Friday, February 20, 2015

Finding Fiction Friday - Jen Winters


Jen Winters is an independent author, entering the world of self-publishing through digital media formats. Her first book, Kissing Demons, is a paranormal romance and available for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Jen is a mom, a wife, a homeschool teacher, supporter of indie authors and a lover of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and enjoy a diversion in to homeschooling on her other blog, The Slamdunk Homeschool.

Jen, when did you first think about writing for publication?
                                                                                          
Six years ago I found myself at a loss. I had an 8-month-old and my husband-at-the-time had left us to pursue a different life. I had zero marketable skills and a bachelor degree that was utterly useless. The only thing I had was a lot of people who encouraged me to publish some of my writing. So, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing for a career and I put my pen to paper. That was March 2009.

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

I am so utterly normal, but I do homeschool my children and I think that surprises some people because we are so utterly normal. We don’t give off that homeschool vibe.

Your first novel, “Kissing Demons” was released this past December.  Tell us a bit about this book and the inspiration for it.

Kissing Demons is a paranormal romance that takes place mostly in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area.  I had been reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s dark-hunter series at the time and she very much influenced my writing. The Guardians are women who during their first life lost a child and are now in their second life protecting others from the same loss. I based my main character on Beatrice Marguerite de Geneve, and called her Geneva Archer. I think you’ll like her!

As this is the first book of the series, give us an idea of what we might see in future installments.

The second in the series is called Falling Angels and it is written from the perspective of a fallen angel named Ambrose. He is good to the core, but bitter about his fate, sarcastic, and temperamental. This novel will give the reader a chance to get to know Yuruch (the antagonist in Kissing Demons) better as well. Lavinia will get her respite and Ambrose will figure out what destiny and redemption really are.

The third is called Raising Hell, and it will be a story of redemption for Yuruch. I haven’t gotten far along it, yet, but I do know that there will be a bit of archeology involved. How’s that for a teaser?

What drew you to write in the paranormal romance genre?

I love PNR! I love the escape it provides, the hope for magic and romance, and I love the idea that love can come from the most unexpected place. My own story of love could be written into a PNR if I embellished the angelic interference a bit.

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

Joseph of Aramithea. People need more unconditional, enduring, undeserved love in their lives.

What made you decide on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

James Patterson’s huge success as an independent novelist has been a great driving force for me. That and my mother who thought indie publishing would be good for me.

What about the book industry in general has most surprised you?

As an indie author I have found a huge support network with other indies. It has been amazing and I didn’t even know that we were such a tight-knit group before I published. I hadn’t read a single indie book and now I can say that I have read more indies this year than traditional. The support, reviews, help and friendship I have found has been amazing!

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?

My father has kept on me since I decided to write for publication until today saying, “Finish the book, Jen.” Love that man.

Is there a particular genre other than paranormal romance that you might like to try someday?

I am thinking about writing a New Adult novel with an old writing partner. We have other books we are finishing up right now, but as soon as we are in a good place, we are going to write together.

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

This is a funny question. Everyday a new idea comes to me. I’ve been considering doing a BBW PNR for a while, and it is slowing making its way to the top. I even have a character name and setting: Mitchell (werewolf), Rosie (human), and Great Bend, NE.

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!
  1. What is your favorite word? flabbergasted
  2. What is your least favorite word? C@nt
  3. What turns you on? The smell of oil and gasoline on my hubby (he’s a mechanic).
  4. What turns you off? Metro-sexuals are completely unappealing to me. Nothing personal to my metro-friends, and they know that.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? My favorite is when one of my kids is playing pretend all by themselves.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? My son’s screech when he’s mad (working on that).
  7. What is your favorite curse word? I don’t really have one, but I do let the bird fly when appropriate.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I think I might like to be a mortician. Macabre, I know, but…
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Pest-control…ewww
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Well done.
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Were there moments that you found difficult to write? What were they?

Jen, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?

Follow me on Twitter
Like me on Facebook
Follow my Blog 
Find my book, Kissing Demons on Amazon


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Used e-Books: Wave of the Future, or Legalized Piracy?



In 2012, on this blog, I examined the phenomenon of online e-book piracy in a five-part series.  In that series, I attempted to examine the reasons behind piracy, the impact that piracy could have on the publishing industry over time, and even tossed some ideas around about the way the industry might eventually change to make piracy less attractive to consumers.  That series can be found at the links below, and I think it’s a really good read for those who want to get educated on at least some of the issues surrounding this controversial topic.


It’s nearly three years later, and the industry is ever-evolving.  Independently published (a.k.a. self-published) books are more common than ever.  E-books are beginning to outpace printed books.  The Amazon Lending Library has been developed and led to other e-book lending programs.  Subscription services for e-Books that operate similarly to Netflix have begun to spring up.

But there’s one article that caught my eye recently and made me want to visit the issue, and that is the possibility of the selling of used e-books.

There has always been a used book market.  In fact, there have been stores that have specialized in the selling of second-hand books.  I know when I was in college, one would actively seek out used textbooks (as long as the newest editions was not required).  They were cheaper – one expected that the books would have some wear and tear but was willing to accept that for the lower price.

It is now reported that a group is working with “one of the world’s largest booksellers” in order to start up a used e-book marketplace.  Presumably, this would be a place for sellers to load their digital books for resale once they are done with them.

So that brings us to the big question – would such a marketplace even be legal?  The legal question involves the “first-sale doctrine” which prevents copyright holders from stopping the sale, trade, or lending of legally acquired property.  This is what makes things like used bookstores and Gamestop’s used video game market possible.  It also is what legally allows an owner of a DVD to let their neighbor borrow it.

There are a couple of key premises that make the “first-sale doctrine” work.  First, it was established in the early 20th century, at a time when the concern was the resale and lending of a physical good.  Physical goods, including books, sound recordings, and film, deteriorate over time.  Thus it is a given that the thing being resold or lent had lost some of its quality, thus some of its value.  This is a new time, and digital media has no such “shelf life”.  The file is the same quality whether it is the initial sale or it has changed hands dozens or even hundreds of times.

The second premise, and perhaps the hardest to enforce, is that upon resale or lending the product actually changes hands.  This means that the item should become unusable to the seller or lender.  (Actually, this is how Amazon lending works on the Kindle – when one user lends a book to another, it becomes unreadable by the lender until the borrower “returns” it.)  This is where things can get sketchy.  For example, one e-book resale site can only operate “on the honor” of the lenders, that they no longer have a copy of the e-book.

However, there’s a flaw in the system that could hurt the bookstore’s defense. One of the key provisions of the UsedSoft ruling was that, in order for the transaction to be legal, the seller must “make the copy downloaded onto his own computer unusable at the time of resale.” 
Tom Kabinet has no way of ensuring that this has happened, so it is easily possible for someone to both keep and sell the ebooks they’ve bought. The company can only run an honor system, asking people to confirm that they purchased the ebook legally and that they have deleted their own copy. - David Meyer, from an article on Gigaom.com

This is where the distinction MUST be made between transference of a product, and creating another copy of the product, because if this distinction is not made and enforceable, then what could result is a form of legalized piracy.  Think about it … as a consumer I might choose to buy a $0.99 used e-book instead of a $2.99 “new” version off of Amazon.  This might be alright if it is only the one copy that the seller owned that is being sold.  But what if that person is just putting up endless copies of the e-book while they retain a copy for themselves, and selling each one at $0.99 where only they (and perhaps the marketplace) see that money?

Personally, I am keeping an open mind about this to see how things turn out, but authors should be vigilant about these potential changes to the marketplace.

Authors, what are your thoughts on this potential used e-book effort?  And readers, how would you feel about a used e-book marketplace, or do you think the momentum is headed more towards subscription services?

Sources:


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Release Day for Lisa Fox! Her Perfect Lips ...

Her Perfect Lips by Lisa Fox

Book Two of the Midnight Kiss Series, set in the dynamic world of ONE KISS
Blurb: You have to take a risk to live an adventure.
Determined, capable, and primed to rock her first big marketing conference, Stacy Saunders is not about let to anything get in the way of her ambition. It's been a long time since she's been in New Orleans, but she has no use for beads or Bourbon Street. She built a strict itinerary for this trip – one that certainly didn't include running into the gorgeous Tennyson Landry again.
A chance reunion between the former lovers brings old feelings to the surface and the possibility of rekindling old flames. Their second time around could be the best time of all – if they can bridge the gap even wider than the thousand miles between them…



An Excerpt From: HER PERFECT LIPS
Copyright © LISA FOX, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Harper Impulse, a Division of HarperCollins Publishers
Bourbon Street was just as she remembered—loud music and neon lights, frat boys in muscle shirts and girls in crop tops, the stench of beer and pine-scented antiseptic cleaner, the sidewalks littered with garbage and puke. Their little entourage stumbled into the first club they found, which had “Play That Funky Music” blaring from the speakers. Stacy shook her head. Some things truly never changed. Bars on Bourbon Street would play that song until some ultimate, catastrophic apocalypse finally managed to wipe the city out for good.
The barker at the door proudly announced that the club was now offering their world famous three-for-one happy hour. The vodka tonic Stacy ordered was served in a plastic cup the size of which was rarely seen outside of a 7-Eleven. It contained more alcohol than any human should probably ever consume in a single serving, and she was glad to see that in addition to the bad music, the drinking culture had not changed either.
She headed toward the back of the club, outside into the little courtyard area where the music was somewhat blunted and she was less likely to have a drink spilled over her. The others followed, people in the group talking amongst themselves and goggling at the drunken antics on the dance floor. Peter had fallen back to walk alongside Melanie, and they ambled slowly, their heads close together, taking softly. Stacy sighed. So much for the whole reason to participate in this journey. Not that she could blame him. Melanie was gorgeous. Still, the rejection stung. Not that it would’ve worked anyway. The distance between them would have eventually become a hassle.
She sipped her cocktail, watching the dance floor light up red, then blue, then green as the strobe light pulsed over the dancers. Once again, she had a choice and none of her options were all too appealing. She could go back to the hotel and try to find a new group of people to talk with, she could go to bed, or she could stay right where she was and basically drink alone.
“Let’s go someplace quieter,” Peter shouted over the music and everybody agreed.
She followed them back out onto Bourbon Street, seriously considering her next move. Should I stay or should I go now? She let the chorus play out in her head and in that one millisecond pause, a drunken man wearing only jeans shorts and plastic beads lunged at her from the crowd. She sidestepped around him and almost collided with a woman exiting Pat O'Briens. The woman squealed and Stacy veered off the sidewalk into the street. A group of tourists swept her away, forcing her backward along with them. She fought against the wave of bodies, but it was a losing battle. And then, out of nowhere, a hand grabbed her arm, a lifeline in the storm.
The tourists continued on their journey, but Stacy was held in place, firmly anchored by that strong grip. The hold on her arm was a little too familiar for a stranger and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to thank or berate her rescuer. She turned, and her breath caught when she recognized her savior. “Hello, Ten.”
“Hey, Stacy.”
He grinned and every single part of her tingled. He was as attractive as she remembered—tall and strong, with rich, chocolate-brown hair, and a twinkle of mischief in his startling green eyes. The years had changed him only slightly, taking away the softness of youth and adding hard ridges and planes to his handsome face. His hair was a little too long, and he had a two-day beard, but the scruffiness didn’t take away from his almost poetic good looks. And though she would never admit it out loud, just the way his thighs filled out his well-worn blue jeans sent a thread of wicked heat trickling down her spine. Ten was the stuff of all kinds of naughty fantasies, and a few of her favorite ones instantly flashed through her mind.

BUY LINKS:



About Lisa:
World-renowned neurosurgeon, jet fighter pilot, secret member of American royalty, seducer of legions of beautiful, outrageously sexy angels and demons and vampires and werewolves and the occasional pirate, Lisa Fox has done it all…in her own mind. In reality, she can generally be found at her desk with a cup of coffee close at hand. Or maybe a martini. It really depends on the day.
Lisa Fox is a multi-published author of contemporary, erotic, and paranormal romance novellas. Feedback, comments, opinions, words of wisdom, chocolate cake and the addresses of super hot men are always appreciated and encouraged. Please feel free to contact Lisa any time.
Twitter: @LisaFoxRomance


Friday, November 7, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Debbie Johnson


Debbie Johnson writes romance, crime, and fantasy. She lives in Liverpool, UK, with a small tribe of children and pets, in a very messy house.

Debbie, when did you first think about writing for publication?

I was a journalist for most of my adult life, so have always been a writer – but I only seriously turned my hand to fiction a few years after I left the newspaper I worked for. It freed up my mind and writing style, and allowed me to really push myself. It was also a couple of years after the birth of my third – and final! – baby, once I was finally clear of the deep, dark, energy-sucking hole that having a newborn can sometimes feel like!

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

I studied History at Oxford University – which always surprises people. They always look completely shocked when they discover that. I guess I must come across as being pretty dumb!

Yesterday was your big Release Day for “Cold Feet at Christmas”!  Congratulations!  Tell us about this book and your foray into contemporary romance.

It tells the tale of Leah Harvey, who is all set for her big fairy tale wedding at a remote Scottish castle on Christmas Eve. Sadly the festivities go slightly awry when she discovers her husband-to-be playing ‘hide the sausage’ with one of the bridesmaids! She runs – or drives to be precise, she’s not completely brain-dead! – off into the night, and ends up stranded in a snow blizzard in the middle of nowhere. She stumbles across an isolated cottage, inhabited by an equally isolated man, Rob Cavelli. The story is really about how everything appearing to go wrong in your life can actually result in everything going right!





This is not your first book, can you tell us a little about your prior works?

I had an urban fantasy, Dark Vision, published by Del Rey earlier this year. There are Gods and vampires and all kinds of crazy stuff, but all set in modern-day Liverpool, where our heroine, Lily McCain, is a pop writer for her local newspaper. So in between reviewing gigs, she’s saving the world! The follow-up, Dark Touch, is out in Spring next year, and is partly set in New York. I also have Fear No Evil out at the moment on Maze/Avon – a supernatural crime thriller featuring private eye Jayne McCartney. Plus another one for HarperImpulse sometime in 2015…

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

The positive reviews so far of Cold Feet At Christmas have all liked the lead, Leah, who is really funny. She has no filter control between what she thinks and what she says, and is always optimistic, no matter how bad things are – so she is great. But Jayne McCartney, the private detective from Fear No Evil, would probably be the one I would most like to go the pub with (always the way I judge these things!) – she’s intelligent, hard-working, fun, and takes absolutely no sh*t from anybody!

What about being published with HarperImpulse and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

How much hard work the promotion side of things is – writing the book is the easy part; getting people to read it is a different matter entirely!

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?

In 2010 I won the Harry Bowling Prize for Writing at the Romantic Novelists Association annual event. The contest was judged by professional editors, agents and publishers, and I was so stunned to hear my name called out. Stunned, and a little tipsy to be honest, which made the walk up to the stage and the acceptance speech pretty interesting! But knowing that these experienced people thought I had something to offer did give me a boost.

Is there a particular genre you haven’t written yet that you might like to try someday?

Goodness, I’ve done three – isn’t that enough?? But seriously, possibly a young adult – I am sadly addicted to dystopian stuff, anything about survivors, whether it’s post zombie-apocalypse or post killer-disease-infection.

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

I really need to concentrate on making the current three work – and there’s more copy editing etc to do on Dark Touch before that comes out, so I’m trying to prevent my brain from bouncing around any more ideas just yet!

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!

  1. What is your favorite word? Liberty
  2. What is your least favorite word? Egg
  3. What turns you on? Intelligence
  4. What turns you off? Cruelty
  5. What sound or noise do you love? Kids laughing
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? Kids crying!
  7. What is your favorite curse word? I couldn’t possibly choose – I love them all dearly!
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Medicine
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Accountancy
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? ‘I forgive you my child – the bar is that way, and all your loved ones are waiting to buy you a drink’
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? ‘Would you like to know next week’s winning Lottery numbers?’

Debbie, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?

Thanks for having me! I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and my own website. All of my books are available on Amazon, the usual e-book outlets, and in the case of Dark Vision, also in paperback.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Rare Post About Faith

I once took a test on spiritual gifts.  It was designed to provide an idea of what kind of skills that I, as a Christian, would be best suited to use, and the most comfortable using.  I was rated on a 15-point scale in different areas such as Administration, Encouragement, Leadership, etc.  There were a few areas I scored over 10, and a few in the middle of the pack.

I scored a 1 out of 15 in Evangelism, which is the ability to spread the word of God and talk about my faith.  So you can understand why doing so is a hard thing for me.  I much prefer to just do my thing in other ways.

But when our pastor posted this blog, it hit some kind of nerve.  I, of course, think you should read it, but let me try to boil part of it down.

He received a pair of communications during the week.  One issue occurred when a friend of his tagged him in a photo where there was someone giving the camera the number one salute.  People actually unfriended him on Facebook over this.

Another was from a person who visited our church for the first time, and that's the one that really got to me.  That person, in part, wrote him this:

"The person next to me smelled like alcohol. It was unbearable. How could true leaders tolerate such things happening???? I will NEVER attend your ‘gathering’ and inform every person I know about the lack of following Jesus at this place. I cannot bring myself to call it a church with those kind of people in it."

There is a lot I would like to say about this.  I'd like to talk about how this person shouldn't stand in judgement.  About how she didn't know if perhaps the person who "offended" her might have been coming to our church for the first time.  Or maybe ANY church for the first time.  Maybe they had a really bad night and really needed to be there.  About how that kind of attitude turned me off to church for a long time (and still does in many cases).

But as I continued to turn it over in my head, I realized that wasn't what I really wanted to say.  It's this ...

I am the person who partied all night and woke up the next morning smelling of alcohol.

I am the person who flipped the bird in a photo and tagged my pastor in the picture.

I am the member of the LGBT community who would like nothing more than a little fellowship without being constantly judged.

I am the homeless man who hasn't showered in days.

I am the internet troll who gets his kicks out of getting people riled up.

I am the guy who has trouble every day prioritizing his life.

And I am also the person who sits in a church judging all of these people.

Obviously I'm not speaking literally.  My point is this - there is one thing these people all have in common, that everyone in the world has in common.

There is not a single one of them, of us, that is worthy of the love of a perfect God.  And He loves us anyway.

Think about that.  We ALL screw up.  We all fall short, and yet He still loves us as only He can.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

I wanna heal, I wanna feel
What I thought was never real
I wanna let go of the pain
I've felt so long

I wanna heal, I wanna feel
Like I'm close to something real
I wanna find something I wanted all along
Somewhere I belong

- Linkin Park "Somewhere I Belong"

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cover Reveal! "We've Always Got New York" by Jill L. Knapp

Today we have the first glimpse at the cover art of HarperImpulse author, Jill Knapp's next book, "We've Always Got New York", coming out November 20th! This novel is book #2 in the "What Happens To Men..?" series, which is now available in paperback in Great Britain. The first book has gotten rave reviews, and has divided its readers into two groups. Are you on Team Michael? Or are you on Team Hayden?

COVER REVEAL!!!!


You can get a copy of book #1 here!

"We've Always Got New York" picks up after Amalia Hastings returns to Manhattan from her trip to Brazil to find that life has in fact gone on without her. Fresh off the plane, she is left feeling anxious and unresolved, left alone to pick up the pieces, and deal with the repercussions of choosing her own path over Michael. Amalia finds herself without an apartment, without a job, and starting to wonder if she's even without a best friend!

Jill can be followed on Twitter and on Facebook

Now here's a sneak peak at the first chapter of "We've Always Got New York"!!

¬¬Chapter 1- Amalia

I could tell by the look on her face that she was expecting something from me. She was expecting something to be different. For me to be, in some way, changed.

I’m Amalia Hastings, and on August 20th at 9:17 pm, I was home.

Home. The word seemed funny to me because I didn’t have a home to go back to. I moved out of my apartment right before leaving for Brazil and after my friend-with-benefits, Michael, showed up at my apartment, asking me to stay. I hadn’t thought it through properly; I just knew I didn’t want to live in that apartment anymore. Before my trip to Brazil I packed up what little stuff I owned and put it in storage for when I returned, assuming I would deal with it then. Well, “then” has become “now”. So for tonight I was staying with my best friend Cassandra. Who was currently waving at me.

I knew what she wanted. She wanted stories. Juicy ones that involved hot hookups on the sand. She wanted to see pictures. Pictures of the places I went, the food I ate, and the hot guys I met. She wanted me to run up to her in a sun dress, hair braided and skin tanned, and explain, no, to pontificate, to her how life-changing my trip was. She wanted me to playfully link her arm around mine and gush about how amazing it all was. How I was changed forever. That I had a new appreciation for life, food, and music. She wanted me to tell her that I would never be the same.

But this isn’t the movies and I’m not Julia Roberts.

The florescent lights above me flickered, making the airport look dark and ominous. I looked down at my hand as I pulled my rolling suitcase across the sticky, tiled floor. Not even my hand had acquired a tan. Three months in the Brazilian sun and my skin remained as pale as ever.

Cassandra was looking right at me with wide, unblinking eyes. I walked a little slower.

For some reason I couldn’t pinpoint, coming off the plane felt like a surreal experience to me. Although I was relieved to have landed, and I wouldn’t have wanted to stay in Brazil any longer, I still wasn’t utterly happy with being back. I wondered if it merely had to do with the fact that I had no apartment to go back to and was feeling pretty untethered from not having a proper home.

There’s an old saying. I’m not really sure where it’s from or who said it first. Kind of the proverb equivalent of The House of the Rising Sun. It proffers, “Wherever you go, there you are”, and up until about one month ago I had no idea what it meant. But now it means everything. It rings in my ears like a scolding mother, repeating itself over and over again until I submit.

I finally stood face to face with Cassandra, who was grinning like a fool at this point. She was dressed down for the night, wearing a purple racer-back tank top that showed off her summer glow, jeans, and gold flip-flops. Her blonde hair was pulled into a loose, messy bun and her make-up was minimal, apart from the extra-shiny, coral lip-gloss she was wearing. She reeked of summer.

“Hey,” I offered, looking down at my sneakers. I wished I had more energy for her, but after ten hours on a plane it was all I could muster up.

Cassandra cocked her head to the side and smiled. Her hair swung back and forth and she popped her hip out like a model in training. She looked as fierce as ever, even dressed-down in comfortable summer clothes.

“That’s all I get? Get over here!” she said, pulling me in for a hug.

I hugged her back for a moment and then pulled away, overcome with exhaustion and jet-lag. I smiled at Cassandra. She smelled like a salty coconut and I realized she had probably come straight from Fire Island, a beach not too far from Long Island and just outside of the city. That explained the dressed-down attire, but not the lip-gloss. Unless, of course, we were going straight back there from JFK airport.

I looked back at the gate. Most people I knew hated airports, but I liked them. They offered a chance to escape. Get on a plane and in six hours from now you could be across the country. You could be in a different town, in a different house, with a different group of people. I think we all took that for granted.

 I could go back to Brazil right now. Or I could go somewhere else. I’ve never been to Cincinnati; I wonder what it’s like there. Or maybe Savannah. I could definitely live in Savannah! I took a step backwards, away from Cassie. Back toward the inside of the airport. She just smiled.

“Very funny, Amalia!” she said through perfectly white teeth. “Don’t sneak away from me now. I’m so glad you’re back, I really missed you.”

Cassie threw her arm over me and smushed our faces together. She whipped out her iPhone and flipped the camera application around so the front lens could be used and snapped a picture of the two of us. Before I knew it, she uploaded the picture to Facebook with the caption “So excited, Amalia is officially home!”

Without glancing back, she walked a few feet in front of me and remained glued to her phone. The back of her Havaianas smacking onto her heels echoed throughout the now nearly empty hallway. I let out a long sigh that Cassandra didn’t hear and pulled my suitcase toward the exit. Yep, it was official. I was home.


Jill Knapp, a native New Yorker, is an author with HarperImpulse, a United Kingdom division of HarperCollins Publishers, a writer of New Adult/ Women's Fiction novels, and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Originally called "Chase", her novel "What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?" is now available!

Before publishing her first novel, she received a Masters in Psychology from the New School For Social Research in Manhattan.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Finding Fiction Friday - Eve Devon


Finding Fiction Friday returns with a visit from fellow HarperImpulse author Eve Devon fresh off of her latest release!  How does she keep the mental fires burning?  Let's find out!

My name’s Eve Devon and I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters…

I kind of secretly believe it’s not too late for me to train as a professional dancer, MMA expert, or get asked to be Angelina Jolie’s body-double. I know. This is why writing fiction is for me!

Eve, when did you first think about writing for publication? 

I had always written some form of fiction but about six years ago I was sitting in a cafĂ© with a friend, discussing what we’d be doing if it wasn’t for the fear, and I had one of those weird planetary-alignment moments! Suddenly the excitement about a spot of no-holds-barred going-for-it outweighed any fear of failure. I started writing my first full-length manuscript that evening. I had absolutely no clue what I was doing but it felt so incredibly right to try, and even better, it was the most fun ever.

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

Because of a brain malformation I have difficulty word-finding sometimes. I’ll use the right number of syllables and it will sound similar but be completely wrong. Bit challenging for a writer but makes for great entertainment… I once told a host at a party that I had to leave early to pick up some embalmed goblins. I actually meant engraved goblets! 

Before we get to your new release, tell us a bit about your first two books, “The Waiting Game” and “Her Best Laid Plans”.

The Waiting Game is a romantic suspense with a much darker feel than my contemporary romances and is about an alpha security specialist determined to make up for a mistake and the gritty survival of Brooke Bennet, who ten years before survived a madman who stalked her, kidnapped her and tattooed her. I’ve been told I write really good villains, so if you like your suspense with a side-helping of psychological thriller, then The Waiting Game is for you.

Her Best Laid Plans is a contemporary romance and the first book to feature a member of the King Family. Jared King deviated from plans set out from him at birth and it cost him big. Now life is measured; planned. Until, blindsided by news his father is gravely ill and the family business is in trouble, he misplaces his famous control and responds to his best friend’s little sister. Worse, after persuading her to accompany him back to London as his P.A., instead of distracting him from the dark emotion attached to seeing his family again, she’s fast becoming his main focus. Sassy go-with-the-flow Amanda Gray has a healthy fear of planning her life to the nth degree. Whenever she’s tried, Life and those pesky planning gremlins have reared up to bite her on the behind! But now it’s time to grow up and get her life on track—if only the delicious Jared King would stop distracting her.

Last Thursday was Release Day for “The Love List”!  Congratulations!  Tell us about this book and how it relates to your prior work.

Thank you. The Love List was incredible fun to write. It features Jared’s sister Nora who we meet in Her Best Laid Plans when she persuades Jared to return to London to reconnect with their father before it’s too late and help her save the family business KPC. KPC is everything to Nora. She eats, sleeps and breathes it and in The Love List it stands very safely and very firmly between her and her grief over losing her father. But then she meets Ethan Love, a disaster relief worker in town to ask her a very special favour and suddenly his sexy laid-back charm is crashing through her barriers, dragging her out of her self-imposed state of suspended animation and making her want to put him on her To Do List!

You have written a ton over the years, but what has drawn you to romance?

I was introduced to category romance at a young age and fell in love with different genres. I loved that you got to step into all these very different worlds (be it contemporary, historical, PNR, suspense, medical, urban fantasy—whichever) but always get that romance between the main protagonists. I think the romance genre gets some grief from readers who haven’t ever read it, but far from turning happy ever afters into something unrealistic, they actually demonstrate over and over how and why you need to work at relationships.

You also speak of having written what I would certainly term “fan fiction” – taking characters from television episodes.  Do you have a favorite that you’ve written?

Okay. I can’t believe I’m about to admit this but here in the UK we used to have this series called “Dempsey and Makepeace”. It starred US Michael Brandon and UK Glynis Barber. The chemistry they shared on screen was off-the-scale (so much so that they got married in real life!). Every single week I’d watch the show and stay up most of that night “re-writing” the episode so that they ended up together. At school on Mondays I could hardly keep my eyes open – but all my friends would get to read the latest installment. 

What do you do to keep from burning out?

That’s a really good question because it’s something that easily sneaks up on you in this business. It’s so hard to turn down an opportunity and so easy to think you can do ALL THE THINGS! The truth is you have to really listen to yourself. That moment where you realize it’s not the first time that your mind’s racing with responsibility and the writing you rely on to be there is feeling not so much slow, as completely absent? That’s the time to step away and go and do something completely different. For me it’s anything craft. The act of doing something different somehow soothes my frazzled brain and brings Muse back with a smile on her face. 

If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?

I think it would be Brooke Bennet—the heroine in The Waiting Game. She’s real, flawed, and shows incredible courage to grasp hold of life again.

What about being published with HarperImpulse and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

I truly appreciate the support that authors freely offer each other and romance readers are honestly some of the most lovely, down-to-earth, positive people you can find. 

Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?

My husband! He has always, without reservation, believed in me. I think the fact that he doesn’t seem to see limits to me writing, always allows me to step forward with a touch less fear. 

What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?

So I’ve just handed in the book that features the last King sibling—Sephy. I have a book completed that is part of a suspense continuity for next year. I’m working on my next contemporary and then I launch straight into writing my next suspense title. Oh, and I have a superhero urban fantasy I really want to get finished. 

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!
  1. What is your favorite word? Pootle
  2. What is your least favorite word? Can’t
  3. What turns you on? Humour and confidence.
  4. What turns you off? Bigotry.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? Rain on a roof.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? People biting into apples.
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Crap-a-roon-spoon! I have a tendency to lengthen short words and shorten long words.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Aerialist or…forensic psychologist.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Door-to-door sales.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? You’ve been upgraded—please collect your wings from Gabriel.
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? I’m calling from Ben Affleck’s office—he would like to know if you’ve found the director for your latest bestseller yet?
Eve, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?

I love connecting with readers—you can find me here: 

WEBSITE                   TWITTER                   FACEBOOK              GOODREADS

And you can buy The Love List here:

AMAZON      BARNES & NOBLE             GOOGLE PLAY       iBOOKS         KOBO