FEATURED GUEST: Author E.A. West

Hey, all! I have been enjoying the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee and it has been fabulous! I have been privileged to host so many wonderful authors during this interim. Today is no exception! Author E.A. West has just released Covered with Clean Reads (the company that has published three of my books). I am eager to learn more about her new release, so let’s dive right in.

eawest_authorphoto_300Welcome, E.A. West. Can you tell us, first, what was the inspiration for Covered?

I’d thought about writing a motorcycle-riding hero for a while, but I couldn’t seem to find the right story for him. Then I saw a video about Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) and the way they’d helped an abused girl. That brought to mind a single question: What if a group of bikers protected an abused girl, but then she grew up and her abuser came back? “Covered” grew from there. While the motorcycle club in the story isn’t connected to B.A.C.A., it is definitely inspired by the great work of that organization.

That is interesting. I wasn’t aware of such a group. What a neat organization! Inspiration truly comes from many places. Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

When I was a child, I never thought I would become an author. My interests leaned more toward working with animals in some capacity or becoming an artist. I was an avid reader as a kid, but dyslexia and learning disabilities made English class unbelievably difficult.   Thankfully, I managed to overcome those difficulties and started writing. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I took a creative writing class my freshman year of high school. As with most writing assignments up to that point, I didn’t particularly enjoy it at first. But then we had to write a brief biography for a fictional person. I had so much fun with that assignment, that I started creating characters and stories without having them assigned. I haven’t stopped writing since.

Sounds familiar! There are many parts of the process I know we all love, but there are certainly parts we don’t love as much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

Writing the synopsis. Trying to condense thousands of words into a few hundred and still make it interesting is unbelievably difficult.

I hear you there! Writing a synopsis can be so challenging. If you’re anything like me, you are always reading for enjoyment and to hone your craft. What are you currently reading?

Right at the moment, I’m reading two books: “Marcelo in the Real World” by Francisco X. Stork and “The Relevance of Religion” by John Danforth.

I also love to listen to music when I write. I find it helps tremendously. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?

My music tastes vary depending on my mood and what I’m writing at the time. I’ve listened to everything from classical to metal. Some days I write without music because it’s too distracting.

I can understand that. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I usually write in the evenings. I’ve always been a night owl, so writing after dark works out perfectly for me. My favorite writing place is anywhere comfortable. When the weather is nice and warm, I enjoy sitting outside and writing longhand in a spiral notebook.

Wow! All my early writing was in longhand. But I am pretty much chained to my laptop now. I may try the longhand again. There something about the texture of paper…

Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?

I’m always working on several projects. The most exciting at the moment is “Redeeming Honor”, an inspirational romance novel currently in edits with Pelican Book Group. I can’t wait to share it with readers!

More about Covered

Lacey Daniels wants a normal life where she can go to dinner or the mall without constantly looking over her shoulder. Unfortunately, her abusive father is out of prison and more dangerous than ever. The Hawthorne Guardians, a local motorcycle club that protected her as a child, is her only hope for normalcy. Some of the faces have changed, but the credo is the same: protect the innocent. One Guardian, Ratchet, takes an interest in more than her safety. He wants her heart.

Despite her growing feelings for Ratchet, Lacey can’t escape the threat her father poses. With him free and seeking revenge, she will never be safe. Her only chance for a normal life — and maybe true love — lies with Ratchet, a man who is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her father from hurting her again… even if it means risking his life to save her.

Enjoy an Excerpt

covered_500x750I desperately needed to rest, but stopping even a short time was dangerous. An approaching car didn’t give me a choice. I leaned against a utility pole at the corner, my entire body hurting, and stared at the collection of motorcycles parked outside a bar a little farther down the street. Men wearing black leather vests stood around talking to each other and the few women scattered throughout the group. None of them looked familiar, but I had to hope the patches on their vests did. I needed to find the Hawthorne Guardians. I couldn’t trust anyone else, not even my own mother. She’d become part of the problem.

Tears blurred my vision, but I blinked them away as I forced myself to walk toward the bikers. Crying was a luxury I couldn’t afford at the moment. One man turned his back toward me, and I spotted the familiar stylized HG with a sword in the middle I was searching for. Maybe he could tell me where to find Bear.

Before I reached him, he hopped on a motorcycle and rode away with two others. My heart sank, but I couldn’t give up. I had to find someone who could put me in contact with Bear. I continued on to the bar and hoped for the presence of more Hawthorne Guardians.

I staggered into the dimly lit bar and paused long enough to steady myself. Staying upright was a challenge when it felt as if a spear lanced my skull. Too many people packed the place, and not enough wore the familiar patch. In fact, I couldn’t spot a single Guardian in the crowd. My anxiety shot through the roof, but I shoved it aside. I could deal with it later, after I was safe. If I was ever safe again.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9AMDJI

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M9AMDJI

iTunes: http://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/covered/id1161622028?mt=11

More about the Author

E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.

Connect with E.A. West and her books:

Website: http://eawest.mcphitty.com

Blog: http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/eawest

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/EAWestAuthor

Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWestCornerReaders

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eawest

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authoreawest

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/eawest

FEATURED GUEST POST: A Story Roadmap (with author SM Ford)

I hope everyone is having a great week. I am pleased to welcome fellow author SM Ford onto my blog today. She happens to be another pantser. For those of you who are new to my blog, a “pantser” is someone who “writes by the seat of their pants” it is the opposite of a “plotter” or “outliner”. Well, today she is going to talk about what a Story Roadmap is and how it can assist you in your writing!

A Story Roadmap

road-1668916_1920I am not an outliner. If I outline a story with explicit detail, I find I have no interest in writing it.

So instead, I’m a pantser with a plan.

Here’s how it usually works for me.

  • I start with a character with a problem or in some situation.

Then in no certain order, the following happen:

  • Usually some kind of theme comes to mind.
  • I name my protagonist.
  • Next, I think about other people who would be in the main character’s life, whether in the background, or right up in the action. Whether antagonist(s) or supporting cast.
  • I decide where the main character lives.
  • I think more about the age, personality, habits of this person.
  • I may do some reading and research on their job or schooling or some other aspect of their situation.
  • Somewhere in there, I’m thinking about when and where the story starts.

Have I written anything down at this point? Usually, not much. The gender of the character and his or her problem. A few names, a few brief details—more reminders than anything lengthy. Character sketches don’t work that well for me.

I carry this character around with me for a while until I’ve got:

  • an idea of how the main story problem might be resolved.

I may not be clear on details, but knowing my character will win in some way is an important part of my plan. This and theme gives me a goal to head towards.

Then I start writing by introducing the character in some way and introducing some problem that may not be the main problem of the story. It’s similar to driving from Washington state through Missouri to Florida. You’re generally headed east and south, but there are a variety of routes to get there. Each time you choose a new road it affects how long the trip will take and what you’ll see along the way. In a book the personality, goals, desires, emotions of the main character direct much of the trip. Just like a flat tire or busted axle can change your trip, the problems, antagonist(s), other characters change the story.

This method means I learn about my characters as I write. I discover their voices. We may take side trips together that don’t end up staying in the story. But on the other hand, I’ve pulled scenes out that I thought weren’t important, then had to put them back in later.

Mainly, I’m working on how my character gets himself out of the situation. That keeps me moving forward to the end.

Will I revise once I reach the end? Of course. But so do outliners.

Alone

alone_500x750Ready for adventure in the snowy Colorado mountains, Cecelia Gage is thrilled to be employed as the live-in housekeeper for her favorite bestselling author. The twenty-five-year old doesn’t count on Mark Andrews being so prickly, nor becoming part of the small town gossip centering on the celebrity. Neither does she expect to become involved in Andrews family drama and a relationship with Simon Lindley, Mark’s oh so good-looking best friend. And certainly, Cecelia has no idea she’ll be mixed up in a murder investigation because of this job.

Will Cecelia’s faith in God get her through all the trouble that lies ahead?

Buy Links:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Alone-SM-Ford-ebook/dp/B01HR7O0Y0/#nav-subnav

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alone-sm-ford/1124041307?ean=2940158495786

iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/alone/id1129622915?mt=11

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/alone-74

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/650072

About SM Ford

smfordSM Ford writes inspirational fiction for adults, although teens may find the stories of interest, too.

When she was thirteen, she got hooked on Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense books, although she has been a reader as long as she can remember, and is an eclectic reader. Inspirational authors she enjoys include: Francine Rivers, Bodie Thoene, Dee Henderson, Jan Karon, and many more.

SM Ford is a Pacific Northwest gal, but has also lived in the midwest (Colorado and Kansas) and on the east coast (New Jersey). She and her husband have two daughters and two sons-in-law and three grandsons. She can’t figure out how she got to be old enough for all that, however.

She also loves assisting other writers on their journeys.

Connect with SM Ford and her books:

Website: www.smfordbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SMFordwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SMFordBooks

FEATURED GUEST: Author Dana Provo

image3It is my pleasure to introduce to you fellow author Dana Provo! Welcome, Dana, I’m glad you could join us today. Could you tell us a little about your novel?

Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.

Red roses, a reminder of her parents’ killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?

Wow! Sounds like an interesting read! What was the inspiration for Bleeding Hearts?

I have always wanted to write a romance, but I wasn’t sure if I could do it, so I opted to write a suspense novel with a romantic element. I loved it. My inspiration for “Bleeding Hearts” came from when I moved into my new apartment. There was an officer that lived down the hall, and I used his wife to craft my main character. My friends don’t have anything to do with the actual story line, they were just inspiration. I loved coming up with the perfect couple and relationship only to tear it apart again. It was fun.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?

I didn’t always want to be a writer. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a brain surgeon! Then I wanted to be a professional horseback rider. There were so many things I wanted to be growing up.

I can certainly relate. I thought for sure I would be a doctor. But writing was always a part of who I was. And eventually that part of me got louder and louder. I know as authors we love a lot about the process, but I know there are parts we don’t love so much. What part of the writing process do you dread?

I dread the waiting process of trying to get a book published. You are always waiting for that rejection email and often times don’t have the inspiration to keep writing. The other thing I dread most is editing. I think every writer can agree with me on that.

Most definitely! You have my vote there. While I wait, I keep plugging away at that next novel and reading. What are you currently reading?

Right now, I’m trying to read The Jewel by Amy Ewing, but between my full time job and writing two novels, I’m not have much luck on it. When I manage to finish it, I will review it and let everyone know how I like it.

I’m always curious about the things that authors reveal (and don’t reveal) in the back cover copy. Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

“Bleeding Hearts” is about a woman falling in love with the wrong man. She finds herself in an abusive relationship and has a hard time finding herself throughout the novel. Although Cami seems irrational throughout the book, she suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from Carson’s torment and can’t get a grip on her life. Some have said she’s crazy, but to me, she’s vulnerable. Cami is both loyal and trusting toward people. She can’t help it, it’s in her blood.

And, finally, do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

So I have two projects I’m working on right now. The continuation of “Bleeding Hearts”, called “Bleeding Alone” is in the works. This story follows a secondary character from the first book named Ruby Mae Lavender. She’s an art student at a university and she meets the famous serial killer, Carson but she doesn’t respond with animosity like everyone else has. She’s different from Cami; Ruby Mae is strong, outgoing, independent, and has an attitude the size of Texas. This is going to be another romantic suspense.

The other story I am working on is a YA suspense titled “Scarred”. Jules Martinez was in love at fifteen, but her love story turned into a nightmare when she found herself a victim of domestic abuse. To help with her fear and ending a bad relationship, she joins a mixed martial arts gym, training every day. Now at eighteen years old and ready to go to college, she still suffers from her abusive past. But it gets worse when Christopher comes back into her life again.

Thank you, Dana, for taking the time to answer my questions and giving us some insight into your novel and into you as an author!

Enjoy an Excerpt!

image1My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn’t move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us.

We’re at a stalemate.

A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I’m another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind.

Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off.

“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it’s no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now.

“Why are you doing this?” I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I’m wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong.

“It’ll be over soon, sweetheart.” His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs.

More about the Author

Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to Adult Historical Romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.

Buy Links for Bleeding Hearts:

Amazon: http://a.co/3z28apX

Barnes & Noble: http://fw.to/mfIx33N

iBooks: https://itun.es/us/KydHeb.l

Kobo: http://goo.gl/ea1W0W

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/r99gn5

image2

Connect with Dana Provo:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordanaprovo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanaProvo

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/icehorses12/

Blog: https://authordanaprovo.wordpress.com/

Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115997761074256146273/about

FEATURE GUEST POST: What is Spiritual Suspense? with Author Krista Wagner

Happy Friday! It is my great pleasure to welcome fellow author Krista Wagner onto my blog. She has a great book to share, but first, here’s her informative post about Spiritual Suspense…

What is Spiritual Suspense?

Spiritual Suspense contributes significantly to the literary canon because it explores life-changing moments. Specifically, the reader can relate to the intensity of events, emotions, and spiritual changes. Frankenstein started this trend in 1818, which later became popularized in the YA genre because of the need to control one’s environments and the difficulty of dealing with life and death. C.S. Lewis, over sixty years later, enhanced the delivery of the spiritual and suspenseful world through the addition of fantastical elements, appealing to the vulnerabilities and impressionable nature of youth.

Spiritual Suspense stories trigger the audience’s adrenaline by intensifying pivotal moments in a plot.  In these novels, the protagonist deals with unsuspecting turns and mysterious twists within a world where there is always a villain, but where good ultimately wins out over evil. The main character (s) experience significant growth spiritually, mentally, and emotionally–life-identifying changes.  The relationships of the protagonist are also seriously affected positively or negatively.

Notable books include: nearly all of Dean Koontz’s novels such as Intensity, The Bad Place, Lightning. His stories are filled with characters combating darkness and adversities and then brings the light into the darkness where good is victorious. He also emphasizes the intellectual capacity of his characters who show discernment and make choices judiciously. There are also the classics like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series.

All of these writers appeal to the cognitive growth of children and young adults by having them deeply examine their own choices and the impact of those choices.

thegold1600x2400The Book

“What do you do with a secret that’s make-believe?”

The Gold is a middle-grade fantasy about a bullied ten-year old girl who stumbles upon a talking pebble.

In her latest novel, author Krista Wagner introduces us to Ten-year old Amanda who is constantly teased and tormented in school. Her home life is less than satisfactory where her widower father, often away on business trips, leaves her in the care of her indifferent teenaged sister. Worse, not a day goes by when Amanda doesn’t miss her mom. To escape reality, Amanda creates fantasy stories, but when she discovers a talking golden pebble, her imagined world turns into a new-fangled reality.

Excerpt:

“Her breath got stuck in her chest, and if she had heartstrings, like the characters in her book always did, then they were being pulled right now!”

 

Buy link: http://tinyurl.com/zzjdtag

About the Author

Mother of three and Adjunct English Instructor Krista Wagner has been crafting short stories of dramatic events like murder and kidnapping since she was in high school and has been writing in general since she was seven years old. Wagner received her B.A. in English from UMBC, her M.A. in English Composition with a Literature Concentration from CSUSB, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from National University. Her debut novel Intent, a spiritual dramatic thriller, was published by TouchPoint Press in 2014. . Her psychological thriller Rian Field was released January 2016. Outside of her professional life, Wagner enjoys watching suspenseful films, reading the Bible, and spending time with her family.

Connect with Krista and her books:

http://kristawagner.wix.com/the-gold

https://twitter.com/kristathegold

https://www.facebook.com/TheGoldKristaWagner

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30513683-the-gold