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Coming of Age, Fairy Tales, Giveaways, Interviews, NA Romance, YA Fiction

Interview – Part 3: Janie Marie Talks About Writing

Janie Marie
Janie Marie

I have read that you have received a good deal of negative feedback because you named a female main character after yourself. I think it’s brilliant, and haters gonna hate. What was your thinking there? Why did you want to name her after you? And how much of Janie, the character, is you?
Ooh, those are loaded questions. This is going to be a lengthy response! To properly explain, I have to give a lot of background. I originally drafted this story on Wattpad a few years ago. I had no idea it would become so successful—it had over 24 million reads before I pulled the incomplete draft. So I was not prepared for the attacks that came from the instant Team Kylie readers. They didn’t care about the fact that Jane, Janie’s G&M form, was named after me because I was trying to heal myself. When I decided to write G&M, I was grieving my best friend’s death, my marriage was falling apart, and I was suffering from severe depression, anxiety, PTSD from sexual abuse and other traumatic stuff, and learning to cope with a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. All they cared about was “this is Kylie’s story… get over yourself.” They didn’t care about anything I was actually doing—only that they wanted Kylie and Logan, and it was wrong of me to shove myself down their throats. Or to give myself the hottest guy. Lol.

Anyway, it was my late friend, Tifani, who told me on the day we found out she wasn’t going to survive that I needed to share my story. After writing the first chapter as a sort of memoir/horror story, I chickened out. Then I saw Jane in my mind. She was me, but also not. I gave her part of my soul, my name(Janie is a diminutive of Jane), and I gave her every bit of sorrow, fear, pain, but also happiness, my hopes, and my heart. I still almost changed her name, but it felt wrong to ask another to suffer what she would. Together, we pulled each other through the journeys we were on. She gave me strength and I made her fight harder to show me I could survive. When it came time to writing WAotBBW, she was meant to be there for reasons readers will find out. And on her first appearance in the book, I wrote Janie instead of Jane. I hit backspace, but she appeared in my mind, shaking her head at me. Her boys did the same, and I realized she was telling me to be braver, be greater. To truly not hide anymore and embrace myself. After all, the story I was telling with WAotBBW is my way of speaking to my daughter and the continued path of healing I was undertaking for myself. So even with the insults, the threats, and plagiarism I held strong. I couldn’t turn my back on my girl. So Janie is my acceptance that I’m a very flawed girl. I’m one that can be hated and admired. I can be broken and healed. I can be brave and I am always loved. Never forgotten.

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Coming of Age, Fairy Tales, Giveaways, Interviews, YA Fiction

Interview – Part 2: Janie Marie Discusses Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?.

Janie Marie Interview Part 1
Janie Marie Interview Part 1
Janie Marie
Janie Marie

For people who aren’t familiar with your book, what genre is Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Lol it’s all over the place. I mainly consider it A Coming of Age Fairy Tale Adaptation. But it has just about everything besides SciFi.

WAoTBBW is a spin-off from your previous series, Gods & Monsters. Could you explain where the characters of Kylie Hood and Logan Grimm come from and who they are?
Ooh, you have to keep reading to find out. The big reveal comes in book 3 of the Big Bad Wolf Trilogy. It’s a huge twist when you read all of my books.

I have not read Gods & Monsters yet, but could you tell me what cross-over characters appear in WAoTBBW, and why should we know them? 
Gosh, there are too many to name. I’ll say every “soul” WAotBBW comes from G&M. Readers love finding out as they read. Some know right away who is who and others are stumped, but I do clarify in WAotBBW.

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Coming of Age, Fairy Tales, Giveaways, Interviews, YA Fiction

Interview – Part 1: Janie Marie, Author of Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Janie Marie Interview Part 1
Janie Marie Interview Part 1
Janie Marie
Janie Marie

If you could, please take a minute to introduce yourself to readers.
I’m Janie Marie. I live near Austin, Texas, with my husband and our three children—plus four adopted fur babies. I’m the only girl of six children. My parents each had two sons before marrying and having me then my little brother was a surprise. I remind him all the time I was supposed to be the last. Lol. I’m totally winging this author thing, but I’m happy to constantly grow as I share my life and art.

And it will in no way affect the way I think about you as a person, but what are your thoughts on coffee? Keep in mind coffee drinkers are the best people in the world. 
Haha, I don’t like it. I love the smell and have had friends give me various types, and I just don’t like it. My morning drink is always Dr Pepper.

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Blog Tour, Guest Post, Paranormal Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Guest Post: Alexandrea Weis, Author of Sisters of the Moon

Sisters of the Moon by Alexandrea Weis
Sisters of the Moon by Alexandrea Weis
Alexandrea Weis
Alexandrea Weis

The full moon has long had an aura and mystery that has made it an integral part of humanity’s myths and legends. Such is the case of Sisters of the Moon, where the lunar cycles and their power have sway over the women who live in the convent of St. Gertrude. 

The moon is tied to the ever-changing cycle of women’s’ bodies. This may be why witches believed that magic is supposedly at its most powerful during the full moon, and since many women were associated with witchcraft and healing, the moon became their symbol. 

The beginnings of giving the moon a female essence go back to the ancients when Luna in Latin and Selene in Greek, both female names and deities in the Roman and Greek pantheons, were attributed to the moon. The Incas in South America have a myth where a brother and sister, the moon maiden, and the sun man are the ancestors of their people. Native Americans share similar folklore where the woman’s role is portrayed as dark and influenced by the moon’s cycles. The sun is considered masculine because of its life-giving power and endurance Sol in Latin and Sunne in Old English and is deemed masculine by astronomers. Many mythologies have male solar deities–the Greek god Apollo, the Roman god Sol, the Mesopotamian god Utu, and the Egyptian god Ra. It would seem women remained in the shadows of the sun even among the gods.

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Blog Tour, Book Blitz, Book It, Guest Post, New Release, YA Fantasy

Guest Post: Jessi Kallison, Author of Where Angels Can’t Follow

Where Angels Can't Follow by Jessi Kallison
Where Angels Can't Follow by Jessi Kallison

Where Angels Can’t Follow: The Origin

Jessi Kallison
Angel photo by Kathy Hagood at Angel Finger Photography. It’s now displayed on Jessi Kallison’s Wall of Weird.

There’s a slightly creepy and definitely weird piece of art on my wall. The print caught my eye at a local festival a few years back, and I bought it because it intrigued me.

My kids hated it when I hung it on the wall, but my tastes haven’t gotten less eclectic since. (Sorry, not sorry, nerdlings.)

I obsessed over the details. I wondered why the angel woman was headless and whose much larger hand was on her stomach? Was he human? Another angel? Why was he touching her at all? Was the owner of that hand a good guy? Why would she be a statue? And why would she be a headless statue after that?I don’t know the real story. But my brain wouldn’t let go of the image and decided to start making up its own story that began with an angel statue. And Where Angels Can’t Follow was born

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Book It, Guest Post, Interviews

Guest Post: Sarah Relyea, Author of Playground Zero

Playground Zero by Sarah Relyea
Playground Zero by Sarah Relyea
Sarah Relyea
Sarah Relyea

Berkeley in the 1960s: An Unforgettable Character

During recent visits, I have often found the city of Berkeley to be a garden on a hill, lush in its vegetation and breathtaking in its panoramas. In the stunning hill neighborhoods, redwoods soar from a neighbor’s yard as the eye feasts on tangled beach roses. Meanwhile, west beyond the flatlands and the bay, the blinding evening sun drops through the Golden Gate. A glass of wine in such a place is unlike a glass of wine anywhere else. The senses revel and rebel, and so do we.

When I wrote Playground Zero, a coming-of-age novel set in Berkeley during the counterculture movement of the 1960s, I wanted to convey something of the city’s splendor, along with the anarchy of those years. I wanted a backdrop that would contrast with the story of Alice Rayson, a girl growing up under fraying social norms, as large numbers of people sought to jettison the past. The lush landscape would serve to counterbalance unsettling aspects of Alice’s story, offsetting them—not only for the reader, but also for myself during the long process of producing a novel. More ambiguously, I hoped to shine the city’s light on some of the forgotten corners of those countercultural years. After all, contrast creates meaning.

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Book It, Guest Post

Guest Post: Eve Corso on Writing in a Pandemic

Eve Corso
Eve Corso

Hello. I would first and foremost like to introduce myself. My name is Eve Corso and I am the author of six books in print, all contemporary romances. I have two series. The first is the Esteban & Marialena series, which contains 3 books, and the second is a Matter of Timing series, which is a 2-part series. I also have a stand-alone book called You & Me in Washington, D.C. which is loosely based on the time when I lived on the East coast. 

The question has been raised to me. How has this pandemic affected my writing? You know, I think like the pandemic itself, I find myself with ups and downs during this time. I think at the beginning, there was a different kind of energy surrounding me. I thought to myself, finally, I have all this time now to write. Then, I was looking at something like two weeks being off. What I didn’t know was how long this was going to last. And the longer it’s lasting, the more my writing has fallen to the wayside. It’s not from a lack of wanting or trying. It’s mostly that I don’t feel creative as a writer right now. When I look back at my words these past few weeks, none of it excites me, and I might have to go back and scrap it all when I figure out how I want to re-write it. 

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Book It, Interviews

Interview: Sarah Biglow and Molly Zenk authors of Lucifer’s Emblem

Lucifers Emblem Sarah Biglow & Molly Zenk
Lucifers Emblem Sarah Biglow & Molly Zenk

Ali: Please introduce yourself.
Sarah & Molly: We’re Sarah Biglow & Molly Zenk. Together we write Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, and Academy books. We have a Fairy Tale Retelling coming soon too. Individually, we write all those genres plus Sarah writes Cozy Mysteries and Molly writes Historical Fiction.  Sarah lives in Boston and Molly lives in Denver.  Our writing process involves each working in the same Google Doc or passing a Word file back and forth. 

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Interviews, Mug Shots

Interview: Patty from IheartYA311 Bookstagram

IheartYA311 Bookstagram
IheartYA311 Bookstagram
IheartYA311 Bookstagram
IheartYA311 Bookstagram

Meet Patty from I Heart YA Bookstagram!

These are just fun questions, don’t think too hard on them; there are no wrong answers!

Ali: You can only read one book for the rest of your life, what is it?
Patty: Letters to the Lost.

Ali: Would you rather have a house made out of books, or have a book in which you could crawl inside and live?
Patty: House of books. Endless adventures.

Ali: Would you rather buy books from a brick and mortar bookstores, or online stores?
Patty: Brick and mortar. I like to feel, and smell, and have the experience.

Ali: What book is something you think you probably should have read already but haven’t?
Patty: The Diviners.

Ali: Name a book have you read that was not worthy of the hype?
Patty: Caravel. What rubbish!

Ali: Is there any book you feel was far worse as a book than it was as a movie or tv show.
Patty: Hmm…far worse? Miss Peregrine’s. The movie was great but the book was slow and boring.

Ali: Favorite book quote?
Patty: Don’t have one really..

Ali: You can give a shout out to any person, real or fictional, who is it, and what do you want them to know.
Patty: To the person who decided not to film the conclusion of the Divergent movies…talk about heartbreak! How could you devastate me like that? At least finish what you started.

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Guest Post, Interviews

Interview: Raylene from Booknook Reviews

Raylene Booknook Reviews
Raylene's Booknook Reviews
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Ali: Raylene I love your blog and the gallery element is fantastic. Tell me a little about Booknook Reviews.
Raylene: Thank you, Ali. That means a lot!
Booknook Reviews features reviews on some of the sexiest books found in the romance genre. My aim is to unite bookworms while supporting new a d established authors.

Ali: Bloggers have such a difficult job managing and gathering content. What do you most love to post on your blog?
Raylene: I love posting trigger warnings so I can give other readers a heads up. 

Ali: My guy suggested earlier that I am in book blogging because I’m a shameless hussy for free books. What inspired you to have a review blog?
Raylene:
1) It was the draw of free books for me too. Hands down. Netgalley’s support articles suggested having a blog as a means to receive free books. 
2) I needed something that was just mine. Not my husband’s or my son’s or my employer’s. Just mine.

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