Friday, 26 August 2011

20% off Danver's Asylum at Smashwords!


Have you got your copy of DANVERS ASYLUM by                            
Well for 2 WEEKS ONLY you can buy your very own copy of DANVERS ASYLUM at SMASHWORDS.
Until September 8th 2011 you can purchase DANVERS ASYLUM for 20% off RRP
Use Smashwords Code HC96G on checkout and pay only $5.59

Can you handle a stay at Danvers Asylum? Insanity is the only way out!

Welcome to Danvers State Insane Asylum, home to some of the most demented men and women in the country. Doctor Eugene Charles - head of the asylum and manager of its inner workings - has seen his share of insanity in the eyes of every patient residing behind the walls of his asylum. But the newest addition to his facility will redefine the meaning of insanity once and for all.

John Stephenson, an American writer of horror/fiction, is about to publish his latest creation and the haunting, subliminal messages that go along with them. His books are the works of a madman and the hidden verses within them, will change the lives of whoever reads them . . . including yours. 

Monday, 15 August 2011

Interview with Cameo Renae, author of In My Dreams

*When did you discover you wanted to write and publish books?
I've always had a love for reading and writing, for as long as I can remember. There was something about writing that made me happy, but I never really took it seriously. About seven years ago, I decided to take a writing course. I had to come up with stories based on pictures, and prompts, and I had a blast seeing what my feeble mind could create.
Then, I found a writing community online. I joined that and began sharing my short-stories with other writers. We all read and critiqued each others work, and I actually won a short-story contest. Yay! I had so much positive feedback from everyone that I decided that I'd love to try and take on a novel.
I first started with a children's fantasy novel, as C.S. Lewis was my favorite author growing up, but that is still sitting un-finished on my computer begging to be completed. I promised myself that I would try and finish it in 2012. :) 

*How long did it take to write In My Dreams?
Because life happens... it took two years to complete, but for one of those years it sat untouched. January 2011 ~ My New Year resolution was to finish In My Dreams, and proudly, a few months later... I was done! :)

*What inspired the novel?
There were many events that inspired the novel. First was the passing of my mother-in-law. Cancer stole her beautiful life much too early. It was devastating, especially to my husband who was a momma's boy. Some of her last words to me were, "Keep writing, Cam." And I have.
Then, we began to watch shows like Lisa Williams, and John Edwards - Crossing Over, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal State, and the movie "Ghost" with Patrick Swayze came on.
But, the main thing that inspired the movie was a dream I had, which was more of a nightmare. I woke my husband and told him all about it. He thought it was cool... I was trying to figure out what it meant. But, the next morning, I turned on my computer and began writing my dream. It became the first part of Chapter 1 of In My Dreams. (I did have to add a few extra's for it to make sense.)  

*Is there anything in particular you want readers to take away from reading In My Dreams?

I'd like to think that our loved ones still hang around us when they pass; check up on us from time to time, and give us signs that they are near. That's a wonderful thought, and something I hope might bring some comfort to those that have lost loved ones. 

*Do you have a routine you go through to get in the 'zone' to write? Or do you let it come as it may?
Well... there are days when I'm totally not in the mood, and then there are those days when I am excited to write. On those excited days... I brew my pot of coffee, make sure my laptop is fully charged, get to my happy spot, and write away.

*Are there any experiences or characters based on real life?
All of the characters were made up, and so were most of the experiences. I did live in Alaska for two years, so the locations are pretty accurate, and I did go to Hatcher's Pass and sled down the hill at mile marker 16... That was an adventure gone bad. A story all of it's own, and would take up too much space for this interview.

*Has In My Dreams been the success you hoped it would be?
In My Dreams has actually superseded my expectations. I really didn't know what to expect from readers. I mean... who am I? Really... nobody knows Cameo Renae, and I was one-in-a-gazillion of debut authors. I didn't have a website, I wasn't connected with the social network, and I didn't know the first thing about blogging, or even what a blog was. I learned from researching. I knew that if I didn't promote, my book would be lost in a sea of great books. Along the way I've met some great new friends, that have read, and loved In My Dreams, and have helped me spread the word. For that, I am eternally grateful. (Thanks, Casey! ;)) 
Anything I can do to help a fellow writer!

*I know some writers who map out a timeline for a story, and then fill it in, and then some of us just let the story tell itself, and are just along for the ride. Do you identify with either of these styles, or do you have a style completely different?
In My Dreams had a mind of its own. Really, it just took over and wanted to practically write itself. I didn't have a timeline, an outline, or characters. I just wrote and everything just seemed to fall into place. I'd say I was pretty lucky.
But now... I've learned to become a whole lot more organized. The next novel is a bit more complex. More character's, locations, etc... I had to make sure everyone was detailed and looked the same throughout the story.

*Is there an author who you see as a mentor?
Oh boy... there are so many authors that I love. Too many to name. But the one that made me want to read more as a child was C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia. Loved them.

*When it comes to reading for pleasure, what is your favourite genre? Who is your favourite author?
My favorite genre right now is YA Paranormal Romance. Love reading it, and love writing it. My new favorite author is Jayde Scott. I just finished reading her novel, and she's an awesome writer.

*Do you have any other projects in mind?
I'm working on finishing my next novel, which is set to be a YA Paranormal romance trilogy. I should be finished in a few weeks, then the dreaded editing! Ugh! :D
I highly anticipate this trilogy!

*What would be your advice to aspiring authors?

Write what you love. Magic happens when you write about something you're passionate about. Make sure you let you're readers feel, smell, taste, and touch your words. Don't tell them a story, make them live it. (I have to remind myself of this all the time). And then... edit, edit, edit. My favorite part ~ (NOT!)

*What do you do when you aren't writing?
Working. My family calls me a work-aholic. I have two jobs. Great jobs, but they keep me VERY busy. First, I book reservations for Pony Express Tours, which is a horseback riding tour company that takes you down into the Haleakala crater (Our dormant volcano), and across the Haleakala Ranch.
Then, I book weddings for my husband, who is a Hawaiian officiate. He performs weddings on the beaches of Maui, and boy... he's in demand! He averages about 30 weddings per month. My phone and calendar are practically glued to my hip. ;)
Oh... and of course... I love to read. When I have the time. ;)
Both jobs sound wonderful. I would love to go to Hawaii and book a riding tour through you, sounds like a dream for a horse lover and budding photographer like me!

Thanks again, to Casey of Phoenix Photography and Writing for being a great host! :)
You're more than welcome, Cameo. Had a wonderful time reviewing, and reading your answers. Yet another thoroughly enjoyable read and interview, thank you for not giving up on In My Dreams!

Details of the giveaway shall be posted soon (just regarding how the winner is chosen), but the "conditions" are the same as last time: Comment (either on here or the event's wall on Facebook) what you found most interesting about this interview. One lucky winner shall receive a copy of this beautiful story, In My Dreams. Good luck to all!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Yay! I received this awesome award from:

Cameo Renae

Thanks so much!

The Liebster Blog Award, is an award that highlights book blogs with under 200 followers, to spread the word and show some love.

 Here are the rules:
  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
  3. Copy and past the award on your blog.
  4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
  5. And most of all - have bloggit-blog fun!

Go check out these great blogs and show them some love!

Review of In My Dreams, by Cameo Renae

In My Dreams is attention-grabbing from the start, with scenes aptly painted, and emotions superbly expressed. I was drawn in straight away, and found it hard to pull back enough to jot down notes. Cameo weaves a fantastic web of words, and every setting drew me deeper in to Liz’s mind. So when she had a dream of waking up in her boyfriend’s car, hours after Michael was supposed to pick her up, and things didn’t seem right, I had a gut feeling sympathetic to her discomfort. When she genuinely wakes up to a phone call from Michael’s father, informing her of his death, her shock and horror choked me up, and I was only 20 pages in to the story.
As Liz experiences the transitions of grief, it made me wonder how I would react if I was to ever get that call. It’s a horrible thought, but the fact that it was going through my mind is a testament to the credibility of Cameo’s characters, and their emotions.
Of course, the story doesn’t end yet. I was left with the question “What happened to Michael? Why was he at Hatcher’s Pass, a place that clearly isn’t anywhere near Liz’s place?”
Liz’s gift of premonition, a curse in her mind, soon showed her a confrontation between Tyler, an old school chum, and a stranger, with her doomed love soon walking in on the trouble. She’s left wondering how Tyler was involved, and disturbed by dreams that open more questions than they answer. When a shaman approaches her claiming she’s made contact with Michael, and proceeds to prove his presence, Liz’s emotions run high, and are palpable through the pages. As the supernatural is deftly introduced to the story, it sparks higher interest.
A few little grammar mistakes were picked up as I read, but they certainly didn’t detract from the story, and very few editors can pick every single little error.
Lizzy’s quest to find out what happened to Michael took me on an interesting, supernatural ride that I found quite fascinating. I would definitely recommend it for young adults and adults alike, whether you believe in the supernatural or not. In My Dreams presents a beautiful idea that loved ones can still contact us after the physical death, and comfort us in our loss. Spirits be praised, we have a triumphant sensation!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Interview with Gisela Sedlemayer, author of the Talon series

My lates review, TALON, COME FLY WITH ME, has proven to be a sweet, wonderful start to what promises to be a fantastic series for children and young adults, not to mention a great opportunity to remind adults that differences don't matter. I couldn't resist the chance to find out more about the interesting tale of Gisela, the lady behind this gorgeous series.

*What inspired you to start writing, and how long have you had the desire to publish your own work?

From a young age I wrote short animal stories because I loved to read them. Nothing
was ever done with them, but I really enjoyed writing them. But it stopped when I married my Australian husband, Albert. Eight years later we immigrated to New Zealand. Here we became Christians and since we didn’t have children, we adopted
Indian twin girls from Fiji.

Finally we immigrated to Australia, back home for my husband.

One year later I was diagnosed with cancer. Thinking that I would die after two years, as I heard people do when they have that affliction, I just vegetated. The Television was my friend. I was there for the girls; I was there for my husband; however the thought that I would die soon was always on my mind.

But after more than two years of that, (I started to hate that life) I think you can say that I came to my senses, because I was still alive and so I realised that I would be still alive for many years to come.

Hence my husband asked me, since I couldn’t go to work anymore, “Why not start writing again? You loved it.”

Yes, I loved it, but what could I write now and in what language? I wrote the short stories in German in that time, living there, born and growing up there and working. Here, in an English speaking country, I have to write in English. My English wasn’t so good yet. But through watching the TV and speaking to our friends and to our girls, my English improved. I never went to a school to learn it.

In a scrapbook I started to write short stories again. It was terrible, crossing out, writing over it. It was such a mess. So my husband showed me how to use our spare computer. How beautiful was that. I wrote many different short stories and I loved it; even Australian stories.

Next I became a member of the Queensland Writers Club. Here I found out that you could send your short stories for competitions, which is what I did. I didn’t get the first prize but I got several very good commendations.

That gave me the motivation to go on, even in English, without an editor at that time.

The desire to get published came along with it. I thought that children should read my stories, after all they are animal stories and children love to read about animals.

*How about the Talon series? What was the spark that spurred you to write this sweet tale?

When I wrote the short stories for the competitions I also wrote a short story about the growth handicapped Matica finding condors. It’s about her rejection in her short life, her hope, her inspiration, her adventure and her love. I also thought that children with affliction could learn from it as Matica did, to cope with all situations they are in.

And then I thought, I probably could write a novel about her, maybe even a series.
And so the TALON series began.

*It may seem like an obvious question, but why direct it to young adults and children?

Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions, and through my book they can learn how to cope with everything, as Matica did. She had to learn in her early life too. Children can find a “Condor” as Matica did. Not a literal condor, but every child or adult for that matter: if they are battling with incurable afflictions, they should find something that lets them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome that.
Maybe parents can read my book to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome things in a positive way, not in a negative way.

I always say: Children with special needs or with a disability, or who are handicapped don't have an illness, so there is no cure and it's not contagious. They want what we all want: to be accepted.
And that is the moral behind my book TALON, COME FLY WITH ME; not only the first one, but all of them.

*How much research did you do before starting to write? Or did you research as you wrote it?

When I first wrote the short story about Matica, which is now 15 years ago, I didn’t do any research. But when I thought about writing a novel about her, even a series, I went into the library to learn everything about the condors, the Indians in Peru, and their land. It took me 3 days to find out everything.

*What kind of adventures can we expect for the second and third instalments?

Great adventures are to come. I won’t tell you now, it would spoil the stories to come if you knew all beforehand. But one thing I can say, Matica is experiencing everything she dreamed of since she befriended Tamo and Tima.
Plus the end of the poachers will come.

*Is there a particular message that you want the target audience to learn? Environmental awareness and care for animals comes to mind.

Yes, the main message is, as I said earlier: Children with special needs or with disability, or are handicapped don't have an illness, so there is no cure and it's not contagious. They want what we all want, to be accepted.

But again, any child or adult needs to know that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel; That it is not the end, that it is just the beginning of their incredible life.

And, yes, awareness of the environment, awareness of endangered species, as it is with the condors.

*Did you expect such great reactions to Talon?

No, not in such a wonderful way, but I hoped it would be.

I was very disappointed when I got the first review from a professional reviewer here in Australia. My heart sank into my legs while reading it and I thought: do people not understand the bigger meaning behind my story, what I wanted to tell them? What did I write wrong that she was writing such a bad review? What can I change to get the message out so the people will understand the bigger meaning behind my book?

But then I got short reviews from friends who have read my book. They all loved it.

And then Jonathan Vos, one of these friends, said something that let my heart come back up into my chest: “This is almost a picture perfect pitch. If you had 45 seconds in an elevator with Spielberg or Lucas, this is just what you'd say. Prefaced with a 5-second hook: "It's like Harry Potter meets Indiana Jones, but with cute kids."

And then came the review from David Broughton and then yours.
Thank you so much, Casey-Lyne.

I believe I might have read the review you mentioned, and I must say it is unnecessarily harsh, and she has seemed to miss the story behind it.
As for my review, I’m thrilled to have read it, and more so that you are so happy with my review. You are most welcome, and I can’t wait for the next two books.

*Do you have any other projects in mind?

I am not thinking of any other projects, yet. I am thinking only about Matica and Talon, and how the books will be continuing. They are all in my head, in rough form. I’d like to put something else in every book, some other adventures, endeavours and journeys. Since I do have lots of short stories and they are not published as yet, I weave some of them into the stories. I am planing about 8 books in the TALON series.

The second manuscript, TALON, ON THE WING and the third manuscript, TALON, FLIGHT FOR LIFE are both finished and professionally edited in the TALON series. I am working on the fourth manuscript now, TALON, HUNTING THE HUNTER.

In the meantime I am waiting and hoping that a publisher will discover me and my book, and in doing so will take my books over, since I self-published the first book. But I can’t do it any longer. I don’t have the necessary means to repeat that venture.

*What is your favourite genre to read? Favourite author?

I have several authors I do like, children’s authors but adult authors as well.
I love Cornelia Funke with her books, Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath;
Philip Pullman: The Golden Compass, all three books;
Christopher Paolini: Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr;
C.S. Louise: The lion, The witch and The wardrobe and the rest of The Chronicles of Narnia.

And then I do love science fiction as well:
Frank Herbert: The Dune series in its entirety;
Ben Bova: Mars and all his other books.

I guess they are all adventure, exploration, fantasy and imagination books.

*On your site, , I see you've travelled quite a bit. What would be your favourite place that you've been to so far?

My favourite place is There, where I am just at that time. Now we live in Australia, so Australia is my favourite place. We explore it all now and then, when going on holiday.

Since my parents had to move in Germany a lot in my younger years, going where the work was for my father, I have no real feeling of a “home”, as lots of people say that they have. I have not. With the constant moves came school changes; I changed schools 9 times. And that is very bad for a child. Hence, my personal knowledge of rejection.

And now, “home” is where I live right now and that is my favourite place.

*What would your advice be to those out there struggling with their writing?

My advice for fellow struggling writers is to never give up. It will happen one day. Because if you give up now, you will never know what was just around the corner, you don’t know what you will have missed.

Thank you Casey-Lyne to give me the opportunity to express myself in your interview. Loved it.

Thank you, Gigi, for giving me the opporunity to read such a morally wonderful tale, and find out more about you, you're a fascinating lady!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Six Sentence Sunday #4

Last week we left Nala lost in her hero's eyes...

Nala quickly looked away, blushing, causing him to smile. As he got close enough, he reached out his hand to her.
“I’m Sergeant Jason Taylor. Are you ok, Miss…?”
“Nala Garcia," she finally mumbled, tentatively reaching out to accept his strong hand. “I…I think I’m ok, I don’t know,” her large, dark blue eyes filling with tears, and her lower lip trembling with uncertainty.

(Don't forget this is pre-edited work in progress!!) 

Review of TALON, COME FLY WITH ME by Gisela Sedlemayer

Talon, Come Fly With Me

Nine-year-old blond Matica lives in a remote little village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved here with her Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents when she was five years old. Ever since she could remember she faced cruel rejection because of her growth handicap. She is trapped in a body the size of a two year old. Because of that the local Indians wouldn’t accept her into their community or allow her to play with their children. Under the watchful eyes of her parents who understand her, lonely Matica explores the plateau for entertainment.
With patience and a sense of adventure she befriended a pair of condors and named them Tamo and Tima. A strong bond and love developed between them.
Having an egg, Tamo and Tima try to fight off a couple of poachers but they succeed in stealing their egg from its ledge. Eventually Tamo drives them away but the poachers leave the egg between some boulders on the plateau. Being unable to bring it back to the ledge, Tamo and Time make it clear to Matica to take care of the egg, so she does.
Exactly on Matica’s tenth birthday, the condor fledgling ‘Talon’ hatches. The book then describes in detail how Matica helps Talon grow into the majestic bird he was meant to be.
Two months after confidently flying, the most unbelievably amazing thing happens. What Matica had dreamed of ever since she first befriended the condors, actually unfolds. That changes her life so completely that she can now see a positive side to her handicap. The Indians then fully accept the new Matica into their community.
This is the beginning of a time of incredible adventures with Talon and Matica, which is carried on in subsequent Talon books.” -

A fast-paced, sweet story, I was pleased to delve in to something so easy to read. The short, numerous chapters aided in making this such a breeze.
The information about Peru and the condors makes it clear that Gisela did quite a bit of research before beginning this story, which is fantastic. This is quite a remarkable way to educate young adults and children about this majestic and endangered bird species, and the country they live in. In my honest opinion, there needs to be more books of this nature to keep education interesting, especially in the technology-addicted society of today. This is a book I’m highly considering buying for when my own daughter is a couple years older.
The emotions during this story are clear in every word, and it brought tears to my eyes a few times. As Matica is finally accepted by the village, she is finally able to really spread her own metaphorical wings, and shows children that with the right determination, anyone can achieve anything.
Gisela paints a wonderful word picture, and as the condor chick, Talon, hatches and grows, I felt every drop of joy and nerves that Matica felt. This may be aimed at young adults and children, but it is an enjoyable read regardless of age. This is a definate “claws” up!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

New Photos

So it took a little longer than expected, and then took a bit longer for me to remember to post on here that I have some new photos up on my facebook page, Phoenix Photography. There aren't many photos up yet, don't get to get snap happy at the moment, been busy with the reviews, which I'm not complaining about. 
I really look forward to my 2 photo shoots, one with my high-school friend Kobey, her partner Ian, and their gorgeous little boy, Kody, and then of course my vampiric shoot with the beautiful Sherry. I won't be posting photos from Kobey's shoot without her permission, of course, but the shoot with Sherry will be purely port-folio shots, to get more business. So for those in the Gold Coast/Brisbane area, if you like what you see, let me know. I have low rates right now, as I'm still getting the hang of this, and improving, but I will be charging competitively once I'm happy with where it's headed. 
Don't be afraid to leave comments if you like what you see, either on this blog or my facebook page. Non-productive negativity will be deleted.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Giveaway of The Devil You Know

The interview has been well recieved so far, and I can't wait to review Sara's next book, The Knight of Swords, the first installation of The Swords Series. 1 last thing left to do for this event, though, and that's the giveaway. So how about each person says what they found most interesting from the interview? I'll chose the top 3, and present them and their answers to Sara for her to chose to lucky winner!
I'll send the top 3 to Sara on Friday afternoon my time, so hurry along, everyone, get reading! Winner to be announced Saturday morning (Australia time)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Interview with Sara Curran-Ross, author of The Devil You Know

As those who follow my blog know, I have recently written a review for The Devil You Know, a thrilling novel written by British author Sara Curran-Ross. This was such a fantastic read, I had to get to know Sara more, and so here we are, questions asked, questions answered. Answers that are delightful to read, and really gives a sense of the wonderful mind behind this fascinating book.

*When did you first write something you wanted other people to read, and what was it?
The first book I wrote was a short romance called The Art of Retaliation.  I was in my early twenties.  I did have a couple of attempts in my teenage years but nothing serious.  Nothing happened with The Art of Retaliation until this year when I re wrote the story as a historical romance novella.  I am in the process of editing it and hope to get it published.

*Do you have a favourite author/book?
I love Jane Austen’s books and anything written by Georgette Heyer.  I love her historical romances with humour, especially, Devil’s Cub.  I am re-reading it at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it.  The hero in it is just perfect. :))  The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness D’Orcy is another favourite and I quite like reading Christine Feehan’s Dark series.

*I see you were training to be a Legal Executive. Why the shift to writing?
I had always wanted to be a writer but I was much younger at the time and unable to give up work.  I wrote a romance novel in my spare time but I didn’t take it much further because I was working.  I stuck at being a Legal Executive for a while but I became ill with chronic neck pain and severe dizziness that made it difficult to walk or do anything.  I then had no choice but to leave my job.  When I started to feel better I went to University to study my History degree and I started writing full time.  I haven’t stopped since then part from a brief period when I returned to university to do a postgraduate degree in history in 2007/2008.

*I also read that you have a daughter. Being a parent and writer myself, how do you juggle your professional and personal lives? Do you have set hours that you are Sara the author and Sara the mother?
With great difficulty.  You have to learn to multi-task very well.  My daughter comes first but I snatch hours for writing whenever I can.  It’s obviously easier when she is at school but she is on holiday at the moment and some fair amount of juggling is required.  It’s all part of the fun and I actually find that I write better and achieve a lot more when my writing time is forced into short bursts. :)

*What inspired The Devil You Know? Was it a movie/book, or did the story come to you by itself?

The inspiration for The Devil You Know came from a bad experience at work.  I was sexually harassed by a group of men and followed home on a train by a man for several nights.  It was a very scary time for me but I am thankful to say one where I won out in the end.  At the time everything was going on, I went for a massage to ease my stress and was told by the masseur who was obviously psychic that a cloaked figure stood over me!  I was just about a jabbering wreck with all of this going on and trying to keep a calm level head so none of them would win in pushing me out of my job and stop me getting on a train.
Quite a few years later I was still feeling very angry about both episodes and I began to write The Devil You Know to exorcise them.  I wanted to show what a lot of women had to put up with from men.  Great therapy.  It wasn’t until only recently when I started attending a psychic circle that I found out that the male figure who continues to stand over me is there to help and protect me.  A nice happy ending.  LOl.

*Were the characters founded on people you know? How did they develop in to the strong characters they became?
The characters in The Devil You Know were not explicitly based on anyone in particular but bore traits of lots of people.  I don’t always know where my characters come from, they just seem to appear and grow in strength as I write them.  Isabelle’s frustration and fierce anger at the way she is treated definitely came from me.  Her journey in the book was to learn how to believe in herself, allow her confidence to grow and defeat the monster that continued to haunt her and every other woman.
I suppose I could say that Christian was loosely based on a person I knew.  I innocently believed he was a helpful kind friend and decent human being only to find he was quite the opposite.  Hence the title, The Devil You Know.

*Of all the cities in the world that you could have based it in, why Paris and London?
I love Paris.  I would live there if  I could.  The Devil You Know just seemed to fit the mood and surroundings as did London.  I ended the story in the castle because I wanted to create a gothic feel to it.  In the late eighteenth century gothic stories were all the rage detailing ladies in peril from men and supernatural creatures in old ruins, castles and buildings.  They were a comment on marriage at the time and the vulnerability women felt entering a relationship were a man ruled.  I wanted to recreate this feeling for Isabelle.

*When you start a novel, do you have to research particular details get a feel for how the story will go? Are any of the events in your books loosely based on personal experiences?
I tend to research as I go along.  In this case the story was inspired by my sexual harassment episode, a friend’s deception and my experience of being followed on a train as I have already said.  I did have to do some research on the effects of hypothermia and stare at maps of Paris streets for directions.  I also had to study routes on the Paris Metro so I could make sure every detail was correct.
I sometimes have a vague idea of how the story is going to go but usually I get surprised.  The characters and the story appear to take on their own life.  The characters always dictate how the story is going to go.  Everyone tells me that they got a shock at the ending of The Devil You Know.  They never expected it.  Neither did I when I wrote it!  But when I look back through the novel, the clues are there. :))

*Do you have a process you go through to get in the 'zone' to write?
I can’t write without music.  For some reason it helps my writing flow and brings the thoughts and feelings of my characters to life.  I could almost do them all a playlist with songs that fit them best.  When I was writing Knight of Swords I had to listen to 30 Seconds To Mars’s, This Is War album, especially, Hurricane.
If I am feeling stuck with a plot or scene I sometimes for a walk with my family and the dog in the woods.  That always spark off some ideas.  If it’s bad and I am really having trouble I will nip off and have a shower!  I get my best plot ideas in the shower. LOL.

*Do you aim for a certain amount of words per day, or do you just let the creative juices flow as they might?
I wish I could be ordered enough to write a set amount of words per day but it doesn’t work like that for me.  Sometimes I can write a lot and get so in the flow that I forget about having to eat. Lol.  Other days I find I can only write a few words.

*On your site,, I see that you're currently writing a victorian vampire series, The Sword Series. What can we expect in these books?
I have always wanted to write a vampire story but I wanted to make it very different to Twilight.  It is essentially a romance woven between three books but it is very dark and there are many other elements to the series as well such as the Lycans and a powerful evil witch.  The vampires are a special race of people with abilities and a Queen who were cursed as vampires by the Druids in ancient times and run out of their lands in England.  The series details their struggles for survival through the centuries as a race.  The stories have been inspired by tarot cards, the first book being called, Knight of Swords, the second, Ace of Swords & the third, The Hanged Man.  I am still writing the third one but Knight of Swords is available at http://www.hellfirepubl; and on Amazon etc as an e-book.  Ace of Swords will be published by Hellfire Publishing on the 15th November 2011.

*Do you have any other books planned after The Swords Series?
I have  a contemporary romantic spin off to The Swords Series planned.  It’s called, Knight of Coins.  I also have another contemporary urban twist on the series that will involve the Taleian vampires and the Lycans.  This one will have a tinge of humour to it.
I have just finished a historical romance novella and a contemporary romance set in the Loire Valley in France called Sleeping Love.  Fingers crossed they will get published. :)

So there you have it. A highly interesting lady, with quite a few things to teach others through her writing. I highly anticipate the Swords Series, and all future writings. Thank you again for your time, and this opportunity Sara, it's been a real pleasure reading your work, and getting to know a bit about you. 

Don't forget to read my review of The Devil You Know, posted a little earlier.