Inside A Beautiful Mind – Alison Morton

2016-23-6--15-56-15

Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday

Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.

Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we take a moment to chat with wonderful Alison Morton.

Good Morning Alison., thank you for wanting to be a part of Inside A Beautiful Mind.and agreeing to hang out with me.15817888_10154348529324007_1642748717_o

So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.

First of all, thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog!
My name’s Alison Morton – my real name – and I’m a British writer living in France. I’ve written six thrillers set in an alternative reality in the imaginary country of Roma Nova.
All my life I’ve been fascinated by Rome, the civilization, and have clambered over many of its remnants! So, of course, I wanted to write a novel with a strong Roman flavour. But in my mind the protagonist was always going to be a woman. This was a problem; women in Ancient Rome didn’t live a public, military or political life. The solution? Bring it up to the 21st century, where a tiny piece of the Roman Empire has survived and its people live with Roman values and culture – Roma Nova. Oh, it’s governed by women.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

RETALIO will be out in Spring 2017. It’s the sixth in the overall series and concludes the second trilogy in the series (AURELIA, INSURRECTIO and RETALIO). Aurelia has fought Caius all her life. Even as children he bullied and attacked her. Now Aurelia is a Praetorian officer and (later) senior councillor to the ruler of Roma Nova while Caius pursues a criminal life with twin aims: to gain power and defeat Aurelia personally. RETALIO is the endgame. But I’ve written each book as a standalone – I can’t bear stories that don’t finish properly!

What inspired you to write your first book?

A bad movie! Although the cinematography was excellent, the dialogue was all chopped up and the story lacked any continuity. I whispered to my husband that I could do better. He replied, “Then why don’t you?”
I’d had the Roma Nova idea bubbling around in the back of my mind for some time but it had stayed there, hiding, until that trip to the movies.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Ah, yes. I served six years in the UK land forces in a special communications regiment, so I have the experience of the military life that my Roma Nova heroines lead.

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Such a difficult question, if I take all six books into account. I love writing dialogue, especially when the characters are arguing or deducing something. Dialogue reveals aspects of the character, their thought process and attitudes. What they say to each other should drive the story forward as well as reveal motivation. And dialogue makes characters like real, relatable people.

How did you come up with the title?

Like the other titles in the series, RETALIO which means “retaliation” is a single Latin word that reflects the main theme of the book but that resonates with readers today. It’s not easy condensing over 100,000 words into one! But this is the “brand” for the whole series. INCEPTIO means “the beginning”, PERFIDITAS “betrayal”, SUCCESSIO means both “what happened next” and “the next generation”, AURELIA is the heroine’s name, INSURRECTIO means “rebellion”. Some titles have emerged naturally, others have involved hours spent poring over Latin dictionaries. Much more here: http://alison-morton.com/…/how-i-developed-the-roma-nova-t…/

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

My first manuscript assessor gave me “brutal love”, but she was right. The core problem was that I couldn’t decide whether INCEPTIO was going to be a romance or a thriller. I had to rework the whole book and I veered towards thriller. That’s what I market the books as today, but I always mention the love story running through all of them.
The best? Of course, the lovely endorsements from people like Conn Iggulden, Elizabeth Chadwick, Douglas Jackson, Sue Cook, Simon Scarrow, Helen Hollick, Ruth Downie are fantastic, but it’s readers who say the loveliest things: “Carried away by possibly the most dazzling story-telling this author has unleashed to date.” (INSURRECTIO)

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

Not that I’m aware of. Others may disagree… 😉

What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

My research ranges from late fourth century transport to modern sniper weapons and old telephone systems to central European field crops like spelt. And then there’s how to mount a coup d’état and cause a run on the silver and metal markets. It’s all strange! Goodness knows what intelligence monitoring agencies would make of my online searches!

Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.15785570_10154348532369007_1565302034_o

Well, for these books set in the past – AURELIA late 1960s, INSURRECTIO and RETALIO early 1980s – I had great fun learning about early technology like fax machines, video link (no Skype!) and early CCTV using tape, and of course, there were no cell phones!

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I draft an outline of 30 points with the inciting incident, the main turning points, usually three, the “black moment” when everything’s falling apart, the climax, then the resolution. Then I write! More here: http://alisonmortonauthor.com/…/how-to-write-a-novel-in-30…/

Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

It took three years of learning; ¬going to conferences, courses, study weeks and classes to learn the ‘trade’ of writing novels and all the time I was writing.
I had many rejections and a good number of full reads. They all praised my writing, but couldn’t place my work in the market, they thought. In the end, I took the assisted publishing route using one of the best, most ethical services, SilverWood Books in the UK.

Now I have a top London agency representing my foreign and ancillary rights who have already sold my first four books to Audible UK (released December 2016). So I’m an independent author with an agent.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Although I’ve written and translated all my life, I started novel writing in September 2009 and finished the first draft of my first book 90 days later. It was 90,000 words and I didn’t have a clue what to do next!

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I wrote my first story because it was the story I wanted to write; I didn’t know what genre it was. It had a similar structure to Robert Harris’s Fatherland – a thriller set in an alternate reality – but I only discovered later there was a whole genre of it. Now we know all about such alternatives with The Man in the High Castle! However, Roma Nova stories are not dystopian. I place my books first as thrillers (I love action adventure stories, historical thrillers and spy stories), then as alternate history, but with a dash of romance.

Where do you get your ideas?

I wish I knew! I think about my characters and their personalities, then drop them in dreadful situations and watch how they struggle to get out of it. Then I throw them into something worse.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I read so much as a child. Rosemary Sutcliffe’s The Eagle of the Ninth was the first Roman novel I read. I grew up on Jean Plaidy for historicals and Georgette Heyer for romance. Leslie Charteris and Rebecca West for crime and mysteries. Later, John Grisham and Tom Clancy fascinated me. But I veered more and more towards epic authors such as Robert Graves, Frank Yerby and Robert Mitchum.

Currently, I read anything Roman and still enjoy a good spy story.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Bash out your first draft and don’t stop – you can do all the editing later.

What is your favourite quote or saying?

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Tea or coffee?

8r% tea (good and strong), 15% coffee (Colombian or arabica)

Sweet or salty?

85% salty and 15 % sweet as long as it’s chocolate.

Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?

Thank you! This is from INCEPTIO, the first book, when our heroine first sees her new home in Roma Nova:
“Travelling from the airport to the house, I was fascinated by the buildings – cream stone with terracotta roof tiles mixed in with tall, much grander blocks. Modern stood alongside older, but somehow it all fit together. I couldn’t tell what most roads signs meant; how 15822144_10154348531569007_1461997233_ncould they be so different? Cars looked more stylish and compact than in New York, and surrounded by clouds of bicycles. Shops with wide sidewalks in front, colourful awnings stretching over chairs and tables outside restaurants. People strolled along; some stood in groups talking animatedly; some were buying papers and small stuff from kiosks. They looked pretty much like people anywhere, but darker, neater, more self-contained.
In the centre of the city, we drove past one side of a huge open square, surrounded on the other three sides by a forest of stone columns and grand buildings. My grandmother told me this was the forum, the buildings containing various public offices, including the Senate. The smaller ones were mostly temples. My sense of unreality grew – it was like a movie set from Gladiator with extras going up and down the steps, but in normal twenty- first century clothes.
I shut my eyes for a few moments to attempt processing this.”

Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?

Roma Nova blogsite: http://alison-morton.com
Alison’s writing blog: http://alisonmortonauthor.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonMortonAuthor/
Twitter: @alison_morton https://twitter.com/alison_morton
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5783095.Alison_Morton
Buying link for Alison’s books: (multiple retailers/formats): http://alison-morton.com/books-2/buying-links/
INCEPTIO (Roma Nova 1) book trailer : https://youtu.be/CxOZzf_DA7g

15785570_10154348532369007_1565302034_o

Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Alison Morton for letting us spend some time with her today and see inside her creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.

If you or any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight on Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please send me a message.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!

The Fallen Vampire – Book Review

Book Review – The Fallen Vampire by Beata Blitz

 

A spell binding tale of days caught between the old and the new. A young girl finds herself torn between the world that she is in and the world she truly belongs to. Does she follow her heart and let what she is show or stay tucked neatly beneath the cloak of what she has to be in order to fit in. A choice she has to make and suffer the consequences that come with it. 33413074

This wonderful novella is packed full of unexpected delights that accompany a fun, well written story. I love the way the author allows you the opportunity to see how the young girl, Chloe, begins her adventure with the tortures of the heart and rebellious defiance that some young people face as they begin their life’s journey into the person they will soon become. Chloe’s tale takes her far from her home into a place that it is hard to tell who is friend and who is foe. Wonderfully addictive.

Can’t wait to see how this story unfolds in the first novel, Flux and Firmament The cloud Lords.

For more on Beata Blitz or her books go to: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33413074-the-fallen-vampire

Inside A Beautiful Mind – K.A. Linde

2016-23-6--15-56-15

Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday

Welcome to Inside A Beautiful Mind.

Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and come sit with me as we look inside the wonderfully creative mind of K.A. Linde.

Good Morning K.A., thank you for taking time away from your busy schedule to hang out with me.

So let’s get right to it, can you tell me a little bit about yourself.kalinde-copy

I write under a pen name, K.A. Linde, but it’s just initials so not really that crazy. I just moved to Lubbock, TX all the way from Chapel Hill, NC. I’m the USA Today bestselling author of over fifteen novels in contemporary romance and new adult.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My next release will be Silver, which is the 5th and final book in the All That Glitters series, which is about 3 Vegas gold diggers. Silver centers around Stacia, whose life goal is to marry an NFL quarterback and all of her crazy adventures as she discovers herself along the way. Not to mention…sexy football players.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I wrote my first book when I was a freshman in high school. It’s almost a hundred thousand words long and it reads like Gossip Girl comes to the west coast. I’d been writing short stories all my life, but I think the idea came actually when we were supposed to write a short story for my honors geography class. I wrote about a surfer in Australia, but I ended up moving it to Malibu and one of the two main girls is that surfer.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Every story always has something real in it. There’s too much of me and my crazy life experiences to not have some of me in it.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I don’t know if I have a favorite chapter ever. But I think usually my favorite scenes to write are arguments. I love when the characters just tear into each other and don’t hold back. It usually leads to them fixing things. 

How did you come up with the title?

Most of the time, I have the title for a book before I even really know what it’s about. Titles have to come to me first before I can write the book. I like to do a lot of idioms for my books like Off the Record and On the Record or Take Me for Granted and Take Me with You. But they usually just come to me.

Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

I think the only real quirky habit is that I always write at night. I do my best creative thinking from like 11pm-3am.

What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

Oh man, I don’t know. I’ve had to do a lot of weird research. Either stuff about crimes or figuring out how to get a minor out of the country without anyone looking at her passport.

Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.

When I first started writing the All That Glitters series, I knew it was about three girls, Bryna, Trihn, and Stacia, who would each get their own story. And I knew from the beginning that Stacia, who I’m writing now in Silver, changed her name when she turned 18 and went to college. So the whole time that all of her friends are calling her Stacia, through four books, they don’t know her real name yet.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?

Both. I usually start with an outline of the story and then the story writes itself as I go. I deviate a lot from the outline and readjust as I go.

Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

Avoiding Commitment was my first book published back in July 2012. I’d had it up online for free on FictionPress.com for almost two years. S.C. Stephens had been telling me to publish, but I randomly got an email from Colleen Hoover telling me to publish. And I was like, “Who the hell is Colleen Hoover?” She turned out to be pretty awesome and gave me the push to do it.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I don’t feel like the genre so much as it chose me. I just started writing and then people told me later it was romance and new adult and a love triangle. And I was like huh…really?

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. Dreams. Travel. Randomly walking down the street. Conversations with people. My experiences.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Tons! But my favorite books are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. They taught me to look at the world in a different way.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Write a good book. Worry about all the other headache-y marketing, branding, publishing side of things after you have a book you love. You only have one shot at a debut.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

For writing: Keep your head down and write.
Otherwise: Well behaved women rarely make history.

Tea or coffee?

Neither.

Sweet or salty?

Sweet

Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?

mailing list https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/i1x5e2

facebook www.facebook.com/authorkalinde
facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/kalindebooks
ascension series group www.facebook.com/groups/theaffiliate
twitter www.twitter.com/authorkalinde
instagram www.instagram.com/authorkalinde
pinterest www.pinterest.com/authorkalinde
amazon http://www.amazon.com/K.A.-Linde/e/B008QWI2CM

Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to K.A. Linde for letting us spend some time with her today and see inside her creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.

If you or any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight on Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please send me a message.

Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you in a couple of weeks, Peace!!

Sunday Share…

Happy Sunday Everyone,

So I just happened to be going through my emails and even though I am not published on Smashwords, I do have a profile there. And with that I get the regular emails that they send out.

I found a really interesting youtube video that I thought others might benefit from watching about self publishing. Not sure if you all are interested or not but I wanted to share it anyways.

Big hugs,

Kade

Inside A Beautiful Mind – Rebel Miller

2016-23-6--15-56-15

 

Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday
It is good to be back with you all. So this week I have the pleasure of introducing you to the incredible Rebel Miller.
Go grab your coffee, tea or beverage of choice and sit with me while we take a peek inside Rebel’s mind.
Good Morning Rebel, thank you for taking time away from your busy schedule to hang out with me.
Thank you for asking! I’m a romance author with the first two novels of my romance trilogy under my belt. I was born in the Caribbean, but have lived in Canada for most of my life. I reside in the outskirts of Toronto with my two boys and hubby, and am enjoying the exceptionally warm days of summer up here, in the North!Rebel Miller.JPG
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I’m working on the third and final book in the aforementioned romance trilogy. The three novels, Awakening, Promising and this last instalment tell the story of a young woman falling into a love triangle during a time of tremendous unrest in her futuristic society, which is called the Realm. This third novel is where Kira, the lead character, faces her past and has to make decisions on the path she will take – not only in terms of her love interest, but her career, family and peers.
What inspired you to write your first book?
For some, inspiration is a sudden occurrence. For me, however, inspiration for Awakening was a gradual thing. I had always had the idea of writing a coming-of-age romance that pushed the boundaries in terms of identity, social class, sexuality and what it means to be in love, but it was only when I was in the middle of binge-reading contemporary New Adult romances did the idea of taking my story into a new time and place occur to me. I wanted to write a love story that was set hundreds of years in the future and against an intensely dramatic backdrop, yet would still resonate with readers of the genre – whether lovers of contemporary or futuristic settings.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Pretty much everything in my novels so far are based purely from my imagination! Now that I think about it, the only thing I can say was drawn from real life experience or rather observation is how I set up the social classes or castes and political structure of the Realm. For example, the Elite caste bear traits from monarchy and the Subordinate caste from the middle classes.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Ooh, good question. Hmm. My favorite chapters in both Awakening and Promising would have to be any that include Kira and the Realm sovereign. I really enjoy the dynamic between these two women; one who has reached the height of her social position and the other who is just starting out. Despite the simmering antagonism between the two women, I believe they are very much alike, which I don’t know that Kira would ever admit because of how the sovereign has negatively impacted her life. awakening_cover_final
Of course, I also enjoy writing the scenes between Kira and her loves interests, Gannon and Tai. With Tai, I love designing the push and pull in their dynamic. As for Gannon, he’s a man who usually gets what he wants and only does things in absolutes, so it’s great to develop scenes where he’s challenged by Kira’s resistance.
How did you come up with the title?
I really wanted titles that reflected the genre mash-up of the series: that is, romance genre, New Adult, futuristic and suspense. As you can imagine, it was a challenge, but a fun one! After hours on my thesaurus app, I was able to come up with Awakening, which reflects Kira just starting out and learning so much about herself and other, and Promising, which reflects the potential she has yet to fulfill. You can probably see a trend here in the titles for this series. No doubt the third novel in the trilogy will end with ‘ing’ too!
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
Ha! My toughest criticism, I have yet to get! Though I’m sure I will. LOL. The truth of the matter is all creativity is subjective. Some people just won’t like your flavor of tea! Luckily, most people who read my work seem to enjoy it so far.
The best compliment has been from a reader who said she had fallen in love with my characters and would love to see the books on screen. In addition to books, I adore movies, so that compliment pretty much did it for me!
Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
I’m not sure it’s unique or quirky, but besides listening to music, I meditate for a few minutes before I write. There are so many things going on in life that I need to get focused and center on what my characters are going through so that I can hear their voices and write their story well.
Having said that, I do have a habit of acting out gestures or expressions as I write to help me describe them just the right way. Does that qualify as quirky or unique?!
What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
Strangest? Hmm. Not sure what that the theory of relativity qualifies so let’s go with the crudest thing. LOL. I recently had to look up how to spell clusterf?%k. Is it with a hyphen, without a hyphen, two separate words? The variations are endless!
Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
Because the Realm puts great importance on predetermined role and positions, all the characters have last names that reflect their positions. So Kira’s two love interests are names Gannon Consul (because he’s a member of leadership) and Tai Commander (because he’s a member of what we would call the military force.)
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I work with an outline but am very fluid around it. The thing is I need starting points and milestones to hit so that I know that I’ll get where I’m going, but by the time I finish writing, the novel ends up being about 50 percent different from what I set out to write. In fact, who Kira finally ends up with in the third novel was a surprise even to me!
Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?
I’m an independent author, which means I self-publish my books, so my experience was pretty straightforward. After writing Awakening, I located a high-caliber editor to give me feedback, connected with a superstar graphic designer for my book cover and contracted a helpful eBook distributor to send the final manuscript to the virtual press! I had to rely on my own resources, but there’s so much information out there and people willing to help that the entire experience has gone pretty darn smoothly.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing Awakening in November 2014 and finished writing the first draft two months later. It was published in June 2015.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I decided to write a futuristic romance for my first novel and series because I wanted to develop a whole new world and culture where I could really push the boundaries of a lot of belief systems and create high-stakes political drama between the main characters and those around them. I plan on writing contemporary as well. Right after I finish this last book in my trilogy, in fact, I’ll start work on the standalone contemporary romantic suspense novel that my fingers have been itching to write!
Where do you get your ideas?
I love the idea of going against the status quo. The truth is, despite my name, I’m probably one of the most diplomatic, practical and orderly people you would ever meet, so the chance to challenge systems and beliefs is very appealing to me, and is a recurring theme in my writing. In my trilogy, I take on the idea of being able to love more than one person and the idea of pushing against pre-determined social position. I simply think of what’s considered the mainstream and challenge myself to create a love story that challenges it.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
That list is way too long! LOL. Truly, every author I’ve ever read has influenced me, but one of my favorite books is The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. I actually refer to it in Awakening. While the novel isn’t a romance, there’s something about the way the young male protagonist protects and cares for his childhood friend is really sweet and moving.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write because you love it. It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes, especially with all the change happening in the publishing world right now. But focus on enjoying your writing – really loving what you’re doing and everything else, whatever that may be, will fall in line. I think the same probably goes for any creative pursuit.
What is your favorite quote or saying?
I have so many, but the one that’s currently a part of my mantra is “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” Isn’t that great?!
Tea or coffee?
It used to be tea, but now it’s Tim Horton’s coffee all the way! My fellow Canadians know what I’m talking about! 🙂
Sweet or salty?
Definitely, salty. Fries, nachos, bacon … *sigh*
Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
Absolutely! You can read the entire first chapter from Promising on my website, but I’ve included a clip from the first scene below. Enjoy!
***
“Why are you blaming yourself for your aunt’s death?”
I whirled around, surprised by the question. “What?”
Tai’s shoulders lost some of their tension as he approached me, his head hanging low to meet me eye to eye. “You’ve been sitting in that chair in the sitting room looking more repentant with each passing second,” he said.
I had opened my mouth, ready to dismiss his observation, when I realized he was right.
“I just wonder if there’s something we could have done,” I said finally, wrapping my armscover_promising_final about my waist.
Tai frowned. “We did, Kira,” he said, searching my face. “We were monitoring her and her family, protecting them as best we could. Your aunt was killed while we were under attack on Septima. If you’re to blame, then you had better blame me as well.”
I knew that what he was saying was rational and the truth, but a sense of responsibility stubbornly gnawed at my mind.
“Why didn’t you tell me about Khelan?” he asked, running a palm up my arm. “I could have helped.”
I shook my head, considering him. “You could lose your rank and be imprisoned if your superiors found out that you were aware of a citizen helping the factions and chose not to report it,” I said.
He rested his palm just below my jaw, hesitating a fraction of a second before placing it there. “Helping you is my choice to make,” he said simply. I stared at him, indulging in the feel of his hand against my skin and wondering at the depths of his selflessness.
“Rhoan’s not leaving for now,” he said. “Let me take you home. You can come back tomorrow.”
I sighed, fatigue setting in. Grief and worry were taking their toll, but I had committed to staying at the farewell with my family, and I wasn’t about to change my mind.
Ping.
I startled at the sound of the incoming message on my comm, and my heart skipped a beat. Grimacing an apology to Tai, I turned away to check my device.
Call me when you get home.
Gannon.
I smiled, and quickly replied.
As always.
His response was immediate:
I love you.
My smile grew, and I ran a finger over the three words as they faded to black.
Since Septima, Gannon had become increasingly verbal about his feelings for me. In addition to leaving me breathless, however, his declarations of love left me frustrated, initiating an internal battle. The truth was, when he said or wrote things like that, I felt like I ought to respond in kind but always resisted.
I turned slowly to Tai, still lost in thought. The intensity of his expression jolted me to the present, and I dropped my wrist.
“Gannon’s been worried about me,” I said, acting on an irrational urge to explain myself. “If I don’t respond, he’ll just call.”
Tai nodded, his guarded look slipping back into place, the change in his eyes revealing more than if he had explained the shift in his demeanor with words. As a protector, Tai was trained to be in control of all things — actions, emotions and thoughts. But since he had revealed his true feelings for me, and as our lives became more intertwined due to my family’s secrets, I found it much easier to see through his protective exterior.
He pivoted and headed toward the door, his gait so stiff I knew something was off.
“Tai,” I said, stopping him. He turned to me, his face perfectly blank. “What’s wrong? Why are you acting this way?”
His eyes narrowed, but the mask he had donned stayed put. “What way?”
I searched his face, trying to put into words what I had picked up in his expression. “Angry.”
“What do you expect?”
I cocked my head and gave him a questioning look.
“He doesn’t deserve you,” he said flatly.
I balked. That was why he was in a foul mood all of a sudden! “You have no right to be angry about that,” I said, disbelief nearly choking me. “You said you don’t want to be with me.”
He stepped toward me, fists clenched. “I choose not to be with you. I would never say I don’t want to be with you.”
I stood firm against the rising tide of anger that was overcoming his face. “It’s the same thing in the end,” I declared.
“Oh, there’s a difference, Kira,” he said, glowering now. “I know my limitations, while Gannon is choosing to flout his. He’s stringing you along!”
I shook my head. “He cares for me. You’ve said so yourself.”
“Yes,” he conceded, his shoulders set. “He does care for you, and more than I want to admit, so it drives me fucking insane that he’d continue with you like this. Hallowed Halls, how do you think this is going to end?”
I turned away, but he came to stand before me. I stared at the wide expanse of his chest, unwilling to look into his eyes as the walls of the room suddenly pressed in on me.
“Let’s play this out,” he said. “You and Gannon continue your affair in secrecy, managing to dodge family, friends, peers, officials and the rabid media. Then, five years from now, at the end of his father’s last term, he’s appointed high chancellor by Realm Council. Are you prepared to be his mistress? Because that’s all you’ll be.”
Every part of me begged to reject what he was saying, but my head couldn’t summon a solid argument.
“I’m not his mistress,” I whispered, studying the folds of his dark gray shirt.
“You certainly aren’t his girlfriend, and you’ll never be his partner or wife.”
I looked up at him, tears springing into my eyes, speechless at the ferocity behind his words. “I never said I wanted anything as permanent as that.” Actually, I had never allowed myself to even think so far ahead.
Tai shook his head, clearly unconvinced. “And what about when he finds out that Khelan, your father  the one who’s a senator in hiding  is supporting the factions?” he challenged. “What then?”
I stepped back and held a palm over my mouth, the truth of it all spreading a deep ache through my chest. I blinked back my tears, but a few still managed to fall past my lids and onto my cheeks.
“Fuck.” Tai reached for me, enfolding me in his arms. He ran a hand up my back and lowered his head so his mouth was close to my ear. “I hate that I’m hurting you, Kira, but I need to show you the truth,” he said, his lips brushing my cheek.
I didn’t want the truth, so I buried my face in his chest and inhaled the light scent of coffee and soap that lingered there. For a few moments, I let my tears flow and dampen the soft fabric of his shirt.
I had almost pulled myself together when the door slid open. I jumped and took a hasty step back, the abrupt movement causing Tai to release his hold on me. We both spun to face the door.
Ma stood, wide-eyed, at the threshold, holding a large box at her hip. “Forgive me,” she said, looking between Tai and me. “I didn’t know anyone was in here.”
After another quick glance at Tai, she entered the study and placed the box on the desk. Inside it was a collection of colorful objects. Avoiding my mother’s odd expression, I stepped closer, reached in and pulled out a small notebook that looked like a journal. It was leather-bound and had a fanciful floral pattern embroidered on the material. The box was filled with a number of other books just like it.
“They were your aunt’s,” Ma explained.
I looked up from the journal. “They’re beautiful.”
Her brown eyes, so much like my own, continued to assess me for an uncomfortable length of time. I shifted my feet and stole a quick look at Tai, who stood silent and observant just behind her.
“I’m planning to have them protected with a seal,” she said, drawing my focus. “I think Addy would like to have them one day.”
I nodded and smiled tightly as she turned to leave. Just before she did, she shot another look at Tai and disengaged the door, allowing it to slide shut behind her.
Tai sighed and came to me, running a hand over his short-cropped hair. “Kira,” he said, “please just think about everything I’ve said.”
I stiffened and glanced at him from the corner of my eye. “This is my choice, Tai,” I said, throwing his words back in his face. “You made yours. Let me make mine.”
***
Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?
• Twitter: Twitter
Alright folks, it is that time again but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Rebel Miller for letting us spend some time with her today and see inside her creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight on Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at kadecook.author@gmail.com and place Author Interview in the topic space.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!

INSIDE A BEAUTIFUL MIND – GRACE HUDSON

2016-23-6--15-56-15
Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday 13TH.
I know that it has been a few weeks since we have shared a coffee together but life and the holidays have a way of changing your plans. It is 2017, a brand new year and I am back, ready to see what this year has in store for us all.
This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind we have the lovely Grace Hudson who will be chatting about her book.
KADE: Good morning Grace, Thank you for being here today. I am so excited to share with everyone a little peek inside your mind. Let’s jump right in to it and tell the readers a little bit about you and your book?safe_image
GRACE: Hi, I’m Grace Hudson from Melbourne, Australia. I write under a pen name and I’m a night owl (insomniac). I love coffee, horror and anything ghost-related. I live near the beach, I love hot weather, pugs, cats and native Australian animals.
KADE: Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
GRACE: I have two books in the works at the moment with a dystopian theme. I’m also writing some short horror stories.
KADE: What inspired you to write your first book?
GRACE: I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I decided to write FERTS but it all came out in a massive deluge. I was a bit surprised at all the technical details coming out of my head. Sometimes I think my brain’s smarter than I am, which makes no sense. I guess I wanted to take an attitude that already exists in the world and expand on it.
KADE: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
GRACE: FERTS is purely imagination. I guess some of the ideas probably came from my experiences. There’s a lot of emphasis on looks, without bothering to see past that. That was definitely a theme with FERTS.
KADE: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
GRACE: The whole thing was a bit of a rollercoaster. I think I enjoyed writing the fighting/action scenes more than anything. I loved the adrenaline rush, it was exciting to watch it all play out.
KADE: How did you come up with the title?
GRACE: The initials came first, then came “Fertility Emigration Resource and Training Supply”. I toyed with the idea of putting dots in between the letters then left them out, like NASA.
KADE: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
GRACE: The toughest criticism. Hmm. I think someone said I should have ordered the book differently. I get what they were saying but I was going for a circular Tarantino-esque thing. The best compliment? When people said how much they empathized with 201.
KADE: Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
GRACE: Yes. Lots. I write at strange hours (3am is a good time) and I don’t have a formal writing space. Laptop, couch, TV on with heaps of distractions. I like to multi-task.
KADE: What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
GRACE: I did a lot of research on wild foods, chip implants and theta meditation frequencies. I also researched ways to kill and how blood flows from certain parts of the body. My Google history is quite gruesome, actually.
KADE: Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
GRACE: Okay, a lot of the science fiction is actually science fact. Brainwaves can be manipulated by sound frequencies. The Implant stuff is old technology and body scanners are nothing new. People might be surprised to find out that FERTS is not set in the future. It’s on an alternate timeline to ours, where technology was pursued differently. No nuclear, but solar technology and medical science were a little more developed. Fun fact: FERTS is set in the mid twentieth century.
KADE: Do you work with an outline, or just write?
GRACE: I just write. No outline. I’m a pantser. I write down details as I go to keep track of everything so I don’t have to keep it all in my head. Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published? I went the DIY route so I could have complete control over the creative process. Call me a megalomaniac if you will. It’s probably true.
KADE: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
GRACE: I started writing very early on. I think I wrote my first complete story at 12. I finished my first book in late 2014.
KADE: How did you choose the genre you write in?
GRACE: I didn’t choose the genre, it chose me. I would say my preferred genre is horror, and that sneaks into everything I do. But dystopian? That was a surprise to me. An even bigger surprise was Open Doors, an urban fantasy/romance. However, there is a bit of horror in there as well. It’s not just a cute story about fairies, it’s much grittier than that.
KADE: Where do you get your ideas?
GRACE: I get my ideas from music, news articles, dreams, conversations with people, general observations and people-watching. Everywhere, really.
KADE: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
GRACE: Yes. Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, Shakespeare, some classics, probably Grimm’s fairy tales as well. Tolkien would have been a big influence as well.
KADE: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
GRACE: Write lots, read lots and keep getting better. You can always get better.
KADE: What is your favorite quote or saying?
GRACE: “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.” Kurt Cobain
KADE: Tea or coffee?
GRACE: Coffee! I love coffee. You can never have too much coffee. Well, you can, but who’s counting?
KADE: Sweet or salty?
GRACE: Pickly. I love pickles, feta, olives etc. so I guess that’s more salty than anything.
KADE: Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
GRACE: The siren hummed through the surrounding forests, a rumbling whine that grew gracein volume as the minutes passed. Many could say they knew how to resist the pull of the ward beacon, but they were in the minority. An Internee had once attempted to remove her own eardrums in a vicious effort to get free of the perimeter zone. She was recaptured within hours, patched up and left to recover in Zeta circuit. Zeta housed the defective, the damaged, it was the station for the used. Once admitted to Zeta, there was no means of promotion, no advancement opportunities. Zeta was the end of the heap, the end of hope.
KADE: Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?
GRACE:
KADE: All fun thing must come to an end but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Grace Hudson for letting us spend some time with her today and see inside her creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight on Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at kadecook.author@gmail.com and place Author Interview in the topic space.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!

Recent Alive at Sunset Reviews

Author Kayla Krantz

So, the launch date for Alive at Sunset is about a month away now, and I’m getting pretty excited! In the spirit of my current mood, I wanted to share some of the ARC reviews coming in!

The launch party commences on Facebook November 15th. Be sure to be there for the awesome lineup of authors scheduled to come in, talk about their books, and possibly host giveaways!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1265443390133588/

4/5 Stars:

Alive at Sunset is the second book in the Rituals of the Night YA Paranormal series. Luna has lived through the terror and death of Dead by Morning (Book 1) and has just finished up a semester at her college. Three years have passed since the events that occurred in high school and Luna, while still a loner and overachiever, has a new roommate, Amanda, and is trying to move on.
Her nemesis, Chance, is still in a coma…

View original post 1,041 more words

Book Review: Legacy

Author Kayla Krantz

Title: Legacy

Link:http://a.co/cAdbbLb

Author: S.L. Buckley

Summary:

Andraste and her dragon, Lux, are barely old enough to leave their home, yet they are running for their lives. Dragon Riders everywhere are being hunted to extinction by both known and unknown forces. Her destination is simple: reach a dragonhold for help with her injured sister and her dragon, and then get herself to her mother’s people in Hibernia and into the safety of her betrothed’s kingdom. But, only if they can survive. They are now on a journey to honor her father’s last wishes. The last thing they need is more surprises.

Fennis holds a very dark secret, one that could cost him his life if the Council learned the truth. Hidden away in the high mountains of his home, he is happy to live a simple life in Aosta. His single source of annoyance is the women his father…

View original post 201 more words

A Sacred Sanctum

I began down this road on a journey to find the creative spark that I had suppressed for so many years of being a mom with young children and the bombardment of demands that this job entails.

Somewhere in between the diapers, sleepless nights and never ending spit ups I lost myself and what made me feel alive inside.

I push through the creative process as a journey to find out who I am now. Even if it means the terrifying reality of letting strangers and friends see who I am from the inside out. It allows me to breathe when I feel suffocated by real life. It takes away all the stress and demands of the world around you, even just for the few moments you are allotted a membership into the imaginary world you’ve created, a sacred sanctum that is yours and yours alone.

It saves me from getting lost in a world that is so eager to swallow you up without a trace.

It is frightening to let someone see my creation. Yes, that part us true. But it is even more frightening to think that you have allowed yourself to disappear without ever creating it.

Sacred

 

Inside A Beautiful Mind – Kim Smith

2016-23-6--15-56-15

Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday.  I know that it has been a few weeks, again since we have shared a coffee together but life has a way of changing your plans. I am back and ready for adventure. This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind we have the lovely Kim Smith who will be chatting about her books.

KADE: Good morning Kim, Thank you for being here today. Let’s jump right in to it and tell the readers a little bit about your new book?

KIM: Here’s a brief synopsis of Disk of Death  15135563_10154681779204906_490342539_n

 

A twenty-something woman is targeted by her boyfriend’s murderer after he takes her private video collection from the murder scene.

A caper mystery in the truest sense. This wild and zany debut is the story of Shannon “Wall-ass” Wallace, recently fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend–who also turns up dead. Now she’s a person of interest to more than just the cops…

When Shannon Wallace is fired from her secretarial job at Fine Furnishings, she thinks her life is over. She cannot believe her boyfriend, who was also her boss, has done this to her. To them! It’s enough to send her racing to the nearest casino to drown her sorrows.

In a drunken state, she goes to visit Rick Fine to tell him a thing or two. But all Rick wants is for her to get out of his hair. When he throws money at her to call a cab, Shannon collects the last of her vanity and goes home.

Only, the next day, Rick turns up dead, and now Shannon finds herself in a terrible dilemma. She’s a person of interest to the South Lake police department.

The detective in charge of the case turns out to be a former flame–one with a grudge. And he is enjoying Shannon’s trouble just a bit too much.

When he lets it slip that her boyfriend’s murder was also a theft, and several video disks have turned up missing, Shannon knows that her situation is much worse than at first believed. That was a romantic collection, and very, very private.

If the cops get those disks, they will be evidence, and possibly viewable by some of South Lake’s finest, like Sal Ramirez, detective extraordinaire, man with a mission.

Now Shannon and her college bestie, Dwayne Brown, are on the run to find the disks before the cops do. But first, they have to get them back from the murderer…

DISK OF DEATH is a perfect read for fans of Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, and Caper Mysteries!14232999_10154450829819906_4779120245699057303_n

Wow, does that ever sound like a wonderful story. What inspired you to write your first book?

KIM: I fell flat in love with romantic comedies after a lifelong love of historical romances. Once I discovered that laughter is great medicine, I totally wanted to write one. It feels good to hear readers say, oh man, that was a great fun read.

Yes, I can totally get on board with that kind of mindset. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

KIM: Oh, it’s mostly imagination, but the town of South Lake is a mash-up of the town I live in and the surrounding areas. Some readers have told me that they had a hoot trying to figure out what place I was describing.

How fun, it would be rather exciting to find the places that you described within the book. So tell me, what was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

KIM: The casino scene. I knew these characters so well by the time I wrote it that it flowed as naturally as water.

How did you come up with the title?

KIM: It is based on the storyline. There is a disk that Shannon must find in DISK OF DEATH and so it became the focal point for the story. It is natural that the title would describe that.

Good point Kim. After pouring your sweat and blood into creating this wonderful story, what has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

KIM: I have never been good with criticism, so everything that I heard from day one of the post-writing period was difficult for me. The best advice I got was to quit worrying about the “rules” and just get it right. The best compliment was from my readers who absolutely loved the book and said so.

What wonderful words to write by and you surely should follow it. Know I am curious, do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

KIM: I have to eat while I am behind the keyboard. I throw snack food in my mouth all the time. My favorites being gummy bears and oyster crackers (not at the same time!) Hence why I am now on a major diet!

Ha ha, well sometimes that does happen when we are in the midst of our creations. With all your works, what’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

KIM:  LOL. I had to look up when Red Light Districts came into vogue. It was a really good education on prostitution!

No, doubt. Learning something new is what keeps us interesting. On that note why don’t you give us an interesting fun fact about your book.

KIM:  I really did go into a gun shop and handle guns to be able to better describe that experience in Disk of Death. I didn’t buy one though!

That is definitely some good hands on experience that would allow you to capture the moments best for your readers. I know everyone is different in the way that they write but do you work with an outline, or just write?

KIM: Both really. I start out with an outline, or story beats, to get me into the story, and to help understand the characters. Then I will just write for a few chapters. Try it out to see how it fits. I may or may not go back to the outline after that.

Each story is so different and because of that you have to find the right fit for each one to get the words to flow. Now would you mind telling us about your experiences in getting your first book published?

KIM: Well, it would take a lot of space to tell you everything, but suffice it to say, I had a baaaad experience with my first and second and third publisher. I am now an indie and love every moment of it.

Well good for you! Happy writer, means lots of stories for us readers. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

KIM: My first attempts to write a book came in the 1990s and I finished my first book in that era too. It never went anywhere though. It was a really raw book. No editing, no anything. Then in the early 2000s I changed from trying to rewrite The Lord of the Rings and wrote a historical romance. It was so great to type THE END!

Oh how wonderful, I bet it was the most marvelous feeling. How did you choose the genre you write in?

KIM: I have written in nearly every genre. I believe I am a mystery writer now, but romance is not far out of reach.

Very cool. So Kim, where do you get your ideas?

KIM: The world at large. I can hear a snippet of conversation at a table in a restaurant and start writing. It’s very easy to be influenced by our culture these days. Even the shoes women wear will spark a story out of me.

That is wonderful, you must have so many things playing around in your head at all times. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

KIM: Oh sure. Just about every book I have ever read or am currently reading influences me. I love the way some authors handle dialog, or setting. It’s a great way to learn how to write!

I agree, every book has something to show you. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

KIM: The best writing advice is to WRITE. If you do it often enough, it will become a habit and if you do it often enough you will get better at it. The second best writing advice is to READ. How can you know how to build a book if you never pick any up? Writing style changes with time, as in, the old era of the gumshoe has been replaced by savvy women sleuths. Not saying a good old gumshoe story won’t fly, but a reader is going to be looking for the sort of book they are used to reading. So you must READ to WRITE.

Excellent advice I dare say, thank you. So what is your favorite quote or saying?

KIM: “There is nothing holding you but gravity” – my kids quote it back to me every time I want to stretch my creative muscles but am a little hesitant to do it. It’s the quote that I used on them all their lives as they were actors.

That is so uplifting and inspiring…oh and true!  Now for some silly stuff, Tea or coffee?

KIM: Coffee most all day long – but I will drink tea too. I love both hot and cold. I think I have a serious caffeine addiction.

Nah, you can never have too much caffeine. Hehe Alright then what about sweet or salty?

KIM: Salty. I love crackers of all types, especially oyster crackers. But they have to be the original kind. I abhor the salt-free kind.

Yum, I like where you are going there. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?

KIM: Sure! This is from Disk of Death the first Shannon Wallace Mystery.

August in the Mid-South is like living in the tropics. The crepe myrtles bloom in 14232999_10154450829819906_4779120245699057303_nfuchsia and pink and old people perch like lazy flies on white wicker swings. Cane chairs appear on porches alongside tables covered with lemonade pitchers.

In every neighborhood folded fans open to gently wave at the heat, and everyone talks about the weather. No one moves too much or too fast, thanks to the humidity, which turns everything into a condensation-streaked wonderland even before daybreak.

Here, the firmest hair spray is reduced to damp stickiness, the best laid plans are set aside until evening, and the most even-tempered person would contemplate murdering their friend.

KADE: It sounds so awesome, that’s wonderful. Now let’s give the readers some info on what is the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books…

 

KADE: All fun thing must come to an end but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Kim Smith for letting us spend some time with her today and see inside her creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.

If you or any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight on Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at kadecook.author@gmail.com and place Author Interview in the topic space.

Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!

14690850_10210782125854209_4364997650808210318_n