Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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

Posted by Susan B James 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.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Meet author Jessie Salisbury

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with 10 comments
Please tell us a little about yourself. 

I have been a romance writer most of my life, beginning in high school, but mostly short stories. I just turned 80. My first published stories were in local anthologies. "Orchard Hill" is my first published novel. I write an equal amount of fantasy and am looking for a publisher for a series.

I don't consider romance writing a second career since I am still writing for the local paper. It is more of a co-career. I am a journalist and have lived in southern New Hampshire most of my life. For over 40 years I been covering several small towns and currently write part time for The Cabinet in Milford, both news reporting and features plus some photography. Most of my fiction writing, before happening on romantic novels, was short stories on life in New England, our history and small town foibles. A number of those are in local anthologies. I have five grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and six great-grands. I have been writing all my life. My earliest memories are of poems in about grade three. I wish I still had them. In high school, I was a Scholastic Magazine winner for Northern New England. I took off a number of years while my children were little, writing only for myself in my spare time, but took a reporting job when circumstances required that I go to work part time.
 I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
This is a hard one since my first published book was as co-author of “Images of America: Wilton, Temple, Lyndeborough,”a history picture book from Arcadia Press sponsored by our Historical Society. Of which I am a charter member. With a regular history column as well as weekly news, publishing was more evolving than happening. Orchard Hill was my first published novel.
I came across Soul Mate in a newsletter, I don't recall which one. It was the second publisher to whom I sent "Orchard Hill." I was totally amazed it was accepted, and even more amazed when Debbie accepted "A Heart Mended." I wrote both stories originally in the '70s. "Orchard Hill" is written as a flashback, pretty much the way I wrote it. Its the story of  Jocelyn,  a young woman who goes back to the family orchard (a commercial operation) to escape a bitter divorce. She meets one of the apple pickers, a very attractive French Canadian, who is more than willing to thaw out her frozen heart, but she is also pursed by her attorney, an equally attractive friend who had loved her silently for years.

 Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre? 
Mary Stewart. Nora Roberts. Ellis Peters always included a romance in “Brother Cadfael,” and I love those. My favorite fiction writer is probably Tony Hillerman. Mostly I read non-fiction, particularly history.
What fun. I have read all of your Favorites. Reading Nora Roberts this week.
 What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career? 
That is still to come – the moment I can hold a printed novel – “A Heart Mended” is coming out this summer. I am a print person, not an e-book fan, I don’t even have one yet.
If I had to pick a most exciting moment, it would probably be the week the paper printed my full page story, (not even an ad), with seven pictures of a group of Native Americans preparing ash bark for their new long house for their reservation on Cape Cod. I had that laminated.
 What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
 Reading, of course, and then traveling, visiting the family in other parts of the country. My son is in New Mexico, my daughter in So. Carolina, a good place to escape a New England winters. Both of my sons were career Air Force and I got to visit a lot of places where they were stationed, from England to Alaska. For many years I was into knitting, crocheting, crewel work, and oil painting, but have now mostly turned just to writing.
 Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Write, write, write. Try a variety of styles, outlooks, points of view. You can’t know what you like until you try it. Me, I can’t write in first person. What genre or genres do you write? While most of my published fiction is romance or general contemporary, my true love is fantasy. That is probably an escape from news writing. I’m still hunting a publisher for my series set in another world.
 Tell us about A Heart Mended.
 A Heart Mended more a love story than a romance. It certainly doesn’t have any hot sexy stuff. The hero, Will, whose heart definitely needs mending, is 40, suffering from both a recent heart attack which has caused him to leave his beloved job with the Forest Service, and the betrayal by his young wife some years ago which has left him convinced he cannot love or be loved. He has taken a job as a nature counselor at a resident youth camp where he feels he can hide from the world. He is discovered there by Shannon, the much younger camp nurse, who sees him for what he really is and over the course of two summers has come to love him deeply. She is determined to bring him back into the world, particularly her world, but she will accept his if he will return to it. The story is complicated by Robbie, a camper who turns out to be the son of his ex-wife, bringing it all back to him to re-examine. Robbie is constantly bullied by his cabin mates, bringing him to Will’s attention and arousing his interest. In the end, Will has to rescue the boy from a burning barn, suffering another heart attack in the process.

What made you write A Heart Mended?
Writing the book was an experiment. I first wrote it sometime in the early 1970s – judging by the technology. The boy originally used a Polaroid Instamatic for a plot-needed picture. Updating the technology was an interesting exercise. As most camps do, this one banned all electronics, forcing me to provide each camper with a disposable camera. I actually first tried to write the story as a short piece but it never worked, resulting in the original novel. Finding it in the file and redoing it was a lot of fun, reinforcing that old advice: never give up on any piece of writing.

 Excerpts from A Heart Mended
 He moved his arm away from her, abruptly releasing her from his embrace and put his hands on her shoulders, facing him. She sat a little straighter and met his intent gaze. Although his face was in shadow and she couldn’t really see his eyes, she could feel his suppressed anger. He held her with both hands, away from him for a moment, not speaking, and then, suddenly, pulled her closer and kissed her, gently at first, and then harder. He released her as suddenly as he’d grabbed her, and leaned back against the side of the barn, his eyes closed, and his face haggard in the soft white of the moonlight. * * * He smelled the acrid smoke before he reached the barn, before Corey came out of the gloom, crying, and clutched desperately at him. “Robbie,” he gasped, choking. “Robbie’s in the barn.” The barn door was open, a red glow showing evilly behind the roiling smoke pouring out. “Where?” Panic hit his constricting chest and the pit of his stomach. “The barn’s on fire! Where is he?” “Tied to the post at the bottom of the stairs.” There was stark fear in the boy’s voice. “We didn’t mean to. Honest, Mr. Bonneville.” Will didn’t want to listen to explanations. “Tied?” He could hear the crackling of the fire now, and thick smoke rolled out of the open door. “We tied him up so he wouldn’t run away and tell on us.” “Go get Miss Conley to sound the alarm. Send her up here. I’ll get Robbie.” He was already running up the hill, fumbling for the jacknife he always kept in his pocket. He hesitated a moment in the barn door. The smoke was too thick to see through, but he stepped over the high threshold orienting himself as he did so. The stairs were on the left. “Rob? Robbie, where are you?” Will heard the sounds of coughing and choking and turned that way. Although the flames made it light enough to see, it was too hot and there was too much thick smoke. Will shuffled toward the sounds. Robbie was there, tied to the post as Corey had said. Finding the cords around his wrists and cutting him free took only a moment. Then Will had the boy by the arm, pulling him, stumbling away from the heat of the spreading fire toward the open door, to be out of the thick smoke into fresh air and the safety that was only a few steps away.
 What’s your current WIP?
 I have a contract with Soul Mate for a collection of romantic short fiction, “Rainbows: 15 Tales of Love” to be released sometime this fall. Short fiction, I think, is what I do best. My current WIP is another rewrite, much more complicated than “A Heart Mended.” It was my first contemporary novel probably written in the mid-1950s. My only copy, which is undated, is a carbon copy of a typewritten version. The story is still valid: families are still dysfunctional in the same ways; young men still want women they can’t have; well-meaning fathers still say the wrong thing to their teenagers; a accident which leaves a person physically handicapped can still change a person’s goals and outlook. But in 1950 there were no cell phones, no 911, doctors still made house calls and an accident would leave a person in the hospital for weeks, where now they are shipped to re hab and home ASAP. It is requiring a total rewrite. A real challenge.
 And finally, where can we find you?
On Facebook, on Linked in, at jessies@tellink.net, or in a small town that even most New Hampshire people have never heard of. Both of my books are available through Amazon. I do not yet have a web page. Google me and you will find a batch of newspaper stories and four books. I was one of those people who got taken in by PublishAmerica. I got out before they were sued for breach of contract and other things and did not lose any money. I guess that book “The Elmwood Stores” is a collectors item since it is no longer available.
Thank you, Jessie for being here and sharing your journey. Jessie is giving away a copy each of Orchard Hill and A Heart Mended.
You know the drill.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Robena Grant is here with a giveaway.

Posted by Susan B James on 3:30:00 AM with 19 comments
Meet romantic suspense author Robena Grant whose sixth novel, Ring Me Later, came out last week.
Robena is Australian by birth but resides in Southern California. She has two adult children, enjoys reading, swimming, friends, simple dinners, a glass of wine, a board game, and heaven forbid…karaoke! Travel has always been her greatest love. France, Australia, Italy, England, and Scotland have featured in her stories. She often chooses a setting that has captured her senses through travel. And, Yes, I got that from her blog.

Sneaky. Very sneaky. J Thanks for hosting me today, Susan
 Robena, I am delighted to have you. The first book I read of yours was Blue Dolphin and I was completely immersed. (Excuse me.I think I just punned.) 
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.

It was early in 2013. I was absolutely stunned. Another book was a Golden Heart nominee that year, and I ended up signing with the Wild Rose Press for all three books in the series. There were continuing characters and that was a stipulation of the first contract. So that was a whirlwind year. Golden Heart Nominee, too? Definitely a heart to remember.

I know you love to travel. Do you remember your first trip?
Yes. It was by train from the Snowy Mountains in the southern part of New South Wales in Australia. It took forever! Mum, Dad, and seven kids. We travelled to the mid coast where we were relocating and I remember sleeping on the train. Some of the smaller kids slept in the overhead luggage racks, but I was ten and chubby, so I had to stay on the seat.
I can relate. When we left Capetown, we flew home to New York. It was a four day plane flight with several stops. This was 1956, three years before the first passenger jet. There were bunks, but only for rich people.Mom, Dad and three kids. My three-year-old sister, Kelly, kept climbing into older men's laps and asking them if they want to color in. Personally I think she wanted a shot at one of those bunks.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?

I rarely read romantic suspense, but my favorite contemporary author is Jennifer Crusie. My favorite heroine is Min from Bet Me. I adore Jane Austen and re-read Pride and Prejudice at least once a year. 
I love Jennifer Cruisie. 

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?

Being a Golden Heart nominee for Desert Exposure.
Sappy movie to cry over?

Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant.) The scene where he comes back and she’s so vulnerable, and then she learns he’s come back for her and she cries and wails, and well, I cry with her every time.

Karaoke song to sing?
Stop! In The Name of Love, by The Supremes. 

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
You can’t do it all! Write to your strengths, and gradually discover and work on your weaknesses.

Tell us about your latest release.
Ring Me Later, a romantic suspense, released on April 8, 2015. It’s a second chance romance that turns deadly. There is a London connection, a reclusive billionaire, a stalker, a determined heroine, and a web of deceit that ensures someone will gain billions. Here are some links: http://amzn.com/B00UF3F3FY

TWRP author page: http://tinyurl.com/keymgfw

What’s your current WIP?

It’s a contemporary romance, with a mystery thread, and set in the English countryside.

And finally, where can we find you?

www.robenagrant.com I blog at MY BLOG every Monday, www.facebook.com/robenagrantauthor
Twitter: @robenagrant

I’m also including a giveaway: one kindle copy, one autographed print copy, of Ring Me Later. Just leave a comment to enter.
Is it crass to enter a giveaway on your own blog? Maybe I will use a fake name.
Thank you so much for being here, Robena. 

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Meet Zen Di Pietro, SCi/Fantasy Romance, Seeking Sorrow

Posted by Susan B James on 3:30:00 AM with 5 comments
According to her bio, Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff at www.womenofbadassery.com.
Intrigued, I asked Zen to elaborate.
I have eclectic taste and an odd sense of humor. My face frequently does not accurately portray what’s going on in my head. I like to try new things but hate crowds. I’m phobic about man feet. When I was a kid, I’d eat the middles out of the Oreos, stick the cookie parts back together, and then put it back into the package. I have a fondness for being random. See. Wasn't that worth adding? Man feet,, huh? I always thought toes proved we were aliens.

Zen's debut book is Seeking Sorrow. 
Blurb:An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth, it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
 The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about mana, even as they learn to trust one another’s abilities. They must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same.
Even success comes at a price.
 Seeking Sorrow is Book One in her Guardians of Terath series. Here's an excerpt:
Being an avid admirer of art, albeit a total failure at creating it, Will was pleased to spend his morning perusing the offerings. Examining the artwork in the gallery hall relieved his mind momentarily of the burdens he carried. He was admiring a particularly intriguing sculpture of a nude male holding a ladder when the back of his neck prickled. He sensed someone standing directly behind him, and he immediately felt uncomfortable and alert. He focused on the sculpture and sidestepped around the display, under the guise of examining the art from another perspective. He adjusted his stance to allow him to see the newcomer in his peripheral vision.
Fine, light blue hair grazed the woman’s jawline in a blunt bob. The unusual shade was surprisingly well-suited to her whiskey-colored eyes and lightly tanned complexion. She was a good bit shorter than he was, and in her mid-twenties, he estimated. She wore a long, casual dress that did not shy away from the curves underneath. His appraisal skidded to a stop when he noticed her wide mouth curving into an even wider smile. Like his own, her gaze remained on the artwork, but she nonetheless had realized that he was studying her. And she apparently found it amusing.
He straightened and began to move toward another art display.
“You don’t like it?” the woman questioned.
He really didn’t want to talk to her, but didn’t want to be rude. Will re-oriented himself back toward her and the art. “I do. The lines are fluid but convey a great deal of energy. I have to wonder about his plan for the ladder.
Her enthusiastic nod sent her hair swinging gently. “Yes, energy. Male energy. This piece has definite appeal for anyone who enjoys nudes of men, as you do.”
He nodded politely; then froze when he considered the potential subtext of her words. He didn’t care for the familiarity she’d assumed.
He looked straight into her eyes for the first time, and her smile grew wide again. As he struggled for a proper response, she chuckled.
“Never mind. It’s nice to meet you, Will Azrith. I’m Izzy Gin, your reader for this adventure.”
Zen, this is so intriguing. Can you tell us a bit more about the book.
There are several forces at work in Seeking Sorrow. There’s so much dystopia out there right now, I wanted to go the other direction. If humans live on a planet that has very little in the way or environmental stressors, that changes the structure of their society. The values system changes, as do their expectations of the world around them. Add in a natural resource that looks a lot like magic, and you have a lot of potential to tell unique stories.
My books are very character driven, so the environmental factors act as an opportunity for them to grow, change, and deal with what comes our way. Because what’s better than heroes that handle the unexpected with determination and skill? That’s what it’s all about for me. Struggle, growth, love, friendship, and lots of badassery.

What did you do before you became a writer?
My 9-5 background is split between being a librarian (with my undergraduate degree) and doing medical research (with my advanced degree). I did both in about equal measure. As a librarian, I loved seeing certain regular patrons who shared my love of books and helping people find new reads or do research. Being a medical researcher and seeing patients satisfied my analytical/scientific side.

What made you decide to become a writer? 
Like most authors, I've always had a thing for books and for writing. My first original work was in first grade. It was an incomprehensible story about two bunnies. In high school, I ghost wrote a few non-graded homework bits for my best friend, while she walked me through trigonometry special projects.
But as far as becoming a published author, the characters of Seeking Sorrow got into my head and I had a visceral need to flesh them out and get them onto paper. So as far as becoming a published author goes, I'd say Izzy, Arc, Kassimeigh, Will, the shiv, and Luc made me do it. Pointing my finger with all due accusation.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.
I was at my son’s swim lesson. I checked my email on my phone and bam. Contract offer. Sometimes things hit at the oddest times. Especially when you have a smartphone.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
I write sci-fi/fantasy, so I have a lot to choose from. Devi Morris from Rachel Bach’s Paradox series, Jane Holloway from Jennifer Foehner Wells’ Fluency, Breq from Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice, Del from Jennifer Robison’s Tiger and Del series. There are lots more, too. I love heroines that kick butt and don’t let anyone tell them what to do. 
Do you have a favorite badass TV or Movie Heroine?
In movies, my favorite is probably Leeloo fom The Fifth Element. She's a supreme being, protects the hero, and yet manages to be sympathetic and vulnerable in her own way. On tv, I'd have to say Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She's hard-headed, battle-tough, and flawed, but her heart is as big as the universe and she's not afraid to love. Both of those women have all the characteristics that make me love them and keep rooting for them. They represent the very type of heroine that I aspire to write.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
Writing a great scene. One that I’ve had in my head for a long time. When I come to one of those, my heart pounds the whole time I’m writing. When I’m done, I dance around the house and go, “Woohoo!”

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I’m also a dancer. Both are creative pursuits but one is all movement while the other is stationary. They both require a great deal of mental effort, though.

What’s your snack of choice while writing?
Anything I can reheat or grab quickly. No time for elaborate prep when I am getting a story out. Actually, I tend to lose weight when I’m in the thick of writing something. Oh, how I wish I could say that!

 Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Just keep at it. Whether it’s choreography or writing or cooking or anything else, you have to make a lot of bad things before you can make good things. Don’t feel bad about the early attempts that aren’t what you intended. Just keep improving.

What’s your current WIP?
Right now, I’m working on book 3 of the series. It doesn’t have a title yet. Book 2 is called Facing Fortune, and is scheduled to release in September 2015.

And finally, where can we find you?
Twitter: @ZenDiPietro

Thank you for being here, Zen. I love the concept for your books. If you are a fellow writer, please welcome Zen to the community by liking her Facebook page.
Zen is offering a PDF of  Seeking Sorrow to one lucky reader. Enter below.

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