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Mine for Tonight by J.S. Scott book review

The Princess of Aenya Book Review

The Princess of Aenya by Nick Alimonos was a good book, but I think I would enjoy it more reading it a second time. From the beginning, there’s an onslaught of action and story coming from multiple characters at once. The main storyline follows Radia and Demacharon as they fight to survive. But Hugo and Esse, a soldier and a servant, are introduced, as well as Ugh, a Bogren, and Eros, an assassin hired to kill Radia.

Through alternating chapters, the reader has to follow all of these storylines before they eventually intertwine in the end of the book and, for me at least, this was difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the individual storylines and characters.


Hugo and Esse deserve their own book. I would love for a companion novel to be made about them leading the rebellion in Tyrnael while Radia had to be in hiding. Esse was bred to be a servant, someone designed to not stand out or aspire to anything more than serving others. But she fought against that lifelong training to lead a rebellion against a sadistic tyrant. Before Zaibos, Tyrnael was at peace for a thousand years. No one had any experience protesting or rebelling because there wasn’t a need. But Esse stepped up and started to lead! Honestly, her story is just as fascinating as Radia’s, and a lot more relatable. I love stories about people who take their fate into their own hands so Esse’s story would be a great one.


I really liked Eros as well. He represents the dark side of Tyrnael. Just because there was peace doesn’t mean everyone was happy. Sexual intercourse is forbidden in Tyrnael. Eros was born from sexual intercourse so he and his mother were branded and ostracized. He was forced to become an assassin to support and protect his mother. Honestly, I wanted him to fail and succeed at the same time because succeeding meant killing Radia but it also meant the brand getting lifted from his mother.


However, while I enjoyed the characters and could follow and enjoy the plot overall, there’s still a lot I’m confused about. There are five storylines to juggle, six if you count Demarchon’s flashbacks. Not only are we following Radia, but we are also following Eros, Ugh, Esse, and Zaibos through their stories. It’s a lot to take in and keep straight.

The Princess of Aenya was an enjoyable read and the ending was satisfying. However, I would get a lot more out of the story if I reread it.


Get The Princess of Aenya on Amazon.


Nick Alimonos is a member of the Read for a Better World Hall of Fame for donating to Trees for the Future in exchange for an honest review. Learn more about my Read for a Better World program here.

Author Interview with Beatrice Ballentine

Taming the Captain by Beatrice Ballentine

Today’s interview is with certified truck driver and indie writer Beatrice Ballentine.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

BB: I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. Still, I  spent a fair amount of my adult years raising a very young family, while supporting my husband in our small family businesses. (Fun fact: I was a certified tow truck driver when our daughter and her twin brother and sister were all under the age of four). We live in a pretty rural area, so we always joke you better be willing to do whatever is legally possible to provide for your family.

While I wrote during these years, I never really grasped the possibility of self-publishing, and I was too impatient (and probably too controlling), to entertain the notion of going the traditional route. As the years passed, and we paid off our home, etc., I felt it was my turn to focus not only on my passion of writing but to figure out the beast of self-publishing and marketing. It has been an incredible journey, and now that our youngest children are in their teens, I have large chunks of time to devote to this endeavor consistently.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

BB: I am a pantser. I have a vague notion of the beginning, middle, and end when I begin writing, and a grasp of who I want my protagonist and who or what I want the antagonist to be. Other than that, I love seeing the story and character depth unfold late at night, or the wee hours of the morning. This method does, at times, lead me down dead ends, …but not usually.  

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

BB: I have a lot of unpublished works, mostly comedy, surprisingly. I do enjoy sharing a lot of that with family. Sometimes I will look back on material I wrote and, having forgotten I wrote it at all in the first place, get a little tickle from re-reading. I get a lot more enjoyment from writing romance. I would have to say my favorite, so far, is my WIP, which is book 2, behind Taming the Captain.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

BB: I like the strong leading man. I like testing him, watching him grow as a person, and I love writing in little details that remove him from the typical “alphahole.” Leading men are enjoyable to write if they have a bit of a soft side.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

BB: My favorites as an adult are Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters, Winsten Graham, James F. Cooper, to name a few.

During the early 80’s, when I was a teen/pre-teen,  a lot of what was available to me at home, came in the form of jacking my aunt and mother’s bodice rippers. Looking back on some of the titles as an adult, I shudder to think now, of my 13ish something daughter, (or any age) reading book after book of forced sex, slave sex, etc., wrapped in the packaging of romance. To be fair to my mother, she did not know I was stealing and reading her books.

Basically, all I recall from those editions was the “fight like hell and then have hot sex, or a young, beautiful virgin is forced to have sex by the “hero,” and then falls in love with him and vice versa and later they get married.

Regardless, I was young, and the seed for romance novels, the beautiful covers, etc. was planted. Taming the Captain is ironically being reviewed positively as a “modern-day bodice ripper,” (Melissa, Probably at the Library, 2020), The storyline is based on a strong female who is not into taking shit from the charismatic captain. Still, there is also a lot of tenderness, depth of character, adventure, and a good, passionate burn that leads to steamy, consensual sex. Nothing will turn me off faster to a romance novel than a storyline where all the hero and heroine do is bicker and fight, and then have hot sex. So perhaps, inadvertently, my writing is partially influenced by all these authors? You would have to ask my readers. ; ) 

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

BB: I am an introvert by nature. I love being at home with my family, cooking, hiking, writing. I love people, but social situations can be a bit of a struggle for me, especially if there are a lot of people involved. I do have a few worries about some of our community members, family members, etc. who would struggle greatly if they caught COVID-19, but the social distancing aspect of the virus has not changed my life much.

LQ: What are you currently working on?

BB: I am putting the finishing touches on Even Captains Cry. It is the follow-up book to Taming the Captain which was released in February. “Even Captains Cry” has been a lot of fun to write. Without giving away any spoilers, we see the ever hot and ready Anthony completely out of his element and struggling in ways he never knew possible, but I promise a happy ending. ; ) The book is due for release mid to late June of this year.

LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 

BB: I love interacting with readers, writers, book bloggers, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, @BeatriceBallen3.

Author Interview with Mary Eggert

Escape from Ronwyn by Mary Eggert

Today’s interview is with physical therapist, mom, and writer, Mary Eggert

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

ME: I work part-time as a physical therapist in a community hospital. I’m currently off in this time of pandemics to care for my 2 kids, but I dearly love my job. I typically meet people on one of their worst days – because no one ends up in the hospital on a good day – and I get to come in and make a plan with them for how we’re going to do better. How do we get them moving again? How do we work around whatever limitation they have? What’s the next step to best get them back to their baseline? I’m sure while most people think of PTs as “Physical Terrorists,” I still view my role as filled with so much joy and the possibility for what can still be ahead for them. It’s great.

I’m married to an astoundingly wonderful and patient man, and we have two kids and two dogs together. It’s alarmingly ideal. He has been one of my biggest supporters to go from writing as a hobby to being a writer who now prioritizes time to write or edit regularly and now I actually have a published book! I could not have done it without the confidence and support from him. I’m sure other moms can appreciate it, it’s really hard to carve that time out when there’s always more laundry, someone needs a snack, they’ve lost their best-stuffed friend, or there’s an emergency art project that must be completed immediately!

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

ME: I am in the process of working on a series. I have the first book recently published, and drafts on the next five in various stages.

I start out with notes for where the story arc is going broadly, then I break that up into the details of what that means for the next 4-6 chapters I’m writing specifically. I have two kids 5 and under at home, so I find if I don’t write down my good inspirational ideas when they hit… well, there’s no telling when the time to write and the right ideas might actually meet face to face.

Best case scenario, I get my notes down for the next section I’m writing, then block off 4 hours or so and bang out as much of that as I can. If I hit writer’s block, sometimes I’ll take a week off if it’s really bad and honestly, doing a puzzle is my best cure to clear my head and solve the problem, but mostly I’ll just try and bludgeon through the section I’m stuck on and come back to it in edits.

I find if I get stuck in one spot too long, I’m more annoyed because I’m delayed from getting the really cool part that comes next. (The next part is ALWAYS really cool. It’s a writing fact.) so I just do what I can to get through, then enjoy what I’m writing again, and fix it in the edits. Usually moving on helps me to look back and see what’s missing.

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

ME: Book 4 of the series is my favorite. That seems like a cruel thing to say when only book 1 is out, but you’ve had a chance to really see some character growth and get invested in the choices they’re making – a lot of really fun things happen in the plot, and a couple of the characters are pushed outside their comfort zone to great effect.

I feel like as an author, it’s a very proud mama moment, and as a reader, it’s very satisfying to see the character arcs. There’s a new character introduced in this book also who is just so fun and fascinating.  

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about?

 ME: It’s like asking which child I prefer more!

That said, I do think I prefer to write about Cedric. He has a rough past, and his character is a lot of bravado and humor on the surface. There is no situation where he won’t be making a joke about the circumstances. He keeps things light when they’re not, and it’s fun to write that in. It’s also satisfying to see him grow and make peace with events from his past and learn to find forgiveness, whether that’s from another or from himself. He’s probably my favorite because he has so much depth, but he’s also such a force for levity.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

ME: I love Madeleine L’Engle. I’ve read her books as a child, a teenager, and an adult and I find different pieces in them at different ages. It’s positively witchcraft the way she packs so much meaning and so many layers into what is happening in her works without reaching some war and peace type page count.

Anne Bishop is another favorite. The Black Jewels trilogy remains a favorite of mine. It’s unafraid to be dark, it is not hiding anything in the shadows – it really takes you in and gives identity to so many emotions and traumas and offers both permission for some aspects and redemption for others. Her worlds are rich and full-throated and completely draw me in that by the time I’m done, I feel as if I’ve lived there for a time.

I love authors that can pull me in so deeply, I’ve forgotten I’m reading, that I’ve forgotten I’m not one of these characters. I want to think back on their crucial moments as formative moments of my own because they are! I think that’s what stands out about both of these authors – while wildly different, their characters are so fully formed, with vulnerabilities and strengths – no one is purely good and infallible, and even the villains have sympathetic strains, and the worlds their novels exist within are fully built.

They’ve invested in figuring out the background. I don’t have to know every detail of the history, but they put enough in the novels that the author clearly does, which means there is a timeframe, a history, and a cohesive background to help support the world the characters are inhabiting.

How are you doing during the current pandemic? We are very fortunate that we’re all still healthy, we have access to any food or supplies we need, and all of my complaints are a complete privilege. That said – I miss school and daycare. I’ve had to take a sabbatical from work to be home with the kids. Having my 2 and 5-year-old at home 24/7 now has been an adjustment for us all. My daughter can tell you that I’m not quite as good a teacher as hers normally is. My writing time is significantly diminished, which makes me cranky. However, a cranky momma is far less bad than an unsupervised 2-year-old. (He’s tall. It’s a problem. His reach exceeds his wisdom in a very literal way.) 

Mary Eggert

LQ: What are you currently working on?

ME: I am doing a final edit on Book 2 of my series, the Queen Reborn. I just published my first novel at the end of March – Escape from Ronwyn, the first book in the series, and am hoping to have the second one, Hands Over Hearts, out shortly.

I will admit, my editing has been slower than I hoped [see children at home] but it’s coming along. Once that’s done, I’ve been percolating on some ideas for where I left off my book 6 draft. Then it’ll be a final edit on book 3. Jumping between them gives me the distance I need to have fresh eyes again when I look at one for an edit. 

LQ: Anything else you would like to share?

 ME: Writing has been such a gift to me. Each character gives me a new way to process the world. They each see the world in such a different way, so seeing how they all react to circumstances, and for better or for worse figure it out and move forward – it helps me to reflect on my own situation.

In this crazy time of pandemics when the self-isolation exacerbates our own internal doubts and fears, as well as some very real external ones at times, I think how lucky I am to have an outlet to work through my own emotions and escape into someone else’s adventure for a time.

Escape from Ronwyn – Book 1 of the Queen Rebown Series is available on Amazon now – please check it out, join me on this journey with these lovely characters. Book 2 won’t be far behind. And is now officially brought to you by Nap Time.

Author Interview with K.S. Ruff

The Broken Road by K.S. Ruff

Today’s interview is with K.S. Ruff, an indie writer who also teaches at the American Military University.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

KR: I live in Northern Virginia with my football-crazed husband, two entertaining daughters, and a nut-job-of-a-dog (my daughter’s words, not mine).

I teach courses in international conflict resolution, human security, environmental security, and peacekeeping for the American Military University. Reading and writing are two of my favorite things.

I haven’t a clue what’s going on around me when I’m writing. The house could be burning down, and I wouldn’t even notice. I’m counting on my husband to save the children and the dog. I’m happiest when I’m in my PJs snuggled next to my dog with a good book or writing on my laptop with Dove dark chocolates and a warm cup of coffee nearby.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

KR: I’m a planner, so I start with some preliminary research and an outline. I conduct additional research off and on throughout the writing process, pinning pictures of luxury accommodations, vacation spots, clothes, or food my characters are indulging in on Pinterest.

Still, my characters are a little headstrong. They’ll veer off in directions I wasn’t anticipating. Planning turns into intermittent “pantsing” until I can rein everyone in. I’m not complaining. Those unexpected developments often lead to some of my best scenes. I write in chronological order, but if I’m struggling with writer’s block, I will skip a section and work on a different scene.

I spend far more time editing, wordsmithing, and massaging the text than I do writing the initial story. I make three or four editing runs on my own before turning the book over to my editor and beta readers. Then, I make one final editing run, maybe two, if my editor identifies additional areas in need of improvement.

K.S. Ruff

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

KR: Broken Wings (the third book in The Broken Series) has been my favorite novel to write thus far. I laughed until I cried while writing a scene where my protagonist, Kristine, was given truth serum during an interrogation. Who knew the truth could be so funny? I also bawled my eyes out while writing one of the most tragic scenes I’ve ever written. That book gave me all the feels, and it remains one of my favorites to this very day.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

KR: Maxim Markov is my favorite character to write about. You will meet him in Broken Wings. Maxim is easily the most lethal man my protagonist has ever met. He’s killed numerous times. His eloquence and his passion for helping others prove disarming despite his dark side.

He challenges Kristine to view his work for the Russian Mafia in shades of gray, rather than black and white. He is the head of the Russia Mafia in Ukraine, but he abhors the Russian government. He’s completely devoted to his country, and he wants nothing more than to lift his people out of poverty.

Kristine is left wondering whether Maxim isn’t one of the good guys. He pursues her in an effort to improve his image and to further his political objectives. Oh, who am I fooling? He’s completely in love with her. He’s protective and domineering. He lacks boundaries. He’s an alpha who quotes Shakespeare. Oh, and he can bring a woman to orgasm while indulging in nothing more than a heated kiss.  

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

My favorite author is Deborah Harkness. Her All Souls Trilogy is the only series I’ve read five times. J.K. Rowling comes a close second. I’ve read the Harry Potter Series twice. I am in awe of their creative thinking skills, their storytelling, their world-building, the depth of their characters, and the complexity of their plots. I’ll confess, I fangirl Deborah. I attended one of her book talks and two of her book signings. She is so humble and sweet. Her All Souls Con is on my bucket list. I gifted her a copy of the first book in my middle-grade fantasy trilogy when I attended the last book signing. Both authors have given me something to aspire to, and they helped spark my interest in writing epic fantasies.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

KR: Okay. I’m not going to lie. I’m finding it difficult to write. I’m teaching three courses online while trying to help my children with their online classes. Most of my “free” time is spent cleaning. I’m anxious and scared for my daughter.

She had a life-saving kidney transplant in January and has literally no immune system right now. The only time we break our “bubble” is when we have to go to the hospital for blood draws (which are currently once a week) or when I need to stock up on groceries (which I try to limit to once every two weeks). I never thought I’d be terrified to buy groceries, but I am. I’m so worried I will contract the virus and pass it on to her. With her immune system, she’d never survive it. So, yeah, I’m a bit of a mess. 

LQ: What are you currently working on?

KR: I’m working on a spin-off novel for Shae. You won’t meet Shae until the end of Beautifully Broken (book two in The Broken Series). Shae’s character was inspired by a very dear friend of mine. We met in graduate school. Our friendship was cemented during a peacebuilding trip in Ukraine. Some of the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction moments we experienced in that trip are woven into Broken Wings. I adore Shae, and I’m determined to give her the happily ever after she deserves. 

Broken Wings by K.S. Ruff

Anything else you would like to share?

Yes! I thought I’d add something that complements your mission “Read for a Better World.” I share your goals of fighting global warming and poverty, so I want to share one of my favorite strategies.

I switched over to a search engine called Ecosia last year. Ecosia functions just like any other search engine, with one key difference. The organization that runs this search engine uses their profits to plant trees.

Ecosia donates 80% or more of the money it generates through ad revenue to non-profit organizations that plant trees, targeting areas where they are needed most. You can use this search engine on your computer, your cell, or any other device. It takes about 45 searches on average to plant one tree. I’ve planted 40 trees so far, simply by using Ecosia as my search engine!

There’s a little counter in the right-hand corner of my screen that tracks how many searches I’ve done, so I can easily determine how many trees I’ve helped plant. When you click on the search engine you will see a rapidly moving counter that reveals how many trees have been planted by Ecosia users. Currently, that number is 90, 340,800 trees. But it’s a rapidly moving counter, so that number has already increased! Ecosia believes in full transparency. They publish monthly reports, they share footage of their tree planting projects on YouTube, they are privacy-friendly, and they are more than CO2 neutral. Here are some links that explain their mission:

Ecosia website 

Ecosia, the search engine that plants trees

Is Ecosia legit?

Tree Update, Episode 21

Planting trees helps increase carbon sinks, absorbing CO2 emissions and slowing climate change. It also helps reduce soil degradation, improves food security, strengthens economic and social stability, and lifts people out of poverty. I sincerely hope you’ll give it a try!

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/28/indieapril-interview-with-k-s-ruff

Author Interview with Bria Lexor

Vampire Candidate by Bria Lexor

Today’s interview is with Bria Lexor.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

BL: I am a YA author of Urban Fantasy and Fantasy Series.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

BL: I start writing a book and I jump around from book to book until I have completed many books.

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

BL: So far my favorite book to write has been Vampire Candidate, Book 4 in Vampiracy: Hell’s Guardian Chronicles.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

BL: Zyra Falls.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

BL: Holly Black, Richelle Mead, and S.D. Perry. Yes. Richelle, Vampiracy: Hell’s Guardian Chronicles. And S.D. Perry, also VHGC Series.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

BL: It’s tougher to get through the day. I’m managing.

LQ: What are you currently working on?

BL: Many books at a time.

LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 

BL: Keep an eye out for future books from me!

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/30/indieapril-interview-with-bria-lexor

Author Interview with Simon Pearce

Taking Care of Business by Simon Pearce

Today’s interview is with Simon Pearce, owner of Space Monkey Creations.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

SP: My name is Simon Pearce and I am an English language teacher at a university. I have lived in several countries, but am originally from the UK. I now live and work abroad for the foreseeable future.

Outside of the day job, I am in the process of building my own company called Space Monkey Creations (SMC), which has 3 interests: books, videos, and clothing. So far, I have published my own 2 novels and that of 1 other author (The Traveller by Chuck Thompson). I have created music videos for artists in England and Japan, and am in the middle of production for a documentary (which is now on hold due to the global pandemic). I also design and plan to sell eco-friendly clothing that has sustainability at the heart of it. My first drop for the brand, called HSTRC, is also on hold because of the pandemic. 

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

SP: As I come from a background of writing film scripts, my process is a little different to most writers. The majority of the steps are the same, from what I can see, but there is an extra step to mine that most don’t do. Like the majority of writers, who have told me about their process, I start with simply making notes of ideas for a project. I don’t have a particular preference with regards to paper or electronic devices at this stage, and so I have multiple notes on my phone and some notebooks. The next step, once I think I have a sufficient amount of material and ideas, is to outline, usually bullet points at this stage, the story from start to finish. I then develop these bullet points into more detailed paragraphs for each chapter. The outline is always done as a Word document. As I develop the outline I also go through the corresponding notebook and electronic notes, putting lines through the ideas as an indication that they have been included.

The next step is where I go a little different. Here is where I write a full film script of what will eventually become the novel. This stage focuses primarily on the dialogue between my characters and also serves to show me the pacing of the narrative. There is very little in a film script in terms of description and action, as these things are kept to no more than 3 or 4 lines at most at the start of a scene and occasionally between the dialogue. Here is where I really get to be the characters and develop their speech and language, with little focus on any other aspects of the book. Once I have my completed first draft of the script I will wait a while, usually several weeks, before reading it straight through and then deciding if it needs to be redrafted or if it’s ready to move into the first draft of the manuscript. This end step is similar to the novel writing stage in that it could take one draft to dozens of drafts before I am satisfied with it. I write the script on the professional software called Final Draft and treat it very much like I am writing a movie and not a novel.

After the film script is finished I sit in front of Scrivener and start writing the first draft of the manuscript. By having first gone through the writing of the film script I find that the initial draft of a novel comes very quickly. By now I’ve got my interactions between my characters thrashed out and have gone through the whole story enough times to know what’s happening and when, so now it’s mainly about the describing/showing and nothing else. From here on out it’s the same as any other writer. Rewrite, rewrite and rewrite until I’m happy.

I then work with an editor to ensure it is up to a professional standard for publication. I don’t use ‘readers’ or have friends and family read it. I’m not writing for friends and family, and there’s no telling if test readers will be into the twisted humour I’ve been writing so far. I think it’s better to put the finished book out there into the world and let people decide if it’s their kind of thing or not. In all honesty, I do believe that everyone’s tastes are different and what one reader may deem trash another will love and become heavily influenced by. I’m not looking to become critically acclaimed or be on any best seller lists, I simply want to have the freedom to tell the stories that I want to tell.

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

SP: My first book, Taking Care of Business (TCB), has been my favourite to write so far. It’s an adaptation of a feature film that I directed and co-wrote. I didn’t have a particularly enjoyable experience directing that movie, and this had a huge impact on my thoughts about writing a novel. I’d been advised to adapt the script into a novel many times in the past, but insisted on putting my efforts solely into turning it into a feature film instead – as originally intended. At almost every step of the film making process I had to compromise in one way or another and as a result walked away with a movie that I am not proud of and an experience that I don’t look back on very fondly.

The knowledge that I could tell this story in a format where I didn’t have to compromise or change anything based on other people’s opinions is what led me to adapt the story into a novel and then publish through my own company (Space Monkey Creations). The novel writing process was extremely freeing and hence so much more enjoyable than the film making experience, so now I look back at writing TCB and smile, as opposed to looking back at making the movie and shaking my head at not only the time filming it but also the end result. The novel allowed me to be as wild and outrageous as I wanted to be, with no concern for commercial success or offending others. This is also why I never gave the traditional publishing route any thought, I want complete freedom and control over my stories.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

SP: I don’t have a favourite character, so far, as I enjoy writing the whole story. I think I am far more story orientated than character driven in that respect.

With that said, the reason TCB has been developed into a trilogy rather than a standalone story is because I wanted to see what I could do with the 2 debauched protagonists without the constraints that were originally placed on the first story. TCB was originally written as an independent movie to be shot all on one location, and so the novel stuck to that premise for the most part. I decided that I wanted to take the 2 main characters out of that single location setting and let them run free, and so with each novel the landscape has grown ever wider. 

The first story takes place in the protagonists’ home in Wales and then the second story took them across the length and breadth of the whole country. In the final novel the protagonists go as far as Europe, which is why it seemed so fitting that Brexit was happening at the time of both development and writing of the first draft.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

SP: By far, Hunter S. Thompson. His novel ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ had a huge influence on me, especially my first novel ‘TCB’. ‘Fear and Loathing’ is an exaggerated story based on real people and real events that makes comment on the time it was set. I loved the idea of taking reality and exaggerating it to wild and outlandish proportions. In school I was told by my English teacher that the best authors write about what they really know, and what they’ve really experienced. Even if you’re writing a fantasy full of magic and dragons, your real life and experiences must seep into it to make a real and relatable story and characters. Hunter’s novel showed me that even when your experiences and characters are hedonistic drug abusers, there’s still an entertaining story to be told and an audience out there somewhere for it – if you like that kind of thing. My early twenties were spent living and working in London, where I was surrounded by an underground of drug takers and dealers, which pushed me in the direction of writing about that kind of world, albeit far more exaggerated and hopefully humorous than real life.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

SP: I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can continue teaching, via virtual classrooms from home, and have no worries or stress as far as finances or losing my job are concerned. For me, the current pandemic has actually made my work a lot easier.

My own business has been stalled due to the global pandemic. One part of my company will be the retail of clothing I designed, but delivery of this merchandise from the factory has now been put on hold for the time being. Also, I was mid-production on a documentary which has also had to be put on hold due to both the social distancing and curfew measures put in place by the government of the country I currently reside in.

Fortunately, when it comes to writing and publishing, the pandemic is not having an effect on me.

LQ: What are you currently working on?

SP: I’m currently working on the final installment of The Business Trilogy, which is called Out Of Business. The first part was Taking Care of Business and the second part was Back In Business. The title of the 3rd book seemed perfectly natural to me and took little thought. The first draft was written during the peak of the Brexit fiasco, which had a bigger influence on the first draft of the novel than I would have anticipated.

Due to other non-writing projects, the rewriting of this manuscript is going far slower than I would usually take but as I published 3 novels last year (SMC’s first active year) I’m not putting any time pressure on myself to finish this novel and get it out there. I’m confident that I will finish The Business Trilogy this year and I’m looking forward to diving into my next novel or possibly even some short story ideas that I have.

It will be fun to move on to new characters and new genres. This trilogy has focused on narcotics and dark humour, but I am interested in writing within other genres and about different subject matter. At the moment it’s hard to say what I’ll move on to, as I have a lot of ideas in the development stage.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/05/01/indieapril-interview-with-simon-pearce

Book Blogger Interview with Allie from AllieeReads


What is your blog in a nutshell?

In a nutshell, my blog is the space where I talk about books, mental health and where I also write really lame poetry. It is where I most feel comfortable and where I have been able to become part of an incredibly online community where we talk about all things bookish!


How long is your TBR?

I am legitimately exposing myself.

I actually went to my bookshelf for this and I counted. So, I have 76 physical books on my TBR as I am writing this! That is a mixture of classics (which takes up most of my TBR), non-fiction and young adult mainly, with one manga.


Where do you do most of your reading?

This is a hard question because I would have to say that I somewhat equally read across three locations in my home. I read in bed, on the couch in the lounge room and on the dining table. Honestly, if I timed myself, I think I would find that I spend the ‘most’ of my reading at the dining table only because I read when I have breakfast and then….I don’t really stop haha.


What’s the review writing process like for you?

It depends on the review I’m writing. If it’s for a book that I committed to other parties to review, the review process is slightly more in depth, in that, I would be taking notes whilst reading and I would begin the review sometime during the day I finished the book (or the next day if I completed the book at night). It’s a slightly more engaging experience. If I am writing a review on a book that I read just for me, it’s more the case of me ranting my feelings into the void, be that good or bad. Writing the review on a book I read just for me is much more calm or relaxed than writing a review for a book I committed to reviewing. I think it’s because I put pressure on myself to make sure the review is written in a way that is balanced and coherent, as well as articulating the reasons for my rating.


What are your favorite posts to write?

I think my favourite posts to write are discussion posts surrounding some sort of bookish theme, for instance, I really adore writing about tropes that I love/hate in fiction. I also love writing posts where I begin a conversation about book blogging and mental health — in both types of posts, I am able to write slightly more freely and I love the discussions that come out of it on twitter and in the comments of my blog.


Do you prefer ebooks or print books?

’Tis the question!

I prefer print books only because I adore holding a physical book in my hand. It enhances my reading experience. But, ebooks are great and easily accessible as well as cheaper — so it honestly depends on the state of my bank account :P


If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would you want to meet?

I’m going to answer this in two parts, if that’s okay.

First, in terms of ‘dead’ authors it would have to be Oscar Wilde.

He is one of my absolute favourite classics author and I would just love to sit down and listen to him talk as well as hear is life story.

For an author that is alive, I would have to say Nalini Singh because she is one of my absolute favourite authors of all time and I devour any book she publishes!


What are your best tips for those who want to read more?

Don’t make it a chore. If that’s the case, you will end up dreading picking up a book so do not do that.

Maybe start with audiobooks if the main issue is you can’t seem to find the time, as with audiobooks you can multitask in a way physically reading a book won’t let you do.


What are your best tips for book bloggers or those looking to start a book blog?

Twitter is key! Don’t be scared, connect with other bookbloggers on twitter and Instagram because the book community on these platforms are incredibly supportive and it will help with being able to carve out your own online space. Get involved with bookish communities on Twitter, such as TheWriteReads, to get your blog out there and connect with other bloggers.


Anything else you would like to add?

The best thing I ever did was start up a book blog — and I am constantly so thankful for all the friends that I have found through the online book community.

Find Alliee on her TwitterInstagram, and her Blog.

Source: http://medium.com/@kara.marie.skinner/book-blogger-interview-allie-from-allieereads-4dfd063b6639

Author Interview with Dario Aguilar Peregrina

Posted on April 25, 2020
Hurricane 2007 by Dario Aguilar Peregrina

Today’s interview is with Dario Aguilar Peregrina, whose love of superheroes and fantasy inspired his love of writing.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

DP: I’ve been writing since I was a 6-year-old kid, after seeing movies like Star WarsHarry PotterThe Day after Tomorrow, a lot of superhero stuff, and Anime like The Melancholy of Haruhi SuzumiyaSAOAttack on Titan and more. 
My novels are based on my personal experiences and mixing them with my imagination, touching themes that range from mature storylines to family-friendly stories. 
For the creation of my books, everything started with me playing with my toys and writing a story called “Mexico” that told imaginative stories about Superheroes, a lot of Mexican toys, and T.V programs.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

DP: I normally put an outline of the story and create characters that will be appearing in my book. After that, I start filling the spaces of my outline and then see how many words I can write.

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

DP: Hurricanes 2007, my first book without a doubt. Mainly because I realized the story when I was 9 years old and developed it for 11 years until I finally published it last year.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

DP: It’s between my MC Río Pedroza, a Mexican lesbian navy cadet, and the main villain Katrina Fernández AKA The Hurricane Katrina, due to their stories being so different of each other, showing how is the life here in my country. 

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

DP: JK Rowling, Santiago García Clairac, Reki Kawahara, and Hajime Isayama. Of course they have influenced me but mainly it was the adaptations of their creations that grew on me. 

Especially Rowling’s Harry Potter since as a kid I saw all the movies and I decided to tell a story but with my own imagination.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

DP: Right now, I’m doing home office and of course I’m a little bit worried about the situation here, since it’s only begining. Hopefully everything will be normal on June.

LQ: What are you currently working on?

DP: I’m working in these projects:

  • Hurricanes 2007: The Climatic Crisis (Sequel of my book Hurricanes 2007)
  • Códicemex: Códice Mexicano de Omeyocán (A story about me in a mix between my Mexican culture and movies like Thor RagnarokIT and Black Panther)
  • Brigade DXT (A story about a teenager trying to get into the Olympic games)
  • Latin Dancin (A story about a girl in a Latin Music Tournament inside a videogame)

LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 

I recommend to all writers to tell the story they want to tell and not be afraid of showing it in the world.

Author Interview with J.R. H. Lawless

Always Greener by J.R.H Lawless

Today’s interview is with J.R.H. Lawless, whose book helps fight child poverty in South Africa.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

JL: I’m a father of three from Atlantic Canada, lawyer by day and Science Fiction author by whenever-I-can-grab-some-writing-time. My work skews heavily towards Science Fiction Humor, whatever the age category, and is all set within the same (hopefully) consistent Universe, including my short fiction and my novels, starting with ALWAYS GREENER, which has just released from Uproar Books, an awesome small press in Nashville. I’m also fortunate enough to be represented by the incomparable Marisa Corvisiero, of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

JL: Mostly, it’s me sitting at a cluttered table with a big pot of some variety of green or black tea by my side, and swing music playing on my laptop.

More seriously, I write (by which I mean all of writing, be it outlining, drafting, revising, or everything else that goes with it — like writing interviews!) in blocks of an hour or two, generally in the evenings after work, but also, more and more, in the early mornings. There are writing sprints on Twitter that do an amazing job at motivating you, and making sure you take regular breaks, too!

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

JL: Always Greener and the sequel, The Rude Eye of Rebellion, also coming out from Uproar Books this Fall, were a blast to write, both when it came to thinking up the most absurd future lives to explore and when I was writing the tongue-in-cheek etymological footnotes. That being said, I enjoy writing all my books, including the Middle Grade manuscript I’m polishing up right now!

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about? 

JL: Right now, that title would have to go to the twelve-year-old “best friend” character in my Middle Grade manuscript. This is set in the future, but she spouts quotes from movies that would seem old to a lot of middle graders already today!

Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

JL: All of my work is heavily influenced by British authors like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, who are definitely two of my all-time favorites. I also love Universe-spanning bodies of work like Asimov’s extended Robot/Foundation novels, or Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic? 

JL: It’s been very difficult on both a personal and a professional level, and launching a debut novel under these circumstances has been very trying. But we’ve already had perhaps more success than we could have expected, and this is only the start! Self-isolation is nowhere near finished as I’m writing this, and that’s how we’ll beat Covid-19. In the meantime, we all have to do what we can to support relief effort and make staying at home as easy as possible. For me, that means writing more than I’ve ever written, for one, but also charity donations and even our #LiveYourWorstLife Twitter contest! Starting on Monday, April 13th and carrying on until the end of the month, my publisher and I are inviting everyone to share the most absurd and ridiculous workplace stories they’ve lived or imagined, with likes and retweets counting as votes and prizes for the winners, including the opportunity to get your name and story included in The Rude Eye of Rebellion , coming out this Fall!

LQ: What are you currently working on?

JL: I’m deep in revisions on my Middle Grade manuscript, and drafting the third installment in the General Buzz series, the one that starts with Always Greener. I’ve always enjoyed outlining and drafting more than revising, but I’m having a good time with it this time around!

LQ: Anything else you would like to share? 

JL: The Always Greener eBook is on sale right now, for less than a dollar. And the paperback has a special deal for orders directly from the Uproar Books shop, since we did a big print run based on large brick-and-mortar orders that have frozen up due to the pandemic. So please, check us out! You’ll also be helping to fund charity work fighting child poverty in South Africa, as all Uproar Books sales do!

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/24/indieapril-interview-with-j-r-h-lawless

Author Interview with J.S. Frankel

Catnip by J.S. Frankel

Today’s interview is with J. F. Frankel, an action writer who lives in Japan.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

JF: I was born in Toronto, Canada, a number of years back, managed to scrape through high school and university, and after working in TO for three years, I moved to Japan and haven’t been home that much. That was…over thirty years ago. My wife is a native Osakan, and we have two sons. I make my living as an ESL teacher and dream of the day when I can write professionally and full-time.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

JF: It’ very simple. I do a basic, written plan of what I want to say each chapter, jot down some of the narrative, anything interesting dialogue-wise, and then I commit it to cyber-paper. Everything is subject to change, but what never changes is me leaving a mini-cliffhanger at the end of each chapter. I’m known for doing action novels, and depicting action is something I excel at.

LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

JF: All of them…ALLLLLLLLLLLLLL of them! Okay, The Professional reference aside, I’m going to give you two. First is The Titans Of Ardana. It’s an action-romance showing that a nerd can win the day through brains as well as brawn, and it remains one of my best in blending action, funny dialogue, and a very sharp narrative.

The second is the Catnip series of five novels. It was the first series I’d ever written, and it was fun to take the MCs, Harry, and Anastasia, on a journey from being outcasts (due to them being transgenic cat-people) to valuable members of society. Those five novels encompass Harry’s journey from nerd to cat-person to a stalwart defender of justice to a devoted husband and father, and Anastasia, his wife, matches him every step of the way. It was fun watching them grow together!

J.S. Frankel

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about?

JF: Hmm…good question. I’m going to say Kyle Sorton, star of Fight Like A Woman. It’s a gender switch novel, and our MC, Kyle, crashlands on an alien world and has to use a machine to transfer his consciousness to the nearest recipient–an alien woman. His initial terror gives way to a sense of wonder and then acceptance, even though he finds out that his female ‘host’–Rinarra–is married to another woman! I wanted to explore the concept of gender fluidity in this novel as well as do my favorite thing–action–and I think that I succeeded quite well.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

JF: Favorite authors? In no particular order: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Robert McCammon, N.K. Jemisin, and Ray Bradbury. They all had/have different styles, but they captured my imagination, and that’s the mark of a great writer. To answer the second question, while they haven’t influenced my work, they showed me what pacing and narrative and characterization were all about.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic?

JF: My wife and children are coping. It’s hard; I won’t lie to you. I would love to go out for runs and to see movies and eat out in restaurants, but we simply can’t take that chance. We’ll cope. In the long run, that’s all we can do.

Fight Like a Woman by J.S. Frankel

LQ: What are you currently working on?

JF: As I write YA Fantasy, I’m about 35,000 words into my latest, Port Anywhere. Imagine a 1950’s-style diner in space serving Earth food to various races.

Our MC, Richard Gargan, has to deal with raiders, salvagers, and the usual scum of the universe, all the while protecting an alien woman who carries the secrets of a universe inside her–literally. It’s still very rough, but I’m having fun with it, and fun is what it’s all about for me. If a writer can’t enjoy the process, then they shouldn’t be writing.

LQ: Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to say a huge thank you to you, Ms. Skinner, for allowing me this interview.

I’d also like to thank all the writers as well as the readers for their support. It means an awful lot to me, and it’s what drives me to do better each and every time out.

LQ: My pleasure!

Disclaimer: There are two Smashwords links in the interview. These links are affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you purchase the book through one of these links. I donate half of my affiliate earnings to Trees for the Future.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/20/indieapril-interview-with-j-s-frankel

Indie April Interview with Sein Ares

Red Moon by Sein Ares

Today’s interview is with dark fantasy writer Sein Ares.

LQ: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

SA: I am 29 years old. After graduating from college, I worked in an MNC for two years. The experience I gained from there allowed me to apply for a more reasonable career at another private firm. This gave me both the time and income I needed to look after my family and try to write. I am an introvert so I prefer to spend time reading fiction, watching anime and gaming at home.

LQ: How do you balance having a day job and taking care of your family with your writing?

SA: As I mentioned earlier, my second job gave me more freedom to write. But it still isn’t easy. I do my major work on the weekends and alternate my writing on the weekdays. Some days, I am mentally too exhausted to write, in those days I just relax and watch Netflix or read.

LQ: What does your writing process look like?

SA: Like most writers, I fall somewhere between a pantser and plotter. So while I do think up of how certain scenes should go or have an outline of the main points in the story, I let the story decide what to do. My writing process is pretty simple. If I am creating a new scene, then I will do it on the weekends when I am completely fresh. That’s when the best ideas come to me. I wrote the complete story before editing it.

Regarding my first book, Red Moon, this was the main process. I created draft after draft and edited it by myself. Then I published it. The response was lukewarm, so I went back to the drawing board a second time. After being satisfied with my rework, I searched for beta readers. Some of them proved invaluable in their suggestions.

Next, I worked together with a good editor, Michele Sagan, who was also a writing coach. She helped me to further develop my story and polish it up. Finally, before publishing my novel, I sought help from some readers. I offered them an e-ARC of my book in exchange for an honest review. It’s always good to have as many readers as possible here because only a few actually completed the book before the book launch.


LQ: What was your favorite book to write so far?

SA: I made my debut only the previous February. I definitely enjoyed writing my first book, Red Moon, from the Arcana of the Crimson Era Series. It’s a dark fantasy story set 10,000 years in the future but has a medieval magical setting.

LQ: Who is your favorite character to write about?
SA: My series is a multi-main cast. Whether it be Elizabeth Raven, the dominating leader of the Raven Clan or the talented Captain of the Iseboryn Army, Nicholas Iseboryn. I enjoyed writing about all of them, seeing each character develop was a treat to my eyes.

LQ: Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your work?

SA: My favorite authors are P.G. Wodehouse, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, the writers from that old world. No, I write Dark Fantasy, so I don’t think they influenced me in that direction.

LQ: How are you doing during the current pandemic?
SA: I’m working remotely from home. It is definitely a fearful time in our lives. I see reports of people succumbing to this virus and feel great sadness. Our poor medical personnel are doing their best. I feel useless knowing that all I can do is sit at home. But I know, I need to remain strong. Like every pandemic before this, it will also pass.

LQ: What are you currently working on?

SA: Right now, I am taking a break. My first book took six years to write, so I’m really just chilling, enjoying some quality time before starting book two in my series. On Instagram, whenever I am in the mood, I write a poem that is free for everyone to read. It’s my way of expressing my thoughts, just like through my writing.

LQ: Anything else you would like to share?

Well, Red Moon is currently available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook format. Early this week, the book reached #46 in Amazon’s Dark Fantasy category for free downloads. So I would really appreciate it if the readers just hopped on over there and checked out my work.

Source: http://loversquarrelreviews.com/2020/04/18/indieapril-interview-with-sein-ares