Friday, August 22, 2014

This weeks Indie Author

Hi everyone! With only two weeks left to go I find myself short an author this week. So I will be putting this post on hold until early next week. In exchange for short changing you I promise to have an  in-depth review of the Doctor Who Season premier which I will be seeing Monday night!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Indie Author Showcase Michelle Bettencourt

This weeks spotlight is an author who is a close personal friend of mine so I am exceptionally excited to introduce her to all of you.
 Michelle Bettencourt is the author of one published novel, Past Transgressions, and is currently in the process of finishing her second. She is a long time horse lover and her first novel truly reflects her incredible knowledge. We have been lucky enough to have her give us a sneak preview of that second novel at the end of this post. 
Make sure you scroll down and check it out!


Summary for Past Transgressions:

BJ takes her Appaloosa stallion, Cloud, to Colorado for a week-long guided trail ride through the Rocky Mountains. After a brief trailside stop, she comes upon an old, abandoned ranch house. BJ is curious about the house and investigates. When she hears voices and sees people outside reflected through a mirror, she thinks that she has been reunited with her riding group. She runs from the house to greet them but finds the yard empty. She feels she must have missed them somehow and takes refuge in the barn when a storm brews.

When the weather clears in the morning, she leaves the barn only to discover that she has somehow returned to the past. Here is where her adventure begins as she searches to return to the future, even as she finds friends and love along the way.


Interview with Michelle

WMR: First off could you explain to our readers a little about the “worlds” you have created?
                  
Michelle: The “worlds” are more about past and present. What would it be like to wake up and find ourselves stuck in the past. How would we react to circumstances we find ourselves in? I let the characters choose their path and face the outcome of their actions which are different in different
time periods.

WMR: Is there anything you hope readers will take away from your work?
                  
Michelle: I hope they will enjoy the story for what it is and the only lesson I see that was shared is that it is ok to depend on others. When we learn what our limitations are and accept them, it can be freeing.

WMR: How long have you been writing?
                 
Michelle: I have written short stories and poems since high school but it wasn’t until 2005 that I pushed to write a novel. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it from start to finish and found it to be fun and rewarding.

WMR: Do you have a favorite character to write?

Michelle: My favorite would be the main character as all our characters are a part of who the writer is, I like the idea of being able to be a little freer with who I am, daring to be or take part of something I am not able to in my reality.

WMR:What about the hardest character?
                  
Michelle: That would be the “bad” guy, I have a hard time understanding how people can be cruel and trying to make someone evil is difficult. I also feel the human side to them and try to understand what makes them the way they are.

WMR: Where can readers find more information about you and your books?
                 
Michelle: They can find information at Amazon. Com or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/michelle.bettencourt.79  

WMR: Do you have any suggestion for aspiring writers?

Michelle: Believe in yourself and don’t give up, you can be your worst critic or your best ally. Find an honest friend to share with for feedback but also inspiration. Having someone to read it and enjoy it who asks questions about it will help keep the inspiration and ideas alive.

WMR: What is the hardest thing about being a new author?
                  
Michelle: The hardest thing is finding someone to publish your work. Most publishers will not look at it if you don’t have an agent or published before. Never give up and a “No” does not mean you don’t have to a “Best Seller”, there is always another door, be your best advocate and promote yourself. For me, that was the most difficult of them all but if you don’t come across as believing in yourself, how can you expect someone else too? Have Faith and know your time will come.



Excerpt from second book with working title “Vision Quest”


“No, this was dug up. Why would you think it a family heirloom?” So it was true, she did receive visions. What a fascinating gift to have, he thought, I wonder what it was she saw. She nodded, relaxing a bit as she believed his sincerity. “What did you see?” She narrowed her eyes at him, suspiciously. “Look, I’m not blind and you moved as though burned. I do believe in psychic abilities.”
“I never said I was psychic,” she snapped.
“No, you did not,” he admitted.
“You’re right,” she sighed. “Sometimes, and I do mean sometimes, because it doesn’t happen all the time, I do get flashes like a movie playing. What I saw this time was a pair of angry eyes similar to yours but not you.” She glanced at the bell, feeling at war with herself as to whether or not she should try again. “That does not make me psychic.”
“You’re right. I didn’t mean to imply that you were, only that I do believe that people have different gifts like having the ability to draw or sing or see ghosts.” He was truly fascinated by her. She had beautiful, long auburn hair that danced like fire in the sunlight and her emerald green eyes were large and expressive. Her lips were full, the type that begged to be kissed.
He gave himself a mental slap as he realized where his thoughts were headed. He had to stay focused. Her skin was lightly tanned with a slight spray of freckles barely visible over the bridge of her small, straight nose. She was thin but not overly so and actively fit. He would love to get to know her better.
“All right.” She nodded, accepting him at his word. Kaycee liked this man who actually believed in her gift. That too, was a gift, to be able to say exactly what she saw without having to choose her words carefully. With renewed enthusiasm she leaned toward the bell not caring where she placed her hands. The cool metal began to warm and she closed her eyes as a vision began in her minds eye like a dream.

She was standing on a beach. The sun was hot even though the wind was blustery. She looked out across the ocean where she spotted a large three masted square rigged vessel moving toward her. She heard the sound of a bell and her minds eye turned inland.
On a small lookout tower a man was ringing a bell, this bell. In the distance, another bell began to chime, and then another, although fainter, could also be heard. It was an alert system to quickly announce the arrival of a ship.
People started running to the shore as the ship glided gracefully to the pier. Men tossed ropes overboard to those on the wharf who worked quickly to moor the ship. Her minds eye searched the ship for a name. Ah, there it was, the Glorianna. This beautiful ship was from the area, obvious because of the women and children arriving to greet husbands, sons and perhaps fathers and brothers. The crowd was excited for their safe return.
She watched the men work efficiently to secure the ship. A man stood at the helm watching, making sure all ran smoothly. Every now and again he would pitch in or bark orders, but for the most part, all ran smoothly. He walked over to the rail and watched his men depart for shore leave. She searched his face. He was a handsome man with rugged features, his skin tanned from the sun and sea. He was clean-shaven and had his shiny black hair pulled into a queue. He stood with a poise and confidence that gave the impression of a man used to being in command, a force to be reckoned with.

 He turned, and as though he knew she was watching, appeared to look her directly in the eyes. She sucked in her breath and once again jumped, releasing her hold on the bell as she recognized those steel-grey eyes from earlier

Friday, August 8, 2014

Author Showcase William Andrews


Well its Friday so you know what that means! For todays author showcase Wolf Majick Reviews would like to welcome fiction writer William Andrews. William is the author of Multiple novels including his latest Daughters of the Dragon, which can be found on Amazon. Now I haven't gotten a chance to read this one yet but it is on my TBR so hopefully I will have a review for all of you soon.


Author Bio:
For over 30 years, Bill Andrews was a copywriter and a marketing/brand executive and with several Fortune 500 companies. For fifteen of the more painful years, he ran his own advertising agency. At night and on weekends (and sometimes during the workday!) Bill wrote fiction. Bill’s first novel titled THE ESSENTIAL TRUTH won first place in the 2008 Mayhaven Contest for fiction.
Bill's third novel, DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON, was published in 2014 by MADhouse Press. The reviews have been outstanding. The MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW called it a "masterpiece of fiction." In May, it won an IPPY for historical fiction. The IPPYs is the world's largest writing contest, attracting thousands of entries worldwide.
Today, Bill is retired and focused on his writing. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, an inner-city public school teacher for 32 years. And his Korean-born daughter, the inspiration for DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON, is now an MD living in Houston, Texas. 




We at Wolf Majick Reviews were lucky enough to get Bill Andrews to take a moment to talk about some of the challenges he has faced as a writer: 

There were periods when I was discouraged. In fact, it was quite often. When I was hunting for agents and publishers, it was a weekly punch in the stomach. I think in writing, you have to have a combination of dogged determination, naiveté, confidence and humility. If I'd known how difficult it was when I first started, I probably wouldn't have done it. But once I was into it, I couldn't quit. It's a marathon. But I believed I could do it. After all, I wrote 2 novels prior to this one just to learn the craft. I think the biggest problem I had is not knowing if I was good enough. Then, I'd read some dreck best seller and get angry. But it isn't about other authors. It's about your own writing. I was getting better so I kept going. And now I can say thank goodness, I didn't get published before the book was ready. "Thank you agents and publishers who did your job and turned me down."






Snippet from DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON – 
A Comfort Woman’s Story
By William Andrews
Darkness. The rain had stopped and the air was still. I lay on my side, my knees to my chest, shivering in the cold, sticky mud. Inky clouds slid away revealing bright stars in a moonless sky. The only sound I heard was a dog barking from somewhere in the village.
I pushed myself to my knees, and then unsteadily to my feet. There was no movement in the village and no lights. I held the comb with the two-headed dragon tight in my fist.
I walked barefoot through the wheat field, across the grass to the village. The pain in my thighs from Lieutenant Tanaka’s beating had come back making it difficult to walk. The bruises on my face from Colonel Matsumoto’s blows had turned into a sharp ache. I stumbled down an abandoned street to the infirmary. I pulled myself up the dark stairs to the ward and went to where Soo-hee had been. I pulled aside the white sheet. My onni wasn’t there.
I left the infirmary and went to the comfort station. They had burned the barracks to the ground. A few lonely flames danced among the smoldering remains. And there I saw the bodies of the eleven girls lying in a jagged line, lifeless, like mounds of dirt.
I stood in the courtyard and all the cries I had pushed down for so long roiled and raged inside me. I felt the stone in my stomach crack. I closed my eyes, fell to my knees, threw back my head, and opened my throat. And all my cries burst out.
I kneeled on the muddy ground with my face to the sky and a thousand cries met a thousand stars in the moonless Manchurian night. I cried for my innocence and for each time they called me a whore. I cried for the dead girls who had been my sisters. I cried for my mother and father. And I cried for Soo-hee. The cries ripped out my stomach, my lungs, and my heart until there was nothing left inside and I collapsed, empty, to the mud. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Indie Author Showcase Aderyn Wood

Its that time again! This week Wolf Majick Reviews would like to welcome Aderyn Wood. 

Aderyn Wood is the author of the Novella The Viscounts Son and the Novel The Borderlands. We met through the fantastic world of social media and I am so excited to introduce her to all of you.

Interview


WMR: First off could you explain to our readers a little about the “worlds” you have created?
Sure! And thanks for the opportunity, Delia.

'The Viscount's Son' was my first publication. It is a paranormal fantasy set in our world and features a (drum roll...) vampire. All authors who write vampire fiction bring their own set of 'rules' and mythology associated with it. I've created my vampire mythology based on more traditional stories, particularly 'Dracula', so it's quite a dark world at times. I am currently writing the sequel called, 'The Earl's Daughter' and I am reading a lot on vampire lore again to make the world as interesting as possible.

'The Borderlands: Journey' is my most recent release and is the first book of a trilogy. It is a contemporary fantasy set in our world but there is a link to another more mystical world - the Borderlands. This world is very much an invention of my imagination, but the mythology is based heavily on the Scottish folklore of the Seelie and Unseelie courts. In other words, fairies.


WMR: Is there anything you hope readers will take away from your work?
I always love reading fantasy that has surprises and a great sense of mystery. I hope readers find a little bit of unpredictable twists and turns in my stories. 

WMR: How long have you been writing?
I've always written short stories and poems. But, I've been writing novels for about five years now. 

WMR: Do you have a favorite character to right?
In 'The Viscount's Son' I had to write from the perspective of the two main characters, Emma and Nathaniel. Emma was very much the modern day woman - educated, passionate about her career and open to love. She finds an old mysterious diary and decided to translate it on her blog. The diary was written by Nathaniel in the 16th century. I loved writing these characters because it challenged me to switch so dramatically from one gender to another, but also different times periods. It was challenging but very rewarding to write. 

WMR: What about the hardest character?
The most difficult character I've written so far is actually the protagonist in 'The Borderlands', Dale. Dale is a 16 year old girl who struggles to feel a sense of belonging in both her family and school. She has only one true friend who is an old homeless man called Gareth. It was a struggle to get the balance right with Dale. It was important that readers felt sympathy for her rather than seeing her as complaining too much. This balance was hard to achieve but I think I got there at the end. 

WMR: Where can readers find more information about you and your books?
I have a blog - http://aderynwood.blogspot.com
and it has a page about my fiction - http://aderynwood.blogspot.com.au/p/fiction-by-aderyn.html
I also have an author page at Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7024736.Aderyn_Wood



WMR:Do you have any suggestion for aspiring writers?
Yeah. Stop aspiring and just write already ;) I was always telling people that I wanted to write. One day a very good friend told me that I needed to stop talking about it and just do it! I am so grateful to her for her honesty. The only difference between writers and aspiring writers is that writers write - every day if possible. 

WMR: What is the hardest thing about being a new author?
It is very difficult to start out when you're an 'unknown'. It takes time to build a platform and a fan base. It's also very easy to let self doubt over rule your thinking. I talk to my partner about it and he tells me how every time he read one of my books he can't put it down, then he tells me to hurry up and keep writing. Having someone to support you during those darker moments is a wonderful thing.
Author Bio -


Aderyn Wood has published a novella, ‘The Viscount’s Son’ and a novel, ‘The Borderlands: Journey.’ Both are the first of a trilogy. She will release her third publication later in the year. Aderyn lives in a small cottage in the country with her number one beta reader – her partner Peter. Aside from writing and reading she enjoys managing her small herd of chickens and ducks.


Social media links - 

http://aderynwood.blogspot.com
https://twitter.com/AderynWood
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7024736.Aderyn_Wood

Friday, July 25, 2014

And the Indie Author showcase continues with Robin D'Antona

Welcome back everyone! I'm excited to introduce this next Author to you because she is a personal friend. While Robin D'Antona may not be a fiction author I think we can all benefit from her expertise in bullying prevention. She is the co-author of the recently released 

Bullying Solutions: Learn to Overcome from Real Case Studies. 


A little about Robin:


Robin D’Antona, Ed.D. is an educational consultant and adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University. She conducts trainings, workshops and seminars nationally for school districts, after-school programs and other groups training parents, teachers, coaches and practitioners about bullying prevention. Robin is a National Certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Program Trainer.


She serves as an expert witness and reviews case documents and advises parties in bullying cases.

Robin is recognized as a dynamic lecturer and keynote speaker. She speaks nationally about bullying, cyber bullying and school safety at leading conferences and at symposiums at Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School and at Salem State University.

 

She is a founding Board Member of the International Bullying Prevention Association, which supports research-based best practices in bullying and violence prevention in schools. Robin has conducted and published research on the effects of bullying, bullying in athletics and cyber bullying.


She is an advisor to Sesame Street Workshop and was a consultant to the nationally distributed video production Words Can Work: Bullying True Stories. Robin has appeared as an expert on bullying prevention on WGBH-TV, WBZ-TV, CNN, and HLN news. She has been featured in articles in People Magazine, The Boston Globe and other publications.

Robin is a nationally regarded author on the issue of bullying. Her books include:

·       Bullying Solutions: Learn to Overcome From Real Case Studies (Barrons Publishers. Release date 6/2014)

·       Tackling Bullying in Athletics (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers 2010);

·       101 Facts About Bullying: What everyone should know (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers 2008)   

  • The Comfort Zone: Bullying Prevention in After School Programs  (Bryson-Taylor Publishers 2008)
  • Breaking Through The Line – Bullying and Athletics (1999)

I was lucky enough to get Robin to answer a few questions for all of us.


WMR: How did you get started writing?
Robin: Actually I do not consider my self a writer – I just like to talk about things that I feel passionate. I started writing informational pamphlets for a target audience – patents, teachers and youth. This gave me experience and confidence to continue writing. I find the process of writing difficult – I feel like I have so much to say but it is challenging to put that on paper.  I find that once I get started I have to work until I have completed a section so that can mean long hours. Other times I just do background work to help me prepare. When I am stuck - I play solitaire on my computer. It clears my head and I can go back to writing with a fresh perspective. 
For me writing is a process not an event. I often will be thinking of things I want to say at times when I am away from my computer, so I keep a notebook of what seem to be random thoughts. Then when I am putting together a chapter, I often refer to that notebook for ideas.

WMR: Why did you choose the subjects you have?
Robin: Actually my subject chose me – after the tragic death of my son from bullying over 20 years ago, I became interested in bullying prevention.  Writing became an outlet to understand and heal. At the same time, it felt good to be proactive to help people be aware of the devastating impact of bullying and to provide tools for prevention. Now since bullying has become such a national topic, I look for areas related to bullying that have not been previously addressed.  I was one of the first to write about bullying in athletics which was and still is considered an area where bullying does not exist.
When you are presenting a proposal to a publisher, one of the first things they want to know is: what other books have been written on your topic.  So it is good to check that out before you begin writing. Look for a new topic or new angle on a topic that has not been previously published.

WMR: What do you hope to accomplish with your books?
Robin: I want to send a message of prevention and hope. Bullying has been going on for as long as there were children on a playground but it does not have to continue as long as we are aware, proactive and teaching children about kindness, empathy and self-respect.

WMR: Do you prefer to co-author or work on your own?
Robin: Actually all four books I have written have been with co-authors. It is great to be able to brainstorm and write with someone else, even when they live out of state. We are careful to be certain that the work has flow and is written in one style. That is crucial since when writing styles are mixed it may feel choppy to the reader. Right from the beginning we work out the details of how we will work together.
Then we map out the chapters in detail, giving the book an overall plan. In the last book my partner, Mike Carpenter, gathered all the personal stories of bullying and I handled all the writing of the problem solving key points as well as the suggestions for parents. We both edited the manuscript before we sent it to the publisher’s editor.

WMR: What do you like the most about being an author?
Robin: It is a great way to get out a message. I write best when I am “talking”, so I try to write as if I am having a conversation with someone. That way I feel as if I am being myself, and hopefully the reader will feel as If I am talking to them directly.
Writing has made me a better listener. Everyone has a story of bullying – either as a target, bystander or the one who bullies. Every time the topic of bullying comes up, people tell about me their personal experiences because it is such a universal topic. Talking helps them deal with their feelings and it gives me a greater perspective of the issue that I hope I can bring to my work.

Snippet from book:
It has been said that “knowledge is power.” In instances of bullying, knowledge of how others dealt with the problem can be an empowering tool for someone in a similar situation. Bullying Solutions compiles 40 real-life examples of various types of bullying and explores how they were confronted. These are not scientific case studies, but rather detailed illustrations of actual events. Some have a good outcome, others were not resolved successfully. By reviewing the actions of parents, school administrators, children, and others involved in the bullying cases, readers will benefit from the “lessons learned” from the mistakes of others in handling or even recognizing a bullying problem.
You can find Robin D'Antona on the web at http://www.stopbullyingma.org or on Twitter