What Trouble? The Author Speaks

Nothing But Trouble Book Cover Nothing But Trouble
Irresistible Billionaires #1
Ashley Bostock
contemporary fiction, romance, Adult,

Billionaire CEO Michael Vilander needed just one date. Creating a fake profile on his own matchmaking website may not have been his brightest move. But then Sophia Baldwin’s arresting face pops up on his CHAT NOW feature. Not only is she gorgeous, but after spending half the night exchanging messages with her, he finds her to be naive, innocent and way too sexy.

Twenty-four-year-old Sophia Baldwin is barely able to make ends meet. Caring for her sick grandmother prevents her from having a normal life—aspirations of attending college full-time to become a nurse are on the back burner—but then she meets the charming and dazzling Clint on an online dating site. When he asks her to the Denver Arts Foundation’s Annual Valentine’s Day Gala, she’s confident things are looking up.

Once Sophia learns that her hot date is none other than website mogul Michael Vilander, she’s definitely not mentioning her night job. What’s a lie by omission anyway? After all, it’s only one date…Until Michael’s ex flaunts her fancy engagement ring in Michael’s face and something compels Sophia to announce her and Michael’s engagement. AKA, fake engagement. They agree on one month to pretend they’re in love before all bets are off.

Pretending to be in love with a sweet and sexy billionaire, but not actually falling in love, ahem, how hard could it be?

An Interview with Ashley 

Author Bio:

Ashley Bostock is a Colorado Native and currently lives in Nebraska, with daydreams of moving back home. All her books feature sexy-as-hell heroes and strong heroines. She loves reading any chance she gets – Jill Shalvis, M. O’Keefe, Rachel Gibson, Karen Robards and Jennifer Probst are some of her favorites! Ashley loves traveling – in a wanderlust’s eyes, she’s hardly touched the world but to those that rarely travel, she’s been everywhere. Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Turks & Caicos, Russia, China, Tahiti, Vietnam and Scotland, just to name a few.

Ashley is addicted to Instagram – if you want to follow her there: www.instagram.com/ashleybostock

If you want to stay in the know about new releases and receive EXCLUSIVE content, sign up for Ashley’s newsletter at this address: https://www.subscribepage.com/ashleybostock

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  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Well, depends. If I get an idea for a book or series but am currently writing a different book or I’m mid-series with something else, I take notes and write things down to go back to at a later date. The second I find a series or book to write, it sort of makes the decision for me as I’m writing book one. Like whether or not there is going to be a book three or book five. I think about what tropes I would like to see in the books. I enjoy friends-to-lovers and enemies to lovers as well as fake relationships turned real. This is if I’m mid-series. If I’m not, then I write whatever my heart is telling me to write. That could be notes I’ve taken previously, stories that I’ve maybe written the first ten pages of, or it could be a completely new idea that I have no notes for! I use a notebook to keep ideas in and note cards for scenes/plotting while I’m writing.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Not for me it hasn’t yet. It’s a slow process that takes a lot of work and dedication. It only happens overnight for very few people! Check back with me about how long it takes – I’m currently on my fourth year of self-publishing.

 3. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I enjoy reading romance novels. Authors from the Avon line are usually my favorite: Jill Shalvis, Sophie Jordan, Lori Wilde and Rachel Gibson. I also enjoy reading romantic suspense – Karen Robards and Tess Gerritsen.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance as well as Romantic Suspense. Those are my top three.

 

  1. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

Again, going back to the Avon line, I think my writing is influenced by those authors. However, I do like my sex scenes a little more explicit and spicier. I love the way those authors write. I just read Sophie Jordan’s Beautiful Lawman and I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a day. I strive to accomplish that for my readers.

 

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I still have the things I wrote from high school. A lot of poems and some short stories as well as class assignments that I’ve kept.

 

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When being apart is not as good as being together

Better Together Book Cover Better Together
One Fond Embrace
Crista McHugh
Crista McHugh
(1 July 2018)

Hawaiian rancher Alex Kahale needs a temporary wife to close a deal that’s vital to the welfare of his herd. Thankfully, he’s already married to a woman stole his heart in less than a week, even if that same wife filed for divorce a few days after they said their “I dos”.

Rising country music star Britney Moore had a wild fling with a cowboy in Las Vegas a year ago which ended in a drunken drive-through marriage. Once she returned to Nashville, she filed for divorce to save her squeaky clean image. Besides, spontaneous marriages never last, and she knows better than to risk her heart on Alex. But no matter how many requests she sends him, he refuses to sign the papers. Then he sends her an intriguing offer. Come to his ranch on Kauai and pretend to be his wife for two weeks for business purposes, and he’ll sign the papers.

As much as Britney tries to resist his charm, Alex manages to tear down her defenses one by one until she falls for him all over again. But when the press finds out about her secret husband, will their revived romance be killed by the tabloids?

 

I’d love to go to Maui.

And I have heard about the cowboys but didn’t realise the following:

British Captain George Vancouver brought the first long-horned cattle to Hawai‘i in 1793 as a gift to King Kamehameha I. The grateful king placed a kapu (Hawaiian code of conduct)—carrying a death penalty—on their slaughter so they could multiply on Hawai‘i Island. Soon, there were enormous herds terrorizing everything in their path.

To contain the wild-eyed beasts, Hawaiian royalty summoned the seasoned cowboys of Old Mexico to the islands in 1832. The dashing vaqueros quickly taught Hawaiians how to tame the unruly bullocks. It’s thought the Hawaiian word paniolo originates from the Spanish word, español. These early island cattlemen are credited with supplying beef to the hordes of prospectors during California’s Gold Rush.

All this comes from the tourist board information. and makes the island even  more attractive.

But setting aside the location of the novel, the actual storyline followed the usual romance tropes. In that boy meets girl. They have a whirlwind romance. They break up for some reason. They meet again and…

But this is OK if the writing is good enough and the actual characterization makes you want to continue reading. Which it did in this case.

I found this a sweet novel with good ideas and nice writing style. Not the most difficult of reads, but good for light reading on planes and beaches.

 

 

 

Author

Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage:

www.cristamchugh.com.

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When there is more than you think: Dawn explains

More Than Us Book Cover More Than Us
Dawn Barker
Women’s Fiction, Family Drama
Canelo
21st May 2018
Kindle

When parents disagree on how to care for their child, is it justifiable to take extreme measures?

Emily and Paul have a glorious home, money in the bank and two beautiful children. Since leaving Scotland for Paul to play football for an Australian team they have been blessed. But sadness lies behind the picture-perfect family - sixteen-year-old Cameron has battled with health troubles his entire life. There's no name for what he has, but his disruptive behaviour, OCD and difficulty in social situations is a constant source of worry.

When Paul's career comes to a shuddering halt, he descends into a spiral of addiction, gambling away the family's future. By the time he seeks help, it's his new boss Damien who recommends and pays for a rehab facility.

While Paul is away, Emily has to make a tough decision about their son. She keeps it from Paul knowing he'll disapprove. And when a terrible accident reveals the truth, Paul takes his son and goes on the run, leaving Emily to care for fourteen-year-old Tilly, who unbeknown to her parents is fighting battles of her own.

Can the family join together for the sake of their loved ones, or will their troubles tear them apart?

 

Dawn Barker explains Autisim and the book

First of all, thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m very excited that More Than Us is out now!

Thank you also for asking me to explain a little bit about some of the mental health conditions that are central to the characters in More Than Us. For those who haven’t read it yet, More Than Us tells the story of a family who must make drastic decisions about the mental health treatment of their son, and then deal with the fall-out for their family, and particularly their children, when the parents have completely opposing views about his psychiatry treatment.

One of the main characters in More Than Us is a teenage boy named Cameron. Cameron has always been different to his sister, and different to the other children around him. He was harder to manage as a baby and toddler, with behavioural issues and struggles at school. His mother is sure there’s something wrong with him; his father thinks he’s just a child and shouldn’t have to be the same as everyone else.

I chose to write about this issue in the book as when I’m not writing, I work as a child psychiatrist here in Perth, Australia. I therefore see every day that diagnosing behavioural and emotional difficulties in children is not as straightforward as diagnosing a medical illness: there’s no blood test or scan that can tell us what’s ‘wrong’ and we depend on information and observation from many places to help formulate a diagnosis and tailor treatment, both psychological and sometimes, medication, if appropriate. Also, children are developing and changing all the time, and so are their symptoms.

In More Than Us, Cameron doesn’t fit neatly into any box. He has features of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and he also has features of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Over many years, other symptoms appear that seem to relate to ADHD, or anxiety, or depression. This again, is not uncommon in my day to day work.

In child psychiatry, symptoms often overlap. For example, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder involves symptoms of not only social difficulties, but also restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder involves, amongst other symptoms, repetitive compulsive behaviours that may appear to parents, or teachers, as restricted behaviours. The two conditions, however, are very different, as is their treatment. To complicate things, children may have both conditions, and in fact many mental illnesses commonly co-occur with others.

I see children with social difficulties all the time in my practice, and Cameron in More Than Us struggles to relate to his peers at times. It had been suggested when he was younger that he may have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, which, by definition, involves difficulty in social communication. However, he doesn’t quite fit in that box.

Other mental health disorders can create social difficulties too: someone with OCD may be so preoccupied with their worrying, obsessional thoughts and completing their compulsions that they can’t concentrate on social interactions; someone with ADHD may struggle to control their impulses or their attention on conversations; someone who is depressed will be so flat in their mood that they don’t have the energy or motivation to relate to others.

I wanted to explore in the book how all of our behaviours exist on a spectrum, from what we would class in our society as ‘normal’, social and confident children, to those people whom we see at work or school every day who don’t fit the norm. They may be ‘quirky’ or a little odd, or avoid social interactions, or just seem to not understand social communication. That’s not necessarily an illness or mental health condition and diagnosis depends on a really careful and thorough history and observation of a child and family over time. Not every child who has social difficulties has an autistic spectrum disorder, and diagnosing children is complex.

I hope that readers of More Than Us can put themselves in the place of Cameron’s mother and father, and consider what they would do in that situation, if Cameron was their child. After writing the book, it has become even clearer to me that there is no right or wrong answer, and no right or wrong way to raise your own child, but even if parents disagree about treatment, or any aspect of parenting, they mustn’t forget that the most important thing is to ensure that their child is happy and thriving, regardless of their own views.

Thanks again for having me on your blog today and I hope your readers enjoy More Than Us.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Dawn Barker is a psychiatrist and author. She grew up in Scotland, then in 2001 she moved to Australia, completed her psychiatric training and began writing. Her first novel, ‘Fractured’, was selected for the 2010 Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre manuscript development programme, was one of Australia’s bestselling debut fiction titles for 2013, and was shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards. Her second novel is ‘Let Her Go’. Dawn lives in Perth with her husband and three young children.

Twitter: @drdawnbarker

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How often do you Lie? Jody discusses this.

I Never Lie Book Cover I Never Lie
Jody Sabral
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Canelo
11th June 2018
Kindle

Is she the next victim? Or is she the culprit?

Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?

This gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton, B A Paris and Clare Mackintosh.

An Interview with Jody Sabral

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I think the topic chose me in a way. I lived with an alcoholic for a year and felt the need to write about it in a realistic way. To capture the absolute denial of it and what the impact of that can be on everyone who comes into contact with it. I think it’s unique in the sense that I lived up close with it and therefore have a real passion for the issue. I’m not just using it as a plot ploy in a flippant manner. I hope it starts a positive conversation around alcoholism as I feel it’s something that is lacking in this country. I’ve always felt that literature and art can have a much longer lasting impact than that of news, the other business I’m in, so I guess I wanted to bring this to my novel, which I hope is also extremely entertaining. I still recall scenes from books I read ten or fifteen years ago and they make me think differently about the world we live in.

How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

 Not really, for me it’s a very organic process. I think we all have themes in our lives that we feel strongly about for one reason or another and my writing is born from that. I’ve just completed a screenplay in which the main themes were born out of reading an article in the newspaper and a conversation with my niece. I felt strongly about the issues so I wanted to write about them.

3. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

It depends. I tend to pull off my experiences and those of friends. I’m not writing police procedurals. Yes, I have an investigation and an investigator but the emphasis is on the characters affected by it and the impact it has on them. So I tend to write about people’s emotions, which I think is about connections and the human condition. People fascinate me, so my writing is born out of conversations with others and observations about how people deal with a crisis.

How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

As a journalist I’ve always found them very helpful and happy to cooperate. I have contacts who will read to see if it’s plausible and they will tell me if it’s not working.

5. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

I’m proud to say upwards of sixty-five rejections in my writing career. Obviously with this novel it was different as my agent handled those rejections. But with the two earlier books, the first CHANGING BORDERS I sent it out to almost thirty agents and got a heap of rejections. The second, THE MOVEMENT, which I won the CWA Debut Dagger for got me lots of interest from agents, yet many more rejections. I met my agent on the back end of those rejections. He had the foresight to ask me what I was working on next and a partnership was formed. He’s been with me since the conception of I NEVER LIE and it’s a very supportive and nurturing relationship. Finally I have someone behind me, believing in my work. What I will say to aspiring writers is just keep at it, at some point something will give.

Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?

I think you self-publish because you want to put it out there. To move on to a new project. To draw a line under it. But self-publishing has its pitfalls. Selling a book is a full time job.

Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

I found self-publishing to be a very tough sell even though I had an audience of millions at the time that I wrote CHANGING BORDERS because I was a foreign correspondent on TV regularly. I write. I’m not a marketing person so I found that part of it tricky. It depends on your skills. If you’re good at sales and marketing I suppose you’d be in with a better chance than me. I don’t think there’s one perfect route. It’s a personal journey, but the important point is that you keep writing because at the end of the day it’s the words that will eventually pay off and resonate with someone. I like the support I have with an agent and publisher behind me because writing is a solitary job.

Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Not yet. This is my first novel to be released via a publisher, so let’s see!

What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

I haven’t done a book tour yet, so not sure I can answer this. But some interesting people have a copy of my first book. Sir Patrick Stewart has one via someone I met on a plane, and the musician Moby. I inscribed on Moby’s copy, ‘if you like it Tweet it!’ Obviously he didn’t, but you have to be your own ambassador for your work in a competitive environment. Maybe one day he’ll tweet about I NEVER LIE, who knows!

What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I don’t get ill very often. I write a lot in bed though.

 What is your favourite genre?

Crime obviously. I like Sci-fi too because it makes you think about the bigger questions in life as in ‘why are we here?’

If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

That’s tough because there are so many amazing authors dead and alive. J G Ballard is my all time fav. Living, there’s just so many. It’s like asking me what my favourite song is, it changes all the time. I really love Gillian Flynn, S J Watson, Nicki French, John Le Carre’s earlier works…. I mean the list just goes on.

Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Dan Brown possibly? I’m not a literary writer. It’s pacy and not overly descriptive. I don’t read as much as I used to, which may shock some people, but that’s because I find that other writer’s voices get into my own and presently I’m trying to hone my own, which I think I did with I NEVER LIE. I found my voice with this book and that’s a very satisfying feeling.

In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

I think the best comedy writers of the moment for me are Sharon Horgan and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, oh and Charlie Brooker, but they write for TV, which I’m also attempting to do after attending an evening class in screenwriting. I tend to watch more comedy on TV than read it in books.

Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

When I was retraining from journalist to novelist during my MA at City University I used to copy sentences from Raymond Chandler’s books word for word into a notebook then change the adjectives for my own, I did this so I could try to capture the show aspect of writing rather than tell. As a broadcast journalist I’ve had to work on my description a lot because news writing is stripped back and we don’t use a lot of adjectives. I think Chandler’s writing is all about the atmosphere, which he creates through even just describing the materials in a room. He is my guru of descriptive writing.

What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

Sadly, they’ve been lost over the years as I left home at sixteen and moved endlessly to a million different flats and many countries. So if you find a diary in a charity shop somewhere one day that has me name in it, please return it to me!

About the Author

Jody Sabral is based in London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement . In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post , AlMonitor and BRICS Post .

Twitter: @jsabral

I Never Lie will be followed by Dont Blame Me in early 2019, which will explore the dark side of instant celebrity culture and the deadly  consequences of overnight success.

Canelo books can be found on Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Google Books – some books will be limited to UK publication places only:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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How Many Layers?

Twenty-Seven Tiered Almond Cake Book Cover Twenty-Seven Tiered Almond Cake
Amber Laura
Womens' Literature, Romance , Women's Fiction, Humour
Nov 2017
Kindle

Charlie does not want to plan her sister’s wedding.

Erin is flakey, flighty. Irresponsible. And her upcoming marriage is proving no different. It reads like the playbill to a comedy of errors: the groom—what’s his name again?—is currently, mysteriously incarcerated; the bride is MIA; but don’t dare mention postponing the stupid thing; that would be scandalous.

Worse, in an industry that booked out months ago, Charlie has six weeks to hunt down everything from a reception hall to napkin holders! Ironically, the only person who may be able to help her accomplish this is Kantor O’Brien, aka the pastry chef she hired to create Erin’s wedding cake, aka the guy who seems to think Charlie’s antics fall somewhere between exasperating and not quite sane. (Okay, so maybe the cake she chose was a little, ah, unusual. Whatever.)

Kantor has interesting, if somewhat unconventional, contacts. Charlie’s got a colorful way of spinning the truth. Together, they might pull off something spectacular. Now if she can just convince him to go along with it….

TWENTY-SEVEN TIERED ALMOND CAKE is a light-hearted story about one woman’s struggle to give her sister the wedding she deserves. The novel’s primary themes—a contentious sibling relationship hanging in the balance of self-reflection and redemption—offset by its quietly comedic timbre and romantic undertones, will resonate and appeal to readers of commercial women’s fiction.

The Review

So I like almond biscotti too, but isn’t 27 layers of them a few too many?

An amusing tale of the responsible sister organising the feckless sister’s wedding right down to choosing the cake.

Light and frothy but don’t expect too much story-line beyond girl eats cake; girl eats more cake; cake baked by hunky baker; and the inevitable – girl falls for baker – and his cakes!

About the Author

Amber Laura’s biography, also known as “Five Fun Facts about the Author”:

  1. As a writer, Amber Laura does her best daydreaming as a window-gazing passenger on long car rides.
  2. If there’s creamer, she’s drinking coffee. When she edits, there’s always creamer.
  3. A blogger, she also writes web fiction—(free stories updated chapter-by-chapter, week-by-week). Check it out at www.litliber.com.
  4. Psst! Her debut novel, Topaz and Lace, a contemporary romance set in a fictitious Texas town, got its start on that same blog.
  5. While she may physically reside in the beautiful country of Northern Minnesota, in her imagination, Amber Laura lives all over the world. She considers it one of the best perks to being a writer: easy, cheap travel. That and the oddball characters she meets along the way….

https://www.facebook.com/AmberLauraAuthor/

https://twitter.com/LitLiber

http://litliber.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36590084-twenty-seven-tiered-almond-cake

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-seven-tiered-almond-cake-amber-laura/1127426150

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