Beyond the Cover-Author Interview with Dana Volney

a-heart-for-the-holidays-final-cover Dana Volney is one of the most amazing people. Sweet and spunky she’s the kind of person who convinces you that you can do anything. She and Jami Wagner were kind enough to let me tagalong with them when we became friends at RT15 in Dallas. They’re my first real author friends and definitely my favorite.

In honor of the upcoming holidays we’re running a giveaway for two free digital copies of one of her amazing holiday romances. Check out her website and see a list of all her books on Amazon. I’m sure you’ll love her as much as I do!

 

Dana Volney

  1. What is your favorite author quote?

“You never turn your back upon a dream, for phantoms have their reasons when they come.”
–Robert Lowell

  1. What is the most valuable piece of writing (or other) advice that you’ve ever been given?

“There are no new stories, just new voices.” This actually helped me a TON. When I first started exploring writing fiction I was almost paralyzed because I thought “I have to come up with something that has never, ever, EVER, ever been done before. How do I do that?” And while, of course, fresh ideas are never a bad thing, chances are some form of an idea has already been written. That one simple sentence put my mind at ease and allowed me to be creative.

  1. What is the first idea you ever had for a book?

I believe it was for a romance between a real estate agent and a contractor. I was watching a lot of HGTV at the time! I think I got a couple of chapters written on that one before I moved on to the next idea.

  1. Which character was the most fun to write?

To date, I’ve had the most fun writing Felix Ibarra and Arabella Nox from Protecting His Heart. They were so edgy, combative due to their history, and tough people. I had a good time with them and their attitudes. LOL! The pain below the surface for both of them was also interesting to explore and a bit of a challenge at times. But, I’m always up for a challenge!

  1. Describe your dream writing/reading space:

Oh, this is a question for my Pinterest boards! Hahaha There are so many ideas floating around out there that are amazing, and I’d take any number of them. My perfect space for reading, however, is at the beach where it’s sunny but I’ve got shade, a nice chair that reclines, and the sound of lapping waves at my feet. To write I’d take the same scenario—I like to be able to glance away from my screen and view scenery to let ideas flow. Great, it’s cold out right now and all I want is the lake!

  1. Why did you decide to become an author?

It wasn’t so much decide, as loved the concept the more I learned about it. The idea of becoming an author started when I was reading a lot but I didn’t pursue it for many years. I finally took a class on fiction writing and the more I learned, the more I wrote. And, the more I let my creativity loose, the more fun I had. I loved every aspect of it. It’s not an easy industry to love, either. I’ve tried to quit a couple of times but can’t let it go. It’s in my blood now. It’s too intriguing to create a world, create characters, create a story that means something to stop now.

  1. Have you ever accidentally dropped a book in the tub? If so, what was it?

Ha! Yes! It was One For The Money by Janet Evanovich. I know this because I still have it, wrinkles from water and all! But, never fear, I still read it and laughed all the way through.

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Thanks, Dana, for taking the time to complete an author interview! We’re so happy to have you! Readers: don’t forget to enter the giveaway and Happy Holidays!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

It’s as adorable as the movie. That’s all you need to know.

510yzqd6ukl-_sx302_bo1204203200_Anyone who lived through the 1980s may find it impossible—inconceivable, even—to equate The Princess Bride with anything other than the sweet, celluloid romance of Westley and Buttercup, but the film is only a fraction of the ingenious storytelling you’ll find in these pages. Rich in character and satire, the novel is set in 1941 and framed cleverly as an “abridged” retelling of a centuries-old tale set in the fabled country of Florin that’s home to “Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passions.”

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

I love these books. This is the second book in The Winner’s trilogy and it’s as good as the first. I love the way Marie Rutkoski writes. She makes it easy for you to fall in love with the characters and she immerses you in the story in a way that makes you feel like you’re right alongside them. I <3 her!

 

Following your heart can be a crime

A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust 51qxastpbvlherself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.
This dazzling follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Beyond the Cover-Author Interview with Brenda Drake

I first learned of Brenda at RT15 when she led a session. The session was a panel of agents and editors and Brenda did a fantastic job of being the moderator. It wasn’t until I checked out her website after the session that I realized that she’s kind of a big deal. She’s the founder of PitchWars — which you should all try to be a part of if you haven’t already — but more than that, she’s just an all around good person. You can tell from the second you meet her that she’s amazing. Check out her latest book Thief of Lies and pre-order the second book Guardian of Secrets.

 

Brenda Drake

  1. What is your favorite author quote?

Growing up, my parents had an old collection of Mark Twain books. There are many authors I love, but Mark Twain is one author who has some of the most profound quotes. My favorite of his is… “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

  1. What is the most valuable piece of writing (or other) advice that you’ve ever been given?

Read. A lot. It really is true that to be an author, you must read many books by different authors. Reading will teach you how to write and open your mind to finding your own voice.

  1. What is the first idea you ever had for a book?

My first idea for a book was when I was a young girl. Most my stories were about animals, naturally. But my first novel I completed (many were given up before finishing) was a disaster. It was a horrible story—a Narnia type of book with portals and creatures. But I learned a lot about writing while creating that manuscript and I discovered I could finish a novel. I call that first one my practice novel. And it’s probably, with all its horribleness, my favorite one because of what it taught me and because I had so much fun writing it.

  1. Which character was the most fun to write?

This is such a difficult question. I have fun with all my characters. When I don’t like them, I cut them out or kill them. Ha! But seriously, I think it has been Gia in the Library Jumpers series. She’s a combination of many girls I love in my life. When I’m in her head, I can relive the joys I’ve had with my girls.

  1. Describe your dream writing/reading space:

My dream writing space would be a comfortable office with large picturesque windows and endless views of the Land of Enchantment. It’s where I write now. So I guess I’ve accomplished my dream.

  1. Why did you decide to become an author?

I’ve been a storyteller since I was girl. I’m not sure it was ever a decision. It just came to me. Taking the next step to get my work published, came after I married my husband and became a stay-at-home mom. I needed something for me, and writing filed that need.

  1. Have you ever accidentally dropped a book in the tub? If so, what was it?

No. If that had ever happened to me, I would’ve been devastated. But I could imagine a book I would drop. It would have to be one that would scare the begeebers out of me like Salem’s Lot or It by Stephen King.

 

Thanks, Brenda, for stopping by! We loved having you!

The One by Kiera Cass

Unless you’ve been deaf, dumb, and blind for the past few years you’ve probably seen and heard tons about this series. Needless to say — it’s amazing. It’s one of the few trilogies that I can honestly say the third book is just as good or better than the first. Start with The Selection (obvs) and you’ll reach The One in no time because you won’t be able to put it down.

 

The beautifully romantic third book in Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series! The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales, and is perfect for fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

Entering the Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she arrived at the palace, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s m513fqmljf4l-_sx330_bo1204203200_ade her choice . . . and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Includes a sneak peek at The Heir, the highly anticipated fourth book in the Selection series!

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia-NOW AVAILABLE!

This book was released yesterday! Can’t wait to read it. Kami Garcia is one of my favorite authors. It can be purchased via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, IndieBound, iBooks, and Kobo.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia, a contemporary romance full of loss, love and redemption…

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Seventeen year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad―an undercover cop. She transfers to public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him…and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?