Did you survive the Holidays? Today I have a book review of
The Snow Collectors by Tina May Hall
THE SNOW COLLECTORS BY TINA MAY HALL
*Pub date 2/12/20.
*Paperback:224 pages. *Publisher:Dzanc Books (February 12, 2020)
#DZANCBooks #tinamayhall #TheSnowCollectors
Haunted by the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna cloisters herself in a Northeastern village where the snow never stops. When she discovers the body of a young woman at the edge of the forest, she’s plunged into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding one of the most famous stories of Arctic exploration—the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in 1845.
At the center of the mystery is Franklin’s wife, the indomitable Lady Jane. Henna’s investigation draws her into a gothic landscape of locked towers, dream-like nights of snow and ice, and
crumbling mansion rife with hidden passageways and carrion birds. But it soon becomes clear that someone is watching her—someone who is determined to prevent the truth from coming out.
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
THE SNOW COLLECTORS By Tina May Hall
A captivating contemporary murder mystery
A gripping novel of snowy dreamlike, A year and seven months after the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna, a freelance encyclopedia writer who specializes in entries having to do with water, moves to an unnamed village where her constant companions are the oppressive snow and her sister’s basset hound.
Lush imagery, with a stellar gothic mystery that sucks into its atmospheric storyline. The Snow Collectors, engages the reader with a creative twisty, darkish ghost of a Victorian exploration against the eerie beauty of a world on the fringes of environmental collapse. An eerie labyrinth of poetic prose, that I found impossible to put down. Tina May Hall’s exquisite writing, of a cold case murder, along with a ghosts of a nineteenth-century expedition, interwoven with environmental collapse, is completely original. This is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading it.
Tina May Hall’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in 3rd bed, the minnesota review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, Water-Stone Review, Fairy Tale Review, and other journals. Her novella in prose poems, All the Day’s Sad Stories, was published by Caketrain Press in the spring of 2009.
She teaches at Hamilton College and lives in the snowy Northeast with her husband and son in a house with a ghost in the radiator. Some days, she spends with her ear pressed to the wall. Some days, she snowshoes with her son to the wolf-ring in the woods where they drink hot chocolate and howl until the crows chase them home.
Series: Pages of Darkness, #2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Fantasy
A cursed child, a dangerous path, and a price to pay…
Six-fingered Mary Sparrow dreams of escape from the brothel that is the only world she knows. But when a mysterious old man drives her friend to madness, she begins to fear for her life.
Toby Chyrche also hopes for a better future, away from the confines of the tailor’s shop where it seems his fate is set in stone. So when a chance meeting with an old man at the brothel offers him a different path, he is only too eager to accept. Then the discovery of an ancient book of magic throws a new and shocking light onto the past – his mother had a brother, and that brother was a witch.
As the old man’s shadow over Bankside lengthens, Mary is drawn into the growing web of darkness. Unable to escape its reach, she turns to Toby for help. But Toby has daemons of his own to face. Will possession of the book be enough to protect them from the old man’s power? And what price will they have to pay for victory?
For the Sorcerer’s Whore, nothing is as it seems …
This book was received as an ARC from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
25 years have passed since the first fateful production of Macbeth, and the forces of evil are about to be reawoken.
The Sorcerer’s Whore, is Samantha Grossers second book in the Pages of Darkness Series. A wickedly delightful, gripping and immersive tale that totally absorbed me into its hauntingly dark characters.
The setting takes place 25 years after Shakespeare’s Witch. The book reintroduces some of the characters from the first installment, and introduces us to some new characters as well.
Six-fingered Mary Sparrow dreams of escaping from her line of work in Bankside, London. In her lot in life there is no room for real love. She is confused and torn by unsettling emotions she has for a new handsome client. Living in the stews of Cardinal Cap is the only world she knows, it’s a place of distractions and debauchery. Survival is the main priority, and Mary must keep her wits about her.
Dark plans from a mysterious older gentleman may have her questioning her safety and fearing for life.
Toby Chyrche, also hopes and dreams for a better future, after the death of his father, dark shocking secrets come to light.
A chance meeting with an older gentleman at a brothel offers Toby a different journey in life. One he is only too eager to accept, which takes him down a dark pathway. Nothing is what it seems, a discovery of an old book of magic which once was lost, and now found, along with past revelations sets events in motion in this well layered novel.
In this dramatic sweeping plot, I was immediately drawn in and I devoured every single page of this wickedly entertaining book. Once I started reading I was hooked and engaged in this creative storyline. It wasn’t an easy task to pull away from the book.
This intense and riveting novel, has well developed characters and an enjoyable storyline. The authors writing had me hooked from the very first chapter.
Grossers, intricately plots a character driven romance that fights poignancy through the complex conflicts of fate. Dark seductive magic drives the story forward with several interesting twists that make the ending all the more anticipated and satisfying. I was immediately pulled into the story, totally intrigued by the premise, and fully absorbed in this suspenseful page-turner.
What really stood out for me was how the author included the religious strife that was coming to head and political drama it caused in the area around Bankside London with Puritan belief system. It caused a climactic change in the area that once allowed prostitution and the creativeness the theater brought with it. Puritan beliefs that stifled and frighten the population to the living conditions and strict code of conduct that restricted woman into believing that sexuality was only for procreation for children and anything else was considered evil and that of satan and sinful. The Authors creative and atmospheric details that captures the turbulent times of 1632
A Seductive, and wickedly alluring gritty tale that was such an irresistible read.
I am looking forward to the next installment in this memorizing dark a provocative and alluring series.
About the Author
Historical fiction author Samantha Grosser originally hails from England, but now lives on the sunny Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband, son and a very small dog called Livvy.
Combining a lifelong love of history with a compulsion to write that dates from childhood, Samantha is now bringing her passion for telling compelling stories to the world.
Samantha has an Honours Degree in English Literature and taught English for many years in Asia and Australia. She is the author of wartime dramas Another Time and Place and The Officer’s Affair, and The King James Men, set during the turbulent early years of 17th Century.
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away one eBook and one paperback copy of The Sorcerer’s Whore! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 22nd. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US & UK only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
for a house on the site of the present No. 49, Bankside, and for the narrow alley which runs down beside it,
Photo taken from the, British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800. We aim to support the learning, teaching and research of our users from around the world.
BHO was founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003.
Hello Bookish Friends And Welcome To My Stop On The Much Anticipated Book Tour
The Earl in Black Armor Tour
#TheEarlinBlackArmor #NancyBlanton #HFVBTPartner
Blog Tour and Book Review
The Earl in Black Armor
by Nancy Blanton
Publication Date: March 17, 2019
eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction
#TheEarlinBlackArmor #NancyBlanton #HFVBTPartner
When the clan leader sends Faolán Burke to Dublin to spy on Thomas Wentworth, the ruthless Lord Deputy of Ireland, the future of his centuries-old clan rests upon his shoulders. Wentworth is plotting to acquire clan lands of Connacht for an English Protestant plantation. To stop him, Faolán must discover misdeeds that could force King Charles to recall Wentworth to England.
Leaving his young daughter Elvy in the care of his best friend Aengus, Faolán works as a porter in Dublin Castle, and aligns with the alluring Denisa, Wentworth’s personal assistant. She, too, spies on Wentworth, but for very personal reasons.
While Faolán knows he should hate Wentworth, he admires his prosecution of pirates and corrupt nobles who prey on Irish merchants. Supremely arrogant and cruel to his enemies, Wentworth shows loyalty, warmth and compassion for family, friends and a few select others.
A common mission takes Faolán and Denisa from Dublin to London and Hampton Court; to York and Scotland; and to the highest levels of court intrigue and power. But secrets, fears, war and betrayal threaten their love—and even their lives. And as Wentworth’s power grows, so grow the deadly plans of his most treacherous and driven enemies.
“If you are looking for an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then look no further! Get ready for court intrigue, roguish behavior, and of course, that little bit of romance… Well, then you have a book that is hard to put down.” — Rebecca Hill, Net Galley Reviewer
The Earl in Black Armor is a bridge book written of the interval of events between Blanton’s first two historical novels Sharavogue, and The Prince of Glencurragh
“The messengers reported the evil omen as an angry sunset the sky search Crimson as a fresh blood has been poured into a bright silver basin”
This was a magnificent book, a rich and vibrant retelling of a man known to us through history and legend. One that invokes such powerful emotional response. Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Stafford, whose tenure as Lord Deputy of Ireland comes to life in this superbly crafted historical novel, which really evokes time, place and people. The Authors ability to create a intriguing multi-layered and fascinating portrait of intricately plotted, historically accurate medieval Novel.
Incredibly clever weaving of actual historical figures and atmospheric content.
Blanton’s main protagonist in this story, Faolán Burke is a recently widowed struggling single Father. He is sent to spy on King Charles’s Irish representative.
Thomas Wentworth. Wentworth was engaging for in breaking up the power of the Irish Catholic upper classes.
As the storyline unfolds under the authors detailed rich descriptive voice of Faolán Burke, who is sent by Richard Burke, 4th Earl of Clanricarde, to discover any unethical deeds that could force the hand of the English King and have Wentworth recalled back to England.
Faolán meets Wentworth personal assistant, The captivating Denisa Dumalin, who has her secrets and agenda.
Struggling with his loyalties to his Irish clan and his new found admiration to Wentworth, his love for his very young daughter. And the pull of his heart string for Denisa Dumalin. Burke must travel through out Ireland and England in the services of Wentworth. During this time he comes to see the multifaceted Wentworth, who prosecutes pirates and see the corruption of the treacherous nobles.
Once again the Author’s brilliant dialogue and historical research made the well developed characters come to life in, The Earl in Black Armor
I definitely would recommend this descriptive period historical fiction that has court intrigue, war and just enough romance that keeps you immersed all the way through to the satisfy end.
About the Author
Nancy Blanton writes award-winning novels based in 17th century Irish history. Her latest, The Earl in Black Armor, tells a relentless story of loyalty, honor and betrayal in the Stuart era prior to the great Irish Rebellion of 1641. The Prince of Glencurragh, her second novel, occurs in 1634 during the English Plantation of Ireland. Her first novel, Sharavogue, is set in Ireland and the West Indies during the time of Oliver Cromwell. In non-fiction, Brand Yourself Royally in 8 Simple Steps is also a medalist, providing a valuable personal branding guide for authors, artists, and business consultants. Her blog, My Lady’s Closet, focuses on writing, books, historical fiction, research and travel. Ms. Blanton is a member of the Historical Novel Society and is proud to be an occasional guest author on the award-winning UK blog, Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots. She has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, corporate communications leader and brand manager. Her books celebrate her love of history and her Irish and English heritage. She lives in Florida.
During the Blog Tour, one winner will receive a signed hardcover copy of The Earl in Black Armor! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US & UK only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
Book Title: Eternally Artemisia : Some loves, like some women, are timeless by Melissa Muldoon
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 312 pages
Genre: Fiction General, Fiction Women
Publisher: Matta Press
Release date: March 2019
Tour dates: June 3 to 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (The themes of the book deal with rape and overcoming sexual abuse. It is a book about female empowerment and how with the right tools, and support women may rise above past tragedies to build a better future for themselves.)
They say some loves travel through time and are fated to meet over and over again. For Maddie, an art therapist, who wrestles with the “peculiar feeling” she has lived previous lives and is being called to Italy by voices that have left imprints on her soul, this idea is intriguing. Despite her best efforts, however, proof of this has always eluded her. That is, until one illuminating summer in Italy when Maddie’s previous existences start to bleed through into her current reality. When she is introduced to the Crociani family—a noble clan with ties to the seventeenth-century Medici court that boasts of ancestors with colorful pasts—she finally meets the loves of her life. One is a romantic love, and another is a special kind of passion that only women share, strong amongst those who have suffered greatly yet have triumphed despite it.
As Maddie’s relationship develops with Artemisia Gentileschi—an artist who in a time when it was unheard of to denounce a man for the crime of rape, did just that—Maddie discovers a kindred spirit and a role model, and just what women are capable of when united together.
In a journey that arcs back to biblical days and moves forward in time, Maddie encounters artists, dukes, designers, and movie stars as well as baser and ignoble men. With Artemisia never far from her side, she proves that when we dare to take control of our lives and find the “thing” we are most passionate about, we are limitless and can touch the stars.
Praise for Eternally Artemisia:
“A true Renaissance woman, Melissa Muldoon weaves her passions for art and Italy into a stirring saga that sweeps across centuries. As her time-traveling heroine Maddie reconnects with kindred souls, we meet Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th-century artist who overcame rape and ignominy to gain respect and acclaim. Historic figures such as Galileo and Mussolini also come to life in this intricately plotted novel, but the women who defy all constraints to take control of their destinies are the ones who prove to be eternally fascinating.” — Dianne Hales
What a lovely story! Melissa weaves the lives of 4 women across time, all with some connection to Artemisia Gentileschi, a 16th century Italy painter. They represent the feminine strength that arises from life challenges, each with their unique intelligence. Underlying their stories is the idea that love transcends all, even time, love is timeless. As with her other books, Melissa fills the story out with interesting facts and references to the Italian life, culture and it’s history, her attention to detail is immaculate . I loved all of the many connections in this story that tied it all together, very cleverly done. Wonderful read, I would highly recommend it. – Lize, Amazon Reviewer
Melissa Muldoon does a phenomenal job blending fiction, romance, art history, and the Italian language into this gem. For fans of historical fiction, romance, and time travel, I strongly recommend this novel. –Exemplary Editing, Amazon Review
In the pages of this book, you will learn the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the first famous female artists to paint in the tradition of Caravaggio. I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by Artemisia and have wanted to tell her story. But Artemisia is just a part of the equation—the novel takes readers back to biblical days and forward in time again exploring the idea that some lives are intertwined and are destined to meet over and over again.
Prizes: 1st Prize: Win a 3-book set (Dreaming Sophia,
Waking Isabella, and Eternally Artemisia) by Melissa Muldoon; 2nd and 3rd prizes: Win a paperback copy of Eternally Artemisia (open to USA & Canada / 3 winners total)
Thank you to iRead Book Tours and Melissa Muldoon for providing me a free personalized and autographed copy of Eternally Artemisia in exchange for my completely honest and unbiased review.
Eternally Artemisia is Melissa Muldoon third book.
In the beginning we see through the narrative eyes of the painter, Atremesia.Right from the start the author grabs your interest with imagination details of trials the pious young widow from a Jewish city beheads the general of an Assyrian army sent to destroy the city.
It then moves forward to present day, with Maddie a 40 year old art therapist who has decided to live her dream of relocating from New York City to Italy. Melissa Muldoon, weaves multiple layered time lines to create an engaging historical rich book. The authors ability to weave her descriptive voice and historical magical realism to create an intriguing novel. Wonderful character development engaging narrative and dialogue.
Ms Muldoon, captures the strength struggles of women in multiple eras, to create a passionate and beautiful written novel. The book was a nonstop read for me and what I really enjoyed was the female bonds the author creates through extraordinary folding parallel timeframes.
Four courageous women across multiple times controlling their own destinies.
Melissa Muldoon is the author of three novels set in Italy: “Dreaming Sophia,” “Waking Isabella,” and “Eternally Artemisia.” All three books tell the stories of American women and their journeys of self-discovery to find love, uncover hidden truths, and follow their destinies to shape a better future in Italy.
Melissa is also the author of the Studentessa Matta website, where she promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog written in Italian and English (studentessamatta.com). Studentessa Matta means the “crazy linguist” and has grown to include a podcast, Tutti Matti per l’Italiano and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram feed. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Programs, which she co-leads with Italian schools in Italy to learn Italian in Italy. Through her website, she also offers the opportunities to live and study in Italy through Homestay programs. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
She has also studied painting and art history in Florence. She is an artist, designer, and illustrated the cover art for all three of her books. Melissa is also the managing director of Matta Press. As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again, but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event. Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency—a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways. Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Eternally Artemisia, Waking Isabella, and Dreaming Sophia.
She also curates the Dreaming Sophia Art History blog site and Pinterest site: The Art of Loving Italy, where you will find companion pictures for all three books. Visit MelissaMuldoon.com for more information about immersion trips to learn the language with Melissa in Italy, as well as the Studentessa Matta blog for practice and tips to learn the Italian language.
Book Title: The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani
Category: Adult Fiction, 399 pages
Publisher: Lake Union
Release date: September 2018
Tour dates: June 3 to July 12, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13 (There are some non-explicit sex scenes)
An Amazon Charts, USA Today, and Washington Post bestseller!
From the bestselling author of Trail of Broken Wings comes an epic story of the unrelenting force of love, the power of healing, and the invincible desire to dream.
Nothing prepares Jaya, a New York journalist, for the heartbreak of her third miscarriage and the slow unraveling of her marriage in its wake. Desperate to assuage her deep anguish, she decides to go to India to uncover answers to her family’s past. Intoxicated by the sights, smells, and sounds she experiences, Jaya becomes an eager student of the culture. But it is Ravi—her grandmother’s former servant and trusted confidant—who reveals the resilience, struggles, secret love, and tragic fall of Jaya’s pioneering grandmother during the British occupation.
Through her courageous grandmother’s arrestingly romantic and heart-wrenching story, Jaya discovers the legacy bequeathed to her and a strength that, until now, she never knew was possible.
“home is not a place or a lifestyle, but the state of your heart and all the people who take their place in it.
In the present time of 2000, Jaya a heartbroken and devastated New York journalist, must come to terms of the collapse of her marriage. Still dealing with a third miscarriage and the information that unlikely possibility that she may never be able to carry child.
Sejal Badani, delivers a well-paced and beautifully written story here with interesting, compelling, and believable characters that I found quite compassionate to read about. The story was told in alternating perspectives. In the story we really got a different understanding and look into the of the social injustice to women in India’s culture and the injustice towards the people of India during the British occupation.
A multi layered historical fiction story, that covers several generations of an Indian family, starting with a young woman tracing her heritage back to her family’s homeland. This captures and draws you in. The author has created a riveting real life to fiction novel.
I especially enjoyed how the story unfolds and the emotions explored in the book, such as grief and love. The multilayered storyline weaves together perfectly. The Authors achievement in bringing India’s culture to life was beautiful written.
I was fully immersed in this character driven drama. I devoured this one as fast as I could and was completely drawn into the lives of these characters. I turned those pages as fast as I could and then slowly took in all the depth and layers to the characters.
This book was received from Author and the Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.
A former attorney, Sejal Badani left the law to pursue writing full time.
She is a USA Today, Washington Post & Amazon Charts bestselling author, Goodreads Fiction Award Finalist and ABC/DISNEY Writing Fellowship Finalist.
“If Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls was dropped into a thriller, it might resemble this appealing novel.”–Kirkus Reviews
What We Do For Lovewon the Chick Lit category and made finalist for Best Cover Design/Fiction in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards!
Thirty-eight year old Nicole Adams has given up on finding love. Instead, the single mother focuses on the things she cherishes most—her sixteen-year old son Justin, her friends, and her art.
When she convinces a prominent Los Angeles museum to feature a piece of her work, a large-scale installation, she thinks her life has finally turned a corner.
Then Justin brings a girl, Daniela, home to live with them. Daniela’s angry parents have thrown her out of the house, because she’s pregnant with Justin’s child. Shattered, Nicole takes Daniela in and, in so doing, is drawn into the inner circle of Daniela’s family—a frightening world of deceit and violence.
Nicole struggles to keep life going as normal. Forced to deal with people she doesn’t trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they’re expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing.
What We Do for Love won the Chick Lit category of the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and finalist for Best Cover Design/Fiction!
Funny how one’s life can make a U-turn.
My life made two. In a single day.
I started that day as a mere potter—yes, a person who hand-makes vases and dinner plates for a living—wearing borrowed clothes and driving to the most important interview of my life. A few hours later came U-turn number one: the board of directors of CCMLA, the Contemporary Crafts Museum of Los Angeles, offered me a place in their upcoming show!
In an instant, I had become an artist. I pondered this fact wonderingly as I drove home that afternoon. I was to provide them with a brand-new, never-before-seen mural in ceramics, an installation piece. My wall would be located at the entrance to the exhibit, the first thing you saw as you walked in. This was my chance, an incredible opportunity.
I was an artist!
It didn’t bother me that desperation clearly underlay the board’s decision. All the better when I saved the day with a great contribution to their show!
Flushed with success, I revved my ancient Toyota, Bernice, up to twenty-two miles per hour. We practically skipped over the potholes as we barreled our way up the Trail of Terror. This was the name my son Justin had given the rutted, one-lane road that wound its way up the side of Laurel Canyon to our house.
Of course, I was a fill-in, hired at the last minute. I’d gotten this job when Miriam Fletcher, a customer of mine who happened to be on the museum board, moaned to me that an artist had dropped out of a show scheduled to open in six weeks. “We’re in such a pickle! We don’t know what to do!” Though her crepey neck revealed a senior citizen, Miriam otherwise projected youth, running long acrylic nails through her cropped, bleached and spiked hair, her copper earrings swinging.
My cue to pipe up. “I’m sure I could help you!”
Miriam trained her eyes upon me. She had recently ordered customized hand-made pieces from me to give to her granddaughters—a miniature tea set for the youngest and a statuette of a mermaid for her older sister.
“You do such beautiful ceramics work, Nicole!”
“What you’ve seen is my commercial work, which I do through my business Clayworks. I create as an artist under my own name.” That is, Ihopedto create as an artist under my own name, if I could ever get the proper start.
And now I had. I could hardly wait to tell my son the news. After sixteen years of single motherhood and hard work, struggling to support myself and Justin, I couldn’t blow this chance. And yet, I’d never done anything like this before.
A twelve-by-nine foot mural. In just six weeks.
You can do this, I told myself. I had to. Letting the museum—and myself—down was unthinkable.
I could practically hear the snap-crackle-pop of my nerves.
I pulled into what we called the car park, an open space situated beside the house at the top of the Trail of Terror, big enough to park a half dozen cars. Justin’s Ford Focus wasn’t there.
When he got home from school, which should be any minute, we would raise a toast, our champagne glasses filled with sparkling apple cider.
The day was unseasonably hot, and I was boiling in Bernice, her air conditioner long dead. Thank heavens my hair had stayed up all day in the deliberately loose knot that I’d coaxed it into this morning, with pretty little bits of hair hanging down around my face. A chignon, according to the YouTube tutorial. One more degree of humidity and my whole head would have coiled itself into a giant Brillo pad right there before the entire board of directors.
And thank goodness I’d been able to borrow my sister’s striking red-and-orange color-blocked linen dress, which had given me just the boost of artist/business woman confidence that I’d needed. Now though, its linen skirt was hopelessly creased and hiking up around my hips. I bounded out of the car and proceeded along the circuitous route that we all used to enter the house, going through the rickety side gate, and past what was technically our front door, which no one ever opened. Instead, I followed the path that ran along the side of the house toward the yard and pool, giving a glance to my irises and roses, which grew under our bedroom windows.
The white, yellow, and purple irises stood tall and elegant, but it was the roses I really loved—the fluttery, home-grown variety that came in every color of the sunrise. I would have to harvest some for tonight’s dinner table.
As I reached the yard, I stepped from the cool shade of the side path into direct, hot sunshine. The sliver of Los Angeles ahead of me that appeared on clear days like this one, the perfume of herbs and blooming plants, the swimming pool that shimmered invitingly—except for my college years, this had been home all my life. Along with my sister Caroline, I’d inherited the small, dilapidated house on its magnificent parcel of land in the Hollywood Hills. At today’s prices, neither of us could have ever afforded to buy it.
Entering the house as always through the French doors off the living room, I waltzed into my bedroom. It was the beginning of a new era. Soon there would be no more making pottery on consignment! No more sets of dinnerware for twelve!
I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Of course, I would continue to operate Clayworks. Those dinner sets paid the bills after all. Still though, there was now a chance I could taper off the business over time, if I could sell some of my more creative pieces. Imagine me, finally, at age thirty-eight, beginning to show in museums and galleries!
I changed into my regular daywear—a sleeveless cotton blouse, long flowy skirt in the coolest feather-light cotton, and Teva sandals.
My old friend Mike Sawyer would be over to eat with me and Justin, as he did most weeks, once or twice. Maybe I’d give them both my wonderful news at the same time.
No, I couldn’t wait that long to spill the news. I knew I would tell Justin the minute he walked in.
Hearing the muffled noise of a door opening, I sprinted to the kitchen, where my son, home at last, would for sure want to hear all about it.
I stopped short when I saw that Justin was not alone.
Hi! I grew up in the desert around Phoenix, Arizona, where I had a bay quarter horse named Dolly. If I wasn’t riding, I was holed up somewhere reading Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Oz books or, later on, Jane Eyre and The Grapes of Wrath. Horses eventually faded as an interest, but I ended up with a lifelong love of books and reading.
After college and eight years of living in cold places like Chicago and New York, I escaped back to the land of sunshine. I now live in California, one mile from the Pacific Ocean, with my dachshund Taco. I have worked in banking and as a pro bono attorney, doing adoptions and guardianships for abandoned children.
As a writer, I’d always been interested in children’s books, since they had meant so much to me as a kid. I’ve found I especially like writing books about teens and twenty-somethings, an age where you make so many decisions about who you are and how you want to spend your life.
Hello BookishFriends, Today is my Stop on this Month long Mega Tour
Welcome to the month-long mega tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s newest book, The Space Between Time, due for release on June 20th! There will be fantastic bloggers participating, who will be posting interviews, excerpts, reviews, and other exclusive content!
Additionally, there are loads of goodies being given away, so be sure to enter at the bottom!
The Space Between Time
Expected Publication Date: June 20th, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Dark Comedy
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…
Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.
But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.
The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.
It wasn’t an afternoon that I like to remember, and not just because of my shrieking tantrum. Once I’d calmed down, Mum told me I’d been very silly, because it was all make-believe on a cinema screen. I reminded her that she’d cried when Bambi’s mum died, and that was a film and a cartoon. Mum said that it wasn’t the same thing at all. But I wasn’t being silly because I wasn’t old enough to know the difference between pretence and reality.
Dad had looked pretty dead on the screen. The blood on his chest had looked pretty real. If it had been a different dead person, I would have been OK. Children don’t really know where make-believe ends and the real world begins and, partly because of who I am, it’s remained pretty hazy ever since. I also don’t like to remember that film because it was the moment when I realised that our lives were about to change, and I didn’t know if that would be a good thing.
Sounds strange, yes? Here’s something stranger: I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering sky. I am familiar with its unchanging mood swings. That’s how I like things; I find the familiar comforting. I find change threatening.
I am the daughter of someone who, not long after that ghastly cinema outing, became one of the most famous actors of his generation and, importantly for me, the granddaughter of a rather brilliant but obscure physics professor. But despite their overachievements, I have inherited no aptitude for mathematics and my father positively hated the idea of his only offspring following in his thespian footsteps. He knew how cruel and badly paid the profession could be. But I still look up to my grandfather, and think of his ludicrous moustache with affection.
Gramps once told me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Just think of all those sandpits, beaches and deserts! That’s an awful lot of stars. He then told me, his only grandchild, that I was his shining star, which was a nice thing to say and why I remember him talking about sand and stars. On clear nights, with stars twinkling, I often think about him.
I still believe in my grandfather, and admire his stoic acceptance in the face of professional disdain, because I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.
I gave up believing in my father long ago, because speaking other people’s words and ideas seemed like a lame excuse for a job, even if he was paid millions, and met the Queen on several occasions. She must have liked him because she awarded him an OBE for services to film, theatre and charity. Charity! Who the hell told the Queen that?
I stopped believing in him one Christmas Day, a long time ago, when he simply didn’t turn up. It wasn’t his presents that I missed, or even his presence, but the warm, fuzzy feeling of being important to him. During that day of absence and loss I concluded that his wife and daughter couldn’t much matter to him, otherwise he’d have made a bigger effort to get home. That Christmas Day, my father was simply somewhere else, probably in a bar, immaculately dressed, his hair slicked back, the object of male envy and the centre of every woman’s attention for miles around.
In that respect, Dad was more tomcat than father, except that by then his territory, his fame, stretched around the globe. I know this: by then he had a Golden Globe to prove it. He gushed pheromones from every pore, squirting attraction in every direction, and even women with a poor sense of smell could sniff him out.
I feel mostly Scottish, but am a little bit Italian. It explains my name, Emma Maria Rossini; my dark complexion, black hair, the slightly long nose, and thin and lanky body. Obese I am not, and will never be, however much pasta I eat, and I eat lots. It also explains my temper, according to some people, although I don’t agree with them, and my brown cow’s eyes, as an almost-boyfriend once described them, thinking he was paying me a compliment, before realising that he had just become an ex-almost-boyfriend.
But mostly I am a child of the sea. That’s what happens if you live for long enough by its margins: it becomes a part of you; its mood echoing your mood, until you know what it’s thinking, and it knows everything about you. That’s what it feels like when I contemplate its tensile strength and infinite capacity for change. On calm flat days in North Berwick, with small dinghies marooned on the glassy water, and loud children squealing in its shallows, it can make me anxious and cranky.
The sea, on those days, seems soulless and tired, bereft of spirit. But on wilder days, the beach deserted, or with only a hardy dog-walker venturing across the sand, with large waves thundering in, broaching and breaking, then greedily sucking back pebbles into the foam, I feel energised: this is what the sea enjoys, a roaring irresponsibility, and I share in its pleasure. We are all children of the sea, I sometimes think, or we should be – even those who have never seen an ocean or tasted its saltiness; I can stand for hours and contemplate its far horizons, lost within myself, sharing its passion. In the Firth of Forth is the ebb and flow of my past and my existence, wrapped tight against the west wind. It is what I am, placid and calm, or loud and brash.
This book was received as an ARC, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Charles Laidlaw, delivers a compelling, intriguing, thought-provoking, and well-written read here that totally captivated and immersed me into the storyline. Emma Maria Rossini is the main protagonist of the story. Immediately you were drawn into Emma’s narrative, and the world she is in. Laidlaw has masterly created an engaging and and thoughts provoking book.
The book is an exploration of many emotionally resonant themes of anxiety, depression and suicide. Laidlaw also skillful captivates the Reader with comedic timing and dialogue. Over all what really grabbed my attention was how the author’s execution of Emma character development, from a young girl to a woman. Emma perceptions of her childhood and her parents. Through Emma’s eyes we see her world unravel, and we become full invested with her hardships and struggles. Laidlaw writing style continually makes the characters jump of the pages.
I really enjoyed the concept of having every chapter began with an equation, the solution of which is the chapter number and the chapter title is mostly related to a theorem. Eg.; The last chapter is called The Chandrasekhar Limit and there is an equation too, the solution of which is the chapter number.
I definitely will be recommending this book to my family and friends
“He was our star, we circled in uneasy orbit. Mum was a moon; I sometimes felt like a small piece of space junk.”
I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.
I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.
I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.
I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember
Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.
Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.
I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.
I have 2 signed copies of The Space Between Time to giveaway, 3 fun coffee mugs featuring all 3 of Charlie Laidlaw’s books, and 3 digital copies of the book in the winner’s format of choice! Amazing right? Click the link below to enter!
Reading Nicholas Meyer’s very first Sherlock Holmes adventure, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, made me decide to become a writer.
Reading his latest simply made me a delighted and satisfied reader.” ―Michael Chabon
“Once again the game is afoot! Brilliantly rendered and ever-faithful to the Sherlockian Canon, Holmes, Watson and the world they inhabit come to vivid life in this story that is as entertaining, informative and enthralling as it is important and unexpectedly relevant to our modern world. This novel is tour de force that is not to be missed!” ―John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author
“The discovery of unpublished work by John H. Watson is always a cause for joy, and this case is essential―not just for its globe-trotting adventure…but also for its timely resonance.” ―Glen David Gold, bestselling author of Carter Beats the Devil
“Nicholas Meyer’s new novel brings some welcome new dimention to the characters of both Holmes and Watson, as well as delivering a suspenseful narrative enhanced by remarkable period detail. More importantly, the book’s main themes, painfully relevant to our current age, make it a surprisingly vital and urgent read.” ―Dennis Palumbo, author of Daniel Rinaldi series and screenwriter of My Favorite Year
“What a splendid book, what grand fun…A corking good read and a cracking good adventure that performs the delicious miracle of bringing back to life the greatest detective of them all.” ―Chicago TribuneonThe Seven Per-Cent Solution
“A gem…delightful reading for everyone.” ―Wall Street JournalonThe Seven-Per-Cent S
With the international bestseller The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer brought to light a previously unpublished case of Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Dr. John H. Watson. Now Meyer returns with a shocking discovery—an unknown case drawn from a recently unearthed Watson journal.
January 1905: Holmes and Watson are summoned by Holmes’ brother Mycroft to undertake a clandestine investigation. An agent of the British Secret Service has been found floating in the Thames, carrying a manuscript smuggled into England at the cost of her life. The pages purport to be the minutes of a meeting of a secret group intent on nothing less than taking over the world.
Based on real events, the adventure takes the famed duo—in the company of a bewitching woman—aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia, where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive document. On their heels are desperate men of unknown allegiance, determined to prevent them from achieving their task. And what they uncover is a conspiracy so vast as to challenge Sherlock Holmes as never before.
This book was received as an ARC from Minotaur, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
NICHOLAS MEYER’S, much awaited follow up to the Seven-Percent-Solution.
Holmes and Watson reunite to eradicate the greatest lie ever told, in this thrilling and surprising new tale. The author takes the famed duo and an intriguing woman, aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia. where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive. In this engaging faced historical adventure the duo must uncover a conspiracy that challenges them as never before. The Author creates a tension-filled, thrilling read! The book is gripping, captivating, thought-provoking, with fabulous characters and a great storyline that I was immediately drawn into and devoured quickly.
The story was so darn entertaining and absolutely un-put-down-able!!!!
Happy Reading ** ✨*✨•.¸✨.•*✨
NICHOLAS MEYER is the author three previous Sherlock Holmes novels, including The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for a year. He’s a screen-writer and film director, responsible for The Day After, Time After Time, as well as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country among many others. A native of New York City, he lives in Santa Monica, California.
to be spellbound. Barbara Frances’ long-awaited third novel, “Shadow’s Way,”
takes you to the coastal, deep South, where the past and the present mingle in
a gothic tale of insanity, murder, and sexual intrigue.You’ll meet the
beautiful Elaine Chauvier, former actress and proprietor of Shadow’s Way, her
family’s antebellum home; the esteemed Archbishop Andre Figurant and his fallen
identical twin, Bastien; newly arrived Ophelia and Rudy, here to explore their
Chauvier roots and their ties to Shadow’s Way; and the mysterious Madame
Claudine. Under a veneer of piety and graciousness, i.e., the questions: What
is good? What is evil? What is reality?
Frances has plenty of stories and a life spent acquiring them. Growing up
Catholic on a small Texas farm, her childhood ambition was to become a nun. In
ninth grade she entered a boarding school in Our Lady of the Lake Convent as an
aspirant, the first of several steps before taking vows. On graduation,
however, she passed up the nun’s habit for a college degree in English and
Theatre Arts. Her professors were aghast when she declined a PhD program in
order to become a stewardess, but Barbara never looked back. “In the Sixties, a
stewardess was a glamorous occupation.” Her career highlights include dating a
very gentlemanly Chuck Berry and “opening the bar” for a planeload of underage
privates on their way to Vietnam. Marriage, children, school teaching and
divorce distracted her from storytelling, but one summer she and a friend
coauthored a screenplay. “I never had such fun! I come from a family of
storytellers. Relatives would come over and after dinner everyone would tell
tales. Sometimes they were even true.” The next summer Barbara wrote a
screenplay solo. Contest recognition, an agent and three optioned scripts
followed but, weary of fickle producers and endless rewrites, she turned to
novels. Shadow’s Way is her third book. Her first, Lottie’s Adventure, is aimed
at young readers. Her second, Like I Used To Dance, is a family saga set in
1950’s rural Texas. Barbara’s fans can be thankful she passed up convent life
for one of stories and storytelling. She and her husband Bill live in Austin,
Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live
Maxym M. Martineau’s KINGDOM OF EXILES debuts a is fantastic fantasy world . with exotic beasts, magical secrets, and just the right romance that keeps you intrigued from start to finish.
Exiled from her homeland, and on the run from assassins, the female protagonists, is a “charmer,” who can summon beasts to assist her whe
Maxym M. Martineau’s KINGDOM OF EXILES, debuts is a fantastic fantasy world
written in the engaging dual perspective. The story unveils through the eyes of Noc, a cursed assassin with a secret past, and Leena, an exiled charmer with a formidable ex-lover who wants her dead. Great character development and epic world-building. The cast of characters is varied and expansive. This book is full of beasts, magic and lots of adventures. There are two main factions in the book: beast charmers and Cruor assassins. As their name probably indicates, Charmers are the race of beings with the ability to tame magical beasts and call on them whenever they please. Members of Cruor, on the other hand, are undead humans, raised again to live forever in the shadows and work as assassins. While everyone has their own unique, individual traits, there are a few things that make them assassins or Charmers.
I really enjoyed this adult fantasy, to me it had just the right amount of romance layered into an action packed epic fantasy.
I definitely would recommend this to anyone looking to read a new voice in adult fantasy
By the time evening fell, three things were certain: the gelatinous chunks of lamb were absolute shit, my beady-eyed client was hankering for more than the beasts in my possession, and someone was watching me.
Two out of the three were perfectly normal.
Sliding the meat to the side, I propped my elbows against the heavy plank table. My client lasted two seconds before his gaze roved to the book-shaped locket dangling in my cleavage. Wedging his thick fingers between the collar of his dress tunic and his neck, he tugged gently on the fabric.
“You have what I came for?” His heavy gold ring glinted in the candlelight. It bore the intricate etching of a scale: Wilheim’s symbol for the capital bank. A businessman. A rare visitor in Midnight Jester, my preferred black-market tavern. My pocket hummed with the possibility of money, and I fingered the bronze key hidden there.
“Maybe.” I nudged the metal dinner plate farther away. “How did you find me?” Dez, the bartender, sourced most of my clients, but brocade tunics and Midnight Jester didn’t mingle.
I shifted in the booth, the unseen pair of eyes burrowing further into the back of my head. Faint movement from the shadows flickered into my awareness. Movement that should have gone unnoticed, but I’d learned to be prepared for such things.
Interview with Maxym M. Martineau
Maxym M. Martineau’s debut fantasy romance novel is KINGDOM OF EXILES (The Beast Charmer). The novel will be published on June 25th 2019 by Sourcebooks.
Question – Please describe what the book is about.
Maxym M. Martineau – A fantasy romance novel with magic, beasts and assassins! Here’s the blurb:
Exiled Charmer Leena Edenfrell is running out of time. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes Noc an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.
Plagued by a curse that kills everyone he loves, Noc agrees to Leena’s terms in hopes of finding a cure. Never mind that the dark magic binding the assassin’s oath will eventually force him to choose between Leena’s continued survival…and his own.
Q – Where did you get the idea?
MMM – Kingdom of Exiles started because of a dream I had about Noc, the main male character. I’ve always had particularly vivid dreams, so when he appeared all swathed in shadows, as he’s apt to do in the book, I just knew I had to write about him. In my dream, he told me about how he was physically incapable of being with the one he loved, and I wanted that to translate into a story, hence Noc’s curse.
Leena was born out of his descriptions of her, and the beasts were something I always dreamed about—creatures I’d see, worlds I’d get snippets of. It was really like pulling ideas together from several different dreams into one coherent story.
Q – What’s the story behind the title?
MMM – Actually, the title is something my publisher and I worked on together. Kingdom of Exiles was originally the Beast Charmer, which ended up becoming the series title. But the more and more we talked about Noc and Leena’s predicaments, and both of them being exiles in their own way, it was just the perfect fit.
Q – No spoiler, but tell us something we won’t find out just by reading the book jacket.
MMM – There is something like 25+ beasts referenced in some way, shape, or form in Kingdom of Exiles. I had no idea when I started exactly how many I’d include, and then it just sort of… exploded! I love all of them, and I’m so glad my publisher did, too, because this resulted in the creation of a bestiary appendix, which includes pronunciation guides, ranks, detailed descriptions and taming requirements for each and every one of them.
Q – Tell us about your favorite character.
MMM – This is like picking a favorite child! I can’t do it. Please, don’t make me. Gah… I suppose it’s a toss up between my main male character, Noc, and a secondary character, Kost. They’re both so angsty and brooding!
Q – If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and what would you do?
MMM – Leena. Don’t get me wrong, I love my other characters, but I’d love to spend the day with her so I could play with all the magical beasts she’s tamed.
Q – Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imaginations?
MMM – Imagination or dreams, really. Of course, there are some outside influences that always crop up. I’m a huge video game and anime nerd, so I’ll pay homage to certain quirks or traits of characters I love.
Q – How long did you take to write this book?
MMM – I’m a speed writer, I’ll admit it. I started concepting out the idea of this novel while I was in Pitch Wars with a different book, but truly didn’t start writing it until December or January of 2017, I believe. I made it a goal to finish it before my wedding in March, started editing after that, and then sent out a few queries but held off when I got into Query Kombat. Signed with my agent in September, went through revisions over the holidays, went on sub shortly thereafter, and had an offer relatively quickly. I ended up signing with Sourcebooks in July of 2018.
Q – What kind of research did you do for this book?
MMM – Not a whole lot. I do a lot of pre-writing, which I guess you could call research, but since it’s fantasy, I primarily rely on my imagination. Sometimes, I’d look up weapon terminology, clothing, etc.
Q – What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
MMM – I actually ended up adding about 20,000 words. O_O
Q – Are you a plotter or a pantser?
MMM – If you twist my arm, I’ll side with the pantsers. I typically only start with a vague notion of where I want my characters to end up, but as they start to develop on the page and make choices that surprise me, I’ll alter along the way. Which makes me want to say I’m a plantser? Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing. It’s a bit hard to not plot to some degree when writing a trilogy, even if it’s only, “I know he’ll get to Point A by midway and Point Z by the end of it all.” But I have never been a hardcore synopsis writer, sticky note gal, or outline type of person.
Q – What is your favorite part of your writing process, and why?
MMM – Pre-writing. In this stage, I do a lot of dreaming, build a lot of boards, fill out character sheets and design maps (I love to design maps!). I feel like this is when I truly get to build out characters and worlds that are three dimensional. That way, when they’re on the page progressing through the plot, their actions and quirks come naturally to me.
Q – What is the most challenging part of your writing process, and why?
MMM – This is a hard question for me to answer. I find all parts of the writing process validating and invigorating in different ways. Though I end up pulling my hair out the most during editing, so if I had to pick, that one.
Q – Can you share your writing routine?
MMM – Writing time? What’s that? I’m kidding, mostly. I work a full-time job and am the co-founder of a not-for-profit romance site on the side (All The Kissing), so I don’t have a lot of hours in my day. I will say, though, that I thrive under deadlines. Need edits in a week? I’m game. A rework of that chapter before it gets released? Done.
Q – Have you ever gotten writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome it?
MMM – Absolutely. I usually have to walk away for at least a day, if not more. I’m the type of person who can write 5,000+ words in a sitting, so when I can’t get more than 100, I really flail. I end up calling my critique partners so I can talk through options and pain points, and that usually solves the problem. Sometimes I just know the section is going to be rough, and I push through just to make it to the next passage. When I come back for edits, it’s much easier to see what I missed or could do better.
Q – If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
MMM – Be active in your writing community! I feel like I made a ton of newbie mistakes early on because I simply had no idea what I was doing (heck, I still don’t). The difference between then and now is that I’ve got a support system of writers who are always there for me. My biggest frustration with my earlier self is that I fought getting on Twitter for so long. I had no idea what kind of community I was passing up.
Q – How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
MMM – Let’s see… three unpublished books and I dunno how many half-finished ones. Some I won’t go back to, some are ideas I’m waiting on until after I’m finished with this series.
Q – Do you have any writing quirks?
MMM – I don’t know if you’d call it a quirk, but I write best with music and coffee. Particularly moody music, and I love to come up with playlists for my books.
Q – Tell us about yourself.
MMM – I work as a social media and ad writer for a large tech company. I’m married with a baby on the way (yay!), and I will always have fur babies in my life. I’ve got two pups right now, and they’re my whole world. My husband is pretty cool, too.
Q – How did you get into writing?
MMM – My mother, actually. I used to have terrible nightmares as a child, and she taught me how to exercise that negative energy by writing down my experiences in a journal. As I learned more about myself and my dreams, they became less frightening and I ended up looking forward to sleeping just so I could come up with new story ideas.
Q – What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
MMM – Really, my interests vary. I used to be a competitive swimmer, then I got into rock climbing, then ballroom dancing, then fitness competitions… Basically, I love all sports. Reading, video games and anime have always been a constant, too.
Q – Apart from novel writing, do you do any other kind(s) of writing?
MMM – I do a lot of article writing for All The Kissing, as well as work on paid and organic social media outreach campaigns for my day job. It’s interesting to see how many different ways I can use my skill set.
Q – Share something about you most people probably don’t know.
MMM – I’m absolutely terrified of moths. I don’t know what it is about them, but I’m convinced that if they land on me, they will eat the clothes right off my body in a matter of moments and leave me covered in dust.
Q – Which book influenced you the most?
MMM – Hands down, Harry Potter. JK Rowling is my idol.
Q – What are you working on right now?
MMM – I just turned in edits for book two of the Beast Charmer series, so I’ll begin work on book three here shortly. Then after that, it’s editing again, and drafting for books four, five and six.
Q – What’s your favorite writing advice?
MMM – I don’t know if it’s advice from a specific person or rather just a sentiment, but embrace your own journey. There’s no one straight path to publication, and you can learn so much from simply being completely and totally invested in your own experience.
Maxym M. Martineau is a staff writer and editor by day, and a fantasy romance author by night. When she’s not getting heated over broken hearts, she enjoys playing video games, sipping a well-made margarita, binge-watching television shows, competing in just about any sport, and of course, reading.
Following her passion, Maxym earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, and currently lives in Arizona with her husband and their dogs. She is represented by Cate Hart of Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her debut, Kingdom of Exiles, is slated for release in June 2019.