Thursday, January 31, 2013

Author Spotlight: Cindy Springsteen

Welcome friends! Today we have  Cindy Springsteen, author of the adorable Waffles & Pancakes books, which your little ones will love!

Hi Cindy! What inspired you to write Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson In Bullying?

 I was inspired to write this book because bullying is a huge topic right now. Many books that I found out there were more for middle and high school children. I think that children need to learn earlier about bullying and the consequences of those actions earlier.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am presenting working on the next book in the Waffles and Pancakes series. The next book will focus on the topic of Strangers. Each book in the series will teach children a valuable lesson with lovable characters and colorful illustrations.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still think I have a hard time accepting that I am an author. Even though by the end of 2013 I will hopefully have four books out there, still feels like a dream.

What is your greatest challenge as an author? Finding the time to write all the story ideas that I have. There are so many stories I want these characters to experience and there are just not enough hours in the day.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
My most rewarding experience was when a local school reached out to me to come in for a special event. I will be going to every first grade classroom and speaking with them about my books. They each will also take home a copy of my book. Seeing my books in a child’s hands is the best gift anyone could ever give me.

What is the best advice any one has ever given you?
The best advice I was given was to follow my dreams. It took over 20 years before I had the nerve to submit my first book to a publisher. I took a chance on a dream of being an author and now with two books out there I can say finally say that I am.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I initially wanted to be a teacher. I think many children do. I would pretend play school with my dolls and animals. I would have a cup that I would pretend was coffee, when in fact it was soda. Sadly, I gave a lot of tests to my pretend students. Good thing I never fulfilled that dream.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I am also a published poet. I wrote hundreds of poems in my teenage and young adult years. I have won a bunch of awards and my poetry is in a few books out there.

Cats or Dogs?
Love both of these. I have a dog and three cats, couldn’t imagine life without them.

Coffee or Tea?
100% coffee drinker. I can’t imagine starting a day without it.


Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Always follow your dreams. No matter how crazy an idea you think it might be. If you find a good book share it and let another reader experience what you did. Also tell the author, we love to hear that someone got something out of our words.


Where can people find you and your books online?

http://www.cindy-springsteen.com - Website

https://www.facebook.com/author.cindy.springsteen - Facebook

https://twitter.com/C_Springsteen - Twitter

http://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Springsteen/e/B007R396Z8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_2 – Amazon


About Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson In Bullying 

Waffles and Pancakes, along with their owners, are about to learn another lesson, A Lesson in Bullying.

Join Waffles and Pancakes, along with Danny and Griffin, their owners, as they come face to face with a couple of bullies; Tom and his guinea pig, Oscar. Will Waffles, Pancakes, and their owners be able to become friends with Tom and Oscar? Find out when you read Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson In Bullying.

“Middle School is TOO LATE! We need to teach our children while they are young. With Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson In Bullying Cindy Springsteen gives us the words, with colorful illustrations and an endearing story of two hamsters and a guinea pig. It's a page turner for kids!”

About Cindy Springsteen:

 Cindy Springsteen is a published poetry writer. Her first children’s book “Waffles and Pancakes A Lesson in Friendship” was released on April 17, 2012. On September 17, 2012 the second in the series "Waffles and Pancakes A Lesson in Bullying" was released. She has been writing since she was in her teens. She spent many years researching and writing about parenting teenagers for various publications. She is currently working on a third "Waffles and Pancakes" story and a novel both to be released in 2013. Presently, she is also a virtual assistant for a top author.


Thanks for joining us today Cindy!



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Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Wasn't Going To ... But ...

I'm allowed to change my mind, right?  I'm talkin about putting together a monthly newsletter. It's an idea I've been toying around with for a while now. To be honest, I get a lot of newsletters in my email regularly. Some I read, but most I don't. Because of that, I was leaning more towards the "I wasn't going to" side. But then I began thinking about the newsletters I did read. What made them special?  Well for starters, these were newsletters that I actually signed up to receive  unlike the others which were just automatically sent out to some randomly generated list.

So that was.requirement #1: If I was going to go through with this, I wouldn't just sent it out to an email list I created. I had to have subscribers.

Then I started thinking about content. I find I get asked a lot of the same questions every month (1) Can I get a peek of what you are working on? (2)What will you be working on next? (3) How can I win swag, and (4) Do you have any appearances/events coming up?

This blog is great for spewing out what's on my mind in the here and now, but it doesn't really answer those questions.

Requirement #2: The newsletter will try to answer relevant and current questions I am asked.

Okay, so I know what you're thinking. Between this blog, Facebook, and Twitter, don't I already give a lot of info? What will make the newsletter different?

Requirement #3: Exclusive Content! Yes that's right - get to read excerpts from current works and upcoming works that ONLY subscribers get to see. PLUS, I know how you love giveaways - so every month there will be a giveaway open only to newsletter subscribers. In addition, now you will have everything going on for the month in one place.

Interested?

Well, you can sign up right here!










That was easy right? First issue comes out February 1st! As always - thanks for your support!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Kirke

Hi all - welcome to another Author Spotlight! Today we have our first ever author who has now been in the spotlight twice - Elizabeth Kirke! That's because Elizabeth has a new book out titled Snow Bound. Snow Bound is the second book in her More than Magic series and it looks great.

Elizabeth was kind enough to be interviewed today:

Welcome Elizabeth - Please tell us about your current release.
My newest book is called Snow Bound and it's the second book in my New Adult urban fantasy series. It picks up about five months after the previous book left off. There are some old, familiar faces for readers who have read the first book and some new characters too. I tried my best to make sure that people who haven't read my first book can still enjoy this one, but I would recommend reading them in order. It was just published on January 19, 2013!

Congrats! What inspired you to write this book?
It seemed like a logical sequel to my first. Semester Aboard took place during a summer trip, which was inspired by a cruise that I took a few years ago. The main character, Jen, is a college student, so it seemed right that I would go from her summer break in book one, to her winter break in book two.

As for the inspiration, I love skiing, and winter in general. A ski resort seemed like a perfect place for a book set in the winter. As the characters are all different kinds of magical beings, somewhere remote like a resort seemed even better!

Sounds like the perfect setting for a winter read. So, what story are you working on next?
I'm currently working on a number of stories, 13 to be exact! Ha! It's a collection of short stories, revolving around the life of Dani, one of the main characters in Semester Aboard. I suppose it's a prequel in a way.
But, as a friendly warning, my current two books are, as I said, New Adult. This collection will be fully adult. Language, violence, mature themes, the works. So, it won't be appropriate for some fans of my current books. And fans who are looking for a "third" more light-hearted and easy-to-read book, may not enjoy it.

Wow, you are busy! When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?
I don't! It's very tough! I manage a quick fifteen to twenty minutes in the mornings before work. I generally get an hour for lunch, and sometimes an extra hour or two on slow days, at my day job. Then I can find an hour most evenings, depending on if it's hockey or football season! My husband periodically goes out for guy's night, which is when I get several good hours to write!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I talk. Worse yes, I act. I pace around my house talking (in different character voices) to myself and "choreographing" scenes. Just last week my husband caught me having what looked like a heated argument…with myself. I sometimes feel like I should carry around a tape recorder.

You should! I love your writing process. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
All of the random people who contact me! I got an email from a total stranger saying that I had inspired her to write a book of her own. And, earlier today in fact, I got a message from someone saying that my book s looked awesome and she can't wait to read them. I also periodically get comments on my Facebook page, or even private messages telling me they love my book or asking questions that the book didn't answer. It's great! I love hearing from fans, it's really great to know that someone enjoyed my work enough to take a moment to track me down and tell me.


I agree - talking one on one with readers is the best! As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a VERY young child I wanted to be an artist. Then for a while I went back and forth between veterinarian and teacher. That said, I was always writing. I think somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted, ultimately, to become an author.

Do you have any hobbies?
I'm not too busy to have hobbies?! I'm a big crafter. I knit, crochet, cross-stitch, you name it. I'm trying to figure out a way to make a More than Magic related project. I also love baking, birdwatching, and kayaking. And of course reading!
And really, writing is a hobby for me. It's part of what I love about being an author. I don't need to take a "break" when I'm writing, because I love doing it!

If you could have a superpower what would it be?
I would have the power to learn anything instantly. Like what they do in the Matrix, but superpower style. I'm going to take a trip to China, BAM I speak Chinese now. Oh, you're knitting, that looks cool. BAM I can knit now too. Oh, you can ice skate? Me too! What to have for dinner…I think I'll make sushi, good thing I know how to roll it!
I think that would be awesome.

Yes! I agree! Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Well, I want to thank you for taking the time to read this =) If you read my book as well, I do hope you enjoy it! I'd also like to say that I honestly do love hearing from readers. If you've got any burning questions about the characters, or even just are bored and want to chat, I'm always happy to! Just don't be creepy and ask me to marry you or something!

Where can people find you and your books online?
I can be found on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/MorethanMagic
Or on my blog, http://elizabeth-kirke.blogspot.com
You can find the first four chapters of Semester Aboard and the first chapter of Snow Bound there, as well as fun things like character interviews and updates on upcoming projects.
I'm also on Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/5116849.Elizabeth_Kirke

Both books can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_at_ep_srch?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Elizabeth%20Kirke&search-alias=books&sort=relevancerank

And Semester Aboard is also available from Smashwords, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/79269 Snow Bound will be available there soon.




About Elizabeth Kirke


Elizabeth Kirke wanted to be an author before she even knew what an author was. She used to say that she wanted to be an artist, but that was only because she was too young to write and had to tell stories with pictures instead. She hasn't stopped writing since she learned how. It wasn't long before she dreamed of becoming an author and couldn't be happier now that that dream is a reality.

If she isn't writing...well, let's be honest; if she isn't writing she's probably on Facebook thinking that she should start writing. But, if she isn't writing or on Facebook, she's probably doing something involving books, baking, gardening, or yarn. In an ideal world, she'd be reading and knitting while something from the garden is in the oven. Then again, in an ideal world, she'd have a flock of ducks and a couple of goats.

Like most slightly-nosy, avid readers, Elizabeth can't resist trying to catch a peek at books she sees people reading when out in public to see if she can figure out what it is. While doing just that one day, she realized that it would probably be the coolest-thing-ever if she caught a complete stranger reading one of her books. That's her new dream.


About More than Magic:

Semester Aboard (More than Magic #1)

Jen is looking forward to spending an entire summer studying abroad on a cruise ship and she knows the experience will change her life. Then she sees something she wasn't supposed to see, something she can't explain. Jen finds herself thrust into a world she never knew existed and her life will change more than she imagined. That is, if she can survive the dangers lurking on the ship.

Snow Bound (More than Magic #2)

After learning how to use magic and fighting vampires, anyone would be bored going back to normal college life. Worst of all, Jen misses the friends she made over the summer. Naturally, Jen is all too happy to accept an invitation to go skiing with the gang during winter break.

She gears up for two weeks of snow, magic, and fun. Just when everything seems to be going great, an uninvited guest turns up. Soon the skiers aren’t the only things going downhill. Jen thought that vampires were just about the most dangerous thing the magical world could throw at her. Unfortunately, she’s about to learn that people with no magic at all can be just as deadly...


Thanks Elizabeth!


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Details Here




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Author Spotlight: Vickie Johnstone #petsontour

Hi everyone. Today I'm so excited because not only do I have author, Vickie Johnstone on my blog today, but I'm also part of her Raining Cats and Dogs Tour! Vickie is the author of the wonderful children's/middle grade series Kiwi in Cat City. My review of book one of the series can be found below. I not only love Vickie's books, but I also love that she is a black cat lover like myself.  Vickie is also the author of several poetry collections, as well as the newly released romantic comedy, 3 Heads and A Tail. Vickie was kind enough to write a guest post for us today....



The furry inspiration behind Kiwi in Cat City
By Vickie Johnstone

Most of my books are for children; middle-grade, especially. I didn’t set out to write books for kids – it just happened. The first proper book I ever finished was Kiwi in Cat City, in 2002. I had been made redundant and suddenly had a lot of time on my hands.

The book was inspired by a little black, fluffy, golden-eyed, chubby cat that I used to have, called Kiwi. She was cheeky, intelligent, curious, and liked to follow me down the road on the way to work – I’d have to scoop her up, take her back and run off! I’m sure she’d have hopped on the train with me if she could. Kiwi liked to chase shadows on walls, munch Whiskers food, roll on her back with her paws in the air for strokes, and hunt birds (alas, she was very good, and it was the only thing we argued about). When she wasn’t trying to swipe the dinner off my plate when I wasn’t looking or jumping in the air to catch a moth in mid-flight, she’d be curled up on my bed or waiting to pouncing out at me.

One day she followed me to the supermarket round the corner, waited patiently on a wall, and then came back home with me.

Kiwi was lovely, but I lost her in 2000, when she was six, which is no age really. I started to really hate cars.

Me and Kiwi, the cat behind Kiwi in Cat City
When she was still alive, I wrote a poem about her. In 2002, during this time between jobs, I reread it and started thinking about a world populated by cats. I’d lie in bed at night, imagining it. They ran their own lives and did their own thing. I named this world Cat City, where cats roamed free and happy, away from the dangers posed by cars and dogs, and where it was always summer. The star would be Kiwi. I would bring her back to life on paper and make her go on adventures. In Kiwi in Cat City, she is four, and she is ‘owned’ by Amy and James, and their parents, in the human world. I ended up making Amy a bit like me, although I named her after my niece. James was just my favourite boy’s name.

Gradually, other characters started talking and a catnapping plot emerged. I was writing by the seat of my pants, as I had no idea where the book was going, but I was also having a lot of fun. I wrote every day. Kiwi became magical and able to communicate with the kids, whom she turned into kittens and took on an adventure to her other home – the blue-lit Cat City. Soon other characters evolved – Siam, a computer whizz with bent whiskers, Inspector Furrball, a ginger tom with a very red waistcoat, and Kip, a good friend of Kiwi’s, among others. Plus there had to be a bad cat and a few red herrings.

It’s easy to see what inspired me – my cat and my lifelong obsession with fluffies. I’ve always been crazy about animals. They make me go “Ahhhhhh!” When I was a child I wanted to be able to talk to our pets. Our house was full of them – my mum ran a mini zoo and it was magical to me. One of my best-est buddies at the age of six or seven was our cat Mitzi, who I talked to and was sure she understood. My dad had an aviary full of birds and I thought I could communicate with them by winking. I’d go into the aviary, hold out my two little hands full of bird seed, and the budgies would land to feed. They’d also hop on my shoulder to do the winking thing.

Me, the budgie-winking kid of the 70s
We also had a dog called Glen, who was a border collie. I don’t remember much about him, except that he covered me with dirty water whenever he went for a swim when we took him for walks. I imagined he was laughing every time he did this, and that he’d do it on purpose, kind of naughty like. I immortalised him in a book called 3 Heads & A Tail, which I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011, although the dog in it is a Labrador. You can read about that if you like in another post on this blog tour.

The things I loved as a kid all involved animals. Our petting zoo at home was one thing. My favourite TV shows were Top Cat, Scooby-Dooby-Doooo, Bugs Bunny – I wanted to marry him and didn’t realise him being an animal and a cartoon would be a problem – Tom and Jerry, The Clangers, Mr Benn and The Mr Men. As you can see, animals ruled supreme while Mr Benn was all about journeying by magic to the past and The Clangers were just plain off-the-wall.

On Fridays we had playtime at Junior School. There was a Wendy House and loads of outfits to dress up in, and us kids could bring our games. My favourite was Hungry, Hungry Hippo, where you just bashed your colourful plastic hippo up and down to gobble up more marbles than your friends’ ones. Not much too it, but the hippos were cute. Of all the costumes, I literally sprinted for the white bunny outfit with big floppy ears. I think my classmates knew I was obsessed with it, and always let me wear it. One day another girl got there first and I sulked all afternoon! She must have felt sorry for me because it never happened again!

My favourite books all starred animals: Winnie-the-Pooh, Narnia, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Ugly Duckling, The Three Bears, The Incredible Journey, Pigling Bland and Watership Down; a little later, the It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet series, Call of the Wild and Animal Farm. And these are just a few that I can think of! Human characters just didn’t get a look in. To me, they weren’t as interesting as animals, especially ones that could talk. If a book didn’t star some furry hero, it had to contain magic, such as The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and the Folk of the Faraway Tree, though the latter did have a squirrel! Magic AND talking animals – now that was the ideal!


So, back to Kiwi in Cat City... In a few weeks I finished writing it. I’d had so much fun that I surprised myself, and I’d managed to write every day. But the big thing was that I’d actually completed a book; a whole book. I hadn’t finished a story since I was at senior school. I remember having this big feeling of accomplishment. And I was very happy because my little Kiwi had become immortal.

It would be another nine years until the story saw the light of day and was read by someone other than myself, but that’s another story. Today, my little Kiwi is the heroine of her own series, the Kiwi Series, of which there are now six books, and never a finer heroine could there be. Long may she purr!


About Kiwi In Cat City:

One dark night, Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see her cat, Kiwi, transfixed by the moon, which is glowing brightly like a cat's claw. Waking her brother, James, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi to see where she goes... whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that, with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to magically change them into kittens and lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to solve the mystery of the missing catizens and find out what happened to Madame Purrfect. For children aged 9+, teens and adults. This book is the first in the Kiwi Series. So far, there are six books. Illustrations by Nikki McBroom.


My Review:

I have often said I wish I could be one of my cats for a day. No pressures, just eat, sleep, play... and if your cat happens to be Kiwi, you also apparently solve mysteries and fight crime in the middle of the night. Sounds pretty awesome right? (Or should I say "paw some")  Well it is, and so is Kiwi in Cat City, by Vicki Johnstone. This is a great book for all ages - a "who dunnit" where cats are the main players. It's such a great concept. I loved reading how the  children adapted to their new cat status. The illustrations are lovely as well. As I watch my own cats fast asleep this morning, I have to wonder what it is that's got them so tired out.  I'm looking forward to reading more of Kiwi's adventures.


Where to Buy:
Ebook price: $0.99/77p
Paperback price: $7.50/£4.86

Amazon US ebook
Paperback

Amazon UK ebook
Paperback

Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Diesel


Author Bio:


Vickie Johnstone lives in London, UK, where she works as a freelance sub-editor on magazines and an editor on indie books. She has a thing about fluffy cats and also loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and travelling.
Vickie has self-published the following books:

Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow.

The Kiwi Series has illustrations by Nikki McBroom.

Author links:

Blog: http://vickiejohnstone.blogspot.com
Twitter: @vickiejohnstone
Website: Kiwiincatcity.com
FB author page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorVickieJohnstone FB Kiwi Series page: http://www.facebook.com/KiwiinCatCity
FB poetry page: http://www.facebook.com/KaleidoscopePoetry
FB editing service page: http://www.facebook.com/VickieJohnstoneEditing








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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Author Spotlight: Terri Morgan

Hi everyone! I hope you've had a great week! Today I'd like to introduce you to author Terri Morgan. Terri is an accomplished writer and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Terri for this week's Author Spotlight. I also had the pleasure of reading Terri's novel "Playing the Genetic Lottery" recently - my review is below as well.

Welcome Terri!

Please tell us about your current release. My novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery is a fictional memoir of a strong and resilient 32-year-old wife and mother who grew up with two schizophrenic parents.

What inspired you to write this book? I've always been fascinated with people, human behavior, what shapes them and what makes them behave the way they do. One day a friend, who like me is also fascinated with people, called to tell me about a woman she'd met who essentially raised her younger siblings because both her mother and father were mentally ill. I thought that would make a fascinating premise for a novel.


When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I was in college. I was taking a science writing course and had been struggling with my assignments. Suddenly, one day, everything clicked and I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

When and how do you find time to write in your daily life? I wrote Playing the Genetic Lottery when I was nursing my late husband during his final stages of cancer, so I just wrote whenever he was napping and didn't need my attention. Now that he's gone, I schedule time to write each week, and set goals regarding what I want to accomplish.

Any advice to aspiring writers? Just do it, and keep on doing it.

Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written? Please tell us about him/her and what book they are in. My favorite character is my protagonist in Playing the Genetic Lottery. She's strong, she's resilient, she's determined and has a lot of qualities I wish I had myself.

Are you writing under a pen-name, do you use your own, or is your work out in both ways? I write under my own name. I want full credit for my work.

Do people judge a book by its cover? Who makes yours? People do judge books by their covers. My brother's very talented girlfriend, Katja Coulter, created my cover for me.

What is your greatest challenge as an author? Marketing my book.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. The first time I had someone come up to me after a book talk and say 'thank you for writing about mental illness.”

What is the best advice any one has ever given you? Go for it.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A disc jockey on a rock n roll radio station, a private investigator, and the first woman to play center field for the San Francisco Giants.

Cats or Dogs? Dogs! I love dogs.

PC or Mac? PC

Coffee or Tea? Tea

Anything additional you want to share with the readers? Thanks for your interest in myself and my book. Writers would be lost without readers.


Where can people find you and your books online? My website: http://terrimorgan.net has links to amazon in the US and the UK, lots of information about my books, and an on-line order form.

THANK YOU!

Links to Playing the Genetic Lottery

www.terrimorgan.net

http://www.terrimorgan.net/terris-blog.html

www.twitter.com/soquelterri

www.facebook.com/playingthegeneticlottery

www.goodreads.com/http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/397836.Terri_Morgan

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_22?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=playing+the+genetic+lottery&sprefix=playing+the+genetic+lo%2Caps%2C0

www.smashwords.com/books/view/104186


About Playing the Genetic Lottery:


Caitlin Kane knows more about the impact of schizophrenia than most people could imagine. Both her parents were afflicted with the devastating mental illness, a disease that tends to run in families, and Caitlin and her brother grew up trying to navigate the chaos of living with two schizophrenics. Her tumultuous childhood left Caitlin determined to forge a peaceful and serene life for herself. Now 32, she is living her dream. Married to her best friend, she and her husband are raising two bright young children in the suburbs of Seattle. While her unusual upbringing has left Caitlin with emotional scars, she enjoys the love and support of her extended family and her challenging career as a pediatric nurse. But no matter how hard she tries, she can't shake the obsessive fear that the family illness will strike again, robbing her of her mind or stealing away the sanity of one or both of her children.


About Terri Morgan:

Terri Morgan is a book junkie and freelance writer from Soquel California. She reads at least 3 books a week, and gets nervous if she doesn't have new reading material available. When not reading, she is often found writing. Over the past three decades, her work has appeared in hundreds of different magazines, newspapers, newsletters and on websites. The author of 4 non-fiction books for young adults, and the co-author of four additional non-fiction volumes, Terri released her first novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery, as an e-book in late 2011. Now, Playing the Genetic Lottery is also available in paperback.


My Review of Playing the Genetic Lottery:

I love books that read like memoirs and was looking forward to reading Terri Morgan's debut novel. The opening of the book was extremely powerful. It set the tone early on about the long lasting affects of having so many schizophrenic people in your life. I also loved how the ending tied into the beginning bringing the reader full circle. The author did a great job of developing Ava, the main character, and her relationships with her parents, brother, and extended family. Admittedly, I would have liked more details regarding the progression of Caitlin's relationship with Jason, as I was just so glad she had him in her life. In the end, I learned so much about a disease I had misconceptions about. This is a book that truly stays with you. I found it to be a touching and educational read. I look forward to more works by this author.

Thanks so much Terri!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Author Spotlight: Kristy K James

Happy New Year everyone!! This week's Author Spotlight is my good friend Kristy K James. Kristy's books are wonderful character driven novels with interesting characters and story lines. I really enjoy reading her work, and I'm so glad to have her on my blog today! Welcome Kristy!


Kristy, you are a writing machine! Tell us about your newest release.
The most current is a novella that was released in December. It’s a Christmas romance, actually based on a crush I had when I was 18 or 19. Likely because he lived in this huge, cool old stone house (with turrets!) that I just loved. I actually did write (by hand) a romance with him as the hero and…um…someone very like me as the heroine. So this one is a little more grown up, a story about good friends who hope there can be something more.

What exciting story are you working on next?
You mean other than the third installment in the Coach’s Boys series (which was supposed to be out in December…oops!)? Next on the list is a young adult/fantasy series that I hope to get started on in February. It’s the whole good vs evil story, dealing with a group of teens, a group of nearly ninety year olds, and a a villain who has been around for more generations than anyone can count. The most exciting thing, though, is that my daughter will be working with me on it. I can hardly wait! I might turn her into a writer yet.

That sounds awesome and I love that your daughter is getting involved! I followed you during NaNoWriMo and your schedule was nuts! When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?
It’s actually not that difficult to do now. My kids are older and I don’t really have anything pressing to do in the at night…other than sleep, and who needs much of that, right? :)

You make it sound so easy! What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if this qualifies as a quirk, but some people think it’s kind of weird. However, I’m not the only writer who does this. What is it? If I’m having trouble getting into a character’s head, I will interview him or her. I had one heroine I couldn’t stand, which isn’t a good thing. If I didn’t like her, no one else would. So I ‘interviewed’ her and her sister. It was a little strange at first, but it didn’t take long before we were having a three-way conversation via my computer. Eventually I realized where she was coming from, what made her what she is today, and I actually like her a whole lot now, and she will have the leading role in the last book in the Coach’s Boys series.

The one thing that worries me about this practice is that I actually do wind up conversing with these characters like they’re real people. I’m fairly sure there’s a padded room with my name on it somewhere…

Haha - I talk to my characters all the time. Is that wrong? We can live in that padded room together! Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written? Please tell us about him/her and what book they are in.
I don’t know why, but my very favorite is Elliot Owens from Enza. Somehow he just developed into the best husband and father he could possibly be. And I loved his sense of humor. He was, by far, one of the easiest characters I’ve ever written. He might not be in the sequel, because he changes a bit for a while, but I don’t think the real Elliot will be lost forever. I hope to finish that some time in 2013.

I absolutely loved Enza (and Elliot). What is one thing that you could not live without?
Since everyone is going to say the people they love, food, water, air, etc…, I’m just going to take it that those are givens…and go with electricity. I’m not a ‘roughing it’ kind of girl. I need my computer, heat, air conditioning, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and all of the other stuff that makes living in the modern world so much nicer than Laura Ingalls had it. And all of those things are pretty useless without electricity.

Good point. I'll take electricity too. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
I’d take super speed in a heartbeat. It would literally add much needed hours to my day. Just think of all the time you could save on house and yard work, on shopping, and even driving. Yup, I could run faster than my van could ever hope to move…and I wouldn’t have to worry about tickets either!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
About me? I love brownies, bacon, and homemade bread an butter. Which I still have once in a while, even though I’m not supposed to eat gluten. But gluten-free bread products pretty much suck so…it’s worth it every now and again.

I love all those also. Where can people find you and your books online?
The easiest places to find me are on my blog (www.kristykjames.wordpress.com/), and my website (www.kristykjames.com). I have links to all of my books on those sites.

Thanks so much for having me, Karen! I really enjoyed it. Tell Nate and the girl whose name isn’t Millicent Marie that I said hi.

I sure will! Thanks Kristy!

About Kristy K James:



Kristy K. James' first goal in life was to work in law enforcement, until the night she called the police to check out a scary noise in her yard. Realizing that she might someday have to investigate scary noises in yards just as dark as hers if she continued on that path, she turned to her other favorite love...writing. Since then her days have been filled with being a mom and reluctant zookeeper (7 pets), creating stories, and looking for trouble in her kitchen.

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