Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of Erin A. Jensen featuring the book, Benevolent w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @ErinAJensen #fantasy

Benevolent

by Erin A. Jensen 

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GENRE: Fantasy

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BLURB:

A story about the purpose of life, the healing power of fandom, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Tormented by the in-crowd at school on a daily basis, there were two things that gave fifteen-year-old Abigail Perkins the strength to keep going—her best friend, Danny Cobb; and her favorite television show, Supernatural. But the night Danny’s mother calls to say that his battle with cancer is nearing its end, and the doctors don’t expect him to live through the night, even Supernatural can’t dull the ache in her heart.

Devastated by her impending loss and crushed that Danny’s mother won’t allow her to visit him one last time, Abigail crawls into bed and cries herself to sleep that night; and she wakes to find Supernatural’s most endearing angel standing at the foot of her bed.

Told from Abigail’s perspective as she nears the end of her long life and revisits the moments that defined it, this story was inspired by the deep connection that Supernatural fans feel with the show’s beloved characters, and the show’s miraculous ability to help its fans through troubled times.

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Excerpt Two:

I flashed him a sympathetic smile. “What are you thinking?”

“I have never understood why humans are so moved by music,” he muttered as his eyes searched mine.

“Music is the closest thing that we have to magic,” I confided in a reverent whisper, “because it has the power to anchor us to a moment in time.”

His half-smile conveyed a heartwarming mix of curiosity and affection. “How so?”

I felt my face flush a shade darker as I grinned at him. “When we hear a song from our past, it conjures up all the old sensations that we felt when we first heard it.”

He eyed me with a perplexed frown as he took a step toward me. “How can a combination of man-made instruments and human vocal chords wield that sort of power?” 

“I can’t explain it with words,” I whispered, “It’s something that you just have to feel.”

He stood there staring at me with that puzzled expression on his face as I stepped closer and carefully inserted the earpiece in my hand into his left ear, so the music connected the two of us, just as surely as the cord connected the earbuds in our ears. “Maybe you’d understand what I mean if you danced to the music.” 

“I don’t dance,” he muttered as he watched me begin to sway to the beat.

I smiled at him as I took his hands in mine and moved his arms in time with the music, like a puppeteer pulling a life-sized marionette’s strings. “Anyone can dance. You just have to let go and let the music guide your movements.” 

A skeptical frown spread across his face as he watched me, but he let me direct his movements nonetheless. He was stiff and awkward at first but as the music grew louder, he seemed to find the rhythm. “These words are nonsense,” he muttered.

“Shhh,” I whispered, “Don’t think. Just feel.”

He was a remarkably fast learner, but I suppose being on earth since the dawn of time had given him plenty of opportunities to watch humans dance. Once he started to feel the music, he moved with all the grace that you’d imagine an angel would.

“Hey Jude” gradually faded away until there was nothing but silence in our twin earpieces. 

We stopped moving and stood there staring at each other while we waited for the next song to guide our movements.

Welcome Erin Jensen! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself. 

Thank you for hosting today’s stop on my tour! My bio has all the standard info about me, so I guess I’ll share a few random facts that aren’t in it. I’ve been writing books for about seven years now, but for the first three years I wrote my debut novel in secret. I’m not a morning person, and I’m hopelessly addicted to coffee. I love peanut butter cups but don’t keep them in my house because my younger son is allergic to peanuts. My friends feed them to me whenever we get together at one of their houses, and I love them dearly for it. My ideal vacation involves a tropical beach and a great book to read with my toes sunk in the sand. If I ever get a movie deal for my Dream Waters books, I have loads of people who’ve volunteered to be extras. Two of my dear friends have asked to be trolls drinking beer in the tavern in my Dream World, and a fellow pharmacist asked me to promise in front of witnesses that I’d invite him to the movie premier. It feels pretty amazing to know they’ve all got that much faith in my future success!

Is Benevolent a single title, or part of a series?

Benevolent is my first standalone novel. My first three books were all part of my Dream Waters Series. This was a unique concept for a story that I was so excited to write that I took a year off from writing Book Four of the series. I’m also pretty attached to this particular story because it’s got more of me in it than any of my other books and all the net proceeds are going to Random Acts, a charitable organization that inspires and funds acts of kindness both big and small all over the world.

What were your inspirations for the story?

Benevolent was inspired by a lot of separate factors. The character Castiel on the television show Supernatural and Misha Collins, the actor who plays the trench-coat-wearing angel, were the original inspiration for the book. The Supernatural fandom also played a part in inspiring the story, and after researching guardian angels and reading that they’re most active at the hour of death, I decided to tell the story from the main character’s point of view at the end of her long life. The end-of-life scenes in the book were inspired by my time with my grandfather in the hours before his death. I know that makes the book sound depressing, but several readers have reached out to tell me the story actually brought them a great deal of comfort and hope. At its heart, Benevolent is more of a celebration of life, and using the time you have to make a difference in the lives of others, than a story about a dying woman’s final hours.

Who are your favorite authors, and books/series?

I love Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series is another favorite. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is my favorite classic novel. To Kill a Mockingbird is another classic favorite. I recently listened to the audiobook of Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller (to get a feel for audiobooks before I narrated Benevolent’s audiobook), and I loved it so much that I’ve already begun listening to it over again. 

If you could have a roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

I think I’d invite the authors whose journeys have been an inspiration to me. J.K. Rowling would be at the top of that list because she started from nothing and has accomplished more than any author could ever dream of. Andy Weir has been an inspiration ever since I read that he started out publishing The Martian a chapter at a time for free on his blog. He ended up seeing his story play out on the big screen with Matt Damon playing the lead character. Stephanie Meyers’s story inspired me because she wrote Twilight without telling anyone but her sister that she’d written a book, and that turned out pretty well for her. I’d love to meet Karen Marie Moning because her Fever Series is one of my favorites, and Stephen King would get an invite because it was an interview of his that first made me consider writing a book. I could keep going. How big is this table?

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

I’m not really allowed to share that because it’d be a HIPPA violation. We hear and see plenty of strange things at the pharmacy where I work as a part-time pharmacist. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times a co-worker has said I should write a book about our experiences. Let’s just say, every time I think there’s nothing left that could shock me, a customer comes in to prove me wrong.

What is the one thing that you would tell an aspiring writer to do?

Don’t give up on your dream. Keep on writing and reading to improve your craft, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Even the negative feedback can be a learning opportunity if you look at it the right way. 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Erin Jensen is the Amazon International bestselling author of The Dream Waters Series. She was awarded the Bronze Medal for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Readers’ Favorite international book awards. She also received Honorable Mention for fantasy fiction in the 2018 Writer’s Digest self-published e-book awards. A part-time pharmacist and a full-time daydreamer, she resides in upstate New York with her ridiculously supportive husband, two teenage sons–who are both taller than her–and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard.

Website: Erinajensen.com

Blog: blog.erinajensen.com

Twitter: twitter.com/erinajensen?lang=en

Facebook: facebook.com/erin.jensen.756

 

Buy Links

 

Amazon: amazon.com/dp/B07NCFGFCV

Barnes & Noble: barnesandnoble.com/w/benevolent-erin-a-jensen/1132005681

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Erin A. Jensen will be awarding $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

Interview & #Review of The Secrets Between Us by Katie Mettner w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance @KatieMettner

The Secrets Between Us

by Katie Mettner

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Of three things I was certain…

The first?

Mercy was exquisite in the most devastatingly broken way.

The second?

I didn’t know how to love, but for the first time in my life, I wanted to try.

The third?

The secrets between us could tear us apart forever.

I wouldn’t let that happen.

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Excerpt One:

“I came by to apologize,” he said, relaxing back in the chair like he owned the place.

“For?” I asked, sitting across from him in the other club chair.

“For being rude the other night,” he answered. “I’ve found myself in a bit of a surly mood lately and I apologize if I took it out on you.”

I bit my lower lip and tipped my head to the right. “Same, actually. Truce?” I asked, sticking out my left hand. 

He leaned forward and shook it, somewhat awkwardly. “Truce.”

“Great, how about a drink then?” I asked before I thought too hard about it. 

“I could definitely use one,” he agreed. “What do you have?”

“Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, or Captain Morgan,” I answered instantly.

His brow went up. “Clearly, you like the boys. I guess I don’t have to worry about you being a lesbian.”

A smirk lifted one side of my lips. “I’m strictly dickly.” I stood and walked to the kitchen door. “Now, who will it be?”

“Jack and Coke?” he ordered, and I walked off to the kitchen nodding. 

“Be right back,” I said over my shoulder. 

Once alone in the kitchen I blew out a long, slow, unsteady breath. The fact that I had a man in my living room was unnerving. The fact that it was him was terrifying. And, strictly dickly? Did I say that? 

Welcome Katie Mettner! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself. 

 

Thank you for hosting me and The Secrets Between Us on your blog today! My name is Katie Mettner and I live in a little house on the lake in Northern Wisconsin. I’m a wife for nineteen years and a mother of three teenagers. I have one very special lizard, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. I am a left leg amputee and love picking a new pattern or design for my prosthesis when I get a new one! My current leg is black carbon fiber with rainbow music notes and staffs. I’ve been writing for eight years and just finished my 42nd book!

Is The Secrets Between Us a single title, or part of a series? 

 

Right now it’s a stand-alone. I am tossing around writing a second book about his brother, Caleb. I thought I would wait and see what the readers thought about that before I did. 😊

What were your inspirations for the story? 

 

I wrote The Secrets Between Us based on a writing prompt that read, “A rich guy goes off and hides in a place that would be totally out of character for him.” I then happened to see a stock photo of a guy in a trapper hat and the whole story fell into place. I had to put a billionaire CEO into a fishing camp in the middle of North Dakota just to see what happened.

Please share your setting for The Secrets Between Us. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? 

 

The setting is a fictional fishing camp in Cashmere Creek, North Dakota, which is also a fake town. I always write about the Midwest, and while Cashmere Creek is fake, I have been to North Dakota. I based it off the Devils Lake area. I love the wide open spaces, the beauty of pristine snow, and the expanse of a frozen lake as the perfect setting for a romance novel! If you’ve ever been to North Dakota, you know they have all three there.

When did the writing bug first bite?

 

I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t get the true bug until after I published my first novel, Sugar’s Dance. I always intended that to be my first and last novel (Which is why it’s so long!) I never expected to be sitting here having just finished my 42nd book in eight years. I would say that’s the true definition of the writing bug.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series? 

 

My favorite authors are Lisa Regan and any of her books. Dana Mason and her series. I’m unashamed to admit that I love Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series. Even if they are repetitive blah blah, they make me laugh. I also love anything by Jill Shalvis. I read a ton of indie authors more than I read the big names. I feel like we know what we are getting with the Big 5. I’m always out there looking for the unsung writers with great stories to tell.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite? 

 

Oh boy, let’s go, girls! I would definitely invite Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Lisa Regan, Dana Mason, Janet Evanovich, Brian Freeman, Katy Evans, Jan Romes, Chloe Kendrick, Gemma Halliday, Colleen Hoover, Sandra Brown, and Mary Beth Keane.

 

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time? 

 

I have three kids and one in college, so my spare time is limited. Usually, I’m at a band concert, marching band game, or vocal concert. When I’m home I love to bake cakes, crochet and read, of course! I also love watching old shows like Chuck and How I Met Your Mother. I may know how the series ended, but when I watch them a second time, I’m always catching that ‘Aha’ moment so much sooner. Kind of the same way it happens in books when you reread them.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen? 

 

Before I was married, about 20 years ago, I was living in Wisconsin on a large chain of lakes. I took my dog for a walk down to the lake and laying on our dock was a mountain lion. Not a lynx or a bobcat, but a flipping mountain lion! It was just laying there sunning itself like it wasn’t in the entirely wrong part of the country! I had to grab my dog and back up the hill slowly so we didn’t catch it’s attention. People see them more around here on their trail cams now, but back then, that was one strange sight on a Monday morning!

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do? 

 

Write to write, don’t write to make money. If you’re writing for the sole purpose of making money you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re writing to tell a story somewhere deep inside you, and you don’t care if it hits #200 or #1, then you’re doing it for the right reasons. Follow your heart and write on. You’ll find what you’re looking for if you stay true to the reason you’re doing it.

 

Yall, this book.  I cried.  Not an ugly cry but it did make me cry.  This book is about redemption, the forgiveness of one’s self and learning how to love again.   Plus, learning how to love yourself again, regardless of how life has treated you in the past.  These two had a lot of baggage to overcome to even think about having a real relationship with each other and in the end, their HEA is hard-fought and heartfelt.  These two had me at the beginning and never let me go.

Hayes is a very flawed but humble character.  He knows his flaws and why the way he is and doesn’t really know how to get out of it.  That is until he meets Mercy.  He wants to be better, trys to do better but in the end, he’s human and makes mistakes.  Near the end of the book when he is laying it out for her, my heart grows so full from the emotion that he poured out of his heart.  I never thought he was wrong in the way he treated Mercy in the end but he needed to realize that he could love someone and indeed fell in love with Mercy.

Mercy is a heroine that I just wanted to give a big hug to and say, it is NOT your fault.  It’s not your fault.  Feeling like she is unworthy of love from anyone, she had to realize that Hayes wasn’t just there for a good time.  Ms. Mettner took her time with Mercy throughout the book revealing her backstory, bit by bit when it needed to explain why Mercy would shrink back from Hayes at times.  I never pitied her either.  In fact, I never realize that she was an amputee until it was brought up by Hayes.

This book deals with some very heavy issues:  domestic abuse and murder.  Ms. Mettner never goes too dark with the subject matter but instead treats it like its a fact of life for Hayes and Mercy.  They that Hayes and Mercy deal with it are completely different but the need to get past it is a long hard road.  The emotions that are wrung from their conversations are wrenching but also cleansing.  I never pitied either one of them for their actions and completely understood them in the end.

Ms. Mettner is a new to me author that I can’t wait to read again.  The secondary characters are few but Caleb, Ange, and Mr. Bolling are great.  They not only enhance the main characters but add to some of the crucial plot points in the end.  Beast is hilarious, too.  While this is a billionaire type book, Hayes is not a douche.  He’s a real person with real feelings, finally, and doesn’t know how to act.  Loyal and faithful to his family and in the end Mercy.

Do yourself a favor and pick this gem up.  I dare you not to cry in parts.  The dialogue between Hayes and Mercy is HILARIOUS!!  (see above excerpt and that’s just a snippet)  The love scenes are emotional and spicy but nothing too hawt.  Ms. Mettner has written a book that I will definitely read again.  And yes, a Caleb book would be good.  He can’t be all that happy all the time.  LOL!

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Katie Mettner writes small-town romantic tales filled with epic love stories and happily-ever-afters. She proudly wears the title of, ‘only person to lose her leg after falling down the bunny hill,’ and loves decorating her prosthetic with the latest fashion trends. She lives in Northern Wisconsin with her own happily-ever-after and three mini-me’s. Katie has a massive addiction to coffee and Twitter, and a lessening aversion to Pinterest— now that she’s quit trying to make the things she pins.

 

The book is $0.99.

KATIE METTNER’S AMAZON PAGE     http://author.to/KatieMettner

KATIEMETTNER.COM  http://www.katiemettner.com/

NEWSLETTER http://eepurl.com/du7LwH

BOOKBUB https://www.bookbub.com/profile/katie-mettner

TWITTER  

https://twitter.com/KatieMettner

FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/Wisconsinwriter

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/sugarlipswi/

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Katie Mettner will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Author Interview featuring debut author Lili Naghdi, On Loving w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #author interview #romance #debut author #99cents

On Loving

by Lili Naghdi 

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GENRE: Romance

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BLURB:

In 1972, Dr. Rose Hemmings has just finished her general surgery residency when a haunted stranger is shot in front of her in a New York City bar, and their lives become forever intertwined. And when, having been given the blessing of her adoptive father on his deathbed, Rose travels to prerevolutionary Iran to discover the past her American family kept secret from her, she finds a true Pandora’s box. It is a world both foreign and familiar, in which her primary place is as the heiress to a great tribe. In Iran, Rose will find family she never dreamed of, her own people, and a man who loves her as passionately as he does the rare black roses of his garden. She will return to the United States carrying a new secret and torn between two men: the one she loves helplessly, and the one who loves her unconditionally.

Woven throughout with Persian poetry ancient and modern, On Loving is the story of one woman’s lifetime of love and loss, of societal change in a nomadic people, and of overcoming personal challenges, including mental and physical health, to find true contentment. Above all, it is a story of love: its physiology, psychology and philosophy; the many forms it takes; its myths and truths; its challenges, its joys and its gifts.

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Excerpt Two:

“It was almost nine when I got back. Kim had fed Layla and put her to sleep. I sent Kim home for the night, kissed Layla’s face good night and went to my room to change for bed.

Siyavash’s letter was still on the floor. I bent down and picked it up.

Inhaling the scent of the dried black rose, I wandered to the window and stared at the thin, even white carpet of snow on the street. Where do I want to be? I asked myself. Somewhere beautiful, calming. Somewhere full of life, with a boundless, vaulted sky above my head, perhaps!

I then closed my eyes and let myself being taken to Siyavash’s majestic rose garden in Isfahan. I could feel the breeze in my hair, could feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I remembered how Siyavash had looked at me with love and admiration there. I was blind not to see it then. I couldn’t recall Dean looking at me like that …

I opened my eyes and read Siyavash’s letter again, raking my fingers through my hair. Then, nervously rubbing my neck, I went to the phone next to my bed.

“Good evening,” I said when the other end of the line picked up.

“Rose! Is that … Is that you?” It was Siyavash.

“Yes, it’s me!” I paused and swallowed the lump that had risen in my throat. “Come back home! Just come back to me!”

I quickly hung up and rushed to the window, as if for air. Snowflakes were still dancing their way down to the ground.

My chest felt so constricted that I could hardly breathe.

Am I questioning Dean’s love for me? I wondered. Am I comparing it to Siyavash’s? But that was impossible! I shook my head. I’m just giving Siyavash a chance to redeem himself, a proper second chance. But the reminder to myself was pointless: the truth was something else, and I knew it!

I was at fault here. I was the guilty — guilty of blocking not only my ears but also my soul from hearing Siyavash’s voice, so ignorant indeed that my heart was finally reproaching me for my bigotry and cruelty.

I folded the letter and tucked it away in the drawer next to my bed.

I’ll know soon how I need to deal with him, I told myself. Or I’ll just have to find a way around it!”

Can you describe your dream home?

An average home with lots of light, tall windows, a view to the ocean or the forest with a huge office with walls covered by full bookcases. Of course, no dream house can be a dream home for me without my loving family and my dog being around me.

 

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?

I will make you Barberry rice with pistachio and almonds served with saffron chicken, a traditional Persian dish.

 

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.

A gentleman who wrote how he found my story impressing in a way that he was encouraged to start reading about Iran’s ancient history and Forugh Farrokzad’s poetry in English. Also, he wrote tha he was trying to know himself better and talk to a counsellor to be able to solve issues from his past. He really made my day!

 

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

France.

 

Who designed the book cover for the book you are touring?

The idea was mine but JD and J book designs in Florida made the design based on my idea.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lili Naghdi is an Iranian Canadian physician who was born and raised in Tehran. She continued her education and research after moving to Canada with her husband and daughter in 1996. Today she practices family medicine in Vaughan, Ontario, with particular interests in women’s and mental health. Being a family physician gives her the privilege of connecting with patients and participating in their care with a deeper understanding of the physical, emotional and social adversities they face. Interacting with people of many different backgrounds has also provided Dr. Naghdi with the opportunity to grow as a person, a physician and an author.

Growing up in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran, Lili became fascinated by the magical realm of literature, poetry and history. She began collecting prized quotations at the young age of eight. Dr. Naghdi has written poetry and short stories in both Farsi and English, but she eventually followed William Wordsworth’s advice to “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart,” and turned to fiction.

On Loving is her first novel. Inspired by both the ordinary people she has the honor to support and by the great literature of Persia and the world — from Hafez to Forugh Farrokhzad and from John Steinbeck to Margaret Mitchell — Dr. Naghdi passionately agrees with Boris Pasternak, whose Yuri Zhivago is a physician and patriotic poet, when he writes: “Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.”

Website:            www.lilinaghdi.com

Goodreads:       https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44310723-on-loving?from_search=true

Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/pg/lilinaghdiauthor/posts/?ref=page_internal

Instagram:           https://www.instagram.com/naghdil/

 

Amazon author page URL:

 

https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

 

Barnes and Noble Author URL:

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/books/1130591456?ean=9781999497002

 

Videos of her book launch:  

 

https://youtu.be/iqMoLoKBRPI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYtdrHiWffk

 

Buy Links:  On Loving is on sale during the tour for $0.99

 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/on-loving-lili-naghdi/1130591456

 

https://www.amazon.com/Loving-Lili-Naghdi-ebook/dp/B07NSJLJLZ

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Lili Naghdi will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway