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laurieLaury Falter is a bestselling author of young adult romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She has three series out: the Guardian Trilogy, the Residue Series, and the Apocalypse Chronicles.

Website: http://www.lauryfalter.com

Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/LauryFalter

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laury-Falter/196033543803745

Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/lauryfalter

Q: Welcome to The Dark Phantom Review, Laury! Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Fallen. What was your inspiration for it?

A: In January 2009, Joyce Durham lost her battle to colon cancer. I am good friends with her daughter, Erika, who was then faced with the very difficult task of learning how to deal with the loss of her mother. Witnessing her struggle and that of the Durham family, I wished there was someone who could visit with those who had passed over to the other side and bring back messages to the living, reassuring them that all was fine with their loved one. And from it, Magdalene Tanner was born.

I went on to write FALLEN in just under two months, releasing it in March 2009.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: She visits the afterlife when she falls asleep, and she’s fully cognizant while doing it. She talks to others on the other side, passes through spirit’s realms, and trains to fight her enemies who are here on earth.

fallenQ: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: I wrote after work (I worked in marketing before becoming a full-time novelist) and on the weekends, typically for several hours at a stretch. Three hours could pass and it would feel like twenty minutes. I finished Fallen in less than two months. It poured from me, directly onto the page. The only bump I faced was that I couldn’t write fast enough. My sister, who insisted I write the novel, continually pestered me for the next segment before it was done. And I thank her as often as I can for being such a pest.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: I walk. Regularly throughout the day, I’ll leave my novel and walk around the building, the block, etc. This always clears my mind and when my mind is clear the narrative that I’m stuck on comes to me in a rush. It’s a good rush.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A: Never. I might have too much going on in my life (moving or a buildup of chores) that keeps me from focusing, but I’m never nervous about writing. It’s a release for me, a movie in my mind, so it is more of a vacation than anything else.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: I write, hard, for two to three months straight, never leaving my office darkened with blinds and drapes other than for sleep, food, and unavoidable necessities. During that time, sadly, I am void of family and friends. I live with my characters. But when the novel is finished, I open the doors, emerge into the sunlight, and rapidly fill up my calendar with visits to family and friends.

Q: How do you define success?

A: A healthy balance between all major parts of your life (social, romantic, financial, spiritual, etc) . In short, if you wake up with a fresh, invigorated expectation that the day will be a good one, you’re on the right path.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: Ignore them. Do what you want to do. It’s your life.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A: He must have been having a bad day. Sure, writing can be challenging if you aren’t in the mood or have too many other responsibilities competing for your attention or you simply can’t get your head wrapped around the plot or a particular character. But to consider it painful sounds a bit melodramatic. My advice to him would be to grab a glass of wine, sip, and let it come to him.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: Nearly all of my young adult fantasy romance novels have been bestsellers on Amazon. Hopefully, you enjoy this genre and decide to give them a try. If you do, I hope you enjoy them!

About the Book

Fallen

Guardian Trilogy

Book 1

Laury Falter

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Audeamus LLC

Date of Publication: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-9855110-3-6

 ASIN: B00280MFEY

Number of pages: 274 pages

Amazon

Fallen – the first book in the Guardian Trilogy…

Maggie is unaware of the terrifying fate that awaits her. It isn’t until she lands in New Orleans for a full year at a private high school and her unknown enemies find her does she realize that her life is in danger.

As a mystifying stranger repeatedly intervenes and blocks the attempts on her life, she begins to learn that there is more to him than his need to protect her and that he may be the key to understanding why her enemies have just now arrived.

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Arlette Gaffrey’s Behind the Columns is a well-written, compelling historical novel about the romance between a young Creole belle and a handsome, charismatic New Yorker.

New Orleans, 1847.

Having lost both her parents at an early age, Désirée Bordeaux lives with her grandfather, a man with a weakness for drink and gambling. When he suddenly dies, Désirée finds herself in a desperate situation as her beloved plantation Chêne Vue must be auctioned off.

Philippe Jaunet, a hateful man–also a heavy drinker and gambler–who used to know her grandfather, is intent on marrying her, getting the plantation for himself and use it to pay his own debts.

To add to her unhappiness, the man she thinks she loves and whom she believes promised her marriage when she was but a child of ten, has married another woman.

Enter handsome and wealthy Lance Van Buren, who immediately is mesmerized by Désirée’s stunning beauty and feisty, proud personality. At first, she despises him, even though he evokes in her the most sensual, unsettling feelings. Then, to her surprise, she discovers that he has won the auction and is the new owner of Chêne Vue. But nothing prepares her for the next shock: he proposes marriage.

Behind the Columns is an entertaining, fast-paced read. Passion and intrigue abound as the novel follows the lives of Désirée and Lance as they marry, move to New York for a while, and have their first child back in New Orleans. Philippe Jaunet remains a villain until the end, haunting Désirée and filling her nights with nightmares. In New York, she must face another villain in the shape of Inga, Lance’s sister in law. Love, passion, lies, jealousy–readers will find their share in this book,and then some.

Gaffrey does an excellent job in bringing the old South and the Creole society to life: the food, the fashion, the way of life, the values and beliefs, etc. There’s also a lot of interesting information about Creole history which I found fascinating. In short, if you love historical Southern romances a la Gone with the Wind, you’ll enjoy Behind the Columns.

Find on Amazon.

Visit the author’s website.

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A World of His Own is an enjoyable historical novel set in New Orleans in the early 1800’s. The novel spans a few years and centers around the life of Andre Raphael de Javon, an ambitious and handsome Frenchman who comes to America in order to become one of the richest plantation owners in Louisiana.

The story begins when he’s just arrived by ship to New Orleans in the company of his friend Charles, who’s spent the last six years studying in Europe. Charles comes from a prestigious family in the city and he soon invites Andre to stay with them until he can find a place of his own.

From the beginning Andre shows great ambition. He wants to invest his money wisely and prosper, though he doesn’t know how at first. When he decides to become a plantation owner, his friend Charles introduces him to someone how can advise him–a generous, successful man by the name of Jean-Claude. At about this time, Andre meets Gabrielle, a gorgeous yet possessive and selfish young woman who’s set on marrying him at all costs. Like any normal man, Andre is deeply attracted to Gabrielle, even though he knows she’s not the right woman for him. In spite of this, he ends up marrying her, no doubt tempted by her handsome dowry which will help him achieve his dreams. 

As Andre’s plantation grows and he gets wealthier, his marriage becomes increasingly turbulent and Gabrielle more and more unstable. Andre’s pain is deeped by the fact that he’s secretly fallen in love with Jean-Claude’s daughter, a young beauty who’s been infatuated with Andre since the tender age of eleven. Thus, we follow Andre’s ups and downs and his hellish marriage as he becomes the wealthy owner of a plantation.

I have a lot of good things to say about this book. The early 1800’s come to life under the author’s pen. There are many interesting, informative passages about the Creole culture, slave ownership, the running of a plantation, the food, clothes, etc. Though it took me a while to connect with Andre, once I did I really was hooked and wanted to know how the story ended, and whether or not he would at last find happiness. So the plot, though pretty much a love story, kept me turning pages until I finished the book. At times, though, the pace dragged a bit due to redundant phrases, unnecessary description and too much ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing.’ I also think the character of Gabrielle could have used more depth, as she comes across as the stereotype of an ‘evil beauty’ throughout much of the book.

But, as I said, the author made me care for Andre and his situation enough for me to want to keep reading and finish the book. It was an entertaining, interesting read. 

View the original article on blogcritics.org

Title: A World of His Own: In the Land of the Creoles
Author: Arlette Gaffrey
Publisher: Outskirts Press (November 16, 2006)
ISBN-10: 097888910X
http://www.arlettegaffrey.com/
http://www.outskirtspress.com/
Pages: 400 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Price: $13.95

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