Podcast

Podcast

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Today's podcast comes from this review, Sometimes I Lie.  Check out this episode!
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Tell Me Three Things, Julie Buxbaum

Today's review comes from this online review, Tell Me Three Things.  Check out this episode!
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See Me by Wendy Higgins

Today's podcast comes from this blog review.  Check out this episode!
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Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Today's podcast comes from this Review of Redeeming Love Check out this episode!
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Regency Romance and Philippa Jane Keyworth

Philippa Jane Keyworth, also known as P. J. Keyworth, and known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History and graduating with First Class Honours. She now works in Digital Marketing and part-time as an author. Philippa has three historical romance novels out, each a standalone with indomitable heroines and lovable heroes. Her third novel, Fool Me Twice (Madison Street Publishing, 2016), follows the exploits of a notorious female gamester whose carefully orchestrated life is turned upside down by the arrival of a most ineligible gentleman? The Edict marks her first fantasy novel and is the first in a trilogy. Following the stories of strong yet markedly different heroines, the world of The She Trilogy will see the ultimate struggle between good and evil played out in a fantasy world, bringing it to the brink of destruction. 1) Do you have an 'elevator pitch' for The Widow's Redeemer, to summarize it for our audience members who maybe haven't read it before? It focuses on Letty Burton ? she's the opposite of what would be eligible. She's a widow, penniless, and doesn't have any connections in the Regency world (1815) and she comes across the most eligible and scandalous bachelor. 2) I just discovered the whole "Regency" genre. This qualifies, right? Can you define that term for us? There's a few definitions: the period of 1811-1820, which was when the Prince of Wales, the son of the King George III, became a Regent because George III was the mad king, and he was ineligible to rule. Literarily: authors take different amounts of time for this. She's heard it as broad as 1790 to 1830. She's a bit more old school and stricter about it though: she keeps it to the actual Regency. In that time period, so much happens: the French Revolution, Revolutionary Wars, Napoleon? There's a lot of change. It was on the brink of the Industrial Revolution. Pride and Prejudice came out in the late 18th century, so it wasn't technically Regency, but the film adaptations display the people with Regency clothes. NOTE: Philippa contacted me afterwards and corrected herself that P&P was actually published in 1813! :) 3) Tell me a little about your journey writing The Widow's Redeemer. I understand that you got the idea from the Book of Ruth? She is a Christian, and Ruth is a book of the Bible. It's a love story played out in ancient Bible times. There are authors like Francine Rivers who dramatize novel versions of Bible characters. She thought it was cool and brought it to life: putting the same story in a different time period. She loves Ruth and thought she'd have a go at that. She started it when she was 19. She also always loved Jane Austen and Georgette Heyre (who writes really witty dialogue) and decided to try to write something like that. She listened to Mumford and Sons: Winter Winds (she always has a theme tune to a book and that was the one for the Widow's Redeemer). She wrote the first draft over a year and a half. In that time, she got married and moved. She couldn't find a job at the time, and decided to spend time writing. 4) You're hybrid published, right? How did that come about? She takes the opportunities that were given her. She tried to find agents, but a friend mentioned this publishing house. She just submitted on a lark, and then when they offered it to her, she went for it. She queried a lot of agents on the fantasy book, but no one was super keen. But she loved the book and wanted it to see the light of day. Her editor at the publishing house and freelance editors are both brilliant. If you're with an indie house, you get more support, and you don't have to do the formatting, etc. She did have to do that for self-publishing. It's a lot more work to self-publish. She's also met a supportive community through self-publishing. 5) What advice might you have for other authors out there: what's the most effective marketing strategy you've used to date? (Or perhaps the top three?) There's nothing that will beat word of mouth. All you can do is make sure that what you put out there is the best you can do. She's also heard it said that books sell books: the more you have out there, the more you sell. Then, being active on social media in a genuine way: be interested and interact with people, and do it because you enjoy it. Blog tours work well too! 6) Tell us a little about your backlist ? are you working on the Edict trilogy now? She's working on the She Trilogy now, but it went on the back burner bc she wrote a sequel to Fool Me Twice. It's just gone to her editor. It's not technically Regency: it's the 18th century, 1774: Big dresses and big hair. She really loves the hero, Tobias ? he's not what you'd expect. Not very eligible, a younger son (not a great thing in that period of time: no title), and he's a scapegrace: gets into loads of trouble. When you meet him at first, you wonder about him. Caro has no money and she's living a double life: she's a gamester: going to the gaming halls in London and makes money but in the day, she's pretending to be a separate woman, very genteel and looking for a good husband. He meets both versions of her and causes trouble. 7) Who are some of your favorite authors/books that you would consider to be your inspirations? Jane Austen, Georgette Heyre (she often finds that Jane Austen lacks the description she wants; Georgette Heyre is a little more accessible to a modern audience. She also writes great heroines), Daphne DuMaurier (Frenchman's Creek ? very clever at getting people's thought patterns down), Alan Bradley (the Flavia de Luce mysteries are about an 11 yo sleuth). Very brilliantly written: she's a young kid, but she's also a genius. And he has a way of turning a phrase! 8) Anything I haven't asked you that you want to make sure you communicate to our audience? Philippa's Amazon author page Philippa's Facebook Philippa's Twitter  Philippa's website Check out this episode!
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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Today's review comes from this blog post, Review of Ella Enchanted  Check out this episode!
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Sweet 2, 3, and 4 by Wendy Higgins

Today's podcast is a review of the rest of the "Sweet Evil" trilogy by Wendy Higgins:  Here's the original Sweet Evil review Sweet Peril and Sweet Reckoning Sweet Temptation Overall for the series: 4.75/5 stars! Check out this episode!
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Bree Moore: Author of Woven

Bree Moore has been writing fantasy since the fourth grade. She lives in Ogden, is wife to an amazing husband, and the mother of four children. She writes fantasy novels between doling out cheerios and folding laundry. Her most recent book is Woven. In real-life, Bree works as a birth doula, attending women in pregnancy and labor, which is huge inspiration for her writing. Bree loves shopping for groceries like other women like shopping for shoes (no, seriously), movies that make her cry, and Celtic music. She likes both her chocolate and her novels dark.  Do you have an 'elevator pitch' for Woven, to summarize it for our audience members who maybe haven't read it before? It's a retelling of the Arthurian legend, and it's got a lot of really neat twists and a female cast. I focus heavily on a mostly female characters because they get a little neglected sometimes when we're talking about King Arthur and the Round Table. I don't recognize the characters of Sir Gereck or Winna ? did you make those up?  Winna is made up because Sir Gereck needed a wife. Gereck is technically listed as one of those as a knight of the Round Table. I based him off of like some other stories from other knights. In my Arthurian legends studies I covered very little of the Lady of the Lake, Nimue. I didn't realize she took physical form and wasn't always in the lake! What were your sources on that? When I was writing woven I was really intrigued by how many different characters seem to have so many different names. And I really wanted to find a way to kind of include that in woven. Just the fact that these are all like the same people, but they have different aspects of themselves. I watched the BBC show "Merlin" a bunch of times as one main source! Tell me a little about your journey writing "Woven." Where did the idea come from?And do you have a long-standing Arthurian legend obsession, or were the legends just necessary to the idea? A little bit, yeah. I think the first book I read in Arthurian legend was probably the Merlin series by TS White. Then in college actually had the opportunity to go on study abroad to Great Britain and did a tour of former sites potentially associated with the legends. Then my mom and I used to take turns trying to inspire each other with Arthurian legends, and she challenged me to write something on The Lady of Shalott. Probably one of the biggest reasons Elaina takes such a huge role is because the story started with her and I was halfway through the book before I realized that Guinevere needed a stronger part in the book. You're self-published, right? I am kind hybrid published in a way. I work with an indie publisher, and there's some things that I do like other self published authors do. So I hired my own editor, I hire my own cover artists, and then I send it off to my publisher and they work with Ingram to distribute my books. So my book is treated like a traditionally published book, but I have a lot of say in my deadlines and what everything looks like and a lot of control over the final product and I really love that. But I'm like any author that isn't huge: I do the bulk of the marketing. What advice might you have for other self-published authors out there: what's the most effective marketing strategy you've used to date? (Or perhaps the top three?) Well the very first one, and I only say this because I am not actually there yet, but it's what everyone tells me: write the next book. I've tried focusing on promoting Woven by itself, with mixed results, and it's kind of discouraging to not have something for, for readers to go to next. So I think I'd rather build up a backlist a little bit. What are you working on now? I'm working on a ton of things right now. I am a super busy mom, but I refuse to let go of my writing. I'm working on the sequel to Woven, it's called Bound and it comes out September 1. And then I just had a short story accepted to an anthology. I have two other anthologies that I'm working on, and one comes out in December. Then I've started an urban fantasy trilogy that I hope will be released next year. Who are some of your favorite authors/books that you would consider to be your inspirations? Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorites. Anything I haven't asked you that you want to make sure you communicate to our audience? Summer is the best time to read. So I think everyone should read in the summer and find a new book!   Check out this episode!
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Sweet Evil, by Wendy Higgins

Today's podcast comes from this online review of Sweet Evil. Check out this episode!
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Kate Avery Ellison: Author of Secrets of Itlantis and Frost series

Kate Avery Ellison decided she wanted to be an author when she was five years old, and her dreams of telling stories for a living came true in 2011 with her first novel, The Curse Girl, and continued with her Amazon bestselling series The Frost Chronicles and numerous other fantasy and science fiction novels. She loves putting a dash of mystery in everything she writes, an ode to her childhood spent reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Sherlock Holmes, and she can't resist adding a good twist in the story wherever she can. Kate wishes she could live in a place where it's always October, but for now, she makes her home in Atlanta with her husband, two small children, and two spoiled cats. Her hobbies include--oh, who are we kidding. She is probably being lectured on the difference between a steam train and a diesel train by her toddler, or reading on her Kindle while rocking a fussy baby to sleep. Tell us a little about the world of Itlantis. How did you come up with it? Is Atlantis a longtime interest of yours? (And why change the spelling?) She always liked Atlantis. It's not set in our universe per se. She was trying to figure out how to explain this exactly. Since writing this book, she's written 10-12 other books. It's an alternate universe. Several of her books take place in the same world but people don't always realize this. There's a book that is on the shelf of one of her characters in one book and that book becomes a big deal in another series. She wants to write another series that will tie these connections together. As for Atlantis: Plato wrote about Atlantis and there are a lot of theories on it. She also liked the Disney movie when she was a kid. It's called Atlantis: The Lost Empire, came out in 2001. She's had a casual interest in stuff like that for a long time. You're self-published: what pushed you to choose that route? Did you ever consider going traditional? (Would you in the future?) She was trying to get an agent and had some positive movement in that direction in 2010. She was all about traditional, though self publishing was gaining steam at that time. She had no plans to be self-published, but she heard about Amanda Hawking, and she was in the news. She read blogs about her, and began to think about how she would do it. Then she realized she just really wanted to, to be in charge of covers, marketing strategy, etc. At one point in her life she wondered about doing graphic design, editing, etc. She's also really interested in marketing, etc. She's also very prolific and is able to put things out faster. She was courted by a traditional publisher and wondered if she wanted them to acquire one of her series. There was a movie deal: this was for Frost which was in the top 20 in the kindle store for awhile. She had a great moment for a few years. Then she had children and stopped working for awhile. She's now returning her full attention to it. It ended up coming down to money and the contract, and she just wanted to retain the creative control. She was already making a lot of money on the series. She ended up not going with it. But that series was an inspiration for a game: it's an app based game, called Frost. She's sold rights for that and various things. Secrets of Itlantis is one of her smaller series. What advice might you have for other self-published authors out there: what's the most effective marketing strategy you've used to date? (Or perhaps the top three?) It has changed. What she'd have said 5 yrs ago is totally different than now. She's still seeing that if you can write fast, that still matters. But not so fast that you sacrifice quality. You get word of mouth, creating a base of true fans is huge. She doesn't like the word "fans," she likes the word "readers" better. Passionate readership. But you build that slowly. Blog tours don't work as well as they used to. Having some books on Kindle Unlimited has worked for her, but some people aren't big fans of that. She's noticed that running Amazon marketing service ads has been good for her. Promo stacking: buys ads with lots of places. Book Bub elevates sales for all books. Have to have a good cover that looks professional and conveys the genre in a glance. She had a lot of trouble with the cover of one of her books bc she kept thinking that it looked like the wrong genre. Who are some of your favorite authors/books that you would consider to be your inspirations? When she was a kid, she was hugely inspired by mysteries: read that exclusively when she was eight. Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, etc. She liked mysteries that had a twist. She also likes mysteries where there's a clever character who knows what's going on. Then she got into fantasy: Robin McKinley and historical fiction. All the stuff out now is what she wishes she had when she was a kid. Harry Potter: big fan of that too. Megan Whalen Turner is one of her favorite authors. She does hit NYT when her books come out: she has twists, clever character, fantasy, etc. She didn't read those books until she was 20-21. Another big one: Melina Marchetta. She's an Australian writer and she's written amazing books too. The Thief is the first of Megan Whalen Turner's books, and Finnikin of the Rock is the first of Melina Marchetta's. Robin McKinely continues to be an influence on her. She's still writing. Smart fantasy women who have a lot of political intrigue and strong female characters. Another one that's not a novel: not for children, but it's called Saga. It was written by one of the writers on LOST. It's a comic series. They like to push the envelope. Anything with a "found family": people who are misfits who come together and become a family. Star Wars is a big influence too. She wrote fan fiction for that and thinly veiled Nancy Drew fan fiction when she was little. She still reads a lot of fan fiction on An Archive of Our Own and fanfiction.net. They take someone else's ideas and world, and expound on them. I love the relationship between Nol and Aemi. Are your characters drawn from life at all? She wrote that series a few years ago and feels like her series grow with her. Her current series she feels come from some relationships she's had. She doesn't take people she knows and put them into her books. That's very dangerous, and doesn't usually work, bc what they do depends on the story. If there's a main character in her books, they're the opposite of herself. She puts herself in secondary characters. Her husband crops up in one of her most recent books. She'll put an element of people in characters. If she's ever had a character that is inspired by someone she knows in real life, she'd never admit to it. In your 'about the author' section, you say, 'She loves dark chocolate, fairy tale retellings, and love stories with witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings.' Sounds like we need to hang out! :) Favorite fairy tale retelling? The Curse Girl is one of these. :) She also recently read a retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights: the motif in there. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. That's not even the only retelling of that to come out that year. Ella Enchanted is her favorite retelling of Cinderella. It's middle grade, very funny and witty and clever. She's also writing a retelling of Sleeping Beauty but it's really different. It doesn't have a release date yet. She has 50 series ideas all the time. 7. Anything I haven't asked that you want to share with the audience? Her most recent series is the Kingmaker series: 5 books in there so far, and the 6th one is coming out really soon ? way too soon. If you like Game of Thrones, you'll love it. It has the "found family" thing, and dragons. She has a passionate readership for that one and they get really excited and opinionated. The first book is called the Gift of Poison and it's on Kindle Unlimited. 8. If you use Amazon Prime, you can donate to The Clubfoot Research Foundation. This is a charity that is near and dear to her heart: Kate's daughter has clubbed feet and spina bifida. The group is raising money to explore alternative and better ways to treat clubbed foot. Awareness is always important bc awareness leads to money and more research. The treatment hasn't changed in the last 40-50 yrs. The braces their daughter wears they got from England and have done a lot of alternative treatments that they have to pay for out of pocket. They also live in Atlanta and there are some great hospitals and they're treated by a really famous and good doctor at a well-known hospital, but a lot of people don't get that chance. The methods available to many are limited. The technology is there and the knowledge is there, but it hasn't trickled down to the practitioners necessarily. Some babies can't tolerate the current treatment, or they don't ever sleep bc the treatments are so tough. Clubfoot is one of the most common birth defects. To donate, you can go to smile.amazon.com and enter the Clubfoot Research Foundation and it will put a portion of your purchases toward them? or you can donate directly, at https://www.clubfootresearch.org/copy-of-about-us. Check out this episode!
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The Liberty Box via BookFunnel

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