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Terry Jackman was christened Teresa, and is married with kids. She’s not pretending to be a guy just for the book. It’s just that nobody, but nobody, calls her anything but Terry, so Terry is actually the most honest name to put on the cover.

To go with her two names she inhabits two worlds. In one she’s a mild-mannered lady who tutors children and lives in a pretty English village, called Lymm. [It’s not far from the Manchester United football ground. You can take a peek at it on www.lymmvillage.co.uk/gallery If you look carefully at the picture of the old stone cross in the village centre you might see the ancient stocks below, where villagers would have thrown rotten eggs etc at local miscreants – but we don’t do that now, honest.]

In the other, she’s written articles and study guides, is secretly on the committee of the British Science Fiction Association, coordinates all their online writers’ groups, writes a regular page for Focus magazine and reads submissions for Albedo One magazine in Ireland. Oh, and has been known to do convention panels and some freelance editing.

When Ashamet goes public the two worlds will finally collide. She suspects there’ll be some raised eyebrows so she’s stocking up on fortifying tea and biscuits – and lots of chocolate!

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Ashamet, Desert-Born. What was your inspiration for it?

A: Honestly, it was bad temper. I got really cross that a writer made the all-powerful prince in her story stupid, basically to make the plot work out the way she wanted, where if he’d had an ounce of sense it would have fallen apart. Why, I fumed, did powerful characters so often have to be bad, stupid or both? And just like that Ashamet walked onstage. He’s lots of things, but he’s definitely not stupid.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Maybe you know someone who says one thing and does another, or is different things to different people? Or maybe they hide their true character, even from themselves? That’s Ashamet. He’s also about the fact that even those who seem all powerful are still bound by some restrictions, and that in the end it’s how they cope with those that defines who they really are?

Ashamet-CoverQ: 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: Ashamet, Desert-Born took several years to write. The first fifty pages came in a mad rush then I had stops and starts, because while Ashamet and Keril arrived fully formed, the world they lived in didn’t. It took me at least three tries to define the society Ash was born into well enough to make total sense of who he was. I couldn’t finish the story till I got that right.

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

A: Ah, an easier answer. I listen to my characters. If it’s not what they’d do, or say, then out it goes. Otherwise the story loses its credibility, just like that stupid prince I mentioned. The story slumps, and frankly I get bored writing it.

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

A: Actually, no. I get anxious about showing stuff to others but not about writing it. Some days I can’t wait to write, others I have to remind myself there’s a deadline, but after the first couple of sentences I’m usually in the groove. I’m no longer aware of what I’m doing, as long as I’m not interrupted.

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

A: I have a VERY flexible schedule, because it depends largely on when my husband is playing golf! Crazy as it sounds, and I know it does, I can write around strangers, on trains, around other writers – but not around people I know well but aren’t also writing (otherwise known as friends and family). When they walk out the door I reach for pen or keyboard.

Q: How do you define success?

A: Success was selling my first three articles in one week, then turning one of them into a series. Less successfully, that ambushed me. Regular requests for more got me writing nonfiction for ten years. Between a more than full time job and articles I had no time to try fiction.

So an even greater success was having Dragonwell ask, out of the blue, if I’d “like to send them something” because they’d heard about me from another writer. Wow.

And the final and greatest success will be if people like reading the result, and take a second to review it or tell me so.

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

A: It will make it harder but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t go for it, if they’re sufficiently driven. Hey, I grew up in a house without books and look where I ended up. Due to my extreme shyness problem my family didn’t even know I wrote for several years, till I was selling articles regularly.

And in the end I only owned up about fiction because an amazing author/university lecturer, Adam Roberts, said “You are a writer”. After that even I had to ‘come out’.

But it helps a lot if people at least humor you.

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: Gosh no. Hearing strange voices in your head. Spending hours writing, assessing, rewriting. Crying over those nasty critiques – which are right, damn them – editing, polishing… How could that possibly be exhausting?

Seriously, sometimes it’s exhilarating, others depressing. So yes, I can’t imagine anyone doing it if they aren’t driven to. Me, I have to get those voices out of my head before they drive me mad.

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

A: Well, I guess I should tell people who don’t know me that Terry is actually short for Teresa, but that I regard Terry as my real name. I’m definitely NOT pretending to be a guy for my publisher. Since no one calls me anything but Terry, if I’d put Teresa on the book cover it would have felt more like hiding who I was, not less.

So unlike most of my characters I’m female, and as you’ll have gathered married with kids. I’ve visited some beautiful Moorish architecture, but I’ve never ridden a camel. In fact I’ve only once ‘sat’ on a horse. But hey, if we only wrote what we already knew science fiction and fantasy wouldn’t exist.

But I hope, very much, readers will enjoy reading Ashamet as much as I enjoyed writing it, and maybe tell me so, so I can breathe easier.

ABOUT THE BOOK

TitleAshamet, Desert-Born

Genre: Fantasy/adventure/romance/paranormal

Author: Terry Jackman

Websitewww.terryjackman.co.uk

Publisherwww.dragonwellpublishing.com

Find out more on Amazon

A desert world. A warrior nation that worships its emperor as a god. But for Ashamet, its prince, a future filled with danger…

Ashamet is confident his swordsmanship, and his arranged marriage, will be enough to maintain the empire’s peace. But when a divine symbol magically appears on his arm, closely followed by an attempt on his life, he no longer knows who to trust. Worse, the strange attraction he feels toward a foreign slave could be another trap. As events unravel, too fast,Ashamet must find out if this innocent young male is a tool for his enemies–or the magic key to his survival.

“Ashamet, Desert-Born” is a debut adventure fantasy with an exotic Arabian-style setting and elements of same-sex romance.

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Joel FoxJoel Fox has spent over 30 years in California politics, serving on numerous state commissions, working on many ballot issue campaigns, and advising candidates. An adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University, Fox has authored hundreds of opinion pieces for numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today and Los Angeles Times. Joel Fox is also the author of the Zane Rigby mystery series—Lincoln’s Hand and FDR’s Treasure— in which an FBI Special Agent must solve a puzzle from the past of an American president to solve modern day murders.  A native of the Boston area, Joel Fox lives in Los Angeles.

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Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Mark on Eve. What was your inspiration for it?

A: The idea for my book came from a Cape Cod legend in which a woman in colonial New England was suspected of witchcraft when her pirate lover’s ship went down in a storm. The pirate ship Whydah, captained by Sam Bellamy, was real. It sank in 1717 and was discovered and salvaged in 1984.  I simply took some of the persons in the legend and changed the story by asking: What if the woman was not a witch but was be-witched to live forever? It allowed me to explore how she would manage through different periods in American history all the while maintaining suspense in the modern day story in which she tries to keep her secret while giving meaning to her long existence by helping a female governor run for president of the United States.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Besides that she is over 320 years old! Since the pirate ship went down in 1717 I made her 25 years old at the time. The actual woman referred to in the legend, Marie Hallett, was supposedly 15 years old, but I wanted my leading lady to be older and more sophisticated as she made her way through the epochs of American history. Conveniently, having her as a 25-year-old means she would have been born in 1692, not coincidentally, the year of the Salem Witch Trials.

Cover (3)Q: 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: This book was written in two phases. I did an earlier draft a decade ago. I moved it aside to begin a mystery series I created featuring a senior FBI agent, Zane Rigby, who solved modern day murders by solving a puzzle related to a former American president. I picked up the book again and polished it off, making some changes. I guess you could say the decade long span was a big bump. However, I gained more confidence in my abilities over that time and I always liked the story in The Mark on Eve so I decided to go back to it.

My writing process consisted of waking up early in the morning, opening up a laptop computer and sitting in a comfortable chair in the corner of the bedroom with a low standing light so as not to disturb my wife. I figured I would not be distracted if I did not venture beyond the bedroom. I wrote most of the book this way, about two hours every morning. Toward the end I would write at my main computer and other hours of the day relying on adrenalin to get the job done.

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

A: I believe in keeping the story moving. I rely on relatively short chapters and chapter endings that hopefully leave readers with the desire to see what happens next. In this particular book, I have a number of flashbacks in time so a chapter may end with a question but the next chapter takes place during another historical period, usually connected in some way to the previous chapter. The reader will get involved in that part of the story and read on to find out what happens in the modern day story.

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

A: I guess there is always some anxiety that the story will flow. However, what I often try to do is end the previous day’s work in the middle of a chapter so that I have some sense where I’m going. That way, I find it is easier to pick up the story and move ahead on the next day.

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

A: As I mentioned earlier I do most of my writing in the early morning when everyone is asleep and the phone is not ringing. Usually 5 to 7 a.m. That way I have a sense of accomplishment even before the sun is up and I don’t have to excuse myself from family to get involved in my writing. I also find early morning writing is more conducive to creativity. I think I might work out some of the problems I face with the writing while I’m sleeping.

Q: How do you define success?

A: I once told a writing instructor that I would consider that I was a successful fiction writer when someone pays me for my writing. As an act of encouragement, she sent me a few coins to build my confidence and said I was a paid writer. I appreciated the thought but I needed to receive payment from an independent source. Now that I have conquered that step, I look forward having readers tell me they enjoyed what I wrote. That is success.

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

A: I would encourage the spouse or partner to become a sounding board for the project. Be involved in discussing the plot and the characters. If that doesn’t work, perhaps the writing should be done while the partner is sleeping.

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: There is no question that writing is as difficult as Orwell describes but it also has those exhilarating moments when you know you hit the right phrase or you are tickled by what a character says or the direction the plot is heading. In those moments you become a fan of your own writing and that helps propel you past the difficult demons that Orwell describes.

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

A: Thanks for spending some time with me. I hope you are interested in joining Eve on her 300 year adventure and also checking out my mystery series at my website www.joelfox.com.

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Arielle StraussArielle Strauss is a twenty-two year old author, actress, and percussionist originally from Freehold, New Jersey. She graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College, where she began to write “The Wraith Trilogy.” She’s pleased to finally share her first novel, The Wraith, and the sequel, The Huntress, with the world.

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About the Books:

The Wraith 2The Wraith – Ophelia Weller never believed in ghosts until the night she became one. But when the aftermath of a frat party on the most haunted campus in America leaves her face to face with her own naked corpse, she really has no other option. Now a wraith, Ophelia is a spirit hidden amongst the living. Forced to conceal her undead identity from the world, and struggling to remain visible to the humans around her, how will she ever manage to convince her dearest friend of the truth? Or muster the courage to tell her beautiful gym partner that she just may be in love with her? And, with no memory of her death, how will Ophelia solve the mystery of her murder?

For More Information

  • The Wrath is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

The Huntress 2The Huntress – Ophelia’s been dead for several weeks, but she’s still around. Yet other students at Ohio University are dropping like flies, never to return. Surely the most haunted campus in America is home to other wraiths like herself? Ophelia is determined to find them—and to discover the truth about why she continues to dwell in the world of mortals. But faced with a mysterious clan of ghost hunters closing in, threatening to end her unlife, three meddlesome (and crotchety) divine beings determined to control her new existence, and a best friend with more than friendly feelings for the love of her life, how long will Ophelia be able to hide the truth of her death—and her destiny?

For More Information

  • The Huntress is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Sure. But I’m also a born actor.

What was your inspiration for The Wraith Trilogy?

Funnily enough, The Twilight Saga. I say it’s funny because I wrote the books as a challenge to create something better. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the Twilight books, but “AnTwiNoWriMo” is about writing a 50-thousand-word paranormal romance novel in one month that bests those books. It’s harder than the challenge made it out to be. Especially since the month was only 28 days!

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Well, death, obviously. But I also like to explore the limitlessness of love, obsession, fate, and compassion.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

I wrote each of them in a month, but the editing process took years. I’m still editing the third book in the trilogy.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Coming home from school and sitting at my computer until at least 2k words were banged out.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Making giant changes to the story was hard, but sometimes necessary. It affects the outcome of everything; so changing one thing changes a lot of things.

What do you love most about being an author?

When people say to me, “When’s the next book coming out? I need it!”

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I self-published, which is a lot easier than the traditional method, but it also means I’m fully responsible for any f*ck-ups. (Excuse my French.) I’m happy with my decision to self-publish, but I’m not as happy with some of the decisions I made in the process. Next time, I know exactly what to do. Everything is a learning experience.

Where can we find you on the web?   

Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Arielle-Strauss/212821772227597

I love Facebook!

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Galanti, Donna 2 (1)Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

Website: www.ElementTrilogy.com
Blog: http://www.elementtrilogy.com/blog/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5767306.Donna_Galanti

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, A Hidden Element. What was your inspiration for it?

A: A Hidden Element is book two in the Element Trilogy. The novel that I was stumped on…and a dream. My readers asked for a sequel and I said, never! Then one day I woke up with a vision of that second book. I dropped the psychological suspense novel I had over-plotted and was stuck on, and got to work right away on the sequel. There’s a third and final one planned out, A Healing Element.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Caleb lives an oppressed life. He has sons he can’t be a father to, he can’t choose who he loves, and he must carry out despicable acts just to survive. Yet Caleb finds he is pushed to the wall even further and must risk the very things he desires to save those he loves. Caleb is also a Watcher in a way, and Watchers are some of my favorite characters to write. Read an article I wrote about this theme.

Q: 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 this novel in a Write a Novel in 9 Months Class. We met once a week and it kept me accountable to get the story down in a certain time frame. One challenge was completely re-working some of the chapters to be in different voices from the original draft. I had to critically review each scene and really decide which character’s point of view was best to tell that scene.

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

A: I look at each chapter as a short story in itself. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end – and I love ending my chapters on cliffhangers that raise a question and (hopefully) beg the reader to keep turning the pages.

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

A: Each day I sit down is like starting with a blank page all over again, so yes, there is some anxiety. The day before I try to finish writing in the middle of a scene or paragraph, and not end a chapter. This way I can easily re-read the scene’s intro and jump back into finishing it.

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

A: There are many days each week that my alarm is set for 4:30am. Early morning hours are my best writing time when the skies are dark and the world is asleep – and my mind is not yet filled with the details of daily life. During the school year my day ends at 3:30pm when I pick my son up from school but I have a very understanding husband! I often spend a weekend day writing all day at my favorite spot in my local Wegman’s Café.

Q: How do you define success?

A: To me, success in writing is continuing to learn the writing craft, add it to my expanding toolbox, and apply all I learn along the way and see the fruits of that labor. Success in writing can also only truly come when you let go – let go of your ego that is. I believe that this is the biggest reason why I am published, have a wonderful agent as my champion, and have four books coming out in the next year. And this is the biggest reason I see writer’s fail because they do not accept criticism and are not willing to do the hard work to make their writing better. To succeed you cannot think your writing is perfect or that your story can’t change. You cannot take it personal when a developmental editor tears apart your manuscript for you to re-work. I love it! I am like – bring it on! Help me be a better writer. Why? Because I want to write a good book and then a better one and a better one. This writing business is hard. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. This writing business is not going to be easy – it’s going to be worth it!

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

A: Every writer has times when they hit lows in their writing and think, I can’t do this! Every time I debate whether I should be a writer and tell myself that I should just update my resume and get a real full time job with an actual weekly paycheck so I can support my family better – I remember how I sat down and wrote my debut novel A Human Element without knowing anything about writing a book. And I remember how it came from my heart and came from the deep places inside me where I most love, where I most hurt.

And I know that no matter how much I think I suck at times – I KNOW THAT I AM A TRUE STORYTELLER. And this is what I was born to do. And if you think that, then that’s what you need to follow. No matter how much you suck at times. No matter if others tell you that your writing sucks. Don’t let the negative thoughts – or negative people – stop you from telling your stories. We need your stories. We need to tell our stories. Be the true storyteller you are. Visit my Writers Corner for inspiration and resources to help you keep writing.

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: Yes! If we didn’t have demons chasing us to write, why would we? Knowing what I know now about being an author I have to wonder if I would have gotten in this business at all. If someone told me all I would have to go through to get here I would have said “I can’t do that! It’s too hard and too long!” I’m grateful I was ignorant about it all when I started.

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

A: I truly believe that something wonderful can come of something that threatens to break your spirit. I started writing books to survive the grief of my mother’s death. She died from cancer five years ago. But here’s the thing. If she were alive I would not have finished writing my first book – or any book. I would not be getting published. I took care of her in the final moments and when she passed away I knew I had to make my dream come true. For in passing away my mom gave me her own gift – the gift to follow my dream of becoming an author.

So every once in a while I say these words out loud. “Thank you, Mom.” I let them hang in the air like a gift to her. She defined who I am and who I hope to be. And she was always my #1 champion and now I have be my own champion – like all of us writer so. So, I may have started writing books from grief but eventually my grief turned to peace and then joy at discovering what I love to do. Be a storyteller.

ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

Evil lurks within…

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

“Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall 

“Fascinating…a haunting story…”—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath 

“Will keep you up long past your bedtime…a pulse-pounding read.”—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:

Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o

Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
ON SALE NOW FOR JUST $.99cents!

ENTER HER GIVEAWAY HERE: 

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Fallen Banner 851 x 315

 

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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Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and the forthcoming Joshua and The Lightning Road.

Galanti, Donna 2An avid reader as a child, Galanti grew up in a nurturing environment, immersed in books such as The Hobbit, Little House in the Big Woods, The Island of the Blue Dolphins, My Side of The Mountain, Call of the Wild and White Fang. “My favorite author was Roald Dahl and my favorite book of his was Danny the Champion of the World,” says Galanti, whose dark imagination ran wild from the start.

From her early years in England to her later work in Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer, Galanti always dreamed of becoming an author. She wrote her first murder mystery screenplay at the tender age of seven. She had a career in writing for marketing and communications and ran her own resume writing service, but it wasn’t until her mother died five years ago that she began writing novels out of her grief. Eventually, that grief turned to peace, when she fully realized what it was she truly loved to do: becoming a storyteller. In addition to being a full-time author, Galanti also works part time as a freelance copywriter for an advertising agency.

“I write from the dark side with a glimpse of hope. I am drawn to writing the hero’s journey – more so the tormented hero, and tormented villain. I enjoy creating empathy for both by blurring the lines between good and evil,” states the author, whose first two books in The Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element (Imajin Books, August 2014) are both full of murder and mystery with a dash of steam, and both have their own tormented hero and villain. “I slay my own demons through my writing – and I highly recommend it!” she says.

A Human Element, just released by Imajin Books, is the thrilling, unrelenting page-turner story of Laura Armstrong. Her friends and family members are being murdered and, despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown, where she eventually unravels a terrifying secret that binds her to the killer.

The book has already garnered excellent praise from New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and international bestselling author M.J. Rose.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00067]Galanti lives in an old farmhouse – sadly, with no ghosts – with many fireplaces where she often curls up to create her page-turners. Other times she works in her office overlooking the woods. Throughout the year she meets weekly with a women’s writing group at a café where they write together and share advice and their success stories.

“When I am creating a new book I love to sit outdoors overlooking the woods with a pen and notebook and handwrite my ideas. My thoughts are slowed down this way as my brain connects to pen in hand, and it opens my mind up to brainstorm,” says the author, describing her creative process. “There is nothing more freeing creatively to journal story ideas and throw all sorts of ‘what if?’ questions out there to find the kernel of a good story you want to pursue. Then I create character worksheets and type up a ten page synopsis of the book. I do all this before I write that first word of the story. And I always create a title first! It’s what drives my inspiration for the story.”

Galanti began writing A Human Element seventeen years ago from a vision she had while driving to work one day. She wrote two chapters and shelved them for over a decade. When she finally decided to continue the story, she wrote Monday through Friday from 4:30am to 6:30am. After seven months she typed THE END.

All writers have their stronger and weaker points, and for this author, revision is her favorite process. That’s where she can make her story shine. “Knowing how important this process is has been one of my strong points,” she says. “There are many layers to a story to be found after you write that first draft, and that’s what I love to do: peel back the layers.” One area she struggled in for a long time was to slow down her writing. She can be a very fast writer, creating pages and pages of words that often would need to be trimmed down. She has since then learned to slow down her writing and craft her words with care as she writes them, so she doesn’t have to spend so much time on revision.

In an era when small presses, the good, the bad and the ugly, abound, Galanti’s experience has been nothing but positive. “My experience with Imajin Books has been amazing!” she says of her Canadian-based publisher. “Imajin Books is dedicated to working with me to help my books succeed. The owner, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, is a bestselling author in her own right.” Imajin Books was very responsive and provided in-depth editorial guidance as well as marketing plans, not to mention fantastic book cover designs. The publishing industry is notorious for being slow-moving, but in the case of The Element Trilogy, Imajin Books made the process quick and efficient.

As with many authors, Galanti finds starting a new book most challenging. The first blank page can be a scary thing, until the story takes over, propelling your main character into his new unbalanced world toward the ultimate end. However, being an author can be extremely rewarding. “When it comes to readers, there is nothing more thrilling than reading wonderful reviews about your book that you spent months, or years, creating and shaping,” she says. “It’s from that private place in your heart, where you love the most – and hurt the most – that you pour out pages to show the world. And it’s all worthwhile when you discover that others have been touched by your story, just as you were touched while you were writing it. Second, it’s rewarding to pay it forward to up-and-coming authors. There is a wonderful feeling that comes from speaking to writers about your publishing journey and sharing advice and techniques on how to find success as an author, and hope that they do.”

Galanti is currently working on the idea for the third and final book in The Element Trilogy called, A Healing Element, and gearing up to release book 2, A Hidden Element, on August 28th. A native of upstate New York, the author now lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle—preferably with ghosts.

Connect with the author on Facebook Twitter and her Blog.

This profile was originally published in Blogcritics

 

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StolenDreams_med-193x300I can’t believe this is the last book in the Cassie Scot new adult paranormal mystery series! I really have enjoyed this series a lot.

If you’re new to the series, I advise you to pick up the books in order:

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective  
Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2) 
Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

In this the final installment, talented author Christine Amsden brings the infamous Scot vs. Blackwood family feud to a close, but not without filling her story with enough intrigue, mystery, twists and surprises to keep you thinking about the characters for a long time.

And this is, really, the biggest draw in these stories, the characters, especially Cassie and Evan. Cassie has been such a likable protagonist throughout the series, smart and strong and opinionated, yet caring and warm-hearted. Evan –yes, arrogant, condescending and overprotective Evan — has also been the perfect hero. They were school sweethearts…until Evan’s father stole her powers from her and gave them to Evan, thus starting a conflict between them that brought them to the depths of despair, especially for Cassie.

There are many subplots in this book, but the main problem happens when Cassie’s father is killed and she and her family think that Evan’s dad is the one responsible. The primary storyline has to do with finding out if this is true or not and, if not, then who, in fact, is responsible.

There are many surprises in Stolen Dreams, and I enjoyed all of them. Fans of romance will especially enjoy the focus on Cassie and Evan’s relationship. I loved the ending. In sum, this was a wonderful series, and the author delivered a satisfying closure. I wonder what she will come up next? I’m certainly going to be on the lookout for her future books.

My review was previously published in Blogcritics Magazine. 

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