Sunday, June 27, 2010

No Good Deed by Mary McDonald

Mark Taylor, a photographer in Chicago, discovers first hand that no good deed goes unpunished when the old camera he found during a freelance job in an Afghanistan bazaar gives him more than great photos. It triggers dreams of disasters. Tragedies that happen exactly as he envisions them. He learns that not only can he see the future, he can change it. Then the unthinkable happened and everyone ignored his frantic warnings. Thousands die. Suddenly, the Feds are pounding on his door and the name they have for Taylor isn't urban hero. It's enemy combatant. And, it means they can do anything they want to him. Anything at all.

Mark is haunted by his dreams even in prison until he turns them to his advantage and obtains his release. Penniless, alone, and his life destroyed, Mark knows a brutal terrorist attack is coming, and will claim countless lives. He puts everything on the line to stop it. With only hours to act, he must prevent the horror even at the risk of his own freedom. His only chance of thwarting the attack lies in trusting his worst enemy--the bastard who interrogated him for over a year.

Imogen's Review
Imagine suddenly being taken from you everyday life, being thrown into a cell and interrogated-mercilessly-for almost a year. Mark Taylor, a Chicago photographer, finds himself in this infuriatingly helpless position. All because he was trying to do a good deed-a good deed that could have saved thousands of lives. A good deed that was misinterpreted and he was held as a suspect, questioned about the very incident he was trying to prevent.

Mary McDonald immediately holds us captive along with Mark, we feel his hopelessness, his pain and frustrations. I could not put this book down, my life stopped while I was reading it.

About the Author
Mary McDonald is married, going on 25 years. She has three children, two sons, who are adults now (but still at home!). Her daughter is only nine and her makes her laugh all the time. She's a respiratory therapist and has been doing that for 24 years.

Q&A with Mary McDonald
1. What/who was the inspiration behind this story?

Initially, the story was inspired by writer's challenge/contest issued by Shilom at the now defunct Fanlib. It was to have your character wake up in a padded cell and wonder how they got there. The scene where Mark and Jessie talk in the cell is a spin off of that contest entry. It's changed a bit, but the essence is there. The reason that story came out was because I'd recently read something about an American enemy combatant and just wondered how it would be if someone who was unquestionably innocent but had no way to prove it, got caught in the wide net cast immediately after 9/11.

2. Did the interrogation scenes come purely from your imagination or were they based on real tactics employed by the CIA?
I did as much research as I could for the interrogation scenes and for all of the time Mark spent in the brig. I found recently (at the time) declassified memos and transcripts that I read over several times. A couple of the transcripts were of interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo. I couldn't find any of the American prisoners held in Charleston, but I did find repeated comments in memos between people in authority at U.S. Consolidated Brig in Charleston that said that they had to do things the way they did at Guantanamo. So, based on that, I wrote the interrogations the way I thought they might have occurred.

Keep in mind, as far as I could find, there is no proof that the U.S. waterboarded Americans, but one of the lawyers for former enemy combatant, Jose Padilla, who was held for seven years before being sent to a regular prison, said that Padilla had been waterboarded. Padilla says he was treated well, but psychiatric evaluations done for the purpose of establishing his fitness for trial showed that he is paranoid about being sent back. The scary thing is, the psychiatrist agreed that he actually had good reason to be paranoid because if he is ever realeased from regular prison, he could be designated an enemy combatant immediately. The government has never cleared him. So, based on that, I discounted Padilla's denial.

I found information on stress positions as well, but also have no proof they were used on Americans. I claim artistic license for using those. In addition, I left out some methods just so I didn't drag the whole prison scene out too long, but there was on transcript I read of a two day long interrogation with just a four hour break for sleep between days. The prisoner was treated well in that he wasn't harmed, but the interrogators had teams rotating through allowing them time away, while the prisoner, obviously, did not.

3. What inspired your book cover? Is the image a representation of Mark?
That image is supposed to be Mark. I sketched it quite awhile back. I'm not a graphics person and did my best to make the cover look good, but I don't know how well I succeeded. At the moment, I have an email out to an artist on Deviant hoping I can use one of her works as the basis of a cover, but I have not heard back yet. It would be awesome though, if I could.

4. Are you planning a sequel?
Initially, I hadn't, but I'm working on one now that uses the same characters, and it's a continuation, but the events in it will be completely different. There is more of a religious undertone, which is weird because I'm not religious at all.

5. Who can you see playing Mark, Jessie and Jim in a movie adaptation of your story?
Kyle Chandler, without a doubt, would be the perfect Mark Taylor. I envision someone like Adrianne Palicki, only a little older, as Jessie, and Jim is harder. I saw 'Jim' in a conference room at my work one day. lol. I have no idea who the man was, but as I glimpsed him, I stopped and said, Omg, it's Jim Sheridan!" If I can't find that guy, I could live with John Slattery from Mad Men playing Jim. He's a little older than I envision. Tim Daly would be good too. ;-P

6. What are your favorite books and movies?
Favorite books are actually quite different that what I've written. I loved The Grapes of Wrath, Clan of the Cave Bear, Roots and Aztec. My favorite movies paralell my book more closely. I loved The Shawshank Redemption, The Fugitive (see a theme here? "Innocent Man Accused of Horrible Crime" Raiders of the Lost Ark and Back to the Future. (those two have that paranormal element I love)

7. What kind of music do you like to listen to?
After I had my sons many, many years ago, I never listened to the radio very often--my car only had A.M--can you believe it? So I stuck with the stuff I was familiar with growing up. The Beatles, Elton John, Billy Joel, etc, but I started watching Friday Night Lights in 2006, and not only is it an amazing television show, but it has a fantastic soundtrack. As I began tracking down the songs on the show, I started putting them into Pandora, and now I mostly listen to indie bands/musicians with a heavy folk influence. Sam Baker, Matt Nathenson, Howie Day, Sea Wolf and Explosions in the Sky.

8. Which five words describe you?
Quiet, funny, impulsive, atheltic, creative.

9. Flats or high heels?
Sneakers! I work in healthcare and get to wear sneakers to work. After 24 years, I don't think I could ever work in heels. Blech!

10. Can you tell us a bit about what you are working on at the moment?
Well, I have the sequel to No Good Deed, and it's very dark, but has some feel good moments. Mark is questioning why he has this compulsion to use the camera and at the same time, his secret leaks to the media. He's suddenly a news item which isn't a good thing. Someone he'd helped betrays him and that leads to him being kidnapped by a cult looking to get attention. They do a horrible thing to him that leaves him questioning his faith, traumatized and trying to come to terms with it all.

I also have a romantic suspense with Sam Brennan, a former ATF agent and Molly Flynn, a paramedic. They meet when he tries to infiltrate the motorcycle gang that her brother belongs to. He needs some patching up, and her brother brings him to Molly to avoid a hospital. He lost his son recently, and Molly has a daughter about the same age as his son, so seeing the little girl is a constant reminder of his loss, but a the same time, it helps to heal him.

I've found out I'm good at the last bit, when he's talking with the daughter, and the romance part, but I need to work on the suspense and plot. Darn it. Do readers really need a plot? ;-)


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Deed to Death by D. B. Henson

Real estate agent Toni Matthew's problems begin when her fiancé, Scott, is murdered. Having to bury the man she loves on the very day they planned to be married is almost more than Toni can take. Dealing with her loss becomes even harder when Scott's estranged brother, Brian, contests the will, threatening to take away her home.

After learning Brian is in deep financial trouble, Toni suspects he may be the one who killed Scott. Determined to find the truth and frustrated with the police, she begins her own investigation. Toni soon realizes she didn't know her fiancé quite as well as she had thought. Scott had been keeping secrets. Secrets that make Toni the killer's next target.

Imogen's Review
When Toni's fiancé unexpectedly dies, she is not ready to accept the cause-of-death determined by the police. She launches her own investigation, and with the help of tools available to her as a real estate agent, manages to track down possible suspects. D. B. Henson's whodunit was a fun, quick and entertaining read. I look forward to the next book.

About the Author

D.B. Henson was born and raised in Middle Tennessee. Her love of reading began at age six when she was given the first book in the Trixie Belden Mystery series. Shortly thereafter, she began writing stories of her own.

D.B. majored in accounting at Middle TN State University, but soon realized life as a CPA was not for her. Deciding to go in a completely different direction, she earned her real estate license. After selling houses for five years, she signed on as the director of marketing for a local construction company.

During a slump in the housing market, D.B. decided to leave the construction industry and focus on her life-long dream of writing.

D.B. and her husband continue to reside in Middle Tennessee.

Q&A with D. B. Henson
1. Did the inspiration behind the story come from your own background in real estate?
Yes. It began with a basic plot idea that came to me as I was walking through a tall commercial building under construction. The main character, Toni, began to form in my mind shortly thereafter.

2. Have you known real estate agents to use their access to private information, for other than legitimate reasons? (Could provide for some very interesting story lines!)
No. Fortunately, all the agents and other real estate professionals I have worked with have been completely aboveboard and would never consider using the information for any other purpose than to help the client. Tax information is actually public, and can be obtained by going to the tax assessor's office. Real estate agents have the advantage of being able to access the database directly from their own computers.

3. Do you have a book trailer for this book?
No, not yet.

4. How has your book been received by your former colleagues and others within the real estate world?
I haven't told any of them about the book yet. Only my husband, parents and a few close friends know I have written a novel.

5. Is there scope for a sequel? Will we encounter Toni or any of the other characters again?
I don't plan a sequel. It's possible Toni may pop up in a future book if a real estate agent is needed.

6. In a movie version of the book, who can you visualize playing Toni and some of the other characters?
I can see someone like Evangeline Lilly from the television series Lost playing Toni. As Brian, maybe Josh Duhamel. And possibly Ashton Kutcher as Mark.

7. Do you listen to music while you write?
No, I find it to be a distraction. I end up singing along instead of concentrating on my writing.

8. Team Edward or Team Jacob (or Eric.....)?
I haven't read the Twilight series yet, so I don't have an opinion.

9. What are your favorite books and movies?
My favorite books from my childhood are Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier and Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. My favorite authors today are Harlan Coben, Greg Iles, and Tess Gerritsen. My favorite movie is the old Jimmy Stewart classic, It's a Wonderful Life.

10. Can you tell us a bit abut your other projects? Are you working on a new novel at the moment?
I'm currently working on the first book in a new mystery series.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Closing My Eyes Helps Me To See Clearly by Kipp Poe Speicher

A Nightmare vision of the end of the world and for a limited time a bonus short story Gas For Grass and a sneak peak at my two novels "I Thought You Tasted Like Rain" and "The Other Side."

Q&A with Kipp Poe Speicher
1.What was your inspiration behind Closing My Eyes Help Me To See Clearly?
Fragments of it actually came from dreams that I have compiled together. I first story boarded it all out years ago to make it into a movie, but it would take much more of a budget that I could come up with.
The title is the same title I use for my blog, it’s like a motto of mine, taking control of your dream’s, and imagination and bring it to life.
2. What was your inspiration behind Gas for Grass?
It was my first project that I just sat down one night and it just poured out of me, it is somewhat based on real life neighbors who are extremely noisy, but in real life I just turn up my iPod louder and continue on with my day.
3. Do you find prefer writing novels or shorts?
I like both I’m just starting to write and trying to hone my skills. The shorts right now are little projects I do while taking a step back from my more massive projects.
4. Are your novels written in the same style as your shorts?
The two short stories I have self-published are allot more experimental than my novels that are written in more of a traditional form, or at least I hope they will be.
Closing My Eyes has been considered to be in the style of a poem by some reviewers.
5. Your writing took me on a visual journey, which is perhaps not that surprising given your background in filmmaking. Is you writing style inspired by the dynamics of film making?
Yes most definitely allot of my stuff is more story boarded out instead of traditional plot outline, I don’t know if it is an advantage or disadvantage just need to find the words to that capture the visuals I see.
6. If you had to chose between movie making and writing....?
When I was younger I always wanted to be a writer, I struggled with a learning disability that restricted me to learn how to spell. (Not the best thing for a writer to have) so in order to learn to spell a word I have to visualize it I cannot sound it out.
So I turned to visual story telling and the birth of digital video made it affordable so I self taught myself movie making, I love the filmmaking but you are seriously harnessed to watering down your story to match your budget.
So now with the ability to self publish at no cost to you, we can now get our stories out to a large audience.
I would pick writing over films right now it doesn’t require you to write to a budget
7. What kind of books do you like reading?
I read a large variety of books with the Kindle its amazing having so much at your figure tips. I read classics, horror, crime, chick lit, it’s all exposing yourself to other styles.
8. What’s your favorite movie?
Being a movie geek that is a hard one to answer, I’d have to go with Ingmar Bergman’s Hour Of The Wolf
9. Are you inspired by music?
Music is like air to me I spend at least 18 hours a day with music, The only time I don’t have music on is when I’m watching a movie.
I can hear just one line from lyrics and I’m off into my own little world filled with characters and locations just from that line.
10. Can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
I am working on a novella that is a supernatural crime story with some characters that are also part of my novel, sort of a introduction side story to the universe I’m creating.

Imogen's Review
This is a collection of two short stories and a sneak peak at Kipp Poe Speicher’s two novels.
The first short, Closing My Eyes Helps Me To See Clearly, is a captivating journey of imagery, told by three separate voices. It’s Speicher's nightmare vision of the end of the world. I had to read this fascinating story twice to really get it.
The second story, Gas For Grass, is a disturbing, graphic (fairly explicit, not suitable for the YA group) account of a man dealing with his annoying neighbor.
Kipp Poe Speicher made me think, made me go back and re-read the stories (something I rarely do). I can’t wait to read his novels. Great job!

About The Author
Kipp Poe Speicher I grew up in a small Ohio town with two brothers one older and one younger so I was stuck in the middle. I took Graphic Arts in high School in hope to maybe some day print my own book.
Went to work in a print shop been there for 25 years in my free time I make movies on the weekends, Maybe one day one of my books will get optioned for a film The picture is of my daughter and I, she helped design the cover for me and is also a filmmaker/photographer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Merry-Go-Round by Donna Fasano

When Lauren goes to court it's usually to defend a client, but now she's divorcing the man whose mistakes have cost her far too much. Little does she know that she'll be awarded a rundown merry-go-round. Maybe restoring the circus menagerie will bring her some normalcy. Or will it spin her in circles and teach her a few lessons before bringing her back to where she started? One thing is certain; Lauren will discover that, when she's willing to open her heart to love and forgiveness, life never fails to offer a wild ride.

Imogen's Review
A Touching Romantic Tale. The end of her marriage-her divorce-signals the beginning of a period of upheaval, both physical and emotional, for Lauren Flynn, a hard-working lawyer. A change in her financial circumstances puts an end to her solitary year-old post-separation living arrangements. Her dad moves in with her-her dad, who is still close to her now ex-husband, bringing him back into her life. Donna Fasano takes us on a captivating emotional ride as Lauren tries to move on with her life-she has to come to terms with her own deep seated feelings and misconstrued conclusions, and allow herself to accept them in order to be able to progress. This beautifully written story will hold your attention and stay with you. I read the Kindle version of this novel, which was very well formatted. I can't wait to read more of Donna Fasano's books.

About the Author
Growing up the third child of five—yes, smack dab in the middle and the only girl to boot—Donna Fasano had no idea she would one day be a published author. Her story-telling talents came to light when she conjured lively and elaborate tales of pure blarney (yes, she has a bit of Irish in her blood) for, first, her youngest brother, and years later, her children.
Donna sold her first manuscript in 1989, and since then has become a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty novels and four audio books. She writes under her own name, Donna Fasano, as well as under the pen name Donna Clayton and is known for her "smooth, polished" writing style and for creating "strong, complex" characters. Reviewers have described her stories as "poignant," "richly textured," "enticing," and "absorbing." The writing process can be extremely engrossing for Donna, so much so that she's missed appointments with dentists and doctors, lunches with friends and family, and once she even forgot her carpool run. Luckily, the people in her life love her enough to make allowances for her quirkiness.
Still happily married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown sons who have flown the coop. She and her husband share their home with Jake, a couch-potato, black and white border collie, and Roo, a spotted tan and cream Australian cattle dog that looks (and acts) like a wild dingo. Donna's spare time is spent reading, walking the countryside and beach, or trying out new recipes from one of the many cookbooks she has collected over the years. Oh, and one night a week she and her hubby nab some alone time from their busy schedules to enjoy a nice glass of wine and a video—preferably a romantic comedy. Donna also volunteers loads of hours to the children and the local missions of her small church. She divides her time between northern Delaware and Maryland's southern seashore.

Q&A with Donna Fasano
1. I am sure Lauren Flynn will strike a cord with many women, what or who was the inspiration behind her character?
There is something mysterious, even miraculous, about the writing process. I do a lot of ruminating about my stories and my characters before I sit down to write. I knew a few things about Lauren; she was a go-getter, a workaholic who felt that achievement—personal and professional—was important. I knew she would be a complex character, a difficult one to successfully create, because all too often strong women are seen as cold and calculating. So I knew, along with all those smarts and such a hunger for success, she’d need to be a loving, caring individual.
I put my faith in the creative process, and Lauren was born. She turned out to be a perfect protagonist for this story: strong and intelligent, but vulnerable, too.
2. Do you believe people can change enough and permanently to alter the dynamics of a relationship? Or is change transient, with the “real” personality emerging again after a while and the relationship going back to the way it was?
What interesting questions. I’m no Freud, that’s for sure. But I do have a couple of thoughts. If the dynamics of a relationship are permanently altered, then said relationship could be in jeopardy of becoming stagnant. No one wants a boring marriage, right? That’s why opposites often do attract. In The Merry-Go-Round, Lauren thinks what will bring her happiness is someone just like her. But what makes life exciting is the ebb and flow—the friction—of differing personality types.
I do believe that personal change is possible, up to a point. No one can really alter the core of who they are (high-achievers must achieve, sages must learn, heroes must win the day). But that doesn’t mean a once troubled relationship has to go back to being troubled. Anyone who is married or in a long term relationship knows that love isn’t all sunshine and daffodils. Compromise is the name of the game. Love is hard work, and it’s in working out the differences that each person in a relationship, as well as the relationship itself, grows.
3. What prompted the use of the merry-go-round (both as a metaphor and a physical entity) in your story?
I have a place at the beach; I love the ocean. I was thinking about my book while strolling on the boardwalk. I was close to sitting down to write. The plot was worked out, the characters felt fleshed and ready to get onstage, but something was missing. . .something that would bring everything together. I passed the merry-go-round, heard the music, saw the painted carousel animals, and everything just came together. I can only credit the magic of the creative process.

4. If your novel was turned into a movie, who would you like to see play Lauren? Greg?
Sandra Bullock would make a great Lauren. As for Greg...Josh Brolin is pretty easy on the eyes. Or George Clooney. Or Brad Pitt. I’m laughing here. I think I’ve given this far too much thought.

5. When you write, do you listen to music (if so which kind)?
I don’t. I like to have quiet because there’s all sorts of chaos going on in my head.

6. What do you like to read? Any favorite genres?
I have pretty eclectic tastes when it comes to reading. I’ll read anything that holds my interest. I like mass market authors like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Jonathon Kellerman; I like literary authors like Anne Tyler and Alice Hoffman; I read indie authors like you (Imogen Rose), Helen Smith, Margaret Lake, L.C. Evans, Mary McDonald, and dozens of others; I read mid-list authors like Hunter Morgan and Judith E. French. I’ll read anything and everything as long as it’s well-written and interesting.

7. Team Edward, Team Jacob…….or not?
This question made me smile. I read Twilight and thought it was good, but I didn’t catch the Meyers Fever.

8. I was fascinated to discover your impressive collection of novels written under the pen name Donna Clayton. Why did you decide to start using you own name and branch out as an indie author? Would branching out under your pen name have been more beneficial in that you have such a wide following under that name?
As Donna Clayton, I write ‘sweet’ contemporary romance novels, and any fan who reaches for a book with my pen name on it will expect just that. I sold 3 women’s fiction books, written under my own name, to my Harlequin editor for the company’s line known as NeXt. One of the books, entitled Where’s Stanley, was published; however, by the time I finished the second 2 novels, the Harlequin NeXt line had gone defunct, so the rights to the books were returned to me. I decided to publish them under my own name so I wouldn’t confuse my Donna Clayton fans.

9. Can you tell us about your forthcoming novels?
I have the other women’s fiction novel that I mentioned above. The working title is Hindsight and I’d like to get it polished up and offered for sale just as soon as I can. I have also just acquired the rights to my first 11 novels. . .all of them written under my ‘Clayton’ persona. My plans are to edit these ‘sweet’ traditional romances, expand the stories, and add some sizzle, then offer them for sale under my own name. This will take some time, but I’m really looking forward to the project. These are exciting times for me!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Reining In by Dawn Judd

Khalida is a five thousand year old vampire. As technology and national security become more prominent, it becomes harder and harder for her to hide her secret from the world. In order to remain undetected by humans, she creates a network of people whose only job is to hide her identity.
But these aren't just any group of people. They are the best of the best, brought to her by chance; tied to her by a bond stronger than any she's ever known before. Being discovered by the human world isn't Khalida's only concern, however. She has made enemies in the vampire world.
When she makes a mistake that exposes her to those who want to take revenge on her, she is tossed into a whirlwind of death and destruction. She has to find out who is killing the humans who have become her family, and save those who remain.
Khalida has spent her entire life trying to protect the people she loves, but ultimately, she will have to decide between the ghosts of her past and the people who have put their lives on the line for her. Her decision may haunt her for the rest of her life.

Imogen's Review
REINING IN is an entertaining vampire story about love, romance and friendship. The story is seen through the eyes of Khalida, a five-thousand-year-old vampire stuck in a nineteen-year-old's body. Imagine five thousand years on earth; then imagine being hunted for all that time by another vampire. Khalida has not had an easy time, but here in the 21st century, she has managed to find some stability by setting up a group of hand-selected individuals to protect her. However, an unfortunate event unscrambles her carefully constructed network and she is forced to make some hard decisions.
I was immediately drawn into Author Dawn Judd's story. The story is delivered in the engaging voice of Khalida. This is a fast paced story with well-fleshed characters. There is never a dull moment. This story will appeal to teens and adults alike. The story ends leaving the reader wanting more. I can't wait to read the sequel, FINDING HOPE!

About the Author
Dawn Judd lives with her husband and three daughters in Wichita, KS. After the publication of several pieces of her poetry in anthologies, such as Timeless Voices and Touch of Tomorrow, she decided to give story writing a try. Dawn is the founder of Breakout Books Reviews.

Q&A with Dawn Judd
Khalida is such an interesting name, how did you come up with it?
I wanted something original. I started looking for names that might fit with the region she was born to. While the name is arabic, not egyptian, it did seem to fit. Given the fact that it was not her given name, but one she took later in life, I felt it was ok. The meaning is what sealed the deal, however. Immortal. That says it all.
What inspired this story line?
To start out, it was a request from my children. They wanted me to write them a vampire story. I really didn't even intend on turning it into a book at first. The story itself pretty much took on a life of its own, and is nothing close to what it started out to be.
I was very drawn to the initial Khalida/Raymond story line. Is there scope for a prequel?
It's not something I've considered before, but it is an interesting idea. I guess I will see what readers ask for when the trilogy is complete.
How involved do your daughters get with your writing? Do they contribute to the story lines?
They help with names. I like to bounce my ideas off them and get their reactions. It's interesting because they have opposing views. One is a Jake fan and the other is a Mack fan. It's fun to get their ideas though. One of the books I am working on is a collaboration with my oldest daughter.
When and why did you start writing?
I've been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. It was always my dream to have a book of poetry published. I suppose now I could, but it doesn't seem nearly as important to me. I've written tons of stories, but Reining In was the first one I ever comleted. Writing, to me, is a way to relax. I can escape to my own little world and make it up as I go.
What's your favorite vampire story (apart from your own)?
It's hard to say. I have several favorites. I guess Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Interview With a Vampire coming in at a close second.
Who would you like to see playing Khalida in a movie version of your book?
I like Patricia Valesquez, who played the Egyptian queen in The Mummy, but Khalida is younger than that. As of lately, I love Megan Fox's movies, and I think she would really bring Khalida to life.
Team Edward or Team Jacob...... or Team Eric?
Depends on the setting. In the book, team Edward and in the movie Team Jacob.
What's your favorite "vampire" music?
I like the music they played on Queen of the Damned. However, if Reining In were ever made into a movie, I would love to see the theme song be More Human than Human.
Tell us a bit about your forthcoming novels.
Of course I am working on Finding Hope, then Legacy to finish off the series. There are a few others in the works, though. My daughter and I have worked together on a book, off and on, for the past year; The Ties that bind. I don't expect it will be out soon, as it takes much longer when working with someone else. In short, it is about a group of teenagers who are drawn to each other by unseen forces. Together, they are the key to war that has been raging since long before they were ever born. There are several more, but right now they are just notes on a pad of paper and will probably remain that way for a long while.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Not What She Seems by Victorine E. Lieske

When billionaire Steven Ashton couldn’t stand his high society social life anymore, he left the stress of New York on a vacation for his soul. The need to meet real down to earth people lead him to a small Nebraska town he remembered visiting as a child. He didn’t want to lie about who he was, but he couldn’t exactly tell them the truth.
Emily could have easily fallen in love with Steven, under different circumstances, but her past was catching up with her and she needed a new life. If the authorities found out about her, she could lose the one thing that meant everything, her four year old son.
Not What She Seems is approximately 67,000 words long. This book is a "sweet" romantic suspense appropriate for all ages.

Imogen's Review:
An enjoyable read. Not What She Seems tells the story of Emily, a small-town girl on the run (I won’t give away any spoilers) with her son and best friend from high school. It tells the story of Steven, a high-profile New Yorker who, after an accidental encounter with her, becomes entangled in her complicated life. This was a sweet, romantic tale. The story line was fairly predictable, but captivating. The Kindle version was well formatted.


About the Author:
Victorine and her husband live in Nebraska where they manufacture rubber stamps for the craft industry. They own and operate Victorine Originals Rubber Stamps from their home, where they raise their four children. Victorine has a degree in Art from BYU Idaho, and designs many of the rubber stamps they sell. She has always loved to read, and in her spare time she writes.

Q&A with Victorine E. Lieske:
What/who was the inspiration behind this story?
The story started out as one idea... "a billionaire hiding out in a small town meets woman on the run." I was bored, I had hurt my back and couldn't move, and the story just unfolded as I typed. I would say my inspiration came from all of the wonderful books I have read in my life. I have always enjoyed getting lost in a story.
Who is Emily's character based on? Who would you like her to be played by in a movie version?
I don't think I based any of my characters on real people. I think Emily came from an idea of someone who is doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. She's sort of trapped in her situation and can't get out, and all she wants to do is raise her son and let him have a normal life. I think Kate Hudson would play a good Emily.
Will Emily and Steven reappear in future stories?
The way Not What She Seems ended could lead itself to another story about Emily not fitting in to Steven's life in New York. As it stands right now, I don't have any plans to write more, but I kind of left things open, in case I felt inspired to continue the story.
Who is the inspiration behind Edna's character? Who would you like to see her played by in a movie version?
Edna's sort of the busy body everyone knows, who loves to be the center of the town gossip. Kathy Bates would do a great job as Edna.
How long did it take you to write this story?
I began writing it after suffering a back injury that put me on total bed rest for a week, and I had nothing else to do. I was laying on my back in bed, and I put my laptop on my tummy and typed away. Since I couldn't move, I wrote the entire first draft in one week. But this was my first attempt at writing, so I wanted to know if it was any good. It wasn't. I spent the next four years editing and tightening up the story I had originally written. It's much better now.
How many other books have you published?
Not What She Seems is the first and only book I've published. I hope to finish my current work in progress and have it ready by the end of the year.
Can you share some of your future projects?
Yes, right now I'm working on a story that takes place on another planet. It's about a race called the Maslonians who have telekinetic powers. Their planet gets taken over by the Dykens, a technologically advanced race. The Dyken's erase the Maslonian's memories and strip them of their powers. A female Dyken falls in love with a Maslonian and has to decide where her loyalties lie.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you chose to live?
I actually really like living in Nebraska, my only complaint would be the harsh winters. I might like to live on an island that is 70 degrees all year. My kids would protest though, they love sledding.
Favorite designer?
My idea of fashion is jeans and a t-shirt... so I wouldn't even know a fashion designer to name. LOL!
Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Definitely Team Edward. But they cast a really good looking guy to play Jacob in the movies, so don't ask me right after I see Eclipse, I might not be thinking clearly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Interview with Imogen Rose, author of Portal

Imogen is the author of the series, The Portal Chronicles. To learn more about Imogen Rose and PORTAL, visit her website

How did you come up with the idea for Portal?
PORTAL was the product of a dream. I have had vivid dreams (and nightmares) ever since I was a child. I tend to continue some of my dreams from night to night; my dream world is a virtual soap opera. I often look forward to going to sleep just to find out what happens next! I decided to write this particular one down, it was my first time ever doing so. My younger daughter read it and wanted to know what happened next, so I kept writing. She kept reading and her enthusiasm spurned me on to write what turned into a novel.

I know you mentioned that it only took a month for you to write Portal. Do you always write that quickly?
I’ve only written two so far, both first drafts in a month.

Is there a lot of editing involved afterwards, or does it just come naturally for you?
Editing is much slower. I look at it myself and then it gets sent in to Sue, my wonderful editor. After Sue is done with it, it’s time for the copy-editors to go through the manuscript and then finally my beta readers.

Was Portal always meant to be a series?
It was never really even meant to be a book. When I finished writing it, the sequel was a no-brainer. There is so much more to the story. I am now on Book Three.

You have enjoyed several small successes with Portal. What do you attribute to that success the most? Has it been a lot of work getting it noticed?
I have had a reasonably big Internet following over the years, not as a writer, but as a Hermès collector. The contacts and experiences I have gained through that have been invaluable in terms of getting out on the forum and boards and promoting myself.

Tell us about the Hermès Look Book.
I started out my “internet” life in the Hermès boards and forums. I run a private, but widely read blog called The Scarfologist. The Hermès LookBook was born from that passion. It’s a collection of people enjoying their Hermès items. A second LookBook is planned for Christmas.

Do you have any other books lined up when Quantum is finished?
MOMENTUM (Portal Chronicles Book Four) will hopefully take shape and I will be working on a children’s book based on a story I made up for my own kids.

Check out our Review of Imogen's book Portal.

This week's featured author: Susanne Lambdin

Susanne's love for Star Trek took her to Los Angles in the late '80s. She is best known for her 'based in part' contribut...