Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Blog Tour: My Beloved Past by @AnneMarieCitro #interview #giveaway #romance



New Adult Romance
Date Published: April 16 2018

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In a city of millions, the probability of chance and all of its mathematical outcomes should never have brought Jake and Zara together.

Jake never forgot the beautiful, exotic eyes of his first love. They haunt his dreams and make him look twice at every woman he meets. Then, in a twist of fate, when he jumps to the rescue of the gorgeous jogger he has been admiring for weeks, one look into Zara's eyes brings him back to her, even if it's only all the sweet memories.

It has taken Zara years to finally be happy with who she is, working her dream job as a counselor to special needs teenagers and having fun with her crazy group of friends. However, she has never forgiven herself for that fateful night when she was a teenager. The night that changed the course of so many lives. The night she learned unconditional love isn't always so unconditional. Now, years later, in the clutches of a devil dog's jaw, Zara has only one regret. That he will never know the truth.

She can't change the sins of her past, but can her sexy hero lead her to a new future? Can she finally leave the past where it belongs-in the past? Or, will old secrets threaten her new, budding love?


Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Most definitely yes! This book is about learning that we all make mistakes that we can’t change and have to live with. Zara makes a mistake that changes the foundation of her life and the people around her. I absolutely hate the saying what doesn’t kills us makes us stronger. Our actions don’t hurt just us but those around us. The question is how long should someone pay for unintentionally hurting others? The answer is in order for others to forgive us we first must forgive ourselves.  




Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes there aren’t enough hours in the day. I love falling into the world I create and have a hard time resurfacing. My characters become real and I live through all the emotions with them. I also find I have had a few challenging characters that have made me rewrite entire chapters because they felt it wasn’t going where they wanted it to. One character Edward has been the bane of my existence. We fight constantly and I hate to admit it but he usually wins. I was thrilled to end this series just to get him off my back.   



How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I have written seven and just started my eighth. Five are published and six is coming out in June. I usually say my second is my absolute favorite because I love the tormented male character. I love that it took a bunch of special needs teenagers teach him about the real meaning of life. But my sixth book being released in June is a close second because the subject is near and dear to heart. My goddaughter is a survivor of anorexia and gave me her dairies for research. It is not her story but without that insight I don’t think I would have understood the deep struggles my character would face.




If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I don’t watch T.V. or go to the movies very often so I suck at this question. I would chose Gal Gadot because that is who the male character thinks she looks like.



When did you begin writing?

I started writing three years ago but I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.



How long did it take to complete your first book?

It took me a year because I wrote it in secret. I had a very demanding and emotional job working with special needs teenagers as well as still raising four sons and a husband. I wrote in secret at night and Saturdays when they went out. 


Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Every author I have ever read inspired me. I am an avid reader and read two to three books a week. So many books and not enough time.



What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love creating a character and then letting them run amuck. I live, eat, and breathe the characters. My characters become so strong in my head and they often take over the writing process sometimes. One of my characters Edward and I fight over everything. He has made me rewrite a few chapters he wasn’t happy with. I’m embarrassed to say he was right and his ideas won out.   



Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Survival, truth, heartbreaking, love.



Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

I finished my first series and have just completed the first book of my second series. The new series is about a family that has to live on after losing two members in a mass shooting. We hear the headlines but what happens to those that are left behind. How do you survive a loss so great and continue to believe there is still good in the world?





About the Author


Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favourite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes. Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband's Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Cover Reveal: The Berlin Tunnel - A Cold War Thriller #thriller #bookcover


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Thriller / Historical Fiction
Date Published: October 1, 2018
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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During the Cold War, a tunnel was built by British MI-6 and the CIA to tap into a message cable in East Berlin with the hopes of intercepting and exploiting communications with Russia. The Berlin Tunnel is based on this historic event.

***

 In the height of the Cold War, American Air Force Captain Robert Kerr finds himself in a divided Berlin awash with spies who move freely between the East and West. His task—build a TOP SECRET tunnel under the River Spree into East Berlin—tap into highly classified communications links between civilian and military leaders in Russia and the Warsaw Pact countries.

Love couldn’t have found him at a worse time.

Soon after he arrives, Robert falls for a German girl, Anna Fischer. Nasty East German Secret Police harass them both constantly, intent on determining what Robert and his work crew are doing in Berlin, but it’s Anna who gets caught in the crossfire.

 The wall is closed, trapping 19 million East Germans including Anna’s entire family behind the Iron Curtain. As the world holds its collective breath over the Berlin Crisis, Robert and Anna fight for their lives as they attempt to free her family.


Advance Praise

"Exceptional!  The settings and descriptions are vivid and real.  The author is a master of making the reader want to know what happens next.”

 Karen Black, Author of Code of Conduct


"This story was captivating.  A good history lesson as well as a good read.  You get out of one tension-filled event only to have another start almost immediately.”

USN Captain Terry Badger, Author of The Saga of HS-8



“The characters, scenes and dialogue were absolutely believable.  I felt like I was reading an autobiography, believed everything the writer said happened and was surprised when I found it was work of fiction. I enjoyed meeting Anna and Robert and loved seeing the East and West through their experiences—1960s Berlin was as much a character as they are.”

Ingrid Hoffmeister, English Artist and Writer



“I volunteered to be the Beta Readers of a historical novel; what I got was a page turning mystery, love story and spy thriller. The technical details of the building of the tunnel were easy to understand and the tension of the many problems they encounter was believable.  Pat yourself on the back.  You’ve done a great job.  I expected that I wouldn’t really be into the book, but intrigue grabbed me right after the prologue.”

Sarah Vosburgh, Award Winning Short Story Author



About the Author

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Roger L. Liles is an admitted over educated bibliophile who decided he had to earn a living after BA and graduate studies in Modern European History; he went back to school and eventually earned an MS in Engineering from USC in 1970. In the 1960s, he was stationed in Turkey and German for five years as a US Air Force Signals Intelligence Officer. He issued reports which got President Johnson out of bed at least five times. He eventually lived in Europe for almost 8 years. He worked in the military electronics field for forty years—his main function was to translate engineering jargon into understandable English and communicate it to senior decision makers in the US government. He took novel writing classes at UCLA for three years including the Master Novel Writers Class. Now retired, he spends most of his time writing novels, but also dotes over his collectables. He is a member of the Scribblers of North San Diego Country. This is his first published novel.  



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Friday, July 6, 2018

PROMO Blitz: thedeadgirlinthevacantlot by Jana Bommersbach #fiction #mystery


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Fiction - Mystery
Date Published: May 16, 2018
Publisher: Spotlight Publishing

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         Phoenix investigative reporter Joya Bonner is like most Americans—she knows nothing about the world of sex trafficking; thinks it's a problem reserved for somewhere far off. Thailand. Russia.

         But the reality that this is an American problem slaps her in the face when  her 15 year-old honorary niece disappears in Phoenix.  And a 13 year-old from her hometown in North Dakota goes missing.  And there's that pitiful dead girl in the vacant lot. As the evidence piles up that these are all part of the sex-slave underworld, Joy's awakening chills her to the bone.

         She's sickened even more when she realizes the website that pimps use to sell these girls was created in Phoenix at the weekly newspaper New Times—by guys she knew; by journalists she admired; by men she'd defended in the pages of her own newspaper when they were attacked by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

         Joya's frantic search to find the missing girls—and identify the dead child—brings readers into the real world of sex trafficking. It includes the true history of Backpage.com, that's been called an “online brothel,” and its founders, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin, currently awaiting trial on charges of facilitating sex trafficking.

         This book combines a riveting fictional story with the reality that is ripped from today's headlines. The book ends with an extensive “end notes” section that details the facts and personalities of this world—both from those exploiting youngsters for prostitution, and those who have long fought to stop it.



About the Author

 photo Jana-Bommersbach-_1718317789_zpsuaafzyjd.jpg Jana Bommersbach is one of Arizona's most acclaimed journalists and authors. She's already been honored with two lifetime achievement awards as “an inspiration to the state's media community.”  She's been inducted into the Arizona Arts and Entertainment Hall of Fame, and honored by the ACLU as a “journalist and activist who speaks truth to power.”  She's won a regional Emmy for her television work and was named the nation's best columnist in a city magazine for her work at Phoenix magazine. She twice won the Don Bolles Award in Investigative Reporting for her work at Phoenix New Times.

         Jana is known as a tenacious researcher and lyrical writer. Her debut non-fiction book, “The Trunk Murderess: Winnie Ruth Judd” was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award as one of the nation's best mysteries in 1992.  Her children's book, “A Squirrel's Story, a True Tale” won numerous awards here and abroad. Her first historical novel, “Cattle Kate,” was named one of the best books of 2014 by Publisher's Weekly. With “thedeadgirlinthevacantlot,” Jana continues exploring the world of fiction with her character, Phoenix investigative reporter Joya Bonner.

          To satisfy her journalistic soul, Jana combines a fictional story with real-life incidents she's covered in the past. In her first Joya Bonner book, “Funeral Hotdish,” it was the problem of Sammy “the Bull” Gravano and his Arizona ecstasy ring and how it affected Joya's safe, secure hometown in North Dakota that buried one of its children from a drug overdose.  In this new book, Joya takes on the world of sex-trafficking.  As the book was going to press, federal officials shut down the “online brothel” known as Backpage.com and its founders—Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin—were arrested and are awaiting trial on multiple counts of facilitating sex-trafficking.

         This is a particularly poignant story for Jana to write, for a dozen years before Backpage was created, she was partners with Mike and Jim in owning Phoenix New Times. She left and sold her interest to pursue other journalistic options. As she says in the Epilogue, “I write this book with a broken heart.”



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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Blog Tour: Tribal Affairs by @DallmannMatt #yafantasy #giveaway



YA/Fantasy
Date Published: 07/31/17



Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.


About the Author


Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.


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Monday, July 2, 2018

Blog Tour: Model Marine by @modelmarine #interview #giveaway #fiction

Literary Fiction / Military Fiction   
Date Published: January 13, 2018  




Molly Monroe had her future planned out for her. When she makes an impulsive decision to join the Marine Corps, her boyfriend breaks up with her, her brother bears the burden of guilt, and her mother feels betrayed. The people in Molly’s life have always tried to protect her, but she wants to protect herself.

As a Combat Camera Marine, Molly observes and records her environment from behind the lens, where image shapes day-to-day life. After she is wounded during a combat deployment, her dreams are frightening, and her memories are a kaleidoscope of scattered and chaotic scenes; a collision of past and present, real and unreal. Snapshots in time. Glimpses of war. Fragments of love: lost and found.

This story unfolds through multiple perspectives and as the negatives and positives develop, an image of the Model Marine is sharpened into focus.






Interview with the Author


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

There are a few messages that I hope my readers have stumbled upon by the end of Model Marine. Probably the most important to me, is the concept of perspective. Several people can experience the same event and have a completely different understanding of “the truth” of what occurred. Most people don’t realize how everything they see and hear is influenced by their own experiences and relationships. Grasping that concept is key to learning empathy, teamwork, and respect, whether you agree with others’ opinions or not. I hope that message comes through subtly.

There was another message I tried to convey by the way I wrote the story. There is a memory or dream at the start of each chapter. The plot does not unfold chronologically, and while the flashbacks fill in the gaps, they do not reveal everything that has occurred. I wrote the story through images: short snapshots of what each character experiences. For the reader, the story comes together in the same way you would put a puzzle together. This was intentional. I wanted my readers to get a sense of the same confusion my characters with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were experiencing. Writing it this way was a balancing act. I had to be careful not to cause too much confusion for my readers, so they would want to keep reading.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes. Initially, I had a hard time writing Model Marine because I was looking for the most effective Point of View (POV) to write the story. I began writing it in first person, but after several chapters, I realized that I needed multiple perspectives to properly convey to the reader what was happening with my characters. Once the third person POV (of multiple characters) was established, there were several scenarios I found difficult to write. Some of the combat and funeral scenes were difficult because they resemble real-life experiences, so it wasn’t unusual for me to cry violently while writing them. I also found some of the boot camp scenes difficult to write because I was looking for the most effective way to portray the boot camp experience to someone who has never experienced it.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

This is the only book I have written. I have a few short stories that I would have preferred to develop into a novel first. But I chose to write and publish Model Marine first because I think this message is more important and more relevant now. This book, and potential series, is the most serious of the stories I have to tell.


If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

Honestly, I would prefer to have an unknown actress portray Molly Monroe. I would want an exceptionally beautiful, 18 – 22 year old girl with blond hair and blue eyes who looks fragile. My main character is a beauty queen, who has grown up in the bright lights of pageantry, and has always been “protected” by the people in her life. Molly goes through a drastic (emotional and) physical transformation, so it would be important for the actress to also look physically fit. It would be my hope that this role would be the first major role played by the actress, and that it would launch her career.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. Except, those years, I wrote angst-filled poetry. Writing has always been therapy for me. I’ve dreamed of becoming a professional writer for years, but I’ve always been too busy with the career fields I landed in (the Marine Corps, Information Technology, and Project Management).  

How long did it take to complete your first book?

I thought so much about this book that it took me ten years to get from conception to publication. I began writing Model Marine while working on my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree. I had other stories I wanted to tell, but this one mattered most to me, so it was the one I cultivated throughout the program. But by the time I finished my degree, I had moved on to other career pursuits.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

My desire to be a writer came from within, but there are writers who have inspired me with their plot choices or writing style. Probably the most influential for me is Jodi Picoult. I admire her ability to portray multiple points of view on tough subjects. Her characters are always empathetic, even when they are at odds with one another. That ability is what distinguishes a good writer from a great writer, in my humble opinion.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

When you finally reach the end of the process, and you realize you are done, and it is ready for the world! 

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Emotional. Compelling. Intelligent. Page-turner! 

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

When I published Model Marine, I thought my next book would be about a young girl named Carly Sue who was abandoned by her mother. I have a short story written about her already. However, I’ve received so much reader feedback looking for a sequel to Model Marine, that I think I may need to delve back into that world before completing the story of Carly Sue. I think a second book in the series would focus on the Marine Corps’ Lioness program. In this program, female Marines were attached to combat units. Their purpose was to search women and children who may have been trying to smuggle money or weapons through security checkpoints. These female Marines also trained the local women (in Iraq or Afghanistan) how to conduct proper searches on other women. It was a pretty novel idea when it first began, and the program show-cased women’s contributions to the military.

For right now though, I have to focus my attention on marketing Model Marine. In the fall, I’ll be ready to get back to writing.




About the Author


Sondra Sykes Meek is originally from Florida, but she has lived in several locations in the United States and abroad. She is a wife and mother of two, a retired Marine Corps Master Sergeant, and a Project Manager in the Defense Industry. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and has several stories in various stages of progress. She hopes to write full-time one day, but for now, she writes in the spare, quiet moments of her life.

Sondra wrote and published Model Marine: A Novel to reveal the courage and sacrifices of Marines and their families. She wanted to offer readers another kind of hero: someone who is not supernatural, immortal, or from the future. Although the events of this story are fiction, the setting and characters are influenced by her experiences as a Marine. The narrative is as authentic as it can be without excluding civilian readers. The protagonist is named after a Marine Corps icon, “Molly Marine.” This is especially relevant now, as 2018 marks 100 years since the first woman joined the United States Marine Corps.

Sondra hopes all readers enjoy this emotional journey of love, loss, and sacrifice. There are real heroes hidden within the pages of her debut novel. She invites you to meet them, love them, and remember them.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: The Storyteller's Throne by @j_bates_books #newadult #scifi #interview with the Author



New Adult Sci-Fi
Date Published: May 14, 2018

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A science Fiction novel tangled in the psychology of being human and the vulnerability of an unconventional Love story

Grace was born a storyteller with a beautifully brilliant mind. Trauma twisted her reality into its own tale of darkness. Now, at eighteen, Grace has found herself on the shores of a shadow world created to heal a generation. A world whose purpose is to release our emotions from the bonds of youth.
But she is not alone. It's a world inhabited by others, those working on their own hearts and one other like herself. An amazing and yet afflicted empath and musician by the name of Kai that Grace feels inexplicably drawn to.
Will she be able to handle the suppressed memories of her youth? Accept the vulnerability necessary to explore her own heart and that of another? Fulfill the true purpose it seems she is destined to serve?
Come along with Grace as she learns to uncover her past, harness her gift, open her heart to love and embrace her future.




Interview with the Author

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

When I first started writing The Storyteller’s Throne, I started with the question … why are we so afraid, as people, as a culture, to feel things?  Why do we have this need to replace genuine feelings with something else?  We don’t all do this but if you look at our neighbors, our communities, our schools …  we’ve denied a lot of what some would call negative emotions (anger, anxiety, depression) instead of learning from them, expressing them and encouraging the process of healing through them.  Whether we’re just afraid or uncomfortable with certain feelings or maybe these feelings have been suppressed for so long that we feel like if we gave them voice they may never shut up, this whole idea of denying them, ignoring them and suppressing them has got to have an effect on the next generation … So the real question that I siphoned down to as I began writing is:
What toll would our current trend of denial take on the next generation? 

My message I think is that we’re all people.  We’re all human.  We’re all equal … we all feel things and with our humanness comes the very special gift of our hearts.  The path that our hearts take will lay out the future, and if we don’t open ourselves up to how we feel and how other’s feel and start to become okay with it all, we may be in some trouble.  It’s about empathy and trying to put yourself in someone else’s life for a minute.

But I hate to sound preachy … so maybe the short answer is … the message in The Storyteller’s Throne is to give each other a break and just genuinely ask how someone is doing and then listen for the answer … LOL!


Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I really enjoy the process of writing.  I think for me the biggest challenge is finding the extended time to let ideas unfold and then to get them out onto the page before my 3 kids wake up for the day!  Sometimes I feel rushed or I only get out a bit and have to stop midway through a thought since my littlest is only 1 and is getting around really fast these days!


How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
The Storyteller’s Throne is the first novel I’ve written, So I would say it’s my favorite so far!


If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who

would you pick and why?

Grace, the main character is 18 years old.  She has a brilliant mind and has been through trauma that may resonate with a lot of women and so whoever plays the role has to be ridiculously honest with it to give it the weight that this kind of trauma deserves.  They would have to be able to allow emotions to wash over and within easily and yet be a pillar of strength and determination.  On top of that, Grace is a storyteller whose words take on life for her.  So it would be important for the actress playing her to taste the magic in words.  Grace has a shadow self present for some of the story, so whoever played her would also need to play her shadow self too.

I think I would nominate Emma Watson.  She’s so amazing as an actress.  Her emotions live right up in front and she gives a beautiful weight to the words she speaks.  Plus she’s just so darn versatile :) 


When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since childhood.  In fact, I just found a pile of old notebooks from when I was high school in the early nineties.  I have this big plastic bin full of spiral notebooks of all different sizes with doodling all over the covers.  I got lost down the rabbit hole of teenage angst just last weekend reading some of the stuff I had written.  I’ve alway used the arts as a way to balance my heart.  I’d hate to see where I’d be if I didn’t have that outlet! 

I’ve only begun writing as a career in the last year though! And I am loving it! I enjoy the time it forces me to take for myself.  I enjoy the quiet and the play.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

It took me about 3 months to complete The Storyteller’s Throne.  Though I think the themes were brewing inside of me for years if not a decade. 
One day, kind of on a whim, I just decided that I needed to do something more for myself so I signed up for a self publishing class and began to write The Storyteller’s Throne.  The class kept me on a very strict schedule, which I personally needed, especially as a mama to 3 homeschooled kids!  I pushed myself to stay on that schedule and meet deadlines while in the class because I work well with deadlines.  If I don’t have them, I could be teetering on the edge of decisions for years!  So I started an awesome habit of getting up really early and working in the only quiet my house holds … when the sun is just beginning to rise :) And I finished a book in 3 months … Though who knows if every book I write will be that way!

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Alice Hoffman is absolutely an inspiration for me. I’ve always read her books from the time I was a teenager.  I love the way she weaves magic into the ordinary.  Her voice is just beautiful and so very human

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I really love the moment that it all clicks.  When I’ve been meandering around a part in the story trying to connect it all and then suddenly as my fingers are moving across the keys, it just clicks, it all makes sense and I can look back and say Yes! That’s it! Then it’s just so much fun to write it all out!

I also really enjoy stream of consciousness writing. I love to just let my brain drip out on the page without any expectation.


Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Love
Magic
Pain
Revolution


Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for

your writing?

I’ll be starting work on the second book in the The Storyteller Series soon.  I’ve just be re-reading The Storyteller’s throne to get ready to write again! I’m really looking forward to diving into it as I think the second book in The Storyteller’s Series will have a lot of action and really challenge me to keep up weight the pace if it all.


You can follow my writing process on my blog.  I also share tips for daily creativity and artistic inspiration all around at jocelynbates.com

About the Author


Jocelyn Bates is a homeschooling mama to three and an arts therapist. She lives in NJ and writes in the elusive quiet that settles in the earliest of hours.








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