Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: Bishop Street by Rene D. Schultz


Released: June 23, 2013
Pages: 305


Four orphaned children living in The Bishop Street orphanage, all brought there by their own sad stories, form a bond that is forever standing.

Randalph, Maggie, Elizabeth and Lucy form a "forever friendship" a bond stronger than any other after becoming friends in a sad and unloving environment. 


Sister Theresa is an unloved, dark and unloving person that torments them and lashes out as these four children trying to grow up in this orphanage, waiting for a family to call them their own. I think because its hits home for me, having two adopted children of my own,I feel the pain of loss that these four do.

I was in tears chapter after chapter, eagerly reading to find out "their" story.
Maggie, a successful author, one day decides to find her three friends, and after a long road they come together in joy and hope, for a future based on family and love.  
I love the part when author Rene D. Schultz say " We are all Gods children, and although we make our own choices, we can be called back into a place of love" (Well that how I understood it), this was incredibly emotional for me as I truly believe we are products of our own choices, yet He brings us back into the shelter of His arms.

If I could give this book a ten star I would, but sadly I will have to settle on five...
A must read ... I will say it again.... A MUST READ!!!!!!!!

Review By Jacqui


“Bishop Street” is a heartwarming and redemptive novel that captures the complex relationships between four orphans and their lifetime of challenges. It’s uplifting and with each turn of the page you fall more in love with the characters. 

Margaret Gray for the past twenty years has hidden behind a facade of normalcy. She wasn't always rich and famous. At the age of seven her mother abandons her on the steps of the Bishop Street Orphanage with a note pinned to her coat. Here, under the cruel tutelage of Sister Theresa, Maggie develops a powerful bond with her roommates, Elizabeth, Lucy and Randolph. Their close friendship fortifies them against the years of physical abuse, emotional torment, and manipulation that follow. 

Now, Maggie is thirty-nine and her nightmares are coming back. Despite a successful writing career and a flawless reputation, she is unable to keep all that she has built from crumbling around her. It’s been twenty years since she’s heard from her friends. Why didn't they answer her letters? Had they survived? Had Sister Theresa been right, or had she manipulated them all with lies, aiming to destroy their friendship, forever? 

Sister Theresa is dead and with nothing left to fear, Maggie hires Damon Depre, a private investigator to find her friends, and seek the truth. This starts her down a twisted path that will once again, test her strength of character. Will she find more than just her friends...


I’m divorced and I live in a small community just north of Los Angeles where I raised my two sons. I love to garden, try new recipes, take lots of pictures, and occasionally I enjoy a glass of wine with dear friends. I've never jumped out of a plane, climbed Mt. Everest, or seen the Northern Lights of Alaska. But, I have danced in the rain, sent a message in a bottle, and I've rode my motorcycle down The Pacific Coast Highway on sunny California days!

After my divorce, I waltzed into the world of online dating. I didn't find my knight-in-shining armor, but instead in 2008, I wrote a very successful book on my entertaining experiences. My first book “Searching4MrRight.com” was published by a small press and you can find it on Amazon.

My first fiction novel “Bishop Street” is coming out July 2013. This story is about four powerful friendships that begin at Bishop Street Orphanage. It continues with lies and deceit after they leave at eighteen. Then, twenty years later, redemption plays out and ultimately the strength that got them through their childhood becomes the catalyst that binds them back together.
My passion of writing has lead me on the most amazing journey. Now, my focus is on fiction. I thrive on developing strong storylines that showcase today’s contemporary lifestyles. Rags to riches, Robinhood, and surviving the odds, seems to be my one common denominator that showcases my fascinating and diverse characters.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Release Book Review: This Regret by Victoria Ashley


This Regret by Victoria Ashley

Purchase This Regret
Our Review:
I have to start by saying that no review will ever do this book justice!

This is my all time favorite ,something about this book just did it for me ! I'm raving about it , i want to shout off the rooftops about how brilliant this read has been ! There will be those out there that think I've lost the plot but quite frankly I DON'T care ♥  

Hells bells I wouldn't mind waking up like Phoenix every morning ! Her bed sounds like a real lucky packet :-D

Kade ~ crazy about him from the get go ! Damn when he kisses Phoenix for the first time I had to jump around and " shake my sillies out" this man is going to be downfall ! 

Kellan ~ hold your horses ladies hes a man of ink ! I can't get enough of him ,he's got me wanting more ink of my own♥

Kellan walks in on a sticky situation where a guy is roughing up his girlfriend so he just gets in there and saves her from this douche waffle ,threatens to beat him to a pulp and walks off with her ! Loving this guy , he's serious kryptonite material !

Love  the  way these girls play bingo *snort giggle* Phoenix has a younger sister Zoe ,this poor kid , shes lucky to have the big sister she does,  Phoenix seems to be the only constant and stable element in her life :'(

At this point in time I'm ready to hand myself to Kade on a silver platter ! Phoenix , wake up girl he's got it bad for you ♥♥
Did I mention I have a thing for ink ? Damn ,Kade's taking her for her first tat ! He gets a call and has to leave her on her own promising to be back soon . My heart misses a few beats , the shop is called " Addi's Attic" , Addi was her brother's nickname  , he died :'( and his death changed the dynamics of her family and of herself ,very sad ! I just know something hectic is about to happen and I can't read fast enough....

Kade now has some serious competition for my affections " He's got to be the sexiest man I have ever laid my eyes on. He has thick dark hair , beautiful amber eyes lined with thick black lashes and a pouty bottom lip ...... He's wearing a black V-neck shirt showing tattoo covered arms and jeans that sit low on his hips " I think I've stopped breathing ! Bring the mop and wipe me off the floor ,I've melted ! Or have I self combusted ?! I can happily be his slave *wicked giggle*

Kade comes back just as Phoenix is connecting the dots as to why this guy seems so familiar and bam he punches him and I'm like WTF !? :O then MY Adonis says " It's nice to see you too little brother" 3,2,1 and the snot fest starts ! For 8 years Kellan is gone , nobody knows if he's dead or alive!  

The reunion of this family is raw raw emotion and the best writing I've EVER experienced ! I actually had to stop reading . I was howling like a werewolf at full moon. A full on snot fest ,just as I contain myself enough to start reading again the water works start up AGAIN !
This is a first for me I just can't carry on with this review ! I just to read " This Regret" savor it , absorb it I just want to indulge ♥

VICTORIA ASHLEY I'm officially your biggest fan ! Your story has rocked my foundations! !!! I can't even put words to what I'm feeling , I'm in awe . PHENOMENAL !!



★★★★★★★★★

Book Description:
 
Phoenix has been stumbling through life since her brother Adric's tragic death but after eight years, she is finally piecing what remains together. She has a nice apartment, a steady job and not to mention a fresh new 'relationship' with her childhood friend, Kade Haze. He's the sexy boy next door she never even dreamed of falling for, but can’t seem to stop the pull she feels toward him.

Just when life began to make sense again and a feeling of normalcy was on the horizon, Phoenix's carefully constructed walls come crashing down.

When walking into the tattoo shop one day, the last thing she’s expecting to see is Kellan Haze, Adric’s best friend no one has seen or heard from since the day they found her brother’s body. He’s nothing as she remembers him as a child, with his wild messy hair, tattoos that cover most of his undeniably sexy body and eyes so intense it makes her legs quiver with one look. The one thing even she can’t deny is the instant rush she feels just by being in his presence.

But how can you choose between love and lust when one of these hold a dark secret, one that can crush your world to pieces and leave you gasping for air. Who can you trust when your mind is pulling you in two different directions and your heart has to choose for you?

The Haze brothers are sexy, daring and possibly . . . dangerous.

This Regret is a story of love, lust, betrayal and danger with an ending that no one saw coming.



About the author:

Victoria Ashley grew up in Rockford, IL and has had a passion for reading for as long as she can remember. After finding a reading app where it allowed readers to upload their own stories, she gave it a shot and writing became her passion.

She lives for a good romance book with tattooed bad boys that are just highly misunderstood and is not afraid to be caught crying during a good read. When she's not reading or writing about bad boys, you can find her watching her favorites shows such as Sons Of Anarchy, Dexter and True Blood.
 


Connect with Victoria: Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads



   

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Review: Watch Over Me by Tara Sivec

Watch Over Me by Tara Sivec


250 pages
Published June 14, 2013


Our Review
Death changes everyone.....

Eighteen year old Addison lost her mother last year to leukemia. Pain cannot describe the agony that is within her. How do deal with the loss of a parent? Your rock, the one who has been there for you since you were born, who held you when you hurt, who wiped your tears and told you everything is going to be ok. You don't deal, you just do what you can to get through the day. You live the day to day in a fog, in an emotionless bubble and pray that no one asks you if you are ok. 

Her parents had the perfect relationship, envied by Addison, high school sweethearts. After her death he started drinking. The day after the loss of his wife, he wiped the house clean of her, all photos, memories and constantly found himself at the bottom of a bottle. This is how he dealt with the pain. She was a senior in high school when she checked her dad into his first rehab, a month after her mother died.

Addison became administrator of her mothers estate and quickly had to learn how to run a business. Addison's mother had a quaint yet very popular bakery in town, that now is Addison's responsibility. She put aside her passion for writing and took over running the business. Day in and day out she spent her time baking and remembering all the cupcakes and cookies she made with her mother, as you can tell, every day was a struggle. 

After an emotional suicide attempt Addison began seeing a therapist. Dr. Thompson urges Addison to attend a support group in hopes that speaking with others who are going throughout the same troubles as she is will help. 

"The beauty of the 12-steps to recovery is that you can alter them to fit your needs."

"Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Addison has put up walls and locked away her feelings, crippled by the pain of being alone and is mistrustful of everyone around her. When her mom died, everyone left her alone...to fend for herself....family and friends.  After a lot of soul searching, Addison realized that she doesn't really want to die, she wants to live but more than that...she wants to feel something other than sadness.

"It's easy to forgive someone for the hurt they've caused you. Forgetting is impossible."

Every night before bed Addison sends a private message to her moms facebook page. Healthy? No! But to her, deleting her page would be like deleting her all together. 

Zander, a daily visitor at the bakery has become quite taken by Addison. He checks her out from afar, not in a stalker type sense but more observing. He begins to leaver her cute little notes on napkins. Addison's distrust in people makes her question his motives, but she can't. She feels stronger when he is around, he reminds her what it is like to forget about her problems and just live life.


This is a story about a girl who almost gave up on everything. With a boy who loved her more than she thought possible, and the eyes of the most important person in her life watching over her, she learned how to move forward. She learned how to live.


My favorite quotes:

"Look, if I go into things expecting people to suck, when they finally DO suck, it's not that bad. They acted just like I thought they would, I'm not surprised and I can just move on. If I walked around everyday with my head in the clouds, thinking everyone in my life will never hurt me, it won't be long before they show their true colors and disappoint me. It's easier yo accept the fact that I'm the only one looking out yor me. 

"Don't send me flowers when I'm dead. They're of no use yo me when I'm gone. Give me flowers when I'm still here and I can appreciate them."


"One of the best things about Legos is that you don't need instructions. Sometimes, they don't even come with instructions and you just have to work your way through the mess to figure out how everything should work."

"And if something doesn't fit, if one of your pieces just isn't working, you can put it aside and find another one. There are so many pieces to work with that you don't have yo try and force one in where it doesn't belong. You may not need that piece right now, and it may not be helping you right at this moment, but it doesn't mean it isn't important and will t fit somewhere else down the line when you need it more."

"You don't have to try and pick up all of the pieces at once, sometimes you only need to use a few of them at a time. If you try and pick them up and use them at the same time, it's overwhelming and frustrating when you drop them or you just can't make them work."

"Another good thing about Legos. If it falls apart, it doesn't mean it's destroyed. It just means you have to pick up the pieces and start again."

"You can still pick up the pieces, Sugar. They fell apart for a little while, but it doesn't mean anything is damaged. Everything can be fixed. And you don't have to fix it alone. There's always someone who will help you rebuild."

"Friendship is about being there for someone else, helping them through the hard times and celebrating the good times with them. It's about knowing everything about the other person and still loving them and sticking by their side."

"Your anger is like a living breathing thing. It needs to be let out or it's just going to slowly eat away at you."


"You're right. I am upset and I had a bad night, but it would never, ever regret this. Not with you. I'm here because I need you. I'm here because I want you. I'm here because I love you."

"It's the bumps and the bruises, the pain and the fear; it's messy and it's real and it's not some perfect little story that can be tied up in a bow. It's exactly what you should write about."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Featured Author Friday featuring Suzanne Sweeney

I had the pleasure of interviewing Suzanne Sweeney the author of Running Back To You. Not only did I get to interview this wonderful woman, I also was a Beta Reader for her book. I have read many books and RBTY is in my top 10!  It was such a pleasure working with her, I look forward to doing it again.
About this author

Suzanne Sweeney is a graduate of Georgian Court University where she studied Elementary Education and Sociology. For some time now, she has been sharing her love of literature with the young minds who sit before her in class each and every day. After years of teaching the art of writing, Suzanne has finally taken her own advice and put pen to paper in order to produce her debut novel, Running Back to You. She writes what she lives, residing in the community she loves, Point Pleasant, with her family who provide a constant source of inspiration and support.

For more information on this novel and author, please visit http://suzannesweeney.wordpress.com




Before we start, I would like to say that I am a huge fan of Running Back To You! I cannot wait until the next book comes out!!!! I love a book filled with funny flirtatious banter, laughter and tears.
Can you describe Running Back to You in 20 words?
RBTY is the wish-it-were-true story of young love with a dash of suspense, humor, and hometown nostalgia.
How did you come up with the idea for Running Back to You?
I love reading romance novels, and I found myself reading a lot set on the west coast.  I have never read one set in my little corner of the universe.
Without giving away any spoilers, for those who have not read Running Back to You, what was your favorite scene to write?
Since you’re asking about fun, I’d have to say it’s the drunken party scene.  The main character, Juliette (Jette) is feeling heart broken and she washes away her troubles with good friends and a little too much alcohol.  In general, watching intoxicated people is funny, and so is writing about them.
Describe a typical day when you are writing. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
I have a full-time job, so I write when I can.  My only ritual is to make sure that the family is fed, the laundry is done, and my laptop is charged.
Do you have any plans for a book signing event?
As a first-time author, this is all very new to me.  Any events that are appropriate and near-by would be of great interest to me, so I’m keeping my eyes and ears open.
Can you give us an idea of what to expect in your next book?
It’s hard to say without giving away the ending of RBTY, but suffice it to say that I know the readers expect Jette and Evan to take their relationship to the next level, and in that respect, they will not be disappointed.  However, I am planning on some unexpected plots twists that I know will anger and infuriate some.
What came first, the characters or the concept for the story?
The first was the most important character – the setting.  In RBTY, the community plays a large role in the novel.  Having grown up here, I know it intimately and I can tell you that it’s a living, breathing character that inspired the people and the events that I wrote about.
If Running Back to You became a movie, who would your dream cast be?
I am a very visual person, and I constantly surf the net to find images to inspire me.  I could easily see Evan being played by Stephen Amell (Arrow) and Juliette being played by Lucy Hale.
Do you ever read the reviews about your books? If so, do you pay attention to any negative reviews or let them influence your writing?
During the beta phase, I sent my book out to 60 readers to help me with revisions.  I read all their remarks – good and bad – and used their insight to make some changes.  Once it was published, I stopped reading.  I do, however, check the average ratings, which I think is more appropriate.  Right now, it’s at 4.32, so that means that the average ratings is 4 out of 5, which is a number I am pleased with and proud of.
Do you have a favorite author?
I go through phases with my favorite authors.  My two all-time favorites are Patricia Cornwell and Michael Crichton.  I love the suspense woven into Patricia’s books.  Michael Crichton’s novels are always written with an eye towards science and reality mixed with enough fiction to make it interesting.
What are your favorite top 3 books that you would recommend?
Harry Potter – I have fond memories of reading them to my children and with them as they became better readers.  Hunger Games – I’ve come to love the Young Adult and Dystopian genres.  Love Unscripted – for readers who are unsure about the current trends in romance, it’s a great story line with strong characters.
What book, if any, are you reading now?
Tangled, by Emma Chase.  It’s setting is close to home, the point of view is unique and I’m enjoying the banter and comedic mishaps.
Do you prefer to read traditional books or e-books?
E-books win my vote, hands down!  I read entirely too many books to be collecting them.  I could fill an entire room with the books I’ve devoured.  I love reading books with challenging vocabulary and well-chosen references to actual people and events.  An e-book gives me the chance to research more on interesting facts.
Out of the books that you have read, which character couple would you like to invite over for dinner and why?
Natalie and Luke from “With Me in Seattle” would be great dinner guests. Luke is a former Hollywood actor turned director and he would have the best stories to tell.  Natalie has friends and family that are famous in their own right, including professional athletes.  How interesting it would be to spend time with them, potentially having dinner at their home, in the company of celebrities.
If you could work with any author, who would it be?
I would love to have Nicholas Sparks as a mentor.  He never seems to run out of ideas, and every book is exceptional and heart-wrenching in its own right.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’m a teacher.  I’ve been teaching young minds the basics of writing and storytelling for years now.  It seemed like the right time for me to put my lessons into action and try my hand at writing a novel.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I really have just one piece of advice – research.  Before you even pick up a pen (or type your first word), read, read, read.  Find out what the framework of a good work of fiction contains.  Find communities of readers to give you feedback as you progress.  Find reputable cover designers and editors.  Start a blog, a Facebook page, and learn how to Tweet.  Writing the book is only a small part of the process.
What are you top 5 most important things in your life?
My children, my husband, my community, my students, and my friends (not necessarily in that order).  Those who know me will find pieces of themselves intricately hidden within the pages of RBTY.  It might be a mannerism, a nickname, or a shared history. 
Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
I do not, but members of my immediate family do.  Right now, I’m helping my daughter select her next tattoo, which is a very difficult process that we both take very seriously.  She’s determined to find the right combination of sentiment and art.
Do you have any fears?
Fear of failure, hands down.  I take all my endeavors very seriously, and I like to think that my colleagues and friends will tell you that I never to anything half-ass.  I’m not afraid of hard work, but I am afraid of mediocre.
What do you do for fun, besides writing?
The obvious answer here is reading, but that’s probably not a surprise.  I’m a little bit of a techie and I like to create things on the computer.  I’ve done my own book cover.  I’ve helped friends and family with webpage design, restaurant menus, business flyers, logo designs, and database creations.  I’m a little bit of a computer nerd.
Do you have any vices?
Wine and spirits.  I love to try new wines from around the world and I’m always interested in tasting a new cocktail when I go out to dinner with my husband.
What was the last thing you googled?
Football Stadiums names – I’m trying to find a fictitious name for the football stadium where the New Jersey Sentinels will play and I want to be sure the name does not really exist.  I made that mistake in RBTY and one of my beta readers pointed it out.  One of the characters from Evan’s past was the star of a reality dating show.  I gave it what I thought was a very creative fictional name.  It turned out, there was a show with that name currently airing on television that I had never heard of.  I’m just glad it was caught before I published.
If you could describe yourself in 5 words what would they be?
supportive, sympathetic, steadfast, thorough, and knowledgeable
What is your biggest pet peeve?
As a teacher, my biggest pet peeve is when people make up their own rules for English.  I’m not talking about non-native speakers.  I’m talking about people who use “supposably” when they mean “supposedly”; use “ax” instead of “ask”; “alls I’m sayin” rather than “all I’m saying”;  and “liberry” for “library”.
Where was the last place someone spotted you and asked for an autograph?
Every June when we hand out yearbooks in school.
Thank you so much for the interview! Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
No – your questions were very thought provoking.  I hope you enjoyed my book and will read “Running Home to You” when it’s published early next year.

Where to find Suzanne
Goodreads   //   Facebook   //   Website 

Book Review: The Proposal by Katie Ashley



The Proposal By Katie Ashley

408 pages 
Published January 10th 2013
 
My Review:
After reading The Proposition, I was not expecting Aidan to become the person he did in this book. He showed his caring and sweet side to get Emma back. 

The small things Aidan does are the one that matter in the end.
 

And then Pesh comes with fury as he is after Emma's heart. OMG!!!
 
There isn't a triangle in the book, just a hormonal woman who wants to protect her heart from breaking again and a safe choice coming into her life. Just because one person is a safe choice does not mean that her is the right one.


Book Description:
In the weeks following Aidan’s betrayal, Emma has tried her best to move on. Ignoring his countless texts, voice mails, and flowers, she isn’t sure she wants to be won back by him. But Aidan isn’t going down without a fight—especially not until Emma lets him reveal the secret of his past that caused him to be so commitment phobic.

But fate intervenes when premature labor forces Emma on strict bed rest for two weeks. Aidan steps forward with a shocking proposal. To prove his love and commitment for her and their unborn son, he will take a leave of absence from work to care for her around the clock. Vowing to guard her heart, Emma reluctantly agrees.

While she is touched by Aidan’s attentiveness and tender loving care, Emma is thrown for a loop by the amorous attentions of ER doctor, Alpesh “Pesh” Nadeen. Pesh is everything Emma could ever want—successful, stable, and ready to settle down and be a husband and father. Pesh wants nothing more than to win Emma’s heart, but she is not sure she’s able to give it.

Her heart may still belong to the very man who broke it—the one who is so desperately trying to win her back.




Favorite Quotes:

“I want you to think about this for a minute? What would you rather have?Words that can be spoken lightly and then taken back so easily,or would you rather actions?”

“I want to be with you, Em. I want to be with you every fucking moment of every fucking day.” 

“You’re the sexiest, most beautiful pregnant woman I’ve ever seen.”
“Aw, baby, you’re so sweet. But you don’t have to keep complimenting me because you’re so getting laid tonight.” 


“I love you much it hurts. I ache for you in my soul. Please… I can’t live without you. I want to be with you every minute of every day. I want to marry you and make a life with you. I want to raise Noah and be a family together. Please… please say you want to be with me forever.” 

“I'm serious about marrying you, Em. But I want to propose to you the right way- not half-naked and sporting wood.”  


Purchase The Proposal


The Pairing (The Proposition  #3)
309 Pages
Published February 17th 2014

After her former boyfriend left her pregnant and alone, Megan McKenzie swore off men. She spent the last eighteen months focused solely on her son, Mason, along with finishing nursing school at the top of her class. Although she’s not ready to complicate her life with a long-term relationship, a nice no-strings attached hook-up is just what she needs. At her godson, Noah’s, baptism, she finds the perfect candidate in the soft-spoken godfather, Pesh Nadeen. After all, the widower could use a good time too. But after drinking too much, the night doesn’t end the way she thought it would. Forced to leave Pesh’s house through a walk of shame, Megan hopes to never, ever see him again. 
For Pesh Nadeen, the very sight of Megan sends him into an emotional tailspin. Since she reminds him too much of what he has lost, he wants to be out of her sight…at first. But the more he gets to know her, there's something about the diminutive blonde that causes his protective side to go into overdrive, and he finds himself wanting more. When Megan is assigned to work in his ER to complete her nursing clinicals, he sees it as fate, but she’s having no part of it. She only wants a physical relationship while he wants far more.

What happens next is a sexy game of cat and mouse to see who will break first or if both of them will eventually get more than they ever bargained for.                                                                                                                                                                                                   Purchase The Pairing            

Friday, February 21, 2014

Featured Author Friday featuring Maggi Myers

My Review:

This has to be one of the most remarkable books that I have read. This story is filled with loss, child abuse and love. Make sure when you are ready to read it you have the tissues handy. The story is about a girl named Beth, she has endured years of abuse at such a young age. As she gets older she begins to pick up the pieces. The Final Piece is so brilliantly written! Its is raw and "ugly" at times but yet so beautiful. Please take the time to read this amazing story! I thought I knew what was going to happen but this book pleasantly surprised me.


About this author

Born in West Des Moines, IA and raised in Miami, FL, I have an appreciation for the heartland and really good cuban food.

I want to write stories that make people think. The things you thought you knew about other people and their lives? I want to twist those perceptions and make you question everything.

I am a big fan of the underdog. The one that everyone else has written off? That's where my heart is and where my most inspired writing happens.
Before we start, I would like to say that I am a huge fan of your book The Final Piece! I love a book filled with troubled pasts, inner strength to overcome tragedy, the ability to let someone in and definitely not to forget...a good love story!
Can you describe The Final Piece in 20 words? 

20?? Yowza… Even the greatest tragedies can be overcome with faith, love and hope. Family is more than just blood bonds.

How did you come up with the idea for The Final Piece?

The idea came from someone very important to me, who I lost. I dedicated the book to him (Bobby), and wrote Tommy in his likeness. It means the world to me that Tommy is someone the readers love. 

Without giving away any spoilers, for those who have not read The Final Piece, what was your favorite scene to write?

Without a doubt, the first cherry tree scene. From the moment Beth storms out of the house, to the flashback at the lake, and then back to her & Ryan under the tree. I feel like that’s the first real turning point for Beth, and I loved writing that for her.

Describe a typical day when you are writing. Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

First thing I do is cue up some music. I can’t write without tunes! The only “ritual” I have, is to make sure I write something every day. Even if it never makes it onto a page in a book, it’s important to me to become a more disciplined writer. 

Do you have any plans for a book signing event?

I do! I will be in Richmond, VA on December 14, 2013. 

Are you currently working on your next book project? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I just finished my second book, AN ENIGMA PROJECT. It’s a story about Caroline, a woman who has to re-evaluate everything when her daughter is diagnosed with a disability. From marriage to motherhood, none of it follows the plans she’s spent her life drafting. It’s not a tragedy, though. Caroline’s journey is about realizing that the most beautiful things can come from truly terrible situations. 

What came first, the characters or the concept for the story?

Caroline came first, she’s been a voice in my head for a very long time. In January, a good friend of mine (author Charles Sheehan-Miles) challenged me to write a about my greatest fear. It was just supposed to be a writing exercise, but Caroline took it as an opportunity to take center stage and insist that her story be told. That’s when I first drafted the outline for AN ENIGMA PROJECT.

My greatest fear?

Having to raise my special needs children alone. 

If The Final Piece became a movie, who would your dream cast be?

Let me just caveat this casting with a disclaimer >>>
I cast Charlie Hunnam as Ryan over a year ago, long before he was cast as Christian Grey!!! I’m thrilled that he’s going to be the lead in 50 Shades, but he was my Ry first
 
Beth- Camilla Luddington
Ryan- Charlie Hunnam
Tommy- Eric Bana
Uncle Rob- Aaron Eckhart
Aunt Melissa- Kyra Sedgwick
Gran- Lois Smith
Pops- Robert Duvall
Charlie- Matt Lanter
Liz- Lily Collins




Do you ever read the reviews about your books? If so, do you pay attention to any negative reviews or let them influence your writing?

I do read my reviews! I want to know what people think. I try not to let the bad ones get to me, but if there is a pattern to the criticism, I do take that into account. You can’t make everyone happy, but I do take the consistent complaints to heart. I want to grow as a writer.

Do you have a favorite author?

I have a lot of favorites! Shel Silverstein (WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (THE LITTLE PRINCE). The most current author crush is Gail Forman, author of IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT. I read them a year ago and I still think about those books. 

What are your favorite top 3 books that you would recommend?

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Expuréy
If I Stay by Gail Forman
Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

What book, if any, are you reading now?

Darkhorse by Karina Halle. It’s EXCELLENT!

Do you prefer to read traditional books or e-books?

I love my e-reader, but I miss the smell of new books. Nothing beats that in my book. In fact, I think they actually sell perfume that’s supposed to be new book smell!

Out of the books that you have read, which character couple would you like to invite over for dinner and why?

Olivia and Caleb from The Opportunist, for the shear entertainment value! I love those two, and the whole Love Me With Lies series.

If you could work with any author, who would it be?

Megan Hart. I loved BROKEN. It was a steamy read, that had a dark and heavy sub plot. It had nothing to do with the steamy parts and I love the way it played out. I would love to pick her brain.

What inspired you to start writing?

Life! Haha. Seriously, when I was younger, writing was my way of coping with a crazy life. I journaled and wrote stories from the age of five on. I didn’t decide to write a novel until the Spring of 2012.

Did you always want to be a writer? 

I didn’t know what I wanted to be for a really long time. I was always writing, but never associated myself as a writer. I don’t feel like I really figured out that I was a writer until I was thirty-seven! It’s never too late to discover who you are meant to be.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write every single day, and write what speaks to your heart, not what the trends tell you.

What are you top 5 most important things in your life?

5) writing
4) helping others
3) building my community
2) Epilepsy and Autism Awareness
1) Family and friends

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?


I have 2 tattoos: an ampersand on my arm; a phoenix & a magnolia on my back. My ears and my nose are pierced.

Do you have any fears??

Clowns. I hate clowns. They’re so creepy!!

What do you do for fun, besides writing?

I’m a homebody. I love hanging out with my family, going for a ride on my bike, reading, or going hiking.

Do you have any vices? 

I’m a nail biter. Hard core, right?

What was the last thing you googled?

Kyra Sedgwick, for pics of Aunt Melissa. 

If you could describe yourself in 5 words what would they be?

Loyal. Kind. Snarky. Creative. Calamitous. 


What is your biggest pet peeve? 

People who chew loudly. I’m weird, it REALLY bugs me.

Where was the last place someone spotted you and asked for an autograph?

My son’s school! I was so taken aback, I didn’t know the school nurse had even ordered the book. She stopped me in the hallway and asked if I would sign her copy, and I was just speechless.

Thank you so much for the interview! Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?

Thank you for having me! 

Be on the look out for AN ENIGMA PROJECT in February of 2014, and look me up on Facebook and Twitter. I LOVE hearing from readers! 




Where can your fans find you?


@Magnolia_B_my (Twitter)