Monday, February 1, 2016

Inside the Writer's Mind with Sarah King

Thank you all for joining me in the latest installment of Inside the Writer's Mind. This week, I "sit down" with Sarah King, author of Blue Twilight and Meant to be Mine, and we have a little chit chat about her work as an author. But, before I begin the interview, here is a little insight to Sarah and where you can learn more about her book and latest releases. 

About the Author: Sarah currently resides in Annapolis, MD with her husband of eleven years and two adorable little minions. She has two books published with TouchPoint Romance, Blue Twilight and Meant To Be Mine (with more on the way!). She also works part-time in a craft store to help support her crafting addiction. When not typing out a new idea that has come to mind she can be found knitting, reading, or listening to her ever-expanding music collection.

Sarah is wife to her high school sweetheart and currently a stay at home mom to two adorable minions…who may or may not be making her hair turn prematurely gray. When not typing out another idea that has popped into her head, she can be found reading, knitting, or listening to her ever-expanding music collection.

You can follow Sarah King via these social media sites:

You can purchase her books on Amazon as well.

SDB: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world? 
SK: Writing has always been a lifelong love and dream of mine. To be able to share that passion with readers has been an amazing experience. Blue Twilight (my first published book) started out as a dream…literally. It woke me in the middle of the night and I had to get up and grab a pen and paper. Jake and Lisa’s story demanded to be told and I haven’t looked back since. I always said if I could publish a book and it sold one copy, I’d be ecstatic. The fact that more people are reading and enjoying my work is astounding. Actually getting to hold a physical copy of Blue Twilight in my hands was a surreal moment and one I’m still trying to accept really happened.

SDB: Who has influenced you as an author? 
SK: Nora Roberts was who ultimately steered me toward the Romance genre. But I also have a huge amount of respect for LJ Smith and JK Rowlings. I mean, who didn’t want to go to Hogwarts after reading Harry Potter?!

SDB: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told? 
SK: My writing process varies with each book I work on. For some, the story comes so easily that I’m able to get it all down without needing to plan anything or work from an outline. Others are more complex and therefore need more planning. Generally though, I’m always stashing notebooks and pens all over the place. I hate to be caught without it when an idea hits…of course, that’s also what Target is for. But there are some things that are the same no matter what I’m working on. First is music. Music is a MUST when I’m working. I usually have a playlist that I add onto as I’m working for each book. I am a music junkie. When my earbuds are in and my laptop is open, I’m in the zone. Another must have is candy. Don’t ask me why, but when I’m writing, my sweet tooth is out of control. Skittles must be within reach.

SDB: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing? SK: The amount of time varies with each book. Blue Twilight was a seven year process from start to finish (publish). Meant to Be Mine was a little less than a year. I learned a lot in having my first book published and I work with a fantastic team at TouchPoint. I’ve been able to apply a lot of what I learned so that the editing process isn’t quite as daunting as that first time. For anyone starting out, though, a good rule of thumb (if you’re going the traditional publishing route) is generally one year.

SDB: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it? 
SK: Blue Twilight is about taking chances. Both Lisa and Jake have been hurt in the past and carry a lot of that baggage around with them. But there’s no denying it when love strikes. BT is a love story at its heart, but it has a music theme throughout that I think will appeal to many readers.

Meant To Be Mine was my first leap into the contemporary/erotic genre. Ben and Callie are my favorite characters to date. It’s a classic friends to lovers theme, but instead of the girl pining away for the boy, here we find Ben harboring a long-time love for Callie. Reading MTBM is like experiencing your first love all over again.

SDB: How much of yourself is in your character(s)? 
SK: I put quite a bit of myself into my characters. Sometimes it’s just a mannerism, other times it’s actual dialogue. Each of my books carry a little piece of me.

SDB: What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 
SK: NEVER GIVE UP! If you have a story to tell, the world wants to read it! There are so many options available today that didn’t exist years ago. Writing is about passion. Most authors don’t just write because they want to; they write because they HAVE to. Their stories demand to be told. I’m fortunate to be able to use the voices in my head to my advantage.

SDB: Is there anything else that you'd like to share? 
SK: In the coming months (year), I have another stand-alone contemporary romance, Waking Up In Vegas in the works as well as a New Adult series, tentatively titled the Semi-Colon series that focuses on love and finding strength in that love, but also in yourself. Feel free to follow me on Facebook for the latest news on upcoming releases! And a big thank you to Dianne for hosting me!

Thank you for taking the time to read Inside the Writer's Mind with Sarah King!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: The Door of Dreams

Once upon a time, there was a girl with no time for fairy tales. Her name was Willow Grey. The doctors had told her she was sick and she wasn't going to get better. But then, she found the magical land of Tirlane where she met Henu, the sprightly wizard of the woods. He tells her of the Lamia; a demon who has cursed the land. In order to save Tirlane and herself, Willow must face the Lamia. Will she be able to overcome her darkest fears and find a happy ending? Or will she become lost in fantasy forever?

Author:  Greg James
Publisher: Manderghast Press (September 20, 2015)
Buy Links: Amazon

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a review. 

It's no secret that Greg James is indeed one of my favorite authors; and there's a good reason why. 

When Mr. James writes his stories and releases them, I am always transported to the world that he's created. One may think that that sounds cliche but it's far from it. Mr. James' use of imagery and human emotion in his stories lend a surreal quality to his books. I always know that I'm in for a literary journey when I sit to read his books. 

The Door of Dreams is a story about a young girl with a terminal illness who finds herself in another world, literally. When I was reading The Door of Dreams, I felt like Willow's journey to Tirlane was a survival mechanism. Almost as if she made up this huge, fantastical world in order to be able to deal with her impending death. Her journey, as it was told, was extremely vivid that the lines of reality and fantasy were blurred while reading. In The Door of Dreams, Willow is faced with choices between good and evil. She also meets folks who seem to know her and of her, something that it seems Willow hadn't experienced in her real world. We see Willow go through her journey in Tirlane and you experience all the hardship she faces, her victories and failures. 

The Door of Dreams ended how I didn't think it would. Mr. James surely gave a little twist in the end and I enjoyed that tremendously. It keeps the story going and I can't wait to read book 2.

Do I recommend The Door of Dreams? It's a wonderful fantasy story, I do! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Book Review: Voices

The town of Oakwell is no more: an abandoned and overgrown relic left in the wake of the massacre at Hope House. 
When Emma Barrett discovers the secret to Hope House, the evil responds by awakening the deranged Henry Marshall from his catatonic state. 

As Emma gathers around her those who can bring an end to the Gogoku curse, a brutal game of cat and mouse begins. 
Everything is at stake as the Whisper story reaches its epic conclusion. Blood will be spilled, sacrifices will be made, and redemption will be sought as the survivors of the Oakwell curse go head to head with the malevolent forces which have scourged the lands for centuries…

Author: Michael Bray
Publisher: Horrific Tales Publishing (July 28, 2015)
Buy Links:  Amazon

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Voices in exchange for a review. 

Voices is the concluding novel in the Whispers trilogy. From the first time I read Whispers, I was hooked to this series. It's a scary tale, pure supernatural and psychological horror. 

Voices does not stay far behind... it's gruesome; it's horrifying; and, it creeped me out. Voices takes place some years after Echoes (the second book in the trilogy). We get to learn the faith of the victims in Echoes, plus the original protagonists in Whispers; the ones who started it all. 

While Voices is, in a true sense, a horror story, it's also a story about love, if in a twisted sense. We see the sacrifices parents make for their children and for each other... sacrifices that seem farfetched yet not ones we'd think twice about doing. Voices also brings sufferers of the same torment together. They must each choose to either give up or stand together and fight over an unseen and ancient force of evil. While Voices introduces new characters to this saga the story doesn't feel chaotic with the their introduction. Mr. Bray does a fantastic job at melding each character's story together and tying everything beautifully into one symbiotic story about survival. 

Do I recommend Voices? I do! If you are looking for a tale of pure, unadulterated horror with a touch of love and redemption, definitely check Voices, and its two preceding stories out. It's a fantastic read! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Book Review: Meant to be Mine

Synopsis: What happens when the lines of friendship are crossed? 

Ben has been friends with Callie for fifteen years. He’s also been in love with her. There was never a right time to tell her…until now. When her current relationship ends, can he summon the courage to tell her or will he lose everything? 

After her relationship of three years comes to an abrupt halt, Callie swears she’s done with men. They’ve all let her down…except for Ben. He’s always been there for her. But when she starts to feel something more, is she willing to take a chance?  
With their relationship on the line, can these friends overcome the challenges to find what they deserve…what’s been in front of them all along? 

*This book contains adult content and is intended for readers 18 and older* 

Author: Sarah King
Publisher: TouchPointe Romance (December 8, 2015)
Buy Link(s): Amazon

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a review. 

This is author, Sarah King's second novel that she has published. And what a fantastic story to continue with her writing career. 

Meant to Be Mine is the love story of two souls finally coming together. While their life story and friendship, up until then, was purely on the platonic level (from one perspective), events in Callie's life change their course in love. This story will make you smile, make you cry and make you all gushy in the end. 

The one thing that I truly loved about this story is that while it was fiction, it could completely happen to anyone in real life. It's a simple love story and the finding of each other. There's no unrealistic drama or the matter of dealing with a love triangle. It's refreshing to read such a love story that will keep you wanting to read more. When I was reading it, I felt like I was looking in on the lives of two individuals and watch them fall in love. Just pure happiness. 

Do I recommend Meant to Be Mine? You bet I do! It's a great, wonderful and cute love story. It's simple, refreshing and not bombarded in drama. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: Blue Twilight

Synopsis: Every song has a story behind it… 

Lisa is looking forward to a fresh start when she moves to Tennessee. She is focused on her dreams of becoming a song writer and won’t allow anything to distract her. Then she meets Jake and her world is turned upside down. He could wind up being the one to make all her dreams come true or will he shatter them instead? 

Jake wasn’t prepared for Lisa to storm into his life. But now that he’s got her, he’ll do anything to keep her—including lie to her. When the past resurfaces, what lengths will he go to convince Lisa that some dreams are worth fighting for? 

Buy Links: Amazon
Add to your Goodreads "Want to Read" here

Want to learn more about the author, Sarah King? You can find her on Goodreads here

Blue Twilight Trailer

Blue Twilight is author Sarah King's debut novel, and what a sweet way to introduce herself to the book world. 

Blue Twilight is a story about love, forgiveness, trust, redemption, overcoming the biggest hurdle in finding love, your heart, and just a touch of mystery. All that sounds heavy but Mrs. King does a fantastic job at balancing the story with light-hearted humor. I found myself fascinated with the main characters and wanting to learn more about them. There was a sense of wanting to know what was going to happen next, and getting a glimpse into the world of these two seemingly ordinary folks traversing their way on this journey of love. 

Lisa, is an intelligent and independent woman, who's confident in herself yet has her weaknesses that you only see in her inner dialogue. She's truly identifiable. 

Jake, well... what can I say about Jake. He's this elusive country cowboy that you just can't help but fall in love with him. All he has to do is just stand there and smile. His heart completes the total package. 

Blue Twilight is a stand alone story that was truly welcoming. One that I truly enjoyed reading and worthy of burning the midnight oil to finish reading it. 

Do I recommend Blue Twilight? You betcha I do! If you love country music and all things cowboys, read Blue Twilight, it won't disappoint. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: Peeper

WARNING: Contains sexually explicit scenes and a healthy dose of sarcasm.

Synopsis: Adam 'Jenks' Jenkins' carefree life as a small-time private investigator is about to get very complicated. There's something 'off' about his new client, but work is hard to come by in the Welsh town of Llanrhos, and the return is far above his usual paygrade. All he has to do is find a mystery woman and retrieve a set of sexually explicit photographs. Sounds easy. Too easy. Jenks' sanity is tested as the case drags him ever deeper into the dangerous world of Veronica Tailor, where blackmail, seduction and threats of violence run rife. Even his home life is affected as his wife's obsession with Veronica sends her libido into overdrive. 
Will Jenks ever solve the case? Will his wife become a lesbian? Will he ever manage to get some sleep?

Author:  S J SmithPublisher: Sinful Press (June 29, 2015)Buy Links: Amazon US; Amazon UK

Hmmm... where to begin? I guess I should start by saying that this book absolutely rocked! I'm no stranger to sexually explicit books, or smut books, so the nature of the story was nothing new. However, what was new was the voice of the book, the story line, and the narrator of the book. 

The book is written and narrated from a male's POV and I loved it. There was a sense of something new and fresh, for me. This wasn't a love story in the sense of falling deeply in love, but it was a love story nonetheless. I loved how there was no fluff built up around the sex scenes. No "as I looked into the deep blue pools of his eyes, I fell deeper under his spell as he plunged his manhood into me" type stuff. This story was raw and filthy good. 

Of course, it wasn't just sex, which is probably my favorite part of the story. There was substance to the book, the sex was just a hazard of the job as the main character set out to solve a mystery brought to him from a client. Jenks, the main character, sets out to prove to himself that he is a damned good private investigator when he gets a job he can't refuse. With the help and encouragement of his wife, Jenks solves this mystery while going on the wildest ride of his life. 

Do I recommend this story? Yes, I do! Before you do, forget all other smut books you've read because this is not your run of the mill smut story. This one will take you on an explicit ride that you won't forget. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Book Review: Bloodfellas

Synopsis: "When there's no room left in hell, the dead will turn to crime." Boardwalk Empire meets the Walking Dead. Zombie Gangsters take over the streets of Prohibition era USA. A horror-crime mash up available from Markosia in 2014

Author: Jasper Bark

Illustrator: Mick Trimble
Publisher: Markosia Enterprise Ltd, (February 28, 2015)
Buy Links: Amazon

As far as graphic novels go, this one is fantastic. I've never read a graphic novel, which I recently learned is a collection of story arcs in one book, and I'm happy to have been introduced to graphic novels via Bloodfellas. While it took me a minute to get used to the format, I don't regret one minute of reading this novel. 

Bloodfellas is a unique take on zombies. Zombies, as we all know, are the undead and what better monster to be in charge of a sophisticated crime world where drugs, murder, and avenging death rules. 

Mr. Bark has always had a unique take on zombies and I've always enjoyed that. That's what makes this graphic novel a page turner. I read this novel while on a flight, and it was a great distraction of turbulence. I was disgusted at what I was reading but it was a good disgust. I cringed but it was a good cringe. This story is just full of gore but the humanity behind it makes it a worthwhile read. Everyone deserves love, compassion and understanding, even the undead.. well Mr. Bark's version of the undead. 

Do I recommend Bloodfellas? I do. If you've never read a graphic novel and don't have an aversion to reading about gore, drugs and murder, go for it.