An interview with ‘One More Day’ author Jenny Keller Ford

Today, I am talking with Jenny Keller Ford. For anyone who has been following this blog for any length of time, her name will sound familiar, I’m sure. Last year, she launched a story in J. Taylor Publishing‘s anthology, Make Believe. At that time, she took over my blog and, for those who haven’t read it or have forgotten what she talked about, you can go back here and read (or re-read) it. She was also one of the first people I interviewed when I started blogging at the beginning of last year. You can find her interview here. Anyway, interviewing her this time was like chatting with a long-time friend. 🙂

J. Keller Ford

Hi, Jenny! I am so glad you’ve dropped by, again.
May I offer you a cup of coffee or tea? Black, cream, sugar?

Oooo, thank you.  I’d love some coffee please, with a little cream and sugar. 

How about a little banana bread or a homemade chocolate chip cookie?

Oh, chocolate chip cookies please.  From the glorious smell in the house, you must have just brought them out of the oven, didn’t you?  Mmmmm, nothing better than a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie.

Would you prefer to do the interview at the dining table or in the living room where the couch & chairs are a little softer?

If you don’t mind, I’d rather sit in the living room.  It’s much more informal and cozy don’t you think?


Definitely! 🙂
Now, let’s get down to business. A little bird told me you’ve written another story for J. Taylor Publishing for their anthology One More Day. Please tell us a little about your main character.

{Novel News} It’s time for One More Day by L.S. Murphy

Amanda Jenkins is a 17-year-old book nerd extraordinaire.  She’s also an acrophobic, meaning she’s absolutely terrified of heights.

I think I’m getting a sense of what the story might be about but have to ask, what is her predicament?

Amanda likes this guy, Dean McCall.  I would, too, if he really existed and I was her age.  So hot.  Anyway, she’s had a crush on him for years and she never thought he’d ever ask her out.  But on Grad Night at Granbury Park (the local theme park), Dean corners her by the popcorn stand and asks her to ride the tallest roller coaster in the park, Dragon Flight, with him.  Her insides tell her no, but it’s Dean McCall, right?  What else can she say but yes.  It doesn’t take her long to question that decision when her biggest fear happens.  Time halts, I mean, it literally freezes, with Dragon Flight stranded at the top of the first hill, 300 feet in the air and her in the front row.  As she is the only one who is not frozen in time, she has to figure out a way to get down from the beast and restart time.

As much as I love the thrill of a coaster ride, I, myself, am afraid of heights, so I would find that terrifying, too!
Did Amanda whisper in your ear about her problem or did the story line come to you first because of the publisher’s prompt?

I have to admit, I never really thought about this until I read the prompt. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t going to submit anything, but then this story came to me in a dream and I had one of those ‘ah ha!’ moments and had to go with it.  I tossed it off my teen son one morning before school and he gave me one of those ‘Yeah, okay, Mom’ looks, but I had to go for it.  At that point, I HAD to write the story as it wouldn’t leave me alone.

Ah, the muse that cannot be silenced. 🙂
Why did you decide on this particular setting for the story?

I love theme parks and I love roller coasters.  My biggest fear is getting stranded on one.  As I could relate to Amber Jenkins (because she is a lot like me), I thought the theme park idea would be perfect.  Also, what teen doesn’t like theme parks, especially on Grad Night?

I know you have a penchant for dragons, will we be seeing any in this story?

Only in name.  When I thought about what kind of coaster would freak me out, it would be one like Dragon Flight.  One that flies high and then dives low and twists and turns and corkscrews.  When the story came to me, I was a bit baffled that it didn’t have a dragon in it because almost all of my stories do, but then I realized the coaster WAS my dragon.  It was a feared beast that needed to be conquered, and Amanda Jenkins was just the perfect knight to save the day.

Back in 2000, our family visited Florida. One of the kids’ favourite ride was one called Dueling Dragons at Universal Studios. Is the coaster in your story based on one that really exists or is it your fantasy coaster?

Ohh, Dueling Dragons, now Dragon Challenge in the Wonderful World of Harry Potter, was one of my favorite coasters, but not the basis for my coaster.  Dragon Flight would be more like Millennium Force at Cedar Point, fused with Kumba and Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida:  tall, fast, twisting, with lots of corkscrews. 

Sounds like one I’d like to ride! 🙂
Okay, final question: What is the title of your story?

Dragon Flight

Of course! lol Well, I guess that’s it, for now. Good luck with your story. ‘Talk’ to you soon!

Thank you so much for inviting me in your home, Susan.  The coffee was perfect and the company even better.  Oh, and you should market those cookies.  Fantastic!

Thanks! 🙂
For those of you who want to learn a little more about this exciting new anthology from  J. Taylor Publishing, here’s the blurb about the premise for One More Day:

What if today never ends? 



What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens? 



Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever. 



Unless …

How do we restart time? 



How do we make everything go back to normal? 



The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could, maybe, happen today. 



Right now. 



What would you do if this happened … to you?

About Jenny:

J. Keller Ford is a quirky mother of four, grand-mother and scribbler of young adult fantasy tales. She has an insatiable appetite for magic, dragons, knights and faeries, and weaves at least one into every story she conceives. Her muse is a cranky old meadow gnome that follows her everywhere she goes and talks incessantly, feeding her ideas for stories 24/7.

When she’s not writing or blogging, the former Corporate Paralegal enjoys listening to smooth jazz, collecting seashells, swimming, bowling, riding roller coasters and reading. Jenny lives minutes from the beaches of the west coast of Florida with her husband of twenty years, her two sons and a pair of wacky cats and three silly dogs. The pets have trained her well.

If you hurry up and head over to Jenny’s website, you might still be able to take part in the J. Taylor Publishing Christmas Cracker Scavenger Hunt, which ends at midnight today. Good luck! 🙂

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Sharing friends with my friends

I thought, today, instead of an author interview, I would share the sites of some of my blogging friends:

For all of you who might be thinking of taking the challenge of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), wantoncreation has some advice for you.

If you prefer a site where you can read an interesting story, Diane Dickson has written many short stories and serials, so pop over here. Soon she will be offering one of her novels for free, too!

C.B. Wentworth has a lovely variety of posts; lovely poetry, gorgeous photography, fantastic travel tales, and her beautiful knitted creations. You can find her latest poetry and photo of a Roman bridge here.

On the site, Speculating Canada, Derek Newman-Stille discusses Canadian speculative fiction, interviews writers of the genre and writes reviews. Considering the month, I recommend you head over there and read his list of ‘Canadian Must-reads-For-Halloween‘.

I enjoy reading what Elizabeth Creith has to say on her website. She discusses her writing and gives pointers to upcoming authors. For example, in her latest post, she discusses writing style.

If you want to read a charming Halloween-themed story, pop over to roughwighting and immerse yourself in ‘Witchy Woman’.

Jenny Keller Ford is a lovely woman who is working hard to get her first YA novel published. In the meantime, she has had several short stories published in anthologies put out by J. Taylor Publishers. She interviews other writers, like Terri Rochenski in her latest guest post ‘Balancing Family With Writing, and she reviews books as well as giving tips on writing.

Another writerly blogger is Jennifer M. Eaton. She’s been advising her readers with ‘… Simple Rules To Writing The Best Novel Ever‘, based on the article, ‘Hunting Down the Pleonasm’ by Allen Guthrie. She also has been providing us with book reviews and author interviews. She began the multi-author story ‘Write A Story With Me’, which has a new episode each Monday.

I think that’s enough sharing, for today, although there are many more exciting bloggers out there, writing wonderful blog posts, which I hope to share another time. I hope you will take the time, on this leisurely Sunday, to peruse the links provided.

Happy Sunday, Everyone! 🙂

Review of Petrified by Kelly Said

Make Believe

Although the Make Believe Blog Tour has come to a close, I didn’t have the chance during December to talk about some of the other stories in the anthology. I want to take the time, today, to review Petrified by Kelly Said. Since the inspiration for all the anthology stories was the picture on the anthology cover and all the stories have some element of the cover art in them, I think Kelly’s story really embodies the essence of what you see. Here is the blurb on the J. Taylor Publishing site about it:

Petrified by Kelly Said

A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either. 



The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.  

I absolutely loved the premise of Kelly’s story because I am a fan of the fairy tale with princes and magic and I love a good mystery. She had me at the first sentence, “An aberrant cold whitened the sky and crystallized the air”, which perfectly set the opening scene. Kelly’s description in that one sentence brought up memories of just such a cold. Being a resident of the Canadian prairie where temperatures can drop to thirty below zero for days on end, I have experienced this many times in my life, although that kind of cold was far from ‘aberrant’!

Kelly created some fascinating characters. Prince Sterling August is a strong and honourable man, yet vulnerable in the face of his personal tragedy. His motto ‘Family First’ says a lot about the man, how he thinks of his family before himself. I certainly like a man like that, don’t you?

Lochlyn is a beautiful young Wiccae (white witch) who is summoned to help deal with the obvious magical problem. Although Sterling’s family has linked their own Wiccae to the household, Sterling suspects that she is hiding something, so he is determined to learn her secret.

The story begins with Sterling returning home after investigating the extent to which the unnatural winter had spread. Then, there is a sudden switch to Lochlyn’s perspective in a warm sunny location, which was such a contrast to the dismal weather that the prince was experiencing. This brought home the strangeness of the winter weather weirdness that surrounded Castle Kestral, since elsewhere, the lands were bathed in summer, deepening the mystery.

I have to admit, I was totally off-base when I tried to guess the cause of the ‘aberrant’ cold, which is another reason I liked the story. I don’t like it when I can predict the ending, so this was quite satisfying. I’d definitely recommend Petrified. I think it appeals to a broad audience, but especially to those who like fairy tales, magic, and mysteries. 🙂

To learn more about the author, Kelly Said, come on back here on Sunday, as I will be resuming my interview schedule (if I can find enough willing participants!). 

Make Believe Blog Takeover

Make Believe

Happy Saturday, Everyone! I hope you have all been having the best holiday season, with plenty of time spent with your favourite people, eating your favourite foods and celebrating your favourite traditions. 🙂

This is going to be a different sort of post. I’m relinquishing control and allowing Jenny Keller Ford to take it over so she can talk about The Amulet of Ormisez, the story she wrote for the Make Believe anthology. Since I have already interviewed her, way back in the summer (you can find the interview here), she didn’t want to do another one. If you are a regular reader, I’m sure you recognize her, as I’ve mentioned her wonderful blog many times. So from here on in, I’ll let Jenny do the talking. Please give her a warm and enthusiastic welcome. Take it away, Jenny! 🙂

(Whoot whoot, clap, clap, whistle, whistle!)

J. Keller Ford

Thanks, Susan!

Today, I’m going to introduce you to a mythical character not many people know about – selkies.  What are they?  Where did the myth come from and how did they make their way into my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez?

Depending on what myth or legend you read, selkies are either regarded as gentle creatures, with the ability to transform from seals into beautiful, agile humans, or they are dark, malevolent shape-shifters of the sea, much like their cousins, the Finfolk.  The tales are said to have originated around the Orkney and Shetland Harbor (known as the Roane in Ireland), and like many other Celtic myths, are steeped in wonder and mystery.

No matter what legend you read, a common element in all selkie tales is the fact that in order to shape-shift, they must cast off their sealskins.  If they are ever to return to the sea and their seal form, they must return to their magical skins. If the seal skin is ever lost, the creature is doomed to remain human forever or until the skin can be recovered.

It is said that selkies in human form are very handsome/beautiful, with uncanny magical, seductive powers over humans.  While there are stories of selkie males luring human females to the depths of the sea, the most common theme is the taking of a selkie-girl’s seal skin by a human male, either through trickery or theft.  The girl is then forced into marriage with her captor.  The tales are usually sad because the selkie never stops longing for the sea.  Trapped in her human cage, she thirsts for what is just beyond her door but will never have again unless she is re-united with her skin.  Sadly, should the selkie girl ever re-unite with her seal skin and return to the sea, her human husband will die from a broken heart.

When I started writing the Amulet of Ormisez, I had no idea that selkies were going to be a part of the story.  It wasn’t until I let my muse take over that I wove the myth into my story.  As the Amulet of Ormisez is all about what we will sacrifice for those we love, the selkie myth made even more sense to me.  What more of a sacrifice can one make than to give up everything they are, the essence of their entire being, for the one they love?

Without giving away any spoilers, Cayden Fletcher is possessed by a powerful amulet destined to harm a vengeful king.  Cayden’s wife, Marsalí, and his brother, Elton, are on a mission to free Cayden before the amulet kills him.  The answer to its undoing lies with the selkies, but there is great animosity among the creatures toward humans, and their desire to help Cayden and Marsali is far from their list of top priorities. The solution, I believe, is unexpected and a tribute to the sacrifices we all will make for the ones we love.

Excerpt from The Amulet of Ormisez

A cold breeze blew from the east, carrying with it a crisp scent of water blended with cedar wood, musk and wild blackberries. The horses whinnied and snorted as Elton guided them down the gentle slope of the hillside, quieting their deep, vibrating snorts with gentle reassurance. In the near distance, the seals of Emrith and Lorland Bay barked. The noise grew louder and more intense as the trio approached.

“They sense our presence,” Marsalí said. “I suggest when we reach the shore, you stay back and let me speak with them first. They have grown to fear humans.”

“Understandably so,” Elton said. “We shall do what you suggest.”

The three riders made their way down the slope onto the soft, sandy shores of the lake. Elton maneuvered the horses through the tunnel of willow trees, brushing against branches that sparkled like liquid emeralds in the moonlight. Ahead, a bridge spanned from the shore to the lush greenery of Emrith. Dozens of seals splashed toward them, barking and growling. The seals took on human form as they came on shore.

***

I hope you enjoyed learning about selkies.  I know I have a great love for them and this will not be the last time I weave them into one of my stories.

Thanks so much, Jenny, for giving us a little insight into your story.

Jenny: Thanks for your all your support and help in the tour.  I am very grateful and will exchange the favor anytime.

You’re very welcome, Jenny, and I’ll keep that in mind. 🙂

For anyone wanting to learn more about selkies, or Jenny, or her story, pop over to her website/blog, The Dreamweaver’s Cottagehere. For more info on how you can acquire a copy of the fantastic anthology, Make Believe, so you can read Jenny’s story, go on over to J. Taylor Publishing. You can also learn more about the blog tour and the other authors. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂

Interview with Emily from Last Winter Red (Make Believe)

Hi, Everyone! We have another Make Believe interview for you. Our writer today is Jennifer M. Eaton. She wrote Last Winter Red, but this interview is not about her. If you’ve been following the tour, you’ll have read lots about Jennifer, already, and a bit about her story. Today, we’ll be digging into the back story of her character Emily.

Please welcome Emily from Terra.

Hello.

Hi, Emily! Would you please tell my readers a little about yourself?

Well, as you said, my name is Emily and I live in the high quadrant in the beautiful city of Terra. 

What’s it like living in Terra?

Oh, Terra is wonderful.  My days are planned out for me and filled with wonderful activities engineered to broaden my mind and strengthen my body.  I never have to worry about where to go or what to do, because the wonderful council prepares my days for me and my doctors check me regularly to make sure I remain strong enough to bear children. There is nothing else a young Red could ask for.

What do you do to entertain yourself?

Entertain myself? I’m not sure I understand.  We learn.  We broaden our minds.

I mean, what do you do for fun, when you are not in school?

Oh, my apologies.  Once in a while I am graced with a visit from my mother, and we play mancala together.  It is a game passed down from pre-time played with glass stones on a wooden board.  Most nights though, after supper, I read until I fall asleep.

What is your favorite drink?

Drink? I’m not sure I understand the question.  Water, of course.  What else is there to drink?

Do you participate in any sports? If so, which one(s) do you most like to do?

Are you feeling okay? You are asking such odd questions.  What are sports? If it is a type of learning experience, maybe I have participated in it, but we may call it something else in Terra.

I was sorry to hear about your husband. As a Red, what does this mean for you, now?

Thank you for your concern.  Yes, the loss of my husband was quite a shock.  It happened so suddenly.  I will be fine, though.  The council will appoint me another husband.  After all, I have not had the opportunity to validate myself yet with a child.  It is their duty to make sure I reproduce. One cannot reproduce without a man, obviously.  [Her eyes lower to the table]

Are you okay?  You look sad.

Honestly, I am a bit concerned that they have not appointed me another husband.  It has been quite some time. Every other Red of my age has already validated themselves several times over. I feel somewhat lost, not fulfilling my responsibility to add to our population.

I overheard your mother talking about how worried she was about you. Why would she be so worried?

My mother needs to keep to her own business.  She doesn’t understand.  You see, I bring medicine to the people on The Outside.  They are hurting and need help.  It just seems right to do whatever I can to ease their miserable existences.

Why do the people in the Barrier Woods live away from the city? Were they exiled because they were infected?

Exiled!  Gracious no!

We would never exile anyone.  You see, there is no sickness in Terra. The city is engineered to keep the sickness out. Terra was constructed by the ancients to protect us from the terrible disease that ravages The Outside. Without Terra, we would all suffer their horrible fate.  The people in the Barrier Woods keep away from the city because it is the proper thing to do. If the disease were to get inside our walls, it could mean the end of mankind!

I think it’s wonderful of you to want to help the sick people there, but I sense an ulterior motive. What other reasons could you have for bringing them medicine?

[She shifts her weight uncomfortably]  Honestly, there is a doctor in the Barrier Woods that is helping the infected without the approval of the council.  He is a Red, and a good man. [She smiles] Someday, I hope to bring him home to Terra, where he belongs. He would make a wonderful mate.

Is there anything you’d like to add before we say goodbye?

None that I can think of, and I must be going anyway—  I am late for my lesson on childhood skin care, and that will be so important once I finally have the opportunity to pass on my genes to another.

Well, Emily, I wish you all the best in the future. Thanks for talking with me.

You are most welcome, Miss Susan.  I have enjoyed our conversation, as odd as some of your questions were.

***

Jennifer Eaton

Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle.  She hosts an interactive website www.jennifermeaton.com aimed at making all writers the best they can be.

Her Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology from J.Taylor Publishing.  Her Christmas Romance “Connect the Dots” is available as part of Still Moments publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas” Anthology.  Both are available in ebook format from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords

Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in.

Connect the Dots:   Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

If you’d like to find Jennifer elsewhere, here are a few links:

Twitter:  @jennifermeaton

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832197.Jennifer_M_Eaton

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.m.eaton.3

Web:  www.jennifereaton.com

Blog: http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

Last Winter Red by Jennifer M. Eaton – Make Believe review

Before I get started on my review, I just want to apologize again (I seem to be doing it a lot lately) for being rather absent from the blogging world. I haven’t been keeping up with the Make Believe Blog Tour as well as I should, but I hope you’ve all been checking out the links I’ve previously posted to all the authors of the anthology. If you haven’t, or have forgotten them, here they are again:

Make Believe

J. A. Belfield, author of Escort To Insanity

J. Keller Ford, author of Amulet of Ormisez

Terri Rochenski, author of Sacrificial Oath

Lynda R. Young, author of Birthright

Kelly Said, author of Petrified

Jennfer M. Eaton, today’s featured author

Last Winter Red, according to the blurb on J. Taylor Publishing’s website, is about:

Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired. 

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever. 

This story is a post-apocalyptic tale of a city trying to repopulate and avoid the illness they believe is just outside the city gates. Jennifer has done a wonderful job of setting the stage – a city fearful of what lies beyond their realm and a backwards society fearful of strangers, especially those they think may have come from the city. She has created an interesting protagonist – a woman trying to live up to the expectations of her status. I enjoyed Emily’s journey towards personal growth and see the kernel of a much larger story that could be told. I really think it can be enjoyed by any fan of dystopian fiction. I hope you will all check it out!

To learn more about Emily, tune in on Sunday for my character interview with her. 🙂

Make Believe writer J. A. Belfield

Make Believe

My sincerest apology for neglecting to post this yesterday as I promised. It was the first day back to work for me and then it was go-go-go for the rest of the day. I don’t think I even turned on my computer!

Anyway, without further ado, I would like to continue doing my part in the Make Believe Blog Tour by introducing the lead writer in the anthology. She’s the author of the Holloway Pack stories, including Darkness and Light. Please welcome, J. A. Belfield.

Would you please begin by telling us a little about yourself?

Cripes, what did you want to know? Um … I just hit the big 4 0 in September, I have cats and a dog, a Mr B and two Mini-Me’s, and I spend my days writing and reading, and editing, and procrastinating across the ‘Net on sites like Twitter and Facebook. 😀

Sounds familiar! 🙂

How long have you been writing?

I actually only started writing in 2009. Had no idea before that point that I wanted to write, or that I could write. I just knew my head often filled up with way too many musings and dreams. So I wrote them down for something to do. 😉

You’ve done very well for yourself, then, in the past three years!

Was there any one incident that told you, “Hey, I’m a writer!” or “I want to be a writer”?

Writing only started out as a hobby because I had six hours a day to myself whilst the kidlets were at school and The Man at work, and I was getting a little bored of the housework for entertainment. As for when I thought ‘Hey, I’m a writer!’? I could say it was after I wrote Darkness & Light and, for the first time, believed I’d produced something worth sharing with more than just my sister and my best friend.

Or it could have been the point, around six months after Darkness & Light was published, when what I answered to ‘What do you do?’ altered from: I’m a stay at home mum, to I’m an author who works from home.

Saying it and sounding convincing took some getting used to it, though. I still kinda glance down and look all shy whenever I say it, like it’s a guilty pleasure rather than a career, lol. 

I hear you!

What types of stories do you like to tell? To read?

To tell? Well, I love to tell those tales that place characters in every day settings, with real life problems, but then spice it up a bit with paranormal twists.

As for reading, I’ve gone through a whooooooole lotta phases. Years ago, I was into Martina Cole and Robert Ludlum, Jeffrey Archer and John Grisham; then I discovered the intensity of crime fiction thanks to Val McDermid and Jeffrey Deaver—until urban fantasy and paranormal romance pretty much kicked those to the kerbside when I was loaned a Kelley Armstrong to read. And since then, I’ve been flying through as much YA and NA as possible, whatever the genre—PNR, UF, Dystopia (LOVE!), and even contemporary. 

I loved your story, Escort to Insanity! Please tell my readers a little about it.

Thank you so much. Escort to Insanity pretty much came to me after I’d read a story where a woman had met up with a guy via a dating agency, and I started wondering: what if it was an escort agency instead, and what if everything went wrong. Of course, the ‘what goes wrong’ had to be of the supernatural variety—though the evening does begin to look a little rocky pretty early on.

Who, or what, was your inspiration for Benjamin?

Ooooh, how to answer this without producing spoilers …. Okay, there are some scenes in the story where Nicole’s imagination conjures notions about Benjamin, and it was those that inspired his looks and even his name. Because I wanted him to reflect his character in its entirety. He turned out to be a lot of fun to work with. 

And I realise that may make absolutely no sense to anyone who hasn’t read the tale.

I’m sure! He really seems ‘scrummy’!

How did your story end up in the Make Believe anthology? (What was the process like?)

My Holloway Pack titles are already contracted with J.Taylor (my publisher). They approached me a year ago and said: Hey, we’re thinking of putting a winter anthology for next December and would love you to be the headlining author; you up for it?

So, within days of my what-if musings about escorts gone awry, I already had a home for the story and figured I best get writing it then.

As for the process, it was actually pretty straight forward—but then J.Taylor are very easy to work with. I had a deadline to get the story in (which I had to make some tweaks to because I only saw the picture prompt after I’d planned it out in my head). Once the story was in, I was sent some story edits to make, which I did. And the following months were then spent doing line edits, proofreading the galley after the copy edits had gone in, finalising the blurb, marketing, and getting to know the other contributing authors (who are all awesomesauce, btw). 

I know! I’ve ‘met’ a few of your awesome fellow authors on-line and follow their blogs. 🙂

Where else will you be, (or have been) featured during this tour?

The blog tour dates and stops I’ve been made aware of (hey, there are SIX of us!) can be found on the Make Believe Tour Page. There are more interviews, lots of giveaways to win a copy of Make Believe, and chances to meet the other authors along the way. 😀

Yes, I’ve been trying to keep up with everyone’s busy schedule! Do you have any social media sites that you’d like to share with us?

Of course. I’m always happy to meet new folk.

I usually haunt Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes Goodreads. And I post to my blog at least once a week. 🙂

Are there any final words you’d like to say?

Yes, I’d like to say (warning: Oscar like speech coming up!) a huge thank you to all of those who’ve helped make this tour possible by participating, as well as all of those who joined up for my Blue Moon tour (which happens to be running alongside this one. I’d like to thank my fellow antho buddies, because they’ve been great to work with. And I’d also to thank each and every person who has taken, or plans to take, the time to read something I’ve written—because that is always very humbling.

And if I don’t speak to y’all before, have a great Christmas and happy new year. 😀

Thank you for joining us today and best of luck with the rest of the tour and the Make Believe anthology. 🙂

Thank you for having me here. 🙂

It’s been my pleasure to interview you and an honor to help you all out with your blog tour! 🙂

Review of Make Believe short story, Escort To Insanity by J. A. Belfield

Happy Saturday, folks!

Today, I’d like to catch you up on the Make Believe Blog Tour and let you know what I thought of J. A. Belfield’s short story. First off, on Thursday, J. Keller Ford interviewed Jennifer Eaton, her fellow anthology buddy who not only has a story in Make Believe, but is also launching a seasonal Christmas story in the anthology, For the Love of Christmas by Still Moments Publishing. You’ll also find out what Jennifer and some of the other authors of Make Believe have in common! Jennifer’s story, Last Winter Red was also reviewed on Kaiden’s Seduction, in case you want to learn more about the Dystopian tale created by this talented writer, as well as the other stories in the anthology.

Here’s my review, with further links to follow below:

Escort To Insanity is a wonderful romp through Hereford and surrounding areas, just east of the Wales border. It begins with Nicole Harrington, daughter of wealthy man, who hires an escort to a huge charity auction that her parents expect her to attend. Her escort, Benjamin Gold, is a tall, yummy (ahem! clears throat) . . . I mean, handsome man, who demands attention when he walks in a room. I especially liked Julie’s description of another woman’s appraisal of him: “her attention roamed over him like a wave across a beach.” Benjamin plays his part well, jumping in with some impromptu quips when asked about their relationship and he was very intuitive and attentive to Nicole, going well above and beyond the call of duty, which I loved. (It doesn’t hurt that Julie’s humor is impeccable! 🙂 ) Benjamin was especially helpful in dealing with Cole’s ex-boyfriend, who was especially sleezy – everything that Ben was not.

After overhearing a disturbing conversation in the ladies washroom, Cole quickly drags him away from the pretentious affair – and then the fun really begins. Nicole discovers Benjamin’s true nature in a heart-racing adventure through Mersian Park and outlying areas of the city. I had to chuckle at her reference to the children’s song with the line, ‘If you go down to the woods today…’ Ironically, Cole does end up with a ‘big surprise’, but certainly not anything like the song or the nursery rhyme might suggest!

Although I don’t usually read this particular type of story, I quite enjoyed Escort To Insanity. Julie has a way of quickly drawing in the reader to empathize with her main character. I really have no idea how it must feel like to be from a filthy-rich family, but I think everyone can relate to the obligation Cole felt to do a favor for her parents, something she really did not want to do. As far as the romance part goes, Julie certainly created the perfect leading man for this story, as you can see by this quote: Cole was “trying hard not to get distracted by the sweet, sweet curve of his bum as it tick-tocked with each step”. As you may have guessed by what I’ve told you already, Benjamin Gold is breathtakingly handsome, strong and has a wonderful sense of humor, as well as a strong sense of responsibility for his friends, which comes out later in the story. Cole has her reservations about the man, but soon finds herself quite taken with him, until she learns his dark secret for which she is totally unprepared.

I highly recommend getting your own copy of Make Believe, and not just because of this particular story, which was enough to make me want to read her other books and I hope we see more of Benjamin and Cole at some future time.

All the shorts in this anthology are excellent, I must say. I will review the others later in the month, as well as provide interviews of their authors. In the meantime, I hope you will look forward to my interview of J. A. Belfield, scheduled for Monday. However, in case you can’t wait to learn more about this author, pop over to Kelly Said‘s site and learn more about how she (maybe) gets some writing done and what her workspace looks like. Kelly also gives us a peek into J. Keller Ford’s ‘writing lair’ , here. 🙂

Over at Terri Rochenski’s blog, Scribbler’s Sojourn, you can read an interview of Kelly Said, as well as Lynda R. Young, so please drop around to give them a gander.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

Make Believe Update & Crafty Wednesday

Yesterday at J. Keller Ford’s blog, Jenny interviewed her co-author for the Make Believe anthology, Lynda R Young. Today she is interviewing J. A. Belfield, who also wrote The Holloway Pack series. You should drop in to learn more about these amazing writers – and you might find some chocolate there! lol

Ironically, Julie Belfield is interviewing Jenny on her blog, which you can find here. Yesterday, she had a wonderful interview with Terri Rochenski, which I found fascinating. You can find it here.

Today at Scribbler’s Sojourn (I love the name of her blog!), Terri interviewed Jennifer Eaton.

Make Believe

Okay, now on with the crafting: I decided to show you the different ways one can use a particular element in a card. One of my favourite stamps is ‘The Skaters’ from Stampin’ Up‘s Winter Post set. I already showed you the version I made using the Sketch Challenge:

sketch 4 skaters

sketch 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the other ways I used them on regular shaped cards, using a half sheet of 8-1/2″ x 11″ card stock as a base, then folding it in half to make the 5-1/2″ x 4-1/4″ size card. You can use any colour for your base, all kinds of different embellishments and each card will be unique. Here are some examples:

The patterned green on these two cards is from a wallpaper sample book.

skaters landscape greenskaters landscape red

skaters portrait red

I ran the green card stock through the Cuttlebug using the Victoria embossing folder.

skaters portrait holly

I used holly paper from Stampin’ Up for the background.

skaters portrait cream

The garland was created by sprinkling Vintage Christmas Flower Soft flocking over white glue that dries clear.

 

So, do you have a favourite among them?