Interview with Anne Holster, author of Finding Jackson

What can you tell us about your new release, Finding Jackson?

When I started writing ‘Finding Jackson’ I had no idea where I was going with it. All I had in mind is that I thought it would be fun to write about a young girl experiencing love at first sight. I also thought it would be kinda cool if the object of her affection wasn’t at all a guy most would describe as ‘classically handsome’. So, from that, ‘Finding Jackson’ was born! Although the story starts out with the blossoming relationship between Jackson and Leah, there’s also a backstory and that backstory is Jackson’s past, a past that he doesn’t want Leah knowing anything about. The story is told from three different perspectives – Jackson, Leah and Jackson’s mother, Anna. Anna’s story is told in flashbacks and begins when she first meets Jackson’s dad, ‘Ace’. The book spans several decades and involves all around major character growth – some good and some not so good. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say this…’Finding Jackson’ has it all – romance, heartbreak, betrayal and lastly…love, a real lasting, all consuming perfect love.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Anyone who writes a book – particularly a novel – is inevitably asked what their inspiration was. Of the many questions I have been asked as a fairly new writer, the most common are concerned with how the story came to me, how I created the characters and how I chose my setting. Like most writers, I was inspired in large part by the books I love – you know, the ones you can’t wait to get home and read? The ones that make you ignore a ringing phone or stay up hours past your bedtime, even if it means you’ll be tired for work the next day? For me those books include the Twilight and Fifty Shades series, and much of their allure lay in the unique qualities of their male leads – Edward Cullen and Christian Grey. So, in the nutshell, I guess I was inspired to become an author by my love of reading!

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

1. Thoughtless, S.C. Stephens
2. Beautiful Disaster, Jamie McGuire
3. Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James
4. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
5. How to Kill a Rock Star, Tiffanie DeBartolo

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I like the solitude of writing. I also consider myself to be an avid, conscientious reader which I think is important because it allows you to learn from the experts in terms of storyline, character development and realistic dialogue. The more you read, the more you learn and it teaches you what you can get away with as an author and what you can’t. I learned just as much from books I didn’t like as those I did.

I’ve so far stuck with writing within the new adult genre although I haven’t ruled out writing in another genre at some point in the future – mystery, perhaps? New adult is what I mainly read, though, and you know what they say – write what you love to read!

What is a typical day like for you?

My typical day is similar to most – kids, work, making dinner, etc. – I’m not that complicated so, in turn, I keep my writing process pretty simple. I usually start out writing on my laptop in the evening and most nights I keep going until I run out of ideas. On some nights when the ideas are flowing, I could literally write for hours, but then there are those nights when I seem to develop a bad case of writer’s block and on those nights, I just turn in early. I always keep a pen and pad on my nightstand in case an idea comes to me out of the blue during the night – believe it or not, this happens quite often. Of course, there have been many a morning when I had quite a hard time deciphering what I’d written the night before!

What scene in Finding Jackson was your favorite to write?

There were a lot of scenes I loved writing in ‘Finding Jackson’ but I guess if I had to pinpoint one in particular it was the one where Jackson finds out the truth behind why his father became so bitter towards his mother and him and his siblings. It was a very moving scene.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

My favorite quote is from Irish-born author Iris Murdoch and reads, “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” It’s so true! It’s the little things that make life so special!

Anne Holster is the author of the new book Finding Jackson.

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Finding Jackson

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Interview with Betty Shreffler, author of Countdown to Christmas

What can you tell us about your new release, Countdown to Christmas?

Countdown to Christmas is a naughty and nice, sweet and sexy, friends to lovers romance mixed with the spirit of the holiday season.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve been a writer since I was 12 years old. Writing was an emotional escape for me and a way to cope through the hardest times. It still is to this day. I didn’t consider writing as a career option until my senior year of high school. My hobby transitioned to an aspiration when my creative writing teacher told me I had real talent and should pursue classes in college. In college, my major was not creative writing or English, but I did take courses as electives. I didn’t believe I was capable of becoming a published author. It was a dream that seemed out of reach. That is until I met a co-worker in the National Park Service who was traditionally published. Meeting her opened my eyes that it was possible. That fire that had always burned inside of me became a bold flame. Several years later, I published my first novel.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Oh wow! I’d like to be able to narrow my reads down to the top 5, but I’ve read so many amazing books in my 20+ years I’ve been reading, I can’t pick only 5. The ones that do come to mind are all in the sub-genre of romance. I’ve had a love for romance books since I first got my hands on Nora Roberts, Anne Rice, and regency romance books in my teens.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Nora Roberts. I’d ask if she ever worried about running out of plot ideas or worry about her writing becoming repetitive and what she did to combat those worries. I’d also ask what her writing moto was to keep her going in the times that being an author is the most challenging.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

1) Beginning a new book when the characters are fresh and the words can’t be typed fast enough. 2) Reaching the end and completing another novel. 3) The cover design. It’s another creative outlet and exciting to see your story turned into a book cover. 4) The first 5-star reviews that roll in after the book is published. 5) When readers message you to share that your story touched them emotionally or gave them a great escape.

What is a typical day like for you?

Every single day is different for me, which is what makes my job of being an author so fun. I do try to have somewhat of a routine and it consists of doing house chores and exercising at the gym or taking my dogs to the city park to walk the 1-mile trail in the morning. Afterward, I begin work in my office of either writing for the day or do author business activities. Friday is my social media day where I spend the day interacting with readers and fellow authors. In the evenings, I make dinner for me and my husband, then cuddle with my pups to watch TV or a movie with my husband. If I’m actively writing a story and the characters won’t stop talking in my head, I’ll sometimes go back to writing after my husband goes to bed.

What scene in Countdown to Christmas was your favorite to write?

The scenes I enjoyed the most were the intimacy scene between Jaxson and Sophia when they fully open up to one another and the scene where they have sex in their boss’s bathroom. That scene makes you smile and giggle.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

(No dream is worth dreaming if it’s not lived in life.) It’s a quote I created, sign in books, and have in my office. It’s a reminder to pursue my dreams and never give up.

Betty Shreffler is the author of the new book Countdown to Christmas.

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Countdown to Christmas: (A Christmas Romance Novella)

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Interview with Julie Howard, Author of Wild Crime

What can you tell us about your new release, Wild Crime?

This is part of a series about a young abused woman who is accused of killing her husband. In Wild Crime, she discovers a letter that changes everything she’s believed about her mother. The main character has to uncover secrets of the past in order to understand who she is, and to find her own future. While this is part of a series, the book can be read as a stand-alone.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ll be forever grateful to my parents for having books and magazines everywhere in our house when I was growing up. They were both teachers and there were bookshelves in nearly every room, stocked with everything from Dr. Seuss to works from the literary masters to a full set of encyclopedias. I loved fiction and the magic of being transported to other places and times. By the time I was 7, I was already crafting my own stories and have never stopped.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I love a great story but also when told in an excellent way, teaches me something, and in a manner that surprises me. Here’s my top five:
The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Stand by Stephen King

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I’d love to interview David Mitchell, who wrote Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks along with several other intriguing books. Of course, I’d want to ask the question authors hate: Where do you get your ideas? Beyond that, however, I’d want to know what central themes are his favorites and his writing process. I’d want to ask him everything you’ve asked me in this interview.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love reading and losing myself in a story. Writing is almost the same way, in that I lose myself in a story I create. I choose the people, places and plot – if I do it right, the characters take over and very nearly write the story themselves. When that happens, I know I’ve written something worth sending to my editor.

What is a typical day like for you?

I write every day, and work best in the morning. I have my morning coffee and write until about noon. Then I break for a couple of hours. This is dangerous because distractions quickly creep in and, before I realize it, the day is over.

To help myself stay on task during the week, I started a group called Shut Up & Write in Boise, Idaho where I live. This is part of an international organization of writers who get together in various communities and write in group sessions. The accountability of working alongside other writers keeps me from straying to other projects. I also love meeting other writers and learning about what they are doing.

What scene in Wild Crime was your favorite to write?

There’s a scene when, for the first time, Meredith confronts a man she believes is her father. She’s never met him and her late mother warned her that he was a terrible person. I love this moment when Meredith both yearns for this connection to a father, but also hates him for abandoning both her and her mother. This seemed like such a human conflict, having competing emotions, and the scene was fun to write. I must have rewritten it twenty times.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I’m incredibly grateful for the life I have. Certainly, there have been times of struggles and pain. But I live in a wealthy country with a stable government. My children have grown up healthy and into wonderful adult people I’m proud of. I’m able to spend my time doing what I love, which is writing. Everything else pales in comparison. If I have a bad day or week or month, I remind myself of all I have. Gratitude is invigorating.

Julie Howard is the author of the new book Wild Crime.

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Wild Crime

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Interview with Elin Peer, author of Atlas

What can you tell us about your new release, Atlas?

Atlas is the second book in my new romantic suspense series called Cultivated. It’s a series for readers who love a great psychological drama and doesn’t mind some dark scenes before we reach the HEA.

As the oldest son of a monstrous cult leader, Atlas has dedicated his life to understanding mind-control. When he hires psychologist, Jolene Fisher, to help him research, she sees through his perfect façade to the troubled man behind. Atlas doesn’t like her poking around in his disturbed mind. It’s making it harder to suppress and control the dominant, hungry beast inside him that has its eye on Jolene.

Like all my books, Atlas is fast-paced, thought-provoking, and offers humor and a solid romance story at the core.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Because I write so many hours each day, I prefer to listen to audiobooks and podcasts instead of reading books. My passion is psychology, so I listen to all sorts of podcasts that relate to the human experience. Right now, I’m enjoying Russell Brand’s series of podcasts called Under the Skin.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

1: To never feel guilty about spending days and weeks reading. It wasn’t a waste of time as it turned out to be valuable research.

2: To set boundaries more kindly. As I matured, the wrong things I did to others haunted me more than what others did to me.

3: I would also tell her never to be afraid of stepping outside her comfort zone. It’s the only way to grow.

4: Oh, and one last thing; don’t change channel when your older brother is watching his favorite show. He’ll sit on you and fart in your face.

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?

In nature, with the people that I love, talking about things that matter, and getting in some good laughs.

What makes your world go round? Why does it bring you joy?

LOVE! My philosophy is LOVE. My religion is LOVE. I write about LOVE. I practice it with my family and friends every day. Sometimes love is a smile to a stranger, a compliment from the heart, a home-cooked meal shared with the people I hold dear, a walk&talk with a friend who needs a safe space to cry. I use the word love and give out big warm hugs every single day. My husband and two amazing daughters can testify that my priority in life is always LOVE!!

What scene in Atlas was your favorite to write?

Atlas has been at war with his sexuality for his entire adult life. In my favorite scene, he feels as if he has lost everything. It’s the emotional breakdown before the powerful breakthrough which was a satisfying moment that I loved to write.

There’s another scene that stands out to me as well.

To understand why Atlas is so disgusted by his dominant sexuality, and why he suppresses and hides it, I felt that it was essential to show a disturbing scene where his father uses smooth talking to overstep a young women’s boundaries. I take the emotional reactions from readers as a compliment. Fearless writing is about daring to go into the darkness and bring people back out in the light. I did it daily as a personal coach, and now I do it with my characters. When I read reviews telling about aha moments and healing through my books, I smile and feel that I’m doing what I’m supposed to. I’m showing that true love comes without judgment.

Elin Peer is the author of the new book Atlas

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Atlas (Cultivated Book 2)

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New Mystery and Thriller Books to Read | December 10

Hold on to the edge of your seat as we hunt for clues and solve the case with these exciting new mystery and thriller books for the week! There are so many bestselling authors with new novels for you to dive into this week including Willow Rose, J.R. Ripley, Julie Howard, Damien Angelica Walters, and many more. Enjoy your new mystery, thriller, and suspense novels. Happy reading!



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New Romance Books to Read | December 10

Looking to fall in love with some new romance reads? You’ll adore these exciting new novels! This week you can get your hands on books by bestselling authors Skye Warren, Penelope Bloom, Elin Peer, Betty Shreffler, Anne Holster, and more. Enjoy your new romance books and happy reading!



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New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | December 10

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Molly O’Keefe, Francois Houle, Dickie Erman, Oliver North, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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The post New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | December 10 appeared first on NewInBooks.

New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | December 10

Literary fiction readers are in for a treat. This week’s latest releases list is full of intriguing reads you won’t want to miss! The new releases list includes so many bestselling authors like Molly O’Keefe, Francois Houle, Dickie Erman, Oliver North, and many more. Enjoy your new literary fiction books. Happy reading!



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The post New Books to Read in Literary Fiction | December 10 appeared first on NewInBooks.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books | December 10

Set off on an adventure to new worlds this week! This selection of new science fiction and fantasy books will surely please! Science Fiction fans should be excited about the latest from bestselling authors Andre Gonzalez, Amanda Meuwissen, Wesley Cross, and more. If Fantasy is what your library needs, you’ll be able to pick up the latest from Jace Mitchell, James Islington, Emily R. King, and more. Enjoy your new science fiction and fantasy books. Happy reading!


Fantasy


Science Fiction


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The post New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books | December 10 appeared first on NewInBooks.

New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books | December 10

Set off on an adventure to new worlds this week! This selection of new science fiction and fantasy books will surely please! Science Fiction fans should be excited about the latest from bestselling authors Andre Gonzalez, Amanda Meuwissen, Wesley Cross, and more. If Fantasy is what your library needs, you’ll be able to pick up the latest from Jace Mitchell, James Islington, Emily R. King, and more. Enjoy your new science fiction and fantasy books. Happy reading!


Fantasy


Science Fiction


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The post New Science Fiction and Fantasy Books | December 10 appeared first on NewInBooks.