Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Meet Michelle De La Garza and April Luna. 2 authors in one body. 2 giveaways

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:30:00 AM with 4 comments

Michelle De La Garza writes YA and NA. . Her doppelganger, April Luna writes adult novels. I am delighted to meet another author with two writing names. Since I write adult as Susan B. James and Children's books as Susan J. Berger, I understand the need for dichotomy. Michelle/April Please tell us a little about yourself.
 Okay, let’s see…I’m a Gemini—or a rooster if using the Chinese zodiac—an extreme introvert, and I have an overactive imagination that used to plunge me into the hot seat (daily) as a child (my mother can vouch for me on that point). My hobbies consist of walking, jogging, writing/reading, hiking, swimming, writing/reading, cooking mystery meat (don’t ask), people watching, and did I mention that I like to read and write?

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
 The drapes were drawn and sunlight filtered into the room. Snug in my chair, my fingers danced across the keys of an old laptop. The ‘f’ key popped off (as it so often did back then) which forced me to lean in close to snap it back on. My phone vibrated against the worn wooden desk it was perched on . . . the telltale sign that another email filled my inbox.
Never one to ignore a ringing phone, pings on Facebook, a ringing doorbell, or a vibrating phone, I checked my messages on that warm mid-August day—Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 to be exact. It was 12:55 in the afternoon when Ms. Deborah Gilbert’s email crossed my path.
 Dear Michelle,
 Great news! I enjoyed Truth or Consequences so much, we’d like to publish your book. You are an excellent writer!
 My hands shook and I read the same three sentences over and over again. I’m not sure how long I sat there, eyes glued to the screen before I finally moved. At the stairs, I gazed down. The distance to the lower level of the house seemed to stretch before my eyes.
 Half way down the stairwell, my husband asked, “Hey, you okay?”
 Unable to trust my words, I nodded. At the base of the stairs, I handed him my phone. He drew in a deep breath; then looked at the screen. A smile stretched across his face that made his eyes brightly shine. He read the email out loud—in its entirety—with a grin as wide as the Cheshire cat’s, but with genuine merriment and glee.
 That’s how I found out my publisher wanted to publish my first book.
I read that twice. Terrific prose. Now I have to read your book(s) 
Readers, Here is a link to Truth or Consequences.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
 There have been many exciting moments, thus far, in my writing career, but there is one that stands out above the rest.

A couple months ago, I ran into a reader at a local library, who had just finished reading my third novel, Child of the Night. We engaged in an in-depth conversation pertaining to love, happiness, and loss. The woman expressed how my book helped her cope with a difficult time in her life. She had just lost a brother-in-law of 20+years. The death was sudden and shook her family to the core. Plus, it made her reexamine her views on life, love, family, and death.

I’ll never forget the expression on her face. Her soft brown eyes, filled with anguish and pain, openly spoke to me of a great loss. The dimple in her chin—the one that quivered with intense emotion, related the true depths of her pain, and how she fought valiantly to maintain a strong composure. Even the way her sultry, rich voice broke when she talked pulled at my heartstrings. Then, with a simple question, she floored me. She asked, “Do you and Wulf (the hero of the story) share the same religious views?”

To be honest, I didn’t know how to answer that question. The complexity of the content is a topic I was taught (as a child) one never discussed. Part of the ‘Big Three’—sex, religion, and politics—it was never to be discussed openly in public. With teary eyes, she took my hand in hers and recited a paragraph (from memory) from the pages of my book. It was a section from Chapter 21 right after Sarah De Luz asked to pay her last respects for a lost loved one.

‘Your family is not there. In death, they shed their essence, which was separated from their bodies at passing. All that remains now is their outer shells, an empty vessel. You should celebrate the life they lived, not mourn their release from this world.’

She told me she found comfort in my words, and then she hugged me. We talked a while longer, and other patrons joined in on the conversation. When I finally walked out of the library, I was a raw ball of emotions. To have had my words touch someone in such an intimate way was both touching and humbling at the same time. Even now, I can close my eyes and see her face and hear the words she recited. This memory will forever be engrained in my heart, body, and soul.
Just.  WOW!!!
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing? 
Other than writing and reading, I love to spend time with the family, watch movies, and I especially enjoy people watching.

Any advice for new writers just starting out? 
Write often, write honestly, and enjoy what you write.

Tell us about your latest release(s) As April and Michelle.. 

Child of the Night, under pen name April A. Luna, is my latest science fiction novel release. It was released on September 16, 2014. The sequel (When Darkness Falls, Book 2 of the Sarah De Luz Files) is due for release summer of 2015.

Child of the Night book blurb:
One single act can change a person’s life for good—or bad—and every choice comes with consequences. Sarah De Luz must forge a path through resistance to save those she loves while struggling with her own inner demons.

A late-night excursion takes Sarah to Chase Pond, her one true refuge. She soon finds there are formidable secrets hidden under the dark waters of the pond. A wealth of knowledge about man’s quest for longevity and love is waiting to be discovered. But whispers of war and unspeakable horrors loom in the shadows, waiting for her to choose a side.

Haunted by her past and driven forward by fate, she must fully embrace her destiny and awaken, even if it means losing her identity in the process.

Note: This book contains sexual content, adult situations, and profanity.

 Chronicles of the 4th World, written as Michelle De La Garza,  follows the formation of the ‘circle of six’, who are prophesized to bridge the evolutionary gap between man and generate a universal brotherhood of peace'

Chronicles of the 4th World book blurb:
An internal clock ticks. It’s counting down, but to what?
Nicolas Armani and Brooklyn 'Brooke' Adams must choose between freedom and a life of servitude. Known as a threat to national security by some and an evolutionary link to others, they sit at the edge of the doorway looking in.
Armani and Brooke are on the brink of discovering their ancestral story, which leads to The Lost Chronicles of the 4th World. Will they bridge the evolutionary gap, generating a universal brotherhood? Or set off a chain reaction of events that will send mankind into another dark age? 

What’s your current WIP?

The Lost Chronicles of the 5th World, under Michelle L. De La Garza, is my current work in progress. It is the second book in The Lost Chronicles series.
The Lost Chronicles of the 5th World book blurb:
Nicolas Armani knows war is inevitable. But in a fleeting moment, a single decision can change the course of history.

The circle of six finds themselves divided by love, loyalty, and leadership. Armani must choose between following his heart and leading a freedom faction on the 5th World, Orionis. His choice will shock those closest to him and himself. But new found friend, Ara—of the Arroyo Clan—has a secret of her own, one she is determined to keep hidden, because on the 5th World, what makes one different often proves deadly.

And finally, where can we find you? 

Michelle/April, Thank you so much for being here. Michelle has graciously offered 6 ebooks for giveaway:
3 copies of her Adult Novel: Child of the Night. And 3 copies of her  NA/YA Novel: The Lost Chronicles of the 4th World
You know the drill, peoples. Enter below and may the odds be ever in your favor.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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