Category Archives: author interview

New Series by Gus Kenney: “The Complications of Being Lucy”


Now’s the time to start reading a new author!

This series is the next in line with some of the greats!


A fun for all ages new ssries of modern day magic and adventure.

If you loved Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Childre, and books by  J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan, you’ll love The Complications of Being Lucy.

“This Author Has A Truly Inventive Imagination!”

The Complications of Being Lucy Book 1: Never go into the Park

Lucy was never afraid of the dark. She never questioned her family. She never thought that the world of logic and science could be a lie. But on her ninth birthday everything changed when a strange boy came into her life from the very lands she was forbidden from ever entering and she finds herself immersed in a conspiracy that was created before she was born. Her reality is shattered by the existence of magic and things of legend. The bonds of family are tested by a lifetime of deception and the truth of who she actually is, becomes the least of Lucy’s torments. For someone has unleashed a nightmare, and Lucy, her family, and her new friends, are soon on the run from a creature that even darkness fears.

Read a sample | Get the book! |


The Complications of Being Lucy Book 2:

The Changeling and the Borrowed Family


A nightmare is just a dream in the light of day.


Lucy was used to everyone hiding things from her. Now she is the one forced to hide. The Changelings have been discovered and to save herself, Lucy must slip into the life of a creature who shares her nightmares. With her family scattered in search for answers and her only friend powerless to help, all alone Lucy must guard her heart from the world she always longed for and from the people that want her dead. But how can you fight the agony of your dreams and the secrets buried in your own blood.

Read a sample | Get the book! |

Meet Gus Kenney

Gus lives in western New York with his amazing wife and five four legged children. He decided he wanted to be a writer when he realized that he could never be a spy as good as Timothy Dalton’s Bond and that Hired Sword was not part of any growth industry. When he is not semi-busy writing, he spends his time pretending he knows what he is doing at a nine-to-five job and the rest of it complaining that it is taking way too long for them to start showing new episodes of his favorite cartoons. If you’re bored, or just a creeper, you can check out the insanity that doesn’t make it into his books on his social media outlets.


Facebook | The Complications of Being Lucy | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram |

Linkedin |  Goodreads | Amazon | Website | 

As It Is Blog (Stop over and sneak a peek at Book 3!) |

Find out what Gus says when asked the difficult question: “What is your favorite part of the story?” Click Here!

Interested in speaking with the author?  Email him:

Gus was asked a slew of questions during an in-depth interview with Rukia. Here is Q & A from that interview.

Q: Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

A: Honestly, write something else. Anything at all. You can’t get truly blocked unless you stop completely. Sure the story you have been focusing on for months suddenly stalls. No need to fear. Just prime the pump of creativity with some other ideas. Do the paint chip trick (look it up on Pinterest). Look online for story prompts(also Pinterest). Take your characters and put them in strange and unusual scenarios that would never come up in the world you created for them. Write something off the wall like a race of people that aren’t carbon based but cocoa based (I call them Fudgelians). If all else fails do some dishes. That always works for me. Don’t believe me? Come to my house and wash them. You’ll see.

Read The Full Rukia Interview

Read An Interview with The English Informer, France.

Great News! Gus Kenney has something he wants to share with you!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway Name The Character competition!

The Rafflecopter

Name The Character

Author Gus Kenney is offering a chance to name one of the characters for Traitor’s Neice: Book 3 in The Complications of Being Lucy Series!

The Rules:

Get book 1(The Changeling And The Cupboard), snap a pic of you with the book like the one above(if it’s an eBook open it on your ereader device), tag us (Gus Kenney / Margaret Daly) and post your picture! That’s it! The winner will be announced on Facebook on The Complications Of Being Lucy Page!

Now’s the time to get your copies of these books, each priced at $0.99c/$0.99p.

Then enter the competition to name the character in Book 3!

Don’t miss this opportunity to not only read the next hit series, but to be a part of the story yourself!

Thank you for joining us today! We hope you’re coming away from this with a better sense of this new hit series by Gus Kenney…

If you have any questions you can normally find Gus on FB, or you can send him an email.

Have A Great Day!

Please remember to leave a book review, just a few simple words is all!


COMING IN HOT – Author Spotlight Tour

coming in hot cover

Paramedical meets paranormal in this steamy set filled with doctors, nurses, paramedics, shifters, werewolves, vampires, and more!

Get a dose of romance, STAT!

Featuring NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, we’re Coming In Hot with paranormal to contemporary, and sizzling to seductive bedside manners by the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and more in this boxed set.

Today’s Spotlight: Bad Medicine by Red L. Jameson!

bad medicine cover

When you make a deal with the devil…

Don’t complain about the heat.

Luckily, I like it hot.

Nurse Ian Ryder, or just Ryder, is everything I want. He’s big. He’s tough. He’s oh-so-sexy with his leather jacket and motorcycle that I’ve had indecent fantasies about. And even better, he seems emotionally closed off. Not the kind of man who would ask a lot of personal questions. The perfect candidate to reveal my secret—I’m still a virgin, worried I’ll die this way if I don’t do something about it soon. Somehow, I’m going to convince Ryder to play doctor with me.

Dr. Asha Whitetail is completely out of my league. Intelligent and sophisticated. And those glasses she wears makes me think about steaming up her scrubs. When an awkward moment turns into a hot kiss, I realize I’m going to do everything I can to have her—not just her body but her heart too. Problem is, she seems to want only one thing from me. So I’m going to make her an offer she can’t refuse. I’ll give her what she wants, if she spends time with me, gets to know me, the real me, while I do everything in my power to convince her she can play doctor with me…for life.

The Wild Love Series is set in Wyoming and Montana, where things are little more…wild, where love can never tamed. Each book within the series can be read as a standalone and intended for a mature and adventurous reader. Enjoy and fall in love!


Now Available for pre-order at $0.99 for a limited time on AmazonNookiBooksKobo, and ARe.

bad medicine interview image

Hello! Thank you for this opportunity to talk about my newest release Bad Medicine, Book 4 of the Wild Love Series, featured in the Coming in Hot Anthology! I’m so excited to share more about this book, the anthology, and even titbits about myself!

Tell us about your title featured in this set: 

Bad Medicine is Book 4 of the Wild Love Series, which, although it is a series, each book is a stand-alone. I can write pretty quickly and wrote it in about three weeks. However, it’s the editing that always takes the longest with my own revisions, the back-and-forth between a beloved critique buddy of mine then the back-and-forth between my editor and me, polishing, moving on to my proofer, and polishing some more. My editing process takes anywhere between a month to two months. Oh, and the title…Hee-hee! I asked the other members of the anthology what they thought and we all agreed to Bad Medicine!

Tell us something about yourself. 

Hmm, where to start? Well, I was born in Montana, but as soon as I turned eighteen I wanted to move away, so I did. I’ve lived in a lot of places during my early twenties, mostly in the South. But something kept calling me back home. Eventually, I moved back to Montana to be closer to family, met a special fella, and, well, the rest is history as they say. I love learning and have tried to continue my education with now one Master’s Degree in US Military history and several certificates—including fitness instructing to grammar to coding to you name it. But my best teacher of all is my thirteen-year-old son, wise beyond his years. I’m the luckiest mom in the world!

Tell us about your writing process. 

It depends on the book. But most often an idea comes, then a few scenes, then the character “talks” to me. I know. That sounds goofy, but I’ll have days where a certain character become so clear to me it’s as if he or she is really talking to me, telling me about their background, their goals, what motivates them, everything. After a few days to months of this, I plot his or her story. Then I write it furiously down. As I mentioned above, it’s the editing that takes me the longest, and by the time I’m done, the character is done talking to me, letting another enter my mind. J

What is your favourite genre to read? 

Romance and almost anything non-fiction.

What would you say is the one thing are you most passionate about? 

Being a good mother. I want to be a good partner, friend, sister and writer, but every day I try so hard to be a good mom to my wonderful boy.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? 

I like reading, hiking, taking pictures on my hikes, cooking, baking, playing games with the fam…gosh, so much! There’s no shortage of fun things to do.

If someone who hasn’t read any your books asked you to describe your story in this set (the elevator pitch!) what would you say? 

Nurse Ian Ryder and Dr. Asha Whitetail make the deal of a lifetime. She wants to get rid of her V-card; he wants her heart. Who will win?

About the author:

red l jameson image

Red L. Jameson is an award-winning and multi-published author. She writes in many genres. Her pen name, L. B. Joramo, includes the odd combination of historical and paranormal for the Immortal American Series. However, it is under her “Red” name, her nickname too, where all her stories are strongly laced with love, including contemporary, historical, time-travel, paranormal, and erotic romance. Red lives in the wilds of Montana with her family and a few too many animals, and is currently working on her next novel that she hopes will make her readers laugh, cry, think, and fall in love.

She loves her readers, so please feel free to contact her at

Or sign up for her sporadic emails at

Readers can connect with Red L. Jameson at:

| Website | Facebook Page | Facebook Profile | Amazon Author Page |

| Tumbler | Pinterest | Goodreads | Twitter |

coming in hot giveaway imag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release: ON HER HIGH HORSE by Lucy Felthouse

coming in hot cover

Coming In Hot Paranormal & Contemporary Medical Romance Boxed Set: Paramedical meets paranormal: Shifters, Werewolves, Vampires, and More!

Paramedical meets paranormal in this steamy set filled with doctors, nurses, paramedics, shifters, werewolves, vampires, and more!

Get a dose of romance, STAT!

Featuring NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, we’re Coming In Hot with paranormal to contemporary, and sizzling to seductive bedside manners by the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and more in this boxed set.

In Today’s Spotlight:

On Her High Horse bLucy Felthouse

Do first impressions always last?


When veterinarian Brett Coulson and stable owner Samantha Hanson-Bishop meet, it’s hate at first sight. He thinks she’s a snobby, stuck-up bitch who wouldn’t know nice if it bit her on the arse. She thinks he’s a blundering, inexperienced little boy who shouldn’t be within fifty miles of her prized horses. But it doesn’t matter much—they’ll never have to see each other again. Or will they?

When fate throws them into the same room together at a charity fundraiser, the resentment between them quickly resurfaces. But mixed in with that resentment is something they both tried to deny… attraction. Will the chemistry between them cancel out the animosity, or were their first impressions just too powerful to change?

Now Available for pre-order at #99cents for a limited time! ***BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE*** at  AmazonNookiBooksKobo, and ARe.

Don’t forget to add to your *want to read* list on Goodreads:

Author Interview:

Hello—thank you so much for stopping by. I’m so excited to share a little bit about myself and my story in the Coming In Hot boxed set! 

Tell us about your title featured in this set: 

My story is called On Her High Horse, and is set in the Yorkshire Dales, in England. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story about a young vet and one of his clients.

Once I got going, it probably only took me a couple of weeks to write (I don’t write full time, so I have to squeeze my writing in around everything else I do to earn a living!).

The title was actually a complete nightmare to come up with! Sometimes titles come to me before I even write a story, and other times they pop up while I’m writing. This one eluded me for a long time. I was Googling horsey phrases and veterinary phrases for ages, until I finally came up with this—and it fits the story really well, I think. So it was worth waiting for!

Tell us something about yourself: 

I’m from Derbyshire, in England, where I still live with my dog, Scamp. As I mentioned before, I don’t write full time—I actually do lots of little jobs which make up a full time job; writing, marketing, editing, PR, web design, formatting, etc… basically, I eat, sleep and breathe books in one way or another, so it’s pretty awesome. I love being my own boss. I love spending time out in the countryside with my other half and my dog, reading (of course), films, and travelling.

Tell us about your writing process: 

It varies massively depending on what I’m writing. For novel length work, I do tend to have some kind of plan, or at the very least an outline, in place. But for short stories and novellas, I tend to just write and see where the characters take me. I write as and when I can, juggling it around everything else I do. The benefit of being my own boss is I can move projects around if I need to—as long as I meet all the deadlines, it’s all good! 😉

What is your favourite genre to read?

I don’t have one, really. I like reading different kinds of books—as long as there’s a gripping story, I’m happy.

What would you say is the one thing you are most passionate about?

The people I care about.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? 

Read, relax, go walking in the countryside, watch movies, visit stately homes and ancient sites, travel.

If someone who hasn’t read any of your books and asked you to describe your story in this set (the elevator pitch!) what would you say? 

Hunky young vet and sexy older woman go from enemies to lovers with lots of drama in between!

Where can readers connect with you?

| Website | Twitter  | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter |

About the author:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes

coming in hot giveaway imag

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome back, Ines Bautista Yao

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome back author Ines Bautista Yao, talking about her new book, Just a Little Bit of Love.

just a little bit of loveAbout Just a Little Bit of Love:

Three short stories about three young girls: Anita, Ina, and Carla. Each one finding their lives disrupted by a boy. Maybe it’s because he wanders into the coffee shop where she works after school every Tuesday. Maybe it’s because he won’t leave her alone even if she has made it clear that she is crushing on his football team-mate. Or maybe it’s because she’s spent one unforgettable afternoon with him—despite being oh-so-forgetful. Three small doses of love that serve up a whole lot of feels.

Buy Just a Little Bit of Love on Amazon.

Welcome back, Ines!

When we last spoke, it was about Only a Kiss. Tell me a bit about your latest release, Just a Little Bit of Love.

Hi, Elise! Thank you for having me again! 🙂 Just A Little Bit of Love is made up of three stories that are all set in the world of Only A Kiss. What I did was imagine who else could have possibly been in particular settings of the book.

In the first story, “Watching, Waiting”, I used a scene where my main characters were in a coffee shop. Naturally, there will be more people there with their own stories, their own problems, and their own hopeful endings.

The second one, “On The Sidelines”, is about a girl who is also obsessed with Ethan, the boy Katie, my main character in Only A Kiss had a huge crush on when she was a kid.

The last one, “Sticky Notes and Forgetfulness” is about a minor character who comes out in Only A Kiss too. I found her so adorable, I wanted to write more about her.

Both Only a Kiss and Just a Little Bit of Love are sweet romances. What do you like about writing in this genre? What draws you to the genre?

I love this genre! I love reading it and that’s probably why I love writing it.

Just a Little Bit of Love is a series of short stories about three girls. Are the stories connected or related?

They aren’t really related, but they happen in order. And I guess you can say the characters are all basically at the same point in their lives as each other, age-wise — if that makes any sense. The first one happens in high school, the second in college, and the third after college.

I love that as a way to organize your stories!

Your Goodreads bio says you used to be an editor for two magazines and that you currently work as an editor for Summit Books. How does writing compare to editing? Do you find your job as an editor helps you to write? Do you consult an editor prior to publishing?

I believe everyone needs an editor. If you say you don’t, you’re either too full of yourself or you have some magic power I wish I possessed haha! Even the best writers need feedback because they’re too close to their stories and to their words. Sometimes, when something makes sense to me but isn’t too clear to my editor/readers, then I know I have to change it. Because I’m an editor, I know how important it is to have my work edited and I never release something unless I have it edited first.

I prefer writing to editing because it is less technical and it’s more creative. Editing is work. But I enjoy it too. I learn a lot as I go and it also helps me when I write. I have a better idea of what works, what the best practices are, and what I should be mindful of.

Your bio also says you’ve been a teacher in the past. Were your students aware of your status as an author? How did they react when they found out? Have you ever mentored a student to help with his/her writing career?

I wrote and published my first book after I stopped teaching. But my former students are so supportive and so wonderful! They come to my launches, buy my books, and spread the word. It’s wonderful!

I help a lot of people with their writing. I guess it’s because I used to teach? So it comes naturally. When I find out friends have been wanting to write since forever, I encourage them till they finally do it. I love it when people finally realize their dreams!

My last question is a wild card. Choose a question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview. What is it? How would you answer it?

Why do you write?

I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this question. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t need to be asked, or because writers interview me so they too have the same feelings burning within.

I write because there’s something inside me that needs to be satisfied, sated, addressed, acknowledged. It’s not anything I can pinpoint, but it’s there. When I’m not writing, I don’t feel complete. But when I am, I feel more alive—like the world is more interesting, my life is more fun, and I am filled with an enthusiasm I never really knew before—or maybe I did when I was teaching.

But this is different. While writing, I’m lost in another world, yes, but at the same time, something happens to me. Maybe it’s because I’m creating something, maybe it’s because I’m finally doing what God created me to do. Whatever it is, writing makes me happy. That statement is so simple and I feel doesn’t fully capture the wonderment, the vividness, and plainly, how much more alive I feel when I’m doing it. And not just the act itself but while I’m writing something, I pay more attention to what’s happening around me, I’m constantly thinking of what will come next or how I will work a particular scene—I’m more engaged, not so lost, but oh so free.

Refresh our memory as to your social media, please.

| Instragram | Twitter | Facebook | Website |

About the author:

photo-2Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.

Welcome Christine Grey, author of “Breathe”

Please join Britbear’s Book Reviews in welcoming Christine Grey, author of Breathe and the soon to be released Whisper, with an interview in today’s author spotlight.


Breathe-Final Cover (1)Dearra comes into possession of the magical Sword of Cyrus just as the evil Breken attack her island home. Though her people succeed in driving their enemy back to the sea, one of the invaders remains behind, left for dead by his cruel kin. Now, Dearra doesn’t know what to be more surprised by, the fact that her sword can speak to her, or that it has imperiously informed her that the handsome Breken warrior is her destiny. The two are bound together by a chain of events that was set into motion a thousand years earlier, and everything they thought they knew about themselves, their history, and their future is about to change.

Buy Breathe by Christine Grey on Amazon.

Hi, Christine. Your genre is sort of young/new adult fantasy romance. What draws you to write in this genre? 

I think it’s that anything can happen. Nothing is out of bounds. I love that I can create whole new worlds for people, ones where they can experience and feel things that they can’t in the real world.

 I absolutely love your characters and the dynamics between them, especially the Carly/Daniel romance. Where did your characters (Dearra, Darius, Carly, Daniel, etc.) come from? What is your inspiration for them? 

That’s a great question! I wish I had a great answer. I never consciously decided to create characters to behave a certain way. As I wrote, their personalities came through.The story came to me in small pieces. I just sat down one day about eight years ago and started to type. Dearra is such a real and flawed heroine. She has so much love to give, and a spirit that just won’t quit, but she is headstrong and hot-tempered as well. It’s funny that you should comment on the romance between Carly and Daniel. When I was writing the story, I literally stopped typing, stared  at my keyboard, and shouted out loud, “No way!” That relationship was such a surprise to me. My husband and I still laugh about it.

Though I’ve only read Breathe and I’m partially through Whisper, you have impressed me with your overall vision for the series. Where did your story come from? How did you plan such an epic? Did you always know it would be a series?

As I mentioned earlier, the story came to me in pieces. The main piece has to do with Brin, Dearra’s sword. I can’t go into that too much, or I will spoil the story for folks. I would see the story in my head and try to write what I saw. Sometimes I would get it wrong, and go back and tear it apart again and again until the words matched the vision in my head. Originally, I saw the story as a three book series, but then the larger picture came together and I could see that the story was never going to be complete after the first three books. That is the impetus, but it will be the next generation of children that bring everything to its final resolution. Then, I see the seventh book as a stand alone about what came before. You will get to see the beginning of the story a thousand years earlier. 

 Seven books! Your vision amazes me again.

You are a very busy woman, as your Facebook posts attest. How do you find the time to write? What might an average day look like for you? 

I don’t think there is an average day. We have five children in the house and two grown children. Four of our kiddos are foster children that we are trying to adopt, so there are lots of therapy appointments, social workers, court dates, and on and on and on. We also have three dogs and two cats, you know, just so we don’t get bored. I write whenever I can get a minute to myself. My husband is amazing and takes on as much as he can to allow me time to work. Even with that, it’s not unusual to have children come looking for mom three or for times in one paragraph. I recently went part-time at work, and that has allowed me some hours during the day to dedicate to writing.

I can identify with that.

Speaking of writing time, describe your writing process. What do you do in the time you set aside for writing?

whisper coverMy music is a must! I have a pair of really good headphones that allow me to pipe in my mood music. Don’t laugh! There’s nothing like the sorrowful sound of bagpipes to write a funeral scene (not that I’m saying there are any in this book). I have been known to find a song that really brings out certain feelings and play it over and over while I work. I don’t usually tell people what I listen to because it is so personal, but I will break with tradition and share a little with you. I listen to Celtic Woman’s The Voice, Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire, Annie Lennox’s Into the West (wow, that one is sad), and anytime I write about the fairies in book two, I like The Mediaeval Baebes.

So eclectic! 

If you could pick a published author to be your mentor, who would s/he be and why?

There are many author’s that I love, but I don’t think I would ever choose just one to mentor me. I am part of an online Facebook group called Clean Indie Reads, and they are all my mentors. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new. I think choosing a single mentor, no matter how amazing, would be like choosing to listen to only one instrument from a symphony. Beautiful, sure, but there would be no depth.

Well said!

What kind of books do you like to read? Which books do you count among your favourites and why? 

I like fantasy and historical romance, but I can do without the heaving bosoms and ripping bodices. I read some of that because it’s mind candy, but I skip over the parts that I find off-putting. I enjoy some horror, but nothing too graphic.The Stand by Stephen King is wonderful. It is an epic battle between good and evil and incorporates God without beating you over the head with it. Watership Down by Richard Adams. I mean come on! Rabbits as the heroes!  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I always cry when Beth dies. A book that can make me feel something like that is high on my list. Definitely, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. He creates such complex characters, although, I find his battle scenes tedious.

How long have you been writing? Tell us about the moment you first knew you wanted to be a writer.

I started writing when I was a child. It was mostly poetry. My grandparents saved everything I wrote and proclaimed it all gold. Aren’t grandparents wonderful? I tried to write a book about ten years ago. It was one of those bodice-ripping romances, and it was horrendous. I think I burned it. When I started this book eight years ago, I had no idea where it would lead, I just knew I had to write it.

What’s next for Christine Grey, author? Tell us a bit about your next project.

As you know, Whisper is in editing, and I am very excited to get that ready for distribution. I hope to have it available in February or March. I am currently writing Echo, which is the third book in the series. Book four has already started poking me as well, and I have been taking copious notes in anticipation of that project.

Is there anything you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview but weren’t asked here? Please ask and answer the question for your readers.

Do you have a favorite quote that means something special to you as a writer?

This quote sums everything up for me, and I can’t wait to see where the road takes me next!

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

About the author:

BookChristine Grey lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Dan, and their seven children, three dogs, and two cats. With a family like that, she knows how important it is to escape from reality from time to time! She and her husband have grown their family through foster care adoption and are advocates for helping children find the permanency and support they all deserve. When she isn’t busy chasing children, running a household, or savoring a hot cup of tea, Christine spends her free time creating worlds of magic, romance, and humor.

Here’s how readers can learn more about Christine and her work.

| Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Email | 

Interview with author Krysten Lindsay Hager

Please join Britbear Book Reviews in welcoming Krysten Lindsay Hager to today’s author spotlight.
Next Door to a Star FRONT COVER

Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.



Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door to a Star?

Buy Next Door to a Star on Amazon, Amazon Paperback, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, iTunes, and KoboBooks.


Welcome, Krysten. What inspired you to write the Landry’s True Colors series?
When I was in college, I heard the phrase that you should write the book you want to read. I had been wanting to write a YA novel and had several starts, but nothing that I really went the distance with until I heard that. I began writing the books I would have wanted to read at that age as I was dealing with my own insecurities about fitting in and comparing myself to images in magazines. I grew up in the era of the supermodels, which reminds me a lot of how teens and, really, people of all ages, compare themselves to what they see on social media sites. So I wrote from the point of view of a character who sees these perfect looking girls, with perfect looking lives and what seems like super tight-knit friendships, but begins to realize that the grass isn’t always greener. I also wanted to write with humor because that was something I found missing in the YA novels I read growing up.
I love having a character that grows throughout the series  although the books can be read as standalone novels as well. It’s fun for me to continue on with the Landry character as well as all her friends and develop them more as the series goes on.
You are a self-proclaimed book addict. What are the best books you’ve ever read? Why would you include those books in your list of best books?
I love to read and my to-be-read stack is growing all the time. One of my favorite books is The Great Gatsby. It was assigned to me in 7th grade and again in 9th, but I didn’t connect with it until I reread it the summer the movie with Leonardo came out. This time all the themes jumped out at me and I appreciated what Fitzgerald was doing. I love Fitzgerald’s essays and short stories as well. Growing up, I loved all the series books. I read everything from Nancy Drew to Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club, and fell in love with a book called Goodbye Glamour Girl by Erika Tamar. I also like reading books by Susan Shapiro, May Sarton, Sarah Mlyanowski, and Judy Blume as well.
There are some great and classic series in that list.
In your web site bio you say that when you’re not reading you are catching up on your favourite shows. What are a few of your favourite shows and why?
I am bad luck for shows, apparently, because so many of my favorites get canceled–like Hart of Dixie and Dallas, Freaks and Geeks. My current must see programs are: American Dad because I love the writing on it. I love how the writers have the characters of Stan and Roger play off each other. I watch The Simpson and Family Guy for fun, escapist humor and I love The Goldbergs. My friends and I are always talking about that show. Watching Adam Goldberg go through middle school is like going back in time to our own awkward experiences at that age.  I also like watching shows on the Disney Channel, like, Girl Meets World, and Austin and Ally. I started watching that show a few months ago when I realized the Austin character looked a bit like how I was imagining Vladi Yagudin in my series. I tune in to Switched at Birth and I also watch sports a lot: figure skating, basketball, football (both college level as well as the pros–the Detroit Lions), soccer (Real Madrid), and during the playoffs I watch the Detroit Tigers.
Your Amazon bio says you have worked as a journalist and humor essayist. What is the connection between writing in this style and writing fiction?
My favorite thing as a journalist was interviewing people. Human interest pieces were such a treat because I got to talk to people from all walks of life like politicians, athletes, teachers, priests and preachers, and a lot of people in the arts. It often brought a new perspective to how I viewed things and I’ve been inspired by many of the people I’ve interviewed over the years for my stories. I wrote an essay that was published in an anthology called, Patchwork Path: Friendship Star, about a woman I was sent to do a human interest piece on. She and I became close friends, but then she passed away from a heart condition and I wrote about her impact on my life. When it came to writing humor essays, it was a great way to get my foot in the door by showing a more creative side of my writing and people who liked the humor in those pieces get a taste of what I write in my fictional work as well.
You have a master’s degree in American Culture. How often do you use what you learned in school in your writing?
Daily! I have often said the most helpful thing in my writing career has been the classes I’ve taken over the years. The literature classes showed me how stories are put together and honestly, it’s like taking a class from the masters. With American Culture you’re covering everything from literature, communications, history, art history, and I also took pre-law classes. So many of these experiences helped me to become a better writer by teaching new things I can use in my novels or helping me to understand a subject better. As an undergrad, I took mostly European history and European lit classes, so moving on to American culture was great because I felt much more well-rounded and have a unique take on things having studied both.
My degree is in Cultural Anthropology and I feel the same way about those classes.
Back to writing and books, how did you find your publisher? Why did you decide to publish with Clean Reads?
A few years ago, I was living in Portugal and in a freelance writer group. I was mostly writing for newspapers, magazines, and online sites and one of the writers in the group mentioned she was happy with the company and then later I saw another writer from that group had signed with them as well.
What’s the best review you have received to date? Quote something from it and tell us why it meant so much to you.
The first one that comes to mind is from a high school student who reviewed both books on her blog, Indyia’s Reviews. Part of the review for the first book (True Colors) said, “I’m in love with this book because almost ANY middle school, or even high school teens can relate to this! …Through this journey she gets caught up in trying to be herself, but also wanting to be ‘perfect middle school girl’ to meet her new friend’s standards! Landry learns throughout the story how to deal with her new found enemies, a crush, and she figures out modeling isn’t this great big fairy tale world! In the end, she figures out that true friends will love you for you! I love the moral of this story because to me, it’s very self motivating! It’s okay to be yourself and a little quirky sometimes!”
I loved that review because that was exactly what I had hoped readers would walk away from the book thinking and feeling. I also loved hearing from a reading specialist about two of her students who appreciated the fact Landry deals with insecurities even as she is picking to go on in modeling competitions. One of the students said it made her feel better knowing even Landry dealt with self-esteem issues like she (the student) did.
Getting reviews is one way to publicize. How else do you go about publicizing your book? How much time do you spend on publicity? What is the most helpful site(s) you have found to date?
I’ve done book tours and book blasts, but I think having other writers on my own blog/website has been helpful as you’re bringing in new readers to your site. I think Facebook pages are a great way to connect with people so that’s been the most helpful, but I’d suggest each writer pick one thing they feel comfortable with because if you feel awkward using it, it will show. I don’t know how much time to say I devote to it as I don’t keep track.
What is your next project about?
I have a new standalone YA novel called, Next Door to a Star, out now from Limitless Publishing. It’s about a high school student named Hadley Daniels who winds up moving to a lake resort town near a teen TV star for a summer that involves first love, true friendship, and realizing that what you see in the magazines isn’t always what you get.
I also finished the third book in the Landry’s True Colors Series, so I’m looking forward to the release of that and I’m working on book 4 of the series as well as another YA novel and an adult one.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers that’s not covered by this interview?
I feel so fortunate to be able to connect with readers online, so drop me a line any time on my website.
Thanks, Krysten.
Here’s where you can learn more about Krysten Lindsay Hager and her writing:
About the Author 

Krysten Lindsay HagerKrysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors and Best Friends…Forever? as well as her upcoming release, Next Door to a Star.

Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and  writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Interview with Author Melanie Brosowski

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome author Melanie Brosowski with an interview in today’s author spotlight.

About Rough Ride (translated from Amazon):rough-ride-cover

Heath Arlington lives with his father and his employees on a ranch in Montana. He is a lone wolf, who likes to be alone in nature–until Cam hires him. The new cowboy constantly draws his attention, and Heath is interested in him more than he wants to admit at first. But when misfortune opens Heath’s eyes and he gets involved in an affair, Heath must question if Cam is the right man for him.

Buy Rough Ride on Amazon.

Your website says you write gay romance novels. Tell me a bit about your novels. Why write in this genre?

Rough Ride – Rough Ride to Happiness (Rauer Ritt ins Glück) is my first gay romance novel and was recently released. It emerged from a small fan fiction story. Whether I am establishing myself in this genre remains to be seen. I’m still testing it out.

The actual genres in which I write are western and science fiction. I am an author in the Ad Astra series and I’ve also written a historical novel set in Ireland and America. To date I have published more than 20 short stories and poems.

Your resume (vita) says you have been chief editor of Star Trek and the SF newsletter Incoming Message. What do those jobs entail?

Incoming Message is the monthly newsletter of The TrekZone Network is a publication of the science fiction series Star Trek and related topics dedicated to the genre and produced by fans in a volunteer capacity. As chief editor, I am responsible for collecting various articles, as well as compiling the newsletter itself.

I connected with you over your Stingray graphic novel. What made you try a graphic novel instead of a traditional one?

This was originally only a little experiment, a jump from one Ray image with one of his quotes to multiple images with a little bit of dialogue. Unfortunately, my English is not good enough to write a whole Stingray novel, though I have written some smaller, fan fiction Stingray stories in German.

Like you, I’m a fan of Nick Mancuso and Stingray from the time it was first broadcast. Why choose an 80s television show as your content? Why Stingray?

That is hard to say. I think I liked it because it is not made ​​according to a particular formula. It’s not like MacGyver or The A-Team, where each episode has a happy ending. I especially like the mystery behind Ray, and the profound nature of the character and the series. I especially like the idea of “favours for favours”.

Your resume talks about books that have moved you. What is it about those books that interests you? Is it the author’s style, the content or the genre? Which of the three is most important to you when reading and why?

For a book to make a lasting impression on me, I have to like the style of writing. The language must also be versatile. For me, only a very few authors have managed to play with the language to paint pictures and tell the reader a good story. I will read stories regardless of the genre, whether the story is good or interesting, but they do not appeal to me when the writing is bad. In that case, I’ll put the book down and not read until the end. A book that really impressed me was From Breathing Underwater (Vom Atmen Unter Wasser). In that book, “The Miners were a normal family, until Sarah, their sixteen year old daughter, is murdered one evening on the way home. Now, one year later, the trial is over and the perpetrators have been convicted. But what happens to those who fall behind, and who cannot just go on with their lives?” It’s the look at the details, the nuances, the things that make us human, that moves me and carries me away.

Which of your books are you most proud of and why?

Rough Ride – Rough Ride to Happiness.  It was a challenge to write this book, to write about the still very sensitive topic  homosexuality. To tell a good and interesting story but also to show the readers the problems.

What’s next on your writing agenda? Can you tell me a bit about your next project?

I have two projects currently. One is a new gay romance novel. The other is a new science fiction novel in the Rex Corda series by Mohlberg  Publishing. I am also planning a small Stingray fan site in English.

What else would you like to talk about, something that wasn’t included in this interview?

I would like to thank Nick Mancuso. It is unusual that an actor would keep in such close contact with his fans the way he has.

I totally agree. 

Here’s where fans can find out more about Melanie Brosowski:

| Website | Stingray SiteBlog |


Interview with Kirby Howell

Britbear’s Book Reviews welcomes Kirby Howell to today’s author spotlight with an author interview.

autumninthecityofangelscoverFrom Goodreads:

What would you do if you lived through the apocalypse? The real fight to survive comes after everyone else is gone.

A plague of epic proportion sweeps the globe, leaving less than one percent of the world’s population immune. Among the living is Autumn Winters, the teenage daughter of a famous actress. When Autumn’s parents don’t come home and the city is overtaken by a dangerous faction, she goes into hiding with a small group of underground survivors. They’re led by a mysterious young man who harbors an unearthly secret, and with whom Autumn feels a deep connection.

Autumn in the City of Angels is the first novel in a series, followed by Autumn in the Dark Meadows and Autumn in the City of Lights.

Buy Autumn in the City of Angels and Autumn in the Dark Meadows at Amazon.

You are my first set of co-writers writing under a single pen-name. What’s your writing process like?

Open communication is the key when you have two people.  We like to joke that we have to be “on the same page” figuratively, but definitely not literally!

We usually spend a few weeks breaking the story, and after we’ve got a hold on the characters and the story we want to tell, we write an outline together, and try to make sure any tricky areas are well fleshed out.  Other areas are left thinner to allow for the individual writer’s creative process.  Then we divvy out sections.  Though we’re the best of friends, we have very different personalities, so usually the parts that are calling to one of us to write isn’t calling to the other, so we’ve never had a problem dividing up the scenes to write.  (Dana usually takes the scenes with heavy dialogue or politically driven scenes.  Jessica enjoys writing romantic stuff, or the scenes with lots of internal thinking.)  So we go away and write our sections, and then once we’re feeling good about what we have, we swap!  Then we make notes and trade back.  This allows the first person to take one more stab at their scenes before the other person begins their rewrites… which is the next phase.  After we’ve both taken passes on each other’s work and cleaned up any errors we find, we start a beta process, and get notes from a host of readers.  From there, we divvy up again, and the re-write/swapping process starts all over!

So basically we end up reading and re-writing each other a lot.  But we have constant open communication during this process so that there aren’t any hurt feelings, and so that we’re both comfortable with any changes in the next phase.  It’s a dance that breaks up most partnerships, but we both firmly believe that having each person’s input on every page makes the work stronger…and we’ve been writing this way together for 16 years.

The synergy between you sounds amazing. I read that both of you have degrees in Film and Scriptwriting. Why did you make the transition to writing fiction novels?

Most screenwriters are born of frustrated novelists, so there’s a lot of crossover between these worlds.  The creative process, while not the medium, is also the same.

We’d always had the pipe dream of becoming novelists in the backs of our mind, but for several years, we were focused on the more immediate goal of TV writing.  Then, during the recession, when over half of Hollywood was out of work, we found ourselves with more time than usual to write.  We’d had an idea that felt too big to be a pilot script or a feature script.  Jessica suggested we try our hand at prose, and from that the first Autumn novel was born.

I’ve often thought of marketing my novels as a screenplay to get the story out there, but never given it a try. Which of the two forms of writing do you enjoy most and why?

We enjoy both in their own ways.  With scripts, you get the supreme pleasure of watching other artists interpret your ideas… actors, directors, editors, etc… but with a novel, it’s very different.  It’s a direct conduit to your audience.  So everything has to come from you and “live on the page” as they say.  There won’t be actors coming in to bring words to life or editors to help pacing, etc… That’s intimidating, knowing that it all rests on your shoulders, but it’s also very rewarding when you feel like you’ve done your job.  So for now, we’d probably have to pick the novel world.

Let’s talk a bit about your novels. What is your inspiration behind your Autumn Winters series?

That’s a tricky question.  The seed of the idea came from one of Jessica’s dreams.  But the inspiration for what it became?  We’re not sure there’s a simple answer to that.  Maybe it had to do with all of the media in our lives, be it novels we’ve read, and movies and TV shows that we’d consumed that informed what kind of stories we wanted to tell.  Or maybe it was something within us the entire time, influenced by our close friends and family around us and our experiences as close friends for the past decade and a half.

Twitter describes the Autumn Winters series as YA Sci Fi Romance. What draws you to these genres?

We’ve always liked a bit of the fantastical, be it sci fi or fantasy.  Dana grew up reading as much as she could get her hands on in that genre.  Jessica enjoyed the fantasy genre when she was younger, but got the sci fi bug in college when she met Dana.  And we realized that writing within this genre was just more fun for us!

As far as Young Adult goes… we genuinely love writing for teens.  It was an important time for us as young readers, and we love the fact that there’s even more YA out there now and that it isn’t perceived as “nerdy” the way it was when we were teens.  And if there’s anything we can do to contribute to that, we’re all in!  We also love trying to sneak in some real science, or classic book recommendations in our novels in the hopes that they might spark an interest in our readers in other areas that we feel passionate about.

And finally, why romance?  Why not!  We love mixing genres, and the heightened emotions derived from a romance plot only helps readers connect with what they’re reading.  And, besides, a little romance is fun to read!

Your Amazon bio says you work in television. Describe what you do in the television industry.

Well, between us both, we’ve held a lot of jobs on a number of different projects over the years, some you may have heard of and others you probably wouldn’t have!  They say that long term employment in Hollywood is 6 months (for one project).  As projects wrap, you move on to the next gig.  So you tend to rack up quite a list of projects the longer you stay in the business.  Instead of listing all the shows individually, how about we tell you where we began and where we are now?

Dana started out as a writers’ assistant on Desperate Housewives and Jessica used to work in casting for The Biggest Loser.  Currently, Dana’s a producer on a show for Discovery ID and Jessica is an accountant for various TV shows.

How did you decide which excerpts to share on your web page?

Ah!  Finally an easy question!  We just put the first chapter of each book up.  Easy peasy.

Who are your favourite authors and what attracts you to their work?

And now we’re back to the hard questions!  This list could be endless.  We’re both confessed book nerds and could happily spend months reading.  But if we HAD to pick favorites, we suppose it’d be the following.

Douglas Adams: One of Dana’s all-time favorites.  She’s read every word the man has ever written.  His satire about the world around us is both amazingly insightful and absolutely hysterical.  He was her father’s favorite author, and over the years, it became something they shared.  It doesn’t get better than Douglas Adams.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Jessica’s first memory of loving books involves Little House in the Big Woods and summer thunderstorms in Virginia.  Her mom would read to her and her sister to distract them from being frightened of the thunder.  She’s reread the entire Little House series probably once a year since then.

Jane Austen: Another of Dana’s all-time favorites.  Her stories endure the test of time.  It’s been proven time and again with modern adaptations of Pride & Prejudice, Emma, etc…  The themes of personal freedom vs. restriction, what a woman’s place is within society, and women being true to themselves have always resonated with her.

Steven King: Jessica’s husband finally got her to read The Stand, which she’d been curious about for years, but hadn’t ever wanted to read because it was in the horror genre and “Jessica hates horror.”  She listened to The Stand as an audiobook over the course of a month on her hour-long commute to work and fell in love.  The characters, the extreme situations, and the fantastical elements lured her in and made her a fan instantly.  She followed it up with 11/22/63, which immediately replaced The Stand as her favorite reading experience ever.

Great choices!

What’s next on your writing agenda?

We’re NEARLY done with the last book in The Autumn Series and are getting ready to throw ourselves into our next YA project: The Wayfarer, which is a story about a teenage girl running away from a bad foster situation.  She stumbles through a hidden and magical passage and finds herself in a new and strange land.  It’s Alice in Wonderland meets The Wizard of Oz.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the world about your writing and your books?

We LOVE working with schools and libraries to promote reading and literacy.  If there are any teachers and/or librarians out there who’d like us to do a virtual Skype visit to talk about writing, our books, etc… don’t hesitate to reach out!  Contact us via email!

Here’s where you can read more about Kirby Howell and their (?) books:

| Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page |

| Goodreads | Tumblr | Blog |

About Kirby Howell

Interview with Author Glenn Maynard

Britbear’s Book Reviews is thrilled to feature author Glenn Maynard in today’s spotlight.

From the Black Rose Writing site:

Carter Spence is a 26 year-old accountant out of Boston who has an out-of-body experience Desert+Son+eimagefollowing a car accident that kills his parents.  He views the chaos from above the scene of the accident, then passes through the tunnel and reunites with relatives who have long been dead. A woman he does not recognize approaches him and says, “Welcome, son.” Her message to him is that he needs to be aware of his true identity and should follow signs that will lead him there. She mentions mountains, but Carter is jolted back into his physical body before she can finish.

After burying his parents, Carter heads west and meets a free-spirit named Brenda, whom he is drawn to on many levels. She becomes his travelling companion and leads him to Boulder, Colorado, and to an old white house of an old man named Martin. Diaries, hypnosis, and past-life regression reveal a bizarre connection between these three. Carter discovers that the truth to his identity can only be found by pursuing the answer to whether he is the reincarnation of his biological father in what is shaping up to be a love affair rekindled beyond the grave.

Buy Desert Son on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Black Rose Writing. Buy Strapped Into an American Dream on Amazon.

Welcome, Glenn. Your Amazon author page says you worked for a year as a travel correspondent. Can you talk a bit about that experience? Is there a connection between this experience and Strapped into an American Dream?

After I got married, my wife and I quit our jobs, sold our cars, bought a used RV and travelled through the 48 continental states for an entire year. I needed something to write about, so I created something. I contacted a couple local newspapers about my trip and generated some interest. I then became a travel correspondent for these newspapers and published twenty articles along the way. Every two weeks throughout the year I would send off a story, and readers could follow along with these monthly updates. I published my first book, which detailed the people and places along the way in the USA, entitled Strapped Into An American Dream.

Ingenious idea!

Tell us a bit about Desert Son. Why choose to begin it with an out of body experience? Why choose to incorporate reincarnation in the story, too.

The story begins with Carter involved in a horrific car accident that kills his parents. I chose to begin this story with an out-of-body experience because there was a significant message from a woman he did not recognize who was claiming to be his mother. She told him to follow signs to reach the truth. There is a bizarre twist in this tale when he follows signs out west to Boulder, Colorado. The story revolves around the topic of reincarnation. Carter discovers that it is up to him to find out if he is the reincarnation of his biological father. The out-of-body experience was a spin-off of the reincarnation theme since this was a paranormal novel that needed injections of paranormal.

What genre do you consider Desert Son and why?

This has been a paranormal novel all along, but it is being marketed as a paranormal romance because boy meets girl. It might not be the first time they met, but the book was categorized as a paranormal romance for the better marketing plan.

Your webpage has links to three blogs you maintain. Why choose to maintain three separate blogs as a part of your author platform rather than combine them into one?

It’s one blog, but four separate pages. I have pages for my two books, a poetry page, and a page for my life that is not book related. When I write about non-book topics that I wish to share with Facebook, then I use that page. Every once in a while I have a poem in me and use [my] Poetry page. The two different book pages…well, that’s self-explanatory. I originally had a page for my first book, but when the second child came along, I needed a place to put it. Instead of creating another blog, I created another page within the original blog.

Speaking of the Poetry blog, why do you write poetry? Do you prefer writing prose novels or poetry?

When I was an English major in college (UCONN) I was taking Shakespeare and other complicated poetry classes that included notes on the bottom so you knew what the hell they were talking about. I would receive cash from my parents and siblings as a poor college student, and in return I would write funny poems. My family enjoyed the poems so much that I was getting more money sent just so I would thank them poetically. Sometimes I would write poems about other things, like when my dog died, or when my grandfather passed, as a way of coping; mourning. I created a poetry blog just to have a better way to keep track of my writing and to just have more out there with my name on it. I read my poetry at large family functions now. It’s a lot of fun and people love to laugh at it (some readings are on YouTube, but writing novels takes the cake. It’s a whole different ballgame and it cannot be compared to knocking off a poem in a day or two. Writing a novel is like having a baby (I apologize in advance to all the moms out there).

It certainly feels like birthing a baby sometimes, doesn’t it?

Your bio says you’ve had twenty articles published. Where were they published? What were they on? In a previous question I asked if you prefer writing fiction or poetry. Now I ask if you prefer writing non-fiction to fiction?

When I was traveling through the country, I was writing monthly travel articles to the Glastonbury Citizen and the Bristol Press, two local papers back home. I also wrote an article that appeared in the Sunday edition of the newspaper in Pocatello, Idaho. Readers would follow us along as I updated them monthly on the places we’d been, and the expected path ahead. I have written one non-fiction book and one fiction book, and my third book is a sequel to my fiction book, Desert Son, so therein lies the answer. I love writing fiction!

Your WordPress blog has quite a few posts on social media. What are your opinions about social media with respect to building your author profile?

I’m still trying to figure it out. I think all authors are in the same boat. There is no magic formula, and it’s a trial and error and see what works process. I share my blog posts with Facebook and LinkedIn. Now Facebook is set up so that you only reach about 10% of your established audience. There has to be a mixture of social media, reviews, newspaper ads detailing your speaking engagements, etc.

Talk a bit about your writing process and Desert Son from start to finish.

The idea for this book came after reading the book, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, by Ian Stevenson. This book was about the spontaneous recall of previous lives by children. I was so fascinated by these children in third world countries recalling lives of people who had died, and who had lived an unreachable distance from these kids. Researchers would then follow the kids’ claims and travel to talk to the surviving members of the deceased’s family. The claims of the children exactly portrayed the deceased, sometimes including the language they spoke, and with information that nobody other than the deceased would know. Desert Son evolved from this book.

The topic of reincarnation is certainly an interesting one.

What about your next project? Can you tell us a bit about that?

I have written the sequel for Desert Son, and [I’m] contemplating a third and final book in the series. The sequel occurs four years later, and the paranormal [theme] continues with that very bizarre twist occurring just as it did in the first book.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers but that’s not included in these questions?

You will never see me do air quotes or say “if you will,” “per se” or “at the end of the day.”

Thanks so much for the interview, Glenn. How can readers discover more about you and you work?

| Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon Author Page |

Smashwords | Goodreads |

About the author:

glenmaynardimageGlenn Maynard is the author of the books Strapped Into An American Dream and Desert Son. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Connecticut, and a degree in Communications. After spending 4 years living in Denver, Colorado, he returned home to Connecticut and now resides in Wethersfield. Glenn has a 14 year-old son named Andrew. As a travel correspondent for three newspapers while exploring the United States, Canada and Mexico during his one-year journey, Glenn published a total of twenty newspaper articles. His story was captured on the NBC local news upon his return.

Interview with Author Mark Pople

Please join Britbear’s Book Reviews in welcoming Mark Pople, author of Rogers Park, with an interview in today’s author spotlight.

About Rogers Park:

rogers park coverA shortcut led to the longest six weeks of Brian Casey’s life.

A high school English teacher and self-proclaimed Alfred Hitchcock junkie from a broken home, Brian has spent his entire life in Rogers Park, the bowels of North Chicago. He longs for a Hitchcockian revenge on the father who deserted him as a child.

Turning into the Farwell-Pratt alley on a bitter February afternoon, little does Brian know that the decision to take this particular shortcut will set into motion a chain of life-altering events. The first link in the chain is a trash bag thrown from a fire escape. The final link is a choice: forgive his father or watch him die. The links between – kinked and tangled, as happens when chains are kept in closets with skeletons – include addiction, F. Scott Fitzgerald, plagiarism, blackmail, and murder.

Rogers Park is a novel about the long road to forgiveness and the harrowing journey one man must endure to reach this destination.

Buy Rogers Park on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Black Rose Writing.

Welcome, Mark. You have lived many places, but your bio says you only lived in Rogers Park, Chicago, for a brief amount of time. What made you choose to set your story here instead of another location, one where you’ve spent more time?

There always seemed to be something lurking in Rogers Park. Some of the buildings sit only a five-foot sidewalk from the street, creating a sense of adventure for any pedestrian approaching an intersection. I admit it was probably just my overactive imagination at work, but whenever I turned one of these blind corners or stepped into a dark alley, I imagined mystery and intrigue awaiting me.  Then I was struck by Rogers Park – almost literally – when I strolled through an alley and someone dropped a trash bag from a third-story fire escape into an open dumpster. From this, a story was born.

Your bio also says you draw on your experience as an English teacher. Are you ever concerned about writing too much about the experience, or is the fact that you are retired (unlike myself) liberating in this respect?

Actually, it’s liberating that I can leave the teaching and the headaches that go along with it to a fictional character. As far as my protagonist being a teacher, I wanted to take an ordinary guy and put him in extraordinary circumstances. Making him a high-school teacher felt perfect. There are so many educators out there. It seems they are woefully under represented in suspense novels.

Rich Brown Gravy, South of the Calvary Curve…your novels have really interesting titles. How do you settle on titles for your manuscripts?

Rich Brown Gravy is a short story. The title comes from the story itself as it’s told from the point-of-view of a nine-year-old boy whose mother likes to serve her guests Shepherd’s Pie with “rich brown gravy.” For my second novel, South of the Calvary Curve, I had to come up with a title in a hurry as I was about to enter the first ten pages in a contest (which I won, by the way). I had three people read these ten pages and each wrote down three possible titles. I read all of them aloud, and together we chose the best of the nine.

Congratulations, Mark! Also, I like the idea of crowd sourcing a title.

Besides making the protagonist of Rogers Park an English teacher, are there any similarities between you and Brian Casey? If so, what are they? If not, then why?

I’ve been told by people who have read Rogers Park that I am Brian Casey. Of course I point out that he’s almost thirty years younger than me, but still they insist we’re the same person, and they’re probably right. We’re both easy-going guys who make a point of avoiding confrontation. Of course, that doesn’t work out so well for Brian.

The fact that we are similar is not a mistake. I think that when writing in first-person point of view, it’s easy to become the character, or vice-versa. Also, first-person lends itself to adding an authentic voice to your character. When that voice is your own, the authenticity is even greater.

On your website you say your next publication is South of the Calvary Curve. What might the blurb for this story look like?

It’s still early, and the conclusion of South of the Calvary Curve is playing the usual games, hiding in my subconscious, waiting to jump out and slap me across the face when I least expect it (I hate surprise parties). But if I was to supply a blurb for Calvary Curve right now, it might sound something like this:

Brian Casey, after his misadventures in Rogers Park, may think he’s returned to the mundane life of a high school English teacher. But when a former student, now a stripper named Summer Solstice, asks him to help her retrieve a stolen phone, his life is again plunged into chaos.

Describe the publication process. How did you find your publisher? What was the process like once you signed?

It was daunting, reading over and over again how difficult – next to impossible – it would be to get my debut novel published. Still, I persisted for five months, receiving over twenty rejections before Reagan Rothe and Black Rose agreed to read my manuscript. I found Black Rose Writing on a website called “Predators and editors.” I did my research and felt completely comfortable signing with them. Since signing, the process has been smooth. Everyone at BRW has been great.

Congratulations with that, too.

How do Alfred Hitchcock and F. Scott Fitzgerald figure into the content of Rogers Park?

An unusual combination, I admit. Brian Casey’s passion for Hitchcock is a way for him to vicariously add intrigue to his otherwise mundane life. Ironically, he finds himself entangled in a Hitchcockian web of plagiarism, blackmail, and murder.

As for F. Scott Fitzgerald, Brian is teaching The Great Gatsby to his Advanced Placement English class. As the story of Rogers Park progresses, he comes to realize some interesting parallels between his own life and Fitzgerald’s classic novel. But it is one specific Fitzgerald quote that makes the greatest impression on Brian. From this quote, he learns an important lesson about acceptance and forgiveness. Both of these influences, Hitchcock and Fitzgerald, play a part in the dramatic closing scene of Rogers Park.

Besides these authors, if you had to choose, who would you consider a writing mentor and why?

The authors whose style I have tried to emulate are John Updike and Richard Russo. Ultimately, I’ve discovered that I have my own style, and while I consider these writers to be great influences, I no longer feel the need to emulate anyone.

As for current mentors, I attend Roger Paulding’s weekly critique group here in Houston. Roger is the author of the Seney Chronicle series and the Jazzed series. He’s been a great mentor and I know he won’t mind the plug. You’re welcome, Roger.

Speaking of style and voice, how would you describe your writing style?

Writing should, in one form or another, seduce a reader. This can be accomplished through the use of a plot twist, a seductive suggestion, or even an unexpected use of words. I try to always keep my reader on his or her toes, give them something they don’t expect. As for my style, I guess I would describe it as literary and terse. These two adjectives may seem to contradict each other (see, keeping you on your toes) but I feel it works. Having studied and taught the classics, I find myself paying a great deal of attention to the structure of sentences and word choices. Still, I believe in using as few words as possible as long as every one of those words counts.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you and your writing?

I’m so thankful for the support and well wishes I’ve received from everyone. I hope you enjoy Rogers Park.

Thanks for the interview, Mark.

Here’s where you can learn more about Mark Pople and his writing:

| Website | Facebook |

About Mark Pople:

Mark Pople is the winner of the Houston Writers House 2014 novel contest.mark pople photo

Born in Cambridge, England and raised in Pittsburgh, Mark’s literary sensibilities were most inspired by his brief stay in Rogers Park, a northern enclave of Chicago. He now resides in Houston.

Like his novel’s protagonist, Brian Casey, Mark is no stranger to the English classroom. His years spent teaching high school English in Houston, while thankfully not as eventful as those of Brian, served to whet his appetite for written words, occasionally even those of his students.

Mark is currently working on his second novel, South of the Calvary Curve.  He is a member of HWH and is active on Facebook. His email is