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Book Launch Twitter Party for ‘The Fate of Pryde’ – December 3rd from 1 – 4:00pm EST December 2, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Books, Featured Authors, Giveaways, Nurture Your Books.
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Join us for The Fate of Pryde

Book Launch Twitter Party!

WHEN: Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 from 1 – 4:00 pm EST!

Follow Mary E. Martin on Twitter

Look for the #MaryMartin hashtag on December 3rd on Twitter – it’s that easy!

What to look forward to at the Twitter Party:

Flash Giveaways:

  • 40+ Free eBooks by Mary E. Martin
  • 5 X $10 USD Cash Prizes (sent via PayPal)
  • 5 X $15 Amazon (Electronic) Gift Cards
  • 20+ PDF copies of the Special Story Collection, Rinaldo’s Art Project

Q & A:

  • With author Mary E. Martin
  • With characters from The Fate of Pryde

And so much more – including the link to Mary E. Martin’s blog to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway where you could win a new Kindle!

I hope to see you there!

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

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Nurture Book Tour – Of Good and Evil by Gerald G. Griffin November 18, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Book Tours, Books, Featured Authors, Nurture Your Books.
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Author Bio:

Born in Flint, Michigan. Received MA and Ph.D. in psychology from Michigan State University. Set up private practice in Atlanta, Georgia as a Consulting Psychologist, a practice of 18 years doing psychotherapy, counseling, diagnostics and executive consultation. Moved to Gainesville, Georgia to enter writing full-time, at first doing ghost-writing and screenplays before turning back to novels. At present, putting the final touches to A TIME OF RECKONING, the sequel to OF GOOD AND EVIL.

Gerald is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and while in practice in Atlanta he was listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Personalities of America and Notable Americans.

Gerald is divorced with two grown sons, and is presently engaged.

Synopsis:

Ron Sheffield, a gifted but tormented Green Beret, plagued by suicidal guilt because of his “special” abilities, is discharged from the army for going “crazy.” Immediately, he is brutally beaten and shot by the Mafia, and is hospitalized near death. His life is dramatically saved by Amber Ash, who also possesses “special” abilities, and from there the two are propelled into harrowing ventures against mobsters, terrorists, and a government cell out to kill them over Iraqi documents Ron possesses from his army service. In an ironic twist, Ron becomes a Mafia hit man to save his sanity, targeting only fallen mobsters. This brings Ron and Amber into contact with the powerful and humane gifted secret society, Eros; this contact eventually actualizing Ron’s mental gifts to a point beyond his imagination. Ron is confronted with the imminent nuclear obliteration of a major American city by a suicidal terrorist cell that only he can stop. But against impossible obstacles, will he be able to do it in time?

Of Good and Evil: A Novel
Author: Gerald G. Griffin
Genre: Fiction – Thriller/Suspense
Published by: Eloquent Books (July 27, 2010)
Age Recommendation: 18+ For Mild Sexuality & Some Violence
Format: eBook & Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 978-1609760144
Number of pages: 342

You can find my complete review HERE but here is a snippet:

Of Good and Evil by Gerald G. Griffin is an action-packed ride from start to finish! We are introduced to the main character, Ron Sheffield, in the heat of battle and quickly realize there is more to Ron than meets the eye. After returning home from war, Ron is discharged for having a nervous breakdown but he knows that other forces are working against him. Taking matters into his own hands, Ron makes it his new mission to search for clues and honor his fallen comrades, while trying to preserve his sanity by focusing on the present.

Today is the last day of Gerald’s book tour, but be sure to check out the previous stops HERE to learn more about this wonderful author!

Find and follow Gerald G. Griffin at:

Author Website
Author Blog
Twitter
Goodreads
Facebook Profile
Facebook Page

Buy the book at:

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes & Noble

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

New Release – Cameo and the Vampire by Dawn McCullough-White October 31, 2011

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Today I am excited to announce the release of Cameo and the Vampire, Book 3 in the Trilogy of Shadows by Dawn McCullough White! I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first two books in this trilogy and am excited that the third is now available!

Author Bio:

Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy and horror. Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as the main characters, most commonly with a strong, female protagonist.

Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing prose at age 14. Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gewürztraminer. She’s a fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward. Her favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson.

Cameo and the Vampire by Dawn McCullough White

Synopsis:

A vampire’s bite tormenting Cameo, she pushes forth on a journey that will find her descending into darkness and at Kyrian’s request she is forced into the confrontation she has been avoiding for over fifty years with the undead that made her…

Be sure to check out my reviews of Cameo the Assassin and Cameo and the Highwayman!

Places you can get Cameo and the Vampire:

Amazon Kindle

B&N Nook Book

If you are interested in winning not one, not two but all three books in The Trilogy of Shadows, be sure to stop by the 2nd Annual Celebration of Authors & Readers where 10 lucky winners will receive all three books in this series! The giveaway for these books will run from December 16th – 21st.

Be sure to follow Dawn on her writing adventures by liking her Facebook Fan Page!

You can also learn more about this amazing author by visiting her Website!

Happy Halloween,

Jaidis

Featured Author – Ardie Collins September 16, 2011

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Today I’d like to welcome author Ardie Collins to Juniper Grove! Ardie is here to promote his book Cult Fiction!

Check out his interview below:

Without giving too much away, can you tell us what Cult Fiction is about?

Cult Fiction is a darkly comic novel about a man who, inadvertently and through very little fault of his own, sets up a cult. It is told by a narrator who sometimes gets a little bit distracted.

How long did it take you to write this book?

In total it took around three years, but for most of those three years I wasn’t writing, it was something I would return to in spurts, mostly when I had other things I should’ve been doing. I write best as a productive distraction. I’m some kind of a dreadful rebel.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

I can’t think of a ‘eureka’ moment as such, it was just an idea that occurred to me and I thought it might be fun to try and create a story out of it. I had been doing a lot of writing based on prompts during a Creative Writing module that I was taking in my second year of University and so I think it was a culmination of a few ideas. I also had a few other scrawls dotted around the place that ended up becoming a big part of the finished book. In a way I started writing it before I’d started writing it, if that makes sense. Which, of course, it doesn’t.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

You might end up enjoying it.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Fairly recently. Probably just after I’d written this book and started looking towards getting it published. I’ve written lots of bits and pieces here and there over my time in this strange little place, but I’d never considered them in terms of allowing me to become a writer, they were just things I’d written.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I carve the chapters into fruit first.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I play my guitar an excessive amount. I have a 365 project that I’m undertaking to release an original song online for every day of the year throughout 2011. It’s still going strong.

(The Cooper365 project: http://cooper365.tumblr.com/)

I’m a comedy junkie and love sit-coms and stand-up, I listen to a lot of music, I read and, most importantly, I make time to hang around and do nothing much whatsoever for an afternoon with friends.

What does your family think of your writing?

I tend to keep my stuff to myself, it was a bit of an anomaly that I put this novel out there, and so getting it published was a real surprise. My mum and dad helped with the editing side of things and were really supportive and seemed to enjoy getting a chance to read something I’d written finally. I used to be really secretive with anything I wrote but I’m gradually getting a bit more open about it, and I think I’m going to have to be now that anyone can read my book!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Don’t tell people you’re thinking of writing a novel – write a novel. Keep it a secret and work on it in your spare time. I have a law that states that the more people you tell you’re writing a novel the less of your novel you will end up writing. It’s called ‘Ardie’s Law’. I made a graph. Also, understand that it won’t be fully-formed within two days and that you will have to work on it. Don’t dismiss yourself as rubbish if a sentence comes out wrong – revise it, edit it, delete anything you’re not proud of and make sure the reason that you’re doing it is to create something you will be pleased with. Don’t even think about the publishing process until it’s done and you feel it’s ready.

Do you hear from your readers much?

It’s my first book and it’s only just been released as an ebook, so I wouldn’t call the correspondence an influx of fan-mail. I have had some feedback, though, from people that have stumbled across the book and they’ve always been very complimentary. I’m still figuring out how to react to that.

What do you think makes a good story?

A grand, sweeping idea brought down to a human level which we can relate to.

What genre do you find the most difficult to write in and why?

Anything that takes itself too seriously. My writing process tends to be an outpouring of words followed by some afterthoughts that are constantly cleaning up the end of the sentence with a sprinkling of whimsy and silliness.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how do you overcome it?

Sometimes, but it’s normally more to do with either the original ideas or with the way the actual plot ties together. Once I have an idea of a scene in my head I tend to be able to finish at least a draft of how I think it should be written without too much trouble. I think I’ve overcome writer’s block a little by realising that part of it is a worry that what you’re about to write won’t be any good, but no one will ever see the first thing you write because it will be rewritten and changed, so it doesn’t matter if the first thing you write isn’t any good. As long as you’re able to be critical of your writing after you’ve given it an attempt rather than before you even start then I think writer’s block becomes a little easier to handle.

What is the last book you read?

Things The Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett. He is otherwise known as the singer-songwriter ‘E’ or ‘Mr. E’ and the man behind the band ‘Eels’. It’s an autobiography which he was reluctant to write, but was constantly encouraged to do so. He has had such an interesting, yet harrowing life that went on to inform his career as a musician. It was beautifully written and made me appreciate his wonderful music and lyrics even more than I already did.

If you could take any book and rewrite it, putting your own twist on it, which book would it be and why?

The Bible. Bit wordy.

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

I’d prefer to keep the details of this a secret (see ‘Ardie’s Law’).

If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Douglas Adams. He is my favourite author. He wrote smart, witty and silly books that managed to incorporate the bizarre vastness of the Universe and peculiar nuances of human existence in one swoop. As well as writing incredible books he was also a really clever man that later went on to become an environmentalist, drawing the world’s attention to animals that are frighteningly close to extinction in Last Chance To See. He was an ambassador for science and critical thinking (something that I think to be hugely important and something that still, strangely, seems to need people to back it up), and, from the snippets of information I have picked up about him, he seemed like a thoroughly lovely human.

If you could travel into the past or future, where would you go and why?

If Back To The Future has taught us anything it’s that travelling through time can have serious repercussions for the space-time continuum and I’m just not sure I could live with the guilt of breaking the Universe.

What does the word success mean to you?

Doing what you enjoy all of the time.

If you had to compare yourself to an animal, which one would it be and why?

Homo Sapiens

If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?

‘Someone made me do this.’

If you had to trade lives with someone for an entire week, who would you trade with? Keep in mind that they would be living your life as well.

Bob Dylan. Mainly so I could look around his house at all of the memorabilia and perhaps play on his guitar.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

Never, under any circumstances, repeat this to anyone.

Thank you Ardie for that thought-provoking, giggle-inducing interview! You’re welcome back on my blog any time just because of your humor :)

Get your copy of Cult Fiction on Kindle!!

Book Synopsis:

Some people read stories because they offer an escapism that cannot be found elsewhere. Some people read stories because there’s been a power cut. You should read this story because it is very important. It is the story of Stephen Moore. It is also the story of a bench and a fire called Malcolm. Above all, it is the story of the birth of that great religion called Mooranity.

Stephen Moore was a good Christian. He read a small bit of the Bible every evening and went to church every Sunday. He prayed every night that the man in the sky would aid him through his troubles. Then a fire burnt down his house. This did not seem at all fair. As the smoke from the fire drifted away, so did his faith.

To replace the hole left in his life, Stephen formed a support group for those who have lost their beliefs. However, not being a natural leader type, the group began to grow and evolve in ways he had not entirely intended. In fact, it could be argued that it grew in ways exactly opposite to what he had intended. Stephen should have stopped it while there was still time.

Places you can find and follow Ardie:

Twitter
Website
Blog
Cult Fiction Facebook Page

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Featured Author – James D. Sanderson August 19, 2011

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Today I’d like to welcome author James D. Sanderson to Juniper Grove! James is here today to promote his novella, The Angelic Mysteries.

Check out his letter below:

A LETTER FROM AUTHOR JAMES D. SANDERSON

Greetings fellow book lovers,

It seems that with the advent of eBook publishing and internet promotion we have entered a new phase in writing and reading.  Anything can be published by anyone at any time for any reason.  This can have both positive and negative consequences.  Some authors can be ‘discovered’ that might not have been in the traditional publishing world.  Their voices can be heard for the first time.  That’s the good news.  On the other hand, the voices of greatness can be drowned out in the crowd.  Great literature can be labeled as ‘boring’ or ‘slow moving’ and the most mundane of works can become popular bestsellers.  It is Caveat Lector – Let the Reader Beware.  Latin, of course.  When it was used in ancient times it meant that there may be something wrong with the text itself.  Words might be misused or sentence structure amiss in some way.  But today we might use it to warn a whole generation of readers.  The same populism that drives literature can also drive literature into the ground.

In some ways I have made a mistake by promoting my novella ‘The Angelic Mysteries’ as a thriller or a love story/romance or even as a mystery.  The word mystery here is used to mean the ‘mysteries’ of the ancients – the mysteries of the spiritual realm.  It is a thriller and a love story, but of a different stripe.  So when readers come upon this work they have an expectation quite different from the real intent of the story.

While the idea of a man meeting a woman who believes she is an angel, and that she is being pursued throughout Europe by an anti-angel is a titillating one on the surface; there is an underlying current of a man teetering on the brink of insanity and his need to discover and fall in love with the spiritual side of his being.  If he is going to survive in life, he is going to have to ‘get it’ about how things really work.  With such an undercurrent imbedded deep in the story, it is small wonder that readers have trouble ‘getting it’ about ‘The Angelic Mysteries’ unless they have the key.  The key for such a story, unfortunately, only comes by reading other stories with deeply imbedded undercurrents.  Classics, in short.

When Gregor Samsa awoke from a night of unsettled dreams to find himself transformed into a vermin, the reader is not supplied with a whole backstory about how Mr. Samsa happened to be so transformed.  Franz Kafka does not choose to explain himself to his reader.  He does not explain why such a thing might have happened to Mr. Samsa.  He does not explain that the alienation of modern life can so harm a man that he might actually be turned into a giant cockroach.  Nor does Fyodor Dostoevsky spend a lot of time preparing the reader for the fact that has wanted to become an insect (again the use of a bug), in ‘Notes From Underground’.  There are many other examples as well but my point is, the author didn’t feel it his/her duty to explain what was going on.  She/He simply wrote it.  That is what is happening in ‘The Angelic Mysteries’.  There are short sentences and chapter breaks for a reason.  The reader is not allowed to simply breeze through the work as if it was intended to offer thrills and romance.  Rather, each chapter is a facet of the entire gem – one face upon which can gleam the whole.  Like a diamond, we might say.

By providing the key, here, I hope that the experience of reading this novella will be deepened and enriched.  But I also challenge the reader to look for more in literature than is offered in most fiction today.  Look for more than superficial characterization and thrilling plot twists.  Look for that underlying current that provides depth and insight into the human condition.  In that, great literature will survive into the future.

Yours,

Jim

Get your copy of THE ANGELIC MYSTERIES: A Novella on Kindle!!

Synopsis:

Believing he is leaving the specter of madness behind him, Daniel Allman flees to Europe where he meets Sarah, a woman who believes herself to be an angel. To make matters worse, she is being pursued by a psychopath she believes is an anti-angel sent to capture or kill her. As they travel together Allman tries to resist her beauty and charm. Will he fall in love with her despite his misgivings? Will they be overtaken and killed by the evil angel on their tail? Is any of this even true or has he completely lost his mind? Such are the problems confronting the characters in ‘The Angelic Mysteries’. A thriller. A love story. A literary adventure.

About the Book:

Title: The Angelic Mysteries

Author: James D. Sanderson

Publication Date: August 18th 2011

REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS: (Early reader reviews were added at Writer’s Café.)

Desert Guy called it “…intriguing” and said, “…I am interested to see what happens next,” and “…your style moves the narrative along neatly,” and “…I am very caught up in the mystery and suspense of your story,” and finally he called The Angelic Mysteries, “Great writing…”

Sage Music said, “Great dialog.  Snappy.  Feeling.  Love it! … very cool.”  She also said, “I like the intrigue… the story line has me hooked!”  Then, later, “…one is left to wonder just what in the heck is ‘The Angelic Mysteries’ so there is no choice but to read the next chapter!”  And, “Awesome!  The flow of the conversation… is on target and kept me glued.”  “I kept expecting Toombs (the anti-angel) to break down the door at any moment.’  And finally, “Beautiful…”  “I am truly enjoying this.  Great read!”
Snaopadelic said, “…intriguing and I also like the short sentences.”  And, “The dialogue is very natural.”

Dusty said, “You have great description up front before you have dialogue – but as soon as you introduce Sarah I was hooked and read non-stop.”  “Your insight had me thinking and that is a good thing.”

Places you can find and follow James:

Facebook

Blog

Do you have questions for James about his writing or The Angelic Mysteries? James will be around periodically today to answer your questions so be sure to leave a comment for him.

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Featured Author: J.K. Coi July 18, 2011

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Today I am happy to welcome award-winning author J.K. Coi to Juniper Grove! Ms. Coi has generously agreed to post about the ups and downs of writing. Check out what she has to say below!

I sometimes get asked what it’s like to be an author, and I suppose the answer varies depending on the day. 

Honestly, sometimes being a writer is so horrible that I wonder why I keep at it. Rejection is a part of almost everything that we do, but there’s something about having someone (be it a reader, reviewer, agent, or editor) tell you that your work isn’t good enough that really gets you deep down where you live. Mostly because writers create from the heart. Whether they’re expressing their fears, desires, or life experiences on that page, when someone rejects something that you’ve worked so hard to bring to life, it feels very personal, and can be very disheartening.

So why do I keep at it?

Because the flipside of rejection is that amazing high which comes not only from creating something out of nothing, but in knowing that your creation has the potential to really touch people and maybe even change their lives. I get so happy when I hear someone has read and loved my books. It’s one of the things that keeps me writing, even when it’s so hard that I could tear out my hair.

My new release from Carina Press, FALLING HARD, is like my child. And this is the moment when it will be sent out into the world on its own. All the blood, sweat and tears I’ve shed to make sure it is the best it can be is over now and I can only wait. Wait and see if it will resonate with people like it did with me. But it leaves a bit of a hole to realize this book doesn’t need me any more. I feel the need to reclaim that feeling of wonder and the joy of creating something special, and so I’ll keep at it and move onto the next book.

It’s what being an author is all about.

Is there anything that you really love to do, but sometimes seems so hard you come close to quitting?

After a life filled with tragedy, rocker Gabriel Gunn thinks he’s finally getting the better of his personal demons. Then he’s attacked after a concert—and rescued by a warrior goddess brandishing a sword and white wings. As hard as it is to believe in an angelic bodyguard, Gabriel must face an even more impossible truth: he carries the devil’s soul within him.

Amelia has been watching over Gabriel for years, using her angelic powers to prevent Lucifer’s return. Now she must also protect him from warring angel factions with their own agendas. Amelia would do anything to avert another angelic war, even sacrifice her own emotions to avoid temptation. Yet with Gabriel she feels things she no longer wants to deny, and pleasure she never imagined.

But the closer Gabriel and Amelia get, the stronger Lucifer becomes. Will Amelia be forced to kill the man she’s come to love to stop the war she’s always feared?

Get your copy of Falling Hard from Carina Press or on Amazon

~*~*~*~*~

J.K. Coi is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She makes her home in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and son and a feisty black cat who is the uncontested head of the household. While she spends her days immersed in the litigious world of insurance law, she is very happy to spend her nights writing dark and sexy characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.

You can find Ms. Coi at the following places:

Her Website

Twitter

Falling Hard book cover courtesy of the author and Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Featured Author: Daniel Arenson June 27, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Books, Featured Authors.
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I’d like to welcome back author Daniel Arenson! Last year I was lucky enough to have Daniel here on Juniper Grove and we learned all about his book, Flaming Dove, and all of his writing habits. Well, Daniel is back and this time he is sharing with us about his newest fantasy novel Blood of Requiem, Song of Dragons Book 1!!

If this is your first time meeting Daniel, let me take a moment to share his bio with you:

Born in 1980, Daniel Arenson is an author of fantasy fiction, from epic to dark and surreal.

He began his career writing short stories. He sold his first story, “Worms Believe in God”, in 1998. Since then, dozens of his stories and poems have appeared in various magazines, among them Flesh & Blood, Chizine, and Orson Scott Card’s Strong Verse.

Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale, published Arenson’s fantasy novel Firefly Island in 2007. Since then, he’s written the fantasy novels The Gods of Dream, Flaming Dove, Eye of the Wizard, and Blood of Requiem.

~*~*~*~

Without giving too much away, can you tell us what Blood of Requiem is about?

Song of Dragons, a new fantasy series, tells a story of blood, steel, and dragonfire.

BOOK ONE: BLOOD OF REQUIEM

Long ago stood the kingdom of Requiem, a land of men who could grow wings and scales, breathe fire, and take flight as dragons. Requiem ruled the sky.

But Dies Irae, a tyrant leading an army of griffins, hunted Requiem’s people, burned their forests, and shattered their temples. Requiem fell. This ancient land now lies in ruin, its halls crumbled, its cries silenced, its skeletons littering the burned earth.

In the wilderness, a scattering of survivors lives in hiding. The griffins still hunt them, and every day promises death. Will Requiem’s last children perish in exile… or once more become dragons and fly to war?

How long did it take you to write this book?

I’m not sure.  I wrote Blood of Requiem off and on, while marketing other books, working a day job, and following various other pursuits.  I estimate that the rough draft took about 100-200 hours to write.  I probably spent another 300 hours editing and revising it.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

Mozart’s Requiem.  While listening to the music, I tried to imagine creatures among the notes, like seeing shapes in clouds.  Being a fantasy author, I heard dragons.  I wrote the novel while listening to the Requiem, and named my characters and places after lyrics from it.

Which character in this book was the most enjoyable for you to write?

Gloriae, a huntress of dragons.  She’s beautiful, imperial, and fully evil.  She’s fire encased with ice, angry inside and impossibly cold on the surface.  And yet, she’s not a caricature; she has a haunting past, an identity crisis, and many challenges to overcome.  Her story is a sad one, but she’s so over the top, and so villainous, she was a pleasure to write.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

If you love epic fantasy like A Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, I think you’ll love Blood of Requiem.

How many books have you written so far?

Blood of Requiem is my fifth fantasy novel.  I’m also the author of Firefly Island, Flaming Dove, The Gods of Dream, and Eye of the Wizard.

Out of all the characters you have written, is there a certain one that you are closer too then the rest? If so, why?

My favorite character is Romy, a demon girl from Eye of the Wizard.  She’s a klutz.  She’s a ditz.  She’s the dumb blonde from Hell – literally.  She’s annoying, clumsy, childish, and destructive… but it’s hard not to love her.

What is the last book you read?

Silas by Robert Duperre.

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

I’m working on Tears of Requiem (Song of Dragons, Book 2).

Do you have a favorite method for writing, getting ideas, working out plots, etc?

I think of an idea.  I plan an outline.  I write one word at a time.  Nothing too mysterious, really.

What is your least favorite movie that came from a book?

The Dragonlance movie.  Great books, horrible, horrible movie.

How many books do you read a week/month?

Not as many as I’d like to.  I wish I had more time to read!

What are your thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

I’ve had books published both ways.  I know it’s a big debate among authors.  I try not to worry about it.  Readers just want a great story; they don’t care how it’s published.  So that’s what I focus on… just telling great stories, and sharing them with readers.  Currently, the best way for me to do this is by releasing indie ebooks.  In the future that might change.

If you had to trade lives with someone for an entire week, who would you trade with? Keep in mind that they would be living your life as well.

Falcor from The Neverending Story, so I can fly around.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

In high school, I was learning how to drive a manual Subaro.  When I faced a narrow, winding, uphill street in heavy traffic, I said, “This is hard to do.”  My driving instructor said, “Yes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for it.”  I think that applies to most challenges in life.

One food you would never eat?

Balut.  You probably don’t want to look that up.

Biggest Pet Peeve?

People who eat balut, of course.  (Trust me… don’t look it up!)

~*~*~*~*~

Thank you Daniel for allowing me to interview you….and for making me look up balut *turns green*

*cough*

Here are some ways that you can follow Daniel

His Website

Facebook

Get your own copy of Blood of Requiem (Song of Dragons, Book 1) on Amazon!

You can check out his interview about Flaming Dove and his writing habits HERE

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Featured Author – Matthew Plourde June 14, 2011

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Today I want to shine the Author Spotlight on the author of Eden….Matthew Plourde! Mr. Plourde has generously allowed me to interview him to find out all about his book Eden and his writing habits.

Welcome Matthew!

Without giving too much away, can you tell us what your book is about?

Eden explores redemption and self-discovery with the backdrop of our world ruined. Set in the fictional near-future, one woman struggles for survival in her new world. Guided by a mysterious, scarred man she attempts to piece together the puzzle in the wake of a massive earthquake. As the story unfolds, we learn there is much more happening than our heroine first assumed.

Alexandra’s journey to mankind’s mythical birthplace will leave the reader guessing, grieving, hoping and cheering.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Ten long, interrupted and uncertain years.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

My fascination with a particular personality from the Bible (no, I cannot tell you who that is – it would ruin the surprise!). I wanted to write a contemporary story about him/her, but I wasn’t happy with how it was developing. Then, an Avril Lavigne song pulled it all together for me. Eden is as much about this “forgotten hero” as it is Alexandra Contreras, our pov character.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Without crossing into “religious preachy fiction” territory, Eden explores some Biblical concepts from a not-so-common platform: what if most of the Old Testament was more than mere myth?

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Like the moment I met my wife, that memory is lost to the dark alleyways of my brain. However, I do remember always writing little stories as a kid and giving them to my mom to read. I was first published in high school, by a school distribution.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I cannot write fast enough. When I’m in my groove (which is often now that Eden is finished), I feel like a runner tripping over my feet. My thoughts are too quick for my fingers, and for the time I have to write.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Spend time with my family and friends… and play as many games as I can! Like Jane McGonigal, I believe the world can be saved by playing games.

What does your family think of your writing?

They love it, but they are obligated to! My wife is my #1 fan and she gets to read everything before y’all. If you ever pass her on the street, be sure to thank her for that. She has saved everyone from some of my garbage!

How many books have you written so far?

Two books. Eden was my first novel. My second book, a sci-fi yarn called “The Antaran Legacy” is also available everywhere online.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Did a little personal dance in my computer chair and then resumed whatever I was doing (probably playing a game).

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Become an expert query letter writer. Read the self-help books, digest samples and get involved in writer communities. For as much as I am a revolutionary, I urge every new writer to try things the traditional route first. If that doesn’t work, come talk to me! Seriously. I’ve helped other self-published authors take the first few steps and I’m more than happy to help anyone else as well.

Do you hear from your readers much?

Not yet – still building that audience. With over 1,500 copies of Eden out there to strangers, I was hoping for a little more action in my inbox. I think, perhaps, post-apoc fans are the quiet type…

What do you think makes a good story?

This is my favorite question to answer! A good story flows naturally from the characters and never relies on plot crutches or “dumb character”. Good story also pours from the writer’s heart, not his/her mind. When you start concerning yourself with money, the phantom reader or your outline (you shouldn’t have one), then I believe your story suffers. Let it come naturally, and from a place of pure joy.

I actually blog about the topic of “story” quite a bit… more than is healthy to be sure.

What genre do you find the most difficult to write in and why?

Comedy. I have supreme respect for writers who can make their audience laugh on end. It takes rare talent and a natural gift (I believe) to write humor. Just like I don’t understand musical concepts, I’m not sure I’ll ever grasp the art of writing comedy.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how to you overcome it?

Just recently I survived my first bout with writer’s block. Since this was new for me, I had to discover my own resolution methods. In the end, I found that leaving the manuscript alone for a few weeks solved the problem.

What is the last book you read?

The First Lensman by EE “Doc” Smith

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

Oh yes! Always! I just finished the graphic novel script for Eden – we’re building that over the next few months. I’m also working on the next book in the Eden saga: Babylon. Look for a late 2011 release date for that title.

How many books do you read a week/month?

Sadly, my days are too full of work/family/writing/games to wedge too many books in there. All my reading happens over my week-long summer camping trip each year. During that binge, I read 1 book every 2 days, roughly.

If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Plato. He knew something about our holographic universe and I want to pick his brain on that topic. That, and he believes in an enlightened utopia – another topic of which I am vastly interested.

If you had to compare yourself to an animal, which one would it be and why?

I am the coyote (you’ll see some of this in Babylon). While researching Eden, I learned all about coyotes. They are oblivious to their own limitations and will sometimes jump from a cliff if they witness a bird do the same. After all, if a bird can fly, why can’t a coyote?

That’s me: reality be damned, I’m gonna do it my way.

If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?

Don’t be a jerk.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given to you?

While struggling to survive the massive doses of radiation my doctors heaped on my head/neck, my visiting nurse urged me to remember: “this is temporary.” Now, when things aren’t going so well, I recall those words and find the strength to persevere.

One food you would never eat?

Anything that guy eats on that ‘Bizarre Foods’ travel channel show. Some sick stuff there.

Biggest Pet Peeve?

People who buy lottery tickets in front of me at the convenience store. Seriously? I need to wait five minutes while you tell the cashier your losing numbers and/or scan in the few scratch tickets that got you $1 each? All I want to do is buy this gallon of milk and loaf of bread… why must I wait in utter hell for you to prove you have no grasp of mathematics? Step aside and just let me be on my way already!

/opens pill bottle with shaky hands

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I’d like to thank Mr. Plourde for the insightful interview!

Please be sure to visit Matthew over at his BLOG and let him know how much you enjoyed his interview!

Get your own copy of Eden on Kindle!

The amazing Hazel O’Shea recently had the pleasure of reading Eden! Her complete review can be found HERE but here is a snippet:

“I absolutely loved this book! The story does focus on biblical theories and beliefs, but in no way preaches to the reader. Whether you’re Christian or not, you will enjoy this book and walk away with a feeling of love and hope! I had the most difficult time putting this book down because every page brought something new to the story! Mr. Plourde does not tell you this story, he shows you the story. Creating an attachment between you and the characters allowing you to be right there with them, in every moment. Eden is now on my list of favorites and I highly recommend reading this to everyone looking for an inspiring and adventuresome read!”

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Featured Author: Shalini Boland May 23, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Featured Authors.
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Today I want to shine the Author Spotlight on the author of Hidden….Shalini Boland! MS. Boland generously allowed me to interview her to find out all about her book Hidden and her writing habits.

Welcome Shalini!

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Without giving too much away, can you tell us what Hidden is about?

Hidden (Marchwood Vampire Series) is a paranormal romance that spans the centuries from modern England to 19th century Paris and ancient Cappadocia. The novel begins in gritty urban reality, but soon descends into horror, romance and historical adventure.

Sixteen-year-old Madison Greene is in foster care until one day she inherits a fortune and a house with a cellar full of danger. Eighteen-year-old Alexandre Chevalier lives in 19th century Paris. On an archaeological expedition, he discovers a lost underground city where his life changes forever.

Their lives entwine, but someone is watching and waiting. The story ramps up to an explosive ending.

How long did it take you to write this book?

The initial story took six months of intensive scribbling. But then the edits took another six months.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

I’ve always wanted to write a vampire novel, ever since I fell in love with Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series back in the nineties. My inspiration for Hidden, came from a newspaper article about a family who had to leave their house due to a bat infestation. There was a local outcry as the bats were protected by law and the poor family could no longer live there. I thought: Hmm, bats in the attic … how about vampires in the basement?

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

I’ve been told it’s an ‘irresistible fairy tale’.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always written in some form or another. When I was eight I won a poetry competition and I carried on from there.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Two separate stories which I weave together into one novel. I’ve done this in all three of my books.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to spend time outdoors with my family (when it’s not raining!) or curl up in bed and read.

What does your family think of your writing?

They love it and hate it. They’re constantly telling me to hurry up as I’m late for everything – my fingers always seem to be glued to my laptop.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

By panicking that they wouldn’t like it. Then my husband told me not to be so stupid and we opened a bottle of wine.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Take a deep breath and prepare to have your life taken over by the written word.

Do you hear from your readers much?

I’m a newly published author, so it’s a novelty for me. I just had an email this week from a reader who had finished Hidden and wanted to know when book two was coming out.  I need to get writing!

What do you think makes a good story?

Good characters and a burning need to know what happens next.

What is the last book you read?

I’ve just finished reading The Bringer by Samantha Towle. It’s about an angel who ‘brings’ people to heaven. I really enjoyed it.

If you could take any book and rewrite it, putting your own twist on it, which book would it be and why?

I liked The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters, but the ending just seemed to fizzle out. I’d have liked it to have a bit more oomph!

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie music, silence, chocolate)

Chocolate’s always good whether I’m writing or not. Oh, and I like to be warm – a fire in winter is very inspiring.

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

Yes. My next novel is called Outside – a post-apocalyptic road trip romance for teens (try saying that really quickly three times). It’s set in the near future where everyone lives in closed-off communities behind perimeter fences. Beyond the perimeter, the UK is lawless and dangerous. The eBook should be out by early July.

Do you have a favorite method for writing, getting ideas, working out plots, etc?

Nope. I wish I did though. My writing methods are all a bit random.

How many books do you read a week/month?

Usually about 4-8

What does the word success mean to you?

It means different things depending on my mood. Sometimes I feel as though I’ve achieved success just by having published a book which people enjoy reading. Other times, I want to be a ridiculously successful multi-million selling author. (Aah, a girl can dream…)

If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?

Haha! It would probably say ‘Be nice to me please’.

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Thanks Shalini for stopping by! Here is a little more about Shalini:

Before kids, I was a singer songwriter signed to Universal Music. But writing fiction has taken over my life and now I’m a mother of two noisy boys and an author of teen novels. I write the kinds of books I love to read – gripping young adult adventures with a spattering of romance and a sprinkling of horror.

Shalini can be found at the following places:

Website

Twitter

Happy Reading,

Jaidis

Featured Author: Suzanne Tyrpak March 23, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Featured Authors.
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It’s time for a new Featured Author here on Juniper Grove! Today I would like to welcome Suzanne Tyrpak, who generously allowed me to interview her in order to find out more about her book, Vestal Virgin, and her thoughts about writing.

Welcome Suzanne!

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Without giving too much away, can you tell us what Vestal Virgin is about?

Sure, here’s the description:

Elissa Rubria Honoria is a Vestal Virgin–priestess of the sacred flame, a visionary, and one of the most powerful women in Rome. Vestals are sacrosanct, sworn to chastity on penalty of death, but the emperor, Nero, holds himself above the law. He pursues Elissa, engaging her in a deadly game of wits and sexuality. Or is Elissa really the pursuer? She stumbles on dark secrets. No longer trusting Roman gods, she follows a new god, Jesus of Nazareth, jeopardizing her life and the future of The Roman Empire.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I finished the first draft over five years ago. I did several rewrites, came close to getting a deal, then I went through a divorce. My world got turned around, and I just couldn’t focus on anything as long as a novel. Publishing my collection of short stories, Dating My Vibrator (and other true fiction) gave me the impetus to go back and do another rewrite of Vestal Virgin.

What was your inspiration to write this book?

I traveled to Rome with a group of writers from the Maui Writers’ Conference. Our instructors were: Terry Brooks, John Saul, Mike Sack, Dorothy Allison and Elizabeth Engstrom. Talk about a dream trip. I fell in love with Italy, Rome in particular. A travel book I read contained a short blurb about vestal virgins; it mentioned they were sworn to thirty years of chastity and, if that vow were broken, they would be entombed alive. That got me going

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Sex, drugs and Rock ‘n Roll—in ancient Rome.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In fifth grade. But first I had to be a dancer, then an actress, then a writer. So that’s what I’ve done—with some major sidetracks!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I will go to great lengths to get information—for example I went to Egypt so I would know how it felt to stand in the Sahara. This may stem from an awful experience with a seventh-grade English teacher. I spent a great deal of time writing a story about a girl who cuts school, goes into New York City by train, and smokes pot. The teacher gave me an F and told me I should write about what I know. Her comment acted as a catalyst for my wild youth.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I live in Colorado, so I like to bike ride and ski. I also love to cook—especially Mediterranean food—and I enjoy throwing dinner parties for fellow writers.

What does your family think of your writing?

I told my father (he’s 95) that I got blurbs from Terry Brooks and Tess Gerritsen. He seemed completely unimpressed, told me about his neighbor who published a book—also self-published—but he can buy it at the local bookstore.

My friends think it’s great.

How many books have you written so far?

Completed three novels, one non-fiction book, and a short collection of short stories.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Went out with my writing friends for happy hour!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

What Terry Brooks told me: Write, write, write; Read, read, read; Write, write, write: Repeat!

Do you hear from your readers much?

Mostly in my head.

What do you think makes a good story?

Great characters and tremendous conflict—internal and external. Setting is also important. Torture your characters.

Is there anything that you find challenging in your writing?

These days, finding the time. I work two jobs.

Do you ever experience writer’s block and if so, how to you overcome it?

Yes. Just start writing. Tell the inner-critic to take a hike.

What is the last book you read?

I’m always reading—fiction and non-fiction—but I’m a slow reader. The last book I read and loved, is the original, uncensored version of D.H. Lawrence’s, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie music, silence, chocolate)

Time!

Do you have any writing projects you are currently working on?

Another novel—Agathon’s Daughter, suspense set in classic Greece. I’m about a third of the way through a first draft. Also knocking around some ideas for short stories. A guy I work with at the airport is also a grave-digger. I’m hoping I can tag along one night when he and his son dig a grave…

If you could have dinner with 1 person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Shakespeare. I bet he had great parties.

If you could travel into the past or future, where would you go and why?

I’d like to go to one of Nero’s parties, but I wouldn’t want him to notice me.

What does the word success mean to you?

Doing what I love to do.

If you had to have one word or phrase written on your forehead for an entire week, what would it be?

Yes!

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Thank You Suzanne Tyrpak for stopping by and being a Featured Author here on Juniper Grove!

I recently had the pleasure of reading Vestal Virgin and you can find my review Here

Get your own copy of Vestal Virgin on Kindle!!

Please take a moment to visit Suzanne at the following sites:

Suzanne’s Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Happy Reading,

Jaidis