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  

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

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