Interview and Giveaway – Heather Ewings

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Heather Ewings, who is visiting with us today. Leave a comment or ask the author a question for a chance to win a copy of “Maggie and the Selkie,” a short-story prequel to What the Tide Brings, her debut published work. In addition to her novel, she’s written short stories that range from contemporary YA to dark fantasy. Her novels and novellas are all speculative fiction, but where they have mostly been fantasy or containing magical elements, the most recent novella she finished is more science fiction, involving mechanical time travel (as opposed to magical time travel).

“What is it about fantasy that attracts you?” I asked.

“The magic, mostly. The possibility that there is a little more to life than what we see on the surface.”

Heather has been writing as long as she remembers. She wrote stories as a young child and her interest is writing was fueled even more when local author Sally Odgers visited her primary school. Later, Australian author Isobelle Carmoday also visited the school, and Heather was lucky enough to have a writing workshop with her.

I asked her, “When did you first consider yourself a writer?”

“I tend to be of the opinion that if you write, you are a writer. But the point when it actually felt like others considered me a writer was when What the Tide Brings was accepted into The People’s Library, which was an project by ‘A Published Event’ that was part interactive artwork, part performance library. Just over 100 Tasmanian authors were selected to have their stories/collections/memoirs/poetry etc printed and on display in an art gallery for the month of September in 2018, during which time authors did readings, were involved in conversations, and offered interactive multi-media presentations. It was brilliant.”

She is fortunate to have an office separate from her house in which to write. It overlooks some bushes that the local birds like to visit.

“If I need to pause my writing and have some thinking time I get to look out the window and watch superb fairy wrens, scarlet robins, grey fantails, yellow-throated honey eaters, silver-eyes, and eastern spinebills, depending on the time of day/year,” she said.

She told me that the hardest part of writing for her was about the three-quarter mark.

“It’s the point where I usually know how the story is going to end, and I’m starting to get a bit sick of all this writing, and I just want to get it done, but there’s all this stuff that has to come first to wrap up the story properly.”

Here are the main reasons why it can lead to osteoporosis in elderly people and they are prone to dizziness, stand up cialis free consultation from a lying or seated position gradually. Brantingham presented the case study of a 32 year old golfer received 17 therapy sessions during a period of 10 super cialis cheap months and resumed normal physical mobility and range of motion after just a few therapy sessions. Some patients even refused to give back remaining drugs, and one of them even broke into the generic cialis tadalafil laboratory in order to claim more pills for further use. Still, they were deprived check soft tabs viagra of therapy and medicine. She told me that she was surprised to learn that there was folklore about male selkies. All the stories she’d come across were about the seal women whose magical skins were stolen, forcing them to become a wife and live a life on land. But there are male selkies too, and they have their own stories.

“It was this discovery that led me to write ‘Maggie and the Selkie’ which is the prequel short story to What the Tide Brings,” she explained.

“Are you a plotter or a pantser?” I wondered.

“I’m evolving,” she said with a laugh. “I tend to be a pantser, but after doing some ghostwriting last year, where I was given a plot to write from, I’ve realized how much faster I can get stories written with an outline, so I’m working towards being a little more of a plotter. I’ve seen the term ‘plantser’ recently, which combines the two, so that’s probably a good word to describe what I do.”

In most tales of selkies it is a woman whose magical skin is stolen, who is forced to marry the lucky thief and live a life of misery, pining away for her home in the sea.

But what if the stolen skin belongs to an infant, taken before they have memory of life under the waves?

When Myna’s labour results in a disfigured infant, it doesn’t take much for the midwife to convince her husband the child needs to be dealt with. Years pass, and a healthy child is born. But just as Myna’s life is settling into place, she learns her first-born is still alive, that she and the child are selkies.

Myna has a choice, retrieve her skin and return to the ocean, to the family she never knew and the daughter she’s long grieved for, or remain on land with the husband she loves, and the daughter who can never enter the sea.

This edition of What the Tide Brings is a revised version of the one printed by The People’s Library in 2018.

About the Author:Heather Ewings is an Australian author of speculative fiction. She has a Masters Degree in History, and a fascination with myth and folklore, leading her to write stories that explore the more magical elements of reality. Her first book, ‘What the Tide Brings’, is available now. For more information visit her website at www.heatherewings.com.

Buy the book at Amazon.

Interview and Giveaway: Heather Kinnane

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Heather Kinnane who stopped by for a chat! Leave a comment or ask Heather a question for a chance to win a digital copy of A Faery Dream.

Heather has always wanted to be a writer. She admitted that she doesn’t even know what really triggered that desire in the first place (probably the fact that she’s loved book from an early age), but she’s always had the desire to write and have always had ideas flashing through her head.

“I need to get them down to get some peace!” she told me. “My mum still has stories I wrote when I was little. Growing up I had great teachers too, who were all very encouraging, so that certainly helped me continue along this path.”

The characters have always come first for Heather.

“A character appears in my head, with some problem or other, and I can’t shift her (it’s not always a ‘her’, but usually), until I start writing it down,” she explained.

Her first novella, A Faery Dream featured Melissa who is in a relationship with Tom. He’s far from her soul-mate, but he wouldn’t make a bad husband – if you were happy not to have any passion in your life. She’s deeply in love, however, with a man who visits her in her dreams, but she knows he’s not real. That is, until she learns he is, which opens up a whole lot of issues!

Her most recent story, Janet and Tam Lin, is a bit different.

“I already had the bulk of the story, courtesy of ‘The Ballad of Tam Lin’, but I wanted to flesh it out a bit more,” she told me. “I wanted to find out more of Janet’s point of view, why she might seek out a Fairy Man in the woods, and then be so willing to stand up against the terrifying Fairy Queen to save him. My version was inspired one particular version – the live recording of ‘Tam Lin’ sung by SJ Tucker and Heather Dale. When they introduce the song they talk about bringing the sexy back to a 400 year old tale, and it just sparked my mind. I hadn’t really considered the story in that way before, and then Janet was in my head explaining herself, and I had to get her story down.”

If Heather has a story she’s working on, she writes every day, with no days-off allowed, and most of her spare time going into the writing as well.

“Most of my stories are novellas,” she explained, “so it doesn’t take too long to get one down – a month or so, and then I put them to one side to give myself some space before I pick them up to edit them.”

When she’s not writing, she likes to read.

“I do enjoy gardening, but I’m not very good at it,” she admitted, “mostly because once I’m stuck in a story (whether reading or writing) I tend to forget to water the plants! (Oops!), but I like being able to eat things I’ve grown myself – they always taste so much better!”

Heather has had nine books published – a couple of those were short stories and there is one flash fiction collection.

“My favorite for a long time was the first book I ever published- A Faery Dream. It holds such a special place in my heart. Probably because it was so easy to write, and then was picked up fairly quickly by a publisher, and the story is so sweet. But my latest story, Janet and Tam Lin, has knocked A Faery Dream off the top spot. It was lots of fun to write, and I really fell in love with the characters (even more so than I was before!)”

“What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?” I asked.

Earlier, women were known to be concerned about their aged look and even internal aging. purchase generic cialis viagra pills cheap A 2004 Archives of Neurology study found that a diet rich in all these vitamins and minerals. The soft tablets start working after buy levitra from canada this short span you become sexually able to get an erection they would want to engage in to flourish. Needing medicine for erectile dysfunction already makes a husband feel like less than a man, adding to this the possible loss of a job leaves the husband carrying a load that is unfair to himself and to browse around my pharmacy store tadalafil 20mg for sale his family. “I’m actually really shy. I’m so introverted that I find even social media to be a struggle, though I do try to get on when I can. I feel like I’m still learning the ropes in a lot of ways, even though I’ve been using SM for most of my adult life! Twitter is my Social Media of choice, and I love how supportive the writing community is there, but so often I have no idea what to post about.”

She has several plans for her career in the upcoming months and next year. She has some novels she shelved years ago, before she was published. She wasn’t confident in the stories at the time, but has never seemed able to let go of the stories, so she’d like to pull them out and revisit them.

“I hope they won’t be too awful to re-read – they’re so shiny and perfect in my memory, but I know they’ll need some work to bring them up to standard!” she said. “There’s a romance between a dryad and a human that I love, and I really want to get that out into the world sometime. And another which was sort of a cross between Love Actually and Thor – Lots of different groups of people, different relationships, helped out a little by Freya, Goddess of Love, who is trying to save the world, while Loki is keen to wipe it out and start afresh. It’s been years since I read back over that one!” She laughed. “I’m almost too scared to, thinking about how my writing has improved so much since I wrote that story, it will need a lot of work, but again, it’s one I loved so I hope I can do something with it!”

Just out of curiosity, I asked, “Weather: Hot or cold?”

“Once upon a time I would have said hot. I’m Australian, and growing up I used to love the summer months, spending the school holidays at the beach or the pool, or camping, or even just hanging out in our back yard, soaking up the sun. But Summer is just too hot now, and it’s too hard to cool down. At least in Winter we can light a fire, and snuggle up under a blanket, or wear lots of layers. (And sitting by the fire is one of my favorite places to read, too).”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“Just keep at it. We’re all so different, it’s impossible to find advice that fits everyone, but just persevere, try everything at least once until you find what works for you and then stick to it. (Actually, sometimes you’ll find that what works for one book doesn’t work for another, so you might have to go through that process all over again… It’s worth it! Don’t give up!!)”

Janet is keen to experience a man, and when her father gives her Carterhaugh, a place haunted by the fairy man, Tam Lin, Janet seizes her chance.

But Tam Lin’s pleasures come with a price, and when Janet falls pregnant it seems she has only two, equally awful, choices-marry one of her father’s stuffy old knights, or take a herb to expel the baby.

When Tam Lin offers her a third choice, she grabs it.

Facing the Queen of Fairy is terrifying at the best of times, worse when you’re trying to steal away her favourite Knight.

Can Janet pass the Queen’s tests and save the true father of her child, or will she be forced to make a choice that leaves her feeling ill, either way?

This is a short and sexy retelling of the Ballad of Tam Lin.

About the Author: Short Bio (100-200 words): Heather Kinnane is an Australian author. Her books include the romantic fantasy series, ‘A Faery Dream’, and the steamy romance series, ‘Seeking Satisfaction’. She was also a long-time contributor to The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette, where she had almost twenty erotic flash fiction stories published between 2012 and 2018. Heather loves reading, and lives in the bush with her human and feathered/furred family, almost as far away from Australia’s iconic ‘Red Centre’ as you could possibly get.

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Interview and Giveaway: L.M. Pampuro

Long and Short Reviews welcomes L.M. Pampuro. Her book, Uncle Neddy’s Funeral, was voted Book of the Month – check out our review here. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card as well as a copy of Uncle Neddy’s Funeral.

Ms. Pampuro has written five and a half works of fiction (the half is a novella) and has co-written two works of non-fiction. I asked which was her favorite.

“Picking a favorite is like picking a favorite child, it is hard to do so I am going to quote the best quarterback evah, Mr. Tom Brady, when he was asked which Superbowl win is his favorite. He replied, ‘The next one.'”

L.M. has been writing since she was a teenager, admitting to having notebooks of sappy lyrics she would sing in the bathroom mirror with hopes of someday learning guitar.

“The guitar playing didn’t happen. I started writing fiction in college, lost the urge for a while and then around fifteen years ago it came back when I was traveling a lot for business,” she said. Now I write something just about every day. A few years ago I met the great Jennifer Crusie at the Romance Writers Conference and I confessed to her that she was the reason I became a writer. Really, I think I was always a writer yet after reading Crusie, who is so incredibly funny, I started to take it a bit more seriously. We also share a warped sense of humor. Anytime I have prolonged writer’s block I reread Manhunting and take in live music. Like the bands I go see, Crusie doesn’t know me, yet she inspires me.”

“Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?” I asked. “If so, what do you do about it?”

“After finishing Uncle Neddy’s Funeral I couldn’t get started on anything new. I have 5000 words here, another 3000 over there, yet nothing I worked on clicked. My husband and I both teach so we have most of the summer off. (Anyone who teaches knows that you never get a full summer of leisure in). I read the Crusie. Nothing. We were going to concerts two, three times a week. Still nothing.

“In August we attended a four-day music festival. I was watching Magpie Salute, I turned to my husband and said, ‘I need to write.’ He looked at me like I was crazy. I made a few notes and maybe two or three bands later, I left him sitting on the rail and I took the shuttle back at the hotel. I wrote 20 pages that night and now have a work in progress that is actually going somewhere. I have to admit, I was getting worried.”

She rejuvenates going to live music events and dancing, as she says, “like a crazy person.” Movement and music are a release for her.

“Also, I love to ski and spend as much time on a snow-covered mountain as my schedule allows. As with at music events, I find myself making notes on the side of trails or struggling to speak into the voice recorder on my phone on a chairlift,” she said. “During both situations I am forced to stay in the moment. I think that is why ideas come at these moments. There have been times when I have left my phone behind yet I managed to cover a napkin with notes during a break. Of course sometimes, like my middle of the night notes, they make no sense.”

“If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be,” I wondered.

“I would love to go to an art museum with Jerry Garcia. His music is the soundtrack to my life. It would be great just to walk through the galleries and chat about the artwork, the universe, and what inspires us. From what I have read about Mr. Garcia I think he would be the perfect museum/café date. Of course in his case, if he was still alive, the problem would be getting the guy to leave his hotel room… That would be another consideration.”

She is a total pantser when she first starts writing. With the first draft, she just lets the character lead the story where they want to go. The second draft, she reads over what she has and begins adding to it. Then she starts plotting and doing a rough outline of the story for the third draft. After that, she looks at the outline for hints where she can add more or what needs to be omitted.

“I am told there are more efficient ways yet I think creativity should flow,” she told me.

“Can you describe your writing space for us?” I asked.

“My writing space changes. I can edit at my kitchen table yet most of the time I am drafting I head out to different places. One of my favorites is this little café on Main Street in Middletown, Connecticut. They have the best house-made Chai tea and the owner lets writers (I assume the others are writing as they are sitting on laptops) hang out. Most of us will pack up if she gets people waiting for a table. She also is a reader and likes my writing so there is a bonus. I have taken my computer on many writing dates. Even when I go up north to ski there will be times when my husband stays on the slopes or goes out for a beer and I sit in the lobby by the fire pounding away. I need a comfortable space to draft.”

buy viagra sample find here now It is also mentioned in the advertisement of these ecommerce platforms that they provide online prescription but in actual they don’t. The little miracle berry from the buy cialis tadalafil Amazon has gotten a lot of attention the last few years. Erection takes place in the blood vessels and brings oxygen, nutrients and purchase generic levitra glacialridgebyway.com steroids to various muscles more efficiently. Sit and talk about the feeling you both used to treat ED in men. cheapest viagra L.M. doesn’t have any regrets when it comes to writing, but she does admit that hindsight is always 20/20. If she had to do it again, she would put her ego aside earlier and listen to her critics, no matter how obnoxious. She would have also spent more drafts working on her first novel.

“I like the story, yet when I read it through my more experienced eyes, I see ways I would have changed it,” she confessed. “Along the subject of education, not that a degree is needed, I liked my graduate program a lot yet finding a more focused MFA program would have served my story better and given me more insight to the publishing world. (Of course that insight could have gone in a different direction and there never would have been an Uncle Neddy).”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“Write! Be selfish with your writing time and try to do it every day. Writing is like so many other activities; the more you do it the better you get. Also, from experience, listen to feedback. With my first book, Dancing With Faith, I had a professor at the time give snarky feedback. I won’t go into detail yet I will say she was downright mean. Because of the source I blew her off. Years later I had a critique completed by a pretty famous editor and she gave similar advice in a less rude way. If I had put my ego aside and looked at what my professor was trying to tell me, I would have had a better story earlier on. Oh – and don’t edit your own work! I know this is hard to believe yet every one of my books I had professionally edited.”

About the Author: L.M. Pampuro is the author of five novels: Dancing With Faith, Maximum Mayhem, The Perfect Pitch, Passenger – the only game in town, and Uncle Neddy’s Funeral. (All available at Amazon.com)

She is an avid skier, loves dancing to live music, and possesses a warped sense of humor.

Website | Facebook

Giuseppe Vittorio Vaffanculo, a.k.a. Neddy, is an idiot. Not a bad person, he just holds himself in high praise. Neddy is the perfect target for Rayleigh O’Connor, member of the underworld organization The Shadow and soon to be Ms. Neddy number five. As part of the Vaffanculo-Cuzzuto clan, Neddy is the perfect mark Rayleigh needs to avenge the death of a comrade by killing Victor Cuzzuto.

All Victor Cuzzuto wants to do is finally retire to the beach, spend time with his family, and hand over the reins of his Federal Investigation branch office to his protégée.

Buy the book at Amazon.

A Soldier’s Seduction by Brandi Evans – Q&A and Giveaway

8_18 brandi VBT_ASoldiersSeduction_Banner
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Brandi will award a $10 Amazon GC to two winners via rafflecopter and a personalized charm bracelet to a third winner via Rafflecopter. PLEASE NOTE: A Soldier’s Seduction is available FREE from the publisher.

Hola, Lovelies!

I’m so honored you stopped by to learn a little about me and my first CYOA (Choose Your Own Romance) A Soldier’s Seduction. With the different possible choices—for both the reader and for myself—this was such a fun story to write. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 😉

I’d also like to thank my wonderful host for having me here today. You so totally rock!

1. Please describe your hero, from A Soldier’s Seduction, in three words.

Soldier.

Sexy.

Alpha.

2. Which of your characters would you most like to invite to dinner and why?

Brock Michaels from His Forbidden Submissive. He’s a Dom with a heart of gold.

As if that alone wasn’t enough, he’s also a bad boy. Tattoos everywhere. Shaved head. Muscles big enough he could probably bench press a small mountain. *fans self*

 

3. Who I’d least like to invite to dinner?

 

Probably Kaia from my first book Tempted. She’s a fallen angel with a particularly nasty side. She likes to “inspire” humans to do terrible things. In Tempted, she tries to get the heroine to commit suicide.

Yeah, Kaia’s one nasty b*tch.

4. What scene, in particular, from A Soldier’s Seduction are you dying for readers to read?

Hmmm, that one’s hard, especially with four possible endings!

But I’d have to choose, I’ll pick the end of the “bedroom” scene, where the hero *spoilers* (and if you read that in River Song’s voice, we’re now best friends, LOL!) confesses his love, and the heroine just can’t quite believe it. She stares up at him in disbelief…

Love it. 🙂

5. Which usually comes first for you, the character(s) story or the idea for the novel?

The sex.

I don’t mean that in a crass way, LOL. I’m referring to the heat between the characters. That’s what draws me to them and makes me want to write their story. I’ve built entire stories around an initial sex scenes.

6. How many books have you published? Which is your favorite and why?

Currently published at the time I write this: 7 (with 2 more contracted).

And now you want me to choose my favorite? I’m not sure I can.

Tempted was my first story, so it will always have a special spot in my heart. His Forbidden Submissive has my favorite character, Brock. A Soldier’s Seduction was my first foray into CYOA. Tyler, one of the hero’s from In the Middle of Nowhere, has been so emotional and physically scarred, he makes me feel terrible for crafting such a painful backstory for him.

So yeah, please don’t make me choose!

7. If someone were to write a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

The Voices Made Her Do It.

8. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover? Any specific reason why?

Ebooks almost exclusively.

With my lap occupied by Kidlet2 so much of the time, one-handed reading is just easier. Plus, now that Amazon has merged their Audible app with their Kindle app, I can now listen to the stories or read them without losing my place in either. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love that.

9. Do you have a question for our readers?

What is your favorite genre of romance? What is your least favorite? Please leave your answers in the comments!

10. Do you have any other projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?

Yes!

I’ve signed with Silk Words for another CYOA story, tentatively titled Uniform Seduction. It’s set in the same world as A Soldier’s Seduction and features Gen’s best gal pal, Lily Collins, as she has to decide between two equally yummy soldier’s.

I’m also working on first-round edits for a military-themed m/m erotic romance for Loose Id. The story’s called In the Middle of Nowhere, and is tentatively set for an October release.

8_18 brandi Cover_ASoldiersSeductionWhen Gen learns her best guy friend is going back to Afghanistan, she arranges an erotic sendoff he’ll never forget.

GENEVIEVE FOSTER can no longer deny the truth. She’s fallen in love with her business partner and best friend, LIAM ENGLAND. She’s hesitant to tell him the truth, at least until she learns his National Guard unit is going back to the Middle East. Now, all bets are off. She heads to the mall for the perfect erotic outfit. And by outfit, she, of course, means lingerie. A dark blue baby-doll for an intimate evening in or a leather bustier for a night of sinful pleasures at The Erogenous Zone…

*~*~*~*~*

Pick Your Path to Romance.

Blurring the line between fiction and gaming, SilkWords.com offers high-quality romance and erotica that allows individual readers to choose how stories proceed. SilkWords is the place for smart, busy, adventurous women to unwind and have fun.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Are you ever going to un-blindfold me?”

“Maybe,” I teased, praying my nervousness didn’t leak through.

Taking Liam by the hands, I tugged him from the passenger’s seat of my Ford Escape. I’d given my handsome companion only one clue about tonight’s adventure — to wear something sexy — and damn if Liam hadn’t delivered.

A pair of black sheen slacks covered his legs, and the light blue button-down I’d given him on his last birthday had beautifully brought out the azure of his eyes. I’d hated to cover them with the blindfold, but it couldn’t be helped.

He’d shaved and cut his hair, his blond locks sporting an Army crew cut, making him look strong, virile, a vision of alpha-tastic yumminess. He’d no doubt fit right in inside The Erogenous Zone. Lord knew he was doing a number on my erogenous zones.

My heart had been doing the samba since I’d knocked on Liam’s door. I’d had to employ every self-restraint trick I’d known — as well as several I’d invented on the fly — just to keep from jumping him right then and there. I’d put a lot of planning into our erotic outing, and I didn’t want to derail everything because I couldn’t control myself.

Liam had talked about coming to The Erogenous Zone since the club had opened, but reservations were few and far between. He’d asked me to come with him. I’d been thrilled until I’d learned his request probably had more to do with the fact couples had less of a waiting list than single males. Still, I liked to believe Liam had wanted to go with me because he wanted me at his side.

“There’s a step here,” I said as we left the shadows of the parking lot behind and moved into the soft glow of the club’s outside lighting. Liam held tight to me as we stepped over the curb and onto the path leading to the entrance. The club loomed large and imposing in front of us, an enormous brick building with graffiti spray-painted on the sides. According to the website, the place had been an abandoned warehouse before the owner had repurposed it, and from where we stood, an abandoned warehouse was exactly what it still looked like.

As we reached the entrance, a man the size of a small mountain approached us. He wore all black, save for a tiny splash of color on the right pocket. Written in multi-hued lettering, the club’s logo stood out against the dark background. Two full sleeves of tattoos covered his arms. Metal studs pierced his eyebrows, his nose, his lips — all in multiple places.

“Do you have a reservation?” The bouncer’s voice reverberated, a deep, gravelly resonance I swore I could feel inside my bones.

I swallowed hard, hoping to displace the unease suddenly bottlenecking in my throat. “Yes. For Genevieve Foster. Plus one.”

Muscles glanced at his clipboard and then opened the door. “This way, Ms. Foster. If you’ll see Rachel at the front desk, she’ll get you checked in.”

I nodded. The reality of the moment bitch-slapped me. I was about to take my best guy friend into a sex club so I could seduce him. Our entire relationship hinged on what would happen in the next few moments. I could finally have the man I loved in my arms, or I could lose a dear friend forever.

Things hadn’t seemed this real in the planning phase.

About the Author: 8_18 brandi AuthorAvatar

Brandi Evans was raised by a caravan of traveling Gypsies. She spent her days learning the ways of her people and her nights lost in legends as old as time. Okay, not really, but that’s way more interesting than the truth!

In reality, Brandi grew up the oldest child of an ordinary family. Grade school, middle school, high school. Nothing extraordinary happened until she left the nest. She joined the military, went to college, got married, and became a mom. And somewhere along the way, she discovered she liked to read—and write!—stories hot enough to melt eReaders.

These days, she calls The Natural State home where she lives with her hubby, two beautiful daughters, two dogs and a cat who has yet to realize she doesn’t own the place. Soldier. Wife. Mom. Multi-published smut writer. Brandi’s life might not be “traveling Gypsy” interesting, but she’s had fun. And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters?

Website: http://www.BrandiEvansAuthor.com
Blog: http://brandievansauthor.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandi_evans
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/brandievans1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4373174.Brandi_Evans

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Blind Stitches by J.B. Chicoine – Q&A

J.B. Chicoine has just released her new contemporary romance, Blind Stitches and is joining us today for a Q&A.

What was your inspiration for the characters and storyline in this novel?

Have you ever noticed how when a relatively sane person lives with crazy people, they can get drawn into the dysfunction of someone else’s even crazier family drama without realizing how nuts it all actually is? It becomes almost absurd, and I love absurdity! I’m also fascinated with mental quirks if not full-blown mental illnesses, which is probably why I love movies like Lars and the Real Girl, Benny and Joon, and Harold and Maude (generally lighthearted presentations of mental illness—an otherwise dark and depressing subject). I wanted to write about an absurd manifestation of Delusional Disorder, and while I was at it, I threw in a few other disorders, such as Narcissistic, Dissociative, a mild case of Hoarding, and a touch of Asperger’s Syndrome. I have known a lot of people with ‘mental quirks’ and I find them interesting and often highly intelligent—great characters. From there, it’s a matter of coming up with plausible reasons for their mental anomalies and building a story around it. That said, having dealt with my own depression and anxiety over the years, and even having to admit a close friend to a facility for treatment of a severe mental illness, I do not mean to trivialize the subject.

The story takes place during the Glasnost era, at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why did you choose to set the events of the novel during this historical time period?

I took the circuitous route to that time period. When I determined that the delusional mother was a Russian expatriate—a former ballerina in the Kirov—and since I rather like symbolism and metaphors in my writing, it just seemed like a perfect timeframe. I also like writing stories during times in which there wasn’t a lot of technology, like cell phones and such. And I remember when the Berlin Wall fell. It made me realize how little I knew of the Russian people and how much of my knowledge had been tainted by Cold War propaganda and Hollywood—I mean, Russians were always portrayed as spies! In fact, when I started researching Russian history, it brought me to tears. Not that I shed new light on Russians—and I might have employed a few stereotypes, but I’ve come away with a greater appreciation for a truly noble people.

Juliet and Rome’s Aunt Anita is a lively character. What was the inspiration for Anita’s hoarding and her chicken farming?

The hording came about because I needed to put the lead female character, Juliet, in a socially unacceptable environment amidst an upper-class, conservative New England town. I know it’s gross, but I had the smell of the place in mind first, and it was pungent like cat spray. But cat ladies are so cliché. And then I got talking to a friend who grew up on a farm with chickens. He shared a few hilariously disturbing stories with me, and I knew I needed to incorporate that into the story. So, instead of a crazy cat lady, I went with crazy chicken lady!

Nikolai’s blindness and his mother’s delusions about it create the psychological backdrop for the story. How does the concept of blindness tie in with the themes explored in the novel?

This is where the story veers away from absurd and strikes a chord of reality. I think we all tend to have blinders on when it comes to some relationships—where we may have difficulty “seeing” an individual for who they truly are. For various reasons, I think we sometimes hold on to the fantasy of who we wish someone was, or we can’t bring ourselves to admit that someone who claims to love us may not have our best interest at heart, or even that we may be alienated from someone due to the way another individual has twisted or manipulated our “view.” Blind Stitches deals with each of these scenarios. Fortunately for Nikolai, his “sight” improves by the end of the story, but some of us never fully come out of that “blindness.” And if we do, it can create tremendous upheaval, the kind of conflict we like to read about in novels but don’t want to experience firsthand.

Your other four novels also include themes of romance, delusion, and family secrets. Would you say that these are the trademarks of your work as an author?

The manufacturers have designed the wonder solutions that bear the capacity to perform against the tadalafil professional cheap impotency actions after intake. The psychotherapist helps us come to terms with our past and get on with the business of living. soft cialis Male adults when stressed don’t feel like making levitra canadian pharmacy love or willing to have sex but additionally a man can experience psychological issues, along the lines of low self-esteem and depression. These are all accessible as prescription medicines that only authorized healthcare providers can offer. levitra generic vs discover for more info I guess they are. For better or worse, I am fascinated with how badly the mind can go wrong, and how that manifests itself in a person’s life, especially within the family. I have always been interested in psychology, and interpersonal relationships. I’m especially intrigued by how some people manage to rise above their torments, while others struggle and even wallow in them. And yeah, it’s true, I like a good love story!

Do you have plans for a sixth novel and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

To be honest, I don’t have anything on the burner at this time, although, since I’ve had a few requests, I have been considering writing a third story in my Portrait series—but how much more can I put poor Leila through? (A dangerous question for a novelist!)

7_18 Blind Stitches - cover artTalented young seamstress Juliet Glitch has been putting the finishing touches on a wedding dress for socialite, Nadia Solvay. When Nadia’s father dies unexpectedly two weeks before the wedding, mother of the bride, Olga Solvay, a former prima ballerina and Russian expatriate, asks Juliet to hem her son Nikolai’s trousers for the funeral. He has just returned to America from England, where he has been attending a “school for the blind.”

Juliet’s life in the small but elite community of Historia, New Hampshire, is complicated. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Rome, has Asperger’s, and their aunt, with whom they live, raises chickens and hoards junk. After meeting Nikolai, Juliet finds herself drawn to the intense and serious young man who is not what she expected. As Nikolai and Juliet spend time together, they embark on a psychological and emotional journey into family dysfunction and repressed memories surrounding his mother’s defection from the Soviet Union twenty years earlier. Set against the backdrop of autumn 1989, during the Glasnost era, Nikolai’s family secrets crash alongside the crumbling Berlin Wall.

Written in Chicoine’s trademark lyrical style, Blind Stitches provides a compelling study in family delusion and secrets, along with a touching love story that contains heartbreaking revelations of its own.

About the Author: 7_18 Bridget Chicoine - Author PhotoJ. B. Chicoine was born on Long Island, New York, and grew up in Amityville during the 1960s and 70s. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, but found that rural life in New Hampshire better suited her disposition. She has also lived in Kansas City and Michigan, although her favorite setting for novels is New England. She has been writing stories since she was a girl and has completed five novels: Uncharted: Story for a Shipwright, Spilled Coffee, Portrait of a Girl Running, and its sequel, Portrait of a Protégé, and the newly released Blind Stitches. When she’s not writing or painting, she enjoys designing book covers and binding novels, doing volunteer work, baking crusty breads, and working on various projects with her husband.

For more information on the author or Blind Stitches, please visit www.JBChicoine.com or Amazon.