Landry in Like… Author Interview

Book blitz Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Landry in Like bannerThis is my stop during the book blitz for Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager.

This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

The book blitz runs from 18 till 24 April, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours:

Krysten Lindsay Hager



Who is your favorite author?

  1. Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite. I had to read The Great Gatsby twice in school, but I didn’t connect to it until I was an adult and then I fell in love with it.

How do you describe your writing style?

I always write with humor and my main characters wear their hearts on their sleeves. My two teen series both deal with self-esteem, growing up/coming of age, and first love.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

Landry in Like will take you back to your school days and make you laugh and feel for her as she grows up and navigates through school. There are funny moments, cringe worthy moments, and life lessons on how to deal with everything from frenemies, first loves, anxiety, and friendships.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

I would choose Hadley from Next Door to a Star (Star Series: Book One) because when she moves to a beach town, she has the chance to reinvent herself and start over and that idea is very intriguing to me. Plus, she lives in Grand Haven, Michigan—a beautiful beach town.

What books have most influenced your life?

I read a biography of a YA author, Paula Danziger, years ago and it made me realize that writing young adult fiction was what I was meant to do. It was always something I wanted to do, but I never realized that all those awkward and difficult moments I went through in my teen years might have been setting me up to help another teen in the same situation down the road. That biography shaped my vision of what I wanted to do in life.


Landry in Like


Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors #3)

By Krysten Lindsay Hager

Genre: Contemporary

Age category: Young Adult

Release Date: January 13, 2016



Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.

Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?



Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image. It’s a clean reads book so it’s suitable for ages 10 and up.

So far this series contains 3 books: True Colors (Landry’s True Colors #1) and Best Friends… Forever? (Landry’s True Colors #2) and Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors #3)

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Excerpt from Landry in Like:

I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.


You can find Landry in Like on Goodreads:

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Thank you for visiting:

Stop by tomorrow for a special post of the first two books in The Landry’s True Colors Series.

An Interview with Megan Cyrulewski

Hello Megan,

I am delighted that you’ve opted  to take part in my blog. It is always a bright moment in my day when I can introduce a new author to our readers.


JA: Please tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?

M: I have always wanted to write but never thought I would be able to break into this industry. I finally took a chance and submitted my work. After 33 rejection letters, I was offered a contract. My book should release this summer!

JA: Would you share with our followers the inspiration behind your book?

M: About three years ago, I was going through a really crazy period in my life. People told me that I needed to write a book, so I did.

JA: Is this your chosen genre, and are you considering others?

M: Hopefully, this will be the only time I write a memoir! I am actually working on my second book, a legal thriller.

JA: Do you have other published works?

A: I have, but they were legal briefs for the government so I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. (Real exciting stuff, I know.)

JA: It was writing experience at best, too bad we can’t brag about it.

JA: Tell us about your experience with your publisher.

M: Black Opal Books is my publisher. They are located on the west coast. I have had nothing but a positive experience with them. My fellow BOB authors welcomed me with open arms. It’s a really great publishing company and I’m so thankful they took a chance on me. You can find them at

JA: Illustrations or photos for covers are so important to successful marketing. Do you use an illustrator or photographer for your book(s)? If so do you always use the same one, or do you shop around?

M: I can’t show my book cover yet, but I used an extremely talented photographer to capture the perfect image. Her name is Ksenija Savic and you can find her work at:

JA: Megan, are you doing much marketing for your book and for yourself as a brand?

M: You know, someone asked me once why I market myself when I have a publisher. My answer is, why not? My book is being edited right now so why not take advantage of this time and make connections? I’m having a blast meeting new authors, buying new books and interviewing authors for my blog.

JA: Do you spend much time in research, or do you write from experience?

M: A little of both. When I was in law school, I learned that there are exceptions to every rule of law. So for my legal thriller, I’ve used the exceptions as my plot.

JA: What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with, first person or third?

M: Obviously my memoir is the first person, but I feel more comfortable writing in the third person.

JA: How do you feel about all of the share your work offers on the web?

M: I really don’t like sharing my work with anyone except my publishing company. I shared a little bit of my work with a guy I just started dating. He ripped it to shreds. After he crushed my ego, he then told me that he hatedfiction and hated John Grisham. Good thing he told me that after I let him read a snippet of my fiction legal thriller. (Let’s just say there was never a second date.)

JA: He sounds like a real jerk that you are well rid of.


JA: Megan please list your links so our readers can find you.

M: I created my own website:





JA: What kind of future do you see for writers and struggling authors?

M: I really think self-publishing is on its way up. I’ve met a lot of self-published authors who are happy to market themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love my publisher but I’m also glad that self-publishing is gaining more acceptance. There is a lot of talent that agents and/or publishing companies reject because I don’t think a simple query letter is a good representation of someone’s work.

100_0024 Author Bio:

Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old.  After attending Grand Valley State University, Megan eventually settled into a career in the non-profit sector for eight years.  She decided to change careers and went back to school to get her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.  While in school, she documented her divorce, child custody battle and postpartum depression struggles in her memoir, Who Am I?, which is slated to be published in 2014 by Black Opal Books.  Megan lives in Michigan with her 3-year-old daughter who loves to dance, run, read, and snuggle time with Mommy.  Megan also enjoys her volunteer work with Troy Youth Assistance, a non-profit that works with youth in Troy, Michigan.

Thank you, Megan, for taking time from your blog and writing to participate in my writing blog.

I wish you all the best with your book and future projects. 


Interview with Catherine Castle author of “The Nun and the Narc.”

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JA: Welcome Catherine, please tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?
CC:I’ve always considered myself a writer. I wrote poetry and fiction when I was in school. I didn’t start writing for profit until the early 90s when I became a stringer (freelance writer) for our local community newspaper. When the editors made very few changes to my first submitted piece (which I did for free), I decided maybe I could write professionally. I got up the nerve to ask if I could become a stringer and get paid for writing. The answer was yes, and the rest is history. From the newspaper I branched out into writing for children and did a couple of magazine articles too. Seeing my name in the byline was a big boost for meand it was then that I decided I wanted to write fiction on a professional basis, as well.

JA: The writing expertise is evident in your book. Would you share with our followers the inspiration(s) behind your wonderful novel?         CC: The Nun and the Narc was written as a contest entry because I wanted to see if I could write an inspirational romance that was different from many I had read. Originally, the heroine wasn’t a nun, but a missionary. Howeverthe book wasn’t working. One of my critique partners suggested I make her a nun instead. I loved The Sound of Music, A Change of Habit, The Flying Nun TV series, and other stories about nuns, so I changed the heroine from Margaret Mary to Sister Margaret Mary, a novice who was about to take her final vows when she got home. The book took off and practically wrote itself after that change.

JA: Some writers are known for a particular genre. Do you envision one genre for your future works or have you considered other genres?
CC: Romance is the genre I usually write in, but I’m not particular about its subgenres as I like to read, and write, in a variety of genres. Actually, I have considered other genres and have actually written plays and other fiction with my husband. Cozy mystery interests me, too.

JA: Catherine, do you have other published works?
CC:I have over 600 non-fiction articles that cover the gamut from news articles, fashion, advertorials, children’s non-fiction and magazine article published under my real name. The Nun and the Narc is the only fiction work I have published under the name Catherine Castle.
JA: Then, you write under a pen name?
CC: Yes. Catherine Castle is one of my pen names.

JA: Have you won any recognition or awards you would like to share with my followers?
CC: My books have placed in several contests, but the two that are probably the most prestigious are the ACFW Genesis Contest and the EPIC contest. The Nun and theNarc was a finalist in the Genesis and is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC contest in the action/adventure romance category.

JA: Is your book available in print, e-book, or both?                                                                                                                                                                          CC: The Nun and the Narc is available online as an ebook from Amazon and online in print from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
JA: How much of the marketing do you do for your book Carherine, and for yourself as a brand?
CC: Since I don’t have a publicist and my publisher is relatively new, marketing falls on the author for the most part. Marketing has been a huge learning curve for me. Before the book was accepted for publication all I had was a blog that I maintained myself. I still do, in fact. No virtual assistants or anything like that either, although I wish I could afford to hire one. It would make social media sooo much easierand I could spend more time actually writing.

JA: Do you spend a lot of time plotting your stories, or do you just run with it?
CC: I’m a bit of both, depending on what I’m writing. I do like to know where the story is going, the big picture before I sit down to write. I’ve plotted in detail, started out with just an idea, written a whole book out of sequence (which I would never do again), and even dreamt a book. I find some plotting makes the book go faster because I don’t have to sit in front of the screen and think too much. I do leave room to let the characters take the story in new directions. Sometimes they know better than I do what should happen next.

JA: Do you spend much time in research when you are writing?
CC: With The Nun and the Narc I had to do research on Mexico, the drug trade, and nuns. I have also been known to write until I hit a spot that needs research and then I hunt for what I need, or I’ll bookmark a page and say, “Find _______” if I’m writing in the zone and don’t want to stop for research.

JA: What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with Catherine,first person or third? Have you ever tried using the second person in any of your works?
CC: I personally like third person and have never tried writing in first or second. I think first is too limiting and second just too hard to master.

JA Are you on any forums or networking sites? Do you find them helpful? If yes, please list links so readers can find you.
CC Iam a contributing author on Stitches Thru Time at:

and the Soul Mate Authors blog site at  I think they’ve been very helpful for social networking and I’ve met some lovely authors as a result of being onpart of these sites.

JA: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
CC: More hard work than we ever imagined. Being a writer is a changing landscape now with ebook, self-pubbed books, POD books, free books for downloading, and more authors out there than ever before. Getting noticed and distinguishing yourself from the crowd is hard, and the first impressions that make a prompt a buyer are not always about how good your book is, but how well you manage your social network. Marketing is essential to authors.  At a recent conference I went to one of the speakers said writing is 90 percent marketing and only 10percent writing. If you aren’t well-versed on social media before your first book is out, then you are behind already. The days of holing up in your writer’s cave, writing, and letting someone else market for you are gone for the majority of writers.

 JA: Thank you for visiting with us Catherine, and good luck with your book.

I chose to post this interview with Catherine Castle to give her the added exposure and introduce her to the followers of this blog. Be sure to comment then go to my A to Z Reviews blog to check out Catherine’s book tour. She is drawing for an Amazon gift certificate of $25 at the conclusion of her tour. Stop by there and the rest of the stops to increase your chances to win. Here is a quick link Good Luck!



The Nun and the Narc


Catherine Castle

“Why don’t you tell me,Miss . . . whoever you are?”

 “Margaret Mary O’Connor. Sis—“ Her introduction changed into a scream. “Look out!”

Jed’s head whipped around just as the car plowed through a market stand of live chickens. Poultry, wooden cages, and feathers scattered over the car. An angry hen dropped through the car’s open sunroof, squawking and flapping in front of Jed, beating his head with its wings.

Margaret reached over, grabbed the bird, and threw it back out the sunroof opening. But it was too late. The car glanced off an adobe wall into a second market stand and careened toward another building. Jed jammed on the brakes. The car spun three hundred and sixty degrees before screeching to a stop.

 The impact threw Margaret sideways against the passenger window. She hit her head on the glass, the blow blinding her for a second. Jed’s body slammed into the steering wheel setting off the horn. The wail echoed in Margaret’s head as she struggled to remain conscious. Warmth trickled down the side of her head. Margaret managed to focus her eyes as the noise stopped. Two Jeds leaned toward her, in slow motion. She blinked to clear her vision.

“You all right?” he asked.

 “I think so.” Something warm and sticky seeped down her face. She reached up and wiped her temple. “I’m bleeding,” she said as she stared at her fingers. The words sounded slurred. At the sight of the blood on her fingers, her stomach rolled.




An Interview with the Award Winning author of “Rim Fyre and the Stones of Time”

Mitzy Tait-Zeller - Red Horse RamboMitzi Tait-Zeller and Red Rambo

Jackie: Welcome Mitzy tell our readers a little about yourself and how you became a writer?

Mitzy: I live a very interesting and colorful life. My husband and I have been married for nearly 12 years, we have one son, and I’m the step-mother of 3. Horses have been an integral part of my life from a young age. We currently breed, raise and train Canadian horses. I have always been an artistic and creative person and honed every bit of my creativity to horses. Writing is one part of my creative nature. For years I wrote poems or short stories to do with horses and tucked them away in a folder. I had a young family that required my undivided attention and writing was set on the back burner. When I wrote my first book Hoof Prints on My Heart, I was compelled by forces larger than myself to get my story on paper, and it has escalated from there.

Jackie: Would you share with our followers the inspiration(s) behind your latest book release?

Mitzy: I truly am inspired by my horses; the Canadian horse is a wonderful breed that is virtually little known even though it became Canada’s National Horse in 2002 and is part of our heritage. I have always had a vivid and wild imagination and wondered what it would be like to go back in time, so I created a story based on my knowledge, experience and fantasies to bring Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time to life. I am always asking myself, what if?

 Jackie: Do you prefer the fiction genre? Have you considered other genres?

Mitzy: My first book was a non-fiction and Rim-Fyreand the Stones of Time is a paranormal/fantasy fiction. I think I like this genre.

Jackie: What was the title of your first book?

Mitzy: My first published work is titled Hoof Prints on My Heart.

Jackie: Mitzy have you written anything under a pen name?

Mitzy: No, I use my own name; I’m proud of my name and the types of books I like to write.

Jackie: Name recognition is a huge part of successful marketing. It took a lot of soul searching to make a departure from Jackie Anton to only my first two initials be fore my last name for adult published works.

Have you won any recognition or awards that you would like to share?

Mitzy: In February of 2013 I was nominated by a group of my peers and received the Equine Welfare Award of Distinction for Communications from the Saskatchewan Horse Federation and Farm Animal Council of Canada for communicating Equine Welfare through my first book, TV interview and blogging on my webpage.

Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time is a finalist in the Fiction – animals category in the Reader’s Favorite book awards contest. Winners are announced September 1st, 2013.

Jackie: Congratulations on winning the Fiction-Animal category  in the Readers Favorite Book Awards in September.

 Jackie: Mitzi are you using a publicist?  If your collaboration is positive, feel free to give them a little plug.

Mitzy: My publicist is Carol Upton from Dreams Aloud Animal Book Buzz. I’m so happy to work together with Carol in marketing Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time.

 Jackie: Are your books available in print, e-book, or both? Have you ever tried to convert a book to audio?

Mitzy: Both of my books are available in print and e-book. I am currently working on an audio version and French translation of Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time.

Jackie: Illustrations or photos for covers are so important to successful marketing. Do you use an illustrator or photographer for your book(s)? If so do you always use the same one, or do you shop around?

Mitzy: Thus far I have been using work from a friend who is also a horse enthusiast and artist, Sheila Stienley.

Jackie: How much of the marketing do you do for your book(s), and for yourself as a brand?

Mitzy: I do as much of my own marketing as I possibly can through social media and have been out to several book signings and trade shows.

Jackie: Do you spend a lot of time plotting your stories, or do you just run with it?

Mitzy: I think these stories were in me, so I just ran with it.

Jackie: Do you spend much time in research, or do you write from experience?

Mitzy I do write from experience, but there were several elements that I added to Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time that required research. I wanted my story to be accurate and believable. I spent some time on research, but I didn’t want it to take me too far away from my writing. Research is a great way to learn even more than you already knew.

Jackie: What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with, first person or third? Have you ever tried to use the second person in any of your works?

Mitzy: I’m still experimenting.

Jackie: What do you think the future holds for a writer?

Mitzy: That is a hard question. I think that the world is our oyster, and we get back what we make of it. We will probably see more recognition for indie writers and the continuation of the popularity of e-books. Writers will keep writing as long as they have stories that need to be told. We are only limited by our imagination. I personally, will continue to write the stories as long as they are there, even though the competition is tough. And I will continue to grow and make positive changes to get my books out to my readers.

Jackie: That was a great answer Mitzy.  Thank you for adding an excerpt for our readers.

 Mitzy Tait-Zeller - Rim Fyre Front Cover JPG


His large majestic head poked through the lodge flap casting light on the inhabitants within. Rim-Fyre softly nickered ‘her-her-her’.

Serena turned abruptly at the call and sternly waved her hand at him to get out. “Rim, no!”

Warm laughter erupted. Peenaquim waved her to go tend her horse as Serena turned to see his large toothless grin. There would be time to talk later. A nod of her head acknowledged her dismissal as she left them to see to her horse.

Rim backed out of the lodge to allow her passage. Purposely walking towards Rim’s head, Serena made him back several steps away from the entrance before she annoyingly whispered, “What do you think you’re doing?”, as she wrapped his head in a hug. The stallion just closed his eyes in acceptance of her presence.

Serena couldn’t allow her emotions to show how alone she felt here in this place so she held Rim’s head a little longer; hoping somehow he would know how much she was relying on him to get her through this.


About the Author:

Mitzy Tait-Zeller, recipient of the 2013 Equine Welfare Communications award from the Saskatchewan Horse Federation is a long time equine enthusiast. Mitzy devotes her time to family, horses and promoting equine welfare and the Canadian Horse through her passion for writing.


 Mitzy, thank you, for taking time from your writing to participate in this blog.

I wish you all the best with this wonderful book and future projects.

 Readers can catch my review of “Rim-Fyre and the Stones of Time’’ on A to Z Reviews October 23.  (click on the link on the sidebar of this page.) Check it out. Any horse lover would love to have a copy under the Christmas tree.

Be sure to leave a comment and an e-mail address to qualify for the random drawing of an e-book. This is an exclusive prize for my blog posts. The winner’s name will be drawn November 11, 2013

Increase you chances to win and leave a comment on both blogs.

Meet Carla Burke

Meet this fascinating author on Kimberly Sursen’s blog “People Like  Us”!carla-burke/c1yow

In 2011 Carla Burke’s I Spy A Dragonfly was the winner of the Christian Literary Award.  A heart as big as Texas – which I might add is where Carla was raised and lives – Ms. Burke enjoys helping children with special needs learn how to ride horses.

“In the spring of 2007 we had a tremendous amount of rain here in San Antonio. Soon after the rain stopped there were hundreds of dragonflies everywhere. They were so abundant that they would hit my windshield as I drove into the driveway. They were everywhere! Big, small, fat, blue, green, skinny – I just couldn’t get enough of them and became fascinated by them. I took my son, who was 4 years old, out back to see the dragonflies. I told him to hold out his arm and that maybe one would land on him. Sure enough, the skinny, blue dragonfly landed on his arm and he thought that was the coolest thing. I decided to write down that experience for a keepsake but ended up turning it into a children’s book.”

Please like or leave a comment if you enjoy these updates on “Writing for readers in a dot come world.”                                                          Have a great summer!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Jackie Anton

Need a laugh?

 Read one or both of Ken Magee’s books.

Ken combines his Irish sense of humor with deep thought to brings us Dark Tidings and The Black Conspiracy, the first two in a trilogy he entitles “Ancient Magic Meets the Internet.”

One of the reviews for his novel The Black Conspiracy states, “Ken has a wicked sense of humor, and when his medieval characters find themselves in the modern world, hunted by a secret society, hilarity ensues. Add in an uber-hacker and a fem-fatale, and buckle your seatbelt. It’s the end of the world as you know it, and you’ll feel fine. Read this one and laugh.”

What happens when Medieval characters meet the internet?  Hilarious with a message for all of us.  Find out more when you read author Ken’ Magee’s interview at!ken-magee/cj7l

“And the Wippoorwill Sang” by Micki Peluso!micki-peluso/c17fn Click on this link to learn more about this humorous, and heartfelt tribute to a child’s life cut short by a drunk driver.

Kimberly Shursen shines her blog’s spotlight on author Micki Peluso.  Micki is a talented, journalist turned author. Don’t miss this interview.

Link to blog:

“Judas Times Seven” by Brian Beecher

Today’s guest author is Brian Beecher

Welcome, Brian, to “Writing for readers in a .com world.” Would you tell us a little about yourself, and how you became a writer?

Brian: I am now 68 years old and have spent most of my life in the Chicago area.  I have held different jobs in my lifetime, and when I got laid off from a full-time position a few years back I decided now was the time to devote more time to writing.  I find that becoming involved in a creative venture should be exhilarating yet challenging.

JA: Tell us what genre you generally write in? Have you considered other genres?

Brian: Funny thing is, I read mostly non-fiction yet write fiction.  Find it easier as you don’t have to back up your facts.  My latest work is what could be called reality fiction in that it deals with the dark side of office politics, an everyday concern for many.

JA: Is “Judas Times Seven” your first book, and do you have other published works?

Brian: I have three self-published works, all through Author House.  The titles are “This Is What I Do,” “Needed Now,” and “Judas Times Seven.”

JA: Have you ever tried an agent, or the traditional publisher route?

Brian No.  Had no success in finding one.  I wanted to get the “Judas Times Seven” story to market so I reluctantly self-published again.  It is so hard to find an agent if you are not established that I could have been dead before finding one.

JA: I can relate to that. Are your books available in print, e-book, or both? Some authors are releasing audio versions of their books. Have you given audio a shot yet?

Brian: My books are available in both print and e-book but haven’t thought about audio as yet.

JA:  Attractive covers are so important. Do you use an illustrator for your book(s)? 

Brian: So far I have only used the suggestions the publisher has made available.  Can’t really afford the expense of an illustrator.

JA: Brian, do you do much marketing  for your book(s), and for yourself as a brand?

Brian: Am probably too new to actually have a “brand” per se, but I do what marketing I can through places like Facebook as, again, I don’t have funds for a marketing budget.

JA: Tell us about your writing style. Do you spend much time plotting your stories, or do you just run with it?

Brian: I present a general view of my stories but much is not known until I actually sit down to write.

JA do your storylines require much research, or do you write from experience?

Brian: “Judas Times Seven” was drawn from personal experience dealing with betrayal and jealousy in the workplace.  There is some quasi-reality in my other stories but mostly straight-up fiction.

JA: What Point of view do you feel most comfortable with, first person or third? Have you ever tried using the second person in any of your works?

A: I think elements of all three persons appear but the majority is third person except for occasional quotes.

JA: Thank you, Brian, for taking time from your writing to participate in this blog.

I wish you all the best with your book and future projects. Please share an excerpt from one of your books with our followers before you go.



Judas Times Seven


An expressive mood would now overtake Bruce.  When Donna, one of the women who worked in another area from him asked him how he was today, he told her right out that he was feeling as though he could conquer the world.  He added that today’s main challenge is to remain positive and enthusiastic rather than succumbing to gloomy or pessimistic thoughts.  And while she thought his attitude to be right on, she had no idea as to what was on his mind that moment.  For him love was in the air.  And while he has always appreciated feminine charm and beauty, he was now sure that there’s no other like Janice.  As one who has been romantically eyeing a coworker for a few weeks, he now had convinced himself that this was the time when he could be in luck.  And he wouldn’t turn down an offer from a staff member who wished to arrange a date with one of their colleagues.  The hint that Janice was who he had his sights on had been evident for some time now.

The idea of bringing it out in the open, possible baggage notwithstanding, would now prove to be irresistible, as was the idea of the others in his department wanting to drag the truth out of him.  But at this point he would remain mum, as he would seek out Janice at a time when none of them were in earshot.  At this point he still felt as if there was sufficient enough attraction on her part and that the opportunity could prove very beneficial.

The time finally came at the end of the work day.  He made an excuse to wait around for a few minutes after the rest of the crew had left for the day.  The fact that one who was said to be a reputed playboy was plotting against him was not a hindrance, and Bruce was unaware as yet that this was occurring.  He told Janice that he wanted to see her for a minute prior to leaving.  He then reminded her of when she suspected that he had an interest in somebody, and then told her that it was her.  Janice’s response was, “Can’t happen.”

With that Bruce promptly left the premises for the day, satisfied that he had the audacity to come clean.  If nothing else he felt it would clear the air.  His soul moved into a dreamy position and thoughts of leisure, treasure, and pleasure.  Accentuating love and creative pursuits would be enhanced.  In free time he urged himself to express artistic talents whenever he could.  Little did he know of the cruel twist of fate that would result from his confession, and that an ensuing tragedy would wrap around his psyche over the upcoming few weeks, and the tension that would permeate at his job.

Click on the link below to preview or purchase Brian’s book from Amazon.

Judas Times Seven

About the Author

Brian Beecher was born November 17, 1944, and has spent the greater part of his life in the Chicago region.  He has held a number of different position, finally in his 60’s choosing to pursue a nearly life-long passion as a writer of both books and song lyrics.  He currently lives in Villa Park, IL.

Picture book creator and author David Nicoll is in the Spotlight!

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David Nicoll

Today I am interviewing David Nicoll the author of a delightful series of picture books featuring the adventures of Bean.

JA:  Welcome, David, lease tell us a little about yourself and how you became a writer?

David: I first came up with the idea of BEAN around 2000-2001 when my children were very young. I would draw BEAN and add what BEAN was doing for my children’s amusement. Not thinking anything more than just doodling, for some reason i kept those pictures. I then continued on with my life and my part time acting career where my biggest achievement was appearing in the Australian television miniseries “Through My Eyes”. I’ve has also appeared in film, TV shows, TV commercials and stage productions.

I live in Brisbane, Australia, so if I wanted to try to make it further with my acting I would need to move to Sydney or Melbourne. I love acting and I have always been told that I’m a good actor. The thing is, I love my children more and being that far away from them is not what I wanted.

JA:  That is a problem for many parents. My husband made a similar decision, and as a family it worked out wonderfully. Were there any contributing factors involved with your ultimate decision?

David: In 2010 I was involved in a car accident. I then had to put my work and acting career on hold and spend a fair bit of time at home. Then one day while tidying up, I came across the drawings.

After looking over them, reminiscing and chuckling, I thought I might do a little research on publishing children’s books. After sharing them with Xlibris, I realized that there was always a reason that I’d kept them.

JA: Do you have other published works?

David: Just 3 – “BEAN at the Fair”, “BEAN at the Beach” and “BEAN on the Farm”

 JA: Have you won any recognition or awards that you would like to share?

David: I haven’t won awards with my books but I have won awards with my acting. For example I won best male actor award at the Noosa International One Act Play Festival in 2002. The festival is where writers from all around the world submit their one act plays, which have never been performed before. A panel then chooses the three best plays to be performed at the festival. This involves a director being appointed, auditions being held for the parts of the characters, and after weeks of rehearsals the three plays are then performed over one weekend.

JA: Wow! That sounds intense, and must have been very gratifying. Are your books available in print, e-book, or both? 

David: My Books are in paperback, e-book, kindle, nook and  ibook that I know of.

JA: Illustrations for covers, and the interior of children’s preschool picture books are so important. Do you use an illustrator for your book(s) or do you illustrate them? 

David: I started with an Xlibris illustrator and requested that he be my illustrator with all my books.

JA: Tell us a little about your writing style. 

David: I get an idea for each adventure where most of it is in my head. Then I try and organize the wording with each caption, which can have me making changes to suit the adventure. As my character is a BEAN and he has BEAN/BEEN doing things.

JA: Do the Bean tales require much research, or do you write from experience?

David: I have made my character BEAN for the reason that he is a “bean” and he has “been” doing things. In each book I have to make sure that each activity BEAN is enjoying is worded correctly so it fits the whole concept of the book. I like to have BEAN enjoying adventures in places I think children will enjoy, which I take from experiences with my own children. I hope children enjoy BEAN and his adventures as I have many more adventures in mind for the future.

JA: Are you on any forums or networking sites?  If yes, please list links so readers can find you.

David: I am on

And of course BEANS website –

JA: What do you think the future holds for you as a writer?

David: I have many more adventures and  ideas for BEAN so who knows.

 From author David Nicoll comes a fun series that introduces the lovable character of BEAN. BEAN allows children to join him on adventurous journeys with colorful pictures and simple words.

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 In this latest installment, kids will have a blast as they join BEAN At The Fair!

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 Kids are in for a fun day of sun, surf and activities as they join BEAN at the Beach.

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 Kids are invited to prepare their farm boots, straw hats and overalls and join BEAN on the FARM!

Thank you, David, for taking time from your writing to participate in this blog. I wish you all the best with your book and future projects.

Thank you so much Jackie for giving me the opportunity of participating in my first interview.

David Nicoll

Interview with Irina Shapiro


Welcome, Irina, tell us a little about yourself that is not in your author bio.


The best way to get me to do something is to tell me that I can’t.  It’s like waving a red flag in front of a charging bull.  That gets me into trouble sometimes, but it also helps me broaden my horizons.  I wound up going parasailing to prove that I wasn’t scared despite being terrified of heights.  I did manage to open my eyes while I was up there and it was beautiful.

Someone also told me that I couldn’t possibly write a book.  So far I’ve written seven.  I hope no one dares me to sing.  That could have tragic consequences for all involved.

That is really funny! It’s strange what motivates some of us. When did you make the decision that you wanted to be a writer?

 To be a writer was a childhood dream, but I never actually tried to pursue it.  I won an award for a story I wrote in High School and then didn’t write anything until I was thirty-six.

Tell our followers how you came up with the ideas for your novels.

The ideas just pop into my head.  The idea for my Hands of Time Trilogy came about as I drove to the supermarket and heard a Katy Perry song.  She kept repeating, “in another life,” and I thought, “Hmm, what would I do if I found myself in another life?”

Once the idea for a story has formed, does it take a lot of research?

 I’m actually a treasure trove of historical information, so I mostly verify my facts, not so much research them.

Irina, you mentioned that you have written seven books.  Do you have a favorite?

 My favorite novel is The Hands of Time.

 What about “The Hands of Time” that makes it your favorite piece of work?

 I’ve always been fascinated with the concept of time travel, so it was fun to explore what it would be like to find myself in a different century without actually leaving home.

Is this a single novel, or is there a sequel?

 I’ve just finished the third book in the Hands of Time Trilogy. It’s with my editor right now.

Will you share with us what you are currently working on?

I’m thinking of the next book.  I have some ideas, but I still need to develop them.

Thank you for sharing with us. I am looking forward to reading your Hands of Time Trilogy.  Will you leave our readers with an excerpt from your story before you go to the next stop on your blog tour?



By Irina Shapiro

Several canvases were stacked against the wall of the studio covered with dust sheets.  Louisa pulled off the sheet of the one closest to her, and her heart nearly stopped in her chest.  Looking straight at her was Valerie, dressed in an elaborate gown, her dark curls piled high on her head and secured by pearl-studded pins, a large sapphire glittering at her throat.   The woman didn’t look modern, but there was no doubt in Louisa’s mind that she was looking at a portrait of her sister.  She closed her eyes, took a couple of deep breaths, and opened them again.  She was still there, smiling serenely, looking exactly as she had when she was alive.  Lou had come to accept that Valerie was dead, but now she wasn’t so sure.  Could it be possible that she had dressed in this gown and posed for a modern painter?  She went to the door and called for Billie to come into the storage room.

“Do we have names to go with these portraits?”  She tried to sound casual, but her heart was leaping out of her chest and her hands were shaking badly.  Billie consulted the list in her hand and read off:

“Mrs. Valerie Crane Whitfield, 1608, Oil on Canvas.”

Louisa felt the world tilt around her as she slid to the floor, welcoming the darkness that enveloped her.

 Author Links:


Tour Schedule:

 4th Lightning Book Promotion Blog
5th Phaedra @ Identity Discovery
6th Jackie @ Writing for Readers in a .com world
7th Bette @ 4writersandreaders
8th Andi @ Radiant Light
9th Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!
10th Drennan @ Speaking of Books
11th Susan @ My Cozie Corner
12th Cara @ Peace, Love, Books
13th Darryl @ Savage Lullabye


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