Monday, January 31, 2011

Author Interview - Ashley Dawn - Romantic Suspense Author

Deanna: We’re on location at the police station in LA waiting for the detectives to return with word on another kidnapped victim. Suspense author Ashley Dawn is also here to chat with us about the investigations, her books and herself. Ashley, tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

Ashley: Thank you so much for joining me here at the police station! I am a working mother of two who absolutely loves what I do. Writing is my passion but my children are my world. I take them to work with me every day, and since I work with my husband, it is a big family event every day. Some days, I get absolutely nothing done at work because I’m too busy playing cars or rocking a baby, but it is well worth it to me.

Deanna: What made you want to become a writer?

Ashley: I have always enjoyed reading and telling stories. It just seemed natural to put pen to paper and tell the stories in my mind. My first book was the result of a series of events, one of which was reading a predictable mystery book that made me wonder how I would make a book less predictable. I used my imagination and started my first book. My mother and a lot of my family encouraged me to finish and eventually publish my book.

Deanna: Do you write under a pen name?

Ashley: Yes I do. I write under the pen name Ashley Dawn. That is my first and middle name. I decided in the beginning to write under the name Ashley Dawn, because I knew my last name would change at some point but I would always be Ashley Dawn. I absolutely love my middle name so it seemed like the perfect name to use.

Deanna: As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Ashley: The stubborn women are the easiest to write! I mostly base my characters off my family and I have lots of stubborn women in my family who have those traits. Aurora from my first book was a snap to write. She has an attitude very much like my own and I loved writing her sassy dialogue. It seems that most of the women in my stories from mothers to girlfriends to police, the all have the tough exterior and try to show the world they can handle anything on their own. It is a great joy to write those ladies!

Deanna: Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

Ashley: Absolutely. To me that is the best genre there is! I love to read Irene Hannon, Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Don Brown and a whole long list. The mystery, suspense and romance mixed with the message of Christianity is a wonderful thing. I aspire to be more like these amazing authors as I write.

Deanna: Do you have any strange quirks or unusual habits when you are writing.

Ashley: Haha! I absolutely do. The biggest one is that I have to hand-write every word of my book before I type a word. Each book has a specific color of legal pads and I have special pens to write the story. I still do editing and rewording after the book is typed up but in the beginning the whole thing is written on those pads with particular pens.

Deanna: I can honestly say I’ve not heard that unusual habit. Interesting! Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Ashley: My typical day as a writer has to be a Saturday since I work a 9-5 job through the week but when I get the chance I get my pad and pen, corral my children and try to lose myself in the story. Most days it starts with getting the children to either sleep in or play contentedly as I write, I drink Gatorade and eat marshmallow crème and pretzels. I know strange but it is good brain food! I get interrupted multiple times, do dishes, laundry and any other housework I can get to. The whirlwind day is the day I write the best!

Deanna: Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?

Ashley: A lot of my ideas come from dreams. Apparently my vivid imagination doesn’t shut off when I sleep and I get a lot of my best ideas in the middle of the night. Actually ‘seeing’ my book in my dreams makes it so much easier to write it down. It is a thrill to write about the people I ‘meet’ in my dreams!

Deanna: What made you decide to write a series?

Ashley: As I wrote my first book, I fell in love with the support characters almost as much as I did with Aurora and Jordan. Jordan’s family dynamic interested me so much that I had to explore it in depth and that lead to further interest in the characters. I decided each of them needed their own story. Not just Jordan’s family but also Aurora’s. Her family may not be what is thought of as a conventional family but they are definitely closer than a lot of families I know. It is just wonderful to explore all the characters in depth and to let them develop on their own through the whole series.

Deanna: What is your next project about?

Ashley: I am currently working on two projects at once (crazy I know). The first is the third book in my ‘Shadows’ series, ‘Shadows of Pain’. It is mainly about Kami and Daniel and their attempts to stay alive as a killer tracks them. As the story develops I bring back a lot of the characters from the previous two books that I have come to love. The second project doesn’t have a title yet. It is about a serial killer and focuses on two main characters Amy and Pierce. Amy is an ER doctor and Pierce is an attorney. They have to find the serial killer before he strikes someone close to both of them.

Deanna: We’d love to read an excerpt if you have one!

Ashley: I’d be happy to share a short excerpt from Shadows From The Past:

“…It is the price you pay for choosing to be a cop. Your brother’s life…”

Those words haunt her dreams, and her waking moments. LAPD officer, Aurora Kavvan cannot rest until she finds her brothers killer. Digging into the past always brings back unpleasant things: memories, guilt…the hit man. Now she is in a race against time to find the murderer before he finds her.

“Kill her. I don’t care how, and I don’t care where, but I want her dead now!”

Someone was trying to kill his dead partner’s sister. FBI agent, Jordan Reiley will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves. Even if it means going against her wishes; putting himself between her and the man who murdered her brother.

Will God keep them alive long enough for them to find the truth?

Deanna: Besides historical romance, I love to read suspense also. I’m putting this on my TBR list for sure! Where can our readers find you?

Ashley: My websites are:

Ashley Email:

Thank you so much Deanna for having me today!

Deanna:  Ashley will be on her tour until February 12th. Below is her banner for her Virtual Book Tour, check it out along with her books.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Author Interview - Suzanne Barrett - Historical Romance

Thank you for stopping in to read about Suzanne Barrett and her newest release In Love and War, which finaled twice in the Golden Heart contest. Today we’re on location in a small country village in Ireland, touring the country side, old Irish castle ruins and visiting an ancient cemetery with historical author Suzanne Barrett. She’s published by Turquoise Press, and has another book soon to be released. Again, thank you for joining us as we get to know our author a bit better.

 Suzanne, thank you for being here as we tour your beloved Ireland. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.

 Some years back, I left Corporate America and an engineering job to write full time and haven’t looked back. I live in the country, raise chickens, garden and make jewelry and sell at arts and crafts shows.

 What made you want to become a writer?

 I have always written: essays, short stories, correspondence with pen pals. I’ve been reading since I was three. My inspiration for wanting to create my own stories was LaVyrle Spencer’s HUMMINGBIRD.

 LaVyrle does have a knack for wonderful story telling! Do you write under a pen name?

 I use my own name.

 As authors, we love all of our characters. Is there a certain type of character that is easier to write than another?

Suzanne:  I love the tortured hero, the shy and serious heroine (who is usually a reflection of me or at least a facet of me). Both are easier for me to flesh out than the humorous or quirky.

 Do you read in the same genre that you write in?

 I love romance and romantic suspense, occasionally, the thriller. I write contemporary and historical and am currently working on my first romantic suspense.

Deanna:  Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

 I’m definitely a morning person, up before dawn and writing, checking email with my cup of coffee. If I’m teaching water aerobics, I’m out of the house by 6:45 and back again by 10:30. The rest of my day is divided between writing, editing, working on jewelry and general home/garden tasks. I read and review in the evenings and usually go to bed by nine. With this kind of schedule, that leaves no time for TV. I catch the occasional British mystery on DVD.

 Most of us have pretty vivid imaginations when it comes to story lines. Where do your story ideas come from?

Suzanne:  From an amazing number of places. For my May release, which is about a female structural engineer who’s sent to England to work on an antenna support platform, I got the idea while working on...wait for antenna support platform in the Santa Cruz mountains. Once, I took an unknown mountain road that dead-ended at a cattle guard with a dirt road winding down to a house, almost obscured from view. I did some what ifs: what if it was a dilapidated old Victorian lived in by three women and in need of a handyman? What if this handyman was an Irishman one step away from being found by ICE and deported­ a man who needed to hide?

For my new release (IN LOVE AND WAR, January 24th from Turquoise Morning Press), I spent part of a winter in County Waterford researching a number of things for some articles I was writing for Irish publications. I had just interviewed a dairy farmer and cheese maker, and then while there saw a program on RTE about a female farmer who single-handedly ran a sheep farm. Bingo, I had my heroine’s occupation, plus the plausibility! Interestingly enough, nearby was a converted castle keep that was being rented out. It became my heroine’s and the place where her lodger, my embittered war correspondent, comes to heal. What if his hatred of bloody, centuries-long conflict was his Achilles’ heel and the heroine came from an Irish Republican family with secrets? Wow! I had my story.

IN LOVE AND WAR is truly the book of my heart. It was twice a Golden Heart finalist manuscript, but because of the Irish conflict, unsalable to New York. Quinn Lawlor comes from a privileged family, his father a flag-waving pro-Republican Irishman who immigrated to the United States and who hasn’t forgotten the Cause. Quinn, on the other hand, has spent years trying to put it behind him and is estranged from his Irish political father. Because of this, Quinn is deeply apolitical and carries a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder for any group that espouses violence. Meaghann Power comes from a family with an IRA background, one with secrets to hide. She is exactly the kind of woman he should not love. Meaghann, older than Quinn, lives in a tight-knit village where gossip could ruin a life...hers. Dare she give in to the attraction that simmers between them? An attraction that could spell disaster for him as well as for her?

Writing about the conflict seemed natural. For four years I was the Ireland for Visitors Guide, and I’ve been a student of Irish history for years (I have a five-foot-wide, floor-to-ceiling bookcase with nothing but Irish history and culture books.) I made numerous visits to Ireland and managed to get interviews with people who wouldn’t open up to the average tourist.

Quinn is the perfect tortured hero who’s had his career jerked away from him. Meaghann is the typical care giver, a woman afraid of growing old before her time but who has had to bear all the responsibility in her family with none of the rewards.

I would love for my readers to tell me how this setting and story resonates with them. Do they feel Meaghann’s struggle? Can they forgive Quinn his prejudice? Is the village of Timnagh real to them? What about the secondary characters? And most importantly, from the interview and following snippet, would they want to read this book?

IN LOVE AND WAR excerpt:

County Waterford - 1993

     Father Donovan returned and directed Meaghann into his study. "Now," he said, lowering his robust frame onto an overstuffed chair, indicating she should do the same. "Tell me about this boarder. I trust you're...having no difficulty?"

     Meaghann sank into the opposite chair. "I've rented out the keep. Uncle Tom suggested it, and it seemed a good idea. It's working well. And Quinn-- "

     The priest took the tray from the elderly housekeeper and set it on a table. "Oh, thank you Mrs. Aherne." He poured two cups of tea and offered one to Meaghann.

     "Quinn, you say?" he asked after settling back in his chair. "Have I met the fellow?"

     Meaghann cast an uneasy glance at the priest's piercing eyes. Clear and questioning--definitely questioning. "Quinn Lawlor. His family left Timnagh in the sixties. You might remember his father, Patrick."

     "Hmmm. I'd just come down from Maynooth then," the priest mused. He took a bite from a square of cake on his plate. "Yes, of course I remember Paddy. A firebrand if ever I saw one." His brows formed a continuous line across intense blue eyes. "Not unlike his son, I'm told. A man in a dangerous occupation."

     "Then you know about Quinn."

     Father Donovan contemplated the cup of tea in his hand. "Just what I hear--that he's a war correspondent. I've seen a piece or two about him. Perceptive young man, so they say."

     "He's writing a book, now--since his accident."

     "Why haven't I seen him at Mass?"

     "He's...busy, I guess."

     The bushy brows rose. "Too busy to keep the sacraments?" The priest subjected her to a precise scrutiny. "My dear girl, you realize that having a man living on your property will cause tongues to wag."

     Meaghann twiddled the strap on her shoulder bag. "Tongues wag whether there's cause or not. I intend to pay it no mind, Father."

     " Just so long as you know what you're inviting. I'll not see God mocked in my parish. 'Tis easy for a woman alone to be beguiled by a man such as that one."

     A chilling silence settled over the room. "What do you mean 'such as that one'?"

     "Read the paper, my girl. Your lodger has a fair reputation with the ladies."

     Meaghann plunked her cup and saucer down on the tray. "His life is his own business, Father. Not mine."

     The priest tented pudgy fingers over the black worsted wool of one thigh. "The one that wears the shoe knows where it pinches, girl. See you remember it." His fleshy lips thinned. "We don't need another Sean Foley. One fool in a parish is enough."

     Meaghann sucked in a breath, then lurched to her feet. Everybody knew Con and Cait's mother had run off with a Tinker when the twins were babies and that their father, Sean, had spent the better part of a year drinking and whoring in the village until he met Sally, the twins' stepmother, and married her. Now, he was a model husband and father, but the older villagers and Father Donovan never forgot his long ago indiscretion. "Thank you, Father," she said, her voice stiff. "I must be going."

     Her cheeks tingled as she let herself out. Damned self-righteous man. Aunt Brid must have run straight to Father with the news. Brid's genetic inability to miss a piece of gossip had brought more than one set of troubles to their lives. Meaghann strode to her car, plunked herself on the seat, and lurched into the lane of traffic. The transmission complained as she missed a gear. Neither the villagers nor Father Donovan would dictate to her what she did with her life.

     She braked with a squeal of tires in front of the village market. It was her life, after all. Were a few weeks of happiness too much to ask for?

     But all the same, she had better be sure she wasn't making Blind Billy's bargain. After all, she was much older than Quinn. And she wasn't experienced, or educated like the women he had known. Her clothes, even her manners, were plain. Countrified. But those things, she acknowledged, were insignificant when compared to her biggest problem. As long as Quinn harbored bitterness against her people, she couldn't tell him about her family. Or herself. Certainly not about their fierce love for Ireland or their fight for freedom. He'd never understand.

     She reached into the rear seat for her shopping bag, then slung her purse over one shoulder and stepped from her car to the curb. Inside the market, Meaghann wandered down each aisle. With Quinn very much on her mind, she moved mechanically, dropping items from this shelf and that into her basket. She paused at the meat counter and selected a plump fryer for dinner.

     From behind the meat case, Liam Connaughton handed her the wrapped chicken. "Hear ye've put Con and Cait Foley on full time, Meaghann." He flashed her a good-natured smile.

     Meaghann nodded and made a perusal of the chops displayed in the center of the case. "For the summer at least. I'll have a bit of your sirloin as well."

     " Would ye be wantin' one cut or two?"

     Meaghann stared at the butcher's bulbous nose. "Why, two, I suppose."

     "Thought so. My Mary says you got a fellow stayin' at your place. Would he be anyone I know?"

     For an instant, Meaghann's heart stopped. She stared at the butcher, and let out a slow breath. "You don't know him, Liam. He's an American--a writer."

     "Then he'd be the fellow I saw askin' around about the Fenian graves. A fine doorful of a man he is, never mind the limp."

     The Fenian graves! The hastily dug graves for the village men who'd taken part in the Rising of 1867. The mention of their graves always made her eerily aware of the secret associated with that obscure plot of ground, a secret only she knew.

     Meaghann eyed the butcher curiously. "When did you see Mr. Lawlor, Liam?"

     "Oh, t'wasn't more'n two hours ago. He was walkin' past the shop, talkin' to old Dennis."

     Talking to the news agent, was he? Gathering material for his book. Meaghann groaned. Dennis meant well, but too often he embroidered great, grand tales for the occasional tourist who happened to stop at his corner shop. Tales about the various risings and the parts played by the villagers. To hear Dennis say it, every man's forebear had been a Volunteer in one insurrection or another.

     And what mad stories would he have told Quinn about her family? Meaghann shuddered. Near her great-grandfather's grave existed another, shallower grave, known only to her. Her father had discovered it, and it had changed his life. Quinn must never find out!

     She felt the blood drain from her face. Taking the package of meat from the butcher, she dropped it into her basket. "Th--thank you, Liam," she stuttered. "Give my love to Mary and the little ones."

     If any stories were to be told about her family and their part in the Rising, she must be the one to tell him.


Deanna:  Your novel is definitely on my TBR list. I love stories in England and Ireland. Suzanne, I truly believe you have a wonderful story here. I’m glad our readers got to know you a little better. We wish you all the best. Where can our readers find more about you and your books?

Suzanne:  Thank you for having me on your blog. I hope our readers will take a peek at my sites and leave a comment or question today.

Also, I will offer an ebook to a commenter. Anyone can visit my blog and follow me to be in a drawing for a pair of sterling silver handmade (by me) Celtic spiral earrings. Thank you all for stopping in to learn about my latest release.

Suzanne Barrett
Jewelry Designer/Author
In Love and War, a novel of Ireland, available now from

Deanna:  Readers, I hope you have truly enjoyed today's interview. Suzanne will choose a winner on Friday so be sure to leave your comment or ask a question. Thank you for taking the time to be here!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Can we feel ghost spirits around us?

I've always had an interest in the 'other side' and feel there IS a connection of our past to our present and future. I love watching the ghost hunter, paranormal and psychic shows because some people do possess a special ability to see what the majority of us can't. Those people have a connection that also scares many people and that's sad. There are spirits around us all the time of those we love because they want to guide us and help where they can. Even though a spirit is reincarnated, that spirit has people from their past who follow them into a new life to help guide them. If you've read my first two books, you know I also believe in reincarnation and second chances of starting over with love. 

My next work is going to deal with reincarnation again but also involves a spirit who wants desperately to move on in a world he can only watch and not participate in. Will he get a chance to leave the prison he's been stuck in since his ship went down off the coast of North Carolina? He's not sure what his purpose is or why he has to endure watching rather than being with the woman he wants.

Long ago, a young boy found his way into the deserted lighthouse only to leave before my ghost could convey a message. He was able to get the boy's attention by pulling on energy between them. The young boy searched the keeper's house, looking in closets, cabinets, drawers and attics while my spirit could only watch. He tried to lead the boy up the stairway to the lighthouse tower that day but the boy left frightened and never returned to search the house again for whatever it was he wanted.

The ghost felt a very strong connection to the boy and continues to send him messages by way of dreams and thoughts that make the boy, who is now a man, still stop in his tracks to wonder about where the strange dreams come from. They're dreams of things that happened long ago that he couldn't possibly have participated in such as being aboard a ship on the ocean with no land in sight. This is the only means of communication my ghost has with the man because he's not been back inside the keeper's house, though he still visits the lighthouse grounds.

Have I piqued your interest in the next book? I hope so because I want to share another wonderful love story with you and take you along so you can also visit this lighthouse, meet my ghost and see what he wants do badly. The story is coming along and I'm having fun with it knowing that you'll be reading and exploring my new world around this lighthouse.

I love spooky but it also scares me because I've never experienced seeing a ghost but have FELT the spirits around me. They good spirits, not bad so I'm not frightened. I know my cats see them!! They seem to be on another level from humans by seeing what we can't. I've watched them as they watch 'something' move around our living room, drift across the ceiling or perhaps even as the spirits stand behind I making sense? Have you had this experience? Let's talk about this...leave a comment so others can also get in on it to leave their comment. Share an experience with all of us......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Author Interview - Jacquitta McManus - Children/YA Author

       Today we're in the village of Nagoran. It's a bit warm so we have palm fans for everyone. Please grab a seat around our story teller. You're in for a wonderful surprise! I’m very excited to introduce you to our author today – Jacquitta McManus, who is a Children's Author. I did a bit of surfing around on her websites and a review site or two, which are listed at the end so be sure to visit. On looking around at her main website, Worlds to Discover is a world in itself! I'm sure you'll agree her site makes you smile and want to learn more about her main characters. Make sure to book mark that site because you’ll want to revisit with your children. She has so much to look at and read and download! Readers and mothers, you are going to enjoy learning about this woman today as well as introduce her stories to your kids. 

Here is her bio:

        As a little girl from KY I didn’t have a lot of outlets that allowed me to explore what drew me to those stories.  All I knew was that they were exciting adventures and I loved the experience of the imagination. As I got older and it was time to make a decision about what to do as a career I realized that the only thing that interested me was animation. So I headed off to college for a digital animation degree. I loved computers so it seemed like the obvious choice.
        So, I was in college taking my courses… taking art classes, taking animation classes and of course the basics. P.S. I was one of the students who hated taking the basic courses. I was there for animation and that was all I wanted to do. Math… uhhh could have left it.  Spanish… uhhh could have left it. English… well… was never a strong subject for me. Grammatics, (I know, it’s not a real word… but it sounds good.), just didn’t sink into my brain. I didn’t get it. Therefore I didn’t even consider being a writer of stories. My focus was getting into my animation classes. I constantly went to the professor over the department to get in early. Thank you Professor for allowing me to start animation before I really got into my art classes.  (But of course after I started taking my animation classes I could see why having an art foundation was so important. LOL.)
        Okay… I’m rambling… back to my background. During the end of my college experience …  and my last couple of semesters … I had my son. Although my grandmother thought I wouldn’t finish, I did. I got my degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Digital Animation with minors in Art and African American studies. Oh yeah, I did a study abroad in Africa. That was a great experience. I also started to get into directing films in my last year … which is still a passion for me and will one day be a reality.
        I got married, and we moved to Atlanta and we had another baby, a girl.
       It wasn’t until my daughter was growing out of watching Sesame Street and Blues Clues that I realize that there was not a lot of things out there for her. And when I say that I mean … fantasy/adventure stories with characters that looked like her. It bothered me. It bothered me a lot.
       But even then I didn’t start down the storytelling path. I remembered writing down a story concept, very very vague with little details about what I visioned on a piece of paper and that was it. At the time I was working on my first short film. I was producing and directing and it consumed me. I had a strong desire for it to be right and I had to prove to myself that I could do what I thought I could do. And I can.  Even then I wanted to direct a fantasy story, I knew that financially it was easier to go the drama route, so I did. I wrote, produced and directed a short film and was pleased. It wasn’t all I thought I could make it but it was good for the resources I had. Everyone who was involved in the project loved it and wanted me to submit it to a film festival, so I did, but only one. It was picked as one of the top five finalists, but we didn’t win. But I was happy with it all the same.
       One thing that caught my attention after the film was made and screened was my direction in writing the script. When it was all done I saw places I wish I would have handled differently and some places I wish I would have given more room. And although I wanted to keep it under 15 minutes I wish I wouldn’t have let the story dictate its own length. I think it would have given the story more room to connect with people and would have allowed for more moments that would have rounded out the characters.
       Okay… again, enough of my rambling. After the short film I got a lot of questions about the 2nd part and what I was planning to do with the rest of the story. My hope at that time was to turn the storyline into a series. So with the help of two other people I began the process of writing the series. Our goal was to write the first twelve episodes. It was around episode three that I realized that I didn’t like the drama genre as much as I liked the fantasy/adventure genre. So, I picked up a pencil and pad and for two weeks I wrote out an outline for a fantasy/adventure trilogy. It took about six legal pads. I mapped it out by chapters.  I was hooked in the fantasy/adventure genre.
       Now the easiest thing for me to do is probably write it in script form. I see things visually and scripts seem to allow me to get what I see out the quickest.  But I didn’t want to do that.  Something inside said write it as a book.
       So I brought a writing program to help me organize everything and I got started writing. I got to chapter six and I was pretty happy with what I had. I mean, It was the biggest thing I ever wrote … 30,000 plus words and I wasn’t even halfway through the first book.  It was when I got to chapter seven that I realized that the story wasn’t going the way I wanted it to. And although I had taken the time to write a full outline of the story it was feeling more and more like just a big brainstorm. My character arc for my characters was there but the world was not developed enough. I got stuck on a scene that needed background development and when I looked back at the previous chapters I knew I was going to have to start over … page one word one.
       Foundation … foundation … I had to stop and focus on the foundation. I started first by sketching out a map of the world … thank you art classes … and started working on the characters of the story. I hired an illustrator to do some character concepts … yes I have an art minor, but I’m not that good … that’s why it’s just a minor … LOL. I began to read … anything and everything that I could. That journey began at least two years ago. Now I have a complete world with more than a half dozen races, with background histories, locations and all. And I’m loving every minute of its development. I still go back and tweak parts of it … I might even completely rearrange a section of it and although I feel like I’m 90% there with it, I still have to complete the other 10% of it before I really get back into writing the book again. Although last week I wrote 2 chapters in my head, I’ll let it sit there for a while to make sure I really like it.
       During the development of the background for my first novel, I’ve started developing other stories as well. All of which are fantasy/adventures; although some YA stories are peeking through. And now I’m proud to announce that my first finished story, and my first MagBook is now published and available for purchase. It has been a journey getting it here but it’s here now.
       And one of the rewards of all of this is the feeling of being on the path that I was meant to be on. That can’t be brought or given. It has to be earned.
P.S.S. Oh … I guess I should mention … in between the time after I produced my first short film and when I really got into storytelling I worked as a graphic designer. Learned a lot that will benefit me greatly as I continue to create stories. And it was during that time that the concept for Labyrinth’s Door was born. It was a way to bring all of my experience to something I love.
       To great adventures!

Deanna:  Jacquitta, welcome to my blog!

Jacquitta:  Thank you, Deanna, for having me on your blog today. Welcome to Nagoran Village - the home village of Anyia in my story Anyia "Dream of a Warrior" where the weather is warm and pleasant. 

Deanna:  What is your writing day like and are you a morning writer or a nighttime writer?

Jacquitta:  I love to write in the morning when the house is quiet and my thoughts are fresh. If I can get started around 8am I can usually stay in it for hours. Well, on a good day I can. Other days I might try to write and all I can do is look at my computer screen wishing something will start to flow. As of now, I don't have a typical writing day ... I just go with the flow and take advantage of the times it's pouring out of me and miss those days when it's not.

Deanna:  Some writers will describe themselves as "character" or "plot" writers. Which one would you describe yourself as? 

Jacquitta:  If I had to pick one I would describe myself as a plot writer. Writing fantasy/adventure stories is about the plot. What's going to happen and how. I hope that within the plot I create characters with depth and give some balance to both. 

Deanna:  Where do you get story ideas?

Jacquitta:  From everywhere. I can be driving down the road and see something and it can spark an idea for a character or story. I can be listening to music and a scene will start to develop in my head and from that characters and plot. Ideas come from everywhere ... I just try to keep myself open to receive them. 

Deanna:  Do you use a time line story board when you write?

Jacquitta:  I do have a time line story board that I use. It's not very detailed, only hitting the main points of the story. I'm finding out though as I write and create characters for my series that I also have to write background stories on them. I write a lot of scenes and dialogue exchanges to help me build the story and personalities. 

Deanna:  Do you prefer to write stand alone books or a series with the same characters?

Jacquitta:  I'm finding that I like series. A book series allows for building worlds and relationships in away that a stand alone book does not. I also like to build up to the plot and allow for character moments which I think can be done better with a book series.

Deanna:  How do you prepare for a book series? Do you create an outline for one story and break it down into multiple books for a series or do you develop the plot and story as you go?

Jacquitta:  I think I do a little bit of both. I will write out a rough outline of the story and then figure out where a good break would be. From there I can develop the plot and story for one book that flows into the next book. Each book is developed on it's own, but they all flow into each other to create one big story.

Deanna:  Do you visit libraries and do story hours with children?

Jacquitta:  I don't visit the libraries as much anymore and never really did the story hour. I do take my children, but I'm usually looking for books for them and not myself. I love bookstores but I don't visit them as much anymore either ... I think being able to search online for books has kept me away from visiting libraries and bookstores as much. I just finished reading The Secret of Nimh with my daughter and now I'm looking for another novel to read with her ... and I'm looking for it online. She's only seven, so I'm trying to find something we both will enjoy. 

Deanna:  Tell as a bit about Labyrinth's Door - Anyia "Dream of a Warrior".

Jacquitta:  Labyrinth's Door - Anyia "Dream of a Warrior" is my first published book. It's the first book of a series that I'm working on. It's a story about a young girl named Anyia who has to make a choice ... does she obey her father and follow the traditions of her village or does she dare break tradition to follow her own dream of becoming a warrior during a time when Empress Zarina threatens her way of life. 


     Hours passed before Anyia was able to move her body even slightly. Wiping the sweat off her face, she turned over and looked out between the bars. They were moving through the forest on a worn path heading toward a blue dome tent where an elderly lady sat at a table full of fruits, breads and gourds of water. The smell of the bread floated through the air. Anyia's mouth watered as she closed her eyes, thinking how great it would be if they gave her a piece.
      Moments later, the Thor warriors stopped and set the crate down roughly, banging Anyia against the metal bars. She watched as they rushed the table and began drinking and eating.
      "Do you have means to pay for my food?" asked the elderly lady. She had the presence of strength; she sat on a wooden stool in her green dress; at first Anyia thought the lady was bald. A grown woman in Nagoran Village would have been forbidden to wear her hair so short.
      Kuru and Runo just looked at each other and kept eating. Then Anyia saw a tall muscular man with gray hair walk past the crate.
      "Yes," said Som.
     She watched as he pulled out a few coins, dropping them on the table.
     He picked up a gourd of water and took a long drink before setting it back down. Then he turned around and, for the first time, Anyia could see his eyes; she shuddered. Som's eyes were pale gray; when he looked at her, chills ran up her spine, but she couldn't look away. She scanned his face; he had three red marks above his left brow.

Deanna:  That's an intriguing excerpt that makes me want to know more of the story! What are you working on now? 

Jacquitta:  I'm currently finishing up my first fantasy/adventure coloring book, Talee and the Fallen Object. Talee, a girl who lives on the gas planet Gala has her curiosity piqued when she see's an object fall from the backpack of a mail flyer and journeys out to see what it is.

Deanna:  You have such an imagination, Jacquitta. Your books sound very interesting and should draw many children to your site. Where is the best place for fans to find you?

Jacquitta:  They can visit me at my website and  my Blog as well as on Facebook. I'm also on Twitter and GoodReads.

Labyrinths Door is available at Amazon and on my website above.

Deanna:  Here is Jacquitta's past and future schedule if you'd like to follow her or read where she's been:

December 21 - Guest Blogging at  Ginger
December 24 - Guest Blogging at  Kristen
December 28 - Guest Blogging at  Dee
December 30 - Guest blogging at  James
January 4 - Author Interviewed at  Paula
January 10 - Author Interviewed at  Lillian
January 18 - Author Interviewed at  Deanna
January 20 - Guest Blogging at  Monique
January 22 - Author Interviewed at  Katie

Feel free to leave a comment or question for Jacquitta; she'll be around to chat with you today! Thank you all for stopping in to read about her and please take time to visit her wonderful, cheerful website!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Check out my bookbuzzr links down on the left!

I've added the links to my BookBuzzr site so you can read a few pages of both of my books before you decide to purchase. Just click the book, turn the pages and read away. I hope you enjoy the first chapter or two enough that you want to order your own copy.

For those who want the Kindle or Nook version, you can hop over to Smashwords and download the copy that matches your eReader! It's very simple at Smashwords and they have hundreds of books to download there, just in case you've never been to the website! Thank you so much for stopping in and thank you to those who visit Smashwords or your favorite book site to purchase my work!

While you're at the BookBuzzr site, take a peek at their Cover Match Game. Just a's a bit addicting so don't say I didn't warn you. Earn enough points by matching covers and you can win books - check out what you can win while you're there! Have fun and let me know how you're doing! Be sure to tell your friends to come over and follow my sites!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Where does the time go??

I can't believe it's been ten days since I last posted! I am so sorry. I've been swamped with life is all I can say! I've been writing, working, marketing, and not keeping up. I'll try to do better.

For those who love contests, there are several for you to get into. My January contest is open so head over and get your entry in at my website. Click on the contest links on the left for Coffee Time and Fresh Fiction. As soon as the contests open, I'll make the links live, promise! Fresh Fiction has a ton of contests on their Contest page so be sure to visit there and find the links to all the author's contests. Coffee Time is giving away a Pandigital Color eReader to one lucky winner on February 10 just in time for Valentine's Day! More on that later.

I hope your new year has started out a bit slower than mine, this is way too busy - yikes! They say no moss grows on a rolling stone but oy! Don't like rolling this much! Thanks for stopping in! Be sure to check back for more contest info and the author interview on the 18th with Jacquitta.

Love you all!