Thursday, December 29, 2011

Author of The Year!

Charlotte Abel is a full time writer that lives near Boulder, Colorado with her husband Pete. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, and archery.
"Enchantment," a paranormal coming of age romance, is her debut novel. She's working on the sequel and plans to publish it by February 2012.
Future projects include "Shattered," a romantic thriller set in the remote Sawatch Mountain wilderness of Colorado.

I have never actually met Charlotte face to face but the first time I ever talked to her was on Goodreads right after I read Enchantment. That being said, I am so happy to have "met" her and to have the privilege of interviewing her. I am truly lucky. Enchantment is a great book and I absolutely loved it. As did many other readers of all ages. Thank you so much Charlotte and keep up the great work.

P.S. keep us falling in love:)
  1. What inspired you to write your first book?
    This is so embarrassing ... My first full length book was actually a 200,000 word opus inspired by my frustration with "Breaking Dawn." I loved the first three books, but I wanted to throw BD against the wall when I finished it. All that build up with the Volturi and everyone just walks away? Stalemate? Oh come on! Really? Jeeze! Somebody needed to die. (Irena and Bree don’t count).

    I was also disturbed by the whole imprinting on an infant thing and wondered what would happen when Nessie hit puberty. Talk about a "jail bait" situation!

    Anyway … the "what if" questions in my mind began to play out as full blown scenes about the time I discovered fan fiction. I read a few stories and decided to give it a try.

    The response was amazing. The reviews addicting (over 2,100 reviews) and then the story won a couple of awards (including “Best Original Plot”). That gave me the confidence to write my own original fiction. I'm not telling anyone the title of the story or the pseudonym I used when I wrote it. I'm proud of the plot and the original characters I created, but the writing SUCKS! (That’s a hint, by the way).

    I really need to pull the story, but people are still reading it, writing great reviews that make me feel all warm and fuzzy, and putting it on their list of favorites. A lot “Enchantment’s” earliest readers are loyal converts from my fan-fiction days. 

2. Did you always have in mind to make it into a series? 
Yes. Once I get into a story, I want to stick around and get to know everyone.

3. Do you have a specific writing style? 
I write pretty much the way I talk. My loftiest goal is to connect with readers on a gut level. I want them to escape into a different reality, to forget they’re even reading and become so involved in the story that they experience it as if they were there. As if they were in mortal danger, or falling in love for the first time, or discovering that magic is real.

I can’t do that if I’m trying to impress folks with my vocabulary or literary genius. As far as I’m concerned it’s a writer’s job to stay out of the way as much as possible and just let the story happen.
As for my writing process, I’m a reformed seat-of-the-pants writer. I’d get an idea and then just start writing ... without knowing where the story was headed or how it would end. 
That method is exciting and fun while you’re in the writing stage, but it always requires major rewrites to plug plot holes, excise irrelevant sub-plots, find and correct timeline mistakes, slap some sense into characters acting illogically and fix continuity errors. It took me five to six times as long to whip a manuscript into shape as it did to write it in the first place.
I outline now. In-depth. It took six weeks and 10,000 words to write the outline for “Finding Valor.”
Does outlining take the spontaneity and adventure out of the writing process? Not at all. It just shifts it to an earlier stage and saves me a lot of trouble later on. Besides, I don’t force myself to follow with unrelenting rigidity. I’ll chase a stray idea down a rabbit hole if it seems like a better alternative than what’s on the outline, but at least I have a map to come back to if I get lost. 
  1. How did you come up with the title? 

It was pretty much a process of elimination. The original short story was titled “Name Games.” That’s too close to “Hunger Games” so we couldn’t use it for the novel. We tossed out “Enchantment’s Curse” because it didn’t make sense unless you’d already read the book. “Chastity’s curse” was another reject. I liked “Lust, Love and Magic” but it was judged too risky for a Young Adult title. Ha! That was before I rewrote the ending. (Now that was risky! But very satisfying.)
I wasn’t thrilled with “Enchantment” as a title (neither was my publicist) but it’s grown on both of us. Especially since it’s showing up on the first page of results when Googled. (I just checked and it’s fourth out of 21,900,000 results. Not too shabby.) Besides, it’s too late to change it now. 
I’m seriously considering changing the series name from “The Channie Series” to “Lust, Love and Magic.” I’d love to get some input. What do y’all think? 

5. What is Finding Valor about?

“Finding Valor” is a continuation of Channie and Josh’s story. I can’t say too much about it without spoiling the end of “Enchantment” for those that haven’t read it. But I will say that it’s darker and more intense. 
Several readers developed a bit of a book-boyfriend crush on Hunter so they’ll be happy to find he plays a bigger part in this story. Don’t worry, this doesn’t turn into a love triangle or anything. Channie’s heart will always belong to Josh, no matter how many disasters, fiascos and catastrophes fate hurls at them. 
  1. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
    Not really. I just want to entertain and connect with readers. Nothing makes me happier than to learn that a reader has an emotional response to one of my stories ... giggling during a humorous scene or shedding tears over a poignant moment. Nothing touches my heart as much as a reader that falls in love with my characters.

    Having said that, there seems to be a couple of reoccurring themes in everything I write …
    1. True love really can conquer all -- but it requires courage and extreme personal sacrifice
    2. Free will is more powerful than fate.

  1. How much of the book is realistic?
    It depends on who you talk to, most folks don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do. I knew within three weeks that my first husband was the man I wanted to marry. (I call him my first husband just to keep him in line.)

    As far as settings go, it’d be hard to find a spot in the Ozarks today that is as remote as Whistler’s Gulch (a completely fictional town) much less Channie’s hidden community. The bauxite pit in the opening scene is very realistic. I nearly drowned in one just like it when I was sixteen.

    Louisville, Colorado is a real place. So is Heritage Park and Monarch High School. (The real kids at Monarch are a lot nicer than the ones in the book).

    I used to live in the house Channie’s folks rented. I made a few changes, but for the most part it’s the same, right down to the weeping willow in the front yard.

    I didn’t know anything about BMX racing but Josh Abrim insisted that was his sport. (I wanted him to be a cheerleader on a co-ed team but he flat-out refused). So, I had to do a lot of research. I started online and discovered a vibrant BMX community right here in Colorado. I went to a couple of races in Colorado Springs, talked to a couple of families, met David Herman and watched him practice at the track in Dacono. What a nice guy. I had no idea he was such a BMX rockstar until I went home and Googled him. (Look for him at the 2012 London Olympics) He’d make a great Josh if “Enchantment” were a movie.
8. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The survivalist techniques -- rabbit trapping, and surviving off the land -- are pretty realistic. My folks made a decent living so my brother and I grew up with all the modern conveniences, but my daddy lived in a log cabin until he was about eleven years old. You can still see what’s left of it if you know where to look.

All us kids had BB guns by the time we were eight. There were two basic rules we had to follow. Never point a gun at anything you don’t intend to kill. And don’t kill anything you don’t intend to eat. And yes, I’ve eaten possum, squirrel, rattlesnake, rabbit, quail, turtle and a few things I didn’t recognize.

9. What books have influenced your life most?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d like to claim a classic like “Pride and Prejudice” but if I’m being honest, I’d have to say “The Twilight Saga” since my frustration with “Breaking Dawn” is what prompted me to start writing in the first place. 

As a kid, I read every book about horses and dogs I could find in the book-mobile. Some of my favorites were: “Black Beauty” “My Friend Flicka” and “Where the Red Fern Grows.” 

In middle school, I gravitated more towards mysteries, fantasies and science fiction. “Lord of the Rings” was definitely a favorite. I was about fourteen when I discovered my momma’s romance novels. Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher are still some of my favorite writers.
When I discovered paranormal romance I was in Heaven! Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders series opened up a whole new world. I’ve never looked back. 
  1. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
    Finally an easy one! Yay! No doubt about it. It’s Orson Scott Card.

    “Ender’s Game” is a classic sci-fi that everyone should read, whether you like the genre or not. His book “Character and Point of View” is a must read for every writer. It was my first “how-to-write” book and I still refer to it once in a while.

    When I discovered that he taught juried workshops, I decided to apply. I didn’t think I had a chance of being accepted. He only takes 14 students at a time and only teaches 2 workshops a year. I spent three weeks polishing my 300 word sample before submitting it. I was shocked when I got the news that I’d been accepted.

    He totally bashed the writing sample that earned me a spot in his workshop, but loved the short story I wrote while there. He encouraged me to turn it into a novel. That novel is “Enchantment.”

    I learned more about writing during that week than I did in the previous two and a half years.


11. What book are you reading now?
“August” the second book in the “One Black Rose” series by Maddy Edwards.

  1. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

    Most definitely! Shannon Dermott, Shelly Crane, Amy A. Bartol, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Tammara Webber, RaShelle Workman, Jus Accardo, Tiffany Heiser … and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They might not all be “new” writers, but they’re new to me ;-)

13. What are your current projects?I just finished the second draft of “Finding Valor” and am waiting to hear back from my critique partner. I’m really hoping it’s ready for beta-readers so I can launch it on time. It’s scheduled for early February, but I’d love to bump it up to late January -- before everyone’s used up the Amazon gift-cards they got for Christmas.

14. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Just one? Hmmm… impossible. I have to give credit to my very first readers back from my fanfiction days, then my editor, Carol and my publicist, Kris. The Indie Book Collective is the most recent entity to support me. Their advice is responsible for “Enchantment’s” new cover.

15. Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. In fact, I’ve been a full-time writer for a little over three years. I spend at least eight hours a day at my desk either writing, or doing writing related things such as: connecting with readers on Twitter and GoodReads; cross promoting other writers; writing new content for my blog and answering comments and doing online interviews like this one!

16. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh, yeah, most definitely. I sort of wimped out by calling Channie and her family “mages” instead of witches. I grew up in the Bible belt so “witchcraft” is a rather loaded word where I come from. (I know people that want to ban the “Harry Potter” books from school libraries.) With the amount of time my characters spend thinking and talking about sex, I’m pretty sure that’s enough to get the books banned without magic of any kind.

17. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I had a couple of short stories and poems published in high school and got a real thrill seeing my words in print. 

18. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I love talking about my stories, but my publicist complains when I give too much away ;-) I’ve already talked about “Finding Valor” and can’t say much about the third book either, except that the first draft is about twenty-five percent done and it will be the end of the series.

I’m anxious to start work on my next series, another paranormal romance, but this time I’m not labeling it YA. I doubt if it’ll be any more explicit than “Enchantment” or “Finding Valor” but if one of my characters happens to drop the eff-bomb I won’t worry about it as much.
19. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

It’s really hard for me to write the “tough” scenes. The ones that involve physical pain or break my character’s hearts. There’s one scene in FV where Josh breaks his arm and has to set the bone himself. I had take lots of deep breaths while I wrote that one. I wrote a blog post about it a few days ago titled “Tattooed Hearts” if you’d like to know more.

20. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Believing that it was ready to be published. I kept wanting to tweak it just a bit more. Like any kind of art, no book can achieve perfection. In fact, there comes a time when further changes become destructive.
21. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Take all the classes you can to improve your craft, study “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks, find a like-minded but tough critique partner, and … write. Even if you don’t feel like it. Read over your outline (you did outline your story, right?) Sometimes you just gotta park your butt in the chair, give yourself permission to write pure crap and then let the story flow from your heart. You can always edit it later.
  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
    First and foremost … THANK YOU! Because of your enthusiastic reviews, Tweets and referrals, “Enchantment” is finding its way into the hands and hearts of more readers everyday. Keep up the good work! I hope you enjoy “Finding Valor” as much as you did “Enchantment.”

    I love hearing from readers so don’t hesitate to shoot me an email, char2556 (at) yahoo (dot) com. (Foil the spambots!) Follow me on Twitter @charlotte_abel, and leave comments here and on my blog at

    And if you want my undying devotion, write a quick review on Amazon ;-)

Charlotte Abel
Download Enchantment at AmazonBarnes & Noble or Smashwords


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This past weekend I have read three wonderful books. Eve by Anna Carey, Hex Hall book one and book two, Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins.

By Anna Carey
336 pg
published October 4, 2011
"The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life"

Review: So I am not even going to lie..this book made me very sad. I hate when stories are like that. I am looking for a way to escape, not feel as if I never left this place we call home. Other than it being sad, I loved it. I know that sounds ironic but I just could not stop reading. It captivated me from the very beginning. Eve discovers what REALLY happens to the graduates once they graduate, and let me tell ya, it ain't pretty! So she finds out the big secret and decides to escape the school grounds one night with the help from a certain teacher who tells her of a place that would be safe for her. Well sure enough she runs into trouble and meets a certain boy, Caleb, who she obviously falls for and becomes good friends with a girl she never thought she could be friends with. Her name is Arden and I reallly loved her because she was funny and didn't take crap from anyone. Eve soon finds out that the King is looking specifically for her and she has to run for her life and go into hiding. Full of action, love, and betrayal, you do not want to miss Eve. The sequel should be coming out sometime in 2012 but I am not sure when. It is called Once.

Hex Hall Summary:"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."

Demonglass Summary:"Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.
That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.
Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.
But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?"

Hex Hall is one word, AMAZING!!!!! I finished both books in two days and let me tell you, I was entertained the whole way through! I fell in love with everything about the story and almost everyone too. Sophie is the girl I wish I could be. She is smart, funny, and absolutely the coolest girl I have read about in a long time. The love triangle in Hex Hall doesn't even bother me one bit either, I think I am in love with both boys. For those of you who do not know their names, it is Archer, the bad boy, and Cal, the silent but beautiful type. Now that we have that cleared up, if I just had to choose between these two hunks, I would choose Archer. I just can't resist him, just as Sophie can't haha.
In Demonglass we get more in depth with what Sophie is, which is a Demon. I found that really refreshing and new. In the first book we think she is a powerful dark witch, the most powerful in her generation. But that is not the case. She is a big bad demon and she hates it. In book two though, she begins to cope with it and decides she is going to embrace being a demon.
Her best friend Jenna is a vampire and is awesome. Her favorite color is pink and in Hex Hall, everyone blames Jenna for killing a girl and hurting two others. But it is infact not Jenna at all and I do not want to give anything away but the person will surprise you. I know I was surprised and just a tinsy bit disappointed.
We also meet Sophie's father in the second book, a man who she has never known her whole life.
Book two ended with such a big cliffhanger that I almost cried, okay not really, but I wanted to!
I do not think I can wait until March. I NEED to find a way to find an early copy of the book so I can get my Archer fix:)

Until next time lovelys.
Comments are GrEaTLy appreciated!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Author Spotlight

Feauturing Judah Lee Davis author of She Tells All

I would like to thank Judah for taking the time to answer my questions for her. Her answers are very honest and heartfelt. If you haven't read her book, I am telling, not asking, for you to go get it right now.

Available at Amazon!!!

Where are you from?
I am from a small Southern town. For the time being, though, I’ve been rather elusive about my origins and am writing under a pen name. This is because I work for a prestigious company who in no way wants to be affiliated with the nature of my book. As noble as it’s intentions, and as powerful as its redemptive qualities are, it still contains a fair amount of vulgar language that isn’t appropriate for publish in certain circles. Therefore, my identity along with the name of my hometown will stay quiet – at least until I can quit my day job. As soon as that happens, I'm comin' out of the closet!

Tell us your latest news?
No news here, really.  I started my first Facebook fan page yesterday. I have three friends. This was somewhat of a milestone.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing short stories at the age of seven. My mother says it was earlier than that, but I don’t remember. While most of the children in my class wanted to be teachers and fireman, I always wanted to be a novelist.  Once I filled up an entire spiral notebook with nonsense, only to be chuckled at by my mother.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself an official writer when I graduated with my degree in Journalism and started working as a corporate writer. It was so “official” for me then. I had articles in newspapers that I was terribly proud of. Unfortunately, some of my favorites have disappeared over the years, but I still have a clipping or two left.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I always knew deep down inside, that I had a book in there.  Writing a book, for me, was like being pregnant.  I lived in misery with the pain of holding something in that I couldn’t get out.  I would sit down to write, and to my dismay, nothing would come out but a poem or a journal entry.  This was very frustrating, because I knew there was a story in there, but I would just have to wait.
Finally, beginning Oct. 1, 2008, I read the Bible from cover to cover and did a fair amount of research on it.  This was my ultimate inspiration.
I was fascinated, mostly by the prophets in the Old Testament. They accused the nation of Judah/Israel of being worse than a whore, because she chased after her lovers.  Lovers, in this sense, represented idol worship, child sacrifice, worshipping Baal, etc.
For me, this inspired the idea of a modern day woman, who would be worse than a whore, because she was promiscuous and sought after companionship of the darknest nature.  This character would invoke the same disdain and gut wrenching emotion that I felt as I read about a harlot nation who defied God on every level.  She would be symbolic on so many levels. She would represent the fall of humanity, the nation of Israel, and ultimately she would represent the sin that every individual keeps hidden in the closet.
She was to be an airing of dirty laundry that would resonate within the hearts of all, and convey the message of humanity’s great need for redemption. Even in the smallest details of Madison’s story, such as the slut signage, you can find this theme.

Do you have a specific writing style?
As a trained journalist, I’m notorious for short, sweet writing that is to-the-point. I write in a clear and simple tone that is designed for impact. In college, they trained me to write for news media, which according to my professors, was on a fifth grade level.
I believe this is a powerful tool, because it makes my writing accessible.  Even for those out there like me, who feel they have a shorter attention span than that of an orangutan, this book should be readable.
I do not use over-inflated vocabulary so that I do not isolate anyone from my writing. I also make a point to use simple imagery that is easily digestible to all. For example, Madion’s heartache felt like a whale on her chest.

How did you come up with the title?
I went through so many titles, must most of them winded up sounding terribly offensive.  Finally, I was sitting out on my back porch chain smoking (this was before I quit) when it came to me. She Tells All – a story about someone who is not afraid to give the embarrassing little details that make everyone cringe.  She tells ALL.  It had a ring to it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 
The message that I want readers to get is that we have a higher power who loves us unconditionally, regardless of where we’re at spiritually.  Regardless of how many times we lied or cheated, or slept around, God loves humanity even in its glaring imperfection.
In the story, Madison ultimately doesn’t feel worthy of God’s love. She feels as if she is somehow fundamentally flawed and different, and that she doesn’t fit into the family of God.  She won’t listen to anyone when they tell her differently. That is, until Dion comes along.
Because Dion loved and accepted Madison the way she was, Madison learned to trust her.  Dion never judged her or condemned Madion’s promiscuity in any way. She seemed to understand that it was just Madison's way of dealing with her pain. So, instead of reprimanding her, Dion lived by example. She didn’t PREACH, she SHOWED people the love of Christ through her life.

How much of the book is realistic?
Certainly much of the book is realistic, as it started out to be a biography of my tragic life. I felt I had done enough sinning to adequately convey the message, so I wrote 1500 pages, submitted it to my editor, and was met with a scowl.
He called it word vomit. That was my editor. He loved me enough to tell me the truth. He pointed me in the direction of some notoriously dirty authors and told me to collect ideas. He said it needed to be edgier, dirtier, and more compelling.
At that point, I decided to stop holding back, and I let my imagination run wild. I got into character by painting my fingernails black and dancing around in stilettos to Beyonce songs. I wrote the trashy fun story of a sleazy girl, and then submitted a completely new novel to my editor two weeks later.
“It’s better,” he said, “but the best novels make you laugh AND cry. So you need to merge the two. Take the tragic parts from your epic saga of word vomit, and combine them into this ho story, and I think it’s a wrap.”
That is exactly what I did.  It wasn’t easy, because my two writing styles were dramatically different, but instead of trying to change one style to fit the other, I merely endeavored to make flow them together harmoniously to represent Madison’s changing tides of emotion.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Dion is a fictional character based on the life of a real character that I knew. A large majority of her story is true, but I added in details or changed things up a little bit to go along with the story. While I use a lot of real dialogue that actually happened, I made up a good bit of what I thought she might say based on her character. 

What books have most influenced your life most?
 The Bible has been the most influential book in my life. I was also deeply influenced my Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Spirituality.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I like the way Chelsea Handler writes because it is funny, to-the-point, and easy to read. It contains unexpected turns and twists, and every other line you’re saying, “I know she just didn’t …”

What book are you reading now?
I’m now reading a book from an author I met on Goodreads. Her name is Heidi Ruby Miller and her latest book is Ambassadora. It’s a sci-fi romance, and I’m enjoying it so far.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not yet, but I have a big family, a full-time job, and am working on a sequel, so I haven’t had time to look for interesting reads on the Horizons.  I’m keeping my eyes open though on Goodreads.

What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on the sequel, which is going to be a journey Madison takes down the path of darkness and then the path of light.  It is a book that will hopefully explore the difficulty of changing ones ways after they are already set. Just because someone gives their life to God, their problems and struggles do not instantly disappear.  It’s not a magic Jesus eraser pen.  Therefore, Madison continues to struggle, and falls so many times before she walks.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I can’t say her name, but she is a coworker. (Shout out to you Big Booty, you know who you are!) I love her so much.  She has been like a sister and a best friend to me.  When so many people turned their nose up at my idea, she was there for me, supporting me and believing in me through it all.

Do you see writing as a career?
I would LOVE to see writing as a career again. Several years ago my career path took an interesting turn, and I haven’t been writing professionally for almost six years.
Hopefully, my book will make a splash, and open up some opportunities for me to write professionally again.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
That is a good question. Right now, I’m not allowing myself to think like that, because changing it up will make it unavailable for several days, and I am working so hard to get the word out. So, while I certainly think I would like to tweak some things, I’m holding back the urge.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As a child I loved to read. I taught myself to read at three, and by seven I was reading the Hobbit and the Yearling. Upon the advent of adolescence, I wrote two space savers full of suicidal-sounding journals and poetry. I always felt a deep desire to chronicle my life, and when I began writing She Tells All, I pulled out those space savers and started swimming in them. It was a painful archaeological excavation of feelings that took nearly a year.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
On my blog,, I posted a story of a bad blind date experience that will be included in my sequel.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The most challenging thing for me is writing the sex scenes. I want them to be filthy enough to represent my character’s carnal nature, but at the same time, they really make me blush.  I often look back over my shoulder to make sure no one’s watching.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 
My favorite author is King David. His psalms are the most eloquent and simply beautiful piece of literature I’ve ever read. He uses simple imagery to convey a message. For example, “Like a deer pants for water, so I thirst for you.”
No other writer captures my heart like King David, and I get chill bumps when I read the Psalms, because his heartfelt emotions jump off the page at me. I feel as if I know him personally as a good friend.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but hopefully this book will open up some opportunities.  As a mother, I am rather settled, but I would still like to spread my wings a little here and there if the opportunity arises.

Who designed the covers?
I designed the cover, using a picture I got from istock and Photoshop. I then uploaded it to Createspace’s cover creator program, which I might add, REALLY comes in handy.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Dealing with backlash from friends and family. Since there was so much truth to the tragic parts of the story, many assumed the entire book was non-fiction. This was quite embarrassing, and I quickly decided that I would stop asking for my friends and family’s opinions since they were extremely biased!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that we are all pilgrims on a journey that God has mapped out for us. Through the prophet Isaiah, God says, “Does the clay say to the potter, ‘what are you making?’”
For this reason, I try to stop questioning God’s plan for me, and go with the flow. I don’t know what he’s making, and I suppose he may show me in time.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Yes. First of all, this book came out in painful word vomit splatters over the course of three years. Being a writer is one of the most terribly difficult things to be. They often have mood disorders because it is difficult for them to manage their emotions, and I’ve found that many times writers struggle with depression and other disturbances.
Most writers have been writing all their lives.  Writing is innate.  In my opinion, it is a natural ability that one is born with. If someone has it, they usually know it. Many times good writers have been told all of their lives that “they really have a special gift.”
Trying to wake up one morning out of the blue and decide “Hey, I should be a writer,” is similar to me deciding that I would like to be an astronaut.  It’s not that it isn’t possible, it’s just that it isn’t probable based on my training, ability, experience and natural talent.  It’s not like going out and buying an ab lounger so you can have washboard abs by Spring. Writing is not a whim.
Now, for those writers who are certain with ever fiber of their being that they are writers, then hold on and brace yourself. Writing is like kickboxing, you take a lot hits to the head. When people don’t like what you write, it feels so personal, and you have to remember that what you write is like a seed.  It will fall on some hearts and grow, while for whatever reasons, the others may be stony ground.
Different writers speak to different audiences, and so if you’re not having success, maybe you just haven’t found your audience. Try not to get discouraged, and remember that even if your Granny is the only one who reads it, that’s still says something.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
If you have read this interview, and are in any way on board with this mission, I really appreciate and need your support. My book is not about making money. It is about reaching out to others through Madison’s story. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Time

It is already December 22, and I still haven't bought any presents, I am slacking. I am also slacking on my reading duties. But this two job jazz is just getting a bit tiring. Or it may be because I am lazy:) Back to the books though. I have so many books to read and it feels like so little time to read them! At least today at work I got to read some on my lunch break. The only time I am able to read, either that or at night when I have put the baby to bed.

Hmm, the lovely life of being an adult.

So I was wondering, is The Seed of Chucky a bad christmas movie? I am watching it now and it did have a christmas scene in it...ha ha.

Ok, well author Judah Lee Davis will be the author on spotlight this month! So go check out her book She Tells All. And stay tuned for the interview:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Random Thoughts

I just started a new job working for a company in the HR department and I love it! My first day I was a bit skeptical but that was because I had to venture out of my comfort zone. I was thrown into a pack of wolves, okay not really, I was just thrown into a pack of people that I didn't know.

Think of a zebra chillaxin with a bunch turtles( i like turtles). Well, can you guess who I was? Yep, exactly. I was the zebra. At least at lunch a girl from one of my classes from school was there! Or else, I would have felt very very alone. Which I felt alone anyway. But I am working on my third day there and I am starting to get the hang of things and I enjoy it dearly.

I feel so tired though because I also work at a restaurant called Bennigans as a cocktail waitress. The money is decent but I honestly do not think I can handle two jobs plus school plus a one and a half year old. My life is busy busy.

This is what I am currently reading:
I love a fairy tale retelling, they make me all happy inside. I received this book a couple of days ago. The author signed it and everything! I look forward to reading more of her books, as they are my type.
Well I guess I'll leave y'all to ponder my words:)

Review up later
P.S. Author interviews up in a few days/weeks! SOOOOOO stay tuned<3

Oh and comments are greatly appreciated, also, spreading the word about my blog would make me pretty happy too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

She Tells All
By Judah Lee Davis

"Her magic stilettos ensure that she will get lucky tonight, while her big mouth ensures that she will stay in trouble. This sleepy little southern town just isn't big enough for the adventures of mischievous Madison Miller. But, one day she will meet someone who will change her life forever."

My thoughts after reading the very first sentence, "I am not going to like this book". How very very wrong i was. I enjoyed Judah's story about Madison so much that I found myself laughing out loud and crying too. Normally I do not like vulgar language but i decided that I was going to read with an open mind. And I am so glad I did, because if I didn't, I would be missing out on a great book.
We start of the with Madison and her friend Lizzie, whose husband hates Maddie. For good reason too! She is a girl who sleeps around with anyone, it is just who she is. So we go back into her life on why she is the way she is. And this boys and girls, was what had me hooked. Not only was Madison funny, and beautiful, she was real. She might not have ever realized that about herself until the very end, but I saw what a great person she was deep down. Madison is the type of woman you can count on and one who will be there to bail you out of anything. I absolutely loved that about her. When someone gave her absolute no reason to not trust them at all, well Maddie looked past that and helped out anyway she could. Such a strong person.
There were a lot of hook ups in the book and i found myself silently screaming at her to quit being so stupid! She didn't need any of that and she deserved a lot better than all the losers she dated. She was way too good! A good girl she was not, though. She was the bad girl we all wished we could be but aren't. I enjoyed reading about her best friend Summer, she was just like Maddie only skinnier and blonde. And as Madison says, she was hot. Both these girls together against the world made my experience fresh and funky. In a good way of course.
Any hot boys in the book? Um...definitely not! Jose, which later becomes her baby daddy and husband, was disgusting and the biggest loser of them all. I can honestly say, I really can relate to Maddie when it comes to dating all the losers. Like her, I trusted to easily and in the end came out burned. It must be why I loved the story so much.
There was a religious aspect to the book and I found that awesome. Why yes bad things happen to good people, as long as you have Jesus Christ by your side, everything will be okay. And I think Madison knew that, she just needed that little push. In comes the last character I will talk about in my review, Dion. She was such an inspirational character. I cried and cried when her ending came. She always believed in Madison and she was the one who gave her that push. I have a bunch of people like her in my life. I am blessed and lucky to have that, as some people may not have that at all...
I want to thank Judah for allowing me to read her book. I will interviewing her so everyone stay tuned! You do not want to miss out on the book or getting to know the wonderful author.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For years scandal has rocked Rosewood, Pennsylvania—and high school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have always been at the center of the drama. They’ve lost friends, been targeted by a ruthless stalker named A, and narrowly escaped death. And it’s not over yet.
Should I read these books late at night!?! But I do anyway because this series is just too addicting. My own guilty pleasure.

Ruthless..let's just say it lives up to its name. There are a bunch of new secrets and a bunch of twists! Ezra comes back, but he is weird and not like anything from the beginning of the series or the show. He is actually a jerk. Aria is way too good for that old man anyway. Aria is cool, my favorite character. And do her and Noel get back together? Who knows, go read the book!

Emily gets on my nerves and always has. Enough said. I just wish for once she would quit letting her feelings of these girls get in the way of what is right. It annoys me and she has annoyed me since day one.

Spencer has surprised me in the story. I don't want to give anything away but I will say this, she gets addicted to something. She also gets into Princeton but later gets a letter saying that they got mixed up with her and another Spencer. Classic.

Hannah, lovely Hannah. I like how conceited she can be, but sometimes it can get old real fast. She has a swoon worthy romantic storyline, finally!! Just kidding, I wish her and Mike would make up already. I like Mike, he's funny. Plus we may be looking at an alliance between Kate and Hannah? I can hardly wait to see where that storyline takes us.

These pretty little liars never learn do they? My predictions is that it's Ali. She never died and she is torturing the girls like she has been doing. Gah I can't wait for the next book!!!
Aria’s love life is on the fritz. Emily’s exploring her wild side. Hanna’s kissing the enemy. And someone from Spencer’s past—someone she never thought she’d see again—is back to haunt her.
But none of that compares to what happened last spring break. It’s their darkest secret yet and guess who found out? Now A is determined to make them pay for their crime, and the only thing scarier than A is the fear that maybe, just maybe, they deserve what’s coming to them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The strength of Sloane’s heart is about to be put to the ultimate test.

After the Eclipse – the night vampires began openly slaughtering human victims – everything changed. Out of fear, the government salvaged what remained of the human population and enclosed them in massive, security-laden cities called White Sectors, while marking the vampire infested territory as Red Sectors.

When seventeen-year-old Sloane McAllister’s twin brother disappears, she seems to be the only one who thinks he isn’t dead, and vows to stop at nothing to find him. Gathering her courage, she braves the Red Sector to search for clues to his whereabouts. By chance, she encounters Aden, a handsome, charismatic vampire with a hidden agenda. He turns Sloane against her will, and whisks her away to his underground city. Enemies quickly become friends as Sloane struggles against her attraction to Aden, and resists her growing loyalties to the creatures that ruined her life. But the vampires themselves are the least of her problems. The city is harboring a devastating secret, one that could change the tide of the war and threaten to destroy everything Sloane has come to believe in.

Heart-stopping action and scorching romance collide in this dystopian, urban fantasy thriller.

What can I say, i absolutely loved this book from beginning to end. It was a nice new storyline with an amazing twist at the end.

It started off with Sloane, a human girl who is searching for her twin brother after he had gotten bitten by a vampire three years earlier. Instead of getting closer to finding him, she gets herself captured by a vampire, Aden, who takes her upon seeing the Mark of the Creator on her body. But Aden isn't like any vampire, he is human like aside from the fangs and craving blood when needed. Soon, Sloane finds herself in a predicament, she is now a vampire too.

The vampires have a secret city that they had built underground and all sloane wants to do is go home and warn everybody what the vampires are up to. To wipe out the human race! With every good vampire story, we have to have a love storyline, right?
Who falls in love, you wonder? Well looks like you will have to read the book to find out! The romance in the story was sweet and fun. I found myself giggling and gettting all happy inside. Weird, I know!

Besides the beautiful romance, it does has some action. Not much, but I am sure that will all change once we get more into the second book. Which by the way, I can't wait to read.

What I Hated From The Book:
Her mother! Wow, her mother is horrible, I would hate to have that woman as my mom. Thats mean to say but what she did to Sloane..It was sad! Whatever happened to family loyalty? Ugh, I hope we don't see her face in the next book, but sadly we probably will.

My favorite character from the book was Angel. She was beautiful along with pure and innocent. And judging by the end of the book, I hope and pray she lives. She has been good to Sloane and she is also very kind hearted. People like he don't deserve what is happening to her.

If you are looking for a thrilling read with love, betrayal, and a little bit of mystery, then I suggest you read this book. Amazing, amazing, amazing!!!


Thursday, December 8, 2011


 Wonder what my power name would be?!

Great book!!Ok let me start off by saying what a wonderful read this was. It gives me hope that someday I will find a love as true as Josh and Channies. It was full of magic and was very original. I have never read a book like this ever. I felt for Abby and her predicament. Although I didn't agree with her decision at the beginning of the book. I do believe in love and I do believe in following your dreams but what she did was selfish. I hope hope hope it ends well with her and her three wonderful babies.

Which brings me to Channies parents, they anger me! They wonder where Abby got her selfishness from, well it starts with the parents. They should not blame anyone but themselves  for her taking off. Elijah, such a sweet sweet boy!

I hope there is more of him in the second book. I like his personality and his character in general. This book was just wow! I loved the plot and the setting. I also thought the power names was a genius idea. I loved the twist at the end. Kudos to Charlotte for bringing such a wonderful book to light. I look forward to reading more books!
I can't wait to start reading The Mers. I have recieved a free copy and I am excited to read!
Join in the chat!
Halflings by Heather Burch
4 stars
After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

I won't put any spoilers in here due to the fact the book doesn't come out until Feburary 1,  of next year.

Halflings started of very slow for my taste. We begin in Nikki's dream where she is being chased by wolves. What she doesn't know at the time, is that they are hell hounds. In come Mace, Vine, and Raven, halflings. Halflings are part angel and part human. They do not belong in Heaven or on Earth, they live somewhere in the middle just not belonging anywhere. Throughout the book they have to keep saving Nikki from all the evil that surrounds her. 

Of course what kind of book would it be if there wasn't a love triangle?

Well it's not much of a love triangle because if halflings fall in love with a human they look at as a disgrace and they get sent to hell. Kinda harsh, yeah? I did not fall in love with Mace or Raven, the two angel/human boys who are in love with Nikki. To me they were dense and cliche.I tried very hard to like either of them, but I just couldn't. I did like their little brother Vine, he is very innocent and cute. Whem you read the book, you'll know why!

The ending had me a little bit sad for Nikki and I am excited to see what the story holds next. I did love the whole concept of half angel and half humans. It was interesting. I liked the history that came with the book and I do like Nikki. She is strong, independent, and beautiful. We need to more female heroines and less damsels in distress. Even though at first the halfings were having to save her, towards the end she had that spunk I wish I could have. She might not be as bad a** as Katniss, but she can defintely hold her own.

Comments and discussions would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My First Review

New Girl By Paige Harbison

That was mesmerizing. I picked it up during the night expecting to read a couple of pages or so. And next thing you know, I am done with it. I could not stop reading, I was so into New Girl that I didn't even realize how late it actually was.

I was captivated by Becca and although she was such a manipulative jerk, I found myself feeling sorry for her. See Becca isn't all too much different from the rest of us, is she? All she wanted was to be loved and although everyone worshipped her, it was never enough. I also found myself relating to her. I have always been my own worst enemy and just like Becca, I am not ever good enough. Her insecurities were sad and instead of hating her, I admired her. To be able to fake being happy and act as if your life was perfect. Maybe if she would have opened up about her unhappiness, then maybe it would have turned out different. I could go on and on about the way she thought. If only she let people in...

On a lighter note I just realized we didn't know the main characters name until the very end. I found myself going through all the pages looking for her name. Very clever. I hated the way everyone treated her when she first got to the school. It was unfair and I disliked how everyone compared her to Becca. Give the girl a chance, geesh!
Max..I had a lot of mixed emotions about him. Partly because he was so mysterious, I never knew what to expect from him. It was a bit annoying at times, but I really ended up liking him a bunch in the end. It's okay when a guy has a little bit of a mysterious side to him because it makes readers such as me want to finish the book. But getting inside of his head was very hard for me.

All in all I loved the story and I could definitely relate to many of the characters. And the "new girls" best friend, wow! Some best friend. I hate how it ended between the two of them. In order for her to move on you have to realize that people change. I don't think the "new girl" realized that until the very end.

Ok that is all. I recommend New Girl to all my friends. It's filled with mystery, love, and drama. My favorite!


First Timer Here....

     This is my first blog everyone, so please bare with me! My name is Jessica and I am 22 yrs old.  A college student, full time employee at Aegis, and a part time employee at Bennigans, yeah I barely have any me time. I have a year and a half old son who is my life. When I am not working or going to school orrrr being a mommy (well I am a mommy 24/7), you can catch me watching some of my favorite shows and/or reading. I love reading, ok more like obsessed! I have always been an book reader but it wasn't until this year that I started reading all types of different books and expanding my horizons. Instead of reading one book at a time, I tend to read 3 or 4 at a time. There are so many books and so little time.

      My favorite types of books are dystopians, romance, chic lit, mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy.
I am really starting to get into fallen angels and mermaids. I don't know what it is about them, but I just love them. I also love fairy tales. Any type of fairy tale such as modern day, classics, retellings, I love it all.

So I am going to close this with a bang.
I wish I had something cute and charming to say, but I don't...
this is my life and I hope you all enjoy my books and don't hestitate to get to know me and ask questions!

Twitter: Jessybabe14
Go add me!
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