Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blog Tour: Fixing Sydney by @dianezparkki #interview #giveaway

Young Adult Romantic Suspense
Date Published:  August 1 2016

Sydney Sommer’s world fell apart after senior prom. Since then, her life had become a constant loop of unfortunate scenarios that kept her in constant fear of what might be lurking around the next corner. Her trust in others was at a standstill. Even those who were closest to her were held at a distance.
After serving active duty overseas, Jaxon Triggs moved away from his hometown, hoping the change in scenery would help him build a new future for himself. What he wasn’t expecting was to fall for a girl who was broken.
From the first moment Jaxon laid eyes on Sydney, he was curious. He became determined to do everything he could to break through the armor Sydney held around her so securely. His instinct to protect her and keep her safe kicked in as the dangers she encountered became more personal.
With dread always looming close by and secrets discovered, would Sydney be able to handle the new changes in her life yet heal at the same time?


1.    What does your writing process look like?  Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, note cards, post-it notes, etc.?

My writing process is usually to start at chapter one and progressively work through all the chapters. I do have an idea of what the “Happily Ever After” end result would be for sure. I have some scenarios or scenes I would like to include in the story. I tend to also look at images on google of what my character might look like, it helps me focus on the characters. Another big thing for me is music in books. Music has always been a big part of my life. I love music that may influence a scene.

2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?

To be truthful I have no idea. I have a basic idea of where I want the characters to go but that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily go there. I often have times where I sat down to write an idea that has been nagging at me and after a few hours of writing, the concept I started with changes. It’s almost like the character have taken over my typing hands and have written their own story.

3.  How long have you been writing?

I am new writer, “Fixing Sydney” is my first novel that I have written. I never saw myself as a writer but here I am excited about promoting my first book and in the process of writing the second book in the trilogy.

4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers?

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! If you ever had the desire to write, do it. It’s a lot of work however having your own novel actually in your own hands in print is an outstanding feeling. A must is getting an excellent editor also. For me, it was important to have some kind of support system. You need someone to kick your ass every once in a while when you get into a funk or to bounce ideas off of.

Diane Zparkki——lives in the greater Toronto area. She is a working mom, and with her husband, she has raised three great kids. She is a thrill seeker who usually drags her family along with her.
She was never a big reader or writer in her youth—Coles Notes were her best friend through college. Her enthusiasm for reading came later in life when she joined a book club. She loved those books, but she wanted raw, simple, and happily ever after with a bit of get down and dirty. That was when her love for bad boys on a Harley was set in motion.
After reading so many books, her mind started to create her first story, and she needed to get it out.
Fixing Sydney of the Branson’s Kind of Love trilogy is her first book, and she hopes you enjoy it as much as she has enjoyed having these characters running around in her head.

Contact Information
Twitter: @dianezparkki
Pinterest: diane zparkki

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Blog Tour: The Twilight Tsunami by @shelbyfiction #review

Psychological Thriller
Date Published: October 28, 2016
Publisher: Harvard Square Editions

Grey and his co-workers find themselves in dangerous situations every day at work. Their social services jobs require them to confront irate parents who are on drugs or who are mentally unbalanced. Grey is a long-time social worker, one who is not afraid to snatch newborn babies from glazed-eyed mothers or grab abused children out of classrooms, to place them in foster care. But something happens to Grey, something he cannot put into words as he struggles to cope.

When a new co-worker enters the department, she secretly strategizes ways to force Grey out of his job. He senses her ploy and his stress intensifies. He grows increasingly head-strong and defiant, but he fails to stop her from delivering the final crush in an unexpected, malevolent manner
To challenge his co-worker, Grey must find his inner truth and his co-worker’s "Achilles Heel" in order to rise up to conquer her.   One of them must be transformed or destroyed

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This was a bit of a mindtrip concept for a novel. I actually liked the way the author took on this topic and how the investigation led to something else entirely. 

Shelby Londyn-Heath has managed to created a very real and shocking plot line. She is able to unfold the plot believably while stringing readers along. The characters are well developed and easy to invest in. 

I liked the vivid descriptions Londyn-Heath used throughout her writing. It really helps the reader feel like they are a part of the story the whole way through. A solid Suspense Novel. 

Shelby Londyn-Heath has been a world-traveler, crossing the Sahara Desert on the back of a salt truck, working on banana plantations in Spain, an oil company in New York, and on coffee farms in Hawaii. She has jumped freight trains across the United States, and she was the proud owner of a beachfront bamboo hut on the Canary Islands. She has worked as a counselor, social worker, and teacher

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Blog Tour: Mineran Influence by @pnburows #review

Date Published: Jan 2016 (paperback Dec 2016)

Sam, an ex-soldier who is trying to rediscover himself after twenty years of service, unwittingly stumbles upon a mysterious alien presence in rural Wales. He is drawn into a tangled web of intrigue, pitting him against forces bent on destruction and putting his life in peril. Feeling mentally eroded by his time in the army and having worked hard to overcome this, he is thrust upon an alien journey that will change his life and beliefs in a profound way.
Claims of benevolence are only the beginning of the mysteries he'll have to unravel as doubt and mistrust haunt him. He will have to form unlikely alliances in order to fathom the mysteries at the secret Mineran enclave, where intrigue, deception and imminent danger reside.
His journey for answers will introduce him to pernicious enemies with hidden agendas, as a heinous plot to kill him unravels. Can he defeat his personal demons to secure justice and discover the truth of who or what is behind the nefarious machinations and why?


I think  this was a very character driven novel. Sam is compelling and fun. His personality really jumps off the pages and makes it easy to get behind him. 

The other great thing about this novel was that it was very exciting. There was so much going on and so many twists and turns and unexpected moments. It really kept me as the reader engaged throughout. 

Born in England and raised in Wales, I started my working life on a farm in the glorious rural Welsh countryside.  I retrained to become an IT Consultant and having spent thousands on Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco qualifications; I also obtained a contract to run and teach at a Cisco Academy in England.  After this, I became a small business IT Advisor for WCBC and the Welsh Government.  As this funding dried up, I retrained as a Business Advisor and have since helped thousands of people start up their own businesses.
In my leisure time, I work my way through a comprehensive bucket list with my Fiancée, Cath. This has caused us great delight as we have attended various courses and fun days out, such as beekeeping, pottery making, stained glass making, painting course, cooking courses, hawk walks, animal experiences, quad biking, gorge walking and much more. Our favourite one is learning to dance. This activity has remained with us and will hopefully do so for the rest of our lives. We can do a reasonable Waltz, collapse in laughter trying the Viennese Waltz, but it is the 1920’s Lindy Hop that we have fallen in love with. After three years of dancing, we still attend regular dance classes and events.
Strangely, for an ex-geek, my favourite gadget is my Italian Marcato pasta machine. I love real, unprocessed food and my freshly made pasta with a home cooked sauce is amazing.
I have always enjoyed reading, and in my early teenage years, I read authors ranging from Harry Harrison to HG Wells. Later in life, I turned to thriller writers such as the 3 C’s; Clancy, Cussler and Child. Also, I will always have a Pratchett book on my phone for light reading. His imagination was and always will be, inspiring. I have wanted to write the Mineran Series for several years prior to actually starting and with the encouragement from Cath, who has suffered my many varied, imaginative pranks over the years, I have begun.

Contact Information
Facebook: /pnburrows
Twitter: @pnburows

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Blog Tour: Realms of Edenocht by D.S. Johnson with an #interview

Date Published: July 2016

Shazmpt has been prepared his whole life to complete the prophecy; however until recently, he was unaware of his true identity as a powerful war wizard.
Hidden on an island in a time realm not his own, he must now search for ancient relics in order to stop the growing evil in the world. All he wanted was to hunt in his beloved forest, but is thrown into a world of sea serpents, dungeons, enchanted castles, miniature men, and air buffs.
Driven by duty and hindered by self-doubt, he is sent on a quest to unite the magical realms once more. He must learn to harness his good and evil powers, but will he survive the shadow…?


What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Sitting down to the computer. It’s true, the hardest part for me is not letting the distractions of life keep me from writing. I have five kids a husband and a dog, so you know what that means. I wasn’t always a writer, in fact I graduated high school with a glorious 2.9 because I worked my but off to get it. I thought I was dumb and couldn’t learn. I found out later in life that I learn with my hands. Even years later I let myself get distracted with other thing to avoid the ‘once painful chore’ of writing, even though I love it, I have to get myself out of my own way sometimes.  

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Thomas Bergerson’s Sun and Illusions albums. I can’t seem to get enough of his music. The energy and passion fuels my own passion and energy and it puts me in the grove. Before I know it it’s been the whole day and 10k words. 

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I do, I belong to a couple of Facebook critique pages and some writing groups that are super helpful, but the one I like the most is I have learned so much about the writing craft from the other writers there. I took a break for a while and decided to get back on and boy did I miss it. Even after two reviews of my final piece they found things I and my editor missed.

What book are you reading now?

I actually am reading a book called Raising Cain Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by San Kindlon P.H.D and Michael Thompson P.H.D. I have two boys, one 14 and the other 10. My older children, 25, 24, and 21 are girls so I have read tons about raising girls but not boys. Even though teenagers are teenagers there is a big difference between girls and boys. I figured I better get some tools in my belt to make sure I don’t ruin them completely. I have spent so much time reading and learning about how to write that I haven’t spent a lot of time reading fantasy books. I do like The Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind and Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I have a stack of books I would like to read and maybe I’ll get to them soon.  

How did you start your writing career?

About 15 years ago my mom needed my siblings and I to intervene on her behalf. She suffers from Parkinson’s disease and has since she was thirty two years old. I became her guardian and she has lived with is since. With her illness, she requires a constant eye. She doesn’t need the physical help yet, but her medicine gives her memory loss and sometimes paranoias.

Because of that, I have little options for working outside the home. I currently don’t need to, but I want to do something, now that my kids are a little older, to contribute. So with some thoughtful contemplation I received a premonition or inspiration to write a book. I guffawed and rolled my eyes cuz remember I graduated with a 2.9. But the thoughts kept coming to me so I decided what the heck. If I failed miserably then I could say “See I told you so.” And if I don’t then at least there would be something for my kids to have after I’m gone.

And with that I headed off to Google. I started my ten year long self-teaching journey. I had to take long breaks in-between to help kids and life and all, but I found that I deeply love to write. It wasn’t long ago that I had an epiphany. My younger sister reminded me of all the stories she would make me tell her at night when we were kids. My parents divorced when I was a kid and I felt like I had to ‘grow up’ and forgot all about the pink unicorns and angry witches. So I guess it’s been a part of me my whole life, I just had to find it again.

My husband and boys are gamers and so I use a lot of the adventures they experience through the MMORPG’s they play as well as old forgotten legends as pieces of characters and plot development. I love watching documentary’s and I love to add those little, ‘hum I didn’t know that’ to my stories as well.

My next release is going to be an easy reader for girls ages 8-10. While in my newly remembered skills, I decided to write a little something for my littlest one. At only five years old, I wanted to give her something too. The Gardens of Tartary is a fairy tale inspired folk tale about a King, Queen, Princess, butterfly dragon and a jealous dragon. My deadline is the end of March. After that I am releasing book two of my series Realms of Edenocht and a tangent story to the first book. I hope to make this November. I’m super excited to see where all this takes me and so far I have enjoyed the adventure. 

A little about me, first I want to tell you a story, about a young girl who thought she was dumb. Yes, in the first, second, and third grades this little girl, was in the ‘Resource’ program or ‘Chapter 8’ as I have also heard it called. Even though she was then put in the regular class, she knew all too well by then she was not a smart child. All the way through high school this girl struggled. She graduated with a glorious 2.9. Yes, it was heart breaking for those little numbers to reflect the great struggle and all the efforts she had put forth.

She went on to start beauty school, figuring she wasn’t college material. Suddenly, she learned that she wasn’t dumb after all. She was what is called a kinesthetic learner or ‘hands on’ learner. She LOVED it. She went on to do very well, for many years. Until, life got complicated. She had five children, a husband, and a disabled mother who now required constant care. While contemplating how to earn a little bit of extra income, now that doing hair wasn’t an option, a thought came to her, ‘Write a book’ it said.
She replied by looking around and with her finger pointing at herself, she said, “Who me? I graduated high school with a 2.9 remember?”
The little thought came again, “Yes, you. Write a book.”
It so happened, that she had been telling her children nighttime stories for some time, so she did. It took five years to learn from the internet, a few writing classes, some great blogs, a lot of practice, one very good editor and the awesome support of her family. But she did it, and now I bring The Realms of Edenocht Series to you! Yes, that little girl was me, but no longer.

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