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Lenmeo's 5-star-favorites book montage

Ghostland
Thirteen Reasons Why
Mockingjay
Divergent
Before I Fall
Delirium
Room
Matched
Crescendo
Hush, Hush
The Dark and Hollow Places
The Sky Is Everywhere
Stolen: A letter to my captor
The Maze Runner
If I Stay
The Lightning Thief
My Sister's Keeper
The Love We Share Without Knowing
The Forest of Hands and Teeth
A Perfect Darkness


After the Book's Favorite Books »
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Can't Find What You Are Looking For? See If It Is Hiding In Here Somewhere (-:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Post By Charlotte Blackwell Author Of The Embrace Series





Hello to all the ‘After the Book’ readers and followers. I just want to take a second to thank you all for joining in on the Embrace Experience and a huge thanks to Lenmeo for welcoming me to her blog. She has given me some great ideas in regards to what I can talk about today. So I thought I would just talk about me and what being published has meant to me.



Immortal Embrace is not only the first novel in my Embrace series, but it is also the first novel I ever wrote. I never really expected to get it published; I mean who actually gets their first novel published. I began writing the Embrace Series for fun, just for something to do and share with my daughter. After a while I began meeting other authors and allowed them to read my work. Some gave me some valuable lessons and my writing improved. That is when I realized maybe I did have a chance to get it published.

In case you are not familiar with the publishing process, after the manuscript is complete and done to the best of the author’s ability, we query agents. This is almost harder than writing the actual novel. I sent out my first query on November 5, 2010. I knew this would take a long time, as the agent was very open via her Facebook page about her back log or slush pile as they call it. So what was a girl to do? I sent out more queries. It wasn’t long before I began to get the classic form rejection. Now this wasn’t an issue, because I was fully aware that nearly every writer has their own slush pile of rejection notices. Even Dr. Seuss had some 70 odd rejections.



A few month later in early spring of 2011 I decided to try some smaller publishing houses. This was a much better idea, although I still didn’t get offered a contract. I did get some amazing feedback, so I sent my manuscript off to another publisher. This time the e-mail can in and I thought, okay here is my newest rejection. When I opened the e-mail on my blackberry it was offering me a contract.



I ran down the stairs, literally squealing and jumping. My daughters and their friends were like “What the heck is wrong?” I threw my blackberry at them and one by one they all read it and joined in the squealing and jumping extravaganza. I immediately began working closely with my new publisher, but hadn’t signed the contract yet. Something told me to wait. I sent out one more query to World Castle Publications, just to see and make sure I was making the right choice. Within 5 hours of my submission I was offered a contract. At that point I decided to make the switch and go with World Castle Publications.



I immediately signed a 3 book contract for Immortal Embrace, Forbidden Embrace and Mystic Embrace. We began making the push and found covers and started editing, After the editing was completed for book 2 Forbidden Embrace, I was asked to do at least one more book in the series. Depending on where the story takes me there could be many more to follow.



Something that I have learned from this entire process and that I hope my children as well as many others learn is BELIEVE! Follow your dreams and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. I had so many people laugh at me when I began this journey and now it is me that is laughing, because I have accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible.




Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story with you and I would love to hear your comments and what your dreams are. BELIEVE and anything is possible.


Much love,

Charlotte






Thank you so very much Charlotte for being here and sharing a little bit about yourself and your experience with getting published.  It is great to see how your determination and hard work have paid off.  I think that Believing is definitely good advice.  I know that I for one am grateful that you are published. I would never have gotten the pleasure of reading your books if you were not (-:

On that note, who would like to read Charlotte's first two books? Charlotte has been more than sweet and offered a pdf copy of both of her books to be given away here on the blog!  The giveaway will be super simple. All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post for Charlotte and then I will use random.org to pick a winner. The Giveaway will end on 9/7/2011 when we post an interview with Charlotte.  The winner will be announced at the end of the interview.  Good luck everyone! Happy Commenting! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interview With Julia Crane Author of Keegan's Chronicles

Please welcome Julia Crane author of Coexist-Keegan's Chronicles Book 1



Thank you for being here with us today. I know that you have a new book coming soon and that you are very busy. We do appreciate the visit.
Thank you for inviting me!

When did you realize that becoming a published writer is what you wanted to do?

I think most people dream of someday publishing a novel. I know as a teen I used to send off short stories to magazines all the time. That still makes me smile. I’m sure they were horrible. It was just within this last year after reading so much about how ebooks have flung the doors opens to authors that I started considering it. We had recently moved to Dubai, and suddenly I had a lot of free time on my hands. Writing sounded like a good idea.

Who or what has been the most instrumental person/thing to you as far as getting published? There are so many people involved it’s hard to pick just one. It’s a combined effort. Of course I have to write the book, but editors, and designers get a lot of credit.

As an author, is there any one author or book out there that inspired you write a specific genre? I would not say there is an author or a book that inspired me to write young adult. I would say having a teen daughter gave me a lot of inspiration. And my Irish grandmother inspired me to write about elves.


Do you have a favorite and non-favorite genre to write and read?
I have always loved to read. I can pretty much read and enjoy anything. There are so many amazing authors out there. I do tend to read mostly fiction I love to get lost in a book. As far as writing, I really enjoy the paranormal young adult. When there is magic anything can happen.

Would you say that being a reader is important to being a writer? It is important to me. I learn a lot through reading other author’s works.

I know that many authors today utilize other authors while they are writing their books as critique partners. How do you edit your books?
I just recently got two amazing critique partners. Fellow authors Talia Jager and Heather Adkins. I also hire two editors.

Are you a part of a critique group? I belong to critiquecircle.com however, I don’t utilize it as much as I should. There are some amazing helpful people on that site.

If so...Would they or yourself be interested in being contacted about critiquing other authors? I’m really not the best as far as critiques go. Which is why I require two editors. I do love to beta read. I just can’t help someone clean up their story, but I can tell them what I enjoyed as a reader.

Do you have a favorite place to write that helps bring inspiration to your stories? I really like to be alone and in a quite place when I write. However, with three children that doesn’t happen very often. So I tend to write late at night or when the youngest is napping. When I am lucky, my husband takes the baby out so I can write.

Do you listen to music when writing? No, it’s too distracting for me.
Would you say that writing has gotten easier for you now that you are published? No, if anything it might be harder. I feel the pressure to make the next book better than the first. I have learned a lot so certain steps are easier. My revision time has been cut in half for the second book.

How long does it generally take you to write a book? Three to four months for the rough draft.



What was your inspiration to write Coexist? When I sat down to think about what I wanted to write,the idea of elves was pretty automatic. My mother is 100% Irish. My grandmother loved telling Irish tales, and my family all have pointy ears which we get teased for having elf ears. When I first started dating my husband, he told me he had a strange dream about an elf battle. I actually forgot about that until I almost finished the book. I think that was probably always in the back of my subconscious.

Is there a book trailer for Coexist?
Yes, I was fortunate enough to find
parajunkeedesigns.com she made and amazing trailer for Coexist. http://youtube/I9S5rXgjlok

How much research if any did you put into writing Coexist?
I’m almost embarrassed to say very little. I just sat down and started writing. The story came to me fairly quick. I did research dark elves because I didn’t really have a firm grasp on how I wanted to portray them.

Would you say that the setting of your book was vital in the telling of your story?
Yes, because it was set in modern times. However, the elves were still drawn to nature so they liked to live near the woods. Of course, the battle had to take place in Ireland where it all began.

Without giving away any spoilers, what would you say was the most challenging part of Coexist to write?
Hmm, it really wasn’t a challenge to write it. It was a challenge to revise after editing. That took me longer than writing the book. 


What was your favorite part of Coexist?

My favorite part of the book would have to be the family dynamics among the elves.
  

What is your favorite part of writing? My favorite part of writing was seeing the word count go up so quickly. I started writing it on a whim, not confident I could finish it.

Which character do you identify with the most? Emerald, even though I tried not to she turned out a lot like me.




Which was your favorite to write? I really enjoyed writing the character Thaddeus. However, Rourk was the easiest to write. He came naturally to me.




Are any of the characters in Coexist a direct reflection of yourself or someone you know? Yes, I took characteristics from people I know for most of the characters in the book. They say write what you know.

Where and or how did you come up with the names for your characters? Keegan, I have just always loved that name for a girl. Rourk, was the name of one of my favorite characters in a novel. Emerald, I just made that up out of the blue. Thaddeus, Brigid, and Katrina are my actual siblings names. Warrick is my youngest son’s name. The rest, no real reason behind them.


How much input do you have in the cover art of your books? I was lucky to find an amazing cover artist, Kadri Umbleja. She is on DeviantArt. We went back and forth several times during the process. However, the vision is all hers. I told her about the story and in minutes she had an idea it was pretty amazing. The girl on the covers is actually my daughter. 


I know that you have a second book coming out soon. Would you like to share any news with our readers about the release date or story itself?
Tentative release is September 15th. However, things don’t aways go as planned so that is a fingers crossed date.




Which of your two most recent books would you say was your favorite to write?
I think Coexist even though I believe my writing improved in Conflicted. I loved bringing life to Keegan and Rourk.




How many more books do you plan on writing in the Coexist series?
As of right now, only three. However, I do plan on writing some spin off books to shed light on some of the smaller characters that have a story to tell.




I know that Coexist is set to come out in paperback soon. Is this as an exciting time for you as when it came out in eBook format? It is exciting, but also slightly frustrating. Since I live in Dubai the mail takes forever to get here. My sister has already seen a preview copy and I want to hold it in my hands.




Do you have any bookmarks or signed bookplates that readers can inquire about?
Not yet, but those are great ideas I will have to look into.




Aside from writing, what are your other hobbies and interest?
Before we moved to Dubai my husband and I owned a small gym, so fitness has always been important. I enjoy reading although it’s harder to find the time now. I don’t really have any hobbies. I spend my free time with husband and children. We do travel a lot so maybe that’s a hobby?

Do you have a favorite book that you would like to give a shout out to?
Well, it’s actually not released yet. I was lucky enough to beta read for Talia Jager and she as great vampire book soon to be released called Secret Bloodline. 

Is there an author out there that our readers may not have heard of yet or been exposed to that you believe could use a little bit of extra recognition? Heather Adkins. She’s a wonderful person and amazing writer.


Where can readers purchase a copy of Coexist and your other books? http://www.amazon.com/Coexist-Keegans-Ch...
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/coexist-...
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66...


Where can readers get in touch with or follow you? Blog: http://coexistjuliacrane.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coexist-Ke...
Twitter: juliacrane2
Goodreads:  
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/480...
email: juliacrane@zoho.com

Will you accept inquiries from other bloggers to host giveaways on their blogs?
Yes, I love giveaways.


Would you mind other bloggers contacting you about interviews or Guest Posts? I’m always open for interviews. I rarely do guest post, they stress me out too much. I’m sadly not a very good blogger.




Do you review books? Well, I post reviews on Amazon etc. However, I write short and sweet. I have a lot of respect for book bloggers that write long reviews. I’m also very grateful for them.

Is there a link somewhere that will take readers to a "frequently asked questions" page?
No, I guess that is something I should add to my list of things to do. This interview has given me a lot of ideas.

Aside from marriage proposals, are there any types of questions that you will not answer for readers?
I cannot think of anything off the top of my head. I love having readers send me emails to ask questions.

And lastly, a question for fun.

What is the airspace velocity of an unladen swallow?

My sister is a huge Monty Python fan. She will get a kick out of this. I just finished a 6 mile run and I can guarantee it’s a lot faster than I am!

With all that having been asked, do you as an author have any questions for our readers? Rourk or Donald?

Amazing interview. Thank you again for being here and for answering all of our questions. We would love to have you back again. Just say when :)




If you liked this interview and are interested in reading Julia's first book Coexist, please leave a creative comment below and tell her why.  She might just giveaway a couple of eBooks to the most creative reasons.  Go ahead, tell Julia why you want to read Coexist! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch



I just had to share this one.  I came across the trailer today and have rearranged my TBR pile!  I am soo excited to read this book!




You can read the first four chapters here on Jeff Hirsch's Blog!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Buzz About Keegan's Chronicles by Julia Crane



Have you seen the book trailer?





Want to know what they are saying about Coexist?

Here are a couple of reviews from Amazon:




5.0 out of 5 stars A.M.A.Z.I.N.G, July 5, 2011


This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
Richard looked over at Rourk. "You better get used to this son. It takes two or three times longer to get anywhere with her when she has a camera in her hand." Looking amused, Rourk said, "I would wait forever for her."


Coexist...I have been sitting here for hours just wondering what on earth I am going to write for this review..well here goes nothing..

Keegan looks like a normal teenage girl, a very beautiful girl, but still normal..what her friends don't know though..is she's an elf..lets get this cleared up right now..she does NOT work for Santa and she is NOT a midget. Elves are different then everyone thinks, they look like normal people, yes it's true they never get very tall, they have slightly pointed ears, but besides that she is a normal looking teenager with powers..and secrets.

In Elfin society you are picked who you will marry the day you are born, but you can't meet them till your 18. This little rule is driving Keegan crazy, her brother Thaddeus has told her her future husbands name, Rourk. All she can do lately is think about him..and Rourk knows it..for everytime she thinks of him it calls him to her..maybe this rule is meant to be broken..with an elf war between light and dark coming soon..and Thaddeus Keegans brother having vision of her death..will Rourk and Keegan get to spend the life they want together? Or will something much darker tear them apart...

When I saw this book pop up on my update feed on goodreads, I bought it on my android phone right then, and wow am I ever so happy that I did. This book had me on the edge of my seat and chewing my nails with excitement and anxious-ness I just needed to know what was gonna happen next! With that I read it in one sitting, there was no way I wasn't gonna finish it that night. You could have came in my room and been like " HALEY ROBERT PATTINSON IS DOWN STAIRS, HE WANTS TO MARRY YOU!" and I would have told him it is gonna have to wait till I finish Coexist...ya this book was that good.

This book has a huge handful of characters I enjoyed, first there is Keegan, she is a normal teenager, super nice, likes boys, likes shopping and she just seemed so likable. I would deff wanna be friends with her if she went to my school..Rourke..is sooooo swoon worthy, I could not stop myself from drooling over him, he was just so protective and truly cared about Keegan..and ya I totally am crushing on him. Donald I also liked..there wasn't a ton of info about him..but I have a feeling in the next book he will be very involved (;..and then there was Thaddius..I couldn't help but find myself feeling sorry for him..he sees all these visions of his loved ones dying..and can't even tell them to worn them..it totally broke my heart. Out of all the characters though..Rourke deff has won my heart and is my favorite. (:

If you pick up this book, I'm sure it will not disappoint, it had everything, it was cute, yet dark..and well that combo just makes for a perfect book on my shelf, Julie has truly written an amazing read. (: Anyways this book is the best, and I CANNOT wait for the Conflicted, this story ends with such a twist and will leave you kicking and screaming for the next book!

----I think this is officially my longest review, sorry everyone it was just such a great book!(:
--Conflicted (book 2) Is going to be released in the fall!


 *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book!, August 18, 2011


This review is from: Coexist (Keegan's Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
Keegan is a sixteen year old elf who lives among humans, goes to high school, loves shopping and going to Starbucks. All of Keegan's life, she has dreamt of the day when she would find out who her "chosen" one would be. This would be her life-long mate. This is pre-determined and nobody is supposed to know who their mate is going to be until they are eighteen. Keegan's young brother, Thaddeus, has the gift of sight and told her the name of whom her mate is going to be. The reasoning for this is because Thaddeus knows that Keegan will eventually need protection and who better to do that than Rourk, her chosen mate.

Unbeknownst to her, every time she thinks about him, she is calling to him. It is very difficult for Rourk to not go see her when she is calling him. Rourk does not know Keegan's name at first, but knows that she is his chosen one.

Keegan, her family and the rest of the light elves are going to prepare for this battle.

I Like:
*I LOVED this book!! I loved the suspense of Keegan not knowing who Rourk is, and calling him whenever she thought of his name.
*How the interaction between the Thaddeus and Keegan seem like normal siblings.
*How Thaddeus deals with his gift and balances that with being a teenage boy and a warrior for the light elves.
*I loved the romance in this book. How people are more than they seem.

I Did Not Like:
*The book ended so soon. I wanted to know more about Keegan, Rourk and the rest of the characters. This is definitely a series I want to keep an eye on!!


Still need more? Check out the rest of the reviews on Amazon!



Julia will be here on Friday, August 26th answering interview questions.


Leave a comment under her interview telling her why you want to read her books and maybe *hint-hint* she will give a couple of eBooks away to her favorites.  Be creative and have fun!  :)

Coexist-Keegan's Chronicles Book 1 Chapter 1 Preview

Coexist Chapter1

Monday, August 22, 2011

Paradox-The Angels Are Here Book 1



Gifted
Paperback
Self-published 2011
172 pages
4 Stars


Excerpt from the back of the book:

Nine hundred years ago, under the complete cover of darkness, the Grigorian army rose silently  from their underground lair and attacked the Bulguardian Royal Palace.  The bloody and violent battle between the two most legendary houses raged on.  All but the majestic Royal City of Altair.

It was not the first war that Juliette had endured between good and evil.  And it most certainly would not be her last.


Today, a little girl's world is turned upside sown by a visitor, the Angel of Death. She finds herself trapped in a nightmare, consumed by her paralyzing loss and overwhelming grief. The haunting visions and untimely deaths of others are a constant reminder that life and death are only a heartbeat away.

Eventually she befriends an unusual little girl who moves in nest door with captivating violet eyes and a profound knowledge of things that far exceed her tender years.

A saga crossing over two worlds.  Two souls being drawn precariously together over the centuries. 

When your destiny has been written in blood, and you are left with one burning question.  Is your Guardian Angel from Heaven or Hell?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


This book was a challenge for me to read.  I love the idea of Guardian Angels protecting us, so I was very eager to read this.  The challenge was that I had a very exact idea of what Guardian Angels were and how they were supposed to be and act.  This book proved to be very different from all that I saw them to be and removing my preconceptions were difficult for me. 

The story starts out in the world of the angels and we are very quickly introduced to several different characters including Abaddon who is an "evil" Angel who is hell bent on being all things evil, even if it means stepping all over his family members. 

We are then thrown into the present day where we meet Grace and her angel Hope.  Grace is a child who is very withdrawn from other children her age and has difficulty making friends.  This is where Hope comes into play.  Hope becomes a friend to her where she has none in order to get her through her early years. 

When Grace is 11 years old, her father dies unexpectedly and this destroys her mother emotionally.  With her mother no longer to able to tend to Grace's emotional well being, Grace once again seeks Hope for comfort.  In addition to Hope, Wade, the officer who informed the family of Brian's death, becomes a very important fixture in their home.  He cooks and cleans and plays with Grace where her mother is in able to until she meets and befriends Angela, the new neighbor.  He also helps Kate, Grace's mother, to eventually find a job and begin to live again. 

During all of this, Grace has begun to have premonitions of things that she does not understand.  She has these visions as nightmares and they worry her.  She is unable to explain them to anyone let alone herself.  So she just tries to get through them.

The book to me had a very slow start, but once we got past the history of the angels and their war, it moved much more quickly.  A lot of thought and love was put into this book.  I can tell that Patti worked very hard on getting all of the details exactly the way that she wanted me to see them.  There were times throughout the book that I believe could have benefited from a wee bit more attention to character building as opposed to world building.  I understand the need to build the world to greatness was to get us hooked on the sequels and that was wonderful. 

As this is a self-published books, there were a few grammatical errors, but all of that can be overlooked if you a a lover of angels.  I will recommend this to anyone who loves the paranormal, especially angels, and loves to try new things.  Patti's vision of Guardian Angels is definitely one to be read by those with a great appreciation for the kind of angels who have a passion for the dark side!

I give Patti Roberts book, Paradox-The Angels Are Here Book 1, 4 stars.
The world building was great.
The research put into this book shows.
The characters were believable.
The ending left me with a deep curiosity for what is to come in the next installment.

Thank you Patti for sharing you book with me.  (:

Wither by Lauren Destephano Book Trailer

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson Book Trailer

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly Book Trailer


Matched by Ally Condie Book Trailer

Immortal Embrace by Charlotte Blackwell Book Trailer

Hidden by Shailini Boland Book Trailer

Forbidden Embrace by Charlotte Blackwell Book Trailer

Divergent by Veronica Roth Book Trailer

Delirium by Lauren Oliver Book Trailer

Coexist-Keegan's Chronicles Book 1 by Julia Crane Book Trailer

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver Book Trailer

A Job From Hell by Jayde Scott Book Trailer

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wither (The Chemical Garden Triology Book 1)

Wither (Chemical Garden, #1)


Purchased
Hardcopy
Published by Simon & Schuster March 2011
358 pages
4 Stars

Warning! Contains a small amount of spoilers!

Excerpt from the inside jacket cover of Wither:
Mostly because I could not have made it sound any more exciting.  (-:

Thanks to modern science, every newborn has become a ticking time bomb--males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty.  In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege.  Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Thine has one purpose:  to escape--to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom.  Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to to test his experiments.  With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
This book is very hard for me to review.  I wasn't sure where to start or who to start with.  I have now figured out why.  I really was torn while reading this book for many, many different reasons.  It is written in such a way that you can't get attached to any one particular character.  I believe that Lauren DeStephano may have something going for her here if we can get used to knowing that when we pick up one of her books, that we will both love and hate all of her characters equally. 
The main idea of this story surrounds Rhine and her determination to escape her imprisonment as the bride of Governor Linden.  As we read the background story of Rhine, we understand her reasons for wanting to escape and find her brother and to go home.  We want to help her escape. The challenge is getting over the decisions that she makes while trying to escape. 

13 year old Cecily's determination to be happy in the marriage that has brought them all together as sister wives, is very plausible.  When the world you live in has you begging for food, selling your body, and keeping one eye open at night to keep from being stolen or worse, you can easily follow the reasons that Cecily has to be happy about being a bride in a wealthy household where everything is catered to you. Once you get over how old she is and accept that her young age and behavior are critical to the story line, then she becomes a bit less irritating and a bit more pity worthy.
It is also very sadly realistic to come to understand 18 year old Jenna's acceptance of their new life.  When every reason that you have to fight against becoming a bride has been taken from you, you can almost feel the lack of strength or will drain from you. Jenna's two sisters, who were amongst the girls to choose from,  have not been chosen as sister wives and have been killed because of this.  Because of their deaths and her hate for Housemaster Vaughn for causing them, Jenna is determined to help Rhine escape no matter what the cost.  She is our heroine for both taking and deflecting pain from Rhine, however, the way that she gives in in order to do it was at times a disappointment.

In the mansion that the girls are imprisoned in, Housemaster Vaughn is determined for find a cure to the virus that is killing his son Linden and the world.  His determination is hateful because of the way that he goes about things to keep his dream of finding a cure within reach.   When we think about him as a parent potentially losing a second child to the virus, his determination can also be understood and almost accepted.
Governor Linden was born into privilege and knows nothing of the world that his wives have been taken from. He doesn't understand why Jenna will not speak to him or why Rhine is not happy to be married to him.  He only knows that he loves each of them.  This is both understandable and irritating to me as a reader, because I really want to hate him for being a part of the wealthy society that hasn't had to experience the world the way that his wives have had to. With that being said, I also want to swoon over him, because who wouldn't a man who loves you unconditionally.  With everything that his wives do to keep him at bay, he is still forgiving, patient and loving. 

Gabriel, what to say about Gabriel...He is a servant who was purchased at the age of nine and also knows nothing of the world outside of the mansion.  His adoration of Rhine and his innocence make him both swoon worthy and irritating.  He is completely lovable because of his quiet defiance of  Housemaster Vaughn yet he manages to be equally irritating by being too innocent, with ideals that are just to sweet to be believable.

After I read this book, I was sure that I missed some things, so I rented it on audio book from my library and still came away with the same feeling.  I am equally torn between whether to love or hate each of her characters and because of this, I am going to have to say that is definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone but not one that I would say that was a favorite.  I am extremely excited to see what Lauren and her writing have in store for us in the future.  I am positive that she will  be an author with many great works to read.

I give Wither 4 Stars

Lenmeo
After The Book

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Forever Sunshine Synopsis and Review!

View a preview of this book online
View the full version of this book online

Blurb courtesy of Goodreads

 

Forever Sunshine


Forever Sunshine

By Collette Scott



by
5.0 of 5 stars5.00 · rating details · 6 ratings · 4 reviews
Young and naïve Cherisse Bridwell had focused solely on completing her college degree and beginning her career until one hot summer evening when her frightened older sister, Shelly, arrives looking for help. Cher's carefully ordered life quickly comes to an end. Trapped in an abusive marriage, Shelly is terrified and has nowhere else to go but to her overworked and oblivious sister. Though Cher is not prepared to handle the effects of a controlling and violent husband, fate delivers help via police sergeant Brandon Nicholson. With his strength and guidance, he shows Cherisse and Shelly how to survive and how to live life to the fullest. As both women find their inner strength, Cher and Brandon fall in love and build a future together. However, life is full of ups and downs, and through it all Cher and her family must continue to face every day with a feeling of hope and optimism, even when it seems as though all hope is gone.(less)
Paperback, 338 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by Marimay Publishing
ISBN
0615462545 (ISBN13: 9780615462547)
primary language
English
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I cannot not wait to read and review this book!--Lenmeo @ After The Book

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Enjoy a great review of Forever Sunshine by author KC Stone!




Review for Thursday July 14th.
Posted by kcstone   



Forever Sunshine by Collette Scott

Love is a powerful feeling to say the least. In Forever-Sunshine, Collette Scott not only captured the vital emotions associated with love, but she also revealed the true meaning of it. Cherisse… young, vibrant and inexperienced in the “real world” was my best friend from the beginning. She is forced into reality with a simple knock on her door by her sister, Sherry, and her life would never be the same.
Miracles can come in strange little packages that are sometimes disguised as handsome, powerful, and mouth-watering men, like Brandon. Brandon walked beside Cherisse from the first “accident” to the very last, guiding her and giving her the strong embrace that would see her through it all. Every good woman should have a Brandon in her life!
This novel is truly amazing from the first page, however, it shares an ugly truth with its readers. Domestic violence is a slithering poisonous snake waiting in the weeds. You may not see it in your daily talks with your neighbor, at your school PTA meetings or even at the family barbeque. But while trying to stay hidden and out of sight, this snake with strike leaving everyone around it in fear and turmoil. Collette Scott does a wonderful job shedding light on this dangerous issue by writing a compelling love story that proves the pain, joy and triumph of true love. You will smile at the flirtatious comments, become breathless with the passion, and will fight back the tears with little success.
It was my pleasure to read such a touching story.
Available at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/55308 and Amazon!
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Another great review can be found here @ Jeanz Book Read and Review!  Go and check her blog out for yet another great interview with Collette! 
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Second Interview with Collette Scott Author of Forever Sunshine--About her Books

What was your inspiration to write Forever Sunshine?

When we first moved out to Arizona from Massachusetts, I was shocked at how different the culture was here. In Arizona, especially during the early 2000’s, there was so much growth. That brought people from all over the country. It was a huge city, and there was far more crime than I had ever experienced in my tiny little home state. Within months of moving here, I watched a highly publicized funeral on television. After that, I dreamed of Cher and Brandon, and the story was born. It took me about three months to write.

Is there a book trailer for your book?

Yes, Patti Roberts put together a book trailer for me. It’s on my blog and I love it! She did a great job of piecing music with photos to fit the love story and trials the characters go through. As an avid reader, do you enjoy looking at book trailers?

Collette, as an avid reader, I (Lenmeo) love to to investigate everything about a book that I am interested in reading. I check other blogs for reviews, author pages for insight and of course YouTube for the visual aspect.

How much research if any did you put into writing Forever Sunshine?

Ah, the blessing of the Internet. I spent a lot of time researching law enforcement, courts, and shelters. While some of the basis of the story I had previous experience with,the details were necessary to research in order to get things right.
Would you say that the setting of your book was as vital in the telling of your story as the characters themselves were?

Without a doubt. I could never have placed my characters back in Massachusetts. While there is definitely domestic violence, you would not see the coyote influence with illegal aliens as broadly as in a border state such as Arizona. Furthermore, in the opening scene when Cher first sees the state of Shelly’s marriage to Joe, it’s summer. The Phoenix area of Arizona in summer is hot, and no one enjoys our baking temperatures. The heat plays a large role in Joe’s anger.

Without giving away any spoilers, what would you say was the most challenging part of Forever Sunshine to write?

Oh my, it was the ending for sure. I knew I had to end it that way, but I had such a hard time putting it down on paper. It is such an emotional scene, and it reminded me of all the real people who have experienced a time just like it. My heart ached for them as I wrote it out.

What was your favorite part?

When Brandon proposes to Cher. His devotion to Cher is so sweet in my eyes, and I love how he accepts her totally and completely. He sees in her what she hasn’t yet - that she’s strong and capable and has so much to offer.

Which character(s) do you identify with the most?

I would have to say Cher in the beginning of her story. She was so young and so foolish, and she made plenty of mistakes that in hindsight she realizes and accepts. I think we all can relate to that. You are not born wise, and you will stumble and fall multiple times. If you can accept those moments as a learning experience and grow from there, you can do better in the future. I’d like to think that I have been able to do that in my own life.

Which was your favorite to write?

Brandon. I, like many of my readers, developed a huge crush on him. Some of my male readers have made comments to me like ‘why is he so perfect?’. I laugh and remind them that the story is seen through Cher’s eyes, and therefore how else would she portray him?

Are any of the characters in Forever Sunshine a direct reflection of yourself or someone you know?

Each person is an individual. While there may be a scene where I may have drawn on some personal experience, for the most part they act, speak, and live entirely of their own accord. 

Where and or how did you come up with the names for your characters?

Once again, I give credit to the Internet. Oftentimes I search the most popular baby names from the year that they were born and try to pick out one that I think will fit the character’s personality fairly well. Cherisse, though, was an exception. Her name came with her in my dream.

How much input do you have in the cover art of your book?

So far, a lot. I have used my own personal photography for the cover of the two books I have out so far. Forever Sunshine’s cover shows one of our beautiful Arizona sunsets. The sun may set every day, but it rises just as gloriously in the morning just like Cher and Brandon’s love for each other.

Would you like to share any news with our readers about any upcoming books?

Hannah’s Blessing has just been released. After such an emotional story like Forever Sunshine, I opted to put out a happier contemporary romance as a follow up. While Diana still has some emotional growth to face in her tale, it is a happy ‘dream-come-true’ story. I have two more rough drafts completed, but I don’t have a release date or title for either yet. These stories will introduce the relatives of Chuck Evans from Forever Sunshine. That happened completely subliminally. I was writing about Andrew and Jamie, and the sentence ‘Jamie Morton, formally Evans,’ appeared. The next thing I knew, I had a whole brood of Evans cousins to write about!

Which of your two most recent books would you say was your favorite to write?

Hannah’s Blessing was so much fun. I mean, seriously, what woman wouldn’t want a wealthy, drop-dead gorgeous man to come and sweep her off her feet? To Hawaii,no less? It was very entertaining to research yachts, fancy houses in Malibu, private airplanes, etc.

Why do you think that readers can relate to your characters?

My characters are very human. A lot of the feedback I have received from Forever Sunshine centers on the fact that these characters could be your next-door neighbor. They are very human, make mistakes, fall down and get back up, just like we all do.

What if anything do you want readers to take away from Forever Sunshine?

The morale of this story is that bad things do happen to good people, but we are able to learn and grow. I want readers to see that domestic violence survivors are strong women that often make terrifying choices all on their own. These women run away,often without the help of their family and friends, and for that they deserve a giant shout out for their bravery. The same holds true for our law enforcement officials. Every day they take a chance of pulling over a car or running into a house and coming face to face with a gun. While we don’t often see it when we look at our neighbors, there are so many scenes of tremendous sacrifice and bravery that I just wanted to put it down on paper.

Do you have any bookmarks or signed bookplates that readers can inquire about?

Yes, I have plenty of bookmarks that I bring to all of my book signings. I would love to do bookplates at some point but haven’t yet.

Aside from writing, what are your other hobbies and interests?

I have a few. Reading, of course, any chance that I can get. I also have three children that keep me very busy. Living out in the glorious desert of Arizona, we do a lot of hiking, horseback riding and traveling when we can. I picked up a love of travel from my mother. When I was little, she used to tell us kids to hop in the car for a road trip. I still love to do that and will jump in a car or hop an airplane whenever I am able to. I love to see new places and experience new things and hope I pass it on to my children as well.

Where can readers purchase a copy of Forever Sunshine and your other books?

My books are available online in print and electronically through all the major retailers,such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Diesel, Smashwords, and iTunes.

What formats are your books sold in?

Both paperback and eBooks.

Where can readers get in touch with or follow you?

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ColletteScott
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4929698.Collette_Scott
email: collette.scott3@gmail.com
Website: http://www.collettescott.com

Will you accept inquiries from other bloggers to host giveaways on their blogs?

Absolutely! I would love to!

Would you mind other bloggers contacting you about interviews or Guest Posts?

For sure! I have recently begun to interview authors and have a separate area on my blog where their posts are. I think it’s a wonderful tool to help spread the word about our books, writing process, and names.

Do you review books?

Not professionally. I am a writer first and foremost! I love to read and will write my reviews on Goodreads. I have even done some writer interviews following a book I have read. However, I like to keep them informal because I think reviewing is another full-time job. You tell me. Is it?

It most certainly is Collette! As a new blogger, I am learning this very quickly, but I'm having a great time along the way.

Aside from marriage proposals, are there any types of questions that you will not answer for readers?

Who says I won’t answer that? Haha. Just kidding.

Actually, I am very open to any kind of question, as long as it is respectful. I have received some crazy questions from people through Facebook, for instance, and I try to answer them honestly and directly. I'm sure you can relate to that, right?

Yes, I can definitely attest to the odd person and request from Facebook.

And lastly, a question for fun.

What is the airspace velocity of an unladen swallow?

Seriously!? I haven’t taken math in years! No fair asking an English person a math question… that’s cheating J... Ok, to be more adult-like now, I would have to ask what the air speed is, if it is morning or evening since there may be updrafts, and what the surrounding terrain is like. If the bird is in the mountains, the air speed may fluctuate due to cross-breezes and the like. Ha! Now how does that sound? I hedged that one. If you give me those answers, I’ll have to be honest and say I will just Google! Is there an answer to that one?

To be very honest, I would have to consult Google myself. This is a question that I actually got from my husband. He is such a character. I asked him for an interview question and he gives me a quote from Monty Python's The Holy Grail. Typical! :)

Wow, that was an amazing interview. Thank you for answering all of our questions. I hope that you will visit us again soon. We would love to have you back when your next book is released to talk again.

Thank you so much for having me. I had such a blast answering these wonderful questions for you,and I would love to come back again! Best wishes and thanks again. Keep in touch.
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