Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Happy Book Birthday: The Program by Suzanne Young

I think I need to learn how to read faster. I mean, like ten times faster. Or maybe twenty. Because there are so many awesome new books coming out and not enough time to read them. For instance: today is the book launch for THE PROGRAM by amazing author Suzanne Young.

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Sounds so awesome, right? Be sure to check it out:

Barnes and Noble

Monday, 29 April 2013

Interview with Gabriel Boutros

Today we're chatting with crime fiction writer Gabriel Boutros about his novel, THE GUILTY.

Welcome, Gabriel. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I practiced criminal law for 24 years in Montreal. I live here with my wife and two boys, and lead a fairly staid, suburban, middle-class life.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, mostly short stories, some poetry and several failed attempts at completing a novel. It was about 10 or 12 years ago that I decided to try to do more than just “write for fun.” I attended a creative writing course, as well as a week-end seminar on screenwriting, and read a few “how-to” books. I also began taking the re-writing process much more seriously, realizing that the first words I put down on the page were not always golden or untouchable. Once I felt confident enough in my work I started submitting short stories to various magazines and on-line reviews, and of course got my share of rejections. I went through the same unhappy experience with my novel, The Guilty. I did finally get two short stories published, which encouraged me to keep going. And, after letting The Guilty gather dust on a shelf for a few years, I decided to put the time into a serious revision, and then self-publish with CreateSpace. I’m quite happy with the final result, but, more importantly, I’ve had some very positive feedback from people who have read the book.

Tell us about THE GUILTY. What’s the story about?

The Guilty is the story of Robert Bratt, a high-powered criminal lawyer in Montreal. He lives for victory in court; he cares little for the witnesses who come under his cross-examination, and not much more for the truth. Bratt’s cynical, no holds barred attitude gets shaken up when he watches the trial of a man who raped a family friend. He sees how the defense lawyer manipulates the facts to put the blame on the victim, and recognizes that this is what he does every day. His own daughter hates him for the kind of man he has become, and cuts off all ties with him. While he tries to deal with his misgivings about how he does his work, and attempts to reconcile with his daughter, he also has to prepare for a murder trial where he has serious doubts about his client’s alibi defense. He’s torn between his need to win at all costs and his own nagging conscience.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I was looking to write a courtroom drama, but I wanted to have the reader care about more than whether the accused was convicted or acquitted. I realized that a conflicted lawyer, who may or may not be acting in his client’s best interest, could up the ante for the reader. It was also an opportunity for me to have my character’s argue issues of ethics and morality that lawyers often have to deal with. Finally, I decided to base the facts surrounding the murder, as well as parts of the trial, on a case I was involved in earlier in my career. I think this helped me keep the courtroom scenes as realistic as possible; at least I hope I was successful in doing that.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I had the book reviewed by a professional copy editor, and also got comments and suggestions from a prosecutor I knew as well as a published author. In the end, the one person I had to satisfy was myself, so I had to rely on my own instincts, and my own willingness to re-read, revise and rewrite the book over a dozen times.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

In my short stories, I let the words flow, with only the vaguest idea where the story is going to take me. For The Guilty, as well as the novel I’m presently working on, I do spend a lot more time on plotting and planning. I think you have to when you’re writing a longer work; but, inevitably, the characters still take the story in unexpected directions. At times like that, I trust that they will find a more interesting tale to tell.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The discipline of putting myself in a room and closing the door; cutting myself off from friends and family. Even as I write I often think about the fun I could be having with other people, if only I didn’t have this need to tell my darn stories.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Nothing. The less distraction the better. Sometimes I put on a little music to drown out all other noises, and then I find myself listening to the lyrics. So the best time to write is late at night when everyone is asleep.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

A super power I could definitely use would be flying. Then I wouldn’t have to squeeze my 6 foot-four inch frame into those tiny airplane seats!

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

I hate to sound even more boring than I am, but I don’t know if I ever Googled anything particularly weird.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: guilt, quilt, and built.

Surrounded by the furniture I built, I hid my head under my quilt, and tried to forget thoughts of my secret guilt.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

Watching hockey. Go Habs Go!!

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

Along the meandering path that passes for my writing career, I got support and encouragement from lots of people: Rose (my wife), Lorne, Allen, J.D., Jordan and Carolyn, to name a few. Thanks to all of you for taking the time.

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

Of course, I have my website, www.storiesbygabrielboutros.weebly.com, where interested readers can learn a little more about me and my fiction writing. The Guilty is also available at all online booksellers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. I’ve found it listed on some sites I never heard of in countries I never would have expected. It is definitely easy to find.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Interview with Candace Knoebel

Welcome to a special Sunday post. The blog has been really filling up with requests lately, and sometimes the only way to fit every request in is to post on the weekend. *shrugs* Gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

This special Sunday post features author Candace Knoebel, who's here to talk about her book BORN IN FLAMES.

Welcome to We Do Write, Candace. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thank you for having me! I am a stay-at-home mom to two little ones-Logan (my six-year-old) and Scarlett (my two-year-old). They make the world go round. I love music, art, dancing, laughing, good food, scary movies, midnight premiers, lace, Pinterest, Tobuscus, 30 Seconds to Mars…typical normal stuff I suppose. Oh, and I own a pair of Heelys that I love to roll around in and have a fetish with dying my hair. Thats me in a nutshell.
How long have you been writing?

I have been writing since 2009.

Tell us about Born in Flames. Whats the story about? 

Born in Flames is a fast-paced fantasy that will catapult you into a world where you race against time to save the fate of two realms and an impending prophecy promising death. Aurora Megalos is the main character who discovers that she is not only a part of this prophecy, but part dragon as well. It is the beginning chapter of her journey to becoming the Progeny and fulfilling her destiny of defeating an ultimate evil.

How did the idea of the story come to you?

I had previously thought of it in 2007, but never tried to sit down and write. Probably because I didnt think I could. It came back to me in 2009 after I finished a series that left me feeling empty when complete. I didnt want to read anything else for awhile and for some reason, the idea popped back up and I figured I would write some of it down. At that point in time I had no idea that it would shape into a novel, thusly changing my goals in life.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

My best friend always reads my work and gives her opinion. My publisher provides an editor and then provides her opinion as well. So two editors and one beta reader. For now.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I would say I am 50/50. I map out a general idea of where I want each book to go and then let everything else come to me as I write. This does sometimes change my original plotting, but it doesnt bother me. I like the freedom to change tactics.

Whats the hardest part of writing for you?

Remembering everything. I have tons of notes that I keep open alongside of each novel I write. I have to continually skim through them to remind myself of smaller plots that need to be resolved and/or people who may have been forgotten along the way.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Water, music, and my phone.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

To control time.

That would be a great one! What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Single letters just to see what the trending topics were.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: flames, fluent, and fling.

Flames fling from my fingertips in a fluent manner as I aim for the one who threatens my life.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
…watching one of my favorite TV shows or cleaning my house.

Heres the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I am eternally grateful to all of my fans who have supported me throughout this process. I would also like to thank I Heart Books, Paranormal Reads, Tsk Tsk What To Read?, Dangerous Romance, Book Addicts Not So Anonymous, Sapphyrias Book Reviews, So Many Books So Little Time, One More Chapter, Sonya Loveday, and Jessa Markert. There are so many more, but that would take pages.

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo for right now. The print version is in formatting and will hopefully be finished by the end of this year!

Twitter: @candaceknoebel

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Fantasy Author Tania Elizabeth Supports the Starlight Children's Foundation

Tania Elizabeth is the author of The Tier of Eternal Grace. Book One The Moon Clearing was released earlier this year. Book Two The Mirrors Shadow will be released about September. Book Three will then follow in the early part of 2014.

The Tier of Eternal Grace is a captivating fantasy of magic and passion, wound into the truths of reality that will enchant readers with its depiction of the faerie realm, and the exploits of the faeries themselves. Book One of the series ‘The Moon Clearing’ is an immersive tale of mysticism and adventure, of spiritual and sensual intent that shall enrapture your every sense.


I am a divine being of divine beauty and power.

My power lies in love, my strength I’ve gained from grace
I am grounded in thy truths and live purely of heart.
I’ve a gratitude for all life’s glory; never shall I be misplaced.

Though it comes to pass that I am rivaled
By the name of another and that of my own uncertainties,
dare I be denied my truths, my mind’s clear
By the name of another, I am now in jeopardy.

Beyond the boundary that separates the mundane and earthly planes from the divine lies Eterna Fadas, a place ruled by extraordinary beings, lithe and human-like in appearance, yet ethereal in their grace and beauty, and sensuous in nature.

"I have existed always! Where I began I do not know, for all I know is just as I am today!"

As Queen, Tatiana was thought to have lived a life of opulence, her faith and beliefs her endearing essence. Why then was it so, that beneath the picture of perfection laid torments and terrors even she dare not explain. Being She came with its prices paid. Being She came with a deal; a contract in which she was to relinquish herself to a rogue of unmerciful fury. Would this be the end of all she know? Would this be the end of her existence?

A message from Tania

I am asking for all’s assistance.
To give to others is to give to oneself, and 
Help us to raise funds for the Starlight Children's Foundation, which supports terminally ill children and their families.
There are two ways in which people can help.
It is very simple. 

By simply hosting, reviewing or interviewing myself/my book via a blog post, amazon, newspaper, radio, TV within a 21day window frame, between the dates of Friday 12th of April and Friday the 3rd of May. For every appearance, I will be donating $1 to the Starlight Children’s Foundation. 

If any of you could help, I would be so grateful. If you could connect me with anyone else who would be happy to interview, do a short post or review on myself/my book, I would be ever so grateful more.

I am also asking for donations, even $1, which you may do direct via this link.
You may also follow our progress on the Starlight Author's Aid Facebook Page.

We are looking at making this an annual event. This year it is based upon myself, though every year after, we will base it upon another upcoming author.
So please share and pass this along to all. Let's make this a huge affair and raise much needed funds for a very worthy cause.

My heartfelt thanks to all.
Love, Blessings and Faerie Kisses always xo

About the Author, Tania Elizabeth

Like each and every one of us, Tania's own journey has been one of trials and tribulations, of Love and of passions; and the dissolutions of it. Heartache, sorrows, smiles and laughter always seeming. Through the writing of this book and the words of Tatiana, Tania has found a peace within and learnt the true meaning of "I LOVE ME!"

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Official Three Two One Pitch Contest Entry Post

This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. We will announce the winner as soon as Tricia makes her decision. Good luck, everyone!

So you think you can pitch? Well, it's time! The Three-Two-One pitch contest takes place today and tomorrow (Thursday and Friday), April 25th and 26th. Are you ready? Great!

But before you begin posting, take one last look at the rules and regulations:

The Three-Two-One pitch contest goes like this:

THREE - Pitch your story in only three sentences.

TWO - Two days to enter: April 25th and 26th.

ONE - One awesome agent—Tricia Lawrence of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency—will judge and pick a winner.

This contest is open to unagented, completed and polished manuscripts in the genres of YA and MG.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Follow this blog - go ahead and click "Join this Site" on the right if you haven't already
  • Follow Dorothy on Twitter
  • Follow Elizabeth on Twitter
  • Spread the word! Tweet, Blog, or mention on Facebook about the contest linking back to this post

To enter, leave a comment in the comments section in the following format:

  • Name and Email
  • Title of Manuscript
  • Genre
  • Wordcount
  • Three-sentence Pitch

Remember, no run-on sentences! Each person is allowed two entries. I will turn off comments on Friday at midnight.

Good luck, everyone! Can't wait to read your pitches!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Guest Post by Stephen C Ormsby: Why Write Horror?

Why Write Horror?
by Stephen C. Ormsby

So, after writing the urban fantasy novel Long Lost Song, why did I decide to write a horror novel? For me, I found Long Lost Song hard to categorise into just one genre, as it has supernatural and apocalyptic themes as well, but was not either of those by nature. In the end, I decided to call it urban fantasy. From there, it was a challenge to me really, as I wanted to learn how to write more strictly in specific genres, and the first two I picked were horror and fantasy.

Both genres I have read and enjoyed for lots of years, and I wanted to see if I could turn out something that would excite me. Names like Graham Masterton, James Herbert and Chet Williamson thrilled me as a younger man, and I wanted to know if I was capable of the same level of thrill.

I asked a good friend and fellow author Sharon Lee Johnson whether she would give me some tips on what makes a good horror novel. After a couple of great discussions, an idea started to form and then it really took over from there.

Pendant was such a consuming story line that the first draft took only 22 days to write. It literally burnt through me, wanting to be out. I didn’t mind that much, as Conrad/Varnok is a very heavy character to carry around.

As I wrote it though, the ideas kept coming with the protagonist plotting more than one novel in my head. So far, I have stories for three or four trilogies, which will see the characters go to Hell and come back. It’s exciting stuff to consider as I get to imagine Hell in my own way.

Varnok has a lot more planned for Maggie and Logan, as this is only the start. Book 2 of the series is tentatively titled The Aching Gate and begins a story arc that will go for three novels. There will be frights and scares for all!

I hope you enjoy the first book of The Undead Hunters series and look forward to more, as I am looking forward to writing them.

Stephen C Ormsby was an IT professional for twenty years before deciding to lead a more creative life. He has always loved the idea of writing novels and had written four when Long Lost Song came along, demanding to be published.

He lives in South Gippsland, Australia, with his wife, two children and a mad cat. He has traveled extensively, is an avid reader and enjoys listening to a wide range of music.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Happy Book Birthday: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L Reid

I'm pleased to announce the book launch of PRETTY DARK NOTHING, a dark YA paranormal novel by the fabulous Heather L. Reid, released by Month9Books. Here's what it's about:

Quinn is a normal teenager, but for 23 days she has not slept for more than a few minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life, and energy drinks and caffeine pills don't help. Then Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, and Aaron, an amnesiac with psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. Aaron has a secret locked away in his memory that the demons are determined to keep him from discovering. Together, Quinn and Aaron can banish the darkness back to the underworld for good, but the demons will stop at nothing to drive the two apart.

Be sure to check it out:
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound

Monday, 22 April 2013

Interview with Suzanne Kamata

Funny how Monday sneaks up on us, isn't it? Let's soften the blow to the head Monday tends to deliver, by indulging in a chat with author Suzanne Kamata, author of YA novel GADGET GIRL.

Hi, Suzanne! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm an American, originally from Michigan, but I've been living in Japan for the past 25 years. I teach English to Japanese students, and more recently, writing.

We're like two peas in a pod, as I'm also a transplanted American teaching English. *expat high-five* How long have you been writing?

Since childhood. I decided that I wanted to be a writer when I was about six years old, and never came up with anything else. I wrote for my high school newspaper, took creative writing classes in college, and started publishing my short fiction when I was in my early twenties.

Awesome. Tell us about GADGET GIRL. What’s the story about?

Well, here's the back blurb:

Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother's muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her mother famous - and have put food on the table. Aiko works hard on her own dream of becoming a great manga artist with a secret identity. When Aiko's mother invites her to Paris for a major exhibition of her work, Aiko at first resists. She'd much rather go to Japan, Manga Capital of the World, where she might be able to finally meet her father, the indigo farmer. When she gets to France, however, a hot waiter with a passion for manga and an interest in Aiko makes her wonder if being invisible is such a great thing after all. And a side trip to Lourdes may just change her life.

Sounds cool. How did the idea of the story come to you?

Initially, I had an idea of writing a story about a mother and a 14-year-old daughter with disabilities taking a trip to Paris together in an effort to bond. This was partly inspired by my fantasies of taking my real-life daughter to Paris when she was about that age (old enough to appreciate the City of Lights). Also, I remember being very difficult and not getting along with my own mother when I was thirteen or fourteen. I wanted to write a mother-daughter story with tension.

My daughter is fourteen, so I know what you mean about tension. Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

I rely on a select group of trusted readers who are also writers. I'm also a member of SCBWI, and I take advantage of critique opportunities at events. AND I got some help from the writers at YALitchat, a great site run by YA author/publisher Georgia McBride. (Which is where I *met* you.)

Yay for connections! Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I'm mostly a pantser, thought I have an idea of where I want to go with a story.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

Finding the time.

I know, right? With all the scientific advancements of the day, you'd think they'd come up with something that gives us more time. Hmph. What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Nothing really. Since becoming a mother, I've become very flexible. I can write just about anywhere, as long as I have a pen and some paper.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

To be able to travel at will, without jet lag or having to wait in long airport lines.

Good choice. I hate airports. What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Hmmm. Maybe the Lourdes web cam?

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: gadget, gigantic, and grading.

She paused in grading papers to look out the window and saw a gigantic can opener whirling in the air like a helicopter blade, like something that had fallen out of a monster's gadget drawer.

LOL, okay, I'm trying to wrap my head around that image. Great way to break Monday morning tension, that's for sure! Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...

trying to get Japanese students excited about using English.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

There are so many! Thanks to my parents, my kids, my publishers, SCBWI-Tokyo, YALItchat, the Literary Mama community, my university colleagues, and to everyone who has read my previous books!!

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?

My website is at http://www.suzannekamata.com
Twitter - @shikokusue
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/#!/SuzanneKamata (Please like!!)
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Gadget-Girl-The-Being-Invisible/dp/1936846381/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360889353&sr=8-2&keywords=Suzanne+Kamata

Suzanne, thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I'll be sure to check out your book!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Interview with the Authors of Nimpentoad

For today's interview we have the three authors, two young and one young at heart, of Nimpentoad, a chapter book fantasy. 

Henry Herz’s love of the fantasy genre began in elementary school with Where the Wild Things Are and The Lord of the Rings, and continued with playing Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer. Struck by inspiration one day, Henry began a fun project with his two bright young sons, who share his joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. Together, they wrote this tale. By day, Henry is a management consultant who also teaches after school enrichment for elementary school children.

Josh and Harrison Herz are elementary school students who enjoy fantasy stories. Josh’s hobbies include parkour, building with LEGOs, and painting Warhammer miniatures. Harrison plays basketball, and collects Yu-gi-oh cards and KidRobot vinyl figures. Both are big fans of The Lord of the Rings, the annual Comic-Con convention, and have an entrepreneurial bent. With design help from their dad, they started three web-based businesses selling LEGO party favors, custom cast bases for Warhammer, and painted concrete yard sculptures.

Welcome to We Do Write, guys. How long have you been writing?
Nimpentoad was several years in development. Our second book, Twignibble, is due out in the early fall of this year. And we have a few projects lined up after that. Once we started writing, the flood gates really opened!

I know that feeling. Writing is addictive! Tell us about NIMPENTOAD. What’s the story about?

Our unlikely hero is the bright-eyed Nimpentoad, a furry little creature who’s been victimized by the bigger creatures of the ancient forest one too many times. Nimpentoad convinces his fellow niblings to make a perilous journey to a castle where they hope to find refuge—if they can just evade and outwit the ravenous goblins, trolls, rhinotaurs, and other perils that stand in their way. With teamwork, perseverance, and Nimpentoad’s leadership, the niblings overcome these menaces and learn important lessons.

I love a book set in a new, interesting world, chock full of fun creatures. How did the idea of the story come about?
When my sons were five and seven years old, I wanted to share my love of fantasy with them. Struck by inspiration one day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them.

What I did not anticipate was that my boys would give me feedback on the story. They devised some of the character (“Nimpentoad”) and creature (“Neebel”) names, and made plot line suggestions. And who better to help make the story appealing to kids than other kids? My sons also helped with the art direction. Our artist would give us a rough sketch, and we would provide feedback on details and color palette. My goal of interesting my sons in fantasy transformed into also encouraging them to participate in the creative process.

What a great way to get your kids thinking creatively! What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Writing is fun. It is the promotion of the book that is most challenging for us.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
A computer with an internet connection for easy access to dictionary,
thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, and Google images.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
The ability to pick a new super power at will. Like a super power chameleon. The first power I'd pick is mind control. That way, I could end war and global hunger. Plus I could sign a really good publishing deal! :) Clearly, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Ha! Yes, that might be a problem... As Uncle Ben says, with great power comes great responsibility. 

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Sorry, but my policy is to neither confirm nor deny the conduct of weird googling.

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: toad, nimble,
and bumbling.
The nimble toad could not help but snicker at his bumbling skink companion.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Working at my day job (but thinking about the next book concept).

Who would you like to thank for supporting you and your writing?
There are too many to list individually, but thank you to all our supportive readers, reviewers, fellow authors, particularly those who provided us with blurbs, and bookstores that have carried our book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Mysterious Galaxy, Warwick's, Readers, and Vroman's).

And finally, where can people find you and your book online?
Nimpentoad's official website is at www.nimpentoad.com, where you can order signed copies of the book. Nimpentoad is also available (without author signature) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Our blog, where you can learn about our other book projects as they progress, is at www.henryherz.wordpress.com. You can Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nimpentoad, and Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nimpentoad.

Thanks for joining us, Henry, Josh and Harrison. Your story sounds like a lot of fun.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Interview with Marissa Carmel

Here's a question for our readers: How many books do you read at once? At the moment, I'm reading three. But my to-read list is a million miles long. And after chatting with author Marissa Carmel about her book GRAVITATIONAL PULL, I have another one to add to the list.

Marissa Carmel is originally from NJ but moved to Maryland several years ago, she enjoys reading, writing, and catching up on her ever growing DVR library.

Welcome to We Do Write, Marissa.

Thank you so much for hosting me!

My pleasure. How long have you been writing? 

It’s been too long to remember! It’s something I’ve always done.

I absolutely love the cover of GRAVITATIONAL PULL. What’s the story about? 

Thank you! GP is book 2 in the Vis Vires trilogy; it picks up right where iFeel left off, Liv trying to deal with her newfound powers, her ancient bloodline that puts her life in danger and her challenging relationship with Justice; a fiery angel who adopts the task of protecting Liv, the last Vis Vires on earth. My stories are very character driven, but I think there is a good mix of action, drama and humor as well.

How did the idea of the story come to you? 

It’s really a drawn out daydream, and the more I let my imagination run with it the more I knew I had to put the story on paper.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit? 

I don’t have beta readers, but my editor is a huge help in the critique department. I hope to have my next books read by beta’s though. They are a really good tool to have.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

A little bit of both. I do draft an outline, but I find letting the writing unfold as I go really encourages the creativity to come out.

Very true. What’s the hardest part of writing for you? 

Editing and time management!

Time management? What's that? ;) What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing? 

A cup of coffee and my iPhone.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? 

Telekinesis. I would love to just wave a finger and have my house cleaned!

That sounds like a wonderful power. Where do I sign up? ;) What's the weirdest thing you've googled? 

I’m a fantasy writer there are to many to mention!

Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: pull, loop, and predator. 

You pull with force, loop around then obligingly stab the predator dead.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

with my husband and kids.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

To Kitty Bullard, my fearless publisher. Matthew Taylor, my opinionated editor, and my husband Danny, who keeps count of all the voices in my head!

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?

And here's an excerpt!

As we dance, glitter falls all around us. Enchanting the dream-like atmosphere, but I can’t escape the music’s haunting melody, and the reality that reminds me of the truth, that I’m not undamaged. I just desperately try to pretend.
“I could dance like this with you forever,” Siberian whispers as he pulls me tighter.
There it is again, that word, forever. I despise it, mainly because, to me, it pertains more to a prison sentence than anything else.
“I’d get old after a while,” I say with my cheek pressed hopelessly against him.
“I know that would never be true.” He slides his hands up my body to my face and stares down at me with glossy silver eyes. “I would like nothing more than for you to stay here with me Liv. I can give you everything you could ever want, all your heart’s desires.”
I stare back at him silently. As tender, and as terrifying, as that proclamation is, my heart only desires one thing, and right now, he is standing across the courtyard, shooting me a demonic stare.
This is wrong, this is so so wrong, parading myself like this in front of Justice. But I just can’t pull myself away. Siberian’s searing gaze has me, and I want so much to just get lost in the moment, to feel his touch. I put my hands over his and brace for his lips, allowing him to have me, if only for a second. Then suddenly I jump: I’ve just been energy checked right in the gut.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Book Excerpt: Greenwood Tree by B Lloyd

GREENWOOD TREE is a historical mystery set in two time periods, the interweaving story lines meshing together at the end. Here's an excerpt of B Lloyd's book:

‘Where is Bunty?’
‘Collecting some friends of hers from London, she said,’ supplied Aunt Isobel. ‘I hope they aren’t those rather noisy young people she brought up last time, but still, it is meant to be a party.’
‘Oh I should think they are I mean Bunty only likes noisy people: saves her doing a lot of the talking.’ Charlie could produce a lot of nothing verbally for a good deal of the time and then suddenly come out with a perceptive line when you least expected it.
The leaves of the weeping fig began to tickle Julia’s neck; she shifted, and glanced back at the journal. ‘And you mentioned a mystery about one of the two sisters . . . I don’t remember ever hearing about that before.’
‘Yes, I wish I could be more helpful; I probably wasn’t paying enough attention at the time—it was something to do with the Journal, however, I do recall that much.’
‘I wonder what that could have been.’
Well, what do all mysteries have?’ said Aunt Isobel. ‘Money, mistresses, and murder.’
‘Goodness—murder as well? That would be handy.’
‘Oh well, I don’t know in this case in particular—although, come to think of it, an unexplained death did play a part, I believe . . . but as I say, I wasn’t all that attentive as a girl.’
Julia looked at the journal again. More and more it beckoned her to steal away with it and open its pages. ‘Did you say there were some more letters as well?’
‘I’m sure there must be. We can have a look this afternoon if you like. Do you need paper, by the by? I think I put some in your room, but it may not be sufficient.’
‘You did. It’s plenty to be going on with. If I need anything I can pop down to the village.’
Julia returned upstairs as soon as it was socially acceptable to do so. She enjoyed Aunt Isobel’s company enormously, but the little leather-bound journal kept slipping into view every other second. She made the honourable excuse of getting ready for the evening. It wasn’t anything grand, some old friends and relatives—notably, cousins Crewe (Anne and Richard from Fradley), and distantly related Frank from Morton Manor, with a few extras thrown in. She still puzzled over the inclusion of Mr Grenall, but put it down to her aunt’s ardent appreciation of anything or anyone connected with roses and peonies; together with her anxiety always to mix with locals as much as possible.
She sat down on the bed and opened the journal to look at the first entry.

“March 25th 1782
A cloudy, sullen day; everyone much out of spirits, and disinclined to be entertained; a little improved towards evening, when a game of piquet was suggested. Robert returned late from the Warringtons and enlivened us with the latest news and gossip. There is to be a performance at Blufflap Manor soon, it seems likely we shall be invited—a comedy of sorts; Mrs Gently is failing fast and is not expected to see out the spring, and Mr Warrington has bought a new horse. Aside from this, little of any consequence was said.”

Julia felt absurdly disappointed by this start, and read on quickly. The next entry involved a walk in the morning and a visit in the afternoon from Mrs and Miss Drayton, where again ‘little of much consequence was said’; the entry after that described the ill-effects of a cold and the tedium of gruel. Julia began reading at random April the sixth, (outing in a carriage) May the 20th, (shopping in town), July 14th, (tea with the Draytons) until she stopped suddenly, feeling slightly nervous. She was looking for something and she didn’t know what it was. Ideas? Situations? That was why she had come home, and why she had been so eager to go through everything in the attic. That was supposedly why she was sitting on the bed, rifling through this little leather book when she should have been getting ready for dinner. But she didn’t feel it was that so much. It was annoying, but she couldn’t define her feeling. Her reviews described her as a perceptive and analytical writer, but these qualities appeared now to have deserted her completely. She decided to take a hold of herself and work her way through until she found what she was searching for. On she raced, turning page after page: Autumn saw chills and common colds in and out, winter was taken up with preparations for Christmas parties, dances and festivities, followed by uncertain weather and the blessed arrival of Spring.
The word came to her as she reached the entry for March 30th 1783. Recognition. She was searching for something to recognise. Finding a word for it only served to make her feel even more unsettled.

“March 30th 1783
Last evening at dinner there was some talk of the efficacy of sleep for certain disorders, Father’s friend Dr Gout making one of the party; this led to talk about dreams, and their meanings. Our brother Robert complained of having slept ill the night before; Mary, ever curious, would ask what he had dreamt of. ‘Oh stuff,’ he said vaguely, and took some time to be drawn out as he holds no great faith in the theory that dreams can have any significance for the life and actions of the sleeper. After many questions however she got it out of him that he had dreamt of trees and wind, and seen a face in a bush with leaves growing out of it. Father said that he must have taken too much cheese at table; the doctor seriously suggested that it foretold a visitor’s arrival. On further describing the kind of trees he had seen, and the general type of landscape, Father cried out: ‘Why, that’s Gronny Patch, Robert—have you been walking there recently?’
‘Not to my knowledge, sir,’ replied Robert, surprised.
‘Not trysting with young maids there? Take a care not to let your secrets out with your dreams!’ continued Father in high spirits, intending to make us all laugh—and indeed the suggestion of Robert taking any such steps for anything of the kind, when he has us girls always so particularly under guard, as it were, like some anxious sheep-dog, really did entertain us a good deal.
Later Charlotte, Mary and I speculated as to what manner of visitor might be expected, if the Doctor’s prediction should prove true, Mary naturally hoping for some young gallant with a good fortune. Charlotte wondered if tidings were to be brought, recalling stories she had heard of premonitions and dreams which portended death and the like, until Mary begged her to stop, as it was past midnight, and put her in mind of a Gothic tale, so she should never get to sleep.
I own to being unsettled as a result, and can only blame myself for the result: a late repose, broken early in the morning by a dream in all its details the double of Robert’s. I was walking in a copse, with wind about me, and, going round a tree, saw directly ahead, a face with leaves and branches growing out of its mouth and ears. I awoke in a great fright as daybreak was slipping through the shutters. I have refrained from asking Robert any more about his own dream today; it is probably best forgotten. However, I have decided to record only such incidents as these in future, and avoid as much dross as possible. This should make a great saving of paper and a more entertaining record.”

Julia read it through twice, feeling she had at least reached the beginning of something. The clock in the corridor outside chimed seven. Drinks, and then dinner. Julia snatched a dress out of the wardrobe.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Book Launch: Taken by Erin Bowman

So many awesome books coming out this year. Here's one that releases today. TAKEN, by Erin Bowman, is a dystopian that sounds super interesting. Take a look:

There are no men in Claysoot.

There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends . . . and he's gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby's eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he's prepared to meet his fate—until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he's been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets, the Heist itself, and what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot—a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken—or risk everything on the hope of the other side?