Category Archives: authors

Give Me Your Answer True by Suanne Laqueur Reviewed

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Author: Suanne Laqueur
Length: 491 Pages
Release Date: June 20, 2015

blurb
Suanne Laqueur’s award-winning debut novel The Man I Love thrilled readers with its memorable characters and depth of emotion. Erik Fiskare’s journey of love, recovery and forgiveness captivated hearts but also left questions unanswered. Now Daisy Bianco has a chance to tell her story.

It’s been three years since a single lapse of judgment cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her or acknowledge her betrayal. Alone and shattered, Daisy attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the Lancaster shootings, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the college years with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they are trying to evolve without being fully resolved. But when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

my thoughts

 

Apologies… if you hate spoilers you might not want to read this. I don’t know if I can help myself in not spoiling it because I’m still emotional about the book. Now that I got that out of the way… here I go…

First of all, I want to give the author my applause. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a retelling of a story the way I did with GMYT. I already know what happened base on Erik. I know what’s waiting for me at the end. Still, felt like I was ‘knowing’ the story for the first time. It didn’t feel like I was reading a retelling of a story in a different point of view. I guess it’s the way it was told. Like Erik, I felt I was in a journey with Daisy.

You know, I feel like I haven’t been this emotional about a book in ages. I actually cried. In fact, I cried a lot. When I read Erik, I told myself I would have probably reacted the way he did with with what Daisy did to him. Reading Daisy, I was hoping Erik reacted differently. Hearing everything from her made the pain deeper. And I almost hated Erik for being so cold, distant and hard on Daisy. I’ve read about why he did it but still, reading Daisy, I wished he didn’t. You know those phone calls? I know from Erik that he never bothered to answer. But as I read Daisy relive those phone calls she made, I could hear the voice inside my head saying, “come on, pick up the stupid phone”. And it crushed me the way it crushed Daisy every time he didn’t.

As Daisy went to therapy I felt like I was in the journey of healing along with her. It almost felt like I was among those people who was part of the Lancaster shootout and I needed to heal too. Every time the therapist asked her a question, I would mull it over my head and try to answer it too. I was really emotionally invested into the story. And for Suanne to pull that off, hands down. I’ve read tons of books but very few have been able to do that to me. In fact, my tears are starting to flow again just trying to remember what I just finished reading and writing this review.

Then came John. You know, I hate his character when I first read him in Erik’s. But in this book I seriously loved him. I was like, come on Daisy let’s just forget Erik. John is here. He’s better. And he will treat you better. Yet I also felt the barrier Daisy felt when she couldn’t talk about Erik with him. Yet I hoped. Even if I know already it’s not happening.

The letter to Lucky containing all of Daisy’s feelings, that was were I first shed a tear. There were more people that came along the way but seeing Lucky and Will in the scenes were a relief. Like someone is telling me, it’s okay. You’re not alone. You have friends.

I told in my review of “The Man I Love” that reading Erik’s story made opened feelings I thought I have buried a long time ago. Reading Daisy made me understand why did they happened. Why I buried those memories and why it opened. With Daisy, I learned an important lesson. Some things are meant to be forgiven. I still don’t agree with it but this time I do understand it well. And I can say that I also healed along with her.

I cried again when I got to the happy ending part. But this time around it was because I was happy as well. I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy for book people reaching their happy endings.

And before I totally forgot the real purpose of reviews, it didn’t escape me that the questions I had from book one got answered. And it was given an answer true.

If you haven’t read this or book one, please do. It’s an emotionally captivating novel. A very well-crafted intelligent romance. It was an amazing journey. Not easy but still an amazing one. Kudos to Suanne Laqueur for writing this novel.

here’s a few favorite quote that I can’t resist sharing:

“I changed one word and changed my life. But is a restriction. But is either-or. And means you can do both things at the same time. I can give back the physical things that belongs to you and keep the things I feel about you.”

“I’m sorry, I will always be sorry. I love you, I will always love you. And I’m forgiving myself.”

 

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purchase links

AMAZON | Google Play  | Barnes and Noble | KOBO

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One-Click Favorites: Interview with Melissa Pearl

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One-Click Favorites: Interview with Melissa Pearl

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INTERVIEW WITH MELISSA PEARL

Today I had the chance to interview one of the few NA authors that I read… Melissa Pearl. I love how her novels always involve mystery and suspense that when you start reading, you can’t put it down until you get to the end. The first novel of hers that I’ve read and fell in love with was I Know Lucy which is part of The Fugitive Series.

In celebration of her upcoming release The Spaces Beyond, a sequel to the novel The Spaces Between the Heartbeats, I requested for an interview which she gladly agreed to.

Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan… not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. “Best. Year. Ever!!” She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books, ranging in genres from Fantasy to Romantic Suspense to Contemporary Romance. She loves the variety and is excited about the books she has coming out in 2015. (quoted from amazon author page)

To date, she has 23 books available in the market in kindle or paper back as well as other formats.

Without further ado, here’s a few things for us to get to know her more.

All About Being a Writer

  • What year did you publish your first novel? 2011
  • What were you before you became an author?
    ~ A middle school teacher (Grade 7) & also a stay at home mother
  • How did you feel after you published your first book? Expectations?
    ~It was pretty exciting and nerve-wracking. It was really cool to have something online for people to read and I was getting really good reviews, so that part was excellent. If I’m honest, a small part of me was hoping for the Amanda Hocking effect, but I think I was realistic enough to know I wouldn’t get that. Trying to get noticed as an indie author has been much harder than I thought it would be.
  • Why did you choose to write New Adult and Young Adult?
    ~I started writing YA because of being a teacher. I wanted to write something that students could enjoy. I didn’t like reading that much as a kid and I wanted to write the kinds of books that I would have loved. I got into New Adult last year, because I wanted to start working with slightly older characters. Their situations & circumstances are just a little different to high schoolers and it’s fun working with slightly older issues.
  • Have you ever had a mental block before? If yes, how did you overcome it?
    ~ I get them sometimes during the planning phases of my stories…also sometimes during the middle. I tend to go for a walk or take a shower…or discuss it with my husband. One of those things will usually trigger a solution for me.
  • What was your fist novel and what inspired you to write it?
    ~ My very first novel isn’t published. It’s called the Bigger Picture and I may publish it one day, but it was more just a test run. My best friend told me to write it so she could read it 🙂 That’s what started me down this path and I’ll be forever grateful to her. My first published novel was Golden Blood * and I was inspired by the Twilight series. I wanted to write a YA romance that didn’t involve vampires and werewolves though…so I went for time travel, which was SO much fun 🙂
    *Golden Blood is currently free on all platforms
  • What is something in being an author that you can’t compare to any other job?
    ~I get to live in an imaginary world when I’m writing and I LOVE that!! It’s the best part about being an author for me and I couldn’t really get that anywhere else.  Also – the writing community is awesome. There are so many creative, kindred spirits and it’s so fantastic connecting with these talented people who are just as passionate as you are.
  • What is something you know now that you wish you knew before you started writing?
    ~Um – good question. I have learned SO much along this journey – it’s hard to pinpoint something specific. All the things I think of – like how hard marketing is and how nasty reviews can sting – if I knew those before, I may not have had the courage to publish my work…so I’m glad I didn’t know it. LOL 😀
  • How do you feel about having one/two star reviews (if there is any)?
    ~At first it used to bother me, but I’ve come to the realization that reading is subjective. Not everyone is going to love my work and that’s okay. I don’t love every book I read. People are entitled to their opinions and I’ve learned to brush off the negativity and then go read one of my 5-star reviews 🙂
  • What is something your fans/readers should look forward to?
    ~True Love (A Songbird Novel) is coming out in November and I’m REALLY excited to share that with my NA fans. For my YA readers, I have two novellas coming out in October, which accompany the re-release of Betwixt…now entitled The Space Between Heartbeats (published by Alloy Entertainment).

OFF THE GRID

  • Food that you won’t ever get tired of eating?
    ~Hamburgers (although I’m now gluten free, so I have to eat them bunless 😦
  • A place you haven’t been before but really want to go to?
    ~SO many places!!! I really want to do a castle tour of Europe 🙂
  • Do you have any pets?
    ~ No – my sons are like puppies, so I figure that’s close enough for now. LOL 🙂
  • Is there something you are afraid of?
    ~I wish I wasn’t, but I am really scared of falling, so heights and me are not a great combo
  • Most mistaken impression people have about you?
    ~Hmmm – I really don’t know! I don’t  know what people think about me. Haha! 🙂

FAST TALK

  1. Singing or Dancing? ~Singing
  2. Sailing or Flying? ~Hmmm – neither really…I guess I’d have to pick flying, inspite of my heights thing
  3. Hot or cold? Hot
  4. The world without music is _____________? ~Empty
  5. Your present life in a song? ~There are so many – but I’m going to go with “You’re Not Alone” by Owl City & Britt Nicole. It’s a constant comfort for me and I truly believe it 🙂
I hope you all enjoyed reading along my interview with Melissa Pearl. You can find a complete list of her books below.

MELISSA PEARL BOOK LIST

The Spaces Between Heartbeats
The Spaces Beyond (Upcoming Oct 15)

The Fugitive Series:
I Know Lucy (Currently Free) 
Set Me Free

The Songbird Novel:
Fever (FREE)
Bulletproof
Everything
Home

THE MASKS SERIES:
True Colors
Two-Faced
Snake Eyes
Poker Face

Elements Trilogy
Unknown
Unseen
Unleashed

The Time Spirit Trilogy
Golden Blood (Free)
Black Blood
Pureblood

Paranormal Pantry (Boxed Set)

Forbidden Waters
Forbidden Territory

Get Inked: Fantasy Sampler
Get Inked: Contemporary Romance Sampler

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One Click Favorite: Kathleen Brooks an Interview

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kathleen-profile-ed-crop-145x210I had the honor to interview one of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and I am proud to present with you all the interview I had with her. I can’t stop smiling as I go through the answers she gave for the interview. I can say very well that I learned some things I didn’t know about her before. I’m so glad I put on that big girl pants and had the courage to ask for this interview. Let me present to you all, Kathleen Brooks.

Kathleen Brooks is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling author. She is the author of the series Bluegrass, Bluegrass Brothers and Women of Power. Her stories are complete package of not only romance but also suspense, humor and happily ever after. Her latest book The Keeneston Roses was released only last month.

Her first book, Bluegrass State of Mind is free in all major e-book retailers and like most bookworms there’s nothing that excites me more than stumbling upon a free book. Even with lots of book that are already sitting on my kindle, I can’t resist them. And that’s how I came across Bluegrass State of Mind. However, as someone who is not from the south, not American even, I had no idea back then what ‘Bluegrass’ actually meant. Thus, the book didn’t pull any attraction to me. I had the book sitting on my kindle for some time and I didn’t pay attention to it. Until that one lazy afternoon almost two years ago. I finally asked myself ‘what the heck does Bluegrass State of Mind mean?’ and so I opened the book.

If I have any regret, it is that I didn’t read the book sooner. The story comes into life right then as you start reading. More than reading the story, it felt like being inside the story. I love Keeneston, the Rose Sisters and every one in it. In my dismay, I learned that Keeneston was a fictional place when I researched about it. Here I was ready to move there and it’s not on the map. Well, that’s saying how much real Kathleen’s prose is. You see them, feel them, hear them, smell them and you’ll badly wish you can taste the foods that were mentioned there too.

Join me in getting to know Kathleen Brooks and her world as a writer…

All About Being a Writer…

What year did you publish your first novel?

 I published my first book, Bluegrass State of Mind, in July of 2011.

What were you before you became an author?

Before I was an author, I was an attorney. Being an author is a lot more fun!

How did you feel after you published your first book? Expectations?

I was so nervous when my first book was published. I just wanted one person to buy it and find enjoyment while reading it. That feeling hasn’t changed much over the years. I still hope my readers find many hours of enjoyment as they read my books.

There’s a lot of military men in your first series, what inspired you to write about them?

There’s a lot of military men in my series because I’ve been around them quite a bit and I’ve been inspired by friends and family who have served. It takes a special type of person to be willing to put themselves in the line of fire to protect others.

Do you follow a routine or do you have any habit before and after you write?

I do follow a routine when I write. I have a child in school, so I write during school hours. I also have a special music playlist. I have a variety of different-paced music so when I am writing an action scene, I play certain music, like Kongo’s Come with Me Now. Or if it’s a more emotional scene I play Luke Bryan’s I See You.

What is the best thing that happened to you as an author?

The best thing that has happened to me as an author has been meeting people from all over the world, including other authors that I admire and, most importantly, my readers. I love hearing how my books remind people of home, whether home is in the United States, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Australia, or the Philippines. I love seeing that sense of global community as readers finish my newest book. All of that, plus meeting Nora Roberts!

What do you love most about being an author?

I love a job where I get to live in a dream and every story ends in a happily ever after. I never dread going to work. Instead, I’m always excited to get lost in my story.

Who is the person you look up to the most as an author?

There are so many other authors that I’m lucky enough to count as friends who inspire me. There was a group of us that started out together, Ruth Cardello, Melody Anne, Cali MacKay, and myself. I also look up to Bella Andre and Liliana Hart for their incredible work ethic and willingness to help other authors.

 If you can be one of the Rose sisters which one will you be?

If I could be any of the Rose sisters, I would be Miss Violet. Amazing cook plus she gets to have all the hottest men of Keeneston hugging her!

 As an author where do you see yourself five/ten years from now?

I hope to be writing as far into the future as I can see. I have so many stories I want to tell that it will take me a lifetime to do so!

 Any words of advice to aspiring authors out there?

The best advice I can give to aspiring authors out there is to write. Then write some more. The more you write, the more you find your voice. An author’s voice is what enables a reader to pick up a book with no cover, read the first page, and say, “This is a book by Kathleen Brooks.” It is who you are as a storyteller and the best way to find it is to just write.

 What are you currently working on that your fans should look forward to?

I am currently working on the Forever Bluegrass series. Book One, Forever Entangled comes out October 20th.

Ryan Parker had always loved Sienna Ashton, but gave up on his fantasy years ago.

After working as an undercover FBI Agent in Los Angeles, Ryan gets a phone call telling him to come home to the small town of Keeneston, Kentucky. The woman he thought he was over is now in serious trouble.

Sienna Ashton fell in love with Ryan Parker too late. He was gone from her life before she realized what he really meant to her. Now working as a sports psychologist, Sienna finds herself helping others figure their lives out. She thinks her chance of happily ever after is long gone until a murder brings Ryan back into her life and entangles them in a battle for their heart and their lives.

Ryan and Sienna discover there is more going on than originally thought and now the two are in the fight of their lives. It doesn’t take long for fireworks to ignite as passion and danger drive the couple toward a fate they never saw coming before.

She also released the cover for her upcoming Forever Bluegrass series. If you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

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Aside from knowing a little more about Kathleen as a writer, here are some little things about her when she is not writing.

Off The Grid

What is your favorite season? Why?

I like both spring and fall the most. I enjoy writing with the windows open and the breeze blowing in.

What do you do to relax?

I read. The perfect day for me is to curl up with the Hallmark Channel and a new book. Authors all start out as readers and we cherish getting lost into stories during our down time.

Dream destination?

I want to go to Bora Bora and stay in one of those huts over the water!

Food that you won’t ever get tired of eating?

Chocolate

Who’s the one person you enjoy hanging out the most with?

My husband. He’s a great man and father. But, for pure sit back and laugh out loud girl time, there is a small group of authors who are very dear friends of mine that all live nearby. After we take our kids to school, we’ll have breakfast or go see a movie together. Our families have all gotten to know each other too, so our kids can roll their eyes at us while we embarrass them.

Fast Talk (Just to get to know you more)

Singing or Dancing?

Singing, badly.

Suspense or Horror?

Suspense.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs, although I do also own a cat.

Hottest male celebrity

Right now I’m really loving Scott Eastwood.

Your present life in one word?

Fulfilled

Most people go gaga when they saw their favorite celebrities on tv. As a person who love books, I always felt so elated and have the ‘I can’t believe it’ sort of feelings when the authors I love talk to me, interact with me on social media or even like my comment or post. Getting to know Kathleen Brooks more through this interview, you can probably imagine how happy I am feeling now. But much more than that, it’s nice to know that the person I look up to loves some things that I do too (like chocolate) and that she still have time to curl up and read books even after writing really amazing ones.

If you want to get to know Kathleen Brooks more, you can follow and interact with her through social media in the links below:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

Complete List of Books

Bluegrass Series:

Bluegrass Stateof Mind
Risky Shot
Dead Heat

Bluegrass Brothers
Bluegrass Undercover
Rising Storm
Secret Santa
Acquiring Trouble
Relentless Pursuit
Secrets Collide
Final Vow

Women of Power
Chosen for Power
Built for Power
Fashioned for Power
Destined for Power

Bluegrass Singles
All Hung Up
Bluegrass Dawn
The Perfect Gift
The Keeneston Roses

Forever Blueggrass (Coming soon)
Forever Entangled
Forever Hidden
Foever Betrayed

Complete Buy links of all books Click Here

Author Spotlight: Tish Thawer

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Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Same Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received a RONE Award nomination (Reward of Novel Excellence), as well as nominations for Best Cover, and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery) alongside New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors Denise Grover Swank and Amy Bartol.

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer. She resides in Arizona with her husband and three wonderful children.
A common FAQ: “How do you pronounce her last name?”
Answer: Think “Bower” or “Thow-er.” It’s Persian!

Links:

Website

Blog

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

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BOOK LIST

Fairy Tale Confessions (Releasing Oct. 1)
The Witches of BlackBrook
Raven’s Breath
Scent of a White Rose (Rose Triogy 1)

Blood of a Red Rose (Rose Trilogy Book2)
Death of a Black Rose (Rose Trilogy Book3)
Aradia Awakens (Ovialell Book 1)

Behind the Veil
Rose and Thorns
Shay and the Box of Nye
Prophecy’s Child
The Rise of Rae

Losing It: A collection of VCards

RECENT RELEASE

TheWitchesofBlackBrook

Through space and time, sisters entwined. Lost then found, souls remain bound.

Three sisters escape the Salem witch trials when the eldest casts a spell that hurtles their souls forward through time. After centuries separated, fate has finally reunited them in the present day.

One the healer, one the teacher, and one the deceiver.

Will their reunion return their full powers, or end their souls journey forever?

A Witches of BlackBrook novel.

One-click Favorite: Author Ruth Cardello

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I promised myself I would do a feature on my blogs once a month about authors who are my one-click on amazon. I finally found the time to start that feature today. I pick Ruth Cardello to be the first because she’s the author that opened the door to reading Indie for me as well opening a book blog. So here goes…

How I came across Ruth Cardello and Maid for the Billionaire.

To those who are not yet familiar with her, Maid for the Billionaire was her first book. It was year 2012 when I found Abby and Dominic’s love story. My kindle was new and I just learned that the authors that I know about have their books on amazon at prices that are impossible for me. So I did the only thing I can do during those times, search for free books on Amazon. And there were loads of them!

Maid for the Billionaire was one them. And out of all the free ones I downloaded, I decided to read it first because of the cover. I rarely choose a book by their covers. But I love purple (MFTB used to have purple cover) and the old cover just caught me and I started digging in. It’s not very different from other books that I’ve read. I’m fairly certain that I’ve read a book before that have almost the same plot. However, there’s something about the way Ruth Cardello wrote it that I became enamored with the series. That’s where it all started. After reading that, I can’t sit still until I read the next one and when a new book of hers is out, I definitely need to one-click it immediately.

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Why do I love Ruth Cardello?

When it comes to her novels, I’d say, what’s not to love? She is an amazing story teller. There’s something in the way she put the words together that I feel them in my heart. And I love that each novel is not only about the hero and the heroine achieving their happy ever after. It’s about family, friendships, about learning who you are, getting through life’s hurdles and becoming a better you. Much more than the love story, I find myself looking forward to those words of wisdom each book of hers offer. Reading her books not only bring entertainment but a piece of advice or reminder of the things that matter in this life time that we usually take for granted.

As an author, she’s a class act. I wish more authors act and behave the way she does. This indie world is not that big and I saw some people who keeps biting each other’s head off. With her, it’s always positivity and love floating around. I never saw post a single negative thing about an author, a reader, a blogger or a reviewer. I never saw her engage on a negative review or ask her street team to do that. As a blogger those are big deal. I’ve experienced being attacked by street teams because I was being honest on my reviews. As a reader, she’s really an inspiration. More so, I love the Serenity Chronicles she usually post. Those are like a ray of sunshine on a bad day. She’s also very generous. Not only with tangible means but more of the intangible ones. You can always see her posting appreciations to her readers, encouraging wanna be writers (I saw people actually thanking her for helping them) and spreading positivity.

I don’t know about you but for me, an author’s attitude impacts whether or not I’ll keep buying her/his books. If the behavior offends me, I don’t hesitate to walk away. And with Ruth, I don’t ever see that happening.

Getting to know her more…

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I actually planned for doing an interview to make this part more meaningful and well believable but I know she’s a real busy person and I’m to shy to ask if I can feature her. I don’t want to take her time away from writing just to indulge me to have something I could put on m blog. But I really want to share more about her so I’m sharing an interview she did with Huffington Post before. If she ever read this, I hope you don’t mind.

Ruth Cardello: From School Teacher to New York Times Best Seller

If you really want to get to know her more, you can follow here on social media. Below are her links:

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

If you haven’t try any of her books, I highly recommend you give it a shot. All the first books in two of her series are free/ Links are below.

Legacy Series Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire

The Andrades Book 1: Come Away with Me

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Author Spotlight : Marian Tee Author of The Greek Billionaire Series

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I am proud to present today’s author on spotlight… Marian Tee. She’s a fellow Filipino who writes romance and is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

I had no idea that she was a Filipino when I first read her books a couple of years ago. I fell in love the most with her Greek Billionaire Series and recently got attached to her Heart Racers. When I found out, I was hell bent on doing this interview. It makes me proud to know that a writer who’s very good at touching emotions through her craft is a fellow countrymen.

So who’s Marian Tee?

Marian Tee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romantic comedies. She is Filipino-Chinese, has lived all her life in the Philippines, and is a frustrated mangaka. She is addicted to horror flicks, misses hip hop dancing, and loves all things Japanese.

She currently have 28 books published in Amazon and other major platforms.

If you’ve read her books, you probably know this already. So let’s get to know Marian Tee a little more…

Getting to Know Marian Tee a Little Deeper

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All about being a writer …

  1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I discovered my love for writing around fourth or fifth grade, if I remember correctly. My friends and I had a notebook that we’d pass around and we’d write each of our character’s stories there. I had my first kiss in that notebook, haha! And my first breakup, too!

However, I only knew I wanted to write for a living when I was in my early twenties. It was that time I saw the chick lit books of Summit and PSICOM like Katrina Ramos Atienza’s Pink Shoes and Maya Calica’s Breakup Diaries.

You see, I thought here in the Philippines it was impossible for me to find a job as a writer or – more specifically – a romance author. Prior to those chick lit novellas, most of the romance novels published in PH were in Filipino, and I didn’t think I could write one as eloquently as I wanted to.

Anyway, seeing those books gave me hope and I haven’t stopped writing (and dreaming) since then.

  1. Who or what was your inspiration to write your first book?

My nonexistent love life (back then) of course! I was a first year student in CSB then and I’d spend most of my time in the computer lab writing my stories (Sorry, Professor!). That first completed manuscript of mine would eventually be published years later by PSICOM.

  1. I believe not many Filipino authors are into e-publishing, what encouraged you to go e-pubbing instead of going to publisher? Have you any doubts or regrets when you gave it a go?

After my book was published by PSICOM, I thought it would be smooth sailing after that. But nope. No one wanted my books. 😛 And I realized that the way I write doesn’t really jive well with what publishers seemed to like then. So I decided to write for an international audience.

I queried both agents and small press editors. I was lucky enough to have one YA paranormal romance published by an e-publisher based in Arizona and then after that I found myself an agent (which eventually didn’t work out). In 2012, my previous boss (I used to write articles for her) bought the rights to my works and I was so surprised when my books did well on Amazon. Mid 2013 I decided to self-publish and it’s been absolutely great since then.

If I have one regret, it’s that I spent so many years querying agents and editors alone. I wished I had tried self-publishing at the same time in those years.

  1. How did you feel when you made it to NYT and USA Today’s Best Selling author?

SURREAL. =D

My first self-pubbed book made its debut with The Billionaire Bad Boys of Romance Bundle, a “boxed set” that include works from other authors. Some of them already made it to NYT, but there were also a few of us who had never hit a bestselling list. We were hoping to hit both lists at Week 1. We made it to USA Today but not NYT. I think all of us bawled our eyes out after that. Even though the boxed set made it to Barnes & Noble’s Top 10 overall and Amazon’s Top 20 overall, not hitting NYT still made us feel really bad. Back then, I honestly thought my book was a piece of sh*t because of that.

But…we didn’t give up. We dusted our asses off and worked harder in promoting the boxed set. Week 2 came and went and we found out we didn’t just hit USA Today (for the second consecutive week). We also found out we made it to two bestselling lists of New York Times, the ebook bestselling list AND the combined list for ebook and print. That means our boxed set outsold even books in print! That realization was what made everything really, really surreal. I think I was so stunned that I couldn’t even cry. 😀

  1. How do you write your novels? Do you like plan everything or just go with the flow?

Outline. Like hell. I’ve often tried doing it the other way around, plotting as I write but nope – at the end of the day, I’d just erase everything I typed because I hated it. So, I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I can’t write without my precious outlines.

  1. Any particular habit that you do before and after writing a manuscript?

I’m what you’d call a binge writer. So, I’d rest for a few days then write like crazy (sometimes up to 18 or 20 hours in a day) then rest again. I’ve also discovered a need to read books when taking breaks from writing. I like to drink coffee and sometimes, I drastically need a playlist when working on a manuscript.

Whenever I finish a story, I’d be really pumped up and my adrenaline level would be so high that I’d need to go out and celebrate with my family. We either eat out or just go to a café or watch a movie. J

  1. Have you ever had a ‘writer’s block’? If so, what do you do when you get stuck in a scene?

No. Not really. I never lack for anything to write but there are times when I hate what I write so I end up deleting pages and pages of stories. When that happens, it’s usually because I’m physically or mentally tired. So what I do is rest, read a book or watch a movie. When I go back to my laptop, I’m all good.

  1. Do you have someone you look up to and wish you can have a collaborated book with his or her?

Too many to mention, but I was recently in a boxed set with the lovely Sara Fawkes and that was pretty awesome. 😀 It’s not a collaboration per se but still. I also recently read the Hitman series of Jessica Clare (which I totally love) and I get to be a part of another series with her so that’s awesome, too.

But for future projects, I’d really love to be in a boxed set with Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lynne Graham, Sharon Kendrick, Nalini Singh, and Judith McNaught.

  1. If you can marry any of your heroes, who would you pick?

Paranormal – it would have to be Luka of Suit and Fangs – a really intelligent and aloof vampire-like prince. I kinda like my guys snobbish hehe.

 

Contemporary – It would have to be Damen Leventis of my Greek Billionaire serials because I grew up reading about, well, Greek billionaires. 😀 Oh, and Yuki Himura from Drawn – waaaah! He’s my first love (among all my book heroes). He’s the embodiment of all my favorite bishounen in manga!

  1. 10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers that you would like to have known before you went e-publishing?

Don’t undervalue your work. EVER.

 

OFF THE GRID

 

  1. What’s your favorite food, something that you won’t get tired of eating?

Crabstick / kani salad and salmon sashimi. (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!)

  1. I know we don’t have much option here in the Philippines but what is your favorite season? Or the season you wish we have?

WINTER. I like dressing in layers, which I can only get away with in Baguio (summer capital of PH) or abroad. But here in the Philippines, I love it when it rains – I write better when I rain and especially when I’ve a cup of coffee to enjoy while at it.

  1. Do you like travelling? Any dream destination that you are yet to go to?

I love to travel! If it wasn’t plain irresponsible, I’d gladly spend all my money on travelling haha. Oh, wait – I actually did that in the past! I was very young back then. =P

My real-life bucket list for traveling: Japan (for the anime and manga), Vienna (for the opera), Africa (for the safari), Scotland (for Nessie and Highlands), Monte Carlo (coz it’s Monte Carlo), London (so I can see the places I’ve read about in Regency romances), and Venice (coz I want to attend a masquerade!).

  1. Do you like movies? If yes, what sort of movies are you into?

HORROR. But I also love watching action and high-budget adventure movies. Those are the types of movies I love watching in cinemas. I love watching romantic movies, too, but not in cinemas haha.

  1. What is the most mistaken (wrong) impression people usually have about you?

Back when I was in college, everyone thought I was, err, a bad girl. I don’t think there’s any other word for it haha. Because I always came to school late and I was always sleepy – most thought it was because I was always out partying and had lots of vices.

The truth is, I’ve never smoked and never will. I don’t drink – never did except for a sip of beer when I was twelve. I don’t even drink champagne or wine). My greatest vice would probably be eating high-cholesterol food haha. And as for always being sleepy in class – it was only because I hate waking up early and I hate going to school even more.

Nothing against those who drink or smoke, but I just really feel I already eat too much high-cholesterol food to further shorten my lifespan with other vices. 😀 It’s my plan to be alive and kicking even when I’m a hundred years old. =D

  1. For Filipino-Chinese, what made you fall in love with all things Japanese?

Once upon a time, there was an anime called Fushigi Yuugi or Curious Play. I loved it so much I self-studied Japanese – I mastered N4 of Nihongo in one week. I took a mock test online and passed the test. I also hired a private tutor (native Japanese speakers) also passed their tests, too. They couldn’t believe how fast I mastered the basics of Japanese. So, you know, that means something, right? Surely it’s destiny at work? Fate’s totally saying I’m going to be Japanese in my next life! =D

  1. Could you share one thing about you that not many people know about?

That I pray a lot. And that I’m a HUGE crybaby.

  1. What is your favorite quote or saying? Why?

Give a man a fish; you have fed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.

 

It’s very hard for me to say NO to people or to refuse them my help. But I’ve gradually come to realize that I’m only making it worse for others and making it more difficult for them to succeed on their own if I keep saying ‘yes’.

 

  1. If you were not a writer, what would you be?

An interpreter! 😀

THE LATEST FROM MARIAN TEE

The Art of Wedding A Greek Billionaire

tGB

 

Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl who grew up listening to bedtime stories where there were no knights in shining armor or Prince Charming. Instead, it had Greek billionaires and this little girl dreamt she’d one day have Her Own Greek Billionaire to live happily ever after with.
When this little girl grew up, she realized that not all fairytale weddings came with happy-ever-after endings. Sometimes, those who speak the words “I love you” don’t really mean it, and those who can’t utter the words end up being the ones who truly mean them.
This is my story.
I mean your story.
I mean, Mairi Tanner’s story.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

For more news about Marian Tee and her latest release, you can visit her on the following social media sites and her website:

Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter |

That’s all folks, I hope you had a great time getting to know Marian Tee a little more, because I did!

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*Author Spotlight* An Interview with K.L. Ruse Author of Found in You

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I really enjoyed reading Found in You that I was surprised when I learned afterwards that it was K.L. Ruse’ debut novel. The characters had me intrigue, excited, it made me see life in a whole new perspective, it made me want to fall in love too. K.L. Ruse did a great job with Cole and Camryn’s story. When I learned I could do an interview for a blog tour, I immediately grab the chance. I sure would love to know more about K.L. Ruse and her amazing characters that though fictional didn’t feel like they were.

 

So please join me in my quest to getting to know K.L. Ruse a little better and getting a glimpse of her world a little more…

WRITING CORNER

V.S. : What made you give up being a teacher and finally giving in to writing?

Author KL Ruse: It’s kind of funny, I feel like my desire to be a writer was such a big secret that I kept from my family and friends. They all knew I carried a journal in my purse and would constantly write down my thoughts. My mom even knew that I picked my major in college based on which included the most writing intensive classes because I was so much better at that than taking a standard test! But no one really knew becoming a writer was actually a dream of mine.

I spent seven years teaching History to middle school students and when I taught the lesson on the American Dream the students had to write their dream on paper and it was collected in a box and put away until the end of the school year. That’s when their American Dreams would be revealed. I, of course, had to write my own and about two years ago I wrote down to become an author on mine. At the end of that school year I received a gift from one of my eighth graders who was moving on to high school and it was a journal. She wrote, “Go get your American Dream.” inside the front cover of it and that began my plunge into this crazy world of writing.

V.S. : Who or what was your inspiration to write your first book?

Author KL Ruse: Personally, my family really inspired me to take this leap. My husband’s support was endless and I really wanted to doe this to prove to my two young daughters that in life anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

In the book world, I was reading A.L. Jackson’s Take this Regret and I was so inspired by the emotion in the story that I wanted to write my own story and maybe touch someone in the same way.

V.S. : How did you feel when published your first book?

Author KL Ruse:  So many emotions ran through me the day I hit the publish button – excitement, disbelief, pride, but mostly panic. It’s terrifying to put yourself out to the world knowing that you are now up for speculation. I just remember that on release day I had an extremely clean house because that’s what I do when I’m nervous – I clean.

V.S. :  Any particular habit that you do before and/or after writing a manuscript?

Author KL Ruse:  Before and while I write, I usually listen to songs that inspire that particular story and I listen to them over and over again. When I was writing Found in You I listened to the Imagine Dragons album more times than I could ever count!

V.S. :  Have you ever had a ‘writer’s block’? If so, what do you do when you get stuck in a scene?

Author KL Ruse:  Absolutely! I definitely have felt the pain of writer’s block while writing the second book. I usually take a break when it happens. I’ll play games with my kids or read to clear my mind again. Sometimes a simple shower brings back the ideas!

V.S. : I’ve been really curious about Camryn’s mom. Is she in any way inspired by a real person?

Author KL Ruse: About 9 years ago, my father-in-law passed away after he suffered for a year with bladder cancer. It was my first year of marriage and to say my husband was close to his dad is an understatement. I watched my husband suffer from this great loss of a man who really was everything to him. As I watched a part of him essentially die along with his dad, I always would think what it could do for him if he had another chance to hear from him, to have his dad’s words as a written legacy that would live forever in my husband.

So when I started writing Found in You and knew that a dead parent would be central to Camryn’s grief and anxiety, I wanted to live out that wish I had for my husband. I wanted to convey that parents’ words of advice can live on forever.

V.S. :  If you would be given a chance to do collaboration with another writer, who will it be?

Author KL Ruse: Tough question because there are so many amazing writers in this genre. But if I had to choose it would be A.L. Jackson. I really strive to reach the same emotional depth of her writing in my own one day.

V.S. :  If you can be any of the characters in your book, who will it be?

Author KL Ruse: While I respect Camryn in so many ways, I really think it would be Lila. She is a true party-girl but the most dedicated friend you could ever have.

V.S. : What advice will you give to all the aspiring writers out there?

Author KL Ruse: Don’t get discouraged. No matter the negative that this particular field can bring have faith in your talent and know that there will always be people that have faith in you. There are always rooms for more authors. Really can you ever have too many books?

V.S. :  What are you currently working on that your fans should look forward to?

Author KL Ruse: I always intended that Found in You would be two books – one from Camryn’s point of view and the second would tell Cole’s story. So I am currently writing Saved by You in Cole’s point of view and it will continue from where Found in You left off. However, it also flashes back to the past so we get a glimpse of the darkness that Cole seems to be running from in the first story.

However, as I was writing Found in You I felt that many of the secondary characters had such strong voices and that they deserved to be heard as well. So I decided to also write a third and fourth book in this series. The third will be about Heidi and Dusty who are introduced in the first one and then the fourth will be Lila’s and Carter’s story. So Cole, Camryn and Gavin aren’t done after the second book. We will be able to see glimpses of them in the final two books as well!!

 

 

OFF THE GRID

V.S. : What’s your favorite food, something that you won’t get tired of eating?

Author KL Ruse: Baked macaroni and cheese, but it has to be my grandmom’s recipe!

V.S. : Books or movies? What genre?

Author KL Ruse: Books and contemporary romance, of course!

V.S. :  Aside from teaching, if you were not a writer, what would you have been?

Author KL Ruse: I would have owned a small book store at the beach

V.S. : What is the one thing you cannot live without

Author KL Ruse: My writing journal and chocolate chip cookies

V.S. :  Could you share something about you that not many people know about?

Author KL Ruse: I am terrified of snakes. I once saw one on the road I was driving on and when I got home I called my husband from the garage to come out and make sure it didn’t attach itself beneath my car.

 

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That’s all folks. I hope you enjoyed reading about K.L. and getting to know her a little better like I did. If you haven’t read Found in You, I strongly suggest you do. It’s a read worthy of every penny.

For more information about the book, you can read about it along with my review here: FOUND IN YOU BY K.L. RUSE

Purchase on Amazon Purchase on B&N

Author Links:
Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads

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Author Spotlight ~ Ruth Cardello

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This is an awesome Interview to Ruth Cardello… my favorite English Romance author.

Emma Writes Romance

Ruth Cardello is an amazing woman. The former teacher has used her life experiences and combined them with her wild imagination to write books….and not just any books. Romance stories with powerful Alpha men, sassy and wily leading ladies and plots that have you drawn in from the very beginning.

I picked up Ruth’s first book,Maid for the Billionaire, when it was recommended to me from iTunes. It was a free read so it was worth giving it a go. I wasn’t disappointed. This story of a successful and hard-arsed businessman who meets a sweet and caring woman  just at the right time in his life, had me turning pages as quickly as I could. I enjoyed every minute of it and even got to have a good giggle through it.

With the release of Alethea’s Redemption, Ruth now has six books in the Legacy Collection plus…

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