About Nina Soden

Wife, Mommy, Urban Fantasy Author, Artist, Actress, Director... I'm only as old as I feel and I try to see the good in everyone. I take life one day at a time and focus only on the moment I'm in without fear or worry about the past or the future.

T.J. Blake ~ Author Interview

Today I’d like to welcome T.J. Blake to my site. He says his friends call him Tom or Blake, I think I’ll stick with Blake. Blake is the author of Familiar a new paranormal mystery thriller!

First lets get to know you a little…

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you like what you do?

I do, I’m a content marketing specialist. I’m a Content Marketer at the UK’s leading online trade directory managing a team of writers. I also own a content marketing business called TJ Creative, and I’m currently working on a new app called TipSpend.

I really enjoy what I do. I’m able to merge my love for writing with marketing. Although my content writing is different to my fiction stories, there are a lot of similarities – there is still storytelling in everything I do. There’s a lot of psychology involved in what I do too, which is an element I really enjoy.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

I prefer a physical book when reading. However, I love Kindle because instead of lugging around one physical copy, you’re holding fifty books in your e-book!

I have been producing an audiobook and listened to a couple too. I do like them, they’re great for if you’re on a long drive, whack on an audiobook.

What is your favorite film based on a book?

There’s too many to choose from; The Harry Potter films, Lord of The Rings, The Avengers (I think that counts!), any adapted Stephen King novel!

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

Stephen King’s ‘The Institute’ is the next one on my list. I’ll be reading it on my Kindle.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

Familiar” is my new paranormal mystery thriller book.

To describe it in 20 words: a murder mystery with a paranormal twist. The Conjuring meets True Detective.

How did you come up with the title for “Familiar”?

The title relied on the story. Once you have read the book it should make sense. There’s more to the title than Arabella’s anniversary show being called “Familiar”.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?

In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about her?

Arabella is a famous psychic medium who communicates with those who exist only in memory. She has been speaking to her ‘friends’ for as long as she can remember. Arabella is committed to using her ability to help people connect once more by giving the deceased a voice.

Her ability and reputation has made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

In the book, Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

What is your character’s greatest strengths?

Quite simply, she’s tough. She has to be. Communicating with spirits is not easy and it’s absolutely terrifying. Arabella doesn’t get a second to herself, but she reasons with her ‘friends’ and makes sure they have a chance to be heard.

Does your character have any weaknesses?

There’s a big weakness to Arabella… but I can’t tell you! You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Arabella has a habit for getting too close with her ‘friends’, but she must distance herself. All ‘friends’ want one thing, to feel alive again.

You’ll have to read to find out more!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

I think readers will like Arabella, she’s kind and truly cares about people. But there is a hardness to her.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book?

It was the character Arabella who came to me first; strangely after having gone to see a live Derren Brown stage show.

It was a segment in Derren’s show that impressed me – he was outing psychic mediums and their ‘ability’. In fact, he was more convincing than any psychic medium I had ever seen. It was incredible. He revealed the most personal details about members of the audience. I was jealous – and I actually went up on stage to see if he could speak to my grandfather. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

Derren’s work really inspired me. It made me consider all the things that could happen to a psychic medium – I had a lot of interesting thoughts, a lot of dark ones too.

The different scenarios that unfolded really excited me. I soon had a huge collection of situations that would create an interesting plot. I didn’t rush these ideas – I let them sit in my brain for a bit.

These ideas of mine loitered for a year I’d say. There was huge potential and a lot of different paths to explore.

One plot really stuck out to me. One that I thought, “now that would make an awesome Netflix show.” More like it would make another great T. J. Blake novel!

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

I’m a huge plotter. It’s all about the plot for me!

My aim is to create a world where you are entertained and trying to guess what’s going to happen. Most of the time, you won’t guess mwahaha!

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Show don’t tell!

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?

Keep going.

It’s tough writing a book, but actually it’s the editing and marketing that’s hardest. It’s quite draining, marketing your book; encouraging people to read your books. It takes time though, and you have to keep going.

Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

Instagram – www.instagram.com/tjblake93

Twitter – www.twitter.com/tjblake93 (@TJBlake93)

Facebook – www.facebook.com/tjblakeauthor

Blog – tjblakeauthor.com


For the living, it’s closure. For the departed, it’s the last chance to expose the truth.

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the center of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?

“Blake has the unerring skill on how to tell a good story… This is an author to watch. His talent is remarkable” Michelle Willms – Amazon.com

“Clever writing. Genuinely smart. It tells me we’re in the hands of an author who knows what he’s doing” Damien Seaman – Amazon.co.uk

“T. J. Blake has real talent and I am definitely looking forward to more novels from him in the future” Jaron Vail – Amazon.com

“Blake knows how to keep you glued to the story” Karen O – Amazon.com


(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)


The Taking by Sandie Will (giveaway)

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The Takings by Sandie Will ~ Genre: Psychological Thriller

In the murky swamps of central Florida, a boy vanished on the way home one night.
No one heard his screams.
No one saw him struggle.
And the police have no answers.
Can one man’s visions reveal the truth?

From international award-winning author, Sandie Will, comes a psychological thriller that dives into the depths of a man’s struggle with the events of the present that are conjuring up the pain from his past.

At age fifteen, Adrian Webster lost his younger brother in a tragic accident. He tried to mourn. He tried to move on. But all he could do was bury the pain.

Ten years later, his best friend’s son, Wyatt, vanishes while riding his bike through Green Swamp in Central Florida. Adrian’s friend has already lost his wife, and he doesn’t want him to suffer the pain of losing a child, making Adrian obsess over finding Wyatt. So obsessed that he’s plagued by visions. Ones that creep into the corners of his eyes. Ones that reveal the truth. And ones that force Adrian to choose between his friendship and unleashing the memories of the past before Wyatt is gone forever and Adrian loses the one thing he loves most in life—his new family.

Readers are already saying: “A riveting page-turner!” “I couldn’t stop reading!” “This book kept me on the edge of my seat!”

Goodreads * Amazon

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Sandie Will is an international award-winning psychological thriller novelist who lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, and works as a geologist by day. She has published two novels and another is on the way. Her first novel, The Caging at Deadwater Manor, is a young adult psychological thriller/horror that received first place in the 2018 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards for young adult/new adult fiction and an honorable mention in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards for young adult horror. Her second is a recently released adult psychological thriller/horror titled, The Takings that is a Finalist in the 2020 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards for Blended Fiction. She is currently working on the sequel which will be released in 2020/2021. She has been married to her husband, Charlie, for over 30 years and they have two sons. Her favorite place to write is in her back room “treehouse” in the arms of an old oak.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Taking by Sandie Will.

The Caging at DEADWATER MANOR by Sandie Will

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Sandie Will is an international award-winning psychological thriller novelist who lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, and works as a geologist by day. She has published two novels and another is on the way. Her first novel, The Caging at Deadwater Manor, is a young adult psychological thriller/horror that received first place in the 2018 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards for young adult/new adult fiction and an honorable mention in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards for young adult horror. Her second is a recently released adult psychological thriller/horror titled, The Takings that is a Finalist in the 2020 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards for Blended Fiction. She is currently working on the sequel which will be released in 2020/2021. She has been married to her husband, Charlie, for over 30 years and they have two sons. Her favorite place to write is in her back room “treehouse” in the arms of an old oak.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

The Caging at Deadwater Manor by Sandie Will ~ Genre: YA Psychological Thriller, Horror

“This book is ‘One flew over the Cukoos nest’ on speed.” Goodreads reviewer

A dad with a vendetta. An unsuspecting daughter. A psychiatric hospital known for questionable acts. And staff who keep secrets in the attic.

FIRST PLACE – FLORIDA WRITERS ASSOCIATION – ROYAL PALM LITERARY AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT FICTION
RECIPIENT OF THE 2017 READERS’ FAVORITE HONORABLE MENTION BOOK AWARD IN YA HORROR

On a cold, January evening, fourteen-year-old Jeannie Kynde is told that her beloved mother drowned in the murky waters along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Her distraught father turns on Jeannie, no longer the caring father she once knew. Four years later, Jeannie is finally old enough to escape her father’s clutches, but he has different plans. He imprisons her at Deadwater Manor, a psychiatric hospital with an unscrupulous past. Between endless psychiatric treatments and a hospital staff up to no good, Jeannie faces insurmountable odds as each day ticks away. Will she be locked away forever? Or can she fight against the nightmare that has now become her world?

If you like suspenseful shockers, you’re sure to love this psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and stay with you long afterward. Check out the great reviews on this novel that debuted on the #1 Hot New Releases bestseller list.

Note: This book is intended for mature young adult, new adult, and older audiences due to profanity and sensual content.

BACKGROUND:
The inspiration for the story came from Sandie’s beloved father who worked in various psychiatric hospitals during short periods of his career. In the attic of one such hospital, he made a disturbing discovery – one that bothered Sandie so much, she had to create a story around it. Though fiction, many parts of the book intertwine the patient routines, treatments and outbursts that she learned from her father and other research in a way that makes the story vivid through Jeannie’s perspective.

Goodreads * Amazon

I’m excited to be one of the many tour hosts sharing information about The Caging of Deadwater Manor by Sandie Will.

Nicole Higginbotham ~ Author Interview

I’d like to welcome Nicole Higginbotham, author of Complicated Heart, to my site.

Let us start by finding out a little bit about you…

What is your name, and do you write under a pen name? My name is Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue, and I do not write under a pen name.

Where do you call home? I am from a small farm town in Iowa.

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you are any good at it? Do you like what you do? I am a full-time author and a full-time mother. I love both positions, though I do not think being a mother is a job. I also think that I do fairly well at both, but I feel like that is because my heart is in it.

What is your family like? I have three kids and a spouse. I would say that my family is fairly average. I have been married for almost six years now, and we like to spend a lot of our time traveling and enjoying the outdoors.

If it does not bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like? I lived in a house that was 100 years old in the middle of a small-town, and I had a barn in my yard.

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing? I love art in all forms. I like to paint and draw. I also like to garden and dabble in photography from time to time.

What is your greatest dream? Honestly, my greatest dream is that everyone is at peace and cared for.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you? I think that I am the person that I wish to be. I do feel like a person grows as the years go by, but for the most part, I am happy with who I am.

Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love? That was so long ago. I really do not remember.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? I realized that I was fascinated with books when I was eight. I was walking in my school library, and I saw a book that was written by a boy my age. After looking closely at his work, I was inspired to try and create my own story. I started by creating picture books and comics, and later on, I wrote screenplays and for newspapers. It took a while for me to realize that my true calling was writing novellas and novels. I have been writing novellas and novellas for about five years now, and during that time, I have had a lot of support from my friends and grandparents.

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not? My dream was to be independent and to go to an Ivy League school. Ironically, life happened, and I did not end up going to that school that I wanted to go to, but I did put myself through college and spend a little time in the military.

Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audiobooks? I prefer paperbacks. I am old school in that way, but I like to be able to flip back and forth through the pages.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so, what was it? There are a few books that I read over and over. The one that comes to mind is called Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters.

What is your opinion of novellas? I am a big fan of novellas. At this point in my life, I barely have time to skim the pages of a long novel, so if I see a novella that I like, I usually pick it up. It gives me a better chance of being able to read the whole thing.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? I do not think that I have. I love cover art, but I definitely have to read the description of the book before diving into it.

What is your favorite film based on a book? Harry Potter is probably my favorite. I like how they brought all of the elements together in the movie.

What is your favorite book genre at the moment? I am into romance books at the moment. I like when the books focus on the socialization of the characters.

What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? Currently, I have picked up a copy of the Pink Bean Series. I like this series because it tells the stories of all of the women instead of just focusing on one character.

What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? I am currently reading the second and third book in the Pink Bean Series as well as a book by J.A. Armstrong. I have extremely limited time to read though as my kids are highly active. These are all in eBook format.

If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why? I would invite Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Kimmel, Mama June, and possibly Todd Chrisley. I think that these individuals would make for a very entertaining party.

Let us shift somewhat and talk about your latest story

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? It is called Complicated Heart, and it is the fourth book in the Avery Detective Agency Series. It follows Parker and Kay as they continue to work on the case that they encountered in the last book and reflects on their future.

After Parker and the Avery Detective Agency leave Kansas, they are contracted to work in conjunction with the ATF and FBI on solving the mysterious oil trafficking case that is plaguing the area. The group is sent to Chicago in an attempt to get to the bottom of the crime ring that is terrorizing local farmers by confiscating oil from their land, but as they dive deeper into the case, figures from the past emerge, and the group might find that the culprit behind the whole thing is right under their nose.

Is the above book part of a series? Yes, this is the fourth book in the Avery Detective Agency Series.

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I used BookBrush to come up with the design.

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? No, when I write, it has to be quiet.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? I based the title on the situations that the characters go through in the book.

Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it? At this time, I do not.

In your latest novel, who is the lead character, and can you tell us a little about him/her? The lead character is Parker Avery. She is an intelligent, courageous investigator with little patience for technology.

What is your character’s greatest strengths? She is able to empathize with the other characters.

And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? Sometimes, she has trouble opening up about her feelings and processing them.

What are some of his/her favorite foods? She likes steak and wine.

What is a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? She does not know how empowering she is to the other characters.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? I think that readers will like this character, because they will be able to identify with her in some capacity.

What first gave you the idea for your latest book? My readers actually asked for a sequel.

Let us talk now about your writing process.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I am usually a plotter. There are times that I write outlines, and I do this, because sometimes, I will have a scene completely thought through. However, that scene may be in the middle of the book, so in order to write out that scene, I have to keep track of what came before it and what will come after.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? When I first started, I did not know too much about social media or the different formats that books could come in. If I had the chance to start this all over, I would familiarize myself with social media marketing and professional cover design. I would also pick-up an editing program right away, and I would break into the audiobook business much earlier than I had.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? I am a self-published author.

If you are a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? Early on, I attempted to go with the publisher that I wanted to publish my work, but I received a series of rejection letters every time I contacted that company. Eventually, my wife encouraged me to go my own route, and since then, it has benefited me.

What is the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? The best advice that I have heard is to do something that you love and to try and inspire good in people by doing it. I think that this is especially important advice, and as I get further into my career, I have been working more towards pieces that are somewhat inspirational. I think that a lot of my earlier work was a bit more personal to me and the situations that I had gone through at that time, but now that I have been writing for a while, I am working towards bettering my writing habits and attempting to lift people up with my newer stories. It is important to empower yourself, but it is also important to empower others.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? The biggest piece of advice that I have is to keep on writing. Sometimes, one reader may not like one of your books, but that does not mean that they will not like another one. This is a difficult industry to break into, and there is a lot of criticism that goes with it. However, it is important to accept the fact that other people have their own opinions and to keep your head up. If you keep writing, you might just write the masterpiece that you have always wanted.

FOLLOW NICOLE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Website: http://www.higginbothampublications.com
Blog: https://higginbothampublications.wordpress.com/books-by-nicole-higginbotham-hogue/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/higginbothampub
Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-higginbotham-hogue-66a349b9/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14687751.Nicole_Higginbotham_Hogue
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/higginbothampublications/_saved/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Higginbotham/e/B010OIGXAS%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/higginbothampublications
Book Links:

US: https://amzn.to/3lOZ3Zy

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08GSWFRH1

FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B08GSWFRH1

DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08GSWFRH1

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08GSWFRH1

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08GSWFRH1


C. L. Schneider ~ Author Interview

We have a very special guest today, C.L. Schneider is the multi-award-winning author of the urban fantasy series, Nite Fire.

Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, Cindy Schneider grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape while she was still in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. While her main focus is adult epic and urban fantasy, she also pens the occasional thriller or post-apocalyptic story.

Though she has been writing all of her life, Magic-Price (the first installment in The Crown of Stones Trilogy) was her first published novel. With the completion of The Crown of Stones Trilogy, she is embarking on a new path with her multi-award-winning urban fantasy series, Nite Fire.

Check out a few of Cindy’s books below!

(Click on the image to order your copy)

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

Check out our interview on YouTube:

Follow her on Social Media here:


Saving Grace by D.M. Barr

By day, a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic.

But that’s not to say I haven’t wanted to…

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Saving Grace by D.M. Barr ~ Genre: Psychological Thriller

Grace Pierrepoint Rendell, the only child of an ailing billionaire, has been treated for paranoia since childhood. When she secretly quits her meds, she begins to suspect that once her father passes, her husband will murder her for her inheritance. Realizing that no one will believe the ravings of a supposed psychotic, she devises a creative way to save herself – she will write herself out of danger, authoring a novel with the heroine in exactly the same circumstances, thus subtly exposing her husband’s scheme to the world. She hires acclaimed author Lynn Andrews to help edit her literary insurance policy, but when Lynn is murdered, Grace is discovered standing over the bloody remains. The clock is ticking: can she write and publish her manuscript before she is strapped into a straitjacket, accused of homicide, or lowered six feet under?

With a cast of secondary characters whose challenges mirror Grace’s own, Saving Grace is, at it’s core, an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms.

Goodreads * Amazon

What inspired you to write this book? Saving Grace is about a woman who wonders if her husband plans to murder her for her inheritance once her rich father in Florida dies. My father lives in Florida and my husband has asked more than once about my expected inheritance. I started thinking, what if…

What can we expect from you in the future? My next book, just finished, is a contemporary romantic comedy about pursuing second chances.

Do you have any “side stories” about the characters? I based my favorite character, Zev, on the Hasidic men I met at my last job. They always made me laugh and so Zev provides the much-needed comic relief in the book.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Saving Grace? The protagonist is Grace Rendell, a 45-year-old New Jersey wife and mother who is the only child of an ailing billionaire and has been treated for paranoia since she was six. Her husband is an advertising exec named Eliot who grew up poor and appears to be cheating on her. She has two sons and a father named Barrington who lives with his “chippie of the month” Caprice. Grace’s therapist is Emma Leighmann and the woman who helps her write her book is Andrea Lin, whose pen name is Lynn Andrews. Tom Druthers is the poisons expert who helps her and becomes a love interest.  Andrea’s brother “Hack” and his friends also play a big part in the novel.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Actually, I rewrote this book around ten times, so I guess what I liked most is when I was finally finished.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?  Once Grace goes off her meds, she comes to believe that once her father dies, her husband will kill her for her inheritance. So she decides to write a novel, with the main character in the same predicament, so she can subtly expose his plot to the world without destroying her life and her family’s life if in fact, her views are a result of her resurgent paranoia and are completely wrong 

How did you come up with the title of your first novel? As a Realtor, I specialized in Expired Listings. It seemed like a great title for a book where a serial killer was offing all the real estate agents in a small town.

Who designed your book covers? Each was designed by a different artist. Kim Killion worked with a photo and concept I selected for Expired Listings, and I had a second, less graphic cover designed by Syneca Featherstone. There are two covers for Slashing Mona Lisa, one designed by Carl Graves and a second by the artist at Beachwalk Press, and for my current novel, the cover was designed by David King, the inhouse designer for Black Rose Press, again using a photo and concept I chose.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? My first editor for Saving Grace was Elf Ahearn. If I could do it all over again, I would have listened to her suggestions from the start. In the end, I used them anyway, but it took a long time for me to accept her criticisms were right on.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? Prowritingaid.com is an invaluable tool.

If your book were made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? Sandra Bullock would make a perfect Grace.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers? When you read the metaphors, if they seem odd or strained, remember that Grace experienced everything she knew of life from books. Also keep in mind that Saving Grace is an allegory for the struggle of the marginalized to be heard and live life on their own terms. To me, it’s about women who are forgotten by society after they’ve had their children and “served their purpose.”

How did you come up with name of this book? Not only is Saving Grace an expression, it is also a perfect description of the plot.

What is your favorite part of this book and why? I always love the funny scenes, so I love the scene that satirizes critique groups. I also love every scene with Zev, especially the one where he’s in Hack’s home and some bullies throw a note attached to a rock through the window and he holds it up to Hack and says, “I believe this is for you.”

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination? A combination. There are parts of me in all my heroines: I was a Realtor like Dana Black, I was a reporter with weight issues like Camarin Torres, and like Grace Rendell, I’m a housewife and mother of a certain age who sometimes feels like no one sees me anymore.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?  My characters always do things that surprise me. In Expired Listings, I didn’t originally intend for Aidan Cummings to become a love interest but once Dana saw him, there is was. In Saving Grace, Zev is a character who came from nowhere.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. It’s a unique concept, the idea of a woman who couldn’t write a book to save her life, until she had to. Not that many books out there who weaponize literature.

Have you written any other books that are not published? No, happy to say everything I’ve written has been published, except my newest book which I hope to sell in the next few months.

Originally Hack’s story was much more elaborate and ran concurrently with Grace’s. There were elements I hope to include in a sequel.

Is there a writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

I had the opportunity to interview Brad Parks and ask him how he was able to make Carter Ross so likeable. You can see the interview at www.author-groupie.com, where I interview authors with a new adult fiction book just out, or one that’s in pre-order.

I’m glad to be one of many hosts sharing information about Saving Grace by D.M. Barr.

Virtual Poetry Reading – Episode 21

Virtual Poetry Reading – Episode 21
A #TheRedheadedAuthor Production

INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE:

The Last Leaf by Lilly Brown (Read by Nora Nixon)
Talisman by Chuck Puckett (Read by Chuck Puckett)
Stained Enlightenment by Chuck Puckett (Read by Chuck Puckett)
The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Read by John Miller)

FOLLOW ME VIRTUALLY:

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/ninasoden
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nina-Soden/e/B00ITHSXC8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Website: www.ninasoden.com
Twitter: @Nina_Soden
Instagram: Nina_Soden
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bloodangelseries


Check out the previous Episodes below:

Episode 1 – https://youtu.be/sXKHUqvC9Vc
Episode 2 – https://youtu.be/0EBR7Pi1XqM
Episode 3 – https://youtu.be/XKM01RGiXls
Episode 4 – https://youtu.be/Y2yW2Tg3HaQ
Episode 5 – https://youtu.be/XJjIUMaK_PE
Episode 6 – https://youtu.be/bPXw5OgUUAc
Episode 7 – https://youtu.be/zBP5T1zxr4g
Episode 8 – https://youtu.be/4VkGkPkhd6I
Episode 9 – https://youtu.be/RZKCrqsOLhM
Episode 10 – https://youtu.be/H4YTXC7_fcc
Episode 11 – https://youtu.be/zE5a5Q3TsyM
Episode 12 – https://youtu.be/47T9kJxfXTw
Episode 13 – https://youtu.be/DyiFf1fraiY
Episode 14 – https://youtu.be/P3M8emsCSe4
Episode 15 – https://youtu.be/y7HP9yk6Q9c
Episode 16 – https://youtu.be/s1VPW55xXw4
Episode 17 – https://youtu.be/RpkTyTwUZBM
Episode 18 – https://youtu.be/G9aNVqAsHaU
Episode 19 – https://youtu.be/P5ujCW-YjDE
Episode 20 – https://youtu.be/BWW1KODqYUk


First Second Coming by Jeff Pollak (giveaway)

Jeff Pollak, the author of First Second Coming and sequels to come, was raised in the Riverdale section of the Bronx by a single mom and two grandparents who lived eight floors up. After graduating from college in Buffalo, Jeff headed west to Los Angeles for law school and spent his entire legal career in and around civil litigation. Now retired, writing fiction is Jeff’s new passion.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card, choice of Paperback or ebook of First Second Coming – 1 winner each! Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

First Second Coming (The New God Series Book 1) by Jeff Pollak ~ Genre: Supernatural Romantic Suspense

In 2027 the deity known as NTG – short for New Testament God – retires after more than two thousand years of minding the store for his employer, Milky Way Galaxy, Inc. The new god, a planetary turnaround specialist, must decide whether Earth’s dominant species should or should not be included in his plan to bring the planet back into full compliance with Milky Way Galaxy, Inc.’s planetary operation standards.

Earth’s new God introduces himself to humanity by unexpectedly appearing on the Ram Forrester Hour talk show. Ram, an atheist, and co-host Brendali Santamaria, a devout Catholic, are stunned. God’s interview, beamed worldwide, shocks and infuriates viewers. They learn that a sixty-day conference will take place in Los Angeles to determine whether humans are capable of helping him implement his planetary turnaround plan. To earn a coveted spot in this God’s good graces all mankind must do is eliminate religious violence forever, without his heavenly help, within sixty days. Failure means extinction.

God designates Ram and Bren as the conference’s only authorized media reporters. This assignment, fraught with peril, ignites their romance. Not only must the harried couple attend the conference meetings by day and do their show at night, they must also outwit a fanatical religious group bent on killing them. When rising conflicts within the conference intensify, it’s up to Ram and Bren to do whatever it takes to protect their budding romance and mankind’s very survival.

REVIEWS:

“Jeff Pollak’s debut novel, First Second Coming, combines suspense, romance, and theology in an imaginative, unique adventure!”

            —Mark Moses, Actor (best known as Paul Young on Desperate Housewives and Herman “Duck” Phillips on Mad Men.)

“Wow! What an outstanding debut novel! Jeff mixes a wide genre to create this intriguing novel. Plenty of romance, action and some theology to keep things lively! Not a mix I’ve seen before but in the ratio he writes=perfect! A fab read. Looking forward to the next book!”

         — Becca Thompson, The Book Club

“An absolutely fascinating concept mixed with the perfect blend of action, romance and theology. Will humans choose to set aside their petty arguments and live peacefully, working to solve the world’s problems side by side, or will the planetary turnaround specialist assigned to Earth as the New God have to take the ultimate action to ensure the planet’s survival, even if that means human extinction? This book will grab you and keep you reading to the very last page. Can’t wait to see what comes next!”

       – Kristine Pfeffer Fox, Author

Add to Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * Kobo

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Although First Second Coming is primarily intended as entertainment, the book’s message is about intolerance. Hopefully readers will pick that up. There are two sets of intolerant religious groups in this story. One demonstrates intolerance of other views in an aggressive manner. The other group exercises passive resistance. Examples of tolerance abound within the novel, but these two intolerant groups put mankind’s future at risk.    

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Because I came to writing fiction from a long career as a trial attorney, I often find my writing style lapse into the stiffer, more formal style that’s normal for writing such boring things as legal briefs, client reports and trial documents. When editing I’m on alert to this tendency, and fix the verbiage whenever I find it unless the character – such as God in First Second Coming – actually has a formal manner of speech. 

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

 First Second Coming is my debut novel, so by default it’s my favorite.   

If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

That’s a very interesting question! On a whim a few years ago, I searched the internet to try to find actors bearing a resemblance to the two main characters in First Second Coming. I was unsuccessful in finding anyone close to my visualization of Ram Forrester. However, a British actress of half Norwegian, half Nigerian descent turned out to look so much like how I pictured Brendali Santamaria, who is Latina, that it was eerie. The actress, Hannah John-Kamen, has been in British TV shows, notable American ones such as Game of Thrones (as Omela), and films including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ready Player One and Tomb Raider. She has enough experience to at least audition for the lead role as Brendali. She’s the right age, and although she isn’t Latina she looks it. If she’s not interested or fails her audition, I would want a Latina actress in the role. 

When did you begin writing?

 I never pictured myself as a fiction writer until roughly 2014. That’s when I began to consider what I’d do with my time once I retired. The idea of trying my hand at fiction made sense. An avid reader, I always enjoyed the writing aspect of litigation, which is very writing-intensive. Of course, I had to learn the ropes of fiction, develop a suitable writing style and practice. First Second Coming took eight drafts, the first few rather amateurish, but that’s a phase we all have to go though. Fortunately, I improved.

How long did it take to complete your first book?

 It’s hard for me to answer this question. I wrote part-time from 2015 to 2019. Trials are all consuming, and I had several of them in this time period – four in 2018 alone. Each trial prevented me from writing any fiction for several weeks at a time. Occasional family obligations also took precedent over writing from time to time. So I can’t even estimate what the answer might be in terms of days or hours, but five years did pass while I worked at it.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

No, but I am inspired to improve enough to become as good a writer as any of my favorites – David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks); Iain Pears (Arcadia); Haruki Murakami (1Q84); or Daniel Silva (The English Girl).

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Editing. I liken the writing process to sculpture. Michelangelo began the Pietà with a huge chunk of Carrara marble. He chiseled away at it until what was left became arguably the most impressive piece of sculpture that’s ever been carved. Writers start with a concept, nothing more. The first draft, equivalent to Michelangelo’s block of marble, is what we chip away at it until we’re left with our humble version of the Pietà, however distant that may be from a sculpted masterpiece. I enjoy hammering my story until it becomes as true, and as fully rendered, as I envisioned it in my imagined plotline.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

 Suspense, romance, fantasy – blended.

For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?

Although First Second Coming is primarily entertainment, the book’s message is about intolerance. Hopefully readers will pick that up. There are two sets of intolerant religious groups in this story. One demonstrates intolerance of other views in an aggressive manner. The other group exercises passive resistance. Examples of tolerance abound in this novel, but these two intolerant groups put mankind’s future at risk.     

The internet has plenty of information about all types of intolerance, but whether the information posted on any given website is accurate can often be questioned. Posts from universities or organizations dedicated specifically to one type of intolerance or another are more credible. (For example, religious organizations often deal with intolerance to their faithful.) Museums of intolerance, which exist in Los Angeles, New York City, El Paso, Albuquerque and other locations, are worth a visit. Simply seeking out people for respectful conversations, to learn from them and compare beliefs or opinions, is invaluable.  

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

9/11 was the inspiration for this book. My law firm hosted annual conferences at the World Trade Center each spring for our clients in the New York/New Jersey area. We were there in May, 2001, four months before the attack. I had clients in the building, had become acquainted to staff members in the WTC’s conference facility at the top of the building, and I grew up in New York City. As I watched the tragedy unfold, all these connections I had with the building brought to mind a random thought – that we need a new god trained as a planetary turnaround specialist.

Admittedly that’s an odd thought. I didn’t dwell on. But somehow the idea stuck with me, coming back to me once I decided to write fiction. A rudimentary plot, characters, the concept and theme spilled out. So I went with it, developing the story over until it became what’s now this book. 

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?  

This book is the first in a series in which Earth’s new God tackles our many global problems, one or two at a time. So the global issue subject tackled in First Second Coming, the religious violence behind 9/11, became a test of humanity, not a one-off concept. I’m satisfied with the book as a foundation for the future ones that will address other topics of global concern that need attention.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Sure – I’d be very, very pleased to have some! Seriously, I began to write this novel simply as a way to enjoy my retirement. People in my critique groups, or who had access to all or parts of the story, urged me to publish. I had to be talked into it and eventually gave in. Now that First Second Coming has been released, I hope it does connect with readers, and that they become fans who will read the sequels and spin-offs, too.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoy editing the most, believe it or not. I liken the writing process to sculpture. Michelangelo began the Pietà with a huge chunk of Carrara marble. He chiseled away at it until what was left became arguably the most impressive piece of sculpture that’s ever been carved. Writers start with a concept, nothing more. The first draft, equivalent to Michelangelo’s block of marble, is what we chip away at it until we’re left with our humble version of the Pietà, however distant that may be from a sculpted masterpiece. I enjoy hammering my story until it becomes as true, and as fully rendered, as I envisioned it in my imagined plotline.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m working on two novels concurrently. One is the sequel to First Second Coming, which has a working title of Earth’s Peril. A spin-off, called The Recycling Center, is the second book. I intend to focus my writing on the New God Series for the foreseeable future, with the occasional spin-off if or when they pop up.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing fiction in 2015. Before that I’d written non-fiction for decades in the form of legal briefs, motions, trial documents, articles for legal publications, etc. Fiction requires a different writing style, and it took me a year or so to develop mine. I enjoy filling up a blank white screen with letters which form words that turn into sentences, paragraphs, chapters and, eventually, a book worth reading. 

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in First Second Coming?

Happy to oblige! I’ll do the three main characters for you.

Ram Forrester is a 38-year old atheist in 2027, the year First Second Coming takes place. He was the evening news anchor at KJCR-TV in L.A. until he was shot by mistake on Valentine’s Day. The shooter was aiming at his ex-wife and missed her. Ram’s doctors called his survival a medical miracle. While he was recovering in the ICU, Ram’s girlfriend of three years, Kate Chung, broke up with him. When Ram returned to the station as the host of the Ram Forrester Hour he’s a more mature man, ready to finally settle down with his “angel” – if only he can find her.

Brendali Santamaria is four years younger than Ram. She’s an extroverted bilingual Latina, a native of Southern California and a devout Catholic. Brendali’s spent ten years as a television news reporter in Veracruz, Mexico, hunting down and exposing narcotraficante corruption. However, when the drug lords put out an order to kill her and murder her boyfriend as well as her best friend, she has to flee. Bren feels guilty for living when she should have been the one to die. She’s also angry at being unable to execute her version of the Golden Rule – that revenge is best served cold. She meets Ram, becomes the co-host of his show and, before long, they’re truly (and literally) a match made in heaven.

Earth’s new, unnamed God takes over management of the planet from NTG – whom we know as the New Testament God and by other names. He’s a planetary turnaround specialist, sent here by Milky Way Galaxy, Inc., his and NTG’s employer. This god is a cross between a more sophisticated version of the Old Testament God and current day corporate turnaround artists, but with a more humanitarian streak he would strive to deny.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters from First Second Coming who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.

Brendali’s been talking to me and narrating what’s taken place in the book since the early drafts of the story. We’ve become good friends although she wakes me up at night to pass on the latest twist in the story. Now that I’m working on the sequel she’s doing that again, but I don’t mind. I enjoy our interactions, so she’s my pick.

We’d start with lunch at Porto’s Bakery in Glendale, a Cuban restaurant well known to Angelinos. Their meals, pastries and cakes are superb. We’d lose the calories by hiking the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains trails that wind through Pasadena’s Eaton Canyon. 

To finish the day, Bren and I would attend a Gaby Moreno concert. A Guatemalan born singer/guitarist who lives in L.A, Gaby belts out her songs in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. Bren and I consider her a favorite, so we’ll enjoy the concert regardless of whether Gaby’s playlist consists of Blues, Jazz, Soul or R&B selections. We’d invite Ram, too, though he’s more a rock ‘n roll guy.   

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Because I came to writing fiction from a long career as a trial attorney, my writing style sometimes lapses into a stiff, formal style that’s normal for writing such boring things as legal briefs, client reports and trial documents. When editing I stay alert to this tendency, and fix the verbiage where I find it unless the character – such as God in First Second Coming – has a formal manner of speech. 

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

I don’t actually own an Ipod, but some of the most played songs in my iTunes library are Copperhead Road by Steve Earle; Unintended by Muse; Come Unto Me by the Mavericks; Dreamer by the Lil’ Band O’ Gold; Lend a Hand by Jakob Dylan; King of El Paso by Boz Scaggs; Furr by Blitzen Trapper; Chocolate Jesus, a cover of Tom Waite’s song done by Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart; Quizas, Quizas, Quizas by Gabi Moreno and Killybegs by The Chieftains. I listen to a fairly broad range of musical genres.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

During the time I was writing First Second Coming, I was part of two critique groups. One was a three-person group, including me. None of us were published. The other group consisted of eight, several of whom were already published. As part of First Second Coming’s pre-publication process I sent my manuscript to four beta readers and one sensitivity reader, the latter to make sure Brendali, my Latina main character, was realistic and not in any way stereotyped or inaccurate.   

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading the newly released novel by David Mitchell, one of my favorite authors. It’s called Utopia Avenue. I’m about 25% through it at this point and it’s very enjoyable, though so far only occasionally up to his usual “relentlessly brilliant” writing style. The quoted phrase belongs to Ursula K. Le Guin, herself a brilliant writer.

How did you start your writing career?

There comes a time in life when you look ahead to mull over what you’ll do in your free time during retirement. That time came for me in 2014. Because litigation is a very writing intensive profession, and I enjoyed the writing aspect of it, I concluded that doing something related to the written word would fit me well. And since I’m an avid reader, the idea of trying my hand at writing fiction made sense, too. I embarked on a self-imposed crash course to learn the craft by attending writers’ conferences, scouring the internet for online websites, and becoming friendly with writers and a few instructors I met at the conferences. I also bought books such as Stephen King’s On Writing and pored through them.  

Tell us about your next release

 I’m working on two novels concurrently. One is the sequel to First Second Coming, which has a working title of Earth’s Peril. A spin-off called The Recycling Center is the second book. Earth’s Peril is probably the next release, but I’m in the early stages of both books so that could change.

I’m glad to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about First Second Coming by Jeff Pollak.

Black Frost by Willow Rose (giveaway)

The Queen of Scream aka Willow Rose is a #1 Amazon Best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 60 novels.

She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.

Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won’t see coming. Several of her books have reached the Kindle top 10 of ALL books in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than three million books.

Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watch the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Website* Facebook* Twitter* Bookbub* Amazon* Goodreads   

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.)

Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Black Frost (Emma Frost Book 13) by Willow Rose ~ Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

From Multi-Million-Copy Bestselling author Willow Rose comes the next chapter in the #1 Bestselling Emma Frost Mystery Series.

Emma Frost is tied up in a murder mystery that seems out of this world.

When a young girl disappears one night from the park, then turns up again the next morning in a different place on the island, people start to talk about her.

Was she drunk and just doesn’t remember what happened?

Did she go home with a guy and won’t admit it?

What happened to her, and why is she insisting that she doesn’t know?

Emma Frost is fighting for Victor’s best friend, Skye.

Emma is trying to get her back from the people who took her in the night, but having no luck when a guy falls into her arms in the street and dies a few minutes later.

The autopsy shows he has frozen to death, but it doesn’t seem possible. When a young boy from Victor’s school turns up frozen as well, and things start to get cold around her own house, Emma begins to fear for her loved ones’ lives.

Once again, Willow Rose has written a story so compelling that it leaves the reader in almost unbearable suspense until the surprise ending is revealed.

Buy BLACK FROST today to indulge in an engulfing mystery dripping with suspense!

Goodreads * Amazon

I’m glad to be one of many tour hosts sharing information on Black Frost by Willow Rose.

Virtual Poetry Reading – Episode 20

Virtual Poetry Reading – Episode 20
A #TheRedheadedAuthor Production

INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE:

Ulalume by Edgar Allan Poe (Read by John Miller)
Henry the 5th, Crispian Day Speech by William Shakespeare (Read by John Miller)
Prospero's Farewell from The Tempest by William Shakespeare (Read by John Miller)
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson (Read by John Miller)

FOLLOW ME VIRTUALLY:

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/ninasoden
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nina-Soden/e/B00ITHSXC8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Website: www.ninasoden.com
Twitter: @Nina_Soden
Instagram: Nina_Soden
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bloodangelseries


Check out the previous Episodes below:

Episode 1 – https://youtu.be/sXKHUqvC9Vc
Episode 2 – https://youtu.be/0EBR7Pi1XqM
Episode 3 – https://youtu.be/XKM01RGiXls
Episode 4 – https://youtu.be/Y2yW2Tg3HaQ
Episode 5 – https://youtu.be/XJjIUMaK_PE
Episode 6 – https://youtu.be/bPXw5OgUUAc
Episode 7 – https://youtu.be/zBP5T1zxr4g
Episode 8 – https://youtu.be/4VkGkPkhd6I
Episode 9 – https://youtu.be/RZKCrqsOLhM
Episode 10 – https://youtu.be/H4YTXC7_fcc
Episode 11 – https://youtu.be/zE5a5Q3TsyM
Episode 12 – https://youtu.be/47T9kJxfXTw
Episode 13 – https://youtu.be/DyiFf1fraiY
Episode 14 – https://youtu.be/P3M8emsCSe4
Episode 15 – https://youtu.be/y7HP9yk6Q9c
Episode 16 – https://youtu.be/s1VPW55xXw4
Episode 17 – https://youtu.be/RpkTyTwUZBM
Episode 18 – https://youtu.be/G9aNVqAsHaU
Episode 19 – https://youtu.be/P5ujCW-YjDE
Episode 20 – https://youtu.be/BWW1KODqYUk