Author Interview · CTM · Uncategorized

[Excerpt] Meet The Author: @AmandaFoody #CTM @Conscious_Talk #Magazine #AuthorInterview #WritersLife


In six questions let us get to know a little bit about Author Amanda Foody the creative mind behind the wildly popular and buzz worthy novel, Ace Of Shades!

First, some background info about Amanda’s hot new novel about family, love, lust, gambling, winning, and losing in the city of sin, Ace of Shades!

Genre: YA

Description: Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

Meet The Author ~

Q: What did you want to be as child? Was it an author?

A: Yep! Ever since I was four. I’ve had other aspirations for second jobs, but I’ve always wanted to write.

Q: What do you use to inspire you when you get Writer’s Block?

A: I don’t get writer’s block particularly often. In fact, I often feel overburdened with ideas and not enough time to write them. I use tools like Pinterest, music, or aesthetics to help me develop my concepts into full stories.

Q: Do you plan your books in advance or let them develop as you write?

A: Plan in advance! I can figure out the dynamics of a scene as I write, but…..

……..Be sure to visit my Writer’s Life column and my article “Meet the Author: Amanda Foody” IN FULL in the online lifestyle magazine Conscious Talk Magazine here! 😉✍

~ The Novel Gent

CTM · Uncategorized

[Excerpt] The Writer’s Life: Play Your Hand Well At Marketing & Self-Promo w/Author @AmandaFoody #CTM @Conscious_Talk #Writers #WritingTip


It is imperative that writers know how to market themselves, writers must develop a platform within the writer’s community, create a community of ardent followers, and utilize your position creatively while you do it!

I interviewed an author who has done just this and is leading the charge on perhaps one of the most successful marketing campaigns for a book. Her name is Amanda Foody, and is someone with whom you should know, and can begin by visiting one of the many vibrant social media posts about her novel, Ace Of Shades!

Amanda is too modest to call herself a self-promotion expert, so I suggest that you all take a look at her self-promoting examples to see how she build her fan base for her novel.

Ace Of Shades (AOS) is a book about a girl navigating in the world of poker, players, and gamblers in search for her mother in a city where no one survives uncorrupted. One theme in the book is: playing ones’ hand well. Similarly, self-published authors traditionally and independently must also play their hands’ well and play the cards they have been dealt to create buzz around their work. And people are buzzing about this book; for instance, ACTIVE FAN PAGES have been created based on the poker teams and gambling gangs in this book, ALL, inspired by Ace Of Shades and much more!

From my observations, the source of this AOS buzz is Amanda’s consistent interaction with her fan base. Let’s see how she does it!

My Interview with Amanda ~

Intro: First, I want to say congratulations on the tremendous success of Ace Of Shades! My audience could learn a lot from how you innovatively use your resources to reach as many people as possible and make your book a success!

A: I’ll do my best to answer these questions! I consider myself far from a self-promo expert haha. But I hope it’s helpful!

Q: Does self-promotion seem liberating to you or daunting?

A: I suppose it depends–some elements of self-promotion will always feel awkward and shameless to me. Other parts feel more natural and fun. It helps that my publisher also promotes my book, as I feel that takes a lot of the pressure off my shoulders, and I have a great team of support.

Q: What were some of the first ways you started to find and connect with your target audience? (i.e. did you attend book signings, Bookshop grand openings, join book clubs, or did you begin working in the industry as an editor, lit agent, bookseller, author, etc.)

A: Well, I started my Twitter when I was 17, when I was first querying agents and getting involved in the book community. I didn’t move off the Internet until after I signed my first book deal. Prior to that deal, most of my followers were writers who followed my tweets and blog for writing advice. After that, I began to connect more with readers and change some of my social media platforms from personal to professional.

Q: In your opinion how important is face-to-face communication in self-promotion?

A: Well, I’d always prefer to interact in person rather than online. I feel like I get to make more of a connection, and I’m more confident in person–though that varies for everyone. However, I don’t have many opportunities for this. I am limited to the events my publisher sends me to, or to local events like book signings or smaller festivals. I’d always love to do more! But travel can be difficult.

Q: What has been the hardest thing about publishing? What has been the most fun?

A: The hardest part was definitely getting my foot in the door–I was rejected for years before I was able to sign for my debut. Since then, I’d say it’s the insecurities that are the most challenging. It’s not easy being so publicly reviewed all the time. The most fun has definitely been connecting to readers! Nearly all of my best friends come from publishing, one way or another. I can’t imagine my life without those people.

Q: When did you really start to see a return on your self-promotion/marketing efforts? In other words, how long did it take for you to build your following?

A: Hm, it’s hard to say. I suppose I consider a return to be connections made–followers who regularly comment and are clearly interested in me/my books. I started finding a few with my debut, Daughter of the Burning City, around the time I had a cover and ARCs available. It’s grown steadily since then–readers who have since really liked my debut, readers who are also excited for Ace of Shades. I had a lot of help in spreading my book–for instance, Fairy Loot, a popular YA speculative subscription box, picked up Daughter. That put my book in the hands of a lot of readers who might not have otherwise heard about it.


Q: What virtual avenues do you use to promote yourself the most? (i.e. Twitter, NetGalley, YouTube, WordPress]. Which yields the most response from your audience?

A: I like Twitter the best because it feels the most casual, and it offers an easy mix of professional and personal posts. I also like Instagram, particularly stories, as they also feel personal. People who want to read my book can do so without following me. People who follow me are a little more interested in what I have to say. I’ve connected with the most people about writing tips and enthusiasm for other books–that goes a lot further than just blasting advertisements or something. I’m hoping to write a lot of books in my career–not just Daughter and Ace–so I’d rather build connections who are following ME more than just my one novel, if that makes sense.

Q: In regard to authors putting together contests or giveaways to promote their books, Forbes Magazine said that, “Scarcity and competition add urgency to book buying, and that can help you create some momentum around your book.” Even still many people disagree about the long-term benefits of using contests/giveaways as promotion. At that end, how do you feel about authors using contests to connect with audiences and promote their books?

A: I think giveaways have their uses–but I agree that the followers gained aren’t necessarily generating sales. I think they’re useful to get info about your book out there, but in the end…..

……..Be sure to visit my Writer’s Life column and my article “The Writer’s Life: Play Your Hand Well At Marketing & Self-Promo w/Author Amanda Foody” IN FULL in the online lifestyle magazine Conscious Talk Magazine here! 😉✍

~ The Novel Gent

CTM · Uncategorized

[Excerpt] The Writer’s Life: Booksellers’ Thoughts On Targeting Independent Book Stores, For In-Print Distribution! #CTM @Conscious_Talk #WritingTip #Writers


As self-publishing becomes more popular it is important for authors to know the ins and outs and getting their books into brick and mortar bookstores, without having a big time distribution deal. Recently, it has become common for independently published books and self-published books to only be distributed electronically (i.e. Kindle and ePub flies), but some still want to have print books on shelves. Here are some industry tips for authors who want to do that.

First, there are two important questions: What is your budget? & What is consignment?

Well, let us address the thing that will dictate your options for distribution, which is your budget. No, independent book stores should not be asking you to pay them to sell your book. If they do that is a major red flag. Never do that.

Your only expense in doing self-distribution through indie bookstores should be shipping costs. Point. Blank. And the period.

Next, consignment. Now this is extremely important friends and fellow book lovers. Consignment programs are designed to allow local self-published or non-traditionally published authors space on bookstore shelves. When an author consigns a book, the bookstore agrees to stock the book on their shelves for a period of time, and pay the author for the copies that have sold at the end of the contract.

Each bookstore has their own consignment policy; however, from research at the time of writing this article, it was found that the above definition from Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY is the norm. Just be sure to read the consignment policy of each bookstore you wish to send your book to, to make sure you are not wasting money sending your book to a bookstore that will not sell your book for some reason or another.

Further research also confirmed, it is possible that if an author sends a copy or copies of their book to an indie bookstore, without first following the instructions in the consignment policy that the bookstore warns when your book arrives they will simply hand your book to customers for free.👀

Now some very important thoughts from Ms. Megan, the events coordinator of Park Road Books in Charlotte, North Carolina and Josh Cook, the bookseller of Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA both of whom I reached out to with a list of pertinent questions about authors seeking consignment. They respond to my questions with some seasoned advice!

NOTE: Never be afraid to ask questions and put yourself out there. Sometimes you just might get helpful responses. 😉

Ms. Megan from Park Road Books’ answers to my interview questions are below:

Q: How should an indie author reach out booksellers?

A: We prefer that authors/publicists contact the store via email. That way there is a written record of the conversation. We suggest sending an email to the general email and after one to three business days, follow up with a phone call. That way the person in-charge of handling inquiries will have a chance to look the email over. If the author prefers an in-person conversation, we suggest emailing to set up an appointment. This helps make sure the person the author needs to speak with will be free to talk.

Q: What should be included in an indie author’s email/letter/phone call to a bookseller to inquire about getting their book in a brick and mortar bookstore?

A: The author should include, their book title, the publisher of their book, the cost of their book and if they are local to the area or have family/community ties to area. When it comes to indie authors, the stronger the ties to the area, that the better the sales of the book.

Q: What is the expected wait time for a rejection or an acceptance?

A: The wait time differs from store to store. At our store, we try to respond to inquiries in one to three business days.

Q: Is it possible for an indie author to request a special display/retail marketing for their book (like a display table or an End Cap display) in the bookstore through the bookseller or would the author have to contact someone else for that?

A: Our store does not offer special displays or additional marketing for any authors. However, they can create what is called a “shelf-talker”. It is a small sign that attaches to the shelf. We also recommend utilizing social media platforms to promote that the book is carried at our store. We do make an exception to this rule when the author schedules a book signing.

Q: Are smaller indie bookstore booksellers easier to reach than larger indie bookstore booksellers?

A: I haven’t heard from authors about a difference in smaller vs. lager indie bookstores. The larger indie bookstores response time might be longer since they probably have more requests.

Q: What are your thoughts on reaching out to airport bookstore booksellers?

A: Personally, I say it can’t hurt to any all booksellers.

Q: What are your thoughts on reaching out to international indie bookstore booksellers?

A: It can’t hurt to reach out to international booksellers/stores. Keep in mind if the publisher does not ship books internationally, the cost of shipping the books will out way any profit made from sales.

Please keep in mind that this information may vary from bookstore to bookstore. I hope that this information helps. – M

Josh Cook’s perspective (in italics) below:

Hi Grant,

Here’s what I came up with. More of a perspective than specific information, but you’ll see why. I hope this is useful and thank you again for reaching out to us.

In many ways, all these questions boil down to one, not terribly useful answer…….

………Be sure to visit my Writer’s Life column and my article “The Writer’s Life: Booksellers’ Thoughts On Targeting Independent Book Stores, For In-Print Distribution!” IN FULL in the online lifestyle magazine Conscious Talk Magazine here! 😉✍

~ The Novel Gent

CTM · Uncategorized

[Excerpt] Be A Creator Of Drama & An Elicitor Of Emotion #CTM @Conscious_Talk #Magazine #WritersLife #Writers #WritingTip #Writer


As writers, we find our voice in our work. It is a priority of a thoughtful writers to make sure they connect with their readers and leave an impression upon them. Here are a few tips to not only make your writing stronger in 2018, but also far more vivid and emotive!

Be a Creator of Tension/Drama

The first thing to remember when creating tension and drama is the satisfaction of your protagonist. What are his goals, his intentions, his dreams, his ultimate endgame? Then build a world of difficulties around him. Sounds cruel, doesn’t it?

The way to be cruel build a world of difficulties around your protagonist is to infuse his trek from point A to point B in his plans with flaws in the system of his world and conflict between him and other characters whether they are main characters or supporting characters.

These difficulties need to create a world of hurdles in which your protagonist has to navigate (either intelligently or haphazardly) in order to overcome. One difficulty is not enough. It is best to have multiple issues that arise over the course of the story in the form of changes, twists, and turns. This is true even for comedies and all other genres of stories.

***Keep In Mind: a powerful protagonist is only as powerful as his antagonist and his antagonist can be a force of any kind that comes against him. An antagonist does not have to necessarily be a person. It can be a group/system (i.e. V for Vendetta, I’Robot, The Shawshank Redemption, Avatar). A disease (i.e. earlier seasons of The Walking Dead, 28 days later, and Contagion). Financial difficulties/Mortality (i.e. Breaking Bad). You get the idea, right?

So let’s say your protagonist is a young woman who realizes that an acclaimed medical specialist is actually a Dr. Jekel using unethical practices in his work and she wants to expose him. Should it really be that simple?? Heavens no that would be boring! So, think of everything she will need to actually expose the doctor: evidence, witnesses, a significant connection to the media or the FBI, and some wise allies. Now think of every roadblock that you can to muddle the course of her mission.

That evidence may be on computers in the specialist’s lab, but they are encrypted.

She may be able to get a meeting with a key witness (one of the doctor’s past victims), but the key witness turns up dead. Upon learning this she receives a cryptic message that alludes to someone watching her and that her nosiness will now cost her, her life. Now you have the potential for more drama…a cover-up and a murderous system.

At that end, another tip for creating tension/drama is raising the stakes for your protagonist.

“If the stakes on the story are low, then the tension will be weak.” ~ Jessica Page Morrell

In the story example, I have given of the young woman trying to reveal the unethical practices of an acclaimed doctor and his henchmen resorting to murder in order to cover his tracks…the stakes have been raised. The young woman’s life is now in danger. She now MUST conquer the antagonist for her life and lives of the rest of his victims.

See how dramatic that would be?

Elicit Emotion

As writers, we need to be masters of playing with people’s emotions. Draw them out, at times stomping on them, wringing them out, lighting them a blaze, making them flutter with glee, or even make them gag with disgust…it really all depends on the story. The best stories pull you in and engulf you so deeply that when you finish that last page you feel like you just came up your first breath since you started Page one. It should make us see the world, humanity, and potentially ourselves a little differently. Here are a few techniques to making your writing a work that elicits emotion:

Create enough tension in your story (notice that word tension again) and also create a protagonist that readers can identify introspectively with and desire to see succeed. Easier said than done.

Let us dive a little deeper………

……..Be sure to visit my Writer’s Life column and my article “Be A Creator of Drama & An Elicitor Of Emotion” IN FULL in the online lifestyle magazine Conscious Talk Magazine here! 😉✍️

~ The Novel Gent

Book Reviews · Uncategorized

My Book Review of #WinterSong by @SJaeJones #YA #Fantasy #Music #Wonder #Vivid #Novel #amReading #BookBlogger


Read on for my review of YA Fantasy Novel “Wintersong” by S. Jae-Jones!

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Description: Dark, romantic and unforgettable, a fantastical coming-of-age story for fans of Labyrinth and The Darkest Part of the Forest.

Deep in his terrifying realm underground, the cold and forbidding Goblin King casts a dark shadow over nineteen-year-old Liesl. Her grandmother has always warned her to follow the old laws, for every year on the longest night of winter, she claims, the Goblin King will emerge into the waking world in search of his eternal bride. Sensible and plain, Liesl knows it’s her duty to keep her beautiful sister Käthe safe from harm. But Liesl finds refuge only in her wild, captivating music, composed in secret in honor of the mysterious Goblin King.

When Käthe is stolen by the Goblin King, Liesl knows she must set aside her childish fantasies to journey to the Underground and save her. Drawn despite herself to the strange, beautiful world she finds—and the mysterious man who rules it—she finds herself facing an impossible choice. With time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Set at the turn of the 19th century, when young upstart composers like Beethoven were forever altering the sound of music, S. Jae-Jones’ richly imagined debut spins a spellbinding tale of music, love, sisterhood, and a young woman’s search for self-actualization.

Publication: February 7, 2017

My Book Review ~

Full of wonder, magic, and music, Wintersong is a visual fairytale without the fairies. A story told through the eyes and heart of Elisabeth and her selfless sacrifice for her sister. Or was her sacrifice as selfless as first perceived?
In Wintersong reader’s will see a theme of lyrics, love, lust, liberation, and limbo between a quickly expiring childhood and an uncertain future. Elisabeth’s insecure and emotionally disrupted nature shaken after being the willing hostage of her childhood crush turned Goblin King of the mysterious, carefully shrouded, rearranging, and mystical underworld. She becomes the Queen to the brooding King and somehow the power of the position awakens new reserves of strength and confidence within the girl everyone always overlooked. With insecurities nearly tucked away by the power of music, melodies, and royalty, surprisingly Elisabeth may just find what she is looking for….fulfillment in song and adventure!
The Goblin King is a cross between a debonair ghost from Elisabeth’s past and a villain willing to hold a young maiden captive to his command in his underworld kingdom of magic. He is so perfectly described as, “…standing in a far corner of the main hall, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed. The tall, elegant stranger. The Goblin King. He was the still point around which everything revolved. He was reality where everything else was a reflection.

Der Erlkönig, Lord of Mischief, Ruler of the Underground? How did one address a legend?”

Although, the lingering childishness of Elisabeth puts a bad spin on this King the Lord of Mischief, he’s really not a bad guy. I truly believe that he loved her before that fateful night. (No worries, No spoilers 😉)
This story harkens back to the tale of Beauty and the Beast given that the female protagonist offers herself in exchange for a loved one to be freed from the paws of controlling individual. The Goblin King intrigued me perhaps the most of any character in Wintersong. His brooding, dark, mysterious, larger than life, and sexually charged presence was just the love interest for young Elisabeth that this book needed. And yet music was her one true love till the end.

I give Wintersong ✨✨✨✨ (4 Stars)!!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out S. Jae-Jones sequel to Wintersong, Shadowsong out this February 6, 2018 here!

Order Wintersong
Kindle here
Paperback here
Hardcover here

Takeaway Quotes:

• “No, no, no, I think. Don’t push me away. Light my fire. Make me burn. But the Goblin King doesn’t push me away. He grips me closer, and I am met.”
• “In the world above, it had always been Käthe or Josef who captivated people’s eyes and hearts—Käthe with her beauty, Josef with his talent. I was forgotten, overlooked, ignored—the plain, drab, practical, talentless sister. But, here in the Underground, I was the sun around which their world spun, the axis around which their maelstrom twirled. Liesl the girl had been dull, drab, and obedient; Elisabeth the woman was a queen.”
• “Elisabeth,” he said. “I abstain because I do care—…This is not you entire,” he said. “This is you, desperate.”
• A choice. He gives a choice, and it is the truest gift he has ever given me. “Yes.” My voice is clear. “My answer is yes.”
As long as the world above remembers you.
• This was the immortality humans were meant to have: to be remembered by those who loved us long after our bodies had crumbled into dust.
• I turned around. His eyes deepened in color and for a moment, just for the merest glimpse, I could see what he would have been like as a mortal man. If he had been allowed to live the course of his life, from the child he had been to the man he would have become. A musician—a violinist. I ran back into the circle of alder trees, wanting the circle of his arms around me. I reached out my hands, and his fingers brushed mine, but we passed through each other like water, like a mirage. We were each nothing but a shimmering illusion, a candle flame we could not hold.

~ The Novel Gent 😎


WRITERS be sure to join into the #WritingPromptParty hosted by ME on TWITTER every 1st & 3rd Friday of the month! During the party I will provide a picture, gif, a single sentence of vague backstory, or a song which will prompt writers to finish the short narrative by commenting with their own vivid thoughts and conclusions to the image.

The Writing Prompt Party is an interactive and fun writing experience where writers can exercise their creativity in a free space/non-judgment zone, test the waters writing for a variety of genres they may have never tried before, get those creative juices flowing if they are experiencing the dreaded “Writer’s Block”, and just communicate with fellow storytellers! BE SURE TO JOIN IN WRITERS using hashtag #WritingPromptParty!

Author Interview · Uncategorized

My Interview w/@CrimeThrillGirl author of #DeepBlueTrouble #Thriller #Crime #Books #AuthorInterview @OrendaBooks @TrapezeBooks #BookBlogger


Read on for my interview with the Crime Thriller Girl, Steph Broadribb aka Stephanie Marland, who on her website says that she started out as a corporate suit by day and a crime fiction blogger – Crime Thriller Girl (hence the name of her blog) by night. Now she is a thriller writer, writing as Steph Broadribb and Stephanie Marland, an avid reader of all things crime thriller, and she loves to connect with people who share the same passion for books. She writes the tremendously successful Action/Thriller Lori Anderson series for Orenda Books as Steph Broadribb and the Strake/Bell police procedural series for Trapeze (Orion) Books as Stephanie Marland.

Much thanks to Steph for taking the time to answer the questions for this interview. 😌

Deep Blue Trouble ~


Genre: Thriller

Description: Single-mother Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson’s got an ocean of trouble on her hands. Her daughter Dakota is safe, but her cancer is threatening a comeback and Lori needs JT – Dakota’s daddy and the man who taught Lori everything – alive and kicking.

Problem is, he’s behind bars, and heading for death row.

Desperate to save him, Lori does a deal, taking an off-the-books job from shady FBI agent Alex Monroe. Bring back on-the-run felon, Gibson ‘The Fish’ Fletcher, and JT walks free.

But this is one job she’s got to get right, or she’ll lose everything…

Breathlessly paced. High-voltage action. Edge-of-your-seat jeopardy. DEEP BLUE TROUBLE marks the return of the most memorable and fearless female characters in crime fiction.

Publication Date: January 5, 2018

My Interview With Steph ~

• What did you want to be as child? Was it an author?
As a child my ambition was to win Badminton Horse Trials! (I was a pony mad child – I still am really!)

What does a day in the life of Steph Broadribb/Marland look like?
I tend to write from around 8am to mid afternoon, and then I edit what I’m working on and do emails, blogs, admin type stuff. In between the writing I walk my dog, go to the gym and feed my horses.

What do you use to inspire you when you get Writer’s Block?
If I’m feeling stuck I tend to either listen to music or go for a long walk with my dog.

What book would you take with you to a desert island?
Oooh now that’s really tricky! Either Killing Floor by Lee Child, State of Fear by Michael Crichton, or Riders by Jilly Cooper!

Favorite quote?
“You weren’t born to just pay bills and die” – anon

Favorite food?
Bread or chocolate, it’s a photo finish between them!

Best TV or Movie adaptation of a book?
Gone Girl

Do you plan your books in advance or let them develop as you write?
It depends on the book. With the Lori Anderson series I tend to have a few ideas of the challenges Lori will face and perhaps some key set piece scenes in mind before I start writing, but then just launch in and see where the blank page takes me. With the Starke/Bell series (written as Stephanie Marland) I tend to plot out DI Bell’s side of the story – the police investigation – and then go with the flow as I write Clementine Starke.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?
Between three to six months for the first draft – then edits!

Have you ever had a character take over a story, and if so, who was it and why?
In Deep Blue Trouble the character of Mia Searle was originally going to just have a couple of scenes, but I enjoyed writing her and found the dynamic between her and Lori so interesting that she became one of the key characters in the story.

Which one of your characters has been the hardest to write and why?
Clementine Starke (from My Little Eye written as Stephanie Marland) is the most challenging due to her emotional journey. When the first book in the series starts she’s emotionally numb – the impact of a traumatic incident in her past. Getting the balance of her feeling no emotion towards others, and yet making her a character readers can get onside with, was a challenge and took a number of drafts.

Which character in any of your books (Deep Blue Trouble or otherwise) is dearest to you and why?
They’re all dear to me – even the bad guys! I think as a writer you invest so much time in writing them and trying to make them fully dimensional that they all feel important.

Do you have stories on the back burner that are just waiting to be written?
Yes! As well as writing the Lori Anderson series (for Orenda Books) and the Starke/Bell series (for Trapeze Books) I’ve got ideas for another series plus two standalones. My trouble is finding the time to write them all!

What has been the hardest thing about publishing? What has been the most fun?
I’ve loved my experiences with publishing, and feel so lucky to have my books out in the world. I think the hardest part is when you’re starting out – looking for an agent and then the tenterhooks while your book goes out on submission to publishers. The most fun is the creative progress and working with brilliant editors to make the book as good as it can be, then getting out to festivals and events and meeting readers.

What was the last thing you read?
London Rules by Mick Heron – it’s superb!

Your top five authors?
Lee Child, Mark Billingham, Mary Kubica, Mick Heron, Liz Nugent

Book you’ve bought just for the cover?
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Tell us about what you’re working on now.
I’m currently working on the edits for book two in the Starke/Bell series, and will then be starting work on the third book in the Lori Anderson series.

Well, Steph there is something tasty and wonderful about bread. Odd, but true. 👀 Music is the ultimate cure for writer’s block for me and writing villains is probably one of my favorite types of characters to pour myself into!

Order Deep Blue Trouble or one of Stephanie’s other awesome Crime/Thriller books on Amazon here!

~ The Novel Gent


WRITERS be sure to join into the #WritingPromptParty hosted by ME on Twitter every 15th and 30th of the month! During the party I will provide a picture, gif, a single sentence of vague backstory, or a song which will prompt writers to finish the short narrative by commenting with their own vivid thoughts and conclusions to the image.

The Writing Prompt Party is an interactive and fun writing experience where writers can exercise their creativity in a free space/non-judgment zone, test the waters writing for a variety of genres they may have never tried before, get those creative juices flowing if they are experiencing the dreaded “Writer’s Block”, and just communicate with fellow storytellers! BE SURE TO JOIN IN WRITERS!

See our most recent #WritingPromptParty  writing prompt here! 😉


Uncategorized · Writing Prompts

✨ The Writer’s Block: Plot & Prose Prompts Launches!! Writing Prompt Party (All Writer’s Welcome)✨ #WritingPrompts

h1tiThe smoke hadn’t even settled. The heat was smothering. Shrapnel splintered the walls and him yet he survived. With heart pounding and a ringing in his ears he knew it was over. He had to get away…but first he’d write a note telling her goodbye forever…

Reply with the story my prompt has inspired for you in the comments below! And look out for our next Writing Prompt February 15, 2018! ✍️📚✍️📚✍️📚✍️📚

Book Reviews · Uncategorized

My #BookReview of #Liars by @FranVickSays @Bookouture!! #BlogTour #Book #Thriller #Mystery #Suspense #BookBlogger


Read on for my review of Liars (formerly titled as The Good Liar) by Frances Vick and Bookouture Bookouture Publishers!

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:  He loves you. He’d do anything for you. But you don’t even know him.

Jenny hasn’t had an easy life – no job and no money, with a sick mother and an abusive ex-stepfather. Not that anybody cares, she’s from the wrong side of town.

David has taken care of Jenny ever since they were at school together. He knows how special she is, how much she needs his support. David has a lot of love to give.

Jenny and David aren’t in a relationship. They aren’t even friends.

Jenny thinks she’s free to do what she wants, see who she likes. What does David think? Well, you’ll have to find out.

A gripping psychological thriller about the lies we tell ourselves, perfect for fans of Friend Request, The Couple Next Door and Teresa Driscoll.

Publication Date: January 26, 2018

My Book Review ~

Liars started off as a slow burn story. A young lady, Jenny, who just lost her mother an alcoholic whose drunken stupor turned into a deadly fall. Her friend, Freddy, still her confidant and partner in crime….or is he? I liked how readers see Jenny pour her thoughts out in her blog posts that provide good insight into her character. Then it spiraled into something else totally chilling and suspense filled…

I found myself questioning the people around Little Miss Jenny and even the blogger herself. Some people in her life have the eye for knowing. Have a clue about the unseen. If only she did the liar may not have been able to manipulate her right under her nose. I felt myself squinting suspiciously at characters names when they entered a scene I got so immersed in parts of this tale of deceit and death which will keep you guessing literally until the very end. If you like Lifetime movies this story will hook you from the beginning. I would say which one I am specifically thinking of, but I shall not. It would give too much away.

I give Liars ✨✨✨✨ (4 Stars)!!

Takeaway Quotes:

• “The blind leading the blind. That was disingenuous. I’m not blind. I haven’t been for a long time. I just didn’t want to see, that’s all. But now, after what’s happened….I don’t have a choice. I’ve been forced to see just how little control I have.”
• “He took the remaining photos to the bathroom, dabbed the mud off them as best he could, wrapped them in a towel, and brought them back to his room. They lay next to his bed, like a swaddled baby, close enough to touch, close enough to hear. They’d seep into his dreams, and he’d wake up knowing just what to do.”
“But still David’s naked flesh shivered as the man watched, as he man leered. Those eyes.”
• “Jenny raised her voice further. ‘Oh my GOD! They came from him. He brought them here. In a fucking coffin! That means he knows where we live!’”
• “‘… still could be a nice thing,’ the mother was saying. ‘It’s not nice, it’s weird, Mum; it’s a threat is what it is,’ Jenny replied.”
• “‘How?’ Jenny almost shrieked. She was standing on the doorstep now. David could see half of her pale face, saw the tension rippling down her body to one tapping foot. Marc looked up at the weak sun, and grinned. ‘Warming up a bit,’ he said. ‘How’s your neck by the way?’ Jenny took a step forward. ‘How’d you find us?’ ‘Want a cup of tea?’ Marc asked. ‘What? No!’ ‘Well, I want one.’ Marc walked back inside to put the kettle on. David didn’t hear anything else until he was stirring his tea, ending with a cheerful little ‘tink tink’ of the spoon on the cup. Then he wandered back out into the garden, smiling. He clearly wasn’t intimidated. ‘Spring,’ he said.”
• “The pain of this, and the pain of defeat, made her cry, big, angry tears, and this humiliation transferred itself to David, sinking into his mind, his bones. He closed his eyes, shook his head. When he opened them, he saw that the knife had skittered within his reach. ‘I’ll fucking kill you if you come round again! I will!’ Jenny sobbed. ‘Yeah, right. You and your knife, eh?’ Marc’s fingers dripped”
• “[She] held David’s hand. She whispered to him that everything was going to be OK. She promised him that things would work out. To Catherine she said: ‘It was just a fall, just a fall.’“
• “It made total sense in a tragic sort of way. Fortunately, he had a perfect plan to not only get her back, but make her understand how much he loved her, how safe she’d be from now on.”

• “There she was, pinned on a map. Lucky he’d put that tracking software on her phone… No, not lucky, he shouldn’t put himself down like that. It was planning, foresight. He was a Good Boyfriend who’d always had her safety at heart. Always. Each minute brought him closer to Jen’s pulsing dot, and the closer he got, the calmer he felt.”
• “‘Where did you follow him to?’ Jenny asked softly.“
• “‘Don’t worry’ David had said. ‘You’re with me now.’”

“It was a terrible story. It was an irresistible story. It had everything –obsession; abuse; murder; arson; insanity; and more murder. It had stalking and police negligence –It had Beauty and the Beast.”

Order Liars

~ The Novel Gent…

P.S. Writer and Authors we have something fun planned for you….👇👇👇😉

🎉 Our new blog feature #WritingPromptParty AKA The Writer’s Block: Plot & Prose Prompts Begins Jan 30th! 🎉

It is a Bi-Monthly writing prompt chat/discussion/party where I will provide a Sentence, Picture, GIF, or Song and you literary creators create a narrative from it. The party takes place right HERE on this blog AND on Twitter on the hashtag #WritingPromptParty!

If you are a Writer who:

• Wants to exercise your writing craft ✍️
• Get NEW #amWriting INSPIRATION 💡
• E-Mingle w/fellow writers 📚🤝

JOIN the #WritingPromptParty Chat January 30, 2018!!


The Party is happening:

1.) Right HERE on

~ AND ~


2.) Twitter using 👉 #WritingPromptParty!!

See ya there!! 😉


Introducing The Writer’s Block New Blog Feature: Plot & Prose Prompts! #WritingPrompts #BookBlogger #amWriting #WritersLife #Writers

TWBPPPWriter’s get ready for The Writer’s Block’s NEW BLOG FEATURE…Plot & Prose Prompts which begins January 30, 2018! Through the bi-monthly Plot & Prose Prompts I will provide a picture, gif, a single sentence of vague backstory, or a song which will prompt writers to finish the short narrative by commenting with their own vivid thoughts and conclusions to the prompt and/or posting their ideas on social media with our Plot & Prose Prompt Hashtag #WritingPromptParty!

I envision Plot & Prose Prompts being an interactive and fun writing experience where writers can exercise their creativity in a free space/non-judgment zone, test the waters writing for a variety of genres they may have never tried before, get those creative juices flowing if they are experiencing the dreaded “Writer’s Block”, and just communicate with fellow storytellers! BE SURE TO JOIN IN WRITERS! #TWBPlotProsePrompt #WritersLife #amWriting #WritersPrompts! 😉 🖋


Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

#BookReview of #TheHazelWood via @LairofBooks! #BookBlogger #BookPost #Fantasy


Title: The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1)

Author: Melissa Albert

Pub. Date: January 30th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Pages: 368

Format: Physical ARC & eGalley

*HUGE thanks to Fierce Reads, Netgalley, and Melissa Albert for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

View original post 1,137 more words