Today I'm spotlighting a great book by the lovely
This is the first book of Sheryl's I've read, and I loved it!
I'm excited to read more of her work!
THE REST OF MY LIFE
BY SHERYL BROWNE
Genre: Contemporary Romance : Release Date: 1st July 2015
Publisher: Choc Lit @ChocLituk
“You can’t run away from commitment forever … “
Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…
Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.
And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?
THE REST OF MY LIFE by Sheryl Browne is captivating, romantic, steamy, and sweet—everything that makes for a perfect romance novel.
Adam Hamilton-Shaw is a hopeless womanizer, but if you look a little deeper, the man is an iceberg. He’s got a cargo hold full of baggage he needs to get rid of before he can move on and even consider having a real relationship. However, he’d rather booze and help women cheat on their husbands instead of work through his problems.
Enter Sienna Meadows, an up-and-coming screenwriter so sweet and innocent she can’t even properly write a love scene. Figuring the sexy Adam can give her some pointers in that department, she sets her sights on him…for research, of course.
Neither one of them intended on falling in love, and both of them have a lot of internal AND external conflicts to overcome in order to be together. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked Adam. He made so many stupid mistakes, it was hard to feel sorry for him when they came back to bite him in the butt. Slowly, though, the author began turning him around, and he became my favorite character by the end. His character was extremely deep and well-rounded. Sienna was easy to love throughout because of her delightfully naïve nature and blind faith in Adam. The supporting cast was great—Nathaniel was a true friend and Sienna’s dad, David, was a loving (if a little overprotective) father.
The author’s writing really draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance!
ABOUT SHERYL BROWNE
Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published with Safkhet Publishing.
Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY Life comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.
Handmade red rose in a bottle (scene from book) with scrolled tied message: The Rest of My Life. Plus, one other handmade item: ceramic flower pendant.
THANK YOU to everyone who hosted me on their blogs last week for my BAD MEDICINE tour! I've been "around the world", stopping in the US, UK, South Africa, and Australia.
In case you missed any of the stops, here is a complete list:
Zanna Mackenzie author blog--Book spotlight
Brook Cottage Books--Book promo
Change the Word--Guest post on writing a series
Written by Deb--Interviewed by author Deborah Nam-Krane
Writer in Paradise--Interviewed by author Jami Deise
PJ Fiala author blog--Book of the Week
Alissa Baxter author blog--Guest post on Plotting vs. Pantsing
Awesomely Epic Book Blog--Book spotlight
Chick Lit Goddess--Book spotlight
Clue Review--I received the NICEST review of Bad Medicine from Julie,
plus she invited me to do a guest post on researching!
Georgina Troy author blog--Book spotlight
Monique McDonell author blog--Blake Morgan character interview
Sheryl Browne author blog--Book spotlight
Don't forget to enter the giveaway for some great Lizzie Hart swag!
My world blog tour is ending today with my favorite post of the week, a character interview with Blake Morgan, Lizzie's love interest.
Head over to Monique McDonell's blog to read the interview.
And thank you to Sheryl Browne for posting a book spotlight!
Thank you to everyone who hosted me this week!
Don't forget to enter the contest for some great
The first collection from Marching Ink features three full-length novels in Twenty-Something. From the good girl that is tired of playing by the rules in the new adult novel from Laura Chapman, to the friendship between two women that isn’t what is seems in the women’s fiction novel from Samantha March, and then the loveable Roxy that will give us plenty of laughs and touching moments in the chick lit novel from Cat Lavoie. While all characters are indeed Twenty-Something, we believe this collection can be enjoyed by readers in a variety of ages.
Hard Hats and Doormats by Laura Chapman
After losing out on a coveted promotion at work, Lexi Burke is done playing the nice girl. Her first order of business: Giving in to her longtime workplace crush. But Lexi soon learns that balancing a workplace romance and her job might be harder than she anticipated.
A Questionable Friendship by Samantha March
While Brynne and Portland seem to have an ideal friendship, cracks are starting to show as their lives take a turn for the complicated. Not willing to go to one other with their secrets, one woman begins to feel shut out and the other enters into a web of lies to protect herself. Their journey will explore several questions of friendship, and show that happily ever after might not be in the cards for everyone.
Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie
When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancé who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure?
FOLLOW THE TOUR!
July 27 - Book Groupies - Excerpt
Jul 27 - Mallory Heart Reviews – Review & Excerpt
July 28 - Sinfully Good Reads – Excerpt
July 28 – CDYess Writes – Excerpt
July 29 - Living Life With Joy - Excerpt
July 29 - Hey Said Renee - Review & Excerpt
July 30 - Caroline Fardig - Excerpt
July 30 - Karma For Life Chick – Excerpt
July 31 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Excerpt
August 3 - Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
Laura Chapman Bio
Laura Chapman is the author of "The Marrying Type," "Hard Hats and Doormats" and the Autumn and Tuck shorts, which appear in "Merry & Bright" and "A Kind of Mad Courage." A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.
Samantha March Bio
Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all-around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up-to-date on all things health, fitness, fashion, and beauty related. In 2011, she launched her independent publishing company, Marching Ink, and has four published novels—Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, and Up To I Do. When she isn’t reading, writing, or blogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.
Cat Lavoie Bio
Cat Lavoie lives in Montreal, Canada with her tempestuous cat, Abbie. Her debut novel, BREAKING THE RULES, was published in August 2012 by Marching Ink. ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN was published in October 2013.
If Cat isn't reading or writing, she's most likely watching too much TV or daydreaming about her next trip to London.
To find out more about Cat and her books, please visit www.CatLavoie.com and follow @Catenabi on Twitter.
Hard Hats and Doormats – Laura Chapman
Alexis Burke @theLexiBurke
Can a person refer to employees as Jackass 1 & 2 in an official report? Asking for a friend. #HRProblems #ThisIsMyLife
The universe keeps telling jokes and I’m the punch line. #IHaveProof
Okay, seriously. When did this become my life? Can I get a mulligan? #ObscureGolfAnalogyForLife
In kindergarten Sunday school, Lexi Burke imagined Hell as a fire-ridden, hate-filled pit below Earth’s surface. On a mighty throne of blackened steel and skulls, Satan preyed on the souls of the damned for eternity.
Twenty years later, she discovered a new version of Hell. It was a windowless conference room on an oil platform off the coast of God-only-knew-where Texas in the middle of May. The devil took form in two men, both middle-aged and madder than a hornets nest. Despite the sweat building on her neck, she shivered.
When did babysitting old guys become my job?
How mad do hornets get, and what does their nest have to do with it?
Where did I come up with that analogy?
Solving those mysteries had to wait. Casting a glance at the figures gathered around the badly chipped table, she considered the situation at hand. The two men, their union reps, and a team of local managers were going yet another round in their verbal sparring without a semblance of resolution. The representatives wanted the men to go back to work. The managers wanted to give them pink slips.
As the HR manager assigned – albeit at last-minute – to the investigation, she wanted to keep everyone from killing each other. Not an easy task, considering the two men under investigation already gave murder their best shot.
According to the initial report, the incident happened over the weekend. The men engaged in a particularly heated discussion about college football. The man to her right apparently took offense to the one on her left using derogatory names to describe his beloved team.
She grimaced at the list of profanities. Three or four of them merited HR intervention on their own. Then again, others struck her as downright creative. Note to self: Use “dag nab ass backwards pile of swamp waste” in a sentence later today.
The fight escalated when Mr. Right expressed his displeasure by raking his broken glass across Lefty’s face. A few days later, the wounds swelled red and blotchy. Her stomach churned when she examined their faces closely.
His opponent fared no better. Lefty managed a couple of solid jabs with a shard from a shattered plate. His cheek and eyebrow were held together with the help of twenty-two stitches.
How did these men still have jobs? Surely trying to kill your co-worker violated the Employee Code of Conduct. But because they had no previous violence on their records, the company’s agreement with the union guaranteed them the right to an investigation – this investigation.
“I told ‘em to back off and leave my Tigers alone,” Idiot Number One shouted. “But he started waving around his God-damned glass. I had to grab hold of something to protect myself. A man’s got a right to defend himself and his pride.”
“What the hell are you talking about, son?” Moron Number Two chimed in. “You were the one bent outta shape in the first place. He’s pissed because my Hogs’ll beat the hell out of this pussy lover’s team next year.”
Hogs? Tigers? Did these men seriously put their jobs and lives on the line over the Arkansas and LSU football teams? Did Lexi have to take team allegiances into consideration when she hired new employees to avoid catastrophe? Were SEC fans this torn up about football year-round?
Will we have full-on riots come September?
She struggled to recall the last two football seasons, but nothing came to mind. In her early days at Gulf America, she’d spent most of her life adjusting to the heavy travel schedule of a field HR representative. Current events, sports, and anything unrelated to HR dealings never entered her mind. She instead concentrated on getting through each day, never mind remembering what happened in the rest of the world.
What kind of fights should she expect when the Big 12 schools in Texas started beating up on each other in the fall?
God help us all.
Pulling her shoulder-length brown hair off her neck, she longed for a breeze. Not the kind from men yelling at each other, but a real, honest-to-God breeze.
She sighed and stared back at her notes. Even if the investigation proved the men deserved firing, she wouldn’t make the decision. Her worthless boss would be using whatever recommendations she gave him.
Dale seldom left his office during the work day. Unless he heard an ice cream truck. Then he raced out the door with a dollar in hand. Why bother leaving for something important–– like his job–– when he had minions like her to do his dirty work in the field? He reserved his energy to sweep in at the end when he took credit and – by all appearances – saved the day.
This time, he didn’t even have the courtesy to make his decision before dawn. In her eagerness to please – the department had a promotion up for grabs – she overlooked the faux pas that sent her straight to hell. Sure the Assistant Regional Director job would be more work, but it came with a healthy salary increase and less travel. And at twenty-four, she’d be the youngest director at headquarters.
The shouts escalated.
Is a promotion worth this?
A Questionable Friendship – Samantha March
I shut the door behind me and took a deep breath. Turning the faucet on, I gave my face gentle pats with the cold water, so I didn’t ruin my makeup but was still able to calm down. It was ridiculous that I was getting so upset. Brynne didn’t do anything wrong, she was just being Brynne. But her comment about scaling back and the fight I’d had with Trent on the way over made my stomach upset. I just needed a minute for myself, to breathe and be able to stop smiling through the pain.
I glanced at myself in the mirror, hoping no one else could see the bags under my eyes from the lack of sleep the night before. I had visited my hair stylist just yesterday so my blonde tresses were smooth and shiny, but that was about the only glowing quality I had at the time. I itched to be able to say something to my friend, but I sensed Brynne was going through something herself at the moment, and didn’t want to burden her with my (probably silly) problems. Knowing Brynne, she would drop everything and focus on me and only me until we worked through it. She might even have me take some time off from the store, and I really didn’t want that. EJs was my escape.
Realizing I had been in the bathroom long enough, I patted my face and hands dry on the lavender towel that was hanging next to the sink, to match the lavender hand soap and lavender diffuser Brynne had set up. That made me smile, to think about my friend who loved nothing more than her house being in order.
“There she is! Portland, I put some cheesecake salad on a plate for you. I hope you like it.” Brynne handed me a small plate that was filled with the delicious smelling dessert, and I smiled at her gratefully.
“And I helped make it!” Emmy Jo squealed, before digging back into her own piece.
I sat in my regular seat next to Brynne, across from my husband. “You did an excellent job, missy. And, mmm, it’s so delicious!” I said that last bit around a bite, and wasn’t lying. Brynne was a natural in the kitchen.
“It’s about time for you to start thinking about bed, don’t you think?” Brynne directed her question at Emmy Jo.
“No! I get to stay up with the grown-ups tonight.” Emmy Jo pouted and folded her arms. One little finger poked out and grabbed a strawberry, quickly stuffing it in her mouth before folding her arms again like nothing had happened. I took a sip of wine to hide my smile.
“Grown-ups also have to go to school in the morning, and you don’t want to fall asleep next to Guy, do you?” Brynne continued, looking in mock horror at her daughter.
EJ’s eyes grew wide as she considered this. “He might put glue in my hair, or color marker on my face, momma. I don’t want to fall asleep next to him!”
“Well, then, let’s get you to bed on time so you don’t have to worry about that.”
Emmy Jo took one more large bite of her dessert and raced out of the room. Brynne sat for a moment watching her retreating form, then laughed. “I didn’t think that would work that well. She’s been complaining about this Guy for a few weeks since the seating arrangements changed at daycare, but I really think she might have a crush on him. I’ll be back.”
“Glue in hair and markers on the face? I thought that only happened at parties where you were the first to pass out,” I said.
Aaron stood from the table. “I’m going to go say good-night. Let’s hope those wild parties stay away from Emmy Jo for a long, long time.” He winked at me before leaving. I shook my head. Aaron was one of the most over-protective fathers I had ever met, but it was cute. He was a great dad and a great husband, and I knew how lucky both Brynne and Emmy Jo were.
“Well, it’s just you and me, babe. How about a quickie on the porch?” Trent leered at me, and I glared back.
“You know as well as I do that it takes Emmy Jo about five minutes to get settled. They’ll be back in no time.”
“I said quickie. I can wrap it up in two minutes tops.”
“Wow, that is so romantic and really turns me on, Trent. Please, keep talking.”
“I was just trying to liven things up around here. Sue me for finding my wife attractive.”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh, don’t be such a baby. We had sex two days ago before you left, so don’t act like you’re all deprived either.”
“What is wrong with you tonight? You’ve been acting weird all day.”
The hair on my arms rose. Trent had been able to see through me too? Brynne was an obvious one, she was my best friend, but Trent didn’t usually notice – or care – if my moods were off. Shit.
“I’m just not feeling the best today. I hope I’m not coming down with a cold or anything. The weather shifts are starting to get to me I think.”
Trent peered into my face for a moment, making me want to shake under his stare. “You do look a little pale. Did you sleep well last night?”
I shook my head. “Not really. That’s probably a part of it too.”
“Do you want to leave soon so you can try to tuck in early? I can probably round up a sleeping pill or two for you to take.”
And he’s flipped to the caring, compassionate husband. I just never knew who I was going to get from one moment to the next anymore. “No, that’s okay. I need to talk with Brynne about the store some more. I’m sure I’ll be okay.”
Breaking the Rules – Cat Lavoie
I’ve never been good at keeping secrets from Oliver Frost. It might be because I’m a terrible liar but, most likely, it’s because he’s known me all my life and can read my face like an open book. Every eyebrow twitch, every blink, every fake smile. And, right now, I feel like I’m strapped to a lie detector. At any second the needles might go haywire like they do in the movies when the devious main character is lying through her teeth.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
“I really don’t like the sound of that,” Ollie says, sitting on the edge of my bed, shaking his head. “Are you sure you don’t want me to go to the drugstore and get you some cough syrup or something? Or I could make you soup. Or tea with honey.”
Under normal circumstances, I’d appreciate all this attention. But I’ve been trying to get Ollie out of the apartment for the last twenty minutes so the last thing I need is him hovering over me. Maybe relying on my lackluster acting skills wasn’t the best idea. Faking an illness was all I could come up with to convince Ollie that I need to stay home without making him suspicious. My original plan was to accidentally ‘twist’ my ankle while walking up the stairs but, in the end, I decided to keep it simple and go for the common cold. There’s less limping involved.
I don’t think Ollie has any idea that I’ve been planning a surprise farewell party for him—which is a miracle since I’ve been sneaking around every night this week and coming home from the grocery store with enough food to feed a small army. The party is tonight and I have a million things to do. And I can’t do them with him here.
I touch my supposedly feverish forehead and erupt into another coughing fit. “You should go,” I say in a raspy voice, grabbing a handful of tissues. “I wouldn’t want you to catch my germs and get sick before leaving for London.”
“Right,” Ollie says, turning away from me. “I can’t believe I’m leaving tomorrow.”
I can’t believe it either. I want to say something but I’m afraid we’ll start talking and get really sentimental and I can’t deal with that right now. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy so I don’t have to deal with it at all. But I know that sooner or later I’m going to have to face the fact that my best friend and roommate is flying halfway across the world to help supervise the construction of a new earth-friendly building in London. I choose later.
“You should really go or you’ll be late. I’ll call you if there’s anything I need, okay?”
He nods and plants a quick kiss on my forehead. I close my eyes and hope he can’t hear my heart beating out of my chest. I’m so close to pulling this off.
“Promise me you’ll rest and take it easy today?” Ollie says, picking up his messenger bag off the floor. “And if Greta calls, please don’t answer. Better yet, hang up on her.” He slings the bag over his shoulder and looks back at me. I wave and watch as he walks out of my room. A few seconds later I hear the front door close with a bang and start breathing again.
Written by Deb--interviewed by author Deborah Nam-Krane
Writer in Paradise--interviewed by author Jami Deise
Author PJ Fiala's blog--Book of the Week
Author Alissa Baxter's blog--guest post on Plotting vs. Pantsing
Awesomely Epic Book Blog--book spotlight
Thanks to my friends for hosting me today!
For the release of
I'm going on a worldwide blog tour!
Here is a list of today's stops:
Check back daily for a list of my tour stops,
and don't forget to enter the giveaway!
Pick up BAD MEDICINE on Amazon
What do a smokin’ hot detective, an evil chiropractor, and a couple of blind dates from hell have in common?
Lizzie has to wrangle them all in the third book of THE LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series!
Lizzie Hart is overjoyed that six whole months have passed without a single murder in the sleepy town of Liberty. It’s also been six months since Blake Morgan heartlessly dumped her, but she’s determined to get over him. She’s slimmed down, ready to party, and injury-free, except for a little nagging pain in her ankle. She’s also very single, but her friends are doing everything in their power to fix that—including setting her up on one disastrous blind date after another.
Lizzie’s reprieve is short-lived when an old friend of hers is found dead from an apparent drug overdose. She wants to write it off as bad behavior after having seen the guy cheating on his wife with the new chiropractor in town. However, when she sees that same chiropractor playing doctor with another man who ends up dead, she worries there could be murder afoot.
Doing her best to stay on the right side of the law this time, Lizzie decides to go straight to the police with her suspicions. Unfortunately, the only cop available to speak with her is the stern yet hot new detective who has already given her a traffic ticket and a reprimand for public intoxication. Not surprisingly, he brushes her off, leaving her no choice but to begin snooping on her own. Lizzie soon learns she’s going to need help to get to the bottom of this mystery, but her best partner in crime solving, Blake, has turned into her worst enemy.
Can Lizzie and Blake find a way to work together to catch the killer…or will they kill each other first?
Congrats to Zanna Mackenzie
on the release of ON TRIAL!
Amber Reed CCIA Mystery Book #1.5
I had the privilege to beta read this novella, and it's another winner! Set between Books 1 and 2, ON TRIAL tells the story of Amber's final task before becoming a real CCIA agent.
Buy it here!
“Romantic comedy meets celebrity cozy mystery”
Standing between Amber and her chance at getting a dream job with the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency (CCIA) is one final challenge, just one last critical assignment.
Whisked away to a luxury hotel where the rich and famous are frequent guests, she has only 24 hours to track down who kidnapped the bride-to-be moments before her celebrity wedding.
The case may be a pretend one, a test of her recently acquired investigative skills, but the stakes are still high.
An exciting new life, career and the chance to work alongside her CCIA special agent boyfriend Charlie are all tantalizingly close…but can she remember everything she’s learnt, manage to keep her head, and solve the case before the deadline?
A cozy mystery series with oodles of fun, romance and the smart, sassy special agents from the CCIA - otherwise known as the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency. Books 1, 2 and 3 in the series are available now. Coming soon - Amber Reed Mystery Book 4, due autumn 2015.
I struggle to catch my breath. Tucking a strand of sweaty strawberry blonde hair behind my ear I gasp, “You’re sure?”
James, my agency trainer and mentor, nods and smiles. “Yep. I’m sure.”
When I signed up for the chance to become a support officer for the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency (otherwise known as the CCIA) I knew my apprenticeship would be tough. I’ve fought to put aside the aching limbs, lack of sleep and mental demands of these past few months and keep my eyes firmly on the prize - my dream job.
If I do manage to complete my apprenticeship, and still be alive at the end of all of this, then hopefully the agency will offer me a job as a support officer. Right now though, I’m wondering if James is right. Am I really ready for the next stage of my training? It doesn’t feel like it. Despite all the efforts to build up my fitness I’m still gasping and out of breath after facing the assault course from hell. I have to confess, I didn’t realise throwing myself into muddy ditches, climbing trees and being abandoned in the middle of nowhere with just a map, compass and bottle of water would be the type of assignments I’d be put through. I mean, I’m applying to be a support officer, not a special agent. But as James pointed out, if I get this job I will work alongside agents, and where they go in order to solve a case, then so do I.
The steady beat of helicopter blades makes me shield my eyes and peer into the skies above the hundreds of acres of woodland, moor and hills which surround agency training camp.
“That’s our lift,” James says, gesturing towards the helicopter now coming in to land in the field just across from us. “You’ve got ten minutes to pack your stuff and meet me back here. This will be your final challenge. Fail this one and you’ll be on your way home with no job.”
Nerves and anxiety bubble up inside of me. This is it. My last chance to prove myself. My last training exercise. Whatever I am about to face will determine my life from this point on. “Only ten minutes? Where are we going anyway?” I shout above the sound of the sinister-looking black helicopter.
“Yes, you’ve only got ten minutes, so you’d better get a move on,” James shouts back. “I’ll explain later where we’re going and why.”
I sprint for my cell-like bedroom in the training block and throw clothes, toiletries and my How To Be A Support Officer course folder and notes into my suitcase. As I tug the case down the hallways, dashing back to meet James, my mind is whirling. What will my assignment be? Where will it be? What if I fail?
James is waiting for me with his holdall slung over one shoulder. “OK, Amber. Let’s get this show on the road. Well, I suppose in this case I should say let’s get this case up in the air instead!” He laughs and nods towards the helicopter. “After you.”
I step forward but stop as James tugs gently at my arm. “You can do this, Amber. Just remember everything you’ve learned these past few months.”
“Everything?” I gulp. “That’s a lot of stuff to remember.”
James winks then pushes me forward, placing a hand on top of my head to indicate I need to stay well below the blades of the helicopter which are now powering up, ready for take-off. Clambering into my seat I fasten my seatbelt. My stomach is in knots. I’ve never flown in a helicopter before and I’m feeling a tad nauseous as we lift off. The land drops away below us and we soar over the forests and hills, off to goodness knows where.
“Hey,” a voice says to the right of me. “I’m Mitch.”
Caught up in what’s going on, I hadn’t even registered the fact there are two other people sitting beside me. Some support officer I’ll make. I definitely need to get to grips with being more observant. I also need to remember absolutely everything I’ve had drilled into my mind during training as well. Not an easy task. If I fail this assignment everything I’ve gone through so far will be for nothing. Plus, I’ll never get to work with Charlie. I need to do this, and I need to do it right.
Zanna Mackenzie lives on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border in the UK with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is her ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, she can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel she’s working on. She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot!
I'm excited to welcome
to my blog today!
Jami is the author of the new vampire novel
THE TIES THAT BLEED.
After reading Jami's other work, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. She didn't disappoint. I LOVE vampire stories (especially when the vampires aren't angsty or sparkly) and vampire legend. After reading it, I had a ton of questions for her. Here are her answers!
Caroline: Where did you get the idea for a vampire book? I thought your writing leaned more toward women’s fiction.
Jami: I’ve been working on this particular idea for a long time. A friend introduced me to the Anita Blake, vampire hunter series back in 2001, and I just loved it. It’s not what it once was, unfortunately. Around that time, I also saw the Shane Black film A Long Kiss Goodnight, which is hugely underrated. Diana is kind of a combination of the two. It’s also about how becoming a mother forces women to change their identities. Obviously in not such a drastic way as Diana did, but we all put parts of ourselves on the back burner when we have children. And yes, I love women’s fiction, but I’m also a big horror fan. I read Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot when I was in the 7th grade, and that got me hooked. The beginning of the first chapter is a bit of an homage to ‘Salem’s Lot, if you can find it!
I loved that movie, and yes, it's totally underrated. Unfortunately, I didn't get the Salem's Lot reference. The only Stephen King I've read is IT, which freaked me out and I haven't been able to read another of his. Moving on, what did you have to do differently or how did you have to think differently to write the vampire/mystery genre novel versus KEEPING SCORE, your women's fiction novel? There was a lot of physical action, and a lot of dying in THE TIES THAT BLEED.
I did a lot of things differently, but it wasn't because of the different genres. BLEED actually started life as a screenplay called BLOODLINES. I wrote it way back in 2002 and then a few years ago decided to turn it into a novel. Screenwriting is very different from novel-writing -- the biggest difference being that in a novel, you have to detail what the protagonist is thinking and why. In the screenplay everything is shown. Plus screenplays are much shorter! I had to add some characters to keep BLEED from being a novella. And finally, in a screenplay you can end scenes right in the middle, as soon as a character says or does something important. I had a few of them in BLOODLINES, and I might have been able to get away with them if I'd written the novel in the third person. But in first person, I had to finish those scenes. Writing a novel after having written screenplays for ten years -- that was tough!
What kind of research did you do for this book? Is there a leading authority on vampires out there?
Oh, there are tons of books out there about vampire lore. There’s even an idiot’s guide to vampires. I researched the original legends, back when people actually believed in vampires. I wanted to stay as close to the source as possible. And of course I made up a lot of things too.
I remember getting creeped out a few times while I was researching witchcraft for my second novel. Did those old vampire legends ever give you nightmares?
I have been a horror fan since I watched the Exorcist on TV in the 7th grade, so no. But I can understand that research giving you nightmares because you were researching real life covens, right? I watched Still Alice last week. That stuff gives me nightmares.
Yes, some of the information you find out there can be rather chilling. Speaking of practicing one's beliefs, you seem to have a grasp of Catholicism. Is that from research or first-hand experience?
My husband and son are practicing Catholics, so I get a dose once or twice a year.
Is a drakvar a thing from vampire lore, or is it something you created? How about a revenant?
I put my own twist on these – mainly with the names – but there are other legends about children born of a vampire/human union. And revenant is an earlier form of the vampire legend. Some of these legends had them as mindless zombie-like creatures. The vampire legends are older than the book Dracula. I think Dracula was the first sexy vampire with a brain. Before that, they were closer to the revenants in the book.
Are there more adventures to come for Diana the vampire hunter?
I have some planned, but I’ll have to see how sales go to decide whether they’re worth putting down on paper.
About the Author
Jami Deise discovered Stephen King’s novel “Salem’s Lot” when she was in middle school and never looked back. Along with vampires, she has always been drawn to stories about what mothers will do for their children. Her first novel, KEEPING SCORE, is about a divorced mom who’ll do anything to get her 9-year-old son onto her town’s best travel baseball team. Currently a resident of St. Petersburg, FL, Jami spent most of her life in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism, Jami spent ten years working in public relations for lobbying groups before turning to fiction. Jami is on Facebook; tweets from @JamiDeise; blogs at www.jamideise.blogspot.com, reviews women’s fiction at www.chicklitcentral.com, and reads for a New York City-based literary agency. She is in her 40s, married with a college-age son and a very protective German Shepherd.
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