Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Interview with Jenna Rose Robbins, author of Faithful and Devoted: Confessions of a Music Addict


Hi everyone! I hope you had a happy 4th of July. 

Today, Forward Scribes welcomes Jenna Rose Robbins, the author of Faithful and Devoted: Confessions of a Music Addict...




You can find her and her work here...
Goodreads
Twitter
Website

Check out the interview below!


1.      Tell us about yourself.
I’m currently a digital nomad supporting my country-hopping lifestyle by coaching writers on improving their author platform, editing manuscripts, ghostwriting, and writing for my personal projects (books and articles).  



2.      Growing up, was there a book you read that made you desire to write for a living?
Every single book I read. But Peter Pan has always been a favorite. I re-read it almost every year to remind myself to never grow up.


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3.      Did you have another ideal career besides writing?
I’d always thought I wanted to work in film. But after doing so for a couple of years, I found I didn’t like dealing with all the egos. So I took a job as editor of a startup website. I’ve mostly worked online since then and have always enjoyed the left-brain/right-brain combination of coding and writing. I still do some web consulting, but the majority of my work is in the writing and editorial realm. 
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4.      When did you first start writing?
From as early as I can remember. I recall punching out stories on my mother’s manual typewriter when I was four or five, my tiny fingers getting bruised each time they got stuck between the heavy keys. By the time I was in kindergarten, I was reading stories to the class — some my own, others library staples.
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5.      What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to get out and explore whatever city is “home” at the moment. That can be checking out the top to-dos on popular websites or finding a local to show me around. I also read and watch a lot of films, so I like to check out books or movies about local lore and history.


6.      What does your process look like? Any necessary rituals to bring the words about?
Every project is different, at least in terms of structure. The one constant is that water whether it’s swimming, kayaking, or just taking in a sunset at the shore — always seems to cure my writer’s block. Heck, even a long shower can do the trick.

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7.      Has real life and writing life ever merged?
I’ve ghostwritten and edited more than two dozen books, so it’s merged on more than one occasion. But the first book with my name on the cover was a memoir, which is the ultimate expression of real life and writing merging. When I was a teen, many of my friends would say, after a particularly embarrassing or egregious incident, “I know this is going to end up in one of your stories.” Few real-life incidents have (so far), but many have informed my fictional tales. And, of course, my travel writing is always based on actual experiences.

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8.      What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Even when it’s a memoir, I do a lot of research, just to make sure my memory is on point. I was rather embarrassed when a reader pointed out in my recent book that one of my observances was not in line with fact. Even though it was an issue few people would catch and which had no bearing on the overall story, it made me decide to be even more diligent with fact-checking in the future. 
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9.      Where do you come up with your ideas?
Almost all of my ideas are rooted in some true-to-life tale. In the young-adult novel I’m working on, the idea sprang from a story I read on some tabloid website, and the rest of the story grew from a big “what if X happened next?”
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10.  Tell us a little about your book. How did it come about?
I wrote a short (twelve-page) version of the story, a memoir of my time following the band Depeche Mode across Spain, as an essay for a class in grad school. My advisor wanted me to make it my thesis, even though I had another idea — an idea that was the very reason I’d come to grad school in the first place. But I was also working full-time and, before I knew it, I had only one semester left to write my entire thesis. The memoir seemed a lot easier to write than my original idea, since it wasn’t as research intensive, so that’s what I ended up submitting.


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11.  What was the process like for this book?
After writing the original twelve-pager and a book proposal for two separate classes, I pretty much pounded out the majority of the book in a little over a semester. I had a hard and fast deadline, and since work was paying for grad school for a limited time, I didn’t have much choice but to toil away until I had a finished product. Once I graduated, the book sat on a virtual shelf for a few years.  But when the band announced their tour, I realized I needed to get a move on. So I had a lawyer vet it (for libel reasons) and rushed to self-publish.

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12.  What was the hardest part of writing your work?
Trying to recreate characters I hadn’t seen in nearly 20 years. I was really thankful I’d kept a journal during that time. That helped immensely. Even small details, like the way someone pronounced a certain word, brought back a flood of memories.

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13.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned in the creation of your manuscript?
That I have a far better memory than I thought — and better than most other people’s. When I discussed some of the incidents with people from the book, they either had absolutely no recollection or, in some cases, denied they happened altogether. Then I’d find something that would prove my version of the memory (a ticket stub, for example) and more often than not they’d remember.
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14.  Do you have a favorite chapter and would you like to share a sample?
Not a favorite chapter, per se, but there was one incident that everyone loves to hear about: when I fell asleep on the lap of Alan Wilder (my teen crush) and drooled on his leather pants. The following excerpt takes place in a Madrid night club, the second time I met Alan in person:

I began to change course when I caught him looking at me. He now knew me, might even remember my name, so there was no way I could run away like a lovesick groupie. And so I continued my pace and, as gracefully as I could have hoped for, allowed myself to sink into the soft comfort of the leather couch.
“Hi,” I said as casually as my hormones would allow.
“Hello again.” He returned the smile, and I felt my innards melt down through my belly and straight into my toes, leaving me a quivering exoskeleton of empty flesh.
As per the rules of civilized conversation, it was my turn to speak, but I had to consider every word before it passed my lips, lest I make a complete doofus of myself in front of my idol and crush of a lifetime. This meant that, with my synapses firing slightly slower than usual, my next sentence was long in coming. But when I got it, it was brilliant.
“Want to dance?”
Or not.
Alan laughed. But it was not the hedonistic cackle I might have expected. I reminded myself that he was not a head cheerleader seeking to sap the life force out of a member of the nerd herd. His laugh was amiable, intending no harm.
“I’m so drunk I don’t think I could stand.” His smile dazzled in the nightclub lights, which, unlike the thinning crowd below, continued to flash and spin unexhausted, willing us both to get up and groove. In the black light, his teeth shone a comical ultraviolet and, when I looked down, I saw that my pasty legs were a similar hue. I tucked them under me, mortified at my skin tone after being in Spain for half a week.
The rules of propriety dictated that I once again continue the conversation, but I was saved from further humiliation by Martin, who flopped onto the couch on Alan’s other side. “Excuse me,” Alan said politely, and the two bandmates dove headfirst into a conversation obscured by layers of pulsating beats.
Rather than eavesdrop, I peered out at the dance floor, hoping to catch a glimpse of my companions. But my vision was so blurred by fruity drinks and lack of sleep that I couldn’t make out the waiter in front of me when Martin stopped him for another round. Alan even ordered another drink for me and, despite the awareness I was well past my limit, I accepted. There was no possible way I could turn down a drink bought (albeit at an open bar) for me by any member of the band, let alone by the one who made my hormones hit high notes.
I waited for my drink, the cushy couch beneath me slowly sapping the last of my energy. I propped up my head with one arm, 

Thanks for tuning in. Also, be sure to interact with Ms. Robbins at the following links: 
Goodreads
Twitter
Website

Take care :)

Jessica



Monday, June 26, 2017

My review: A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White



Hi, everyone! I hope this month is going well for you and I truly wish you all the best during the course of the remainder of this month and further into the summer.




Synopsis: Twelve years ago, Sarah Baker was abducted by the Watt Lake Killer and sexually assaulted for months before managing to escape. The killer was caught, but Sarah lost everything: her marriage, her child, and the life she loved.

Struggling with PTSD, Sarah changes her name to Olivia West and finds sanctuary working on Broken Bar Ranch. But as her scars finally begin to heal, a cop involved with her horrific case remains convinced the Watt Lake Killer is still out there. He sets a lure for the murderer, and a fresh body is discovered. 

Now Olivia must face the impossible—could the butcher be back, this time to finish his job?As a frigid winter isolates the ranch, only one person can help Olivia: Cole McDonough, a ranch heir, writer, and adventurer who stirs long-dormant feelings in her. But this time, Olivia’s determination to shut out her past may destroy more than her chance at love. It could cost her her life.


SO, LET'S JUMP RIGHT IN...


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MY REVIEW: 

A Dark Lure sees various viewpoints and characters: a killer, a survivor trying to get on with her life and everyone in between including those attempting to push and pull the fates of both characters.

Let’s start with the killer.

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White establishes the creep factor and complication of such a character early on: a psychotic who previously had said survivor in his grasp and desires to have her again after her escape.  She doesn’t make him—The Watt Lake Killer—a character that you feel for in any way.

In fact, you’re not quite sure who he is for quite awhile as he is shown through his deeds perpetrated on the main victim or another.


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I enjoyed this aspect because it added to the mystery. You think he’s one person, then you realize just how far he’s gone to try and catch his prey—one Sarah Baker—scaring you even more.

Next, there’s Olivia who is also Sarah Baker. When she says to another character that they “no dick about surviving,” I had to agree.


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Compared to her, I know not a thing about survival. She is the ultimate phoenix.
At the same time, through the words of White and just like the man chasing her, she has layers. While she is vulnerable—a side she shows, often albeit reluctantly to Cole—she isn’t a victim and White didn’t write her weak, which I love because this woman is anything but and I'm a sucker for strong women in the stories I read.

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That’s all I’ll say for now. I have a major book hangover. And a good one.

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Final thoughts: multi-dimensional characters, touching and suspenseful scenes, a powerful ending. All of my favorite things.

This book gets 5 stars from me all the way!

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This is my first time reading anything by Loreth Anne White and I like what I’ve seen so far. Fans of Ms. White, any others you recommend?

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For those of you like me who haven't read very much of Ms. White's work and would like to start with A Dark Lure, get it here on Amazon or on Book Depository

Also, find the author on Twitter:

That's all for now! Thanks for tuning in! I'll see you in July :)

Jessica

Friday, June 16, 2017

If you love fantasy...here's a new release you should check out...





If you're a fan of fantasy, check out this new release! 


Blurb: 

Carlos and Indiana find a website that promises to find them pen pals from outer space. Imagine their surprise and excitement when they are paired with Mannie and Kossie, two children from Jupiter! The two pairs of pen pals are excited to learn about each other and their planets and are even more excited to learn they may be able to visit! 
Will the other Earthlings be as open to a visit from aliens from Jupiter though? 

Get it on Amazon and also on Book Depository!

Be sure to show some love at the following links: 





Tuesday, June 6, 2017

My Review: Letting Go A Novel by Maria Thompson Corley


Hi, everyone! I truly hope you've all been doing well and you are having a great day (or evening depending on where you are) thus far. You waited awhile and I appreciate your patience so I'll jump right into my latest read, Letting Go by Maria Thompson Corley. 


I had the pleasure and privilege of partaking of this amazing story in which I remained invested to the very end of the story. I was jumpy and excited throughout the story. I finished this morning and I'm still coming down from the high. So, with that being said, here goes...

I've been waiting for a love story like this, a tale that actually reflects the world and how it diverse it truly is, a work which illustrates how the relationships often really operate. More often than not, both parties, much like Cecile and Langston, make difficult decisions concerning the merging of partnership and passion. 


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These two hit snags to say the least and Corley demonstrates this well in the form of narrative, journals, and dialogue. I enjoyed the dialogue especially. The witty banter from in-person conversations and otherwise revealed so much more about these two characters more than any description ever would. I laughed a few times, saying to myself, No wonder they like each other. They fit so well. 

At the same time, Corley made it clear that these were two similar yet different people. One of my favorite aspects of a book is dialogue. I love it when I can picture not only the happenings of a story but the character from the words used in any given situation. 




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Within the trimmings of cultural idioms, clever discussion, and language as beautiful and fluid as if played on piano keys, Corley created characters that you as the reader can absolutely love, hate, and with which you can identify. Adding to that, the journalistic format gave off a sense of personal involvement, as if I was reading someones personal letters about their life and taking the journey right along with them day by day.





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In closing, Letting Go, at its core, is a story about love, discovery, and sacrifice; all three in various forms. It's a true journey of ups and downs.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Listen to an excerpt of Letting Go or get the book here. You can also enjoy one of the songs from the novel, Chopin's Fourth Balld in F Minor, Op. 54. The music from the novel can also be found on Amazon.