*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

This or That with Author Ava Cummings

  • TV or Movies?
Movies! But a House of Cards binge watch…does that count as TV or movies?

  • Hot or Cold?
Hot definitely. My mom calls me her “hot house flower” – I’m always cold and live for warm sunny days. Remind me…why do I live in the northeast?

  • Black or White?
White. I love white, I love how clean it is. I live in white jeans. I have maybe a hundred white tees and tops. I have a white coat. Of course, when I worked in New York, I was all black all the time. But now I’ve switched.

  • Night owl or early bird?
Early bird. I wake up early, sometimes 5 am. It’s my best, most productive writing time…when the sun is just peeking up and it’s quiet and peaceful. I can bang out a full chapter sometimes.

  • Print or E-book?
E book. I’m a total iPad devotee. That’s all I read now. I love it.

  • Chocolate or Vanilla?
Chocolate. Hands down, no question. The darker the better.

  • Coke or Pepsi?
Wine.

  • Horror or Romance?
Romance! I’m a die-hard fairy tale, happy ending romance lover. Always have been, always will be. God, I still remember the day I saw The Shining. I couldn’t sleep for months, literally. I’m too much of a scaredy cat!

  • Pizza or Pasta?
Pasta.,,,and pizza. God, I love Italian, love carbs. Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my top meals. And a good slice of pizza? Yum. But I’m mostly Paleo and don’t eat carbs that often anymore.

  • Harry Potter or Twilight?
Twilight. Loved loved loved that series.

  • Gum or Breath Mints?
Gum.

  • Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
I’m a planner, by nature. That’s just me, where I’m comfortable. And once you have kids, if you don’t plan, forget it, nothing will get done.

  • PC or Mac?
Mac. I’m an apple girl. Have been since the beginning. In fact, I had one of the first generation laptops back in the early nineties. It weighed a ton, but I carted that thing around with me wherever I went. It was awesome!

  • Beach or Pool?
Beach! I love the beach. That is my happy place. I want to live on the beach one day. The sound of the ocean, the beauty of the sea, the brightness of the sun, burying your feet in the sand, walking along the shore…I could go on. Suffice to say, I freaking love the beach!

  • Shoes or Sandals?
Sandals all the way. From the moment it warms up in the spring to the last day when it cools down in the fall, I am in sandals…gladiators, wedges, flip flops, Birkenstocks, strappies, you name it, I have a dozen of each. Love.

  • Cats or Dogs?
Both -- I love animals. We have a cat now because it’s a bit more low maintenance than a dog as a family pet. But once the kids get older, we are getting a dog, too.

  • Facebook or Twitter?
Oohh, that’s tough. I like each for different reasons. I love FB for staying connected to my friends from throughout my life, from all over the world. And I love Twitter for connecting with writers and authors and fans from all over the world. It’s an amazing community, too.


Quotes/Testimonials:
It's like Fifty Shades of Grey meets Devil wears Prada meets Girls! —Carrie Adel

I couldn’t put it down! Sweet Muse has it all—celebrities, scandal, and steamy romance. Ava Cummings’ writing invites the reader into Anna’s world, sharing her journey as she discovers the dark side of her dream job at a celebrity magazine and finds a love so powerful it will change everything. Totally captivating! —Sarah Bagwell

Book summary:

Determined to overcome her difficult past, Anna Starr lands a coveted job at the nation's biggest celebrity magazine in the center of the New York City power scene. She learns early on to make it on her own, and through sheer force of will she does. But frustration sets in when the dark side of tabloid journalism starts to poke through, and she gets duped while dating slicker-than-thou city boys.

Amidst a sea of cocktail parties, Anna meets rising art star Damien Wolfe. Their connection is dangerous, intense, and passionate beyond her imagination. He sees her in a way that she has never seen herself, setting her on a journey toward self-discovery—understanding what it means to be truly loved for the first time in her life. But she may lose it all when her blind ambition and his dark past lead to a crisis that changes everything.



Bio:

Ava Cummings spent more than 10 years as an editor at some of the biggest and best-known magazines in the world. She fetched coffee, fell in love with fashion, and eventually became a full-fledged editor, covering Hollywood and bringing in stories about bold women that were making a difference in the world. She has spun together the sweep-you-off-your-feet happy endings of fairy tales, the unbelievable headlines she reads in the news, and the quirky personalities that she’s encountered in both the real world and on reality TV in her first novel, Sweet Muse. Ava lives in the leafy suburbs of Boston with her husband and two children.


Author and Book Links

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SMRL5PM

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Dead Girl Walking" on Sale 99 cents

9781620155776_cov.indd
Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper) by Ruth Silver
Published: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope
  Forget everything you know about grim reapers.
Princess Ophelia Dacre sneaks out of the castle to visit her boyfriend in secret. A perfect night cut short when she’s brutally murdered.
Ophelia is given the rare chance to become a grim reaper. She must become Leila Bele, cut ties with her old life, and follow the rules of the reapers. Her greatest adventure begins with death.   Now includes the prequel Ashes to Ashes as a bonus story in the Booktrope edition. Available in eBook & Paperback.
[caption id="attachment_10213" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Dead Girl Walking Licensed to Ruth Silver[/caption]
ON SALE FOR JUST 99 cents!!!

Excerpt

  “Listen, kid, I don’t care what you believe in. It’s not for me to say what’s true and untrue, real or unreal. My assignment was you. You get to be one of us, if you want it. Otherwise, you move on, life is over, kaput.” Ophelia backed away from the stranger. For the first time, she realized she didn’t feel cold and wasn’t shivering. Is this what being dead was like? “One of you?” “A grim reaper.” He held out his hand to properly introduce himself. “Edon Montgomery, head reaper and old soul.”   [caption id="attachment_10212" align="aligncenter" width="541"]Dead Girl Walking (Royal Reaper) Licensed to Ruth Silver[/caption]  

Author Interview

Do you have any plans to write a spin-off for Aberrant? Yes! I am currently working on an untitled project that is a prequel, spin-off. I haven't spoken much about it, but I will say there is plenty of action and a world to explore that we've barely touched in the Aberrant trilogy. What are you currently working on? I've got several writing projects underway. Forget Me Knot (Royal Reaper 2) is in edits right now with an expected Spring 2015 release. I'm also writing steamy adult fiction under the name Ravyn Rayne, which will be available this year as well. You can find those projects on Ravyn Rayne Reads. Do you have a full-time job? Writing and marketing my own novels is my full-time job. It involves far more than 40 hours a week, but I love it, so I don't mind.  

About the Author

1 lo res
Ruth Silver is the best-selling author of the Aberrant trilogy. With a passion for writing and a love of story-telling, Ruth is actively writing two series: Royal Reaper and Orenda. Her interests also include traveling, reading, and photography. Her favorite vacation destination is Australia. Ruth currently resides in Plainfield, Illinois. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and her book blog Write Away Bliss.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Top Ten with Jill Meengs, Author of "Trigger"

tour banner
Trigger by Jill Meengs
Published by Booktrope
January 27, 2015
Genre: Spy Thriller
166_0.667623001414990481_trigger_cv_hr
Jordan Shaw knows the only way to stop the man hunting her is to kill him. She also knows the other men who came after her are dead, some of their blood is on her hands, and she wouldn’t have survived this long without the help of the intriguing and secretive Chase Hudson. Even though she isn’t sure she can trust Chase, she believes she needs him to discover the truth.
Two days before, life was pretty good as she backpacked around Europe with her best friend. Now, everything has changed and she may not even live through the night. What started as a summer trip of self-discovery has become a dangerous journey across three countries as Jordan is forced into a world few know exist and even fewer survive. A clandestine international organization that will let nothing stand in their way has put a price on her head. Despite all the uncertainty, there are two things that she is absolutely sure of; she has one chance to out-maneuver a world class killer, and she has to make that move right now.


What are 10 weird things about you?

  1. I love to sleep with a hat on, especially in the winter or if I have a cold.  It is something I started doing when backpacking/camping in New Zealand and it just keeps me so warm and cozy I still do it a lot!
  2. I have an uncanny ability to recall absolutely worthless, but often entertaining, movie and celebrity trivia.  On the flip side there are easy things that I should be able to remember, like people’s birthdays, that I get mixed up on.
  3. I like to put dark chocolate Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the freezer and let them get really cold before I eat them.
  4. I love Diet Pepsi and regular Coca Cola but I do not like regular Pepsi or Diet Coke.
  5. As soon as I finish using a dish, utensil or glass I have to put it in the dishwasher…yes I have OCD!
  6. When I eat my favorite ice cream, Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor, I dig out and eat all of the peanut butter and will leave just chocolate ice cream for my husband which drives him nuts.
  7. I love to clean my house.  If my husband is away and I have the house to myself for any length of time the first thing I do is clean it from top to bottom, that way I can enjoy how clean it is the whole time I have it to myself.
  8. In my opinion Blue and Red M & M’s taste the best.
  9. When I was writing Trigger I listened to music by Jesse Cook and only Jesse Cook.  I found it inspiring and that it helped me concentrate because there is no singing in his songs.
  10. If I am working out I have to be listening to music or be watching a movie or TV show, otherwise I cannot focus as much on what I am doing.  If I have music or something to watch I can work out all day.

Top Ten Places I have traveled to:
  1. Indonesia: this country is magical on different levels, the culture, the people and the scenery are unbeatable!
  2. New Zealand: One of the most picturesque countries ever, I would move there tomorrow if I could.
  3. Australia: Such a fun place to visit, I spent two months there and could have spent two years!
  4. Egypt: I have always been fascinated with Egypt and the pyramids, to get to be there and to ride a camel around the pyramids was amazing.
  5. Brazil: An unexpected wonder, I thoroughly enjoy Rio de Janeiro and exploring the Amazon.
  6. China: One of my favorite trips because we took my mother who had the best time and watching her have fun made it that much more fun for me.
  7. Peru: We hiked Machu Picchu on our honeymoon and nothing prepared me for how awesome that place is.
  8. India: If you have been there then no explanation is needed.  If you haven’t been there, go!
  9. Ethiopia:  Driving through the Great Rift Valley and seeing the countryside with our friend who is from there was incredible.
  10. Panama: One of the most laidback vacations we have been on.  A great country, very beautiful and so easy to get to from the States.

Top Ten foods I love
  1. Dark Chocolate
  2. Thin crust Pizza
  3. Dark chocolate with peanut butter or caramel
  4. Yellow Curry
  5. Thai peanut satay
  6. Indian food in general (especially chicken tikka masala, dahl, and tandoori chicken)
  7. Vanilla Greek yogurt
  8. Granola
  9. Papaya with fresh lime juice squeezed on it
  10. Mozzarella Cheesesticks

Top ten things I love to do on weekends/days off
  1. Yoga
  2. Cardio (jogging or elliptical)
  3. Writing
  4. Reading
  5. Planning a trip
  6. Going shopping
  7. Meeting friends for lunch/dinner
  8. Going to the spa for a manicure & pedicure
  9. Going to the spa for a facial or a massage
  10. Cleaning my house (I know, crazy right?  But I love having a clean house, it helps me find my zen space!)

Top Ten movies I love
  1. The Matrix
  2. Fight Club
  3. American Beauty
  4. The Hangover
  5. The Interview
  6. Horrible Bosses
  7. Lord of the Rings (the Trilogy)
  8. To Catch a Thief
  9. The Princess Bride
  10. Titanic

Top Ten Songs I love right now
  1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  2. Trumpets – Jason Darulo
  3. All About that Bass – Meghan Trainor
  4. Black Widow – Iggy Azalea
  5. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  6. Counting Stars – One Republic
  7. Turn Down for What – Dj Snake & Lil John
  8. Red Lights – Tiesto
  9. Talk Dirty to Me – Jason Derulo
  10. Best Day of My Life – American Authors

Guest Post by Jill Meengs, Author of "Trigger"

tour banner
Trigger by Jill Meengs
Published by Booktrope
January 27, 2015
Genre: Spy Thriller
166_0.667623001414990481_trigger_cv_hr
Jordan Shaw knows the only way to stop the man hunting her is to kill him. She also knows the other men who came after her are dead, some of their blood is on her hands, and she wouldn’t have survived this long without the help of the intriguing and secretive Chase Hudson. Even though she isn’t sure she can trust Chase, she believes she needs him to discover the truth.
Two days before, life was pretty good as she backpacked around Europe with her best friend. Now, everything has changed and she may not even live through the night. What started as a summer trip of self-discovery has become a dangerous journey across three countries as Jordan is forced into a world few know exist and even fewer survive. A clandestine international organization that will let nothing stand in their way has put a price on her head. Despite all the uncertainty, there are two things that she is absolutely sure of; she has one chance to out-maneuver a world class killer, and she has to make that move right now.


What inspired me to write Trigger:

My husband Chad has always said that I should write a book. He kept bringing it up and getting very little reaction from me until he decided to offer me a bribe.  For the price of a nice flat screen for the bedroom and a shopping spree, I agreed to give writing a book a solid effort.  
The first step in this process was to sit down and put together an outline. I sat down with several goals, one was to write a book that I actually wanted to read. Second, I wanted the main character be a strong woman that others could look up to, relate to, and who was perfectly capable of turning around and saving the leading man, even if she needed to be saved herself a time or two. Finally, I wanted to use my experiences while traveling in my writing. I have been to every location in Trigger and some of the content is based on things that actually happened to me.
Once I had what I considered a viable story I spent two to three hours writing every night.  This was after a full eight hour day of work and two hours of commuting. My husband was usually sitting right next to me working on his computer as well. More than two years, and over 100,000 words later the rough manuscript was complete. 

While self-editing for the next three years I spent a considerable amount of time sending out queries to literary agents and learning to deal with rejection. I even started the sequel, but progress on it has been slow since my focus was on publishing Trigger. Eventually, my sister-in-law introduced me to published poet and creative writing teacher, Ann Staley.  Ann generously helped me edit Trigger and introduced me to own publisher, Booktrope. In June of 2014, over 5 years after starting to brainstorm ideas for a book, I received an offer from Booktrope to publish Trigger.  Approximately six months later I was holding a hard copy of Trigger in my hand.

Advice for new writers:

My best advice for a new writer is the same advice that I felt was the most valuable when I was writing Trigger: write what you want to read.  Along with that there is also: write what you know.  These two concepts are vital because you will be writing, reading, and editing this manuscript A LOT, so you need to not only enjoy writing, you need to enjoy what it is you are writing, because you are going to be living and breathing it throughout this process.  

Writing what you know and what you want to read also helps you keep your enthusiasm when you are tired, have writer’s block, or are getting rejected by publishers & literary agents.  

Most importantly, if you are passionate and knowledgeable about something that will come through in your writing and it will make it more believable and more interesting.   

Finally, you have to be persistent.  Writing a book, editing it, and getting it published is a process that can take years and you have to commit considerable time and energy to it.  Don’t let yourself get down and don’t ever give up because if you want it bad enough and work hard enough you will get what you want.


The best part about writing a book:  

Is sharing something that I love to read and that I am excited about with other people.  I love to hear what their thoughts are, what they enjoyed about it and how it made them feel.  I also enjoy it when people say that they couldn’t put it down!

I like to talk about the writing process and what it was like putting Trigger together.  How I had to learn how to write, how to edit and then how to submit the book for publication.  A lot of people don’t know or have never thought about how to write a book or what it takes to get a book published so it is interesting to see their reaction to how difficult and time consuming it can be.

It is also fun to see how thrilled people are for me and this accomplishment and how much they want to read the book and to talk to me about it.  Writing and trying to get the book published has been something I have been immersed in for a while now so to get a fresh perspective on it and to see people be so excited about a book being published makes me feel good and helps validate all of the hard work that it took to get Trigger published.

Interview with Jill Meengs, Author of "Trigger"

tour banner
Trigger by Jill Meengs
Published by Booktrope
January 27, 2015
Genre: Spy Thriller
166_0.667623001414990481_trigger_cv_hr
Jordan Shaw knows the only way to stop the man hunting her is to kill him. She also knows the other men who came after her are dead, some of their blood is on her hands, and she wouldn’t have survived this long without the help of the intriguing and secretive Chase Hudson. Even though she isn’t sure she can trust Chase, she believes she needs him to discover the truth.
Two days before, life was pretty good as she backpacked around Europe with her best friend. Now, everything has changed and she may not even live through the night. What started as a summer trip of self-discovery has become a dangerous journey across three countries as Jordan is forced into a world few know exist and even fewer survive. A clandestine international organization that will let nothing stand in their way has put a price on her head. Despite all the uncertainty, there are two things that she is absolutely sure of; she has one chance to out-maneuver a world class killer, and she has to make that move right now.

Author Interview

What is your favorite childhood book? I am not sure I have a favorite because I read so many books as a kid and loved a lot of them. From the time I was very young I was always reading something and I went through several phases, genres and series at different ages. At one point I loved CS Lewis, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Madeline L’Engle’s a Wrinkle in Time. I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries as fast as I could get my mom to buy them. I also went through a period where I read classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina. Sometimes a movie would come out based on a book and then I would read that. Anything that caught my eye or my interest for some reason I would read.

How did you come up with the title of your book? I had a different working title that I used for the longest time that was more sentimental than anything. After I started sending out queries I really started to look at the marketing aspect of publishing a book. One of the things I thought about was the book title and how to make it relevant, interesting, and have impact. Trigger fit the bill for various reasons. It is the initial book in the series, there are a series of events that are triggered that lead Jordan on her journey, and something inside her is triggered and brought to the surface as she learns what she is capable of.  

Pen name or real name? Why did you choose it? My real name; after all that hard work I would like to have my real name out there! Plus, I am proud of what I have accomplished and seeing my book cover with my name on it is part of that.  

When did you know you wanted to be an author? I have always loved reading and writing, but it wasn’t until my husband first encouraged, and then bribed me to write Trigger that I learned just how much I love to write. Even though I was working full time and commuting two hours a day, I found that the 1-2 hours I spent each night on my book were the happiest times for me. To have that creative outlet for the first time in my life was amazing and very fulfilling. Then to see all that hard work pay off when I held my first copy of Trigger was the icing on the cake.

Are you a full-time author or do you have another job? My “real” job is working as a vice president, commercial loan officer and branch manager at a $180MM community bank in Oregon. My dad is the President and CEO and after graduate school the job market was tough so I went to work for him to get some valuable real world experience. Ten years later, I am still gaining that experience! My two brothers also work at the bank, in the same branch, which keeps things interesting and enjoyable.  

Chocolate or Vanilla? Dark chocolate all day long and multiple times on the weekends and vacation days!    

Summer or Winter? Summer for sure. I love great weather, the ocean and the beach, preferably some place tropical. In fact, as much as I love the Pacific Northwest I believe I could easily live in the tropics and would like to someday. The one stipulation would be that I would like to be able to get home fairly easily in order to visit family.

 Favorite sports team? I love watching college sports much more than professional sports. I am an OSU alumni so l am a Beaver fan, but I grew up watching the Duke Blue Devils basketball team which is a favorite of my mom’s. Some good friends of ours have season tickets for U of O football and I have to say, there aren’t a lot of experiences as amazing as watching the Ducks play at Autzen Stadium.

Favorite vacation/trip? That is a tough one, I have been to so many incredible places and I have gotten to see so many amazing things it is hard to pick just one. I can say that my favorite country that I have been to is Indonesia. That place is just magical. The culture, the people, the scenery, the scuba diving is fantastic and I would go back there in a heartbeat. One of the most unbelievable experiences I had on a trip was visiting the Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx. We had perfect weather and we went during a time when a lot of people were not traveling there so at one point we were the only people inside the Great Pyramid and I have pictures of us on camels and the Pyramids and then by the Sphinx with no other people in them. Most people think those pictures are photo-shopped! The trip that was the most fun was probably when my husband and I took my mom to China. Before that the only time she had left the country was a trip to Jamaica so to take her some place so exotic and to see how much fun she had was really great.
jill meengs

About the Author

Jill Postlewait Meengs grew up in a small town on the Oregon Coast. During and after college she spent extended periods of time backpacking in more than 30 countries. She has been to every location she describes in “Trigger” and some of the content is based on her own experiences while traveling. She met her husband, Chad, in the MBA program at Oregon State University. After getting married, they purchased and fully remodeled a house. It was Chad who encouraged, and then bribed her to write her first book, “Trigger.” He says that he very much enjoys watching the flat-screen he purchased as part of their deal. When Jill isn’t reading or writing, she is running, doing yoga or planning her next trip. Jill and Chad live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
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