Hi! Welcome to Ann Evans' blogspot.

Whether you've found this page by design or accident, I hope you enjoy my random ramblings.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Welcome L.E.Fred and her début YA novel Lucid.


Over the next few months I'll be bringing you some different authors and their new releases here on my blog. Today I'm delighted to welcome L.E.Fred who is talking about her début YA novel, LUCID.


L. E. Fred is a perpetual dreamer who writes about worlds both within and without this realm. With a degree in psychology, she tends to get lost in the mind, the greatest adventure of all. L. E. Fred is currently travelling the world, finding more adventures to inspire new tales of dreams and beyond.


EXTRACT FROM LUCID
I know that most adventure/fantasy/whatever you would like to call these-stories, start with something magical, but my story starts with something ordinary, dreams. I’m talking about the “I’m taking a test and don’t realize I’m in my underwear” kind of dreams. We have them every night, whether we remember them or not. Sometimes they leave us waking up with excitement or inspiration. Sometimes they cause us to wake with a shriek and to look around our rooms. Sometimes they leave us waking up confused or ashamed. These experiences are probably commonplace for most people, but I doubt any of you could ever say your dreams caused you to stay asleep for a long period of time.
What if your dreams made you disappear?


LUCID sounds intriguing, so I put a few questions to the author:

Q: What inspired the creation of Lucid?

A: I started writing Lucid after experiencing my first lucid dream. It’s a very out-of-body and surreal experience. We’re used to dreaming every night, but being able to control your actions and fate in the dream world is almost a magical thing. After figuring out how to wake up (yes, you have to oftentimes find your way out of the dreams,) I started pondering the idea of a dream world actually existing, and before I knew it, I had Devon and the plot for Lucid.


Q: You write from the P.O.V. of a 15 year-old boy. Is there anyone who shaped Devon’s character as the protagonist.

A: A wonderful counsellor-in-training that I worked with actually inspired Devon’s character. Real-life Devon, who shall be nameless, was one of those campers that turned into a CIT when he outgrew the camp’s age groups. I never went to summer camp as a child, so working at one was a very interesting experience. I got to witness real-life Devon change from being a happy-go-lucky camper to a miserable CIT. As for Devon’s personality, that was shaped by my own sense of humour. I wrote Lucid through Devon’s eyes, and my own commentary sort of slipped through. It fit his sarcastic nature, though, and rereading some parts still makes me laugh.


Q: What about the villains? How did they come to be?

A: Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by mythological monsters. There seems to be a common thread of villainous snakes and lions. A chimera combines these two deadly creatures, along with a goat, into one evil creature. I liked the idea of having three diverse villains; the more you get to know a villain, the scarier they can become for the reader and the heroes. As I wrote, Serpentine, Gruff, and Leona, seemed to appear out of nowhere to fit the evil villain’s roles. The Nightmares were a little trickier. I thought long and hard about how they should be portrayed, and I eventually started combining features of animals and creatures that people feared the most into one character. That’s why they have shark teeth and devil horns.


Q: Lucid is your first novel. Are you currently working on anything else?

A: Since Devon and his friends’ story didn’t want to finish at the end of Lucid, I’m currently working on the sequel. The story will continue our heroes’ adventure, but you’ll get to hear from other characters in it. It will also have much more of a fantasy element with an even crazier cast of characters. Aside from Lucid, I’m working on two more stories, both in the YA fiction genre.


Q: What inspired you to write YA fiction?

A: I’m a teacher, so I love working with young adults and teens. I’ve seen the power of books transform kids’ ways of thinking about the world and boost confidence. Never underestimate the power of reading. I know it played an important role in shaping my future, and I hope to reach out to as many young adults to inspire them to find their inner heroes and go change the world for the better.


Five fun facts about the Lucid crew.
  • Devon’s favourite thing about the Dream World is the pink grass.
  • Kyle is deathly afraid of insects. Devon hinted that his older brother screams like a small child when they find roaches in their houses.
  • Mitch, despite his love for water sports, is afraid of open water. He saw JAWS one too many times to trust the murky deep.
  • Viv fights with Elis frequently, but she is secretly jealous of his sword skills.
  • Iven researched the history of human music (with the help of Sophia.) His favorite tunes come from 15th century Gregorian chants and 1980s pop.


Discover more about L.E.Fred and LUCID at these links:




*******************************************************************

And please visit my website: www.annevansbooks.co.uk

Friday, 20 June 2014

Welcome author Joanne Troppello and Mr Shipley's Governess.


Over the next few months I'll be bringing you some different authors and their new releases here on my blog. Today I'm delighted to welcome Joanne Troppello who is talking about her latest romantic novel, MR SHIPLEY'S GOVERNESS.


Joanne is an author of inspirational and romantic suspense novels. She and her husband are Network Marketing Coaches and owners of Mustard Seed Marketing Group, LLC. They have several active blogs and readers are encouraged to visit their Author's Corner Blog, a place for authors and readers to connect. They host various blog parties throughout the year and many guest authors stop by to meet with readers.

I was dying to know more about Joanne, and she has kindly answered some questions about her life as a writer.


Q. How did you first get into writing?
My high school English teacher during my senior year was very influential in my dreams to become a writer. My teacher brought life into the stories of literature and encouraged us to follow our dreams.


Q. What inspired you to write this particular book?
One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen. I love her books, my favorites--EmmaSense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice. I thought it would be neat to include some Austenesque elements into the book and my heroine is also a huge Austen fan. I wanted to write the book with an old-world romance style but in a contemporary setting. My goal was to maintain a classic tone reminiscent of some of the treasured books I'd grown up reading. I hope readers love Sophie and Sebastian as much as I enjoyed creating them.


Q. Do you ever hit 'writer's block', and if so how do you get through it?
Sometimes I have experienced it. However, I have been trying to write everyday even if it’s only a little bit. When I do run into writer’s block, I try to do some free writing and also listen to inspirational music.


Q. What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a YA Fantasy novel. It’s my first foray into this genre and I’m enjoying the experience of writing something new and outside my comfort zone.


Q. Please tell us the story behind Mr. Shipley’s Governess

Since my teenage years, I’ve been a fan of reading first YA fiction and then romance novels. Who doesn’t like reading about a dreamy hero as he pursues the heroine of the story? I began my foray into writing during my high school years. I was not actually published until many years later, but the dream was born in my heart during my senior year in English class. I had a very inspiring teacher who shared his love of writing and literature with our class—it was the first time that I thought hey, maybe someday I can become an author too.

It took me several years to write my inspirational romance novel, Mr. Shipley’s Governess because I had a full-time job while I wrote it. Now that it’s finally published, it’s exciting to bring my characters to readers’ lives for them to enjoy their story. I wanted to write a tale of love and inspiration with a romantic hero, and a heroine in need of “rescuing.” Now, this is not a damsel-in-distress tale per see, like a knight in shining armour rescuing the imprisoned princess. However, this is more of a modern day twist. The hero, Sebastian Shipley is a well-to-do business man who has a daughter with an illness. She is in need of a live-in tutor. Into the picture comes the heroine, Sophie Baird. So what does she need rescuing from? A few months earlier, her parents had died in a car accident and she needs to escape the pain of their death and be rescued from her life.

One of my favourite authors is Jane Austen. I love her books, my favourites—Emma, Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice. I thought it would be neat to include some Austenesque elements into the book and my heroine is also a huge Austen fan. I wanted to write the book with an old-world romance style but in a contemporary setting. My goal was to maintain a classic tone reminiscent of some of the treasured books I’d grown up reading. I hope readers love Sophie and Sebastian as much as I enjoyed creating them.



BLURB FROM MR SHIPLEY'S GOVERNESS

Sophie Baird is looking for a way to escape the painful reality of her parents' deaths. Unable to live in their home any longer, she takes a job as a live-in tutor to Anastasia Shipley to remove herself from her painful memories and the feeling that God has abandoned her. Anastasia has an illness that has prevented her from ever attending school and makes her father, Sebastian, over protective. When Sophie first meets Sebastian, she cannot deny the intense attraction she feels toward him. When an unexpected romance begins between them, she starts to rebuild her relationship with God, with the help of a certain little girl.






EXCERPT
Sebastian crossed his arms and leaned against the arched doorframe, amused that Sophie continued reading—oblivious to his intrusion. He watched as she scrunched up her face in consternation, seemingly engrossed in the eBook. “So, who do you like better, me or Mr. Knightley?” He heard her sharp intake of breath and she nearly dropped the e-reader as she turned to discover her intruder.
“Definitely, that would be Mr. Knightley. He doesn’t have the bad habit of sneaking up on me all the time.”
Sebastian spanned the room in several strides and sat in the chair opposite her. “Yes, he’s so charming. I hope to someday be like him.”
“Hey, don’t make fun.” She closed the leopard-print tablet cover with a thud. “He is the epitome of the perfect gentleman.”
“Actually, I’m serious.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m reading the same book as you. It must be a coincidence.”
Sophie’s expression softened. “You’re only trying to get on my good side.”
He leaned forward in mock surprise. “Whatever do you mean, my dear? I thought I was on your good side.”
“That depends on my mood.”
“I see. You’re all about a woman’s prerogative.”
“Yes, I live by that rule.”
He played along and enjoyed the teasing. “Oh, so you’re one of those.”
“You’d better believe it. It’s my prerogative to change my mind whenever I want.”
He fluidly maneuvered to the ottoman where her feet rested and he sat down. “I hope you don’t change your mind about me.”
“Well, that all depends on you.”
“I’d better be on my best behavior then.”
Sophie got up quickly and before he realized it, she walked across the room to the bookshelf. “So, you actually read Emma, too. That’s still surprising and sweet.”
He followed after her. “You’re avoiding any serious conversation, young lady.”
She moved away, running her delicate fingers along the spines of the old leather-bound books. He kept following like a lion stalking his prey, backing her into a corner. Leaning her hands against the windowsill, she backed up as far as possible and laughed nervously. He smiled inside as she avoided his steady gaze. He had her exactly where he wanted her. She glanced up shyly. “So, tell me again why you interrupted me.”
“I did because I’ve wanted to do this for a long time now.” His hands trembled slightly as he cupped her soft cheeks. With his thumbs, he gently traced the outline of her rosy lips. Staring at her for an eternity, he slowly lowered his mouth to hers. Kissing her gently at first, soon his fervor took over. Even though his brain operated in a fog, he realized she must be enjoying the kiss, since she wrapped her arms around his neck and moved in closer to his chest. Nearly breathless, Sebastian pulled away. “I…I’m sorry.”
She caressed his cheek and for a moment he closed his eyes, relishing her touch. “Don’t be. I’ve wanted you to do that for a long time, too.”
Oh the sweet bliss of making the right-move at the right-time. He brought her hand to his lips for a kiss. “I should get back to work. David’s going to wonder what happened to me.”
Sophie giggled and batted her eyes. “Oh, I’m sure he knows.”
“Now try not to compare me too much to Mr. Knightley because there’s no contest.” As he left the parlour, the warmth of her lips and the softness of her body in his arms still lingered—making it doubly hard for him to switch gears back into work mode. Taking a deep breath, he hurried down the hall in search of his brother and another inevitable lecture that awaited him for his tardiness. He couldn’t wait for his brother to find the right woman to love. Maybe then, David would realize why Sebastian had one foot on earth and the other in heaven like a love sick puppy.


Discover more about Joanne Troppello:


Buy Mr Shipley's Governess: http://amzn.to/1iDAJqz


********************************************

And please visit my website: www.annevansbooks.co.uk



Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Welcome to Krysten Lindsay Hager



Over the next few months I'll be bringing you some different authors and their new releases here on my blog. Today I'm delighted to welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager who is talking about her début YA novel TRUE COLORS.

Krysten is an author and book addict who has never met a book store she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humour essays, and adult fiction. 

Her début novel, TRUE COLORS, is released June 17th from Astraea Press. Krysten is originally from Michigan USA and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favourite shows.

ABOUT TRUE COLORS
Landry Albright enters a modelling competition with her two best friends, but runs into jealousy when she advances to the next level without them. Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut of the modelling contest. Devon seems like the perfect new best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition? Throw in a new boy, jealousy and loyalty issues, and insults from hair stylists. How’s a girl to deal?

Back Cover Blurb:
Every day I walked down the sidewalk to school and wished I were one of the interesting popular girls who ran up with exciting news. Just once I’d like to be one of those girls instead of the being the one who didn’t get invited to things because people “forgot” about me.

Landry gets pushed into trying out for the American Ingénue reality show modelling competition with her two best friends. She doesn’t think she stands a chance, but she advances to the next level in the competition and her friends ignore her when they get cut.

Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut and includes Landry in her clique. Devon becomes the perfect best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition?

Landry hopes her big break could come at any moment, but soon sees there’s much more to modelling. She begins missing out on being with friends and has the chance to have a boyfriend when she meets a boy named Vladi from another school.

Part of Landry wants to be famous (and have her hair look good for once), but part of her just wants to be accepted. She learns about friendships, being true to yourself, and that a good hair conditioner doesn’t hurt.

A little competition can really bring out people’s true colors.

Excerpt:

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.
“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.
I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.
“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.
Tori was next.
“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

Discover more about Krysten Lindsay Hager and TRUE COLORS from these links:


***********************************************************

And please visit my website at: www.annevansbooks.co.uk