July 25, 2016

Interview Around the Globe with Colleen M. Story

Let welcome to our latest and newest member to our list of authors. Let welcome Colleen M. Story to Nighttime Reading Center. She here on a book tour. She is stopping by here on July 25, 2016. I work with +Laura Fabiani iRead Book Tours and I happy learn about her books and giveaway.

I got the chance to read her book "Loreena's Gift". I enjoy the book. I would suggest that you read my review for "Loreena's Gift". You got a chance to win a  - Win a signed copy of Loreena’s Gift. One winner will also get a $15 Amazon GC (Open int’l). Enter her giveaway Loreena's Gift Giveaway

Let read her Bio and then go to her interview. #Interviews#Interviewsaroundtheglobe#NRC,#Giveaways,  #bookreview, #literary,  @colleen_m_story and @iReadBookTours

Author Heather Siegel at Nighttime Reading Center
Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, "Loreena’s Gift," was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, "Rise of the Sidenah," is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives. 

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter
Nighttime Reading Center Interview, Author Interview
Describe your book in 20 words or less.
Where do we go after we die? Loreena knows. She's been there.
Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?
I read a book by Deepak Chopra—Life After Death: The Burden of Proof. Something in it triggered the idea that the afterlife might be much like the present life, in that it could be shaped by our points of view. How we look at life and our beliefs about it greatly affect the kind of lives we live. A person who typically sees the glass as half-full, for example, is going to have a different experience of life than the one who sees it as half-empty.

What if Heaven, or whatever term you prefer to call it, is not some fixed and defined place (and therefore people are either “right” or “wrong” about it), but instead, is just what we imagine it to be?

If so, wouldn’t a person who sees the good in life—and imagines a beautiful afterlife—find just such a life waiting for her? And on the other hand, wouldn’t a person engaged in criminal dealings who believes down deep in his soul that his wrongdoing could land him in hell, find just such a place waiting for him as a result of his own vision?

The “self-fulfilling prophecy” sort of idea.

I found the idea so fascinating that I wanted to write about it. Loreena gave me a way to do that.

How important are names to you in your book(s)? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you use any resources in assisting you to choose the names?

Names are extremely important when it comes to my characters. The right name will give me a better feel for the character, whereas the wrong one will just never “fit.” I’ve changed names midway in the book for that reason in the past.

Initially, the name just sort of comes to me intuitively, but I have used the name reports from the Kabalarian Philosophy website just for fun, or to help me choose between two names. I don’t follow the religion, but I’ve found that particular online tool to be particularly helpful. I’ve also found that when I’ve chosen a name intuitively, the report lines up with the character’s personality the majority of the time, which is really cool—and kind of freaky! (ha)

Which of your characters (in this book) is your favorite and why?
Oh my, it’s difficult to choose a favorite character. Obviously Loreena (the heroine) means a lot to me because it’s her story and I went through it with her. But I will say that in each book I’ve written, there’s been a character that has sort of “appeared” that I wasn’t expecting at first. Those characters are usually the most fun, because I have such a journey of discovery with them.

In this book, that character was Saul, Loreena’s older brother. He’s a more complex character and is quite troubled, but his love for his sister is a big part of who he is, and that comes through in the end of the book, which makes him particularly endearing.

Was there a certain scene in this book that was harder for you to write than others?
Definitely—the scene where Loreena is (briefly) sexually assaulted. In the later drafts of the book I really wanted to take that scene out, but I couldn’t do that and be true to the story. But it was painful for sure, and I was rooting for her all the way as she fought her way out.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Difficult question. I’ll take a stab at it here, though I love when an unknown actor shows up in a movie and really kills it. In that fantasy world where Loreena’s Gift becomes a movie, I would be equally as excited about actors that I’ve never seen before if they were able to really capture the characters.

  • Loreena: Saoirse Ronan
  • Saul: Ryan Gosling
  • Uncle Don: Jeff Bridges
  • Dominic: Hugh Dancy
  • Frank: Tom Hardy

What was your favorite part to write and why?
There were a lot of exciting scenes in the book in which I felt I was sort of along for the ride, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be the scene where Loreena finally steps into her power, and takes her future into her own hands. I can’t say too much about it for fear of spoiling the end of the book for those who haven’t read it yet, but after she had gone through so many trials and challenges, to see her step up and become the strong woman she was meant to be was very rewarding for me.

Just as your book(s) inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
So many authors have inspired me over the years. When I was young it was Walter Farley and “The Black Stallion” series and Marguerite Henry, who wrote “Misty of Chincoteague.” As I got older I delved into fantasy and became a Tolkien fan, but I also enjoyed more literary books early on. Margaret Atwood quickly became one of my favorites. I had the great pleasure of meeting her in person last year, which was a delight.

Today, my heroes include Dennis Lehane, Andre Dubus III, David Mitchell, Ann Patchett, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Richard Russell, and I also love Neil Gaiman, Gregory Maguire, Sue Monk Kidd, and so many more. I love discovering new writers as often as I can.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Be your own best cheerleader. The writing life isn’t an easy one. Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) is one of my creative projects, and I’ve featured over 100 authors there. The one thing that everyone struggles with is self-doubt. It’s difficult to believe in ourselves when we work for such long periods of time with little to no feedback. We have to deal with rejection, over and over again. Once we get published we have to deal with negative reviews (there are always some) and a tough market. It’s an emotional roller coaster, so we have to learn how to pat ourselves on the back, and how to cheer ourselves on through the tough times, because they will come and it’s those who can pull through who will be able to make a life out of writing.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice for how to deal with the bad?
I don’t seek out my reviews, but I have read them. I don’t respond to them, but I have felt the sting of a bad review. I’m learning that though we all want readers to love our books, it’s really irrelevant to our work. A writer writes, and we hope to get better with each piece we produce. Once it’s done and out there, we can’t change it. All we can do is go back to the page and create again and continue to practice our craft.

Reading reviews can get into our heads, which can then cause problems when we go to write again, as it can shake our self-confidence. I’m noticing that as I continue to work and continue to write the next thing and the next thing, it becomes easier to just let it go once it’s complete. The idea is to look at writing as a lifelong endeavor, and not as something where you sink or swim depending on what people think of one book or another.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m working on a novel entitled The Beached Ones. On one level, it’s about a young man who lost his younger brother in a tragic accident, feels responsible for it, and is searching for forgiveness and inner peace.

On another level, it’s about suicide—which amazingly, is the tenth leading cause of death in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Whereas Loreena’s Gift was an exploration of life after death, The Beached Ones is an exploration of suicide, why it happens, and what could happen to people afterwards, as they seek an end to their pain. It’s been a tough book to write. I hope I can complete it in the way I envision it, but that remains to be seen.

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Book Tour: Loreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story

Book Title: Loreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story
Author Name: Colleen M. Story ​
Category:  Adult fiction
Genre: Fantasy/Supernatural, Romance
Publisher:  Dzanc Books
Publish Date:  April 12, 2016 (350 Pages, Paperback)
Content Rating:  PG -13 + M (There is some profanity and short sexual assault scene.)

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Chapters Indigo
Declaimer: I have received this book from the publisher for free and it an honesty review and this book is on a book tour for +Laura Fabiani iRead Book Tours 
Description: A BLIND GIRL'S TERRIFYING "GIFT" ALLOWS HER TO REGAIN HER EYESIGHT--BUT ONLY AS SHE FERRIES THE RECENTLY DECEASED INTO THE AFTERLIFE.

Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she's a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.

But they're both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.

While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.

Torn between doing her uncle's bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.

An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena's Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.



This is a story about a girl with a special talent. She gets into quite a few bad things. She finds out what her brother gets into. If she can ever get him out? She loves her brother so much that she does something to save him.

She's then pulled into a sinner kind of a life. In the process, she may have found her love of her life. Tough to survive, she got to do something that is within her power and a secret.

Can she save her brother and herself or will she die as well? Her life in the afterlife is different than when she's out of the afterlife.

The author does get your attention and pulls you in. Have ever been wondering what it's like in your afterlife? You can see what it's like by reading this. Is it different for each living person? That is still not answered for it really could be.


 

Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, "Loreena’s Gift," was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, "Rise of the Sidenah," is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Twitter








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July 22, 2016

Feature and Follow #13

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

The Rules:

  • The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
  • You create your own post using the post prompt.
  • You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
  • Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
  • If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
  • The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
  • It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
  • As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

Specific RULES:

  • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed FOLLOW as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers

This week's prompt is: What are Two of Your Favorite Book to Movie Adaptations?

My Answer: Well it could have been any of my favorite books. Even children one I still have my heart and can ready and reread again. One of them is My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Though I love the movie. I enjoyed the book better.

My other book to showcase is a bit harder but I will choose Charlotte's Web. This one is truly is something quite different to show off. It one of my favorite and is still is.


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July 20, 2016

Interview around the Globe with Anjenique Hughes

Let welcome to our latest and newest member to our list of authors. Let welcome Anjenique Hughes to Nighttime Reading Center. She here on a book tour. She is stopping by here on July 20, 2016. I work with +Laura Fabiani iRead Book Tours and I happy learn about her books and giveaway.

I got the chance to read her book "Sovereignty". I enjoy the book. I would suggest that you read my review for "Sovereignty". You got a chance to win a  - Five winners will each get a copy of Sovereignty and a $25 Amazon GC (open USA & Canada). Enter her giveaway Sovereignty Giveaway

Let read her Bio and then go to her interview. #Interviews#Interviewsaroundtheglobe#NRC,#Giveaways,  #bookreview, #dystopian,  #scifi,  #YAfiction, @SovereigntyJen  and @iReadBookTours

Author Heather Siegel at Nighttime Reading Center
 
With master's degrees in education, special education, and counseling, Anjenique "Jen" Hughes is a high school English and math teacher who loves teaching and mentoring young people. She enjoys traveling and has worked with youth on five continents. Saying she is "young at heart" is an understatement; she is fluent in sarcasm, breaks eardrums with her teacher voice (students have complained when they were within earshot), and cracks sarcastic jokes with the best of her students. Her work with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse youth has inspired her to write books that appeal to a broad variety of students seeking stories of bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and success.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Nighttime Reading Center Interview, Author Interview
Describe your book in 20 words or less.
A compelling story of resistance in the face of a totalitarian government where nothing is secret,
sacred, or safe.
Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?
Well, it was all about a guy. Just kidding! Actually, I was driving down Arroyo Parkway in
Pasadena, thoughts rolling around in my mind as often happens while we are driving, lost in our
own little worlds, when the idea came to me out of the blue. A close guy friend of mine, on
whom I had a crush (isn’t that always the case? LOL) had been MIA for a few days and we
hadn’t talked, and the thought came to me: I wish I could glance at a computer screen and see
where he is and what he’s doing this very minute.

And BAM, I thought, that’d make a great book, one in which the world government had such a
grip on the public and society -knowing their every move, their entire history, essentially their
whole life- that a person could literally locate someone or see their activity by simply entering a
passcode into a computer. And it snowballed from there with the whole human implanted
identity chip, worldwide surveillance system, etc.

How important are names to you in your book(s)? Do you choose the names based on liking
the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you use any resources in assisting you to choose the
names ?


Names are quite important to me in my books. Every name I used (with the exception of a few)
were taken from people whom I personally know, be it relatives or close friends. I have an
enormous family, so I will never have a shortage of names to choose from! On a special note,
the names of the three main characters (Cory, Alex, and Goro) were taken from three students
who impacted my life in an amazing way. The teacher’s motto is: “To teach is to touch a life
forever.” Well, these three students touched my life. I mentored all three students throughout my
teaching career and I chose those names specifically with fond memories. However, for
clarification purposes, the characters are uniquely my own creations; only the names are
borrowed. Finally, I chose the names of the two main antagonists based on the unique meaning.
Those are names which are significant to the story, so I don’t want to spoil anything by revealing
the answers!
Which of your characters (in this book) is your favorite and Why?
My favorite character in the book is Goro, of course; he is near and dear to my heart because
he is so much like myself! I love his confidence, sarcasm, and quick wit. He pretty much is
“damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” Haha. I think this is true of many authors; they write
characters which tend to closely resemble themselves in some form or another.

Was there a certain scene in this book that was harder for you to write than others?
Without giving away spoilers, the scene hardest to write included Goro’s younger brother Josiah
(suffice it to say, I cried!).
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play
your characters?

That is a really good question- tough to answer, because I know the odds are one in a million!
I’d be honored, to say the least, but also am realistic about the chances.
Goro is 18 years old, and to be honest, that part would have to be cast specifically- I’d be
looking for a particular type of personality and temperament, and I don’t know anyone in EI who
currently has what I’m looking for?? Might have to be a newcomer. I would definitely cast Emily
Blunt as Goro’s mother- Sam Shepherd as his dad, and Sasha Pieterse as his sister Stephanie.
I am partial to Marton Csokas as the evil villain Davio. Most of the other parts would probably be
fresh faces, if it were my choice. 
What was your favorite part to write and why?
My favorite part to write were the Krav Maga sequences, I’d have to say. It was fun to create the
witty dialogue and interesting interactions between Goro and his two best friends during their
training. I personally have been studying Krav for 4 years now, and it was a joy to include this
time-honored Israeli military practice in my book.
Just as your book(s) inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
My favorite author is Michael Connelly- he has inspired me to write a book set in Los Angeles,
specifically. Now, his books are a completely different genre and different subject matter, but he
has been HIGHLY instrumental in influencing me to write my own book! He has such a way of
writing vulnerably and authentically; he really draws you into his world. I am hoping I have
created the same feeling in my book. I have had the privilege of meeting and conversing with
him several times, and he knows his stuff!
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Wow. Good question. Write a little bit every single day, do NOT give up, writer’s block comes
and goes (every author encounters this), put various scenes down on paper without getting too
bogged down in the detailed sentences, start with an outline, research research research,
create a quiet place to work, listen to whatever gets you in “the zone,” talk to as many authors
as you can, ask as many questions as you can, read a plethora of books yourself, always be
kind to everyone, etc., and believe in yourself!!! 
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice
on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, alas, I do read my reviews. Luckily, they have all been positive so far. I usually personally
thank the person(s) who wrote the review- In regards to bad reviews, it’s best to never respond
to bad reviews at all. Always keep a professional, courteous attitude. It doesn’t behoove anyone
to react to a bad review. Take the high road-
What are you working on now? What is your next project?Currently, I am working on completing the second book in the Sovereignty Series, entitled
TriUnity.

Bonus Question: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to
get out of and what did you do?

The last time I was in a super difficult situation was when I was traveling to Israel on a
diplomatic mission. Upon exiting my plane in Tel Aviv, I blew my entrance strategy cover and
was detained at the customs border and interrogated for 7 hours by the Israeli Mossad! They
deemed me a terrorist; I was barred from using the phone or even the restroom. It was a
tortuous experience in closed locked quarters, to say the least- wasn’t sure if I would end up in
some shady prison cell or be black-stamped and shipped to Cypress! After being brow beaten
for many hours all throughout the night, I opted for total honesty in the end, surrendering, and
after the higher up’s argued relentlessly between themselves if I should be quarantined, I was
mercifully allowed to enter the country. But, it was the 2 nd scariest time in my life, and I don’t get
scared often!
#truestory
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BOOK TOUR: Sovereignty by Anjenique Hughes

Book Title: Sovereignty by Anjenique Hughes
​Category: YA fiction
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Release date: July 19, 2016
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publish Date: 2016-07-19 (262 pages, Paperback)
Content Rating: PG
Interview: Anjenique Hughes
Disclaimer: I received this book from +Laura Fabiani iRead Book Tours for an honesty review and for a book tour
Description: Under the totalitarian reign of the 23rd century's world's government- The Sovereign Regime- control is made possible by the identity chip implanted in every human being, recording everything that is seen, done, and experienced.

No more bank accounts.
No more smart phones.
No more secrets.

When Goro inadvertently overhears an exchange of sensitive information, causing him to confront the truth about his world and prompting him to choose his true loyalties, his dream of revolution kicks into high gear. Goro doesn't know he has covert intel in his possession both the SR and the resistance movement are desperate to acquire.

Determined to attempt the impossible task of bringing down the world government, he and his closest friends gain access to the key to ultimately deciding who has sovereignty.

But who will get to Goro first: The resistance or the Sovereign Regime?

Goro is the main person in this story. It sure is a good read. I have thought the plot was done well. I even could see the complex and detailed the characters are in the story.

It seems real like you could really get pulled in and feel you are a part of the story are in the story. Somehow the government starts hunting down, Goro. Goro is followed by someone in the resistance. Goro knows once a member of the resistance of Sovereign Reign.

We meet quite a few people in the resistance. The leader is Mickey. We also see that they recruit Goro and his two friends to their movement. Goro has some info about the top leader of SR.

Will Goro help the Government or the resistance? Who will come out on top or who know more about them and their plan?


With master's degrees in education, special education, and counseling, Anjenique "Jen" Hughes is a high school English and math teacher who loves teaching and mentoring young people. She enjoys traveling and has worked with youth on five continents. Saying she is "young at heart" is an understatement; she is fluent in sarcasm, breaks eardrums with her teacher voice (students have complained when they were within earshot), and cracks sarcastic jokes with the best of her students. Her work with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse youth has inspired her to write books that appeal to a broad variety of students seeking stories of bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and success.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble



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