Author Interview: Mackenzie Flohr

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Today I have the privilege of interviewing the wonderful Mackenzie Flohr, author of the incredible YA magical fantasy novel ‘The Rite of Wands’. 

We had a very cosy chat, and we’re now the best of friends.
Here’s the interview, hot off the press. 

What inspired you to write?

I don’t really have anything per say that inspires me to write. However, what motivates me to write is being told I won’t succeed. I know that sounds odd, but I’ll elaborate.
Back in 2006, I was at the airport in Orlando waiting for the plane to arrive to take my Dad and I back to Cleveland, OH. I was working on a scene, which happens in a later book in the series. There was a young girl who looked about my age with her Dad sitting across from us. They asked what I was writing about, so I mentioned a little bit about it. Afterward, my Dad smiled and told them that I was writing a fantasy series, and that I would never finish it. I was shocked, embarrassed and hurt by the outburst. Even as I am recalling that moment now, it still angers me! But that’s where he went wrong. Not only did I write it, not only did I finish it, I found a company to PUBLISH it!

Well done you! That’s the spirit!
What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

To answer this question a bit more specifically, I really enjoyed writing the scene in The Rite of Wands between Queen Anya and Mierta when the queen was trying to convince Mierta to help her. It felt like they were an old married couple!

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

The Carrigan Painting: Mysteries of Billamore Hall Series by BJ Richards

I’ll have to look it up on NutBooks!

NutBooks?

Yeah! You… haven’t heard of NutBooks? 

No… but I’ll go look them up when I get home!

Good idea. What are you working on writing now?

I am releasing a special hardbound edition of The Rite of Wands this June.

I also just finished writing a short story for an anthology, which I am still waiting to hear if it’ll be accepted. I am also working on the beginnings of the next book in The Rite of Wands series and a new futuristic sci-fi series.

Wow! You’re a busy lady!
What movie can you watch over and over again?

The Back to The Future trilogy.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Apparently for the garbage company LOL! My mother is notorious for saving papers I have filled out throughout my childhood, so even though I don’t recall ever feeling this way, I’ve seen it on paper!

What’s your favourite season? Why?

Summer. I love having sunlight till 9 PM and warm temperatures. Living in Michigan, it is rare to have sunlight all year round, and I honestly really dislike snow and cold weather.

Yeah, I try to sleep through most of that, too…
Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Michael Ende.

What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

A lot of people have this belief that Indie authors get their marketing taken care of for free, but this is far from the case. Indie authors have to do their own marketing and pay for services, too. The best method of marketing for an Indie author is word of mouth.

So, if you know an indie author and have read their book(s), leave a review! Many times this leads to at least 4-5 additional sales for the author.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Selling books internationally

Juggling time between my outside of the home full-time job and writing

Like I said, you’re one busy lady!

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I sure am!

 

Where can we find your book?

You can find The Rite of Wands through all the major retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Kobo, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, iTunes.

Where can readers follow you on social media?

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Author Interview: M Pepper Langlinais

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The Book Squirrel was excited to sit down recently and chat with multi-genre author, M Pepper Langlinais. 

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What’s your favourite thing that you have written?
I think my favourite is still The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller, maybe because I spent the most time on it. Almost three years from start to finish.

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

I’m not sure I can pick any one favourite. I can say Watership Down by Richard Adams had the greatest impact, though.

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

Well, we’re only to April, but I think the best thing I’ve read so far is Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I wish I could write like that.

What are you working on writing now?

A lot of things! The sequel to my YA fantasy Manifesting Destiny, another Regency romance, and a YA contemporary retelling of Hamlet.

Ooh! They both sound great! I’ll have to follow you on Amazon and Goodreads so I know when you release them. 

Great idea!

Yeah! I wish more people – and squirrels – did that!

Me too!

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

My friend Abby and I went to London, and that was a lot of fun. But that’s tied with a really great family vacation at Disneyland. I don’t think I could choose between those two.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

There are a lot of them, but Young Sherlock Holmes will always be my favourite. I can watch the Indiana Jones movies over and over, too.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to work in film or television. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, though. I just knew I wanted to be part of that industry.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I like spring. I like that it’s getting warm and the flowers are blooming but the kids aren’t out of school yet.

Mmm. Spring… yummy flowers, juicy buds, and fresh fruit! Spring makes me a happy squirrel! Oh… erm… right. 

Who are your three greatest literary inspirations?

Well, I know I was inspired by John Le Carré when writing Peter.
I’d say I’ve been influenced by Neil Gaiman a bit, even though I don’t write the same genre. (Well, someone did call The K-Pro “Neil Gaiman for girls.”)
And I suppose Sir Arthur Conan Doyle inspired my Sherlock Holmes stories.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

Losing weight and avoiding traffic.

When you find the answers to those, let me know, eh?
And speaking of finding things… where can we find your books? 

The easiest thing would be to visit either my site at http://pepperwords.com and look under the Books tab for all my books and places to purchase, or go directly to my Amazon page at https://www.amazon.com/M-Pepper-Langlinais/e/B008FBOSPE/

Where can readers follow you on social media?

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I’m on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mpepperlanglinais
Twitter at http://twitter.com/sh8kspeare
Instagram as http://www.instagram.com/p_stoller 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/MPepperLanglinais

 

Thanks again for joining me in my tree today! It was great getting to know you!

You’re welcome! Thanks for the chat.

Book Review: ‘Souls Discovered’ by Miranda Brock

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Ohmygosh. What??
I’ve just finished this book and I have no words.
It’s SO good though. Extraordinarily good.
Highs, lows, plot twists, and every emotion conceivable… this is your fate if you pick up this book.  And if you do… you won’t be sorry.
You will love the characters, you will love the story, you will scream and cry and try to slam on the brakes as you ride the rollercoaster of this plot. And you’ll read, and read, and read, until it’s done. And then you’ll have no words either.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and curl up in the corner and rock until the sequel is delivered.

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‘Souls Discovered is available as a paperback or eBook from Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Gift’ by Nikki Landis

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Narrated in the first person by the character of Gemma Harding, ‘The Gift’ keeps the reader guessing right to the end. This story draws the reader into a complicated web of deceit and carefully constructed appearances that leave Gemma able to trust only  herself and her gift in her search for the answers she needs.

The reader is drawn into Gemma’s character in the first chapter by a  narration that is almost a stream-of-consciousness passage, through which Landis reveals Gemma’s special ability and how it has impacted on her life thus far. The reader, familiar with Gemma’s thoughts and feelings, follows her through this story sharing her thrills, fears and questions as events unfold.

This is a brilliant read. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys the mystery/thriller genre, particularly with a psychological edge to it.

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Book Review: ‘An Enlightening Quiche’ by Eva Pasco

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Just the right proportions of history, secrets, adultery, passion, and rivalry are mixed together to form the wonderful sensation that is ‘An Enlightening Quiche’.
Rich in detail and sassy narration, Eva Pasco paints a portrait of small-town life that rings true for anyone who has lived in such a place.
On the surface, everything is clean and just right, but underneath there is a surging, heaving mass of emotion, ambition and self-interest that immerses the reader in the
characters’ lives.
Eva Pasco‘s writing is descriptive and quirky, reflecting the French-Canadian idiom of the fictional town of Beauchemins, Rhode Island. The reader is drawn into the story through the parallel narrations of the lead characters, making them them feel as though they are a one of the townsfolk and leading them to decide for themselves who is honest or justified in their actions as the story progresses. Pasco’s humour comes through, resulting in chuckles and smirks as one reads. Yet there are also moments of shock and sadness, and of a strong sensation of more than one character wishing things had been different.
Having spent some time in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, the French-Canadian nostalgia for all things Quebequois has been beautifully captured by Pasco. The occasional exclamation of “Tabarnak!” and the consistent use of French names for even the most mundane of foods – “un croque-monsieur” for a grilled ham and cheese sandwich –  adds authenticity and depth to the characters. Beauchemins actually made me a little homesick for my own part of French Canada. Would someone please deliver me a poutine?
This honorary Canuck gives ‘An Enlightening Quiche’ 5 stars, not only for it’s fabulous story, but also for its charm and authenticity. Beauchemins – ca vaut le visite!
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See the book and read the reviews on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Reclamation’ by Sandy Frediani

Beautifully written, ‘Reclamation’ is a series of stories that function as parts of a whole. From beginning to end, the reader is entranced by the storytelling and the imagery used to achieve it.
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Frediani has embedded mysticism and beauty so skilfully in these stories that even concepts of corruption, degradation and justice are explored in ways that deepen the reader’s understanding of the reclamation and redemption that occur throughout these tales.

A very mysterious and poignant element of this book is that the setting could be anywhere. It’s not bound to a specific location or people group. Instead, the story is unified by the mystical elements that add so much depth and vibrancy to the story.

The reader is drawn into the stories and the places where they take place. The imagery was rich and powerful, creating vivid pictures of characters, scenes and landscapes as each story played out, almost like a film playing on a virtual screen in my mind.

Read it. You won’t be sorry.

 

 

 

Author Spotlight: India Emerald

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India Emerald writes fabulous stories that blend imagination and magic with Fantasy, Magical Realism, and occasionally Science Fiction.

She is the author of The Mages’ Stones Complete Set (2016) and as individual books, Hope’s Well (2016), The Tale of Rigby Hall (2016), Water Lilies (2016), The Battle for Goblin Bridge (2016), and Paxton (2016). She has even written a space opera!


You can read my review of The Mages’ Stones here. It’s available on Amazon for less than the price of a cup of coffee, and is great reading.
In fact, all three of India’s books represent fantastic value for these great stories. They’re all on  Amazon

India has a great presence on social media, where she frequently indulges in any fun that’s available. She loves hashtag games on twitter, and is an active member of the Indie author community on Facebook.

You can follow India on:
Twitter: @india_emerald
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IndiaEmeraldAuthor

Author profiles:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15046207.India_Emerald
Amazon:https://smile.amazon.com/India-Emerald/e/B01CH630LU