Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my blog, where I share my love of books and anything bookish, including my own novels every now and then, but mostly I share **Book Blog Tours** **Author Features** **Guest Posts** **Book Blitz's** **Give-Aways** and **Competitions**

Thanks for visiting ~ Bella x

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Cover Reveals for HALF-LIFE by Tina Ferraro and RACING HEARTS by Laura Lascarso


http://picasion.com/gl/3xAC/


Today my awesome readers is my first post for Team Leap and consists of not one but two fabulous authors with their newest work.  

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About HALF-LIFE: Probably not a good idea to take advice from your dead twin sister.

High school sophomore Trisha Traynor and friends have played the Halloween mirror game for years, the one that’s supposed to show a glimpse of the guy they’ll marry. But no one’s ever seen anything.

Until tonight—when Trisha is gob smacked by the candlelit arrival of her long-deceased twin sister, instead of her crush, Kirk Maxwell.

In a voice and vision that only Trisha can hear and see, Chessie claims to be back on a compassionate journey. Trisha fears she's gone nuthouse crazy. But she nonetheless follows the instructions Chessie outlines in their nightly conversations, until she finds herself stepping across some ethical lines, and probably ending all chances with Kirk.

When a sisterly showdown ensues, resulting in the shattering of the mirror, Chessie’s gone again, and a heartsick Trisha sets about righting her recent wrongs. That is, until she stumbles upon the real reason Chessie had come back and the most important glimpse yet that the mirror could never predict.

About Tina Ferraro: 

Tina Ferraro been writing since she learned to hold a pencil, and sold upwards of a hundred short stories to national magazines before turning to novels. She is the author of three Random House novels, The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, How to Hook a Hottie and Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, which have received distinctions such as the ABA Book Sense Award and two RITA nominations.

Her fourth YA, The Starter Boyfriend, has spent time on Amazon’s Top 100 Lists. She lives in Los Angeles with her rocket scientist husband, two cats and whichever of their three young adult children is in town. When not writing, she enjoys playing Facebook Scrabble, swimming, and chasing coyotes out of her neighborhood.

Watch for Tina’s title with Shine….HALF-LIFE which follows Trisha in the days before her 15th birthday, as her long deceased identical twin makes appearances in mirrors to help prevent her similarly early demise. (ETA, Fall 2015)

Social Media Links, Tina Ferraro:

Facebook:   tina.ferraro1 (and) Tina Ferraro’s Books

Twitter:  @PromMom3


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About RACING HEARTS: He wants to honor his father’s legacy; she wants to prove her father wrong.

18-year-old Jesse is still grieving from the loss of his father to cancer when he learns his mother has lost her job. All too soon, Jesse, his little sister, and his mother might be put out on the streets.

Jesse hears of a local car race sponsored by his father's nemesis, Shep Bradley, and the prize money might be enough to keep Jesse’s family from losing their home - if he can win it.

When Shep’s own daughter Brooke asks Jesse to build her a racecar against her father’s wishes, Jesse accepts. After all, he needs the money.



About Laura Lascarso: 

Laura Lascarso strives to craft stories that are honest and real with characters who must overcome great odds. Her debut novel Counting Backwards (Atheneum 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for YA literature. RACING HEARTS is Laura’s first e-series with Leap Books. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children and a menagerie of animals.

Watch for Laura’s series with Shine which follows a pair of star-crossed lovers. He wants to honor his father’s legacy; she wants to prove her father wrong in this modern-day Romeo & Juliet set in the world of competitive car racing. (ETA. Fall 2015)
Visit Laura on TwitterFacebook, and her website.


Social Media Links, Laura Lascarso:

Twitter:  @lauralascarso

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Forgiving Gia Cover Reveal with Gina Whitney

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Title: Finding Gia (Rocker Series: Two)
Author: Gina Whitney
Genre: Erotica BDSM Expected 
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Cover Designed by: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design & Photography
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Tours


Blurb: Abel Gunner is a Dom rock-star with legendary skills in the bedroom. He swore he wouldn’t fall for another women after scheming manipulative Morgana. Until, he met his new Sub Gia Mastro. His darkened soul longed for her submission, affection, and ultimately love. Her pain brings the pleasure he craves. They share a deep connection that has him craving the love he never asked for. Her smile calms the beast that rages within. Gia loves Abel more than life itself. But, Abel is devastated by what he perceives as lies and deceit and threatens to destroy what little happiness Gia’s ever known. Her life hangs in the balance. His life depends on forgiving her. This couple must face many truths: Is love enough to overcome the damage that dwells within? Gia’s experiences with love have been nil. Until meeting the infamous bad-boy rocker Abel Gunner. Swept up in a mind-bending Dom/Submissive love affair she’s force to make decisions that have both helped and hurt their relationship. Gia’s mother has betrayed her in the worst possible way. Abel’s ex-girlfriend Morgana an unbearable thorn. When she wakes her reality is stripped of meaning. Abel, has walked away from her leaving her imprisoned with torment within her own mind. They both have to face their demons before they can embrace a future together. In the end, they’re faced with two choices: Fight for love or die with their demons.


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Gina Whitney grew up reading Judy Blume, and Nancy Drew books. She was raised in the town of North Valley Stream, New York(Long Island)and attended community college for fashion design. At 19 she opened a boutique. She recently published her first paranormal romance novel Blood Ties. When she's not writing, she's hanging with family and friends. She shares a home with her wonderful son’s PJ and Drew, and their 200lb Mastiff Hercules. She currently lives in Massapequa, New York. Reading has always been a passion and obsession. You can usually find her typing furiously while shouting obscenities over her latest work. She also enjoys a good laugh, being snarky, espresso, and above all steamy swooning angst filled novels. She's pathologically obsessed with True Blood(Eric ;), Games of Thrones, Borgias, Vampire Diaries and Originals. You can also find her chatting it up with readers on Facebook.

Links:

Pre – Order Link:

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The Wednesday Spotlight featuring Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

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The Wednesday Spotlight 

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Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently four books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series available for sale on Amazon:





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About Iain Reading





Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. He has published 4 books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series. For more information, go to http://www.kittyhawkworld.com/








Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276101.Iain_Reading

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Author Interview

Hi Iain and welcome to my blog


Firstly can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Iain and as many people apparently know already, I am quite fond of Root Beer.  (And thank you to everyone who brings me Root Beer related things when I'm off peddling my books at ComicCons and stuff.)

Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?

Right now I am nearing the end of writing the fifth book (of thirteen) in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series.  Following that I plan to start work on the second book (of five) in my other series, which is a sort of Young Adult Urban Fantasy series about some teenaged wizards with the ability to manipulate the elements into an energy that they can use to create magic.  That series is called The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire and from there I plan to alternate back and forth between the two series until they are each finished.

Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?

Not that I am any kind of expert or anything, but the two pieces of advice I generally give to any aspiring authors who happen to ask me for advice are:

First off...  You're not an "aspiring author".  You are an author.  Just be one.

Secondly....  Don't try to write a book that you are incapable of writing.  Just write the book you can write and write it the best that you can.  I'd love to write some wonderful timeless masterpiece of literature, but since I can't do that I can either frustrate myself to death trying to or I can just write the books I am capable of and being happy with that.

What is/are your all-time favourite novel/s?

The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux and Contact by Carl Sagan.  To me these are everything a book should be.  Wonderful worlds created somewhere just at the edges of our own world.

Do you have a favourite quote, if so what is it?

The quote inscribed on the inside of my jacket probably sums everything up for me:

"Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid."  (Goethe)

I also have another one, if I may be so bold as to include it as well.  Some may know this one already since it tends to pop up in my writing and music sometimes.  It's from Romeo and Juliet, quoted by Bobby Kennedy:

"And when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun."  (William Shakespeare)

How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?

I just kind of think about them.  Ha ha.  Unfortunately it's not always that easy.  Thus far with five books under my belt I can say that at least two or three of those were reasonably obvious titles staring back at me from the pages of the book.  But just between you and me?  The fifth Kitty Hawk book that I am working on right now (and which I will release within the next couple months) is really giving me trouble.  I have no idea what to call it.  Kitty Hawk and...  something about something?  I have no idea!  Ahhhh!

Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?

The title is most definitely decided later on, once I know what the story is and (more important) what the elements in that story are going to be.

What is your preferred method of writing:-  The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?

Somewhere in-between the two.  I tend to have a vague idea of the direction and scope of the entire book from the start of it, but that isn't to say I have any idea how the plot is going to play out.  But I always have a really clear idea of where things are going in the next few chapters before I write them, as well as a good idea of where they eventually will lead.  I think without that it would be very difficult to write coherently.

Are there any little tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters better?

One thing I always do is picture each character in the books by finding some picture or something out on the Internet that is the basis of what any particular character will look like.  Sometimes I have an idea that a certain character will bear some resemblance to (for example) some celebrity or another and I will download a few suitable pictures of that person and use that as reference.

Ironically, the only character I do NOT have a clear picture of what she looks like is the main character herself from the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series.  I know what she looks like from the covers of the books, of course.  But as I am going along and writing I actually find myself not being able to really picture her all that well.  I have no idea why not.

Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?

I almost always write while listening to music and I think that each book has its own particular playlist associated with it - whatever is my favourite music at the time, of course.  But here's the secret.... for me it's really important to choose music that is creates the least possible distraction to me as I am working.  And that means that whatever is playing on my headphones has to be something that is familiar to me as the back of my hand, often just a short playlist repeated over and over.  Sometimes even just one single song repeated over and over again like a mantra.

If you were stranded on a faraway island:-  which of your characters would you like to be marooned with and why?

That's an easy one.  I'd want to be marooned with Kitty Hawk.  That way I could sit back and let her figure out how we're going to be saved.  She's good at that kind of stuff.

Which type of book do you prefer to read?

Shame on me!  I've been an eBook convert for many years now.

Do you have any input in the Cover design of your novel?

I have always had artists do my covers for me, but going into each one I always have an idea generally how I want them to look and what elements they have to include.  That said, however, I try to keep it as general as possible because one of the great joys of working with such immensely talented people like that is not to impose my own restrictive ideas on them and to just let them do what they do best, which is to stun me with their amazing perspectives and ideas.

What is the very best thing about writing for you?

I love the process of creating worlds so real that I could almost pick myself up and go live in them for a while, which I suppose is exactly what all of us does every time we pick up a book and read it.

Apart from writing, do you have any other hobbies that you’d like to share with us?

I always wanted to be a musician.  Never really turned out though, but if you're interested in hearing some of the music I write and record, you can check it out on www.secretworldonline.com.

How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?

Thus far the shortest time was about three weeks (plus a month or two of thinking it over ahead of time).  Since that they've generally taken about four to six weeks actual writing time, often interrupted and spread out because of  day job responsibilities, holidays and life in general.

Are you a:
a. Laptop Writer
b. Desktop Writer
c. iPad Writer
d. Pen and Paper Writer

Definitely a desktop computer writer.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Every time I write a book and find myself setting it in some exotic part of the world where I've been before, I always find myself yearning hopelessly to actually get up and go visit those places again.  Sometimes I've been able to actually do it, but sometimes not.  So I guess if I could go anywhere in the world it would be wherever it is that my next book will be set, and to go there at the exact most convenient moment for me (IE right when I am just getting into writing the book).  Too bad it's a bit difficult to predict all of that and then somehow squeeze it into life's schedules.

Who would be your dream cast if your novel was made into a movie?

(Touch wood) If my Kitty Hawk books were ever made into movies, I would love to see who would play the lead character of Kitty Hawk.  Do I have someone in mind?  Not really.  But somewhere out there is some unknown actress who is perfect for it.

If you had a choice  – a dream come true - which would be your preference: Your books serialised  -  a weekly show or made into movies?

Movies.  Definitely movies.

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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tempting Tuesdays with Guest Author Michael W. Smart


Welcome to


glitter maker


featuring

DEADEYE

A Bequia Mystery

By

Michael W. Smart


 August 1, 2014


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Book Blurb:

THE INVISIBLE BOGEYMAN HAUNTING HER DREAMS IS REAL, AND DEADLY.

DEADEYE IS A SOLID FOLLOW-UP TO DEAD RECKONING IN THE BEQUIA MYSTERY SERIES. A terrific story with characters as vivid and sensual as the locale and a female protagonist encompassing everything wonderful in women - strength, compassion, sexuality and smarts. A modern woman without the usual clichés.

Police Superintendent Jolene Johanssen has her hands full investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident involving a wealthy American businessman staying at a reclusive private island resort, when a second explosive case lands in her lap. The apparent suicide of a prominent Vincentian and advisor to the Government. The two cases lead Jolene on a chase culminating in New York City, and a chilling discovery which threatens St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Author Bio:

MICHAEL W SMARTMICHAEL SMART/PORTRAIT FOR BOOK COVER/AUG 6TH 2013 is a mystery and science fiction author. A native New Yorker, he is an experienced blue water sailor and airplane pilot, two passions the protagonists in his novels also share.The Bequia Mysteries are set in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a tropical archipelago in the eastern Caribbean where Michael lived and sailed for many years. He draws on these experiences to create intimate and lively portraits of the islands and people surrounding these compelling stories of mystery, adventure and romance.
Author Links:


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All Books in the Series:


Buy Link:


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Author Interview:

Hi Micheal, thanks so much for joining us today!

Firstly can you tell us about yourself?
I’m of Jamaican and British ancestry, born in New York City but lived until age 16 in various parts of Europe and the West Indies. Probably where I acquired the travel bug, but I think I actually inherited it from my adventurous mother. My passions include flying, blue water sailing, reading, and of course writing. I retired from the work-a-day world for the first time in my late twenties to bum around the world, and I spent years sailing around the Caribbean. Returned to the work-a-day world to raise two extraordinary kids, and retired again as soon as they were off on their own. Now I write fulltime, mysteries and science fiction, and anywhere I happen to hang my hat for the moment is home.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since age 13, but only as a hobby. It’s only in the last 5 years I’ve been writing seriously as a full time vocation.

What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?
My inspiration to write and tell stories began with the books and authors I grew up reading. Writers like Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, John D. MacDonald, Arthur Conan Doyle, Leslie Charteris with the great Simon Templar Saint series, John Creasey’s The Toff, and  Dick Francis among many others. And of course sci-fi greats like Clarke, Wells, Bradbury, Heinlein, Herbert, Verne, Asimov to name just a few. I was fascinated by those stories, the characters, and the power of human imagination. That triggered my own imagination and my desire to write and tell stories, and those are the genres I write in, mystery and science fiction.

Are there any other genres you’ve written?
So far I’ve only written mysteries and science fiction. I refrain from using the word ‘never’ but I’m don’t have any interest in writing magical fantasy or stories involving werewolves, vampires or zombies.

Have you published any other novels, if so can you share the details?
The novels published so far are the first 2 titles in the Bequia Mysteries series, Dead Reckoning and Deadeye. The third title, Deadlight, which completes a trilogy introducing the series, is scheduled for release close to Christmas. I’ve also completed a science fiction title which is now in the production process, but I’m not sure of the publication date.  

Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
I’m currently juggling a few projects. I’m writing the fourth novel in the Bequia Mysteries and I’m about half way through it. It will introduce a new protagonist character from Gage’s past who will be a major surprise to the people in his life. At the same time I’m researching and making notes for a fifth Bequia Mysteries title, a non-Bequia Mystery, and 2 science fiction novels. Other than the fourth Bequia Mystery there isn’t much to tell since I’m only in the initial stages and I have no idea what direction they’ll eventually take.

What motivates and inspires you to write?
 I have difficulty pinning down and qualifying the motivation. I simply have this desire to create and write stories. It’s the first thought in my mind upon waking, and the last thought before I fall asleep. Even when I’m not writing, but occupied by some other activity, stories and characters are always on my mind. I carry my characters with me always, and I interact with them and listen to them and find objects in the spaces around me, or the activities around me, to enliven them and tell their stories. Much of my inspiration comes from everyday occurrences around me, people watching, current events, a television show or film, a novel. One small nugget, or germ of an idea might turn into a full-fledged story.  

Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?
I get this question quite a lot, and my answer every time is the advice I’ve heard from every writer who is serious about their work, and I pass it on. It is to write, and write, and write, everyday. It doesn’t matter what you write, just write. Practice, practice and keep practicing. And the other tip, perhaps as important, is to learn the craft. How to do more than just string words and sentences together, but how to manipulate language. Often what’s going on in one’s imagination doesn’t get translated to the page. And it doesn’t happen by itself or by accident. Doesn’t mean you need to take writing courses or get a degree in creative writing, although those will teach you the craft. But I think one of the best ways to learn the craft is to read, read and read, especially in the genre you enjoy and you want to create in. And while you’re reading pay attention to the language, how words are strung together to create a scene, or produce an emotion, or make you visualize what the author is imagining.

What is/are your all-time favorite novel/s?
That’s a really difficult question for me because it’s hard for me to rank my favorites. I love them all for different reasons. I’d have to say among my favorites as the Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald, the Saint novels by Leslie Charteris, the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler, anything by Robert B. Parker, and the Aubrey Maturin series by Patrick O’Brian. And I haven’t even mentioned the sci-fi favorites. 

Who is/are your all-time favourite author/s?
All the authors I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this interview would be on that list.

Can you tell us who your favourite indie author/s is/are?
I’ve only recently begun to discover some truly amazing indie authors and I can’t say yet any are favorites, but I’m begining to discover and read more of them.  

What are you reading at the moment & would you recommend it to us?
Right now I’m reading most of my own work because I have projects at various stages going back and forth to my editor, and most of my other reading is research. I try to put weekends aside for pleasure reading, but that has to compete for attention with all the other non-writing activities I cram into the weekend, especially since I like to finish a novel in one sitting. When a book really grabs me I won’t want to put it down. Last month I finished His Kidnapper’s Shoes by indie author Maggie James. A fantastic read. I really loved it.

If you could Time Travel -  what year would you visit and why?
Wow, that’s a fascinating question. Future or past? I think I’d opt for the future, a time when interstellar travel was routine and humans had established colonies on other worlds, and after we’d made contact with an extraterrestrial species.

Do you have a favourite quote, if so what is it?
I have a few of them, especially about the sea and sky, where I spend a lot of time. But I think the one which sums me up as a writer is John Milton’s The mind is its own place.”

If you could be any character in any novel, who would it be and why?
Jack Aubrey, captain of HMS Surprise, second only to being captain of a Federation Starship. 

How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?
I usually look to the themes in my stories to suggest the tile. For the Bequia Mysteries series I wanted titles which would identify and tie together all the novels in the series. Since the novels are set in a chain of Caribbean islands with sailing passages in the stories, and a staysail schooner as a prominent feature, essentially another character, I looked to nautical terms for the titles. The first 3 title in the series are Dead Reckoning, Deadeye and Deadlight. It's intriguing how many nautical terms include the word "Dead".

Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?
I may have an idea of what I want the title to be. As I’ve mentioned I usually create a title which reflects one or more themes in the story. But they are only working titles until I finish the story and make a final decision.

When working on your current novel, were there any moments when you thought:- OMG  what am I doing with this plot line? Or:  Who are these people I created? etc…
To the first part of the question I’m there right now with the fourth novel of the Bequia Mysteries. I’m hoping my characters can help me through it. I seldom have a problem with Characters, requiring maybe just a tweak of a personality trait or bit of history. I’m usually familiar with my characters by the time I put them into the story, and with the Bequia Mysteries, they’ve lived in my head for so long and I interact with them so often, they sometimes help in deciding which direction a scene or plot should take.

Do you have a day job, other than writing – if so can you share?
I retired from the work-a-day world as soon as I’d decided I wanted to devote full time to wandering and writing.

What is your preferred method of writing:- The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
I’m a plotter. I usually construct the story around the plot, but I’m not always certain of the twists and turns the plot may take when I begin writing. I outline to a certain extent, but I don’t need a completed outline to begin writing. My outlines are more like short storyboards setting up scenes for how and where the story will progress. Then I’ll expand these scene notes into chapter notes, and I’ll create a day to day calendar of the story’s timeline. Sometimes the story idea will come to me first, at other times the character will come first and I think of the circumstances such a character might find themselves in. In the Bequia Mysteries the Gage character came first. It was a time in my life when I was considering returning to the Grenadines to write. But I knew it wouldn’t be the same as when I lived there, some things I wouldn’t be able to still do. Too much time had passed, my perspective and my body had changed. And I wondered what it’d be like living there now. As I thought about those things the character developed, and also the themes. So Gage arrives in the Grenadines with an entirely new perspective than he had in his past life, and he has to cope with reinventing himself at an older stage in life.

Are there any little tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters better?
The very first thing I do is find an image of a person who resembles the physical characteristics of the character I have in my mind. I use this image as a reference when I’m describing the physical features of my characters. I call this my casting notes. Then I develop the character’s profile, including personality and back story, taking into account the circumstances they’ll encounter in the plot, and how they’ll react and what motivates them in those circumstances.

If you don’t like a character you’re writing about, what do you do?
Kill them off instantly; Get over it and learn to like them; Give them a whole new personality; or something else – do tell?! Please!
I create characters to fit a role I need them to play in the story and plot, including the unlikable characters. I’ve killed characters expectedly because it provided a necessary plot twist or threw another element into the plot I hadn’t imagined at the start of the story, not because I didn’t like the characterization.

Do you like to write while listening to music and if so, does your book have particular playlist you’d like to share?
Sometimes I do write listening to music, usually a classical piece or movie soundtracks. Debussy’s La Mer and soundtrack composers like Lisa Gerrard, Hans Zimmer and Trevor Jones would definitely be on that playlist.  

Which type of book do you prefer to read? ebook; paperback; hardback; None – I listen to audiobooks!
I’d don’t have a preference. I enjoy ebooks for their portability, especially if I’m standing in line, and I want a physical paperback or hardcover when I’m in my hammock.

Do you have any weird writing rituals? (Such as, you can only start writing after you’ve scoffed all the choc-chip cookies and drank 3 cups of full-caff coffee?  Or only after you’ve listened to a certain song or playlist? etc… do share)
This one had me laughing out loud. Do writers really do that? No, I don’t have any rituals, wierd or otherwise.

Do you have any input in the Cover design of your novel?
Yes. I have a great, talented cover designer and we collaborate closely. Not on the design details, like color and fonts, positioning and scale. Her creations usually knock me off my feet when I first see them. My input is to provide conceptualization behind the story and the characters, an overall mood I might have in mind, or themes I’d want to see reflected in the cover.

What is the very best thing about writing for you?
The writing itself. Constructing an awesome sentence or phrase, or finding the perfect word for just the right place, and making a scene or character come alive.

Which of the following suits you best? Thrill Seeker; Mildly Meek; Totally Chilled; All of the above.
Totally Chilled

Apart from writing, do you have any other hobbies that you’d like to share with us?
Apart from writing and reading, my passions are blue water sailing and flying.

Are you a morning person or a night owl or an inbetweener?
Definitely a night owl. Until the last position I held just before retiring to write fulltime every job I ever had started at midnight. And now I write until 3 or 4 in the morning, many times I’ll pull all-nighters if the juices are flowing. 

What’s your least favourite part of the writing process?
Having to set it aside because of another commitment, or being too tired to think and see the keyboard properly.

How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?
The first novel in the Bequia Mysteries took me 2 years. I was still learning the craft. I’m still always learning, but I’m better at it now. The other titles in the series took about 8 months. By then I knew my characters intimately, I just needed to construct the plots. My first science fiction novel was also fairly quick. I first had the idea for the story and began writing it when I was 16. I recently pulled it out of an old file I’ve kept of my early ramblings, and laughed at how unsophisticated my writing was, but the story idea and characters and themes were all there. I just needed to rewrite it and flesh it out.

How many hours a day do you dedicate to your writing?
I schedule around 10 hours a day to work on my writing. That includes marketing, research, revisions and notes in addition to writing new material. Many times I’ll blow right through the schedule and continue working. I’m not even aware of the time, or sometimes what day of the week it is. Since I write when most everyone else is asleep, there isn’t much to distract or interrupt me.

What is the one book you can’t live without?
A thesaurus. I call it Theo.

Are you a: Laptop Writer; Desktop Writer; iPad Writer; Pen and Paper Writer
Laptop mostly, and pen and paper when I’m researching and making notes.

If you didn’t write or you went through a dry spell (aka a bit of writers block), what would you do to fill the creative void instead?
I’ve been land bound for a while now and I no longer own a sailboat, so I rent a airplane for an hour and head for the sky. Thing is the moment I’m in the air inspiration returns like a tap being turned on, if not for the project I’m working on, then some new story idea or character.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I usually travel to and wander around the places I want to set my stories in.

Who would be your dream cast if your novel was made into a movie?
Great question. In physical shape and size Dennis Haysbert or Idris Elba are close to Gage. The closest in physical appearance to Jolene is Leila Arcieri, but I could see Indira Varma in the role too. And Richard Roundtree as Mike Daniels.

If you had a choice  – a dream come true - which would be your preference: Your books serialised  -  a weekly show or made into movies?
Wow, that’s another tough one. Too many books don’t fare well when adapted to either the large or small screen, and the author usually ends up disappointed. But I think I’d be giddy besides myself and floating on cloud nine if someone actually offered to buy the movie or television rights to my novel.

Can you tell us why you think we’d love to read your novel?
Exciting yet touching stories of danger and romance, set in an exotic location which adds color and spice to the stories.

Finally, what 7 words best sum up your novel?
A scrumptiously spiced and seasoned soufflĂ©. That’s six, but seven turns out to be an odd number, pun intended.


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Many thanks to Michael for joining us today with his latest novel, and for such a fabulous interview!

I'll be back on Friday, so until then

Keep Calm and Eat Bourneville



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