Interview with Fireweed author: Terry Montague

Fireweed new coverFireweed by Terry Montague is an intriguing and poignant WWII saga from the German citizen point of view. Terry pulls the reader into Lisel’s heart and then lets you see, smell, hear, feel and touch her world. I wanted to reach out and give Lisel a hug.

Margaret: Why do you write?

Terry: Because I have so many questions about life that, I think, I’m always trying to work those out in my mind.  Plus I’ve got lots of stories bubbling around in there and writing is the most effective way to get them out!

I’ve always been a person of maximum curiosity.  My parents tell me my first word wasn’t “Mama” it was an entire sentence, accompanied by a pointing, pudgy finger, “What’s that?”

I love to turn over rocks and say, “Look what we have here.”

Margaret:  Are the goals different for other projects?

Terry:  Yes.  For instance, when I was writing for Meridian Magazine, the Proctors wanted stories that were uplifting and inspiring stories about facing life’s trials.  Then, a couple of years ago, I wrote a piece of fiction that was intended to let women know they could laugh at the perplexing things in life.  I entered it in a humor competition and won a first place. Fireweed and Mine Angels Round About were “Look what we have here,” projects.

Margaret: What genre are your books and who is your target audience?

Terry:  Historical and Women’s Fiction for teen-agers and older.  I’d like to do something with Mystery but my Mystery skills aren’t advanced enough, yet.

Margaret:  Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to write this story?

Terry:  Yes.  As I was thinking about finding a new and intriguing project when I met Norman Grant Seibold who was then one of our County Commissioners.  His experiences as a missionary in Nazi Germany inspired me to research the West German Mission evacuation of 1939.  Over a five-year period, I tracked down nearly sixty of the almost eighty missionaries involved in that dramatic and historically significant incident.

Often, I traveled to a former missionary’s home to find he had family members, some of them German, sitting in on the interview.  If, during the interview, the missionary had to retrieve a journal or set of letters from another room, his German family members would say to me, “Now let me tell you what happened to me.”

When my research was as complete as I could make it, we released it as a piece of primary resource historical non-fiction, titled Mine Angels Round About.   Then, because I knew I needed to tell another part of the story, one from the German point of view, I began writing Fireweed. 

Margaret: Intriguing. Tell us about the heroine in your book.

Terry:  I like to use a main character who seems the weakest or has the least power in her situation then I toughen her up by throwing some rocks at her so that, eventually, she not only has the most power but can sling rocks back.

Margaret: Tell us about the villain. Is it a person, thing, or circumstance?

Terry: All three.  I think conflict should come from all different directions.  Plus, the villain in one part of the story might serve another purpose in another part. So the villain can change or the circumstance can change.  That’s the way it is in mortal life.  Everything changes.  I like it that way.

Margaret:  How do you discover the characteristics of your characters?

Terry:  Ha!  I didn’t discover them.  I assigned them.  I know, that sounds a bit backward but I always go at a story from setting and circumstance first.  Then, I work on what kind of character would best suit what I want to say.  I let the character have her say, but I’m not the kind of writer who lets the characters take over the story.

Margaret:  Who was the first person you told when you found out your book was being published?

Terry:  My Husband, Quinn.

Margaret:  Thanks for visiting with me Terry. Reading Fireweed reminds me of my mother’s and grandmother’s stories from Holland in WWII. Some of them are recorded in my mother’s book: Never Againby Martha Petronella van der Wal Larsen.

Fireweed is written for an LDS audience and will be enjoyed by Dean Hughes and Sandra Grey fans, as well as women’s fiction lovers and WWII enthusiasts.

Interview with Connie Flynn – Author of Know When to Run

KnnowWhentoRunCoverKnow When to Run by Connie Flynn begins with excitement and moves forward with exciting twists and turns. The characters are well developed and descriptions are so real you feel the tension and smell the fear. This witty and hot romantic suspense is action packed and erupts with emotion.

Connie Flynn is a member of Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and Thriller International, Connie is active in several local chapters. She also teaches independent workshops and gives presentations on novel writing and creativity.

Know When to Run Teaser: She woke up one morning on a Mississippi riverboat casino with a huge headache and a huge case of amnesia. With the help of new friends she rebuilt her life. Now, nearly two years later, a tall dark man with killer good looks comes after her. A bounty hunter, who claims she killed her father then ran out on her bail. She says he’s got the wrong woman. He says she’s guilty as sin. One of them is right . . .

Suddenly so many people are after her, she can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys. But one thing she can do is KNOW WHEN TO RUN.

Connie was kind enough to give me an interview:

Margaret: What inspired you to write Ky’s character with amnesia?

Connie: The writing of this novel was about three years from conception to publication and I honestly can’t remember why I chose amnesia. But I’m attracted to that kind of plot because it’s almost like a second chance . . . and in this case, for Ky, it truly was a second chance to become a good person. Plus, when memory isn’t reliable, neither is the person, which made trust much more difficult to achieve and the mystery much more difficult to solve.

Margaret: How do you discover the characteristics of your characters? Please elaborate on one or two of those.

Connie: I used to do complicated charts and character traits until I found they got in the way of the writing. Now I always start with what the focal characters want to get or avoid, and why they want it because I’ve discovered these answers provide so much meaty information. The next thing I do is to torment my characters all the way through the book until the ultimate prize is won (or lost).

Margaret: What is your favorite Genre to write and why?

Connie: Most of my books are cross-genre. I adore romance for the emotional edge it gives a story, but suspense and thrillers keep me on my mental toes, especially when the love interest is strong. And fantasy, well, I can throw away the molds when I write fantasy, but I also pull in suspense and a love interest. So I guess I’m just not a purist so I tend to define my story genre by which plot line is dominant.

Margaret: There are multiple sleaze balls in this story, which was the hardest to write and why? Who was the easiest to write and why?

Connie: Hard to say. I just love my sleaze balls. They add so much texture to a story and the biggest challenge in writing them is to avoid making them stick figures and stereotypes. I’d say that Les Broder was hard to keep real, I kept wanting to give him every Snidely Whiplash trait in the book. Gabe’s brother-in-law, Hal, was the easiest because we all know guys like him. No moral center and no driving purpose, he just hopes things will fall his way if only he can catch a break. Like many men of that kind he is his own worst enemy.

Margaret: When can we expect to find book #2 in this series on the shelf?

Connie: KNOW WHEN TO HIDE, also revolving around the riverboat, will star Ivy, Gabe’s girl Friday who would be office manager if not for Hal. It’s currently in the conception stage with a villain and a love interest chosen. It will be another financial thriller so it’s the twists and turns that I’m working on now. My plan is to launch the paperback version by Christmas.

Margaret: Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to reading KNOW WHEN TO HIDE.

 

 

Chosen: Werewolf Academy Book 7 – The Finale

Werewolf-Academy-7-cover-200x300Cheree Alsop’s conclusion to her Werewolf Academy series: Chosen vibrated my soul with strains of the Cannons from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  Chosen is the 7th book in this powerful series that splays real world prejudice and bigotry open with a blast while entertaining with paranormal fantasy that is not for the faint of heart.

Alex knew choosing the path of the lone wolf wouldn’t be easy, but challenging Jaze Carso for the chance to bring the Werewolf Academy to the public would prove to be much harder. Alex has to decide how far he is willing to go to give werewolves the life he has fought for. Will his trust in humans become the biggest mistake of his life, or will his hope in humanity prove that selflessness can change prejudice? Alex has bled for both sides; now is his time to challenge whether those sides will do the same for him.Everything Alex has fought and bled for comes together in this final book in the Werewolf Academy series. New threats arise, an old enemy resurfaces, and the bond of love is tested to the extreme in this gripping conclusion.

Cheree Alsop has published 30 books, including two series through Stonehouse Ink. She is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and amazing twin sons who fill every day with joy and laughter. She is married to her best friend, Michael, the light of her life and her soulmate who shares her dreams and inspires her by reading the first drafts and giving much appreciated critiques. Cheree works as an independent author and mother, which is more play than work! She enjoys reading, traveling to tropical beaches, spending time with her children, and going on family adventures while planning her next book. Cheree and Michael live in Utah where they rock out, enjoy the outdoors, and never stop dreaming.

Follow Cheree:

website: www.chereealsop.com

Review of Loving Lucianna with author Interview

LovingLucianna-coverJoyce DiPastena released the first novel in her new Hearts in Autumn Romance series – an ageless tender love story – Loving Lucianna. Serafino is a perfectly despicable villain, Sir Balduin is a wonderful hero and the reader will love Lucianna with all her charms and faults. Joyce DiPastena creates her novel with such authenticity it transports the reader into the Medieval era.

Sir Balduin de Soler gave up long ago on love. He never had the means to support a wife until an unexpected advancement in his fifties allows him to reassess his future just as the lovely Lucianna enters his life.

Lucianna Fabio harbors a secret, painful memory from her past that has kept her unwed, as well. Now in her forties, she thought herself too old to marry until she meets Sir Balduin. Now suddenly their lonely autumn lives feel very much like spring again . . . until Lucianna’s brother appears without warning and threatens to revive the secret that will destroy Lucianna’s second chance at love.

Margaret: Congratulations on delivering another brilliant medieval romance. The average age for heroines in historical romance novels I’ve read tends to be late teens through mid-twenties. Please discuss your reasons for creating older, more mature characters for your Autumn Romance series.

Joyce: 

 Thank you for reviewing Loving Lucianna, Margaret. I’m so happy that you enjoyed it! Actually, I received the inspiration following a group promotional event I participated in in a Facebook group last spring. The group decided to plan a similar promo event for the fall of 2014 and challenged us all to write an autumn-themed story that we could publish and promote around that time. So I started thinking about what kind of story I could write that would have an autumn-theme, and the idea simply popped into my head to write a romance for an older couple “in the autumn of their years.” I wasn’t sure where to start at first, but then I remembered the character of Lucianna from my medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart. I had described Lucianna in that book as being in her forties with hair that was beginning to turn gray, and had included a small subplot about her falling in love with a “gray haired knight” named Sir Balduin. They just seemed the perfect couple to write a full-fledged romance for! So that was the origin of Loving Lucianna. And I enjoyed the concept so much, that I decided to make it the first in a “Hearts in Autumn” romance series about older couples who fall in love.

I do want to stress that Loving Lucianna is a totally stand alone novel. It is absolutely not necessary to read Illuminations of the Heart first to enjoy that Loving Lucianna!

Margaret:  I agree that Loving Lucianna can be thoroughly enjoyed without reading Illuminations of the Heart. But having read Illuminations of the Heart some time ago, I am now looking forward to re-reading the story with a new perspective.  Are there any particular individuals in real life who served as models for your fiction?

Joyce: Not that I’m consciously aware of. It helps, of course, that I’m in my 50’s now, so writing about older couples feels compatible with where I am in my life. I can certainly write older couples with greater authenticity now than I could have if I’d thought the idea up in my 20’s or 30’s. 

Margaret: An older audience will appreciate your sensitivity to the sensibilities of those of us in the twilight of our lives. What will be the title of the next book in the Autumn Romance series and when do you anticipate it will be on the shelves?

Joyce: I don’t have a title yet. I do have a kernel of an idea for the hero and heroine and their plotline. I haven’t started writing it yet, so we’ll see if it pans out. My goal is to bring a new Hearts in Autumn romance out each fall. They will probably be somewhat shorter books, like Loving Lucianna, because I will still be working on my longer romances (with younger couples) and I’m a slow writer, so to do both, I’ll have to keep the Hearts in Autumn line shorter, at least for now.

Margaret: That is a very ambitious and brilliant plan. Will the rest of the Autumn Romance series also weave in characters from previous titles: Loyalties Webb, Illuminations of the Heart or Dangerous Favor, like Loving Lucianna did?

Joyce: It will probably vary from book to book. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The character I’m thinking of for my next Hearts in Autumn romance (a troubadour named Foulcaut) is also a minor character in the next WIP on my agenda, which will be based on the character of Acelet from Illuminations of the Heart. (Acelet also has a small appearance in Loving Lucianna.) I’m not sure which story I’ll finish first, though, Acelet’s story or the next Hearts in Autumn romance, so Foulcaut’s story may appear slightly out of sequence if I finish and publish it first. But it will also be a stand alone and not dependent on Acelet’s story to fully enjoy!

Margaret: That’s wonderful! I am looking forward to reading all your excellent books in the future. Thank you for visiting with me today.

 

Deirdra Eden releases Book I of Watcher Series

Deirdra Eden has a wondrous epic fantasy that keeps the reader engaged from first to last word. Knight of Light, the first novel in The Watchers series is filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, monsters, and a witch.
The Watchers Book 1: Knight of Light

 

In England, 1270 A.D., Auriella (pronounced yurr-ee-ella) flees her village after being accused of witchcraft. Pursued by nightmarish creatures, she struggles to accept the truth about her humanity.

Filled with fairies, dwarves, pixies, dragons, demons, and monsters, Knight of Light is an enthralling tale that will capture the imaginations of readers young and old.

The Watchers Series has been described as Braveheart meets Supernatural.

The mythology for the series is based on many theological texts from dozens of sects with correlating themes. Ancient writings include The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Traditional Apocrypha, The Pearl of Great Price, and The Kabbalah.

“The Watchers” are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness.
Unfortunately, as the Book of Enoch mentions, some of these Watchers go bad. Although the mythology is based on these texts, Deirdra Eden’s The Watcher’s Series is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl’s discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions

 

 

 

About the Author: Deirdra Eden

 



“My goal in writing is to saturate my books with intrigue, mystery, romance, and plot twists that will keep my readers in suspense. I want to see fingerprints on the front and back covers where readers have gripped the novel with white knuckles!

Aside from writing, I enjoy jousting in arenas, planning invasions, horseback riding through open meadows, swimming in the ocean, hiking up mountains, camping in cool shady woods, climbing trees barefoot, and going on adventures.”
-Deirdra Eden

Find Deirdra Eden and The Watchers Series online on AmazonDeirdra’s websiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway