Daily Archives: June 4, 2015

Book Tour ~ Wishing Cross Station by February Grace

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About the Book
TItle: Wishing Cross Station
Author: February Grace
Genre: Fantasy
A dark fantasy romance from the author of GODSPEED and OF STARDUST

Don’t stay a moment longer than you have to. Don’t say too much. Don’t pollute the timeline.

When nineteen-year-old college library page Keigan Wainwright is sent to pick up a private donation of books for the school’s collection, he has no idea where one of those books will take him, or what it will take from him.

Retracing a powerful man’s footsteps through the past, Keigan finds himself caught in the same dangerous trap: falling in love with a woman he was never meant to know, and uncertain he will ever find his way home.

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Author Bio

February Grace is an author, poet, and artist from Southeast Michigan. In previous novels, she has introduced readers to characters with clockwork hearts, told of romantic modern-day fairy godparents, and reimagined a legend, centuries old. Now, in her fifth novel with Booktrope, readers will board the special at WISHING CROSS STATION and embark on a trip through time. She is more than mildly obsessed with clocks, music, colors, meteor showers, and steam engines.

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Links
Author Website 
Facebook 
Twitter
Goodreads 
Amazon (Paperback)
Amazon (Kindle) 
B&N

Interview With February Grace

February, tell our followers about you –
I’m February Grace; an artist who loves to write. I live in Southeastern Michigan where it is much colder than I’d like most of the time. I share the apartment with my husband and our cat, who runs the show, so to speak. I’m obsessed with Disney, clocks, colors, music, and meteor showers, to name a few of the things that fascinate me. WISHING CROSS STATION is my fifth novel published by Booktrope and will be officially released on June 2nd.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The answer to this question has varied at different points in my life. When I was younger, it was my daughter; now she’s grown and moved away, living her own life. So other things must inspire me instead of the role of being a mother. For a long time the answer was writing; I often lost sleep, in fact, unable to wait until morning to start writing down all the words the characters were putting into my head. Now, the answer would have to be curiosity. I want to see what interesting and hopeful things the day can bring. I always hope each day will better than the last.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Oh my goodness, this is a difficult one. I would say Chris Martin from Coldplay but I think I’d be so stars-struck I wouldn’t be able to speak. So I think I’d have to pick Josh Groban. This is because I have actually had brief meet and greets with him three times in the past, and he’s such a funny, brilliant and talented guy. I’d love to show him around Disney World. Yes, I think that a day at Disney World with Josh Groban could be a lot of fun!

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The idea for Wishing Cross Station actually originated in a painting I did: a painting that started out as one thing but then turned into the image of a girl wearing a hat. In fact, I called it “Girl in Hat and Scarf”. Something about her haunted me, and I wondered what her story was; I knew she had to have one. Then the idea came to me of her being from the past; from the 1800s somewhere… and I knew that her name was Marigold. One thought led to another and I had the idea for the story; the concept of a time-travel portal of sorts being located in a place similar to a real location about an hour from my home that involves vintage trains… I don’t want to give too much away.

I took a day trip to the location last fall before I sat down to write and took notes, recorded voice memos, recorded a train pulling into the station that was authentic to the time I’d be writing about. I rode in the open cars behind the engine, I breathed deep of the smoke. I asked a ton of questions of the curators and historians there and took hundreds of photographs. Then I ‘met’ Keigan (our protagonist) who was kind enough to ‘introduce’ himself to me about that time. I realized it was his story more than the mysterious girl’s. And so I just wrote the story Keigan dictated to me. That’s how writing is for me when it’s really working; the characters are in control, I just take dictation.

Tell us your writing process
My process is unlike that of other writers in that I cannot set aside time to write on a daily basis or on a schedule due to various health problems. Among other health issues, I live with Bipolar Disorder, and it has a great deal to say about how much I write and when I write.

When I am in a certain place, I tend to write a lot very quickly, then I put those first drafts aside for a few months to ‘cool off’ before I go back and see what is there. Then I revise it, then it goes into editing; and I was blessed with an amazing editor in Laura Bartha on this book… and on it goes. I write what I’m able, when I’m able. I have had periods of time (as long as a year and a half at one point) where I couldn’t write at all. Somehow I still managed to publish five novels with Booktrope in two years. That has been a dream come true for me.

Do you have any advice on what has and has not worked that you can share with other authors?
As an introvert (INFJ on the Keirsey Temperament test, and a 10 in introversion at that…) promotion has been and continues to be very difficult for me. The place I feel the most at home is on Twitter, but I don’t promote there very much because you don’t want your feed to become a continuous commercial or people will just unfollow you or mute you.

I blog, I have a FB author page that I should probably use more but again I don’t like to bombard people. I just try my best to authentically interact with people on social media as best I can. I am in the process right now of working with my Book Manager at Booktrope and also a private consultant I’ve hired to get some new marketing ideas. Promoting is not easy, and anyone who tells you it is is just telling you what you want to hear.

My biggest piece of advice is don’t repeatedly ‘shout’ links on social media. Those kind of “BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK!” messages do not win you fans, friends, or sales and also likely violate the terms of service for whatever site you’re on.

Word of mouth is still the very best method of marketing. Write the best book you can, try to get it into the hands of as many people as you can who might be willing to read and discuss it on their blog or review it. And if you can afford it, save up and definitely hire a professional to help guide you. We writers are not generally geared for promotion; we need the help of someone who is.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I knew for sure I wanted to tell stories when I was in the fourth grade and a teacher gave me an extra credit assignment rewriting the ends of fairy tales. I was hooked and have been writing in some form or another ever since. Only after going blind and regaining some of my eyesight in 2009-2011 though did I really seriously begin to think about getting published.

Tell us about your main character:
Keigan Wainwright is a nineteen year old page at his college’s library. He’s a rational sort, his heart seldom leads his head. But he’s been thrown off-kilter recently by the loss of a beloved relative, and that opens him up to finding he’s feeling a lot more than he has before—or should be—when he’s thrown into an unimaginable situation. He finds himself 135 years out of his time, in the much harsher world of the 1880s. He has to figure out how he’s going to survive there for a while until he has a brief window in time to try to get home. He’s resourceful, smart, and has a very good heart. He’s an old soul, and I have a special place in my heart for him.

What are you working on next?
Right now as far as writing goes, all my energy is focused on marketing the five books that have been published in the past two years. It all went so fast that I want to be sure people know about the books I’ve written before I delve into the idea of writing another novel. I also want to spend a lot more time painting, which I find to be a much more restful, relaxing artistic pursuit than I do writing.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents? 
I wouldn’t call it extraordinary but I am very much, as an INFJ temperament, in tune with what others are really feeling, whether or not they are saying it. I can determine people’s emotions and motives from very quick conversations and upon first meeting them, and sometimes it’s overwhelming because you tend to want to fix everything for everyone and you can’t. So you just have to offer what encouragement and support you can while protecting yourself as much as possible from this ongoing barrage of emotions. It’s kind of like being a Beta Zoid, for you Star Trek fans out there. INFJs are empaths, and it makes us very, very tired!

Who are your favorite authors?
Fiction: Douglas Adams and Charlotte Bronte. Poetry: Tennyson. Non-fiction: Dr. Keirsey and Stephen Montgomery, who have both written extensively on Temperament Theory.

What do you like to do with your free time?
I like to browse art fairs and miniatures stores. I have a couple of dollhouses and I love furnishing them and finding new dolls to inhabit them. I am almost always listening to music whatever else I’m doing. My favorite thing to do with free/vacation time is to go to Walt Disney World. It’s there that I feel most at home in the entire world.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Right now there is nothing specific to tell. I’m focusing all my efforts on Wishing Cross Station, especially, on getting the word out that it exists, because there are so many books out there it is difficult to be noticed in the crowd. That is my main focus right now.

Any final thoughts?
Thank you very much for hosting me today!

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Book Tour ~ The Color of Clouds by J.C. Whyte

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About the Book
Title: The Color of Clouds
Author: J.C. Whyte
Genre: Sci-Fi / Paranormal Mystery / Thriller

Pedro’s on a mission. But not your everyday, run-of-the-mill type mission. Because Pedro is dead.
That’s right. Dead.

Spirit guide Pedro normally busies himself with conveying messages from departed loved ones through a psychic named Gwen. But when he encounters a recently deceased teenager, the boy’s anguish just about breaks Pedro’s heart. So the spirit guide decides to try and help this boy. Yet meddling in the affairs of the living is a troublesome business, as Pedro soon discovers.

Nevertheless, he convinces Gwen to take an ocean voyage, and that’s when the trouble begins. Within days of leaving port, two passengers on the cruise ship fall into a mysterious coma. Gwen seeks Pedro’s help to restore these passengers, but natural as well as unnatural obstacles keep getting in the way. And by the time the ship docks in Honolulu, the still-living are flat out scrambling for their lives!

A playful blend of science fiction and the paranormal, The Color of Clouds offers a glimpse into the unseen world while taking the reader on an extraordinary ride. The adventure includes danger, mystery, humor, sweet romance and even a dash of thriller.

But the clouds are not what you think.

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Author Bio

J.C. Whyte discovered her love for writing while still in elementary school, creating children’s stories. But as an adult, J.C. had to face the harsh reality that such writing seldom pays the bills. So she earned degrees in both Journalism and Communications, and then turned to Public Relations, where for ten years she focused her creative energies into feature writing.

After marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J. C. entered law school. While there, she became a columnist for the school newsletter and later, one of her humorous articles was even published in The National Jurist.

Graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she has returned to where her life’s calling began, beginning in 2013 with publication of her children’s book Karmack and now in 2015 with her first novel for adults, The Color of Clouds.

J.C. Whyte

 

Links

Goodreads page
MuseItUp Publishing page
Amazon page
Barnes & Noble page:

Book Excerpt

There was an element of danger in these dives, especially because of the predatory sharks in the area. Yet it was unlikely a shark would attack the divers. Tiger and Galapagos sharks were the most aggressive, but even they preferred fish, turtles, and seals to humans. So although he felt pretty confident, Drew still kept one eye on Carly.
But as the six divers began their survey, a strange light lit up one end of the reef, diffusing illumination as if a floodlight were shining upon it. This light was also inching closer and closer to the divers. When it was near enough to touch, Drew stuck his arm into the light and instantly the arm disappeared inside it. Frightened, he quickly withdrew his limb. Yet now the arm felt dead as it dangled at his side, refusing to respond to commands.
Carly was too busy taking measurements to notice. But the light kept moving. And before Drew could act, it fully engulfed his wife. She instantly collapsed, dropped from the reef and started to drift into deeper water. He charged after her, kicking harder than he knew he could. But with dogged determination and a single full-functioning arm, he managed to bring Carly’s limp body to the water’s surface.
Drew was now in a full-blown panic. Reaching the boat, he shouted for help; the others quickly pulled Carly on board.
“What happened?” asked one of the crewmen.
“I…I don’t know. Some mysterious light…” Drew coughed and gulped some air. “It passed over her, and she…” He shook his head in disbelief.
“Still breathing,” noted another crewman as he removed her mouthpiece from around her neck and pulled off her oxygen tank.
When Drew lifted Carly’s mask with his good hand, he was stunned to see her blank-looking eyes staring wide open at him.

Interview

Jacquie, thank for being my guest today. Tell our followers about you.
I discovered a love for writing while still in elementary school, when I would compose and read stories to my siblings and cousins. But as an adult, I had to face the fact that such writing seldom pays the bills. So I earned degrees in Journalism and Communications, and then turned to Public Relations, where for ten years I focused my creative energies into feature writing.

After marriage, kids, several more degrees and occupations (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), I entered law school. While there, I became a columnist for the school newsletter and later, one of my humorous articles was published in The National Jurist.

But after graduating and passing the Bar, I realized within a few short years that creative writing was still what made my heart sing. So now, as a grandma, I have returned to my writing roots with publication of my children’s book Karmack (2013) and my first novel for adults, The Color of Clouds (March, 2015).

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That’s simple: adventure! From an early age, I have viewed my life as one long adventure, whether real or otherwise (mostly otherwise, I think — LOL).  I love new experiences, especially when they involve travel. That’s why my book The Color of Clouds features an adventure centered around travel.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably someone fun like Melissa McCarthy or Ellen DeGeneres. I love people who make me laugh and aren’t afraid to be a little silly.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
My husband is a scientist who’s been talking about so-called ‘dark matter’ for years. He even has his own theory about what it is. I just incorporated his theory into my own interpretation of what lies beyond the visible world. Then I stirred in some adventure, mixed in a murder mystery, added a pinch of humor, and finished with a sprinkling of light romance. And viola! The concoction I named The Color of Clouds.

Tell us your writing process.
I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer. I can’t work from an outline because it’s just no fun. I get an idea and run with it, letting it evolve in its own way and in its own time. That’s the adventure of writing for me.

Do you have any advice on what has and has not worked for you that you can share with other authors?
What hasn’t worked is buying ads in online magazines. I find bloggers’ reviews to be the most beneficial, along with giveaways and small ads on Goodreads.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was eleven, my 6th grade teacher gave the class an assignment to write a poem about a sport. I knew my classmates would mostly choose a popular sport like baseball or football, so I decided to be different and write about golf. And to my complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she encouraged me to keep writing.

Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. Well, this was absolutely horrifying to me! I wanted to enjoy my summer, not spend it reading! You see, back then I was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience (in my day, kids didn’t have all the fun books to choose from like they do today). But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told my mother I could write 26 stories instead. That was a very special gift to me. Although I didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), I submitted one which made my 7th grade teacher laugh out loud in class. And I got an “A” on my summer reading assignment. I owe so much to that wise and wonderful teacher who truly let me play to my strengths.

Tell us about your main character:
In his prior life, Pedro was an Italian immigrant’s son living in a New York City tenement at the start of the twentieth century. But in my story, Pedro is currently a dead spirit guide who communicates telepathically through a psychic named Gwen. Both Pedro and Gwen like helping people; that’s why together they attempt to ease the pain of those who’ve lost loved ones under very unhappy circumstances. Yet Pedro goes a bit too far in trying to help a particularly sad soul,  and that’s what sparks the paranormal adventure in The Color of Clouds.

What are you working on next?
Nothing at the moment. I’m too busy traveling and promoting my books.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I wouldn’t call it extraordinary but I can play the piano. Unfortunately, no. My only talent has been writing. I can’t even garden – all my plants just up and die on me. Sniff!  No wait – I’m pretty good at amateur photography (at least I think so!).

Who are your favorite authors?
Off the top of my head: Ken Follett, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck, Dennis LeHane. Yeah, they have absolutely nothing in common; I just enjoy their writing styles.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Did I mention how much I like to travel? And when I’m not traveling, I’m planning for travel, which to me is almost as much fun as the trip itself.

My husband and I just got back from a safari in South Africa. Last year, we went to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. And I’ve just started to plan an Australia/New Zealand cruise for next year. Yep, we’re doing the old Bucket List!

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Frankly, I don’t have any. My two books – Karmack and The Color of Clouds – were both born out of inspiration combined with true life experiences. I find my best approach is to wait until new inspiration strikes. When I try to force the process, it just doesn’t work for me.

Thanks for being here today Jacquie. 🙂

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