26 January, 2020

#RTWrites :: 10 Books to Read Before You Die - @RT_writes


Death comes for everyone. This is inevitable, apparently.

Of course, personally, I plan on invoking the Law of Singularity by then and transfer my consciousness to a robot’s and live forever. Or… be bit by a vampire, whichever option is available to me.


I highly suggest you start looking for your own options immediately after reading this post!
But, in the event I and every one of us has to go meet our Maker, the one regret we can cross off our bucket list is to read the following 10 books before that happens. I have taken off proper classics (English and American) as well as my beloved Nora Roberts because those should be read as a matter, of course, IMO.

To me, the following books represent comfort reads, often-reads, yearly and beloved reads. These books contain bits of my soul and, I hope, they do yours, when you read them.

1. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien




I’ll be the first to admit that I read LOTR after I saw Aragorn in Fellowship when I was sixteen. Brooding knights are totally my thing. But, my god! I learned everything I know about world, character, and conflict-building from Tolkien! More important, the scope of storytelling is nothing less than sheer genius. Putting six races together and making the underdog the hero in the most ordinary of ways…I am, and will always be in awe of Tolkien’s skill and imagination.




2. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand



Everything I learned about a strong, individualistic work ethic, I learned it from imagining Howard Roark take on Ellsworth Toohey. While The Fountainhead is now touted as pushing the capitalist agenda, it is also a tome on how creativity needs to stand tall and still like a tree when confronted by the pressure to conform and give in. It is also an unexpected love story that contains my most favorite quote in the English lexicon: I love you as selfishly as I exist.





3. Don’t Look Down by Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie




DLD is an amazing example of co-writing done really, really well. Narrated in third person by both the hero and heroine, it is a romantic suspense mystery with alligators and movie stars and mob bosses! The hero, JT Wilder, is former military with a Wonder Woman fetish who provides the heroine what she needs when she asks for it.  The heroine, Lucy Armstrong, is six foot of badassery and self-sufficiency. To see her need JT is delicious.




4. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare


I mentioned Tragedy in the title because everyone romanticizes this play so much, they romanticize two teens dying needlessly. It is tragic; the narrator makes it clear off the bat that it is. But…oh dear lord, the English language becomes a concerto in Shakespeare’s hands, ebbing and flowing in the direction he chooses. Whether it is Romeo’s ‘temperate’ sonnet or Juliet’s ‘rose is a rose’ speech, Shakespeare uses Tragedy to make allegorical points of family, class and choice to the greatest, moving effect.





5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 




Erin Morgenstern’s debut is like a dream – you’re thrust in the middle of the story and you’re caught in it before you know what’s happening. And all this, when the hero and heroine take about seventy pages to meet each other for the very first time. Two childhood magicians spend their whole life trying to best each other for the sake of their much-older father figures. In the process, they create the most beautiful circus in the world – it’s magical in the truest sense of the world – and find the truest magic of all, in each other. But can they keep it?



6. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman 



Practical Magic is distilled starlight and secret wishes. It is a story of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, a small town in Massachusetts and two witch aunts. It is an epic love story told in three scenes. It is a story of finding family when you’ve lost yourself. Hoffman’s prose grabbed me by the throat and still hasn’t let go, almost twelve years later, with the sheer breadth of emotion it still invokes.





7. Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre 



This is one of the few Booker prize-winning novels I thoroughly adore revisiting over and over again. It’s a heartbreaking social commentary on class and race told through the voice of Vernon ‘God’ Little, a small-town high-schooler who ends up going on trial for his best friend Jesus Mendoza’s death. It deals with touchy subjects about homosexuality, school predation and the American penitentiary system which fast tracks sensational trials.




8. The Golden Gate by Alastair Maclean 



A taut thriller from word one, The Golden Gate is a master-class in action storytelling. The story is that of Peter Branson and his team taking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco hostage with the US President, Chief of Staff and various other dignitaries. The action takes place almost exclusively on the Bridge – no mean feat for a seventy-thousand word novel and reason enough to read this book – and is a delight of action, old-school espionage and the creative use of the most uncreative heroine’s name ever –April Wednesday.



9. Mahabharata (any translation) 




The Mahabharata is all heart and guts and glory boiled down to its purest form. It is gods meddling and man deciding. It is the battle of good versus evil and evil being good while still doing evil. It is strong female characters and feminist men. It is every single emotion ever written about told over hundreds of little tales and fables that will teach something new each time they’re read. It is epic, in the truest sense of the word.





10. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh 



Heart of Obsidian is part sci-fi, part paranormal, rawly sexual and sensual and a story with the world’s most likeable anti-hero. In short, it is one of my favorite love stories of all time. Because Kaleb Krychek, the most dangerous man in the earth created by Singh finds his equal in the first and only woman he’s ever, ever loved. Heart of Obsidian is a sweeping testament to love really making the world go round (Kaleb’s Sahara wants him to save the world instead of destroying so he does so)!





Till next time,
Xx

Writer Gal



22 January, 2020

#SpecialFeature :: Meet Vikram Rana from Vikram Rana Mystery Series - @shenoy_sharmi


*** Special Feature - January 2020 ***


About Sharmishtha Shenoy

Sharmishtha Shenoy is the author of the Vikram Rana Mystery series. The books under the series are “Vikram Rana Investigates,” “A Season for Dying,” “Behind the Scenes” and “Fatal Fallout”. She has also published a book of short stories, “Quirky Tales.”
Her short stories have been published in efiction magazine and Woman’s era. She loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. 
Before starting to write, she had been an IT professional and had worked in TCS, Satyam, Infosys, and Microsoft. 
She is a big foodie and enjoys Biriyani (both Hyderabadi and Awadhi versions) and rasgullas like most Bengalis. She is also a lusty singer of the bathroom singing variety.
Though she is happily married to Mr. Shenoy in real life, in her fantasy world she is wedded to her creation Vikram Rana.  You can get to her blog by typing the word “Sharmishtha Rana” into Google. No, seriously, try it.
She was born in Calcutta. She is an M Tech from the University of Reading, Great Britain and had received a 100% British Government Scholarship to study there. She lives in Hyderabad.


Pros and cons of self-publishing


Vikram Rana is a Rajput, born and brought up in Hyderabad. He likes aloo parathas and masala chai and is a hard core foodie. Over six feet tall, he has an athletic build, which he maintains by swimming and jogging regularly. He is also a yoga addict. A lady-killer in his youth, Vikram, like George Clooney and good wine, is only getting better with age. 

Vikram used to be a police officer with a reputation for being tough, but fair. But he earned the wrath of the Commissioner of Police by going after a rich and corrupt politician who had murdered his driver. Despite Vikram's coming up with concrete proof of the politician's guilt, the commissioner  stepped in and had removed him from the investigation team. He was then transferred to Vizag. After working there for two years, he felt heartsick and weary and quit his job to open his own investigative agency.

He is still popular among his ex-colleagues for his dry wit and detective skills and has kept in touch with them, especially with his immediate senior Gopi Reddy, a foodie like him, which has only made their bond stronger. They worked well as a team when Vikram was a cop, and they have continued to work together on a number of cases in which Vikram was involved in a private capacity as an independent investigator.

Vikram has solved three high-profile cases after opening the agency. One involved his good friend, noted industrialist Rohan Lohia, who was now a sleeping partner in his agency. The other involved a big shot industrialist Krishna Mohan Dhavala. Recently Vikram also helped the Hyderabad police in nabbing a serial killer. His reputation has grown exponentially and now his agency is running successfully and he has more cases than he can handle. Nowadays he has the luxury of picking and choosing the cases he personally handles, leaving the mundane everyday cases to his able assistants Radha and Murali.

Vikram is a man of contradictions. Although organized and efficient in his professional life, he can be forgetful and silly in his personal life. And despite his public image of a tough and macho ex-cop, he is afraid of his pretty, but bossy, wife Veena. Veena is a Bengali beauty whose parents stay in Kolkata. Vikram met Veena at a common friend’s wedding and it was love at first sight. Unfortunately for Vikram, Veena is a vegan health freak. She never tires of trying to nag Vikram into eating healthy. Veena used to work at an MNC in Hyderabad, but after the birth of their daughter, Kamala, she is a stay-at-home mom. 

Kamala is a toddler and quite a handful.  She is simultaneously wonderful and exasperating. She charms Vikram and Veena with her sweet little girliness, her fire and spunk and her unabashed curiosity. She is fascinated with Vikram’s phone and is always fiddling with it. Though Vikram loves her to bits, he likes her better asleep than awake. 


About Fatal Fallout:

Check out the Book
When love is an obsession, rejection is fatal...
Beautiful model and aspiring actress Gauri is found dead on the highway from a gunshot wound. The jewelry she had been wearing and other valuables are missing. Is it a case of a robbery gone wrong? Or is it premeditated murder?
Gauri’s friends and family hold her boyfriend Akash responsible for the death. Gauri had recently broken up with him because of his abusive behavior. Did the fallout of the breakup turn fatal for her? Did Akash decide that if he couldn’t have her, nobody else would either?
Moreover, why did the film director Madhav hire detective Vikram Rana to investigate her death? Is it because he loved her, or because he wanted to point the needle of suspicion away from himself?
Adding to the puzzle, is the corrupt police inspector Phani Kuma sabotaging the case for his devious motives?
The media, meanwhile, is sensationalizing the case, and pressure is mounting on ACP Gopi Reddy to resolve the case at the earliest.
Ace detective Vikram Rana swings into action to untangle a complex web of abuse, lies, and murder to get to the truth.

Giveaway:

Win an Amazon Gift Card worth 125/-
A Paperback Copy of Fatal Fallout by Sharmishtha Shenoy


a Rafflecopter giveaway



20 January, 2020

#Spotlight :: The Not-So Dead (The Dead Series, #1) Isaiyan Morrison - @XpressoTours


The Not-So Dead
Isaiyan Morrison
(The Dead Series, #1)
Publication date: January 21st 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Young Adult
All Faye wants is another chance at being normal: hanging out with friends, playing video games, reading the latest Manga… As a wraith, her craving for a normal existence seems forever out of reach. When she makes the move to the small town of Hueman, Texas with her not-so dead nomadic family, she prays this fresh start will be the one that sticks.
Until… one of her kind is murdered by a mysterious man in a black mask.
With only Carter, an unlucky human witness, by her side, Faye must find a way to prevent the body count from rising and protect her family’s secret identity. As the man in the black mask lurks in the shadows waiting to strike again, her choice becomes a matter of life and death.
In the face of true evil, being normal is overrated.



EXCERPT:

As far as Faye knew, explorers explored, but she didn’t tell Maddy that. She probably would have stayed there waiting for Dusk to come back, but another person shakily emerged from inside the club. It was the guy from before, the one she had fed on. He swayed, and his legs shook heavily as he turned toward her and made eye contact. That was when she decided to leave. She grabbed her backpack from the ground, stuffed her gaming device back into it, and jogged off after Maddy.
“Hey! Wait!” She heard the man shouting after her.
She caught up to Maddy and dared not to look back. The man chased after her, and when he caught up with them, he grabbed Faye’s arm and forced her around. His eyes drooped. “What did you do to me?” he mumbled.
Faye didn’t know what to do. She drew closer to Maddy, even reaching out to take her arm. Then he was gone.
There was a brief eddy of wind as Maddy moved faster than a human eye could follow. She took hold of the situation and forced the weirdo to release his grip before she tossed him into an alley. His body slammed against the wall, and she stood over him a second later.
The veins underneath her skin pulsated red, and with both hands on his face, she fed.
Then it was over. He crumpled to the ground, and she dragged him behind a dumpster. None of the passersby noticed what had happened.
“That’s how you take care of drunken idiots.” She wiped her hands and strolled down the street.
“Did you kill him?”
Maddy shot her an evil glare. “I should have, but no, he’ll wake up in a few hours.”
“Th-thank you,” Faye mumbled.
Maddy sneered. “Don’t thank me. Next time, stand up for yourself, Dora. You could have done that just as easily as I did.”
She turned and continued moving down the street, away from the center of town. Faye followed. They walked for a while in silence. Maddy was right; she could have handled the guy as easily as she had. So why had she been so scared?
“I’m Asian,” Faye muttered.
“What?” Maddy asked.
“I’m not Hispanic.”
Maddy stopped and whirled on her. “What?”
“Dora isn’t Asian.” Faye avoided her eyes.
Maddy threw her hands up. “I don’t call you Dora because I think you’re Hispanic, dumb ass. It’s ’cause you carry that stupid backpack everywhere.”
“I carry my games.”
“You carry kid toys, like your games,” she said. “You know, Dora, you could use those to lure stupid nerds like that boy, but you don’t.”
“Carter?”
“Whatever the boy’s name is. I mean, why hang out with that if you aren’t going to at least try him?”
“I didn’t want to leech off him.”
“My God, you’re just annoying as all hell, aren’t you?” Maddy turned down a side street. “After two years, you’d think you would’ve grown into this by now, but no. You still get all depressed when it’s time to eat.”
“How long did it take you to get used to it?”
Maddy slowed her steps. “As soon as it happened. I had no regrets. Actually”—she faced Faye—“I was happy it happened. I felt special because the wraith who did this to me chose me. He could’ve killed me after he took what he wanted, but he didn’t.” She jabbed her finger in Faye’s chest. “Instead he took it all and he made me into what I am now. He understood that taking only a little doesn’t stop the hunger.”
“We take just a little so they won’t end up like us. That’s what Dusk says.”
“If you always do that, you start to rot and smell like death. Eventually you need to take it all.” She rolled her eyes. “Maybe you want that to happen to you again? You want the death splotch.”
Faye remembered the moment vividly. First it had started with a small blemish on the skin. Then it spread all over her body, leaving a putrid stench that even her acute sense of smell couldn’t take. “But I don’t want to kill anyone.”
“It’s a little too late to be the pacifist,” she growled. “We all do it, even Dusk. How do you think he was able to survive after all these years? We have to eat, Faye. If we don’t, we die.”
Faye started to follow her but stopped. As she thought it over, she realized Maddy was right. Sucking away the essence from unsuspecting people was part of her new life, a life she hadn’t asked for. It wasn’t easy to accept and fit in with the rest of them. How could they expect her to only after two years? They were much older and had more experience. They had time to adjust while she was just learning how to work with her newfound abilities. And what kind of wraith didn’t enjoy leeching, knowing full well they had to in order to survive? She hated it and the stereotypes that came with being what she was.
“You already did it once. You took too much and the guy became one of us,” Maddy added. “And it felt damn good, didn’t it?”
Faye nodded.
“So, stop fighting your stupid emotions and do it again.”
“Well, why didn’t you want to kill that boy back at our old home?” Faye asked.
Maddy stopped abruptly. “That was different.”
Faye walked around Maddy and faced her. “Was it because you liked him?”
She folded her arms. “Dusk told you that, didn’t he? As usual, he likes to keep out the important details, make himself look like our leader who can do no wrong. You think he’s squeaky clean, don’t you? You think he has all the answers, but he doesn’t. He’s just as dark and evil as any wraith. We all are.”
Faye felt something sharp jab into her shoulder, followed by a burning sensation. She hadn’t felt that much pain since she’d been turned. She screamed before Maddy took hold of her and whisked her down the street.
They stopped and hid behind a parked car. Faye reached up and gripped her shoulder, finding a wooden stake embedded in her skin. Cold, thick blood oozed from a puncture wound. “What did you do that for?” Her blood was as dark as hematite. Wraith blood usually was.
“Shhh.” Maddy’s eyes revealed confusion and fear. “That wasn’t me, you idiot.”
A tall figure loomed across the street, wearing olive cargo shorts and a black tank top that exposed pale, muscled arms underneath. A belt wrapped around his waist held sharpened stakes of varying sizes, and he held a machete in his left hand and a crossbow in the other. However, it was the oval-shaped black mask covering his face that made Faye melt with slight fear. With narrow, vertical slits across a long slit in place of their mouth, the individual looked more beast than man. She also saw a weird mark, the Roman numeral three etched just between the eyes.
“Hold still.” Maddy grabbed the stake and yanked it from Faye’s shoulder.
The pain was excruciating, but immediately dissipated.
“Who is he?” she whispered to Maddy.
“Whoever he is, he’ll be sorry for attacking us.” She stood from behind the parked car. “Stay here. I’ll take care of this idiot.”
“But why would he throw a stake at—” Faye didn’t get the chance to finish her question as Maddy rushed across the street. Faye immediately thought back to what Carter had said about vampires and vampire hunters, but they didn’t exist. Even if they did, they didn’t hunt wraiths.
She stumbled to her feet and watched as Maddy’s fist whipped at incredible speed at the man. He ducked under her arm, and with the machete, he sliced at her right arm.
She screamed as it fell useless at her side. She leapt backward when the man kicked her in the stomach and sent her backward onto the pavement. He aimed the crossbow at her chest and pulled the trigger.



Author Bio:

Isaiyan Morrison was born and raised in Minneapolis, but her heart is in the impressive magical worlds she dreams up. She hopes to share her love for world-building with her readers and help guide them through the extraordinary settings she creates.

Her other passions include reading, and researching historical events. She also enjoys gardening, gaming, and spending quality time with her three cherished cats and beloved pitbull.


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19 January, 2020

#RTWrites :: Looking Through Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl - @RT_writes


Fangirl is my second read from acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell, whose first novel Eleanor and Park is the stuff perfect YA novels are made of.

Eleanor and Park was a sweet, tender, moving and completely mesmerizing story about two misfit teens set in a very particular era. It was an interracial romance (Park is Korean) but it was so much more: it was a social commentary on life in small-town America.

Eleanor and Park is one of my favorite romances of all time. And I am dying for the sequel to get here already!

I wasn’t exactly apprehensive when I started Fangirl (borrowed from this blog’s owner with no plans of returning anytime soon 😜) because Rainbow Rowell’s voice is unique and confident enough that any story she wrote was bound to be fun.

New adult occupant Fangirl is a story about a story within a story, romance metafic done just right.

It begins with immediacy. There was a boy in her room.

And so I was immediately thrown into introvert Cath’s head. Cath Avery, Simon/Baz fanfic queen, identical twin to Wren Avery and freshest freshman in the University of Nebraska: literal cow country.

Cath has anxiety, the very real kinds which makes breathing difficult and every thought is magnified a million times with compounded doubts/what ifs and more. It is made more difficult because her twin wants to room with someone else and not Cath, so Cath’s lost her anchor, making this college experience immediately conflict-filled.

Cath’s head is only calm when she is writing fanfic for an obvious Potter-Malfoy couple named Simon Snow and Baz Pitch. She is a phenomenal writer (she has more readers of her fanfic than I do, tbh)… and for the first two months of the college year she doesn’t even go out to the college cafeteria to eat her meals.

Her.

Anxiety.

Is.

Extreme.

Cath’s anxiety is unveiled like a flower blooming in the sun and I was caught up in it by page 20. It took me those pages to really dive into the story because, until then, I was dismissive of wanting to read yet another book about a neurotic college misfit who ends up She’s All That-ing herself. (spoiler alert: Cath doesn’t).

Cath’s head is a mess, yes (and whose isn’t, right?), but, god, I love how Rainbow has managed to create all the other characters and give them dimensions.

There is Wren and Cath’s father. Wren has dependency issues which she solves by becoming an almost-alcoholic. Cath’s father is a diagnosed bipolar who uses his mental illness to produce advertising gold. This family is still reeling from the loss of Cath’s mom, Laura, who left on 9/11. (It’s an actual line from the book).

You may think I’m only talking about all the problems these characters face through the book and it is true, the book is not about much else but the problems Cath, Wren, her dad have in freshman year …but it makes those problems relatable…fascinating.

That’s storytelling gold right there.



Then there is Reagan, the antithesis to Cath and Cath’s older roommate. She is bold, opinionated, undeniably smart, sexy, and extremely sociable. She is everything Cath is secretly aspiring to be and is afraid of. It is no wonder then that Cath becomes good friends with her, despite herself.

Reagan’s roommate has unexpected sparks of compassion and empathy that would come off as abrasive if it wasn’t leavened with a dose of common sense.

And then…there is Levi. I could do a whole blog on Levi Stewart – the most un-toxic masculine character I’ve read in forever.

Levi and Cath Fanart


Levi walks Cath down back from the library where she is doing her writing assignments (Cath’s a writer, she is going to be studying Fiction), or driving her through a blizzard and apologizing for it because he knows it’s a car wreck waiting to happen.

Levi can’t read (his dyslexia isn’t explicitly mentioned but inferred) but the way he handles it is yet another example of how without ego Levi Stewart is!

He’s a Nebraskan cowboy whose family runs a ranch and he is studying ranch management. He is also Reagan’s ex who respects Cath’s wishes the first time when she says: Please leave my room, you’re a stranger. Wait for your friend outside.

I mean…isn’t that beautiful? A guy who doesn’t push his presence on a girl while also never losing his essential maleness. Because he understands his first responsibility as a person is to make another person feel safe.

This is a guy I rooted for wholeheartedly, especially when he messes up and then tries to fix it.
This is why Fangirl works on basically all levels for me.



Rainbow took the bad and good parts of each character and made them interact in a continuous ebb and flow of information that wasn’t reminiscent of Eleanor and Park at all and yet was.

In the beginning, Cath’s sentences are tight, gritty, knots of words that slip and slide between each other. And then, slowly, through the magic of Levi (he might be my fave NA hero of all time) and Reagan’s no-nonsense friendship, Cath opens up. So do her thoughts. They become winding sentences that take their time getting to the point and make the journey the destination.

It’s kind of awesome, really.

I would like to try it some time.

Till next time,
Xx

Writer Gal



17 January, 2020

#GuestPost :: Set New Writing Goals for the New Year By Author Kelli A. Wilkins





Happy New Year!


It’s January and everyone is talking about making changes and setting goals for themselves. And why not? We have brand-new calendars hanging on our walls that are filled with unexplored days yet to come.

But do you find yourself gazing at your new calendar and wondering, “How is it 2020? Where did last year - or decade - go? I had all those plans…”

If so, don’t stress out. Not everyone accomplishes every goal they set for themselves. Take some time to look back at what you achieved last year and start thinking about this year. Evaluating your writing goals and setting reasonable action steps now will help you get on target for 2020.

Keep in mind that everyone’s writing career and writing goals are different. Think about what you want for you. Do you want to finish the novel you started last year (or haven’t started yet)? Send out a dozen short stories? Enter a contest?

If you write magazine articles, are there any major publications you’re targeting? Start brainstorming ideas now, make a list of places to send queries, and check out potential markets for their latest submission guidelines. (It’s also time to be thinking 3 to 6 months ahead and plan those spring and summer articles.)

Is the writing part going fine, but you need to develop (or enhance) your online profile and/or marketing? Are your blog, website, and author page(s) up-to-date? Should they get a refresh (or a major overhaul) for the new year?

Make a list of all you want to accomplish in the next few weeks and months. Having a list of projects and priorities will help keep your writing objectives on track.

If you’re determined to write a new book, make a timeline for research, character development, plotting, etc. Give yourself a deadline for when you want to start writing and stick to it. Decide how many pages or chapters you want to finish each day/week/month. Little by little, your book will take shape, and you’ll be amazed at your progress.

No matter what your writing goals are, a little pre-planning will help you focus and allow you to flow from one writing project to another. Preparation also keeps you motivated and fends off writer’s block, because you always have “the next thing” to work on.

If you want to learn more about the writing process, why not check out my online writing class? Fiction Writing for Beginners is designed for anyone who is interested in writing and needs practical advice on how to get started, PLUS motivation and encouragement to keep writing.

Thirteen easy-to-follow classes cover the writing process from start to finish. You’ll learn where writers get ideas, how to create characters, get expert tips on writing your story, and find out how to submit it for publication. Everything you need to know to start writing is wrapped up in this comprehensive and fun course.

If you’ve always wanted to write, Fiction Writing for Beginners gives you all the tools you need. Visit the course page and enroll here.


Not interested in an online course? On a budget? How about an ebook? Check out my non-fiction writing guide, You Can Write—Really! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Fiction. It’s only $2.99.

The book is designed for writers who need a boost of motivation and simple instructions on how to get started. Each chapter targets a specific aspect of writing and includes tips and fun exercises.

If you’re ready to write, order your copy here:


Enjoy the New Year!
Kelli A. Wilkins

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 6 non-fiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

In November 2019, she released Romance Every Weekend: 104 Fun Ways to Express Your Love, a non-fiction guide to romance. The book features 104 fun and easy ways you can express your love to that special someone in your life. Perfect for men or women, it focuses on tender, everyday gestures that let your partner know how much you love him or her.

Kelli published Extraterrestrial Encounters, a collection of 18 sci-fi stories, in August 2019. If you like horror fiction, don’t miss her disturbing novella, Nightmare in the North.

Her historical romance, The Viking’s Witch, was released in June 2019. This full-length novel takes place in Celtic Scotland and blends a sensual romance with paranormal elements. 

In March 2019, Kelli published Dangerous Indenture, a historical mystery romance set in Colonial Pennsylvania. She released the second half of her flash fiction series, Cupid’s Schemes, in early 2019. These two volumes of lighthearted mini-romances are perfect reads for a quick lunchtime escape or an after-work indulgence.

Kelli released a Teachable mini-course, Fiction Basics: Finding Ideas in February 2019. She also authored Fiction Writing for Beginners through Teachable. These courses are perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to write. Visit: https://kelliwilkins.teachable.com/ for more details.

Visit her website/blog www.KelliWilkins.com to learn more about all of her writings.



16 January, 2020

#Spotlight :: The Last Starling C.L. Denault - @XpressoTours


The Last Starling
C.L. Denault

Publication date: December 24th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
“They’re coming.”
Words of warning haunt Jayce Wakefield’s dreams. He doesn’t believe them any more than he believes in the blue-eyed raven delivering the message. It’s totally absurd. They’re just dreams. He has nothing to worry about.
Or does he?
Jayce’s life revolves around three things: being a senior, worshipping a girl he can’t have, and killing vampires. As a werewolf, his job is to protect the Starling woods. That means taking out any bloodsucker who dares to cross the Boundary. And since his autistic brother can’t handle wolfing out, it’s up to Jayce to keep pack territory safe.
But between the dream-raven, humans going missing, and vampires acting weird, he’s losing his grip on reality. Add to that a runaway in his territory, and he welcomes the distraction. The fact that she won’t talk about herself makes him obsessed with learning about her past. The deeper he digs, though, the more she withdraws. It’s not until her life is threatened that he discovers the truth. Who she is. Why she’s there.
And the sinister darkness headed for them both.


EXCERPT:

The shed door creaks as Dad swings it open. Heaving Jordy inside, I lay him on the dirt floor and peel off his covers. Heat rises from his body as I strip him down. I check his pulse—steady—and roll him onto his stomach, turning his face to one side. Balling up his sheets and clothing, I race outside and hand them to Mom.

She takes them in numb silence. The shed door closes with a bang, but she doesn’t flinch. She just turns and walks back to the house, Pip at her heels. My heart aches for her. She shouldn’t have to do this. Her life shouldn’t include leaving her disabled son naked in the dirt, alone, with a Shift coming and nothing to ease his pain.

“Jayce. It’s time.”

The strain in my dad’s voice knocks me back to reality. He’s kneeling beside the shed, fully undressed, his back arched. He groans, and I know what I have to do.

My heart pounds.

I shed the last of my clothing, then drop to my hands and knees. The wild thump of my heart initiates the process. Blood races through my body, activating the gene that jump-starts my transformation. Every inch of my skin tingles, itches, thickens.

Burns.

Fine brown hair sprouts from my body. Claws force their way through my fingers and toes. My ears throb with pain as they widen, then extend into points. The cartilage in my nose bellows out. Elongates. Makes it hard to breathe. I open my mouth and suck in a lungful of cool air.

The exterior is done.

Now for the hellish part.

My back arches. I cry out as the bones in my spine crack. They start at the top of my neck and work their way down, breaking. Reforming. My tailbone fills out. It lengthens, piercing my skin, and I yelp. Dig my hands and knees into the grass.

Groan. Sweat profusely.

Muscles knot and twist. My body hitches as each bone in my ribcage expands, creating a chest cavity with room for bigger, stronger lungs. Arm bones break. Then the ones in my legs. They reshape, curving into limbs that can run like the wind. My hands and feet lengthen, my heels push up. Snout extends.

Almost there.

The morphing of my internal organs is excruciating. Liver, lungs, stomach, eyes—they go from human to canine in seconds. In those seconds, I can’t move or breathe. Time stops. The world blurs.
My existence reduces to one blinding pinpoint of pain.

I come out of it with a snort. Shake out my body, look around. The yard is different, ripe with colors I didn’t see before and smells that weren’t as strong. My ears twitch as they pick up the sound of an approaching vehicle. Dad is already loping for the house. I test my muscles, find them strong, and follow him.

We stop at the porch. Gramps is there, waiting on the truck that careens to a halt in the driveway. Two husky males—my uncle and cousin—jump out and race for us. They shuck their clothes.
Drop to the ground.

As they Shift, my wolf-eyes scan the trees for Boo. He’s always around for the hunt, and we understand each other better when I’m like this. Spying him in the tree line, I chuff softly at him. He hoots back a reply. He’s ready.

So are we.

Gramps projects a wolf-thought to bring us close. He sniffs the air, and we do the same. The smell of the Trespasser is still there. Dark and menacing. Something lurks in the Starling, a territory long forbidden to those who drink blood to survive. My pack growls in unison. For us, this is more than just a threat.

It’s an insult.

Tipping back his head, Gramps draws a deep breath. He expels it in one long, drawn-out howl. A howl that pierces the night, uniting us as a pack and sending a message to our enemy. We know youre out there, it says. Youre not welcome here.

Dad sprints for the woods. We follow in pack hierarchy—my uncle, then me, my cousin last. Our minds link, connecting mentally to each other and Gramps.

As we break through the tree line, our Alpha howls again. One last time. A message to the creature roaming our hallowed ground.

Were coming for you.



Author Bio:
C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs) and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing and working out are her biggest passions, along with coffee and sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
She enjoys connecting with people—especially those from other planets, nearby dimensions, and the future. To find her, just visit her website or social media pages. Or use a Stargate. Whichever is easiest.


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15 January, 2020

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing by @shenoy_sharmi


*** Special Feature - January 2020 ***


About Sharmishtha Shenoy

Sharmishtha Shenoy is the author of the Vikram Rana Mystery series. The books under the series are “Vikram Rana Investigates,” “A Season for Dying,” “Behind the Scenes” and “Fatal Fallout”. She has also published a book of short stories, “Quirky Tales.”
Her short stories have been published in efiction magazine and Woman’s era. She loves writing murder mysteries, the kind of books that she likes to read. Her favorite authors are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. She also likes the work of Satyajit Ray – especially the Feluda Series. 
Before starting to write, she had been an IT professional and had worked in TCS, Satyam, Infosys, and Microsoft. 
She is a big foodie and enjoys Biriyani (both Hyderabadi and Awadhi versions) and rasgullas like most Bengalis. She is also a lusty singer of the bathroom singing variety.
Though she is happily married to Mr. Shenoy in real life, in her fantasy world she is wedded to her creation Vikram Rana.  You can get to her blog by typing the word “Sharmishtha Rana” into Google. No, seriously, try it.
She was born in Calcutta. She is an M Tech from the University of Reading, Great Britain and had received a 100% British Government Scholarship to study there. She lives in Hyderabad.


Pros and cons of self-publishing


Amazon has changed the world of online selling experience. You could sell a hard copy of your book or publish in kindle. Kindle format is the best which will give you amazing statistics on how many people read the book, how many pages they completed every day. These features make self-publishing more compelling. Let me give some more pointers:

Pros of self-publishing:
1. Your book gets published.
2. You are your boss.
3. You write a book and upload it in Amazon and you are done
4. You print the hard copy, make it available in Amazon/Flipkart and you are done
5. You don’t submit to publishers and let your manuscript languish for six months before being rejected.

Cons :
1. Getting distributors for self-published books is next to impossible.
2. So you can sell through Amazon, Flipkart, etc. That is an online presence only.
3. Once you finish writing, you have to don the hat of a salesman and promote your book relentlessly.
4. If you print your copies, you might not get a good reliable printer, and since you will get limited copies printed, your printing cost would be high, and so you will have to sell at a higher price.
5. If you are a rookie author, various online scammers will prey on you. Example fake editors, fake reviewers, etc. 


About Fatal Fallout:

Check out the Book
When love is an obsession, rejection is fatal...
Beautiful model and aspiring actress Gauri is found dead on the highway from a gunshot wound. The jewelry she had been wearing and other valuables are missing. Is it a case of a robbery gone wrong? Or is it premeditated murder?
Gauri’s friends and family hold her boyfriend Akash responsible for the death. Gauri had recently broken up with him because of his abusive behavior. Did the fallout of the breakup turn fatal for her? Did Akash decide that if he couldn’t have her, nobody else would either?
Moreover, why did the film director Madhav hire detective Vikram Rana to investigate her death? Is it because he loved her, or because he wanted to point the needle of suspicion away from himself?
Adding to the puzzle, is the corrupt police inspector Phani Kuma sabotaging the case for his devious motives?
The media, meanwhile, is sensationalizing the case, and pressure is mounting on ACP Gopi Reddy to resolve the case at the earliest.
Ace detective Vikram Rana swings into action to untangle a complex web of abuse, lies, and murder to get to the truth.

Giveaway:

Win an Amazon Gift Card worth 125/-
A Paperback Copy of Fatal Fallout by Sharmishtha Shenoy


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13 January, 2020

Up Close & Personal with #Author Anand Neelakantan - @JaipurLitFest


Up Close & Personal is a series of interviews with Speakers at Jaipur Literature Festival 2020. As a preview to the big event, here are a few quick sets of warm up interviews. The main show begins on 23 Jan and runs till 27 Jan, 2020. I hope you're ready!


Anand Neelakantan is an author, columnist, screenwriter, television personality and motivational speaker. He has authored five novels in English and one in Malayalam. His debut work Asura, The Tale of the Vanquished, is based on the Indian epics of Ramayana. His next book series was Ajaya: Roll of the Dice and Ajaya: Rise of Kali based on the Mahabharata. Neelakantan has also signed a three-book series deal with the producers of the blockbuster film Baahubali. The series is a prequel to the film with Netflix already acquiring the rights.

Up Close & Personal with Anand Neelakantan



What is the one question you are tired of answering?
How did you become a writer?

What is the one question you secretly wish people would ask you?
How much hard work is writing, publishing and getting into best seller book is and how talent has very less to do with it.

Tell us your favourite literary quote.
When the writer is ready, the story appears

Recommend just ONE book.
Mahabharata

Do you think that Literary Festivals help encourage the love for reading and help lure more readers into the fold?
Not all literature fests do that. The carefully prepared ones do.

What are you looking forward to the most at JLF 2020?
To interact with the enthusiastic young reading crowd that is the specialty of Jaipur Literature Festival.

If you could invite any author (living or dead) to be on a panel with you for the fest, who would you choose and why?
Veda Vyasa. There is no one like him in the history of literature and there is no book like Mahabharata

What can we expect from you 2020?
The second book of Baahubali series, a horror thriller and a non -fiction book called Asura


Check out the Books:

Check out the Book

Check out the Book

Check out the Book



12 January, 2020

#RTWrites :: How Nora Roberts Taught Me To Write Romance - @RT_writes




Recently, I met a dear author friend who lives in Bangalore for the first time ever. This happens often with us writers. We make friends easily with those who behave like us, i.e. live and breathe books and stories, but these friends are far-flung and distant as often as they live in our neighborhood. Social media is responsible for bringing us all close and I, for one, am super grateful for it.

As is often the case when two people who ‘know’ each other but ‘meet’ each other for the first time, we talked about everything and nothing at all. And, one of the things we talked about…okay, I gushed about, was the wonder of Nora Roberts: undisputed queen of romance in all its wonderful and messy glory.

Dear reader, if you don’t know who Nora Roberts is – there is a handy guidebook on Amazon that will introduce you to her books’ reading order so you never miss out on a single one. Yes, someone actually wrote a book on the number of books Nora has written – which, BTW, is upwards of 250 with more than 100 New York Times bestsellers. She. Is. That prolific.

While these figures are breathtaking and awe-inspiring, they are not the reason why I admire the undisputed queen of romance. The reason is far simpler.

Nora taught me how to weave a story.


Ask ten writers how they see the whole process of writing a first draft, and you’ll guaranteed get ten different answers.

This is mine. For me, a draft is telling a story – a story has a beginning, middle and end. It has peaks and valleys. It has shocking moments. It has tender moments. It has ugly fights and sweet, sweet love. It ends on a hopeful note.

It has, in short, everything that a story told by our grandmamas would. It is comforting, familiar and yet and new and different every single time.

It is woven from feelings, emotions, people, places, things, information condensed into a 60,000-word thing called a story that will, if done the way I intend to do it, will move a reader in some way.
When I first read Nora Roberts’ The Calhoun Sisters as a raw fifteen-year-old, it was the first *first* time I got that sense from a book. I’d been reading comics – Chacha Chaudhary, Tinkle, Champak, Archies, Tintin – and fiction - Blyton, Drew, Hardy, Sheldon, Steel, Rand, Francis, Jordan, Rowling, Tolkien and more – for about ten years by then but…with Nora, it felt comforting, familiar and yet, new and different.

The Calhoun Sisters and most of her work till the late nineties (she started writing in 1986, the year I was born), is genre romance.

Genre romance is specific – it has rules and a formula.

It has clich̩s, the first of them being AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. It must always have a lead couple because, hello, romance, and the happily ever after will always come after said couple has gone through the lowest of lows Рleaving each other because the issue they are facing is seemingly insurmountable.

Genre romance has steamy, sticky, sexy times depending on which sub-genre you dive into.



But Nora’s romances moved me. Because, Nora’s genre romances were about whole people – not people who were fully emotionally and physically, sexually stable – but whole people. These people had flaws, they worked at jobs that they sometimes liked, sometimes didn’t, they ran businesses, they were friends, siblings, family, parents, often single parents.

They didn’t exist only in relation to each other – which is another unbreakable tenet of genre romance. The story has to focus only on the lead couple.

For instance, in Nora’s first-ever romance Irish Thoroughbred, the heroine a sweet, feisty, god-fearing, Irish lass is a horse trainer in the hero’s stud farm. And she is brilliant at her job. She makes no apologies for it.

In another romance, Untamed, the heroine is a lion tamer (this was the eighties, circuses with performing animals were the norm). She actually controls rescue lions trained by her in a circus that eventually comes to be owned by the lawyer hero.

In one of my most favorite books ever, Rising Tides (Book 2 Chesapeake Trilogy), the hero is a simple lobster fisherman who fosters a prickly ten-year-old boy with his two brothers. And he is content being so. In yet another book, The Villa, the hero is a wintner who literally doesn’t make contact with the heroine till about twenty percent into the story. Admittedly, The Villa is more women’s fiction than genre romance so the first meet could be put off till twenty percent of the story was uncovered but…the fact remains.

These stories were woven from feelings, emotions, people, places, things, and information.



Each of these couples were fully realized people, before they ever came in contact with each other. So, when they met each other they grew. That growth was luscious at times and uncomfortable at others. That makes the story real …it makes it achievable in real life.

This is the most important lesson I learned from Nora Roberts – undisputed queen of messy and glorious romance.

A love story, aka genre romance or sub-genres and variations thereof, could be about more than the lead couple. It should be about more than AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. It should be about individual growth. It should include who they are when they aren’t with each other and it should include the ugly, broken things too.

When the world of Mills and Boon, which invented and archetyped genre romance, has always been looked at with contempt by the rest of the literary world, Nora Roberts wrote 250 (and counting) ways of telling a love story that was achievable in real life…messily and gloriously so.

It’s what I hope to do every time I sit down to write.

Till next time,
Xx

Writer Gal

11 January, 2020

#CoverReveal :: Seeking Love (Misty Spring #1) by @Author_Devika


From the author of romance novel series like Romancing the Royals, Inn Love, and Romance round the World, comes a new series full of emotions and unforgettable characters. The MISTY SPRINGS novellas will whisk the reader away to a fictional small town in America where hearts are broken and broken hearts are mended.

SEEKING LOVE is the first book in the series. And here’s an exclusive first look at its cover!



Blurb:

A small town girl with a tragic past - an English billionaire with a secret - an old ranch that brings them together

When a handsome and infuriating stranger from England finds his way to the small American town Misty Springs and turns everyone’s lives upside down, Abigail is forced to question everything she’s ever believed in. Despite her reluctance, Thomas wiggles his way into her heart. Sparks fly, and nothing will ever be the same again. But just when she may have found true happiness, a secret threatens to destroy everything.

This sweet small-town romance novella of approximately 33,000 words is Book 1 of the Misty Springs series. Each of the books can be read as a stand-alone with a happy ending, although there are some recurring characters.


Pre-Order on Amazon



About the Author:

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds - something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet and sensual, deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust.

What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, Devika is a faithful servant to all the cats and dogs she has adopted. When she's not writing, she's reading or thinking about writing.

#Interview with Sam Riversag, #Author of For a Selfie with Benedict



About the Author:
Born in Versailles, Sam Riversag discovered her passion for literature at an early age when she would lock herself away for several hours reading, like her father who was a great admirer of Proust. She began writing at the age of
eight, her first compositions being about the absence of a mother and the pain of separation and at thirteen she wrote a series of short stories dealing with the theme of friendship between a small boy and a dog. During her student years she turned her hand to poetry and produced an anthology without the intention of publication, writing at that moment being for her a mere distraction, an adjunct to her other artistic pursuits of music and painting.

After completing a degree in law, she launched herself into her legal career before being once more tempted by the urge to write. Having traveled widely, the experiences she has lived in various countries have further animated her to share her memories in print. Another major influence is the world of cinema where she was impacted by Hollywood with its charismatic characters, its counterbalancing between right and wrong and its stories of the impossible love. After returning from a tour of the Amazon, she completed a novel which featured as its main character a sensitive and somewhat romantic cop tasked with solving a complex mystery in order to save his son. But even before publishing, she attended a convention on the British t.v. series “Sherlock” with Benedict Cumberbatch and in next to no time a new work criticizing the addictive nature of social media is produced immediately following the first. The book was published discreetly on line and has since gained enormous success thanks to word of mouth and has forced the author to reschedule her literary projects due to the fact that readers demanded a sequel just when the crime thriller was due for publication. The empathy the public felt for the two main characters was constantly reflected in their comments. Thus the Mary and Lola series was born; original, funny and highly addictive, critics are now speaking in terms of a new style of writing.

Interview with Sam Riversag



When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I discovered my passion for literature at an early age when I would lock myself away for several hours reading, like my father who was a great admirer of Marcel Proust. When I was little and during my teens, I used to write short stories. Then I got into poetry. Now, I write humorous novels!

What inspires you to write?
For my novel “For a selfie with Benedict”, Theatre has been a great inspiration; the pace of the action, the reversal of situations, the dialogue, the flamboyance of the characters, the actors speaking directly to the audience from the stage…”Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Becket was the inspiration for Mary and Lola’s utopian quest. Godot isn’t coming. The ideal man neither. P.G. Wodehouse’s
Jeeves and Wooster combo was a great influence as well: the upper-crust toff, Bertie, always getting himself into a jam and having to rely on Jeeves, the butler, to save the day. I owe a lot to movies for the sentimental angle, the more emotional passages of the story. I borrowed the idea of the impossible romance from the musical “La La Land”, which I try to convey in my own way, funny and offbeat.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
It came by quite by accident really. Being a fan of the Sherlock series, I attended a convention and obviously the person who everyone wanted to see was Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of the series. When I saw a girl leaping up and down and hugging her mother round the neck, her cheeks blushing with joy and crying “Thanks, mum!” while waving a selfie of herself and Benedict as though it were an immense fortune, the thought of basing a novel on that situation sprang to mind and I wanted the main character to resemble her.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
The short stories and the Poetry I wrote when I was younger.

Tell us about your writing process.
The characters are my priority. When I’ve got them, everything is following. Indeed, I use real actors I like much and I imagine a story for them.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
It is the Ouija board séance with Lola, and more particularly, when she doesn’t hit it off with Winston Churchill. I’m not really sure how that occurred to me. But it was a real stroke of luck because it enabled me to develop the theme in a more comic way and I was rather pleased with that. As for Churchill, that was quite spontaneous, probably because I have a deep admiration for him. It’s thanks to him France is a free nation today and that the Allies won the war. Why does Lola give him grief? Well, because she’s Spanish. She’s not from the same culture and can’t understand his insistence. Times have changed. The clash between the two realities creates the comic effect.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Like Mary, I am a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, because he’s a very talented and charismatic performer both on stage and screen, a child of the theatre. He portrays the arrogant yet charismatic genius capable of a devastating and sexually appealing logic. There’s such a suave, haunting air about him, a disturbing intensity in his gaze and then that deep baritone voice! He’s seductive in a sort of
weird but intellectual way that drives you wild. (It isn’t just me who says that.)
He’s got millions of fans all over the world, myself included.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Keeping a notebook on the bedside table in order to jot down ideas that suddenly arrive in the middle of the night.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style? 
Shakespeare has influenced me, the actors speaking directly to the audience from the stage, (that’s why Mary speaks directly to the readers), in addition there is a connection with the story (about the Hamlet performed by Benedict Cumberbatch). P.G.Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster combo was a great influence as well, so Lola, proposes various solutions, each one as barmy as the other! Throughout the course of their frenetic and comically zany relationship, Mary and Lola forge a wonderful closeness marked by affection, shared dreams and determination. Helen Fielding influenced me as well, at the end of the day, Mary and Lola are quite typical of their generation…
They’re fighters who don’t take life lying down. They want both professional and personal fulfillment. They’re looking for the love of their lives, the real article.
They’re a couple of romantics dreaming about a Prince Charming and it’s for that reason their fantasies turn towards Benedict Cumberbatch, because he personifies the type of guy they’re desperately in search of. They want it all: an interesting career, a caring, attentive lover and to be able to start a family.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Be yourself.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write with passion.

What would be the Dream Cast for you book if it was to be turned into a movie?
Emma Watson performing Mary, and of course Benedict Cumberbatch!

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry? 
My piano, photography of my family, and “In Search of Lost Time “ a novel by Marcel Proust.

How do you spend your free time? 
Travelling and playing piano, going to thetheatre, the cinema, visiting art galleries, discovering new scenery.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Saint Petersbourg, Monument Valley, Norway, Sri-Lanka.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
1- I have caught myself talking alone. Maybe I was asking myself a question, looking for a solution for a problem that worried me or was just “observing” a mental note not to forget a pending task. But I surprised myself speaking alone more than once, so I wondered if I were going crazy!
Unfortunately, in the popular imagination there is still the idea that speaking alone is a sign of impending madness, but the truth is that it is not! Albert Einstein, for example, spoke often alone. It is said that he often repeated his words softly. So I don’t worry anymore!
2- Like my heroine Lola, I like fortelling the future, divinatory practices like horoscopes, astrology, crystal gazing, tarot cards, and the Ouija board.
3- I speak English with a strong accent, because my teacher is from Liverpool.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
A novel featuring as its main character a sensitive and somewhat romantic cop tasked with solving a complex mystery in order to save his son. Passion and Betrayal. It is going to be published.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I would like to speak about one theme of my novel: The ideal other-bit of a pipe dream:
That depends on the person. The ideal is subjective. It’s a perspective which is specific to the individual. It exists in our dreams and sometimes the dream can be realized-the dream holiday, the perfect love, the great job, and the dream home…
Others set their sights too high to be achieved and end up believing in fairy tales.
Personally I think lack of satisfaction is just part of human nature which is necessary to motivate us to go beyond our limitations, to forge ahead, discover new horizons and in the end appreciate what level of contentment we’ve been able to attain. Love appears in many guises. The ideal form may be a fantasy but love itself isn’t. It exists. The ideal is what stimulates our dreams. That’s its purpose. It’s rather sad to think that some people don’t dream. Human beings have a need for fulfillment, to wish for things. It‘s the driving force of life. Love, sharing one’s life with someone. Perhaps it’s quite simply a question of staying together.
To what degree should you forgive? What are the limits?
The question of forgiveness is most important in our lives because we are often faced with a situation where we must decide to grant or refuse it. You find yourself in that situation with family, with friends, with lovers…
And where should you draw the line?
Again that depends on each individual and their degree of tolerance. It depends also on the circumstances. An action seen as unforgivable by one person may not be so for someone else. We all have our limits. Thankfully! It’s difficult to know what the right response should be in each and every situation. Sometimes you regret the decisions you’ve made. There are some very well-known examples of people remaining deeply in love despite their partners being unfaithful.

About the Book:
Check out the Book
I am Sam, a french author, I wrote a novel For a selfie with Benedict, which tells the friendship of two fans of Benedict Cumberbatch (the star of Sherlock), who struggle to achieve their dreams and find trust, love and happiness in London.

My heroine, Mary, is passionate, she’s juggling work and family. She has a best friend, Lola, whose strength and optimism combined is something so precious, and a boyfriend, Simon, too confident of himself…

Indeed, they are fictional characters representing real people. So the book has touched the hearts of most, because it tells the story of Mary, her hopes, her dreams, her struggles, her mistakes.
Finally she’s a representation of a lot of person in the world out there she can be hardheaded sometimes!
She has everything to be happy about: She is a writer in an English tabloid and her boyfriend is the ideal man, until she discovers that he is cheating on her. Then she takes things in hand...
I’m so thrilled that readers enjoyed a lot Mary and Lola, were kept entertained…
To have so many readers connect with the book is the best thing a writer could hope for.
Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch, the superstar of the TV show Sherlock!
It couldn’t have happened without him, he inspired me.