Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Author Interview - Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

I am really pleased to interview a dear friend of mine, Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

My latest release, Stolen Valentine Kiss: Will One Kiss Steal Her Heart? (Holiday Series #1) features an emotionally troubled British/Nigerian heroine (Lorna Ibe) who went to America on holiday to forget about her problems but unexpectedly meets US born hero (Logan Blake) who thankfully, isn’t interested in a relationship.
The cheeky notion of Logan stealing one kiss from an unwilling and uninterested Lorna kicks off unexpected emotion. I imagined the magic of that kiss; the heat flowing through her veins and the tip of his tongue drawing dizzying circles in her mouth making her heart pound so much she’s swayed.
The more I thought about it, the more the story took shape. It was entirely my readers idea to turn Stolen Valentine Kiss into a series.
What are you working on next?
Cowries From a Prince, book one of my first historical romance series is on my writing table at the moment. (This is the first time I'm naming the new title). There are three books in the series.
Cowries From a Prince is based in the Ancient Benin City, a bustling town in the South West of Nigeria in the 17th Century. The city still has monarchical rule till date.
In Igodomigodo land (as it was called) there were traditions that my heroine, Uvbi Adolo believed took away the rights of women. To change the norm, she must battle against all odds; family challenges and bear unbelievable upheavals.
The hero, Nagudia Igho, seek ways to bring justice to all, but he must use subtle ways that can’t be linked to him. Their attraction is strong but unrecognised.
Nagudia and Uvbi fight the growing attraction as there are family and societal pressure to contend with. I love both of them and the rough tide they face.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend my time with my husband and children; laughing, playing hard or going to the Cinema. When I’m not having fun with them, I’m baking or sitting in a comfy leather sofa watching TV. When I have additional spare time, I read lots of romance novels, contemporary or historical.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
That’s an easy one. How can I forget? My first contemporary romance, Loitering Shadows is the first story I ever wrote. Published in May 2010, it was inspired in part by my life experiences. For you to deduce what parts are real and the parts that are fiction, you’ll have to read in between Tricia and Prescott’s emotional story.
Describe a favourite scene in your current novel?
My favourite scene in Stolen Valentine Kiss is when Logan stopped over at Lorna’s place on a date she’d reluctantly agreed to. She’d been pressured by her aunt.
In her state of panic, Lorna stumbled to her bedroom door, placed her ears behind the door, straining to listen to Logan’s conversation with her aunt. The knock on her door sent her tumbling backwards, landing slapdash on her bed. Her aunt walked in, a bemused expression on her face.
I still find that scene hilarious because Lorna had previously denied any feelings for Logan.
What else do you have in store for your readers?
Book two in the Holiday Series (sequel to Stolen Valentine Kiss) is due out before Thanksgiving 2014. Lorna and Logan will have to overcome a number of hurdles if they want their engagement to climax into the wedding of their dreams. Readers will have to wait to read book two to find out if they'll have a wedding.
How did you come up with the hero and heroine for your latest book?
Nagudia Igho and Uvbi Adolo, the hero and heroine in my Work-In-Progress; Cowries From a Prince are characters that stole my feisty heart as the thought of life for a young maiden in the chiefly traditional 17th Century Benin City raced through.
The story involves a hero who has the heart of a lion, the strength and gait of a thorough-bred horse and a rarely confrontational personality that open doors, who knows how to relate with men in power to push through his ideas. Nagudia fits perfectly. He's a man with a turbulent history and an enviable future.
Uvbi on the hand, is a young maiden with the heart of a lioness, fearless and bold, ready to crush every oppressive tradition and vocally challenges what she perceives as injustice against women.
Why are your hero and heroine perfect for each other?
To my writing pen, Nagudia and Uvbi are perfect for each other because opposite attract. They complement each other’s personalities but they may be too blind, stubborn and fearless to know how to work together.
Do you plan several books ahead or do you work on one book at a time?
Yes, I do plan a few books ahead but I only work on one book at a time. Interestingly, I set aside my current work-in-progress; Cowries From a Prince, for almost two years to write and publish two other titles; Husband to Rent and Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series).
Tell us a little about your writing style? Do you plan and plot your stories, or do you just start writing them?
It varies. In the past, I have written straight from the heart. At other times, I sketch loosely by writing down a few sentences for each chapter. As I write, I flesh out the story along the sketched lines.
Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Not often. I remember once when I encountered the dreaded block, I packed up my writing for a day. When I returned to the story, I read the preceding pages and it flowed unstopped.
What is the best comment you ever received from a reader? The worst or weirdest?
A reader wrote to me on Facebook after reading Husband to Rent;  "I just wrote my review. I hope it did justice to a great work. I am so proud of you and my dear you were so bold. The the love making scenes were mouth watering.gooood job." On another occasion, she wrote; "I'll read anything Stella writes."
The worst was a great criticism about SPARKLING DAWN by a reader stating; "Okay I have to say the writing style and dialogue is very formal and stilted. The characters ran so hot and cold that I got a bit tired waiting for them to be on the same page. I don't quite get the story of how the secret came to be as Chloe was young and even with travelling parents suspicions would have been raised. A sweet if unrealistic story."
Interestingly, the same book (SPARKLING DAWN) was rated 5stars by another more enthusiastic reader.
"Awesome piece. True love and a crush eventually reciprocrated. Couldn't quite figure out why Chloe resisted Warren. When the truth came out. I cried for Chloe and fell in love with Warren by standing by her. That is true love! Believable and real. Love it, Love it, Love it. Thumbs up."
As a consequence, I have sent it off to a brilliant editor to have another read. I welcome every comment. It helps to sharpen my skill and story.

Book Synopsis

One broken heart. Two grieving minds.
To Lorna Ibe, Departmental Manager with one of London's multi-channel retailers, Valentine's Day lost its romantic flavour years ago. An unplanned holiday to New Jersey is her perfect getaway from the stress and emotional turmoil locked in her heart, just what she needs to take her mind off her troubles. That's until she runs into Logan.
Magazine publisher, Logan Blake has had his fair share of stress in the past few years. When his sister asks him to drop off old clothes to charity, he has a minor accident in front of the charity shop where Lorna volunteers. When he sets eyes on her bare midriff as she wipes the display window, he clears his busy schedule to volunteer his time. Two burdened hearts afraid to get entwined.
One Stolen Valentine Kiss. Will Valentine season bring them romance or will their fears keep them apart?

Buy Links:


Author Contact Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4538936.Stella_Eromonsere_Ajanaku                                                                                    
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Stella-Eromonsere-Ajanaku/e/B004LXE09E
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/StellaE1                                 
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/StellaEA           
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Thanks, Stella for such a great interview. It was a pleasure to host you. :)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Blog Hop - Writer's process interview.

Hi Everyone,

It is my turn to write a blog post in the writing process blog tour. I am sorry I am two days late for posting, but my life has taken some unexpected plot twists lately! I was simply too tired to write anything until today (and even then, I am not sure I am completely with it yet!).

I would first like to acknowledge Christine Ardigo for inviting me onto the tour. She is an amazing writer and friend. You can read an interview with her just below this post. I wish her the greatest success with her new book, Cheating to Survive. It is a great read by a very talented new author. You can read all about her book in the interview post, along with her links.

So, here are my answers to the questions posed in this interview.

1) What am I working on?

Well, right now I am working on the third book in my haunted by the past series. It is the story of Jade, who was introduced in the previous book. She can't remember anything from her past, before the age of fourteen. She was discovered wandering the streets covered in blood, but she has no idea what happened to her. Unfortunately, the past she wishes to never remember refuses to be ignored. Someone wants Jade to recall her past, but she has no idea who or why. Slater is the PI that gets caught up in her troubles and finds himself haunted by a ghost that won't leave him alone. I am really enjoying writing this book! I can't wait to finish and publish it.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I like to put an unusual twist on all my stories. One series has fairy godmother's that run their own dating agency and the other series are mysteries with a paranormal twist. I love things that are unusual and interesting. With my mysteries, I like to think of plots that leave people guessing. So far, nobody has told me that they knew the ending before they read it. That makes me very happy!

3) Why do I write what I do?

I am an incurable romantic, but I also love things that are unusual and interesting. I love to explore characters and unusual events. I am always dreaming up something new. It has to be interesting to me, or I can't write it. At the heart of every story is a true love. It couldn't be any other way for me.

 4) How does your writing process work?

I have an initial idea. That burst of inspiration that fires up my imagination and starts the drive to explore and write a story. I spend time with the characters and idea in my mind, exploring it with my imagination. This will often produce key events and situations that I want to include in the book. As I start to write the story, often new ideas and angles work their way into the book as my characters take life and show me the direction they are heading in. Writing the actual book can often be different each time. I will need to stop and research some areas or a scene doesn't fit that I originally thought would. Every project is different, but that's what makes it great. I don't think my process is totally the same for every book. Some are easy and others challenge me. I like it both ways!

Now I would like to introduce an author who I have recently become friends with. Her name is Katie McKnight. She will be posting her blog hop in approx. a week from today.

Katie McKnight lives on Long Island with her husband and three sons.  She published a suspenseful-romance novel entitled Secrets Revealed in August 2013 and is currently working on her second novel.  When she is not writing, you’ll find her at the town animal shelter preparing dogs to meet their forever families.  You can find the Facebook addict at www.facebook.com/katiemcknightauthorpage .

The setting for SECRETS REVEALED spans from Long Island to the mountains of Pennsylvania during Christmas, the most romantic time of the year.

Most people are drawn to entertainment magazines and television news shows.  These outlets provide insight into the lives of the rich and famous.  How do public figures handle scandal when it hits the airwaves? 

SECRETS REVEALED provides a sneak peek into the lives of Broadway actress Melanie O'Shaughnessy and her husband Ryan Carlisle.  Find out how they deal when a secret from her past escalates into blackmail, kidnapping  and murder.

Thank you for reading this blog hop interview. Sorry again for it being a little late! Life certainly has a way of changing and really fast sometimes. Thank you to Christine for inviting me onto this hop and to Katie for allowing me to introduce her.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Author Interview - Christine Ardigo

It is my great pleasure and privilege to do this interview with my good friend and talented new author, Christine Ardigo. Thanks so much, Christine, for featuring on my blog. Her fabulous debut novel, Cheating to Survive, is now finally released.

      When did you start writing?

About 2 years ago.

     What’s the story behind your latest book?

I had heard these radio shows where they caught men cheating on their wives. Some of the poor wives begged their husbands to come back, asked what they did wrong, and said “I still love you”. It was humiliating. I decided to turn the tables on the husbands.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?

I love making up characters and scenes. It’s almost like lying about events and getting away with it!
What are you working on next?

Book 2 in the series: Every 5 Years. It takes you back in time to when it all began for lovers Heather & Nicolo.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I am a full time registered dietitian and personal trainer. I love weight lifting and have done that since college. I also live by the phrase: Do something every day that you fear. I’ve gone white-water rafting, rock-climbing outdoors and jumped out of airplanes.

How do you approach cover design for your books?

I popped on over to group on Facebook called Book Covers and Cover Artists and every time I saw a cover I loved, It was from Kellie Dennis and Book Cover and Design. (http://www.bookcoverbydesign.co.uk/) I knew she was the one for me and never looked at another site.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up on Long Island, New York and my books are all based there. I have the beach, the bay, and the city all within a half hour away!

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

Yup. I was obsessed with Nancy Drew mysteries so I wrote my own: Linda Wells Mysteries. I wrote it in an old-battered, spiral notebook complete with hand drawings! I was eleven-years old. I still have it.

What is your writing process?

I follow Larry Brooks - Story Engineering 8 Plot points. I write what has to be in each plot point, and then fill in the blanks. (That’s the fun part!)

What do you read for pleasure?

Although I write Women’s Fiction & Contemporary Romance, I love books like Hunger Games, or stories from Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I do love a good romance though.

How much research goes into your books, and how do you tackle that?

Most of it I make up but if I don’t know something, I Google it, ask friends that have been in that situation or job, or even watch YouTube videos to get a better idea of what a scene or character should look like. For example, if I’m not sure what a four-year-old girl should be doing or saying, I watch a video of one and then I can picture her.

Have you ever had writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

Not yet. I usually get my best ideas driving to work. I have about a 40-minute commute. I will think of a scene, and then it comes to me as I drive. The only problem is remembering it by the time I get to work and writing it down. I’ve found myself writing things down on napkins in my car!

Describe a favourite scene in your current novel?

It’s a scene with Catherine. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but her first encounter with her man, their first kiss, gives me Goosebumps every time I read it.

What is the best comment you ever received from a reader?

I love when people tell me my writing is so vivid, you actually feel like you’re in the room experiencing it. But my favourite was someone that said: “You got what you wanted. I finished the book and I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t get it out of my head. I keep thinking about certain scenes.”

What else do you have in store for your readers?

All my books for now, will revolve around women having to make a decision: Do they stay with the man they are currently with, or look for someone that might be better.

Do you plan several books ahead or do you work on one book at a time?

I do have 3 other books in mind, but I’m not revealing any secrets yet. You’ll just have to stick around.

Book Synopsis

Can Cheating on Your Husband Bring Unimaginable Pleasure or Completely Destroy Your World?
To her three daughters, Heather is a fun-loving, silly mom. Her co-workers at Norlyn Plains Hospital think she has it all, including a handsome lawyer husband.
But when a flirtatious new doctor chooses Heather to spend his down time with, he reminds her of the man she regrettably gave up so many years before. Each interaction breathes new life into her and she gives in to the doctor’s seductions, threatening her fifteen-year marriage.
Her co-workers Victoria and Catherine, are stunned by her actions, but when they see the positive transformation in Heather, and question their own crumbling marriages, they wonder if she has the right idea.
Can cheating on their husbands bring the three of them happiness? Or will they be destroyed by the consequences?


Dr. Silvatri’s head sprang up. “You mean if you and I were on a more personal level than it would be okay?”
                “Of course, yes, I mean no, I think it would be something that if you and I were...”  She squeezed her fist in between her thighs. “Well, we couldn’t anyway.”
                “Why not?”
                “We’re both married.” 
                “Is that a problem?” 
                Heather’s heart pounded so furiously against her chest she felt dizzy. She stared at him for a good fifteen seconds. “Your call,” she heaved out, her breathing rapid now.
He no longer inched toward her. Extensive thrusts propelled him across the room as if he had waited forever for her to say those words. Right before his chair knocked into hers, Silvatri leaped up, whipped it around in a half-circle and crashed back into it, removing the obstructive backrest. He secured her cheekbones under his thumbs and drew her lips in to his.  
His juicy mouth smashed onto hers, biting and sucking, like former lovers reunited. The feel of his powerful tongue against hers, was exactly as she imagined. She drove back wanting to climb inside. Silvatri’s right hand clutched the back of her head and clamped down on her hair.
They say it’s in his kiss, and it was. Passionate and yearning, a deep desire concealed for months. There, in his kiss, she felt it. Heather snagged it. A kiss. A tiny wish of hers, finally granted and her life took on new meaning. One kiss and hope restored.
But in one swooping motion, he removed his hands from her face, grabbed her ass and lifted Heather onto his lap. Heather froze. Only a kiss. His mouth covered hers again, but with each motion, she unraveled and let go. His commanding precedent erased the past fifteen years of faithfulness she maintained with Lance. She wanted him, wanted this.  
 She wrapped her arms around his neck. His hands travelled from her ass, down her skirt and back up her legs. His thumbs probed the tiny folds between her thigh and pelvic bones, teasing. 
                He glided his hands to the underside of her skirt and cupped her bare ass. He pulled away and they looked into each other’s eyes while their breaths poured out in quick successions. “Wasn’t expecting that,” he panted.
                She smiled, hoping her face remained colorless. At least the thong she threw on this morning redeemed her lifeless mommy apparel.
                He snapped up, hoisted her by her ass into the air like a small child, and took two large strides over to the wall, pushing her against it. Silvatri released her and then leaned in, rubbing his loose scrub pants against her body. She questioned if he wore underwear as his erection hung down across his thigh. The cucumber she cut for Rori’s snack yesterday entered her mind.
                No. Not now. No kids! 
                He pulled away and staggered into the wall behind him, breathing as heavy as she. “How private is this office?”
                He wouldn’t. Not here. Would he? Would she?
                “No one knows I’m in here.” He looked at the door. “It’s locked,” she continued, “I’m the only one with the key.”  
                That’s all he needed to hear.

Author Links:


Saturday, 10 May 2014

Shadows in the Night - Teaser Excerpt

I am steadily working my way through Shadows in the Night. It is shaping up to be a great mystery and I am loving the characters and story so much. Hopefully, it won't be too long before I can reveal the cover and publish the book.
Jade and Slater are certainly going through it. This mystery has kept me up a few nights, working out all the different angles and making sure the plot is completely watertight.
I am so excited about this book and want to share a small taster with you. So here is an excerpt and I hope you enjoy reading it. It's only a tiny taster, but a good one!

Shadows in the Night

Teaser Excerpt

He slowly walked towards the woman. “Hi. Excuse me, do you live around here? I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions. It won’t take long.”
The woman continued to stare out at the water, her face turned so that all he could see was her profile. She seemed a rather plain woman from what he could tell. Her hair hung down just below her shoulders and her clothing was rather dowdy and colourless. She held a hand to her mouth, as if she was holding in some deep emotion.
As he drew closer, he noticed tears trickling down her face. She didn’t seem to notice them, or him. He hesitated. Should he intrude on her private pain? He glanced back up the path, but decided to offer his assistance. He couldn’t just leave someone in obvious distress. He’d seen the devastated kind of expression on her features many times before. Usually on the faces of clients after he’d notified someone of their partner’s cheating.
“Are you alright? Do you need me to call someone for you?” Slater called to her.
He stepped closer to the woman. Something seemed decidedly off kilter. His heart tripped over in his chest. Although the breeze blew threw his hair, tossing it in every direction, it didn’t touch the woman’s tresses at all. It appeared as though she belonged in a different time and space from the one he occupied.
He shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. He had to be imagining things. Too many late nights and strong coffee. It had finally eroded his brain. Slater opened his eyes and stared hard at the woman. She slowly turned in his direction. His mouth dropped open. The side of her head was completely caved in. Blood dripped down what was left of her face. As she turned to fully face him, he could see the blood spattered over her body. It dripped from the ends of her fingers to soak the grass below her feet.
All lies.” Her voice sounded hollow, as if she spoke down a long tunnel. “It was nothing but lies.”

Thursday, 1 May 2014

One Year On.....

One year ago, my husband bought me a laptop and told me he believed I was a writer. It was a dream I had had my whole life, but never thought I would achieve it. I was totally nervous, but filled with determination. He had so much faith in me, so why couldn't I have that belief in myself?
I sat down and started to write my very first book, Wild Fire. I'd had the idea for this novel for a long time, but had never written past the prologue. I kept on working on my book every day, never letting my doubts and fears stop me from developing the characters and the story. Finally, in July, I had completed my very first novel. Nervously, I published my work on Amazon.
A lot has happened to me in the year since then. When I first placed my work on the market, I felt like a fraud. It was odd to see a book up there with my name on it. One that was written by me from beginning to end. It was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.
I immediately started work on my second book. Before I knew it, I was ready to publish this one as well. I was suddenly a two book author, yet I still didn't feel like one. I began to realise I needed to promote my work in a more proactive way. So I began this blog, a Facebook page, Twitter (which I am only just learning how to use!), google +, and later Pinterest.
Marketing was a huge challenge for me and in many ways, it still is. I think that is true for every author. But along the way, I have found many great new friends that have made this journey so much better. I am now the author of five books with my sixth well on the way. By the time I reach my one year anniversary for actually publishing my first book in July, I will definitely have six books to my name.
I am finally beginning to feel that I really am an author. I have many five star reviews for my work and feel so blessed to have received emails thanking me for my books (thank you to all who have written such lovely words to me over the year).
It has been an amazing first year. I would say to all budding authors or wannabes.........go for it. There is nothing like fulfilling your life's dream. Every day is a wonderful, exciting journey. I am so happy that my husband bought me this wonderful laptop and helped me begin my life as an author. Yep, I can finally say it without wincing. I am an Author!
Love to you all,
Danielle Rose-West