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And it Howls: Majanka explains

wolf - And it Howls: Majanka explains Wolf of Baskervilles
(Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #3)
Majanka Verstraete
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: November 12th 2019

Who is Marisol Holmes? She’s a teenager. Detective. Jaguar shifter. And don’t forget, she’s also the descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes. Our heroine had been in some pretty tight spots before, but now? She’s about to face her biggest challenge yet: a powerful shifter with a taste for blood. No one has faced down the deadly wolf of the Baskervilles and lived to tell the tale. Even so, Marisol Holmes plans to do just that.

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The idea of writing about the great-great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes actually arose because my publisher suggested I write a story about shifters and combine it with my background as a Criminology major. So, we started brainstorming about how we could combine these two factors, and I had the idea of a young girl working for a secret Conclave solving supernatural mysteries involving monsters. Now, Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most famous detective, and the whole atmosphere of running around in catacombs and hunting monsters reminded me of Victorian London, of eras long past, which is the timeframe for the Holmes novels. I wanted a main character who was as analytic, calculated and smart as the great detective, so why not make her Sherlock Holmes’ great-great granddaughter?

I think Sherlock Holmes is an inspiration for all mystery writers. He is, hands down, the world’s most famous detective. Instead of just drawing inspiration from the source material, I also wanted to give a wink to readers who are more familiar with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works: this is why the first novel in The Adventures of Marisol Holmes series is called “A Study in Shifters”, a twist on the first official Sherlock Holmes’ novel, “A Study in Scarlet”. The second book is called “The Sign of the Serpent,” a title which is a spin on the second Sherlock Holmes’ book, “The Sign of the Four”. Although the books are not similar in terms of content, I liked the idea of drawing inspiration from the titles. Hence again, the title of this book, “The Wolf of the Baskervilles”, reminiscent of “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

The same is true for some characters in the book. Mannix, the villain, the descendant of Moriarty. Wyatt, who takes up the role of Watson. Indra, who partially takes up the role of Irene Adler from the original books. While they all remind of characters from the original, they’re all also very different, and that’s what I enjoyed the most about this series, being able to give subtle hints to the source material while writing something completely different. 

majanka - And it Howls: Majanka explains

Author Bio

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels. At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

 Want the latest news about Majanka Verstraete?

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4813098.Majanka_Verstraete”

https://www.facebook.com/authormajankaverstraete
https://www.instagram.com/majankaverstraete

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How Many Years to Write?

TTY - How Many Years to Write? Two Thousand Years
The Empire Saga #1)
M. Dalto
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Independently published
Publication date: December 11th 2018

Two thousand years ago, the Prophecy of Fire and Light foretold the coming of the Queen Empress who would lead the Empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the Empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions, raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a twenty-two-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished Lord Steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive Crown Prince of the Empire, and together they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a Prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the Annals of the Empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the Crown Prince and Lord Steward. Either choice could tear her world apart as she attempts to keep the Empire’s torrid history from repeating itself. In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice – or her fate – that determines how she survives the Empire’s rising conflicts.

  1. 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? TWO THOUSAND YEARS was actually inspired by Billy Joel’s song of the same name. When I first heard the song many years ago, the lyrics themselves told a story that needed to be told. It referenced battles and true love, and my romantic, fantasy-loving mind started concocting a story all my own. In fact, the initial draft used song lyrics as its chapter titles.
  2. 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? TWO THOUSAND YEARS actually took me over 20 years to start writing. I had first heard the song when it was released in 1993 and didn’t sit down to draft the story until 2014. Otherwise I rarely plan out my stories- I start writing when the ideas come to me, which also means I have a lot of unfinished projects to juggle.
  3. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I confess that Google is my main source when it comes to research. I do consider what the internet provides me with a sound mind and a grain of salt, and if there’s more I need to know I’ll visit my local library.
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted? In the months that I had queried it, TWO THOUSAND YEARS was sent out to 12 agents, and all agents rejected it. No requests for partials or the full manuscript- just flat out rejections, if I received a response at all. I gave it a break for a while until I had seen a friend have her book release with The Parliament House, so I reached out to her for her insight on the publisher and her process as a while. I think I submitted a week or so later, received a request for my full manuscript a month later, and a week after that received my contract.
  5. Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up? Not an eBook as we know them on Amazon, no. I did have my work out there on Wattpad though. I felt having that exposure, building that following, and receiving that feedback was the most beneficial aspect to my publishing journey. You want to know, someway, somehow, if your work can be received by an audience. I chose to use Wattpad for that, and I know there are others who go the route of beta readers and critique partners. Whatever you choose, make sure a decent pool of readers have given you feedback on your work, and it will help make things more relatable when looking for a publisher.
  6. 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? If you can get yourself out there and build a following for yourself, do it. It doesn’t necessarily need to be self-publishing either. I, personally, had an audience on Wattpad before I began my publishing journey, and sometimes making your brand is as simple as joining the writing community on Twitter. But I definitely think it’s something that an aspiring novelist needs to do- it’s not easy, maintaining your presence before, during, or after you’ve been published. It takes effort, but it also pays off when you realize you have those fans and followers who want to know more about your work and continue to support you through the processes.
  7. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I actually read all the time, and though taking a sick day for myself is rare, I do read when in bed whenever I can. With my schedule, it’s really the only time I can find for myself to read.
  8. What is your favourite genre? Fantasy, for both writing and reading. I’ve always been a fan of using my imagination, and the Fantasy genre is the best outlet for that, at least for me.
  9. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? Recently I think it’s been Sarah J. Maas. Ever since I fell in love with her A Court of Thorns and Roses series, she has been an inspiration not only as an author, but for a fanbase. To affect so many people as she has through her writing alone is definitely something I hope to on day strive for.
  10. Do you have any pets? I do!

If so, what are they?  He’s an 11-year-old corgi

And what are they called?  His name is Loki

Do they help you write? If lying under my desk while I’m at my laptop constitutes as help, then sure!

What is the funniest thing they have done while you are writing? He’ll jump up on the edge of my chair and nudge my arm if he thinks I’ve been writing for too long, and/or believes he requires more attention than I’ve been giving him.

Do you want to add a photo of them to this Q&A? Sure!

dog - How Many Years to Write?


Goodreads: 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37534507-two-thousand-years?ac=1&from_search=true
Purchase: https://amzn.to/2RxDUIbhttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-thousand-years-m-dalto/1129581675?ean=2940156091058https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/two-thousand-years

AUTHOR BIO:

M. Dalto is a fiction author of adventurous romantic fantasy and her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, won one of Wattpad’s Watty Awards in 2016. She continues to volunteer her time as an Ambassador, where she hopes to engage and inspire new writers. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.
Author links:

 https://authormdalto.wordpress.com/https://www.facebook.com/MDalto/https://twitter.com/MDalto421https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17495218.M_Dalto





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A Spell lies under?
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A Spell lies under?

Under Your Spell 
Cajun Demons MC
by Cynthia Rayne
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
 Publication date: December 17th 2018

Chloe
After my grand-mère was murdered, I returned to Bayou Noir to find the killer, because the police won’t do their freaking jobs. And I have just one suspect, Xavier Richelieu. But I forgot just how crazy the folks in my old hometown can be. A voodoo priestess, a supposed vampire, and a grumpy gator are on the loose. I don’t believe in crazy supernatural stuff, but I am worried about seeing my old crush again, Saint. And I should be. Somehow, he’s even more drop dead gorgeous than I remember. 

Saint
I’m a member of the Demons MC, Cajun Chapter and I’ve got better things to do than follow Chloe around who seems bound and determined to get herself killed. But someone needs to watch her back and I don’t see anyone else lining up to do the job. Once upon a time, she was a chubby kid with a school girl crush. Now, she’s a mouthwatering woman, who wants nothing to do with me. One way or the other, I’m gonna help her avenge her grand-mère and sweet talk her into my bed. Maybe not in that order.  

 EXCERPT

 “Now, you have to let me touch you. I’ll take care of you and you don’t have to do a thing.”

Despite myself, my noble intentions started to crumble under the onslaught. I’d be lying, if I said I wasn’t tempted to take him up on his offer—the promise of pleasure, without any strings.

But I didn’t trust him. Saint had an agenda. If I let him touch me, he’d want more. Who are you kidding? You’d want more, too.

“I thought we agreed to be friends earlier.”

“It’s what you wanted, not me. Come on, Little Bit, all you’ve gotta do is say the word. I’ll take care of everything else.” 

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Saint? or Demon?

The way he looked at me, set me on fire.  The front door was still open and for a second, I thought about dashing out of it, so I could avoid this discussion.

But I had to shut this down. “I appreciate your impression of Lucifer with the apple, but I’m not an idiot.”

“What do you mean?”

 “Don’t play dumb, Saint. You’re betting I’ll get carried away and let you do anything you want.” And I would. When I got turned on, I’d forget to be upset with him.

“I don’t have a clue what you’re talkin’ about.”  His eyes widened in shock, as though the idea had never occurred to him. “This is all about you. Not me.”

“Well, I know myself. Once we started down this road, I wouldn’t be able to refuse.” 

His expression was wolfish. “Then you should definitely let me make you cum.”

Excerpt 2

“So, is Chloe rentin’ this place out to you?” Saint asked.

“Chloe?” The sound of my own name startled me so much, I dropped the keys.

Saint bent and picked them up, before handing them to me. I glanced up, meeting those startling, swallow-me-whole blue eyes. Somehow, I couldn’t look away.

 Saint cleared his throat. “What was I sayin’? Right. Chloe’s the girl who owns this place. Her grandmother passed a few weeks ago. She must’ve rented it out to you.”

“Oh, uh, um, yes.” The lie clogged my throat, and I had to force the words out.

“What’s wrong?” He studied my face.

“Nothing. I’m fine.”

And then his eyes widened. “Wait a minute. No.”

“What?”

“Holy shit.” Saint stabbed an accusatory finger at me. “You’re her.”

“Who?” I played dumb, desperately clinging to the plan.

“No fuckin’ way.” He backed off. “You’re Chloe!”

“Yes, but—”

“But you’re…Little Bit.” He trailed off.Saint had given me the nickname when I was a kid because I’d been short. Not to mention, round. “No, I can’t do this. It ain’t right.” Saint shook his head as if trying to clear the cobwebs away.“Sorry. I have to go.”

Saint raced back down the path. He straddled his motorcycle and then took off, leaving a cloud of dirt and smoke in his wake.

And I was left on the front porch, watching him leave.

Well, that didn’t go according to plan.

  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42653926-under-your-spell?ac=1&from_search=truePurchase:Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LcJEkK

AUTHOR BIO:

Cynthia Rayne is a USA TODAY bestselling author of the Black Star Security, Kinky Security, Lone Star Mobster, and the Four Horsemen MC Series. While Cynthia was born and raised a damn Yankee in Ohio, her parents hail from Dixie, and she grew up on homemade buttermilk biscuits and southern wisdom. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, reading way too many romance novels, and drinking a truly obscene amount of coffee.
Author links: http://www.cynthiarayne.com/https://twitter.com/RayneCynthiahttps://www.facebook.com/cynthiarayneauthor/https://www.facebook.com/groups/122768298075763/https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2030751.Cynthia_Raynehttp://eepurl.com/cKmtIr

Cyntha 1 - A Spell lies under?
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A Foggy Day?






Fog - A Foggy Day?




The Fog




A Berry Springs Novel #3





Amanda McKinney





Adult, Mystery, Romance




December 4th 2018




kindle


four star - A Foggy Day?

Synopsis:

Former Marine turned ballistics expert, Wesley Cross is known around town for two things, his rugged good-looks and cocky attitude—

until he finds his ex-girlfriend lying in a puddle of blood in his basement. The scene screams setup, but the discovery of a rare gem and a puzzling autopsy suggests the murder goes much deeper than that. Wesley will do whatever it takes to clear his name, including calling in a notoriously headstrong—and sexy—scientist.

While most little girls were playing dress up, Gwyneth Reece was digging in the dirt collecting bugs. Now one of the top forensic entomologists in the country, Gwen reluctantly accepts a job from a pushy cowboy and travels to the small, Southern town of Berry Springs. Heavy storms are brewing, and when she’s forced to check into the creepiest hotel she’s ever seen, she instantly regrets her decision to help out the former Marine.

Following up on a tip, Wesley heads to the Half Moon Hotel but quickly realizes his visit was not by chance. The killer lured him there, and suddenly everyone from the uptight bellman to the wealthy couple just passing through town become suspect. Bodies begin to disappear, and Wesley knows the killer will do anything to get to him…. including hurting the woman who’s kept his head spinning since he first laid eyes on her.


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I really wanted this book to be longer.
It was very enjoyable but slight specially on the psychological suspense which I felt could have been ramped up.
I liked Gwen and her career and reading about the work of a forensic entomologist and feel that she deserves her own series – all about her cases. But I was not that sympathetic to Wes and the gun culture that pervaded this novel. I realise that it is probably truthful to the setting but….
Although I did feel that Wes could have been explored more as a character – his angst over his past career, his nightmares etc.
Overall, I felt that the storyline skimmed lightly over areas that I would like to have heard more about to give the story more depth.
Bobbi is worth her own story too.
I haven’t read much of this author so I don’t know if this is typical of her work or if the points above have already been dealt with in previous books. It does seem from the series though, that Berry Springs is a bad place to live – nasty things keep happening…
But for me, the lack of them in this book made the story a 3.75 * (4) rather than the potential 4.5.
Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
Award-winning author of sexy murder mysteries, Amanda McKinney wrote her debut novel, LETHAL LEGACY, after walking away from her career to Amanda 1 - A Foggy Day?become a writer and stay-at-home mom. Her books include the BERRY SPRINGS SERIES and the BLACK ROSE MYSTERY SERIES, with many more to come. Set in small, Southern towns, Amanda’s books are page-turning whodunits peppered with steamy romance. Amanda is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and lives in Arkansas with her handsome husband, two beautiful boys, and three obnoxious dogs. Visit her website atwww.amandamckinneyauthor.com
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Lucky Xmas through the author’s words






A Very Lucky Christmas Cover - Lucky Xmas through the author's words




A Very Lucky Xmas





Lilac Mills





Genre: Women’s Fiction




Canelo




Release Date: 20th August 2018

Things can't get worse for Daisy Jones... can they?

Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year so why is absolutely everything going wrong for Daisy? Reeling from a bad breakup, moving back in with her parents and hounded by trouble at work she really shouldn’t be surprised when things go from bad to worse..and she ends up in A&E!

Her great-grandmother persuaded her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck but choking on the coin isn’t the ‘change’ she’d wished for. Yet when dashing Dr Noah Hartley saves the day things finally start to look up. With Christmas Day just around the corner Daisy’s determined to make her own luck...and hopefully bag herself a dishy doc in the process!

A heart-warming christmas romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Debbie Johnson and Daisy James

A Very Lucky Christmas blog tour FINAL 300x167 - Lucky Xmas through the author's words

Lilac Mills tells us about Xmas

  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?

Oh, I can mull something over for years before I bite the bullet. I’m currently just finishing up some edits for Canelo (the book is due to be published in the spring) on a story I first began about 13 years ago. I wrote about thirty-thousand words, then life got in the way and I did other stuff instead, but I always intended to come back to it, and when my lovely editor asked me if I had any ideas in the pipeline, it seemed an ideal time to develop and complete this poor little book-baby. The story has changed considerably from the very first half-draft, but then novels often tend to, but the concept is the same.

I also have an ideas folder, which I’m continually adding to, but what usually happens is that something will come to me which takes precedence over all of them, and I simply have to write it until the story is out of my system.

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

It depends on the book, but so far not too long, because I’m writing about what I know or have experienced myself. A Very Lucky Christmas came about from my grandmother’s tradition of making her own Christmas pudding and putting a sixpence in it for luck. Unlike Daisy, no one in my family actually swallowed the darned thing, but there were a couple of near misses and one cracked tooth.

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

I was accepted by a publisher on the first submission, but that wasn’t just luck. I had invested a great deal of time in researching publishers, and I knew what Canelo was looking for, so my pitch to them was right, and I sent them the sort of novel I knew would fit in with other novels in their chick lit stable. Of course, there was always the possibility that they did not want to take on another author in my genre at the time I submitted to them and I was fully prepared for that, or that my writing wasn’t as good as I hoped it was!

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

Not necessarily, and many authors don’t. I just happened to think going down the self-publishing route was viable for me at the time. I’m quite impatient, and want my stories to be published as soon as they are ready, and not to have to wait to fit in with a publisher’s time-frame. Self-publishing has been a worthwhile experience though, as I have gained insights into marketing and advertising that I otherwise might not have done.

  1. 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?

My publisher liked the fact that I had an online presence and also liked that I had already published three books which were fairly well received by my target audience. It could very well have gone some way towards influencing Canelo to make me an offer. Self-publishing can be a risky business though and may backfire if you don’t do it right. Editing and proofreading is a must, as is a professional cover. The right marketing helps too, because no matter how slick and polished your novel might be, if readers aren’t aware of it, it’s not going to sell.

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

It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve only been writing chick lit for eighteen months, with four novels published so far. Unless I write something which catches the imagination of the public in a huge way, I think it will be a while yet before my income from writing matches my income from my day job. And even then, I’m not sure I’m prepared to give up my job. It’s steady income, I know what is going into my bank account at the end of every month. I can’t say that about my income from book sales.

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

Nothing. I’m rarely ill, but when I am it tends to be the flu, and all I want to do is to curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself.

 8. What is your favourite genre?

It has to be chick lit, although I do like the occasional psychological thriller. Besides writing in the chick lit genre, it does help to read it too, to keep abreast of trends and to see what other authors are writing about.

  1. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

I’ve just read a book by Stephanie Dagg called Fa-La-Llama-La: Christmas at the Little French Llama Farm. It was hilarious. Her second in this series is due out soon, and I can’t wait to read it. There’s something about her dry humour that strikes a chord in me.

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

I didn’t write in school, apart from those things pupils were forced to write. I didn’t do any creative writing under my own steam. I don’t think I thought it was possible. To me, authors were magical beings, creating stories out of thin air. I didn’t ever believe I could join their ranks. I didn’t actually start writing until I was in my early forties, but I didn’t start with a short story, or a novella, or even a 100,000-word novel. Nope, I went for it big time, and produced a massive 320,000-word effort. Looking back, some bits of it weren’t too bad, a few bits were actually quite good, most of it was meh, and there were some parts which were pretty dire. It will never see the light of day, but I cut my authory teeth on it, so to speak. It’s hidden safely away in the depths of my laptop and there it will stay.

Authors’ bio

Previous Books: Summer on the Turquoise Coast, Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm and Love in the City by the Sea

Lilac Mills writes feel-good romantic women’s fiction, and is the author of Love in the City by the Sea, A Very Lucky Christmas, Summer on the Turquoise Coast, and Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm. Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework! Home for Lilac is Worcester, England.

Twitter: @LilacMills

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