Monday, September 21, 2015

One Week Blog Tour for Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin from September 21 - 29, 2015 with Author Interview



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Title: Alpha Unleashed
Series: The Alpha Girl Series
Vol or Book #: 5
Author:  Aileen Erin
Audience: YA, 14+

E-Book Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC
Cover by: Art by Ana Cruz ; 
Graphics by Paddy Donnelly
Editor: Ink Monster, LLC
Pages: unknown at this time
ISBN: 97809906352A0M
ASIN: B00NX52A0M
Date Published: 10-13-15

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Blurb

   Tessa McCaide has had it up to here with supernaturals. Luciana may have failed to steal Tessa’s magic, but she’s just getting started on her crusade for magical domination. If her demonic summoning isn’t stopped, it could mean the end of everything.

Tessa’s allies, including her mate Dastien, are ready to fight, but they’re no match for Luciana’s power. A little help (and ancient Inca mojo) from Tessa’s cousin, Claudia, may give the side of good a chance if she can make it home in time, but stopping the war is no longer an option.

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excerpt (2)

I trailed off when I noticed Meredith staring hard at something behind me. I quickly glanced over my shoulder. “What?” 
“What’s Shannon doing with that group?” Her lips pressed into a tight, thin line. “And is that Imogene?” Meredith and I might be split on how we felt about Shannon, but we totally agreed on Imogene. 
I turned back to my now-cold omelet and took a bite. “I know,” I said after a second. “Looks like they’re BFFs now.” 
She scrunched up her nose as she thought. “Why is she with those guys? Shannon has nothing in common with them. She’s from the Irish pack. And Imogene? Really?” Meredith stared at them like she could glean answers off them. “Maybe if we all try reaching out to her, she’ll sit with us again.” 
I’d explained what happened between Shannon and I while Meredith was sick, but she didn’t understand. For better or worse, they’d been friends since forever. Their parents were friends and they’d grown up taking vacations together. Meredith was loyal, almost to a fault, and that meant she refused to give up on Shannon. “We tried that, remember? It didn’t work.” 
“I should go over. Try talking to her again.” 
I nearly rolled my eyes. Meredith had tried talking to Shannon, and in her defense—Shannon was still nice to her, but it was a losing battle. Shannon would obviously rather be with her new friends than us. 
Meredith started to stand up, but I grabbed her hand. “I wouldn’t—” 
“I have to try.” 
I let her go as I tried to think of a way to say what I needed to say without making it worse. “I don’t know. I still can’t feel anyone at that table through the pack bonds. Including Shannon.” 
Meredith crossed her arms as she stared down at me. “Whatever happened between you and her, she wouldn’t do anything to harm the pack. Shannon’s not capable of that.” 
I disagreed, but saying so would only hurt Meredith’s feelings. “What if she thought it would help the pack?” And what if they aren’t part of our pack anymore? I thought the words but didn’t say them aloud. 
For a second, Meredith’s lower lip trembled, and I thought I’d gotten through to her, but then she shook her head. “No. I don’t believe that. Not at all.” 
I kept my mouth firmly shut. If there was one person I didn’t want to piss off, it was Meredith. She’d been my friend—no questions asked—from the beginning. She’d helped me through when all I’d wanted to do was run away from St. Ailbe’s. And when I’d sucked at running and kept falling out of windows, she hadn’t made fun of me. Much. “I just don’t want you to get disappointed.” 
“I—” Meredith stopped in the middle of what she was saying, and turned to the door. 
It took me a second to figure out what was going on, but then Donovan came into the cafeteria, and started our way. Maybe he’d be able to reach Meredith, because I sure as hell wasn’t getting anywhere. 
She laughed at something he must’ve said through their bond. “Donovan is going to keep you company while I talk to Shannon. I’ll be back in a sec.” 
There wasn’t any point in trying to stop her. 
Donovan took Meredith’s spot at the table. He wore sweat pants and a T-shirt and his black hair was still messy from his run. His clothes gave of the scents of cedar and grass and dirt, and it almost made me jealous. 
Maybe a run would clear my mind. Help me figure out a way around these visions. 
“She’s checking on Shannon, eh?” Donovan asked, bringing me back to myself. 
“Yeah.” I’d already said my piece to his mate. I didn’t need to repeat myself. 
He jerked his chin toward the table in question. “There’s still something off about them.” 
My fork dropped to the plate with a clatter, and I glared into his glass-blue eyes. “Oh, come on. We’re not doing this.” 
Donovan raised his eyebrows. “Not doing what?” 
He had to be joking. “I just had this conversation with Meredith. I know how the whole mate thing works. There’s not a chance she didn’t tell you.” 
He gave me a wicked grin, and I knew trouble was coming. “Aye. But what you don’t know is that I agree with you.” 
“You do?” Mr. Dawson had been all—everything’s fine. Donovan hadn’t said a word. Why now? 
“Yes. I do.” 
“What do you know?” I leaned toward him, lowering my voice. Pesky Weres and their super-awesome hearing. “Why are their bonds missing? I thought they couldn’t leave the pack without putting in a formal bid to Mr. Dawson.” 
“That’s true enough. I don’t know what’s going on, but I think you’re going to find out. If this absence of pack bond is spreading, then we need to find the cause. Just… Don’t say anything to Meredith until we’re positive. All right?” 
Whoa. I didn’t keep much—if anything—from Dastien. “Do you think that’s wise?” 
“Keeping my opinions from my mate?” One side of his mouth quirked up. “Not usually. But she made her side clear enough with you, and I’d rather not start an argument that won’t get us anywhere.” 
Who knew? Even the great Donovan—one of the all-powerful Seven—was afraid of pissing off his mate. The idea was a little preposterous, but then again—I didn’t like upsetting Dastien either. I’d done it. But that didn’t mean I liked it. That left me with one last question. “Why can’t you keep an eye on them? You’re probably way better at this pack bonds stuff than I am.” 
He raised an eyebrow. “In case you’ve forgotten, I’m not of this pack. I’m an alpha, and can use that to overpower and override the pack bonds if necessary, but this needs more finesse. An insider’s look.” 
“But your mate’s in our pack.” When Dastien bit me, I’d become part of the St. Ailbe’s pack. I figured it would be the same for Donovan and Meredith and their mate bond, even if they hadn’t gone through with their bonding ceremony. 
“Doesn’t work that way. I’m already the alpha of another pack.” 
“So, what about Meredith? Is she still part of this pack?” 
“Until she and Michael decide to let her move to mine. She’ll keep it for as long as she’s here, and I think that’s best.” He leaned forward. “I’ve heard through Michael and Meredith, but I want to know what it is you’re feelin’ from them. I’ve not experienced this before, and that’s sayin’ something to me.” His Irish accent thickened, and I finally knew that someone else was as worried about this as I was. 
“I don’t know what to say except that I can’t feel them. It’s like they’re there, but they’re not.” I sighed. “It makes no sense. Which is why Mr. Dawson blew me off when I brought it up. Shouldn’t you be talking to him about this? He’s the alpha.” 
“What makes you think I haven’t already?” 
The tension on my shoulders relaxed. It seemed like a good sign that two alphas were really talking about the problem. “And?” 
“Nothing. If they’ve withdrawn from the pack, he’s not feeling it.” He leaned in closer, speaking so quietly that even I could barely hear. “But last night, he gave that group of boys from the Canada pack a direct command and they disobeyed. I backed the command and forced their obedience, but I shouldn’t have had to. He’s their alpha. It may be that Rupert Hoel’s influence went deeper than those we’ve caught. There’s still a major player out there, and I’ve a fine idea who it might be.” 
Holy shit. That was bad news. Only someone more alpha than Mr. Dawson could ignore his commands, and they weren’t more alpha. At all. 
“Who?” 
“I think you might know. It’s one who got away.” 
It hit me then. They’d kicked one of the Seven out of the Council. The one who hated me. Ferdinand. “Do you really think it could be?” 
“Aye.” 
“But you didn’t say anything when I brought it up before.” 
“It took me longer to feel what you were getting at. I like to suss things out before actin’. Get fully aware of the situation. If you feel anything else out of the ordinary, let me know. Just be aware that if that lot wants to leave, that’s fine by me. They’re welcome to go their own way, but they need to make formal bids to Michael and they’ll have to tie to the Seven until they find their new packs. It must be done properly, or they’ll be considered lone wolves. And if they align with Ferdinand… I’d like those youngsters to avoid that if possible.” 
My stomach churned, and suddenly I didn’t feel much like finishing my omelet. If the pack was breaking up, then how were we ever going to defeat Luciana? We needed to be united if we wanted to stand the slightest chance of surviving. 




 
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Author Photo - Aileen Erin
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd—from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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Blog – http://inkmonster.net/blog/category/aileen
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Angels with Attitude - Author Interview – Aileen Erin

AwA: What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?

AE: If I were the main character, I think the book would be much more boring… I’m very shy in real life, and not very kick ass at all. That’s why I like Tessa so much. She never backs down, no matter how hard things get. 

AwA: What was your inspiration behind this book? 

AE: This book was very much a culmination of the previous books. It just seemed like the natural progression. I love shifters, and I wondered what it would be like for a girl to get bitten. What kind of changes she might go through. It seemed like a good place for a lot of tension, which is key for any book. I also wanted to write something with a strong female lead. Tessa is that for me. She values Dastien and everything he does for her, but they’re a TEAM. They’re equals. And that’s something that’s really important for me in my books.

AwA: Why did you become a writer?

AE: I started writing for sanity’s sake. I hated my day job, and coming home and writing was a way for me to let go of everything that happened during the day. Once I finished my first book (which is currently in a drawer and will never, ever see the light of day), I realized that writing was where my true passion was. I quit my day job, got a part-time one, and started my MFA in creative writing so I could hone my craft. I haven’t looked back since.

AwA: Do you have a favorite author or authors?

AE: Oh,  boy… My Kindle library has over three thousand books… And that’s not including my real library in my house… But I was really lucky in my MFA to have one of my favorite authors as my mentor—Maria V. Snyder. I also love Anne Bishop. Her world building is outstanding and completely unique. Sarah J Maas is amazing, too. As is Patricia Briggs—I never miss one of her books!

AwA: Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?

AE: I really do. As a reader, I love a series. I like to find out what happens next. I never want it to end. As a writer, I think it’s really fun to keep pushing my characters to grow and change. You get so much more room to play when working in a series.

AwA: If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?

AE: Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He’s such a gentleman. And even if he’s a bit reserved at first, he’s generous and kind and would do anything for the lovely Elizabeth Bennet. So dreamy! ;)

AwA: What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?

AE: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, all kinds of YA books, NA Romance, and Contemporary Romance.

AwA: As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books. Do you agree with that?

AE: Absolutely! 100% I love connecting with fans! It’s the best when they reach out. Writing can be very solitary, and hearing from people who are reading your work is such a fantastic feeling. I know I want to grow and expand the Alpha Girl series with other characters, and I always encourage readers to let me know who they’d like a book from, or if they want more from Tessa. As long as they keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

AwA: Do you cry when writing sad scenes?

AE: Yes. But I’ve been labeled the “cry baby” of the family. I cried every night for a week after seeing Up… ;) I really put myself in my character’s shoes, so that means emotionally going on the journey with them. So if they’re sad, I’m sad.

AwA: Did you have a Cover Designer?

AE: Totally! I work with an amazing artist who lives in Portugal on the covers. She’s fantastic!!! And then I have an Irish graphic designer who lives in Belgium that does the graphic design of the covers.

AwA: Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush? 

AE: Again, I think I have to say Mr. Darcy. He’s just so dreamy! 

AwA: If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?

AE: Anne Bishop. Her world building is just so fantastic and spot on. So rich and thorough. I’d love to pick her brain a bit and see how she goes about building her worlds.

AwA: Do just re-read your favorite books? 

AE: I do! I re-read all my favorite books. Any book that sucks me away, I’ll read again and again. I always try to see what the author is doing, to see if I can learn from them, but usually I end up getting swept away by the story again. And that’s okay, too.

AwA: Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?

AE: I do! Especially when I’m in the thick of breaking a story or plotting. I’ll open and close book after book, trying to find the one that I want to read. It always takes me a while to realize that the book I want to read is the one in my head… Le sigh.

AwA: What is the funniest book you ever read?

AE: One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. That series in general cracks me up! How can Stephanie get into such messes all the time?! And her grandmother Mazur!!!! And Lula?!!! Total riot!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One Week Blog Tour for Saga by J.A. Campbell with Author Interview and Giveaway



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Saga:  Legends of the Travelers Book #1 by J.A. Campbell
Audience:  Young Adult 12+, Genre:  Fantasy, Adventure, horses, Format:  ebook
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Publisher: Untold Press, Cover by:  Sean Hayden, Untold Press, Pages:  196, ASIN:  B012236VMS,
Date Published:  Aug 17 2015
 
blurb (1)
Taken from her people as a foal, Saga is plunged into a world completely foreign to her. All Travelers know other worlds exist, but they don’t expect to actually experience them until they are adults. Saga must learn to adapt to her new surroundings if she wants to survive until she’s old enough to be able to Travel among worlds and return to her people.
Jarl is the son of the Vanir High Mages and heir to the throne. Though young, his parents entrust him with the care and training of the captured Traveler foal. However, none of the Vanir understand just how intelligent the Travelers are and they may have given Jarl more than he can handle.
When Saga escapes, the High Mages decide she is too much trouble and has to be killed. Jarl defies his parents and goes after her. Will they remain enemies when Jarl finds her, or will they form a bond of friendship strong enough to save Saga’s life?

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excerpt (1)
"My Prince, High Mage Nessa sent me to fetch you."
Jarl considered ignoring the servant. He was in the middle of a great battle with a couple of the other mage children and he wanted to test his catapult. If Jarl sent him away, he knew his parents, the high mages, wouldn't be pleased. The thought of actually having to do chores, even if only for a week, was distasteful. They had servants for a reason, after all.
Jarl sighed and waved at his friends before acknowledging the servant. The boy wasn't much older than him, and wore plain brown as all the servants did. He looked up hopefully from the ground, briefly meeting Jarl's eyes, before remembering his place and casting his gaze to the ground again.
That breach of etiquette could get the boy flogged, and perhaps Jarl would save him greater punishment later if he had him whipped now. It was only a lash when you met the eyes of a son or daughter of a great mage or noble. The twenty required if you dared to look into the eyes of one of the mages would probably kill the boy. Jarl decided it was too much trouble and ignored the eye contact.
"Where?"
"Their private rooms."
Jarl's stomach sank. Maybe they'd found out about the prank he and Conor had played on Cook. It hadn't been nice, putting cheese crumbs in her favorite apron and leaving it where the rats could get to it, but she was mean. She'd been head cook for as long as anyone could remember and made the most amazing pies, which was probably why his father tolerated her disrespectful attitude.
Jarl nodded and headed across the well-manicured grounds toward the castle. Built with magic and stone, the castle towered above him. Banners flapped from the battlements, snapping in the breeze that didn't reach down into the walled grounds.
One of the side entrances was closest and, once inside, he dashed into the servants' ways. He wasn't supposed to run through the narrow hallways and grand corridors because a ruler's son was always composed and regal. He could get away with it in the dank servants' ways though, as long as he wasn't out of breath when he arrived.
In good shape, Jarl could run forever like the dire wolves that hunted the northern mountains. It was completely permissible for Jarl to run outside and he loved the feeling of freedom that it gave him. One day he would be permitted beyond the confines of the castle and would race all over his world.
Those musings kept him occupied until he ran out of back ways to dash through. He stopped and took a few deep breaths to calm his racing heart, made sure his clothing wasn't disheveled, and then stepped into the opulent hallway that led to his parents' suites. The thick blue carpeting muffled his footfalls and he felt the eyes of the guards stationed periodically through the hallway on his back. When he boldly looked at them however, none seemed to have moved a muscle, not even to twist their eyes and look at him. The guards wore dark green livery emblazoned with the crystal and the griffin. Only mages wore blue. Even mages in training couldn't wear blue until they reached the first order.
Jarl reached the heavy oak doors carved with the ever-present griffin and crystal symbols. The guards ignored him and he knocked on the door. An attendant inside opened it for him. Jarl hurried through the outer receiving room, well used to its ornate decorations and elegantly carved furniture. Blue dominated the room. Mostly bare except for some comfortable furniture for lounging and tables and lamps for reading. The private room beyond contrasted sharply. The tapestry and the picture of Jarl and his mother were the only decorations.
His parents sat at the table reading. They both looked at him when he entered, and Jarl tried not to act guilty.
"Your hair is sticking up. I do believe you have a leaf in it." His mother sounded stern, but he could see a glint of amusement in her eyes.
"Sorry, Mother." He ran a hand through his short curls and pulled the offending leaf out of his hair. Then he held it awkwardly, not knowing what to do with it.
"Oh, throw it in the fireplace and come here." She smiled and stood. Jarl did as he was told and hugged his mother tightly.
His father stood. "How are you today, son?"
"Fine, Father. What can I do for you?" At only ten, the formality was hard for Jarl, but he did try.
"We have a surprise for you."
Jarl's heart lightened. They hadn't heard about the cheese! He couldn't understand how though, as Cook had raised a huge fuss when she'd found her rat-chewed apron.
"Yes, Father?"
A slight smile creased his father's face at the eagerness in his voice. Jarl had tried to contain it, but he loved good surprises. The smile made him even happier, slight as it was. Geraint Ilmarinen was not a man used to smiling.
"If you're good, and you master that spell you've been struggling with, you'll find out tonight. Meet us in the stables an hour after dinner."
Jarl's heart sank again, but only a little. He almost had that spell down. Requiring concentration on two different components at once, thus far he'd managed to fail at the last minute every time.
"Yes, Father."
"Go practice, Jarl. We'll forgive you if you need to miss your dinner." His mother's smile appeared more often, but still he treasured it. He grinned back at her.
"Yes, Mother. If I may be excused?" Having permission to skip dinner meant he could send a servant for food and avoid having to dress nicely and all that stuff he hated about court.
"Of course."
He gave a quick bow and, unable to contain his excitement, he ran from the room.
"Walk!" The tolerant reprimand followed him out the door and he forced himself to slow once he reached the public hallway.
It didn't take long for him to arrive at the practice room, and he set to work on the spell with renewed enthusiasm.
∞ ∞ ∞
It took him several hours, and he almost forgot to eat the dinner that the servant brought for him, but Jarl finally got the spell to work. For all the effort, it was a relatively simple result. He was supposed to take a regular candle and make it burn with a green flame. Lighting the candle with magic was simple enough. However, altering the components of the wick to make it burn green wasn't as easy. Jarl could have cast a simple illusion on the flame, but that wasn't the point of the exercise. Supposedly, once you could perform the spell reliably with a candle, and then other fires, you would be able to apply the principles to much more complicated and powerful works of magic.
Jarl, now able to focus on something other than the magic singing through his veins, distantly heard the bell toll seven times. He was late! He should have left for the stables twenty minutes ago. He hastily grabbed a fresh candle, along with the one he'd managed to craft the spell on, and slipped into the servants' ways so he could run. His parents would understand. They always did when magic was involved, however he didn't want to keep them waiting, or they might decide he hadn't mastered the spell in time.
He hadn't even had time to wonder about the surprise. He thought it might be a horse of his very own since they were meeting in the stables. He could ride any horse he wanted—as long as it wasn't one of the hunting or warhorses. To have one of his very own seemed special. It also meant his father might start taking him out into the countryside more. Jarl felt confined, like he was missing out on life, since he mostly had to stay on castle grounds until he went off to school in a few years. Those with magical talent had to be protected until they could protect themselves. Shadow creatures called Ovattr hunted mages, very effectively. Now and again, a body would be returned to the castle, or the Mage School, torn by claw and tooth. The treacherous Alfar created the creatures long ago to destroy the human mages.
Jarl forced himself to walk when he reached the door leading from the servants' ways to the outer courtyards. Though still light out at this time of year, the oppressive heat of the day had lifted, and a light breeze dried the sweat dampening his hair. A seabird cried out, circling overhead, seeming to mock Jarl for running late. In his impatience, Jarl ended up half jogging when he wasn't in view of the stables, and walking as properly as he could when he knew his parents might see him. Liveried guards stood outside the main doors, the green contrasting nicely with the stone that made up the front of the stables. They didn't so much as glance at Jarl. Still, he imagined he could feel their eyes on him as he scooted passed their forbidding presence. The statue-like guards had always unnerved him, though he worked hard not to let it show.
Airy and open, the stables smelled of horse and dust and sweet hay. A dapple-gray that Jarl occasionally rode nickered when he saw the boy. Jarl smiled and scratched the horse on the nose before heading deeper into the large building.
A high-pitched angry squeal, followed by the thump of hooves against a wooden stall, startled him. By the time most horses made it into the stables, they were quiet. The horses in training and the warhorses were kept elsewhere.
A bucket crashed to the ground. Jarl heard other angry thumps and squeals, and he thought he heard the ghost of a voice screaming: Let me go!

about the author (1)
J.A. CampbellCampbell_authorpic1
Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to  bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor.She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult fantasy series Tales of the Travelers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association and the editor for Steampunk Trails fiction magazine.
 
Angels with Attitude - Author Interview

What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book ?

 In Saga, Legends of the Travelers book 1, if I were Saga, I probably wouldn’t have fought the Skria with the adult Travelers. I would have run away.

What was your inspiration behind this book?


 My whole Travelers series came about after numerous trail rides on my own horse in the mountains. It felt like I was being transported to other worlds and I wanted to write about it.


Why did you become a writer?



 Because I loved telling stories and it just sort of happened.


Do you have a favorite author or authors?



 Timothy Zahn and Kristin Britain.


Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?

 Yes.


If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?

 Anna, so I could have more time with Sabaska.
What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time? Fantasy, all sorts.


As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that? 

Yes. It’s always nice to know that they want to read what you’re writing and it’s motivating to keep writing what they want to read.


Do you cry when writing sad scenes?

 I have made myself tear up a time or two with some seriously touching scenes.


Did you have a Cover Designer?

 My publisher takes care of my covers.


Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush? 

I don’t have one these days. Sorry, kinda boring that way.


If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?

 Probably Kristin Britain.


Do you re-read your favorite books?



 Of course. It’s like hanging out with old friends.


Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?

 I do sometimes end up with very little time to read, when the writing projects pile up. I’m still reading though, just not for pleasure. Then, once I get caught up, I usually binge read.



What is the funniest book you ever read? 

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Or possibly the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. 
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