Sunday, July 31, 2011

Christmas in July with Jennifer Gladen


A Star in the Night

Author:  Jennifer Gladen

Illustrator:  K.C. Snider

Published:  September 2010

Publisher:  Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
                   http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/

ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-055-2  (Print)
ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-056-9  (eBook)

Available at Guardian Angel Publishing Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

A Star in the Night has been awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval


BLURB
David makes his way home on Christmas Eve and sees this is no ordinary night.  Accompanied by a shimmering star and some tough decisions, David encounters thee experiences that will change his view of Christmas forever.  Join David on his wondrous journey home.


MY REVIEW
It is Christmas Eve and David is in a hurry to get to Mr. Renetti’s bakery before it closes.  He wants to get some of the bakery’s special holiday cookies, because he feels that without them it just won’t be Christmas.  On his way home, David has three experiences that will change forever how he looks at Christmas.

A Star in the Night is a wonderful children’s picture book.  It has a beautiful Christmassy theme, but the message learned from the story can be shared throughout the year.  Jennifer Gladen does a beautiful job of sharing what is really important during the holiday season and year round.

K.C. Snider did the colorful illustrations which compliment the story being told.  I’ve seen other books K.C has worked on, but I think this is one of my favorites.

Although the recommended age for readers of A Star in the Night is 4-12, I feel this is a book that both children and adults will enjoy reading.  I think A Star in the Night will make a wonderful gift for young children.  This is a book that will definitely be read again and again.  I feel this book would be a welcomed addition to any Sunday school, church or home library.



Jennifer Gladen is a children's author, mother of three and teacher who lives and writes in Pennsylvania. She has written several children's books, stories and articles, and started her own Catholic e-zine titled My Light Magazine. When not writing, teaching or mothering, she enjoys singing in her local parish choir on Sundays.






Today's daily giveaway is being provided by Jennifer Gladen.  It is (1) autographed copy of A Star in the Night.

FOR EXTRA ENTRIES
2 extra entries if you post something on Facebook about A Star in the Night by Jennifer Gladen and come back here to post the link in the comments section

2 extra entries if you post something on Twitter about A Star in the Night by Jennifer Gladen and come back here to post the link in the comments section


This giveaway will be available for U.S. and Canada


Christmas in July - Winner #30!


The winner of giveaway #30 is


Pat Dale!


CONGRATS!



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Christmas in July with Jolie Pethtel



Jolie Pethtel was born in Ohio, but raised in Arizona, where she met her husband Jim. Jolie has since moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she lives with her husband and their six rambunctious children. Jolie is a Domestic Goddess by day and Writer by night.

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

I'm a married mother of six kids ranging from ages 4 to 14. I love to read and write both mystery and paranormal, adult and young adult. My best inspiration comes from thunderstorms and I used to love dancing in the warm Arizona rain (when we were lucky enough to get some). Now that I live in Indiana, I don't do it anymore. It's too cold, but I still enjoy the view.


When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

In second grade, when I wrote my first story. I'm one of the lucky ones who have always known what they wanted to be. 


What genres do you write and why?

My upcoming release is a romantic mystery/comedy. I think everyone loves a good twist. Mostly though, I write paranormals. I've been fascinated with the supernatural for as long as I remember. I write both adult and YA.


What's a typical writing day like for you?

Absolute chaos, particularly during the summer. Kids screaming and running around, neighbors wanting to come over and play. I really do my best writing late at night while they're sleeping and usually don't stop until the sun comes up.

 
Do you outline before you write?

If not, what's your initial process? I'm mostly a pantser. I get a basic story idea in my mind and usually the story writes itself. I do keep some notes, especially if there some research involved, but there are times when the characters over rule my plans and alter the story to suit themselves. While I don't always actively plot, I do try to be thorough with my research. I recently killed a watermelon with a set of kitchen knives to see if a particular murder scene would be realistic. After I removed the knives, the kids ate the entire thing. Sometimes writing can be fun for the whole family :) 


What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

I love my kids dearly, but all the interruptions are a distraction. I keep vampire hours to get some quiet time to write. It's definitely not a job.


What are your top three favorite books and why?

That's a tough one. I love to read. I'm reading the Hunger Games trilogy right now and it's really good. I also love Mary Janice Davidson's undead series and I read a lot of young adult paranormals.


What do you like to do when you aren't writing? 

Besides reading, I love digital photography, especially taking pictures of my kids and altering them with special effects.


If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?

It's an intriguing question, but I couldn't choose just one. It's just as well. I don't like coffee lol.


Do you set daily, weekly, or yearly goals for yourself?

If so, what are some of your goals? I don't usually put a date on it, but I do have a list of goals. My first goal was to get published, which I've finally done. Painted Jezebel is coming out as an e-book in September. I'd like to see it in print also. My next goal is to finish and submit the sequel Poison Pens to my publisher. Then there are also a few other projects on hold I'd like to get back to and get published, including a paranormal YA series. All at once it's overwhelming, but taking one thing at a time makes it possible.


Do you have any unique ways to market your book that's different from how other authors are marketing their books?

My kids already talk up every adult they see about their mom the author. I imagine when the book comes out they won't rest until every teacher owns a copy.


What are you currently working on that readers will have to look forward to in the future?

Poison Pens is the second Jezebel Jinx Mystery. I'm hoping to have it in to my publisher before Painted Jezebel comes out if possible, so maybe a blurb about the new book could be added.


Do you have any final thoughts to share?

Don't be afraid of rejection. If you want to write, then write and submit. I waited too long because I was afraid no one would like my work. I know I could have been published much sooner if I had more faith in myself. As for rejection, if it happens, learn from it and try again. Fix what's wrong and resubmit. Don't ever give up on your dreams. 



Painted Jezebel

A Romantic Comedy/Mystery

Set for release September 2011

MuseItUp Publishing
www.museituppublishing.com



BLURB
Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption, a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.

Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home— until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.

After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn—who’s recently sworn off the horizontal tango with writers.

When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.






Today's giveaway is provided by Jolie Pethtel.  It is (1) Peridot butterfly necklace and earring set.

This will be available to U.S., Canada and International


Christmas in July - Winner #29!


The winner of daily giveaway #29 is


Stephen Tremp!


CONGRATS!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Christmas in July with C.K. Volnek


I'd like Charlotte, aka C.K. or Charlie, to introduce herself before we get to the interview I recently did with her. 

I was born in Colorado, and moved to Nebraska when I was five. We lived in several different towns in Nebraska but they all had one thing in common, they were all small towns. Boring some may say, but it gave me the opportunity to roam free and create my own adventures. I have always loved to read, spending countless hours at the library and signing up for all the reading contests I could. I still have the very first book I ever won after reading every horse story in the library. 

I was tagged the family story-teller at a young age. I always had a rather wild imagination and as we would sit around the campfire, all eyes would turn to me. So what else could I do, but share my own spine-tingling ghost story. 
After college, I married my best friend and we moved around some following his job...Iowa, then Tennessee. But we anxiously grabbed at the opportunity to return to Nebraska to be close to family. My husband and I have three wonderful children and four Papillon fur-kids, still enjoying life in small-town USA.

Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island, by C.K. Volnek, due to be released September, 2011 through MuseItUp Publishing  (www.museituppublishing.com)


Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the fifth and final child of a very simple man who stood only 5’2” but who in my heart stood 12’ high. I still miss my daddy very much. I grew up in small town Nebraska, riding horses in summer and sledding the ginormous hills in winter. I married my best friend and together we have three wonderful children and four Papillon fur-kids. I’ve always loved to write and am thrilled that my first MG novel, Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island will debut in September. A Horse Called Trouble will follow in December with The Secret of the Stones (the first of a series titled The Lost Diaries of Northumberland) being available in April 2012


When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

As a young adult, my goal was to write and illustrate my own children’s books. But, sigh, I let life get in the way. I got married and had a family and (as it should be) they came first. I still dabbled with my writing, creating Christmas letters, skits for church and short stories for Chicken Soup. But it wasn’t anything serious. Once my children got older, I began to take pleasure in spending a little more time for myself and returned to my passion of writing. Finding time to create on the computer was slim though, until my children got together and bought me my very own laptop about six years ago. This touched my heart, not only that they wanted to help me with my passion, but that they believed in me as well.


What genres do you write and why?

I love to write for Children, Middle Graders/Tweens and Young Adults. Kids are our future. When you can capture their interest, they are extremely passionate and enthusiastic. I only hope I can entertain them while teaching them a thing or two to help them become the great person they will be.


What's a typical writing day like for you? 

For me there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ day. Life is busy with family, friends, and I work full time. Much of the time, my writing has to be snuck in and around my daily activities…for now at least. I can only hope I’ll be the next J.K. Rawlings and be able to give up my day job. ;-) But for now, I will keep my muse happy and satisfied by writing into the middle of the night.


Do you outline before you write?  If not, what's your initial process?

I do outline somewhat, but mostly I write as a panster. My stories are character driven and I just type the words as they whisper in my ear. I may have an outlined suggestion, but if my character has a different idea, we end up going down that road or not at all. They can very stubborn that way.


What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

The hardest part of writing for me, is putting all distractions away. Life can be very busy. People call, kids stop by, there’s dinner to make, dishes to wash, laundry, cleaning, etc. Lucky for me, my husband is an early riser so he goes to bed early. I’m a night owl, so about I’m looking at him a little cross-eyed and he gets the hint, heading upstairs to our bedroom. Then I turn off the TV and pull out my laptop and write or research until I’m bleary-eyed and stumble to bed.


What are your top three favorite books and why?

Just three? Oh my. And my top three will probably change from day to day…lol
One of my ultimate favorite books has to be Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. This is the story that truly instilled my passion for reading and writing at that very tender age I read it. Next I would have to acknowledge The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I loved the period piece, wonderful visions created, growth in characters, and I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Lastly, I do love the Harry Potter series. I enjoyed and truly marveled at how J.K. Rawlings took every character she introduced and wove them in and out of the story. There were no blank faces, every character introduced has a purpose.


What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I have a lot of loves in my life. I love to be with family and friends when I’m not writing, watching movies or just enjoying a good dinner. I love the outdoors, whether it’s hiking in the mountains or taking my four Papillons for a walk. I enjoy making jewelry, drawing, photography and making t-shirt quilts. Though I’m a little behind in all my crafts since promoting my book took over my life the last few months.


If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?

Oh my, there are so many…but I guess I would love to entertain a good conversation with Jesus. I have so many questions as to why he would do what he did for me and ask how I can be the person he wants and expects me to be.


Do you set daily, weekly, or yearly goals for yourself?  If so, what are some of your goals?

I have found my writing experience to be making progress in baby steps. I seldom make yearly goals but do make lists daily and weekly. I admit, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come in less than a year as far as promoting my books, but I know I have a long way to go. Daily lists will include my goals to write interviews, reviews, research, catching up on social media, etc., and alas…writing. Not everything gets done every day, but they just get moved to the next day. But it’s nice to look back over the week and see what I HAVE accomplished.


Do you have any unique ways to market your book that's different from how other authors are marketing their books?

I’m still learning all the different ways to market. So far, I tweet, blog, maintain a web page, post on facebook, as well as e-mail the many groups I have joined. I’m also always on the lookout for the next possible new friend that can share blogging posts.


What are you currently working on that readers will have to look forward to in the future?

I currently have two works in progress. The first in the sequel to The Secret of the Stones which comes out in April 2011. This is a light fun story about a boy who is entrusted with a magical gift, a gift that will ultimately lead him to the one and only Merlin the magician.


Do you have any final thoughts to share?

I would like to thank Susanne for hosting me here today. It has been my honor and privilege to be here. I would like to leave my readers and fellow writers with a quote I like to live by…

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth

Life is about living what it is your heart. Be true to yourself, your family and friends and your word.



Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island

 

Available September 2011

 

MuseItUp Publishing   www.museituppublishing.com

 

 

Evil haunts Roanoke Island and a young boy must unravel its mystery and destroy it, before it destroys him.

 

 

BLURB:

In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island without a trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil.


Now it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast that haunts the island.


With the help of newfound friend, Manny, a Native American sage, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what this evil is and where it came from. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, Jack must uncover why the evil haunts his island and how to stop it. But can he destroy it...before it destroys him?









Today's daily giveaway is (1) $2.00 MuseItUp gift certificate.

This is available as U.S., Canada, or International


Christmas in July - Winners #28!


The winners of giveaway #28 are


Donea Lee
(paperback copy)



Lynda R. Young
(pdf copy)


CONGRATS!




Thursday, July 28, 2011

Christmas in July with Cheryl C. Malandrinos



Promoting Your Seasonal Book Year Round
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Just for the record, I love Christmas. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I embrace the season with all that’s in me. It wasn’t any surprise, then, that my first published book, Little Shepherd, was a retelling of the Christmas story.
Books with a holiday tie-in are wonderful because buyers looking for new ways to present seasonal topics are apt to purchase them. That said, when the holiday has come and gone, sales can drift away. This meant when I put together my marketing plan for Little Shepherd, I had to think about what I would do the other 9 months out of the year to promote it.
Here are some things that I’ve tried since the year started:
Writing Workshops
With dwindling budgets and greater expectations, educators are often looking for professional writers to visit their classrooms. I spent several days this year in the classroom running workshops on creating characters and story building. I didn’t talk much about my book specifically, but I can tell you that at Open House I walked down the hallway and one of my daughter’s classmates pointed and said to her parents, “That’s Sarah’s mom. She writes kid’s books.”
Volunteering
Being involved is very important for authors. As someone who works in book promotion, it pains me when an author spends money to promote her book and then drops off the face of the planet. It takes so much energy to drum up a following, why waste it?
By staying active in your community, you will have the chance to share your book with others. Whether I was at book fairs, volunteering at the library, or helping out at church, there have been chances to tell others about Little Shepherd.
Blogging and Guest Blogging
I’m a huge fan of blogging. I know it’s not for everyone, but so many people tell me they have found me on the Internet, and I have to credit it to blogging.
I went on a virtual book tour (VBT) last year to promote my book. I created a blog designed to help promote my VBT stops and posted to it nearly every day during the three and half months I toured. Now I use it to announce guest blogging spots and to talk about other kid’s books.
Look for opportunities to blog at a variety of sites. Short articles can go a long way in exposing more readers to your work. You can email bloggers directly or try using social media to let people know you’re willing to be a special guest.
Market Your Books to Libraries and Organizations
I subscribe to a blog run by Books & Such Literary Agency. Last year they launched a product known as Library Insider™. It is a two-part program that helps authors market their books to libraries. I’m using this product to redesign my marketing plan for 2011. Libraries and independent bookstores are usually eager to spread the word about local authors. Don’t be shy in getting to know them.
Part of my new marketing plan is sharing Little Shepherd with churches and Christian schools in the area. Think about what organizations might be interested in your book. You never know what might develop.
Promoting seasonal books isn’t much different than promoting a book without a holiday tie-in. Though the majority of your marketing might come during a specific time of year, it’s important to keep talking about your book and looking for new ways to share it with potential readers all year long.

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. She is also a regular contributor for the Writer2Writer eZine. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married.
Visit Cheryl online at her newly redesigned website at http://ccmalandrinos.com/ or at any of her blogs:



Today's giveaways are provided by Cheryl Malandrinos.

(1) paperback copy of Little Shepherd

This one will be available for U.S. mailing only


(1) PDF copy of Little Shepherd

This one will be available to Canada and International only


Christmas in July - Winner #27!

The winner of giveaway #27 is


Anthony Stemke!


CONGRATS!



Anthony Stemke, please send your email address to smdrazic(at)yahoo(dot)com, so I can your prize sent to you.  Thanks!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Christmas in July with Karen Cioffi


Storytelling – Keep Your Reader Engaged
By Karen Cioffi


As an author it’s your job to create an engaging, compelling, suspenseful, intriguing, romantic, or other type of story content that will lure readers in and keep them turning the pages. But the key word for a successful story is ‘engaging.’

Engagement, according to Merriman-Webster.com, means to have an emotional involvement or commitment. Based on this, no matter what genre you write in the story must hold or engage the reader.

In an article in the Writer’s Digest January 2011 issue, Steven James takes a look at aspects of great storytelling.

The first rule to a successful story, according to James, is “cause and effect.” In children’s writing this is the same as an obstacle and its solution - there must be a circumstance that leads the protagonist to an action in an effort to find a solution. I do like the “cause and effect” wording James uses though, because it’s more in line with multiple writing genres.

In its simplest form, something happens (the cause) that creates or motivates an action or reaction (the effect).

James goes on to explain that along with cause and effect, the order in which an event unfolds or how it’s written will also make a difference between keeping a reader engaged and allowing for disengagement.

“As a fiction writer, you want your reader to always be emotionally present in the story,” explains James. If the sequence of an event causes the reader to stop and wonder why something is happening, even if just for a moment, disengagement grabs the reader.

As an example, suppose you write:

She fell to her knees, dropped her head, and wept uncontrollably. Her husband was dead.

While after just eleven words, the reader learns why the woman is crying, it may be enough time for that reader to pause and wonder why the character ‘fell to her knees, dropped her head, and wept uncontrollably.’ Creating the ‘effect’ before the ‘cause’ can lead to disengagement.

To create a cause and effect scenario that keeps the reader in the loop, you might write:

Her husband was dead; the words echoed through the room. She fell to her knees, dropped her head, and wept uncontrollably.

The second aspect of writing James touches upon is creating and maintaining a believable story. Even if writing a fantasy or science fiction, consistency is needed, along with believable actions, reactions, observations, conclusions, and so on, within the boundaries of the story.

A basic example of this might be if you write about a character with brown eyes, then somewhere within the story you accidently mention the eyes are green. This little slip creates a believability gap.

Any gap in the believability of the story or its characters has the potential to cause the reader to pause, question, and very possibly become disengaged.


Karen Cioffi is an author and ghostwriter. Her new MG/YA fantasy book, Walking Through Walls, is based on an ancient Chinese tale.

Longing to be rich and powerful, twelve-year-old Wang studies the legend of the mystical Eternals. Certain they are real, he journeys to their temple and begins an apprenticeship with the Eternal Master. There he enters a world of magic where not everything is as it seems, and where he learns the magic formula to ‘walking through walls.’

Walking Through Walls should now be available through online retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and book stores. If it’s not yet listed, it will be very soon!

You can also order the book today at:
 http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/mg-ya-page-2.php

To learn more about Walking Through Walls, its touring schedule and contest, and purchasing information visit: http://walkingthroughwalls-kcioffi.blogspot.com

To learn more about Karen and her books, visit:

Please be sure to stop by Farrah Kennedy’s site (http://tbfreviews.net/) on July 28th for the next stop on the Walking Through Walls Tour.






Today's daily giveaway is a $2.00 Amazon gift certificate.

It is available for U.S., Canada, and international

Christmas in July - Winner #26!


The winner of daily giveaway #26 is


Stina Lindenblatt!


CONGRATS!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Christmas in July with Viviane Brentanos


Today's guest is Viviane Brentanos.  I'll let her introduce herself, before we get to the interview questions.  Take it away, Viviane.
I was born in Reading U.K. in 1958. My father is English and my mother is French although there is a strong vein of Spanish on my maternal grandmother’s side. I was educated at various schools before completing Sixth Form College at St Peter's Huntingdon. I somehow managed to collect A levels in English, French and History and I subsequently won a place at Sheffield University where I decided to read Classical Civilization. Much to my mother's horror, I gave up my studies and went to London to begin a course as a canine beautician. In 1984, my first husband and I parted ways amicably and I decided to visit the Ionian island of Corfu to celebrate my new freedom. It proved to be a life-changing decision. I still remember to this day, sitting in a cafĂ©-bar, overlooking the crystal clear azure sea and saying to my friend. “I never want to leave here.” Writing has become my passion. I have always been a "Romantic", often accused of not living in the real world but who wants to do that? I like to call my work Romance with a quirky, humorous Brit twist and I am always striving to make my characters real, characters we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy my world.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

This is tough because I am still trying to figure out who I am. I am a wife and a mother but I am still very much my own person. I am lucky in that my husband allows me to be who I am.  My mother tells me I am a non-conformist. This is probably true. I don’t take to rules kindly and this could be why I love living in free-spirited Greece. My friends say I am sarcastic and difficult to please. Maybe this is because I demand loyalty and do not suffer fools gladly. I hate unfairness and bigotry of any kind. I adore animals and I weep for the state of Mother Nature and Mankind in general. If the Messiah is coming, he had better do it soon. I love to write. I love to create worlds in which I can mix romance with life’s nitty gritty all washed down with caustic humour.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I think when I was born. When I decided that the stories in my head seemed more fun than anything I had read and at least, that way, I could live out my fantasies on paper and get to sleep with gorgeous men.

What genre(s) do you write and why?
I love Contemporary Romance. I am very in to pop culture and I am always using modern music and personalities as references in my stories. I also lean on current world events to provide background. I recently had a romantic suspense accepted for publication by MuseItUp Publishing. I was so thrilled because it was a bit of a departure for me. I am in awe of those that write fantasy. I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones and it amazes me to see the depth of imagination some writers have.


What's a typical writing day like for you? 

Coffee and croissant. Email checking, blog/interview writing {interspersed with Facebook}. I spend some time searching the net, always on the lookout for new promo avenues. If I have edits to do, these will be done after lunch, all mixed in with some longhand work on WIP. During the summer months, when I work as a hotel receptionist, is usually when I begin a new story. During the winter off, I then transfer my notes – which often need the Rosetta stone to decipher them – on to pc and this is when the fun begins. My favourite part of the process. Tweaking, editing, adding, and improving. Always trying to improve.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what's your initial process?
Mmm – good one but I am not sure how to answer. It depends on what I am working on. For example, my w.i.p – a major epic -   is kind of writing itself. I am writing chapters from different parts of the story as and when the muse hits me. I have never done that before and now I find I must go and try and work out an outline so I can arrange everything I have already done. Does this make sense? If it does, you are a better man/woman than me. I do, however, always have the outline in my head. In fact, I always have the entire story in my head but it will be fleshed out when I come to write. This saga has been in my head since I was 13 and I still remember wholes scenes and dialogue.

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Not enough time, trying to fit it in with normal life. Resenting having to come out of the zone to perform mundane, housewife tasks. I want to be successful so I can hire a maid and spend all day writing and promoting. Not being taken seriously as a writer because my name isn’t JK Rowling. How do I get past this? I dream of being on Jay Leno and telling all the scoffers to go to hell.

What are your top three favorite books and why?
Oh now this is a difficult one. So many favorites to choose from. Do I have to? I will list the books that inspired me to write. Gone with the Wind, Harriet {Jilly Cooper} and Five on a Treasure Island. This last one introduced me to reading and to worlds outside of my own.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love watching good blockbuster movies in bed. I like to swim and drink ice-cold beer with my friends. In the winter months, I love to cook {French mother} and I spend a lot of time talking to my rabbit, Rafa.

If you could have coffee with anyone (living or dead, real or fictional), who would it be and why?
I would love to have coffee with Darren Hayes, Russell Crowe, Daniel Craig, and Rafa Nadal. Conversation would be interesting and – let’s face it – my choices are easy on the eye. As for someone dead – Michael Jackson and Freddy Mercury.

Do you set daily, weekly, or yearly goals for yourself?  If so, what are some of your goals?
I would say I set daily goals. I do try to promote my books a little every day. Sometimes, especially during the summer months when I work seven days a week, it isn’t so easy. My aim is to pen one single title a year. And so far I have managed to do so.

Do you have any unique ways to market your book that's different from how other authors are marketing their books?
I am trying to think about this one. It’s a promo minefield out there. So much to learn and not enough time. I think I try to be original in my blog posts. I always like to post something humorous and give the reader a glimpse of what makes me tick. I think it is more important than bombarding them with excerpts from your book.

What are you currently working on that readers will have to look forward to in the future?
Hah hah – I thought you would never ask. My lifetime project WILL be completed this year. It is a promise I made to myself. It is a huge epic tale of Ballerinas, race horses, rock stars, mean mothers, controlling mentors and jealous rivals. Think of it as a modern spin on tan 80’s blockbuster. Wish me luck.

Do you have any final thoughts to share?
To any aspiring authors out there, I say relax, enjoy your art, stay true to your voice and don’t give up. It is a long, hard road to publication and even then, it’s an even longer one to generate sales. If you are expecting fame and fortune, forget it. Write because it’s what you love to do. Any reward that may come your way is a bonus. Above all, maintain a sense of humor and stay grounded.
Thank you, Susanne, for inviting me here.

Cold, Cold Heart
Author:  Viviane Brentanos

Published:  June 2011

Publisher:  MuseItUp Publishing
                   www.museituppublishing.com

Genre: Contemporary Romance Erotica (adult content)
Heat Level:  Naughty with sizzle

BLURB
Daniel Haynes has the world at his feet- fame, fortune, so why does he feel so empty inside? What is his interest in Rachel Warner, a girl from a quiet Home Counties English town? Why does she hold the key to his happiness?
But Rachel Warner is scared. Daniel's interest in her threatens her ordered yet unsatisfying life because she has to live with the shadow of her ex-father-in-law breathing over her shoulder. Can she let go of her fears?



Today's giveaway is a $2.00 MuseItUp Bookstore gift certificate.
This will be available for U.S., Canada, and international
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