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!

Them Bones

I love reading books set in the south. Especially ones where the heroine doesn’t quite fit in with the traditional ways. Them Bones is a cozy mystery that strikes a hilarious chord with those of us *ahem* who are of a certain age and unmarried. It’s cute, fun, and full of handsome southern gentlemen who act like men should.

Synopsis for Them Bones by Carolyn Haines:

Meet Sarah Booth Delaney…an unconventional Southern belle whos5181rlwv7yl._sx301_bo1_204_203_200_e knack for uncovering the truth is about to make her the hottest detective in Zinnia, Mississippi…if it doesn’t make her the deadest.

No self-respecting lady would allow herself to end up in Sarah Booth’s situation. Unwed, unemployed, and over thirty, she’s flat broke and about to lose the family plantation. Not to mention being haunted by the ghost of her great-great-grandmother’s nanny, who never misses an opportunity to remind her of her sorry state–or to suggest a plan of action, like ransoming her friend’s prize pooch to raise some cash.

But soon Sarah Booth’s walk on the criminal side leads her deeper into unladylike territory, and she’s hired to solve a murder. Did gorgeous, landed Hamilton Garrett V really kill his mother twenty years ago? And if so, what is Sarah Booth doing falling for this possible murderer? When she asks one too many questions and a new corpse turns up, she is suddenly a suspect herself…and Sarah Booth finds that digging up the bones of the past could leave her rolling over in her grave.

Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye

Victoria Laurie is one of my favorite authors. I stumbled upon her Psychic Eye series during one of my many trips to Barnes and Noble. I was 15 at the time and roaming the adult mystery section when the cover caught my eye. The book is even better than the cover and laugh-out-loud funny. Abby’s personality hits close to home and I can proudly say that I own the entire series. P.S. A new one is being released this July.

Synopsis for Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie:

Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn’t foresee the death of one of her clients-or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby’s future looks more uncertain than ever.

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Angels and Demons

Once when I was on a date I could not. shut. up. about this book. I’m pretty sure my crazy was spewing out of my mouth. Oh well. This book is genius. I love it more than The DaVinci Code. Brown mixes science and fiction so well (while not writing science fiction) you look at life and go, “Well, yeah. Of course you can create matter from nothing. Duh.” I recommend listening to the audiobook if you struggle with other languages because they’re referenced a lot. A lot a lot. But this is a must read no matter the format.

Synopsis for Angels and Demons by Dan Brown:81-_z-hkitl

An ancient secret brotherhood. A devastating new weapon of destruction. An unthinkable target. When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to his first assignment to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol — seared into the chest of a murdered physicist — he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati…the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth. The Illuminati has now surfaced to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy — the Catholic Church.

Cover Reveal-A GRAVE PREDICTION

Victoria Laurie’s new book A Grave Prediction will be released this summer on July 26th! You can pre-order it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes. She also released the 10th book in her Ghost Hunter Mystery series earlier this year titled  A Goul’s Guide to Love and Murder. 

Here’s the summary of A Grave Prediction from her website www.victorialaurie.com:

Professional psychics learn to deal with skeptics, but Abby has to prepare herself for one steep uphill battle when she’s sent to San Diego to help train FBI officers to use their intuition. Her first266_Grave_Prediction_Cover challenge: a series of bank robberies in which the thieves made off with loads of cash but left no clues. 
 
Abby’s sixth sense leads her team to a tract of land recently cleared for development. But instead of finding clues to the cash, Abby gets a vision of four buried bodies. A site search turns up some bones and pottery from an American Indian tribe, but that’s still enough to delay construction for years. 
 
With a furious developer and dubious FBI agents on her back, Abby is losing credibility fast. But unlike the best laid plans, Abby’s talent rarely leads her astray. And if the bodies aren’t there yet, that means that four deaths can still be stopped. She’ll just have to dig a little deeper . . .

 

The Undomestic Goddess

Warning: It drops the F bomb. A lot. The Undomestic Goddess

I started reading this during a really crappy time in my life. Within the first two pages I knew I would love it. I know exactly how Samantha felt because it’s exactly how I was feeling. Maybe not quite to the 6-minute extreme, but close.

Just to caution you: don’t read this while at work, church, gym, or anywhere you feel the need to be quiet because it will make you laugh out loud. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella:

Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.

Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.

But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?