Monday, April 29, 2013

#NewRelease ~ Fly Away by Jennifer Donohoe ~ Contemporary Fantasy

Author: Jennifer Donohoe
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Release Date: April 17, 2013

Synopsis: Robin Sullivan is given a magical book where she can experience a better life in a new world called Tearmann. She can finally escape the terrible reality of life with an abusive, alcoholic father, her mother's schizophrenia, and her best friend's Leukemia. Robin must choose between deserting her real life or living in a world promising a better one. Events come into play forcing Robin to make a decision. Will she be able to save those she loves and still save herself?

Note from the author concerning Fly Away: Fly Away is the mixture of Dante's Inferno meets The Neverending Story. Robin is a normal teen raised in an unpredictable situation which catapults into a lesson of facing your demons and not running away, or this case flying away. I hope you enjoy the story.

About The Author: Jennifer Donohoe grew up in Northeast Ohio until she moved away at the age of 23 to the panhandle of Florida. She stayed there for 14 years and after completing her masters degree at Troy University for Mental Health Counseling she moved back home to her beloved state of Ohio where she now works as a Clinical Therapist with Felony Juvenile Offenders.

Her passion for never wanting a life to be wasted has amassed itself into her writing. Writing Fantasy has allowed Ms. Donohoe to add elements of morals, values, and taking responsibility for ones choices into her stories. Her other love is photography where she uses the photos as a means of helping describe certain scenes or as inspirations for a story itself.

Twitter: @donohoejennifer 

Check out these author-created pictures of scenes from Fly Away!

Have a good week and happy reading!!
~~ Chantel ~~

Friday, April 26, 2013

Interview ~ Self-help/parenting help author Daniel Alexander

Happy Friday, everyone! Today I had a chance to get together with Daniel Alexander and find out a bit more about him and his book, Through the Crimson Mirror, a non-fiction, autobiography, self-help, parenting book. Check out his cover and description. 

Do you know how concerned parents who are looking for ways to better understand their children have read all the old material and still can’t seem to get the right results? Teenage depression continues to soar, more and more girls are having unwanted pregnancies and abortions, drug and alcohol use continues to climb, in areas such as this, x-parties are becoming more and more frequent; the list goes on and on.

What I do is show life from a child’s point of view, which gives parents a more complete picture so they can better understand their children, better understand their feelings and attitudes and give them a better start to life.

I also show people who are facing difficulties that they are not alone, which is often their greatest, unspoken fear.

I’m looking for parents, people who are facing difficulties.

Okay, Daniel, thanks for being here! Let's get right to the interview. How would you describe your book in 20 words or less without using the blurb?
A story that touches many people today. One of courage, learning, growing, bravery.

Writing can be lonely. Did you have support at the beginning and/or during your writing? 
I have two great editors who helped me through most of the process. I say they helped me through the process, because I didn’t pay them. They offered to do it for free for me, so it really was just good old fashioned help.

That is wonderful. A great support group is always a plus. 

Do you read reviews written about your book? 
Yes! I encourage people to tell me the good and bad. The only way to grow is to get honest feedback. Fortunately, most of it has been good so far.

I love reviews! It's so fun to interact with readers. So, do you write at a laptop/desktop or do you write freehand?
A little bit of all of those. Most of the beginning of my writing was done free hand. Then it moved to desktop, and sometimes I write in coffee shops on my laptop.

What’s the hardest part of writing a book? 
Starting. Without a doubt that first word is the most challenging!

I have to agree. And you edit that first word so many times! So, why did you choose the genre you write in? 
I choose this genre because I want to make a difference.

That's admirable. I suppose we all have our different goals. I imagine it's nice to know you're helping people. Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the books? 
Yes, lots of research. I love learning, so this was really cool for me. I read many books to support what I said. In addition, I did many interviews with a range of people including students, teachers, mental-health professionals, people in prison, reformed alcoholics and drug addicts, and many more.

Sounds like it was a long process and a lot of research involved for sure. Most authors are readers too. Which genres do you prefer to read? 
Most non-fiction. But I tend to write differently to what I read. I read very factual books, and wrote my book more as a story with human interest. It’s a best of both, a story so it’s easy to read, but it has all the facts.

I have to be honest, I don't really like dry, factual nonfiction. Your book sounds like something I could enjoy.

How important do you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews? 
Yes. I’ve regularly chat with some of my fans. I’m not selling books to sell books, I’m selling books to make a difference in people’s lives, so staying in touch is a big thing for me.

Have you ever Googled yourself? 
Yip. Who hasn’t…

:-) Your cover says this is book one. How many more books can we expect in this series? 
There are three books in the series in total. I spoke to people before publishing my book, and because so many people are busy today, they’d rather have multiple shorter books, than one long one. I took all their advice and split my original book into three. Most people that have read the first did so in a night. So mission accomplished.

Sounds like you've put all that research to good use with three books and written in a story manner. Congratulations on the books and I really do appreciate you taking the time to do this interview! 

About Daniel Alexander:
I was born in Durban, South Africa.I was born in 1983, which means I'll turn 30 in the year 2013 (which is the year in which I'm writing this page). For many years, I worked as a programmer, but after suffering from depression, I wrote my book and my story, and now work to try prevent more and more people from slipping into depression and related illnesses. Most of that is done via my book, and for local groups, I do talks. The speaking is something that I wish to grow, and eventually want to become a professional speaker.

Due to my research, experience and interviews, I am very knowledgeable in a wide range of topics that us human-beings have to deal with, including: communication, education, relationships, sex, mental-health, addiction and more. In my local city, I have appeared on various radio stations a few times, and been featured in a few newspapers and magazines, some of which are on my media articles page.

Want to connect with Daniel Alexander? You can find him here:

Want  to buy Through the Crimson Mirror?
Kindle: Or order from Daniel directly on his website. 

Thank you readers for taking the time out of your day to learn more about this book. Happy reading and have a wonderful weekend!
~~ Chantel~~

Friday, April 19, 2013

#Interview ~ Women's fiction author Karina Gioertz

Happy Friday everyone! Today, I'm happy to have Karina Gioertz over for a chat and to tell us about her women's fiction novel, Country Girls. We're going to chat about hers and the star of Country Girls', Eli Wilson, relationship. First, let me show you her cover and let you read the book blurb!

Country Girls:
It had been clear from the beginning, that Emma, Eli and Evey Wilson would be tied together by more than just a name and the blood that flowed through each of their veins. They would be bound for life by the secrets of their past and the lies that kept them hidden. 

After a fire devoured their family home and left them orphaned at an early age, Emma, Eli and Evey found themselves being raised by their grandfather and learning the ropes of life on the ranch. A life that quite suited Emma and Eli, but left Evey desperate to seek out a way to escape and run off to the big city. An escape she soon found in Preston Mercer. 

It wasn’t long after Evey rode out of town on Preston’s white horse that he revealed his true colors and what had been her dream come true became the stuff of nightmares. While Evey weathered the storm on her own at first, out of spite and sheer stubbornness, she finally broke her silence and called her sisters. They instantly rushed to her side, just as they had always done. Just as she had known they would.

As Pandora’s Box was opened for the second time in 25 years, the sisters prepared for what would be their greatest battle yet. Would Evey be able to escape Preston’s wrath? Would Emma be able to face the monsters of her past? Would Eli find a way to heal the scars that had not only bound her body but shackled her soul? And, most importantly, would there be room amongst the skeletons to hide another body?

Join them on their journey, as they fight the enemy, embrace the ally and find out if love really does conquer all. 
Karina's Website: 

I'm so pleased to have you here, Karina. I'm so anxious to read some of your books. They've been bought and loaded on my Kindle. I just need more reading time! 

Anyway, on to the interview. How did you and Eli meet and how long ago was it? 

Eli and I met about four years ago in Granite Bay, California. I was just driving down the road, blasting my music and listening to Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country” when Eli just popped up out of nowhere and decided to come along for the ride. 

Some of them do that... What was your first impression of each other? 

I think we were immediately drawn to one another. Eli is far gutsier than I am, but I think she could tell that deep down, I wasn’t that unlike her. We’re both country girls at heart who love their families above all else and curse like sailors, no matter who’s listening. 

What does Eli do that annoys you the most?

Eli’s pretty stubborn which can be a little frustrating at times… 

Eli, if you could say just one thing to Karina, what would it be? 

Let me buy you a beer. (That’s like saying “I love you” in Eli lingo…) 

Haha - whatever works! What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened between you two? 

We don’t generally talk about this, but I know Eli wasn’t too pleased about the fact that I was around to see her get so worked up over wondering what Shawn was up to. It was bad enough for her to feel so annoyingly vulnerable, but to know that I saw the whole thing only made it more humiliating. 

Sometimes it is tough to let people see us at our most vulnerable. What do you feel the worst about doing to Eli? 

It broke my heart to write about Eli and her mother. In fact, I cried as I was writing it, but I knew that out of the three Wilson girls, Eli was the strongest. It had to be her experience. If it had been either one of her sisters, it would have changed the story entirely. 

Do you think you two will meet again in the future?

Oh, I think we might :-) In fact, I was just wondering how things were going down at the Wilson Ranch earlier this morning. Maybe it’s time to plan another visit… 

Sounds like the ideas are already circulating! Thanks for being here!

About the author: 
Although Karina Gioertz has been writing for most of her life, it never quite registered with her as something out of the ordinary, because it was so closely connected to who she was. It wasn't until she became a stay at home mom and finally took the time to write an entire book from beginning to end, that she understood what all of those ideas she'd been jotting down were for. Since then, she has written several books, including Country Girls, Lucky In Love and Blood Bound. 

Karina resides in sunny Florida with her family and two dogs.

Be sure to check out Karina's website and her other books too! They all sound so good. Happy reading, everyone. Have a great weekend!
~~ Chantel ~~

Friday, April 12, 2013

Author Interview ~ P.C.Zick ~ Trials in the Sand

Today, I'm so happy to welcome P.C. Zick and talk about her writing and her new Contemporary Fiction (family saga and women's literature) book, Trails in the Sand. Here's the details on her book. 

When environmental writer Caroline Carlisle sets off to report on endangered sea turtles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the last thing she expects is to uncover secrets - secrets that threaten to destroy her family, unless she can heal the hurts from a lifetime of lies. To make matters worse, Caroline's love for her late sister's husband, Simon, creates an uproar in a southern family already set on a collision course with its past.

Using real-life events as the backdrop, Trails in the Sand explores the fight to restore balance and peace, in nature and in a family, as both spiral toward disaster. Through it all, the ancient sea turtle serves a reminder that life moves forward despite the best efforts to destroy it. I would like readers to come away from reading Trails in the Sand knowing that it is never too late to restore peace or find love.

Thank you for interviewing me today, Chantel.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with me. We have the blurb, but give us the condensed version. Can you try to describing Trails in the Sand in one sentence?
Caroline Carlisle reports on endangered sea turtles during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but as she digs for the story, she also discovers secrets about her family that have been hidden for three generations.

When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always known I was a writer deep down, but I didn’t admit it until I decided to leave my career as a high school English teacher. I lost my passion for teaching and was scared I would become one of those old, mean teachers who hates her job. I thought about what else I did well, and I kept coming back to writing. I’d dabbled with a novel; I liked writing Letters to the Editor; my peers referred to me as the “writing teacher.” Probably the biggest motivator was the praise I always received when I wrote something and published it.

Praise is always nice. Who are your cheerleaders?
My husband, my daughter, and a handful of friends always support me. My husband is very proud of me. He’s an engineer,so the literary world was unfamiliar to him when we married. He’s proud of me, and he supports my quest to see what I can do as an author of fiction despite my lack of income at this point. My daughter Anna is an artist – she paints – and she was my earliest cheerleader for leaving teaching and pursuing what I love. She’s one of my trusted beta readers because she’s honest and interested in seeing that I put out my very best work. One of my friends is a voracious reader and strict grammarian, and I trust her to read my early drafts and give me feedback. Then I have several friends who love everything I write. I am very grateful for their support.

Sounds like you have a great support system. That is important in the lonely profession of writing. Do you have a day job?
For the first time since I was thirteen, I can answer that question with a resounding, “No.” I never thought I’d be able to make writing my full time job. I wrote for other people for a long time. When I married my husband in 2010, I had to relocate from Florida to Pennsylvania because of his job. We decided that this was my time to give my passion a chance to thrive. I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I work much longer hours for less pay, but I’m happier than I’ve ever been. Someday the monetary reward will follow.

Writing definitely is a passion you do because you love it, not for the money. I agree with you, some day it will pay off, but the writing part is so fun in the meantime. Could you describe to us your typical day?
That’s an interesting and timely question, Chantel. I went by the seat of my pants for the first nine months as I learned about the new world of writing and publishing. Then in January, the fog suddenly lifted. I realized that writing had been taking a backseat to marketing, so I’ve rearranged my day. I wake up around 6 a.m. and do a little bit of yoga. I drink a cup of coffee and a smoothie, while I work on my current projects. I typically write on those projects for four hours. Then I go to the gym and eat lunch when I return. I spend the afternoon marketing and putting together my blog posts. The structure helps tremendously. It takes a great amount of discipline to work on your own. You need to be a tough boss and a conscientious employee all at the same time.

That is certainly true! Where do you get your inspiration?
That’s the great thing about writing. Everything can be inspiration, if you keep your mind open to life and new experiences. The newspaper is a great inspiration. One time I read about a man who shot his pit bull because it was showing signs of homosexuality. While it’s a gross news item, it also makes a great bit of characterization - which I’m using in my current work - for an evil or crazy antagonist. I go to the food court at the mall occasionally. I sit at a table and pretend to read, but really, I’m eavesdropping. I usually pull out a small notebook - I carry several in my purse - and write little vignettes about the folks eating. It all inspires me.

Real life definitely is a great place to gain inspiration. What book is currently on your nightstand?
I’m trying to read The Orchid Thief but it’s slow going. The movie Adaptation is based on the book. Since I write about Florida and nature, I thought I should read this book. I hope that it will become more action-packed. I have a dozen books waiting a read on my Kindle. I’m determined to read Tom Wolf’s Bonfire of the Vanities sometime soon - it’s also on my bed stand. However, what I really want to start is Barbara Kingsolver’s newest novel Flight Behavior. I am a chronic reader.

It seems most authors are. My TBR list is tremendously long too! How important do you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?
Readers are the only reason I publish my books. I am grateful to everyone who reads my books and blogs. I respond to every message I receive. I recently read a “how to” book on eBook marketing. The author said she responded to every email and blog comment she received. I reviewed the book on my blog and on Amazon, giving it four stars. (I wasn’t crazy about her casual style of writing, but found the advice given invaluable and recommended it to other writers.). I sent her an email thanking her for writing the book; I posted a comment on her blog; I sent her a link to my blog post recommending the book. That was more than a month ago, and I’ve yet to receive a reply. I choose to do things differently. I recently received a lukewarm review on Amazon for my novel Live from the Road. The reviewer wrote me an email and explained her reasoning in the message. I sent her back a thank you note for reading my book and taking the time to write a review. Not everyone is going to like what I write, but if someone reads my book, a “thank you for your time” response is warranted.

I'm in total agreement with you there. All feedback is important and readers' time is valuable  What are your thoughts on eBooks?
I love them. However, I preach the same thing repeatedly. Indie Authors must be professional and hire professional editors and cover artists. I’ve been an editor of magazines and newspapers, but I still need a professional editor to go over my books. Everyone needs an editor. If a writer also has experience with graphic art, then there’s nothing wrong with designing your own book cover as long as it looks professional. However, you must have an editor no matter your background. Thank you for letting me say that, and now I’ll step down off my soap box.

Unfortunately, not all books are created equal because many Indies skip the step of making sure their work is polished, so I'm glad you were able to get that off your chest. What does the future hold for you? Are you writing something else at the moment?
Yes, I am. I’m going over the first draft of a novel I wrote several years ago. I plan to publish it in October. I’m pulling together my blog posts on gardening and preserving food into an eBook that I will publish in May. I’m also putting together a series of essays I wrote as columns about my travels for the past ten years. I plan to publish that in June. Somewhere in there, I’m going to breathe as well.

You are definitely busy! Thanks for taking the time out to visit with us here. Good luck in all your future projects!

P.C. Zick began her writing career in 1998 as a journalist. She's won various awards for her essays, columns, editorials, articles, and fiction. She describes herself as a "storyteller" no matter the genre. She's published five works of fiction and one nonfiction book. Prior to 2010, she wrote under the name Patricia C. Behnke.

She was born in Michigan and moved to Florida in 1980. She now resides in Pennsylvania with her husband Robert.

Her fiction contains the elements most dear to her heart, ranging from love to the environment. She believes in living lightly upon this earth with love, laughter, and passion.

"This is one of the most exciting times to be an author," Ms. Zick says. "I'm honored to be a part of the revolution in writing and publishing."

Want to get in touch with P.C. Zick? You can find her here:
Living Lightly blog:
Writing Whims blog:

Buy Links:
Amazon Author Central (gives you access to all my books, both paperback and Ebook versions):

Smashwords (Trails in the Sand only):

Thanks for taking the time to find out a little bit more about this author today. Check out her books and have a great weekend. Happy reading! 
~~ Chantel ~~

Monday, April 8, 2013

#NewRelease ~ Aggravated Cirumstances ~ Women's Fiction

Announcing the release of Aggravated Circumstances, a new women’s fiction/legal saga by author Michele Shriver.

A family can be torn apart in an instant. Putting it back together is a harder task.

A relapsed addict opens the door to find a cop with a search warrant, setting off a chain of events that will cause four lives to intersect.

Devin Lenox has already lost one child to the system and this time she vows it will be different. If she’s going to make it, though, she’ll need something she’s never had before- someone on her side.

Her battle with depression behind her, Elisa Cahill looks forward to resuming her legal career. Devin’s case seems like the perfect opportunity to do that, and bury her own past demons in the process, at least if old grudges don’t prove to be her undoing.

Child protection worker Taylor Ross struggles to balance a social life with her demanding job and has little sympathy for people like Devin, at least at first. When Taylor starts to see Devin in a new light, she finds herself at odds with her superiors. Will she be willing to go to bat for Devin, and what price will she pay if she does?

Sarah Canfield is a compassionate judge who is not afraid to make difficult decisions, but will her past link to Devin undermine her objectivity and cause her to put her own family at risk?

A look inside the child welfare system, the people who work in it and the lives it impacts, Aggravated Circumstances is a story of despair, hope and recovery.

Available now from:

Barnes & Noble:

Add the book on Goodreads:

About the author:

Michele Shriver lives in the Midwest U.S. where she maintains her law practice in addition to pursuing a writing career. In her free time, she enjoys Zumba fitness, bicycling and the NFL and NHL.

Twitter: @micheleshriver
Facebook Page: Author MicheleShriver

I'm reading this right now, friends, and let me just tell you that I love it! Happy Monday and happy reading!
~~ Chantel ~~

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Tour ~ New Romance ~ White Swans: A Regency Era

Final Tour stop

Book: White Swans: A Regency Era

Left an orphan, Kendíka cries herself to sleep and startles awake in a Regency castle. Terror consumes her, and she attempts to escape only to discover the new world is her prison. Having no choice, she attends a ball given by her guardian, Lord Deverow, to introduce her into society. He admonishes her to follow the rules and promises to protect her from the wrath of the strange, hazy set of eyes spying on everything. But when she ignores his warning, Kendíka learns firsthand what it means to be disobedient.

Today, I'm happy to host Annamaria in the final stop on her blog tour. She's brought along some of her friends. Thanks for being here, Annamaria. 

Hello, Chantel, it’s so good to meet up with you again. Thank you so much for hosting the last stop of my blog tour for the first book in the series, White Swans: A Regency Era. Today I would like to introduce Jillian, the new character in White Swans: The New Girl in Town.

Kendíka: You really brought that conniving girl with us.

Annamaria: I’m surprised at you, you’re always so nice.

Kendíka: I’m just tired of watching her trying to climb the social ladder with no regards to the feelings of others.

Charles: It’s still not a reason to talk bad about the girl. You were lucky to have been brought into our world as a lady, she was thrown into the life of a maid.

Kendíka: At least she’s alive—

Jillian: ~She folds her arms and glares~ Alive and in servitude is no life at all. 

Kendíka: You have many different ways in which to better your life. You tried to steal Charles away from me. 

Charles: No one could have stolen my heart away from you.

Kendíka: ~blushes~

Jillian: You would feel quite different if you woke up a maid after being an ambassadors daughter.

Kendíka: I agree it wouldn’t have felt good, but I’d never resort to the methods you’ve been using. Believe me they won’t get you far. If you’re not sincere you’ll never get a man to truly fall in love with you.

Jillian: What do you know about love? 

Kendíka: I don’t claim to know much, but I know how I feel about honesty and integrity. 

Charles: Ladies, please show some decorum, after all, we are Chantel’s guests.

Annamaria: Charles is right, we don’t want to leave the readers with a bad impression or they won’t read the books. Jillian, why don’t you present the new book.

Jillian: ~Rolls her eyes~ Great idea. Coming soon is the second book in the series, White Swans: The New Girl in Town. I really do like the cover, but don’t understand why I’m not on the cover.

Annamaria: Don’t worry, you might be in the next one, who know. 

Coming soon - White Swans: The New Girl in Town:

All it takes is a wish upon a star, and Jillian finds herself in a Regency world she only read about in romance novels. She wakes in an exciting world of adventure and challenges but didn’t expect the new life she received. A maid? OMG!

An ambitious girl, she schemes to rise above her station and become a lady with a title and wealth. She’ll go to any lengths to achieve her goals—even risking the anger of her captors, the hazy eyes always gazing down upon the ancient world. Will her attempts to climb the social ladder get her into trouble?

Annamaria: It’s been fun visiting with you, Chantel, and I look forward to the next time we get together. 

Thanks, Annamaria! It's been great having you all here. Good luck with the book launch and we'll all be looking forward to the next one!

About the author:
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. 

Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. 

She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish. 

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing. 

You can visit Annamaria at: blog facebook page email twitter
Links to Annamaria’s book 

White Swans: A Regency Era


A Simple Matter of Justice


Barnes & Noble:


Revelations of Abaddon:


Barnes & Noble: 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and happy reading!!
~~ Chantel ~~