidden or kept from the reader until the very last pages makes for a boring read in my opinion. I even left an “Easter egg” of sorts in Helena Hawthorn series. I often wonder if someone will catch on to it or not.

 

A day in the life of the author?

I think I’m expected to say something like: “I wake up every morning and write 5,000 words. Then I have some food and write some more.” In my case, that’s not entirely true. It depends on the day. Some days, I can wake up early, get my fill of green tea and something to digest while I dive into the story I’m working on. My word count typically varies between 1,000-5,000 words a day. If I’ve not written for a few days or weeks, the word count is ridiculously low but does increase with each passing day.

Then there are days when I’m faced with edits of my book and want to pull my hair out. Staring at the MS of 100,000 words and wondering why on earth I wound up writing so much! Life would spare me so much stress and grey hair if a magical fairy turned my books into readily edited and proofed manuscripts when I went to sleep.

I think the most common denominator of every day is being alone. Sure, I have a lot of emails to respond to or messages on FB to reply to, but human interaction is greatly limited in my case. It gets very lonely, so I am glad I don’t live alone. If I did, I would most likely go crazy.

 

Advice they would give new authors?
Don’t slack off on marketing. Marketing helps with exposure of your work. If you abandon it after a week or a month, your sales will dry up and so will the attention your book receives.

If you get a bad review, don’t let it get you down. Each bad review will sting less and less until you grow so used to them that you won’t have to worry about them too much. Not everyone is going to love your work. It’s the reality we must accept. But, the first 1-3 bad reviews can really upset authors and keep them from writing more stories. Some authors I know stay away from reading their reviews because they stress them to the point where they can’t focus on work.

 

What are you currently reading?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I thought getting into the classics may be a nice change of pace and give me some new ideas.

 

How long have you been writing?

Since 2012, but the first time I published was in October 2016.

May
Freighter is an internationally bestselling author from Dublin,
Ireland. She writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Sci-Fi
mysteries that will keep you entertained, mystified, and hopefully
craving more. Her only pets are cacti. They’re the only things that
survived. It may be too dangerous to entrust her with an animal while
she’s engrossed in writing.

 


On
sunny, rainy, and overcast days, she spends her time with her
fictional friends, putting them through dangerous adventures while
wishing them the best of luck. Her hobbies are photography, drawing,
and plotting different ways of a characters’ demise.

 

 

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Life together out west might be beyond anything either of them had dared to imagine

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
Seeds of Intention
Hesse Creek Series Book 2
by Andrea Thome
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Is
it more important to have roots, or wings?

 

 


Garrett Oliver has
just settled into his job as heir apparent to one of the most
renowned master gardeners in the country. After a difficult few
years, he’s found a home and a renewed purpose at a famed resort in
the secluded Smoky Mountains. The stars seem to be aligning for
Garrett as he plans a future with his college sweetheart and
envisions a simple life with her in the mountains of East
Tennessee.
 

 

Willow Armstrong, fresh off a painful breakup, is
coming home to Knoxville to care for her ailing father. She finds
herself in the right place at the right time, landing a dream job
alongside Garrett—as his boss. As they are thrown together by their
work, an undeniable magnetism grows between them, despite the fact
that Garrett is ready to start a future with someone
else. 

 

 

Circumstances persist in drawing them closer, and
an unexpected opportunity in Colorado prompts Willow and Garrett to
wonder if a life together out west might be beyond anything either of
them had dared to imagine.
 

 

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I’m
a former broadcast journalist, having covered both sports and news
during my career. (That’s how I met my husband; I interviewed him on
MLB opening day in 1995, and the rest is history.) I temporarily
retired when we had our children, so I could be home with them
full-time while they’re young. We have a fourteen-year-old daughter,
a nine-year-old son, and two cats that we spoil rotten. 

 

This
seemed like the perfect time in my life to jump back into doing
something I love; writing and telling stories. No one was more
surprised than me when I ended up with 65,000 words in my lap last
spring! I called it Walland, and it was published in August of 2016.
My second book, Seeds of Intention will be published on September 5,
2017, and as we speak, I’ve started to write a new book, the third in
the Hesse Creek Series. 


 

In
my spare time, I love photography and travel, preferably at the same
time. My novels are inspired by favorite places I’ve traveled, each
of which have left vivid footprints on my imagination. I believe a
book can be steamy and sexy, while still keeping it classy. I also
love to infuse my characters with great senses of humor. 


 

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Will they save humanity or let vampires rule the world?

Friday, August 4th, 2017
Russian
Roulette
Helena
Hawthorn Series Book 1
by
May Freighter
Genre:
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
 
Who
could guess that one brush of a fingertip over a shimmering
soul-string could flip your world upside down and inside
out?
 

 

 


Nineteen-year-old
Helena’s life changes when her spirit enters the Angel Realm in
search of her father. But, things don’t go as planned. Against her
guardian angel’s warnings, she binds her soul to a vampire—a
creature she thought only existed in horror movies.

 

 

Lucious
has spent his immortality looking for the monsters who killed his
sire. The last thing he needs is to be vulnerable because of a bond
with a reckless girl. Yet, he sees how he can turn this to his
advantage. Believing that Helena possesses great power, he plans to
use her against the Council as a bargaining chip.

 

 

When
Helena meets the gorgeous and also terrifying vampire with whom she’s
now stuck sharing an emotional bond, she realises that her life will
never be the same. Despite fighting against Lucious’s manipulative
ways, she can’t deny their attraction.

 

 

As
their desire for each other intensifies, she needs to know if she can
trust him. After all, her life and soul are on the line.

 

 

For
readers who enjoyed The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith, Twilight
Series by Stephenie Meyer, or A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

 

**.99
on Amazon!**
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Demon
Gates
Helena
Hawthorn Series Book 2
 
Uncertain
whether she is human or not, Helena is forced to undergo new
nightmares while her mental battle continues with a demon called
‘Lazarus’. Without her guardian angel to protect her, she is left to
rely on vampires who have their own reasons for everything.

 

 


The
attraction between her and Lucious grows, whether it is a side effect
of the soul-bond they share or of their own volition. Yet, how can
they be certain?

 

 

With
the help of her new friends, they must seek out a Demon Gate and
enter the Demon Realm to stop Lazarus from claiming her and Lucious’
souls. But, will they succeed or perish as the only weapon that can
kill a demon has been lost centuries ago.

 

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Crumbling
Control
Helena
Hawthorn Series Book 3
 
After
attending a funeral in Aberdeen, Helena meets with a member of the
European Vampire Council. Vincent shares his concerns about the
imminent dangers local vampires are facing. After all, the hunters
are gathering in London, local packs of werewolves fight for
territory, and Eliza is up to something that will ‘save them
all’.

 

 


Lucious
is staying away from Helena. The hunters shot him full of tracking
bullets and every time he stops, they catch up to him. To prevent
those he cares about from being in danger, he ends up calling in a
favour from the man he never wished to see again.

 

 

Helena’s
feelings for Lucious begin to waver as she cannot get in contact with
him. Andrew remains by her side and makes her laugh when everything
else is going to hell.

 

 

How
will Helena and Lucious overcome their new trials once the hunters
come knocking on their door, demons escape through the Demon Gate,
and the Council begins to crumble?

 

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Fated
Origins
Helena
Hawthorn Series Book 4
 
Helena’s
life is back to normal. College, friends, family…everyone’s
happy. Yet, she can’t understand what is missing. No matter how
hard she tries to fake her excitement about a new movie or laugh over
a cup of coffee during lunch, it doesn’t feel right.

 


Peace
doesn’t last long. A demon appears, claiming to be her friend and
lifts the memory block Lucious had put up. Outraged he had done this
to her, she decides to go against her family’s wishes and pursue
him in London. Only one problem remains: she’s losing control of
her body.

 

 

Lucious
is unable to mend his broken heart. He grew complacent and cares
little about the proceedings of the Council while Kallias takes the
lead. With the hunter threat growing and the werewolves no longer
willing to help stabilise London, to unify the vampires all over the
world, Kallias believes it is time to awaken the one true
leader—Arthemis.

 

 

The
full cycle comes to an end. Lilia and Helena are faced with the
original vampire. Despite their differences, a choice must be made
with grave sacrifices. Will they save humanity or let vampires rule
the world?

 

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May
Freighter is an internationally bestselling author from Dublin,
Ireland. She writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Sci-Fi
mysteries that will keep you entertained, mystified, and hopefully
craving more. Her only pets are cacti. They’re the only things that
survived. It may be too dangerous to entrust her with an animal while
she’s engrossed in writing.

 


On
sunny, rainy, and overcast days, she spends her time with her
fictional friends, putting them through dangerous adventures while
wishing them the best of luck. Her hobbies are photography, drawing,
and plotting different ways of a characters’ demise.

 

 

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Amazon
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Follow
the tour HERE
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 

NOT THROUGH LOVING YOU…

Sunday, July 9th, 2017
NOT THROUGH LOVING YOU
by
Patricia Preston
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Pub
Date: 6/20/17

 

 

In the Southern town of Lafayette
Falls, a new life brings together a woman with everything to lose and
a doctor with everything to prove.
When a sickly infant is surrendered at
the Lafayette Falls Medical Center, and orphaned soon after,
pediatrician Aaron Kendall arranges to adopt him. After a painful
divorce, the busy baby doc is about to realize his own dream of
becoming a father when the baby’s beautiful estranged aunt turns
up. She doesn’t exactly approve of the Kendall bachelor pad, complete
with Aaron’s cranky dad and wacky brother, forcing Aaron to form a
risky alliance with her.
Country singer-songwriter Lia
Montgomery barely knew her half-sister, but she’s determined her tiny
nephew goes to a good home. If only she fit the bill herself, but her
stressful life on the road is no place for a baby. Yet despite her
misgivings, as she gets to know Aaron, she realizes the smart and
sexy doctor is everything a child could want in a dad—and more
unsettling, everything she’s ever hoped for in a man. After all she’s
put him through, is it too late to form a family—and maybe put a
song in the good doctor’s heart?
Patricia Preston is a Mississippi
author who writes witty mainstream historical and contemporary
romance as well as humorous short stories. She won the William
Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition
for Historical Romance, and Harlequin’s World’s Best Romances
Short Story Competition. Besides working as a medical office manager,
she has also worked as a librarian. She loves the atmosphere of small
towns but would love to live in New Orleans or Nashville, her
favorite cities. Her other interests include history, cooking,
photography, and getting together with friends and family. She is
happiest when she is in her writing cave with a glass of sweet iced
tea and ideas flowing. Readers can visit her website at
patricia-preston.com, fine her on Facebook, and follow her on
Twitter.
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Looking back on forever

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
Looking
Back On Forever
by
Kat Alexander
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
 
There
are moments in time that stand out more than others: your first kiss,
a special birthday party, seeing your baby for the first time, an
intimate conversation, a first date, even something as little as
sitting around a dining room table with friends. This is the story of
the moments that stood out after I first laid eyes on Noah Gish. ~
Claire Sawyer
The
city, it used to be a place I loved and missed with an ache in my
gut. It was home. The place where I grew up, where I had fun, where I
had my friends, where life was as good as I knew it to be. Then I was
shipped off to a place that begins the story of how I fell in love,
just to screw everything up. ~ Noah Gish
This
is a contemporary romance about first love and heartbreak. 
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Literature
is my passion. I like to challenge myself and grow in my writings. I
have many unfinished books and some that have been published under a
different name. Why I chose to do this is because of my writing
growth and the differentiation in genre. I don’t want my future books
to be judged by the inexperience of my past writings. Though I love
those books, they came out of nowhere and it’s apparent in the
writings they were a first draft from someone with no experience.
My
passions include the arts–music, photography, writing, dance,
painting, films, architecture, anything that is creation. There is
not much I don’t like; and if I don’t like it, I at least appreciate
the process that took place to create it. This is something
incorporated in all my books. I’ve known so many talented people, and
truly believe no one is without a talent. Everyone has something
ingrained in them; just naturally gives them the ability to create
new life in the form of art.
In
my spare time, which is basically non-existent between my day job and
writing, I enjoy being out in nature, travelling, spending time with
family, and reading. I read everything, from contemporary to
paranormal, from historical romance to erotica, from history to
science. Learning is something very important to me. I really do
learn something new everyday, my brain storing so much useless to
life-saving information. My brain, the sponge. 
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