Tag Archives: magic

Author Carmen Stefanescu is in the House–Cover Reveal for Till Life Do Us Apart

12 May

When I found out that fellow author Carmen Stefanescu has a new novel coming out June 9th, I reached out and invited her to stop by to tell us a little about it. Who doesn’t want to hear about myths, ghosts and oh, reincarnation?

Carmen, the floor is yours!

Cami, thank you so much for having me as your guest today. You know my interest in anything odd – paranormal, myths, legends – all that is out of the normal boundaries. Reincarnation and chat with ghosts can be included, too.

I’m thrilled to be here, and excited to share the cover for my upcoming release Till Life Do Us Part.

Till Life Do us part-001

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Magic, Reincarnation, Mystery, Suspense

Release date: 9th June 2016

Blurb

Barbara Heyer can hear voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

Author Bio

carmen

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

You can stalk the author here:

Links

http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/

https://twitter.com/Carmen_Books

http://www.pinterest.com/carmens007/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carmen-Stefanescu-Books/499245716760283

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624397.Carmen_Stefanescu

https://plus.google.com/117216040843648957646/posts

http://www.amazon.com/Carmen-Stefanescu/e/B00APVDGAA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Interview with author Susan Squires. Giveaway

11 Sep

Susan,

Thank you for accepting to be a guest on my blog. You and I can talk for hours about the same passion that brought us together in the first place—writing—but I’d be selfish keeping you just to myself. Can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your busy schedule and sitting down with me for a cup of . . . wisdom, writing and romance.

Last week I posted a review of your novel titled THE COMPANION which I absolutely loved for its raw emotions, heroes with more than just good looks and a storyline that kept me awake late in the night. This novel redeemed for me the entire vampire species, it truly did and I thank you for it. Along with the review I promised my fans an interview with you so, here I keep my promise. Shall we? 

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey.

I had always wanted to write. When I was 12 I started a novel written from the point of view of my dog and got 36 painfully typed pages done. When I was 16 I was sure I would be a writer. But I had other interests too. I was a theater major in college and did some acting, got a Masters Degree in English lit. And then life got in the way. Neither writing or theater seemed like a practical way to make a living. (I was right about that!) Nobody was getting work teaching. I went to work in the business world, had some luck, got to be an executive in a Fortune 500 company, but I always felt something was missing. In one of my many mid-life crises, I decided to write a book. That was difficult for me. I’d studied great literature. I knew I probably wouldn’t turn out to be the next Jane Austen. But I read a novel with an exciting premise on the back blurb. The actual book didn’t seem to deliver. I remember finishing and saying to myself, “I may not be Jane Austen, but I can do better than THAT.” So I wrote a book. It was awful. I had to decide whether I was going to put the effort in to get better at this thing. So I took classes, and got a critique group. I sold the second book I wrote, DANEGELD, about Vikings and Saxons in Dark Age Britain. It got some attention. I was on my way… 

When did you write THE COMPANION and what was the inspiration for it?

I had written five books and wanted to return to an idea I’d had some time earlier. During the early years of the AIDS epidemic, many people blamed the people who had the disease, as if it was a punishment for being bad. I didn’t believe that. I had just watched (again) the old movie of Dracula with Frank Langella, and I thought to myself, “What if vampires can’t help what they are? What if they just have a disease, and everyone just thinks they’re evil because of it?” So my vampires have a parasite in their blood that gives them eternal life, and strength, and the ability to influence weaker minds, but it also extracts a terrible toll. The world of the Companion was born. And, of course, some things we all believe about vampires are myths in my stories. I wrote some of my vampires as Italian—so of course their aversion to garlic was a myth. So was the stuff about crosses. Just superstitions! I also wanted my world to be a little kinky but with real people who experienced real emotions. I wanted readers to experience what it would really be like to be a vampire, or to be in love with one. 

Why did you pick the Regency Era for your novel? 

See above—all those references to Jane Austen? I loved the Regency period. I had read every Georgette Heyer book I could get my hands on. I thought they were pretty perfect, except they didn’t have enough sex (or any!) I had done an earlier vampire story called SACRAMENT that first laid out the world of the Companion and I wanted to revisit and expand that world. I had already accumulated a lot of research materials on the Regency, and I’d been to England several times. So I combined my two interests, and did Regency vampires. 

I know there are 6 novels in the series called COMPANION (can’t wait to read them all!). The second novel titled THE HUNGER follows Beatrix Lisse, who you introduce to your readers during THE COMPANION. Why out of all your secondary characters you chose her to become the main heroine in the second novel?

Cami, you are so perceptive! I had a special love for Beatrix. She was based on a character I loved from my first vampire novel. That novel was far, far too long, and in order to publish it I had to cut it in half. (It was still published and more than 120,000 words.) So my beloved character hit the cutting room floor. But when you are a writer, those characters can live again… and I brought her back as Beatrix Lisse.

Is it true that each novel in the series follows a character you introduce in the previous novel?

No. Some books follow characters you’ve never met. Sometimes characters from previous books show up. Sometimes a villain reappears. Each can be read as a standalone book. In some cases, all they share is the world construct. 

A series of 6 books must be hard to write. You need to remember when and where each story begins/ends, keep track of all heroes, etc. Can you tell us which book was the easiest to write and which the hardest? Were you stuck at any given time and if yes how did you overcome it? 

Because the Companion series doesn’t follow a single, overarching story arc, they were much easier to write than a series where each book follows the same character group and occurs immediately following the previous book. I had more freedom that way.

Of course the first book in a series is often the easiest. It seems to just flow out, because the idea is shiny and new and you just want to live the story. But in ONE WITH THE DARKNESS, I had an experience that was very hard, and that turned into something very easy. It’s the sixth book in the series. I had submitted an idea my editor didn’t like. I was crushed. She started trying to suggest what I should write. I not only didn’t like her ideas, I got angry (though she probably never knew that. I was nice—she was my boss after all.) I told her I’d go away and think about it. I was in Philadelphia for the day job at the time, trying to get home on a Friday night. The plane broke. I had to stay over night. And while I was having a very lonely dinner at the Ramada Inn coffee shop, I had the idea that would become ONE WITH THE DARKNESS. I thought to myself that I really needed to come up with a character I cared about. Immediately I thought about ONE WITH THE SHADOWS, my last Companion book. The hero’s mother, the Italian Contessa who was also a vampire, stole almost every scene she was in. She had a great tragedy in her past. During the Roman Empire, she had let the love of her life, a barbarian slave, age and die rather than make him a vampire. She lives with horrible regret. Why not, I thought, allow her to go back in time and try to change that? The idea of Leonardo DaVinci’s time machine was born. (I liked it so much I wrote three more books using that device called the DaVinci Time Travel series. The first one even has a vampire heroine.) Who, after all, was better to invent a time machine than Leonardo? Of course, it’s not as easy to change history as one would think. J I won’t say more than that. But I got to research Caligula’s Rome, and barbarian slaves, and…. And I love that book. Once I got going, it was easy to write.  

Ah, I love the Starz’s series called DaVinci’s Demons! So amazing you were able to incorporate his history into your novels. As much as I’d love to continue talking about the COMPANION series, I’m also interested in what you’re working on now, what genre and when should we expect its publishing? 

I’m currently working on the MAGIC series. There are seven books planned. It’s about a big modern family, the Tremaines, who have inherited Merlin’s DNA. When each sibling finds their destined mate, another with the Merlin gene, they are instantly attracted, and their gene is activated. They get a magic power. You’d think that would be just great, right? But the bad boy brother is an outsider who doesn’t want to believe it will happen to him. The oldest sister is sure of her destiny, until the man who raises her power is an alcoholic still in love with his dead wife. And I won’t even talk about the middle sister, poor thing. Then, of course, there are those who got their magic from Morgan Le Fay. They don’t have quite the same goals as our heroes. The family is as much a character in these stories as any individual. I’ve fallen in love with all of them as I’ve been writing it. My writer friends say it reads as much like a contemporary romance as a paranormal. One friend says it’s a paranormal romance for readers who don’t like paranormal romances (that would be her.) This is a series that should be read in order. It’s also the complicated kind of series. Everything is intertwined, and all the characters appear in all the books. I plotted out six books before I ever started writing. The first book (about that bad boy brother) is DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?, followed by HE’S A MAGIC MAN and WAITING FOR MAGIC. NIGHT MAGIC, the 4th in the series, is out starting September 8th. There’s also a novella that tells the Tremaine parents’ story, YOUR MAGIC TOUCH, available only in digital formats (but at least it’s only $.99!) I’m currently working on THE MAGIC’S IN THE MUSIC, which will be out next year. By the way, I planned only six books in the series, but a new character just showed up, and he won’t be denied. So the series is seven. 

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A lot of my readers are aspiring writers. What is the one piece of advice you have for them? 

Hmmm. One piece of advice? That’s really hard. How about two pieces? The first is to learn the craft. My first book was not good. But writing is something you can learn. I put in the work, and two of my books were named Best Books of the Year by Publisher’s Weekly, and I have Reviewer’s Choice awards, Rita nominations and other contest wins now that were a direct result of doing the work to get better. People may read you once based on a blurb or a cover, but they keep coming back if the books are good. 

The second piece of advice is a direct corollary of the first. Stick with it. Most people who want to write don’t finish a book. Most people who finish a book don’t really polish the whole thing. Most people who get a finished product don’t keep at it until they sell to the buyer who can really get them the distribution they need. So decide on what you want for your book? Supermarket shelves everywhere? Or do you just want to see your title available on Amazon? Know what you want for that book. Then pursue that goal and don’t stop. 

I couldn’t agree more, Susan. Being so experienced, my next question is: what is your take on traditional publishing versus self-publishing?

This is a publishing world where everything is possible. Isn’t that an improvement for writers? We’re in the driver’s seat. We can self-publish, publish with an e press, a small press, or go for an agent and a New York house. I published 17 books with New York houses, and got all the benefit of that. I am self-publishing my new series and it’s given me both a wonderful freedom and more control over the end product, though it also has brought more responsibility. Bad cover? I approved that, and I can’t blame my publisher. I will say, that while we can all point to instances of lightning striking for self-published authors, most authors build their audience over multiple books. It makes it easier to sell self-published books if you already have an audience built with a publishing house. That said, NY publishing is harder to get into these days, and traditional publishers are pretty clueless about how to promote digital sales. If you need proof, just look at the price of digital copies for traditionally published books. Digital copies of THE COMPANION are only 50 cents cheaper than a paperback copy was. I can hardly wait to get my rights back! So in the end, the awful truth is that the choice is yours. And that’s both frightening and empowering. The only obligation you have is to yourself and your readers to write the best book you can. 

Susan, thank you so much for your time. I had a tremendous time interviewing you. Good luck with your upcoming release (love the cover, by the way!) and can’t wait to see you again. For those interested where to find Susan please visit:

http://susansquires.com

Facebook/AuthorSusanSquires

Goodreads.Susan_Squires

twitter.com/SusanSquires

And now to the much promised giveaway: I decided to offer one e-copy of Susan’s upcoming novel titled NIGHT MAGIC to one lucky winner. What do you have to do for it?

Add NIGHT MAGIC to your to-be-read list on Goodreads and leave a comment with the link you did so. I’ll have the giveaway running until September 24th with the winner announcement on September 25th. 

Good luck everyone!

 

VBT–My Sister’s Reaper by Dorothy Dreyer. Guest Post and Giveaway

14 Oct

sisters-reaper-tour

my-sisters-reaper

SYNOPSIS:

Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.

When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, or let Mara die … this time for good.

GUEST POST

Writer’s Block Cures

I have a lot on my plate at the moment. For one, I’m married with two teenagers. Those teenagers have activities like theater arts school, judo, guitar lessons, stage performances, and of course regular school responsibilities like homework and projects, of which I, being a good mother, attempt to help and support them. I also have a house to keep up. No one else is going to do the laundry or dust the cobwebs (because begging the kids doesn’t always work). Not only that but I work full time, and my commute alone eats up almost 10 hours out of my week. Add to that the fact that I’m a writer and also contribute to two blogs, and you can see why things tend to slip off my plate.
 
In all this chaos, I do somehow find time to write. If I manage to swipe my brain clean from all the day to day activities, I might still find myself facing a blank screen wondering what to do. So, here are my cures for Writer’s Block.

Back it up. Go back and re-read the last couple chapters. Usually this fixes a block for me. It puts me back into the story, into the soul and depth of it, and sparks ideas for the next scene. It also usually shows me something I didn’t see before, maybe a possible twist or turn I could take to develop the story better.

Skip around. I don’t always write chronologically. If I’m stuck on a chapter, but I know what I want to happen down the road a bit, I’ll skip ahead and write the scene I already envision which will come later in the story. Sometimes it’s easier to connect the dots when you have point A and point B bookending your troublespot.

Step away. Sometimes you just need a clearer headspace to let the ideas flow. Go outside, take a walk, listen to music, or watch a movie. Inspiration usually finds us when we’re not looking.

Plow forward. Once in a while, you just have to write something—anything—no matter, how ridiculous it is, to get the ball rolling. You are allowed to write crap. As long as you go back and fix it later. But at least you’ll have written something. And sometimes, fixing something bad is the best way to move forward to something better.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

dorothy

I’m a Philippine-born American living in Germany with my husband and two teens.

I write young adult books that usually have some element of magic or the supernatural in them. I also like to read those kinds of books. Aside from reading, I like movies, chocolate, take-out, coffee, traveling, and having fun with my friends and family. I’ve also been known to make a pretty sweet cupcake.

I tend to sing sometimes, too, so keep me away from your Karaoke bars.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/20/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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IMPOSSIBLE IS ANOTHER WAY OF POSSIBLE

2 Nov

My statement to the whole world:

Impossible is another way of possible. Take the IM out and it becomes possible. Next tell yourself I’M-possible. Sit back and let the Universe work its magic . . . 

Copyright © 2012 Camelia Miron Skiba