Author Interview: A.R. Marshall

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

A.R. Marshall

Aaron is a children’s book author who has had a love of storytelling since childhood. In his Amazon.com author bio, he writes: 

“…no matter what a particular day holds, I want to be a little more heroic when the sun sets.” 

I love the quote and what a great lesson to teach the little ones. 

Without further adieu, here is Mr. A.R. Marshall.

BB&B: I loved Story Keeping: The Night I Became a Hero. It’s a quick, fun read for both kids and adults. What made you decide to write this story in the children’s genre?

A.R.: Great question. I’m really just a big kid at heart, so the genre is a perfect fit. I also think children’s books are a great way to wrestle with big ideas – like courage, or fear. They provide a safe context for experiencing light suspense, humor, relational conflict, etc. I know for our kids, children’s books often catalyze great conversations about stuff that matters.

BB&B: The story is engrossing and got me immediately thinking about some of my favorites like Neverending Story and of course the music vid from A-ha, Take on me. I have to ask – were either of these an inspiration? If not, what was your inspiration?

A.R.: Thanks! I don’t think either of those was an influence, but I did love the Neverending story as a kid. As a kid, I loved choose-your-own-adventure books, and I think the Story Keeping Series plays around with that idea. I hope the nostalgia resonates with adult readers. I also love Lewis’ Narnia books, so moving characters in and out of other story-worlds feels familiar.

BB&B: You managed to successfully pull off combining first person perspective and third person narrative, did you find it difficult to switch between two different story-telling techniques?

A.R.: Thanks, I did. When I started sketching The Night I Became A Hero, our oldest son was gobbling 1st person, journal-styled stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or Diary of a Sixth Grade Ninja. At the same time, our daughter was devouring Magic Treehouse Books. I enjoyed drafting the 1st person opening, but as the story took on its own life, I realized the “in-book” sections would need to be read by grandpa. I enjoyed tackling the challenge – and it proved more difficult to facilitate in the audio version than text.

BB&B: What do your kiddos think about the Story Keepers? Do they give you ideas for the next adventure?

A.R.: The kids love it, and they are my first beta-readers. They don’t offer enough criticism, but they let me know what’s working – is this scene scary? Is that scene funny – I just have to watch them read, ask good questions, and make adjustments. I am always pestering them for lists of things they want to read about, and they are always pestering me to finish the next book.

BB&B: What’s next for Riles, Sissie, Finn, and Grandpa?

A.R.: Great question. In their second adventure, The Night We Met A Dragon, the kids visit a medieval kingdom to unravel a mystery. Along the way, they learn more about Story Keeping, grandpa, and their parents. In adventures three and four (both slated for release this year) the kids dive into more nostalgia – helping an archeologist protect an Egyptian tomb and then battling sea sickness as scallywags on the most dangerous pirate ship to ever sail the seven seas.

BB&B: Do you have any tips for moms and dads on how they can encourage their kids to read?

A.R.: I guess read? At our house, reading is contagious. The more we read, the more they see us reading. The more we read to our kids, the more they want to read on their own. Our biggest challenge is carving time to read regularly with our kids – life has so many distractions, especially at this stage of family life, being intentional as a parent is exhausting.

BB&B: Thank you so much for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits. Any last words for your fans?

A.R.: Of course, thanks for inviting me. I am so grateful to my readers. Thanks for picking up the books, and for sharing in the adventures. If you ever have any questions, please reach out. I love connecting with readers. If you haven’t already, jump on my website and collect your free audiobook at www.armarshall.com

Thank you Aaron!

Be sure to check out Aaron’s website and stay up to date on the Story Keeping adventures. Click here to visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Release Alert: Eye of the Tiger

 

Eye of the Tiger

by

Catherine Green

 

Available: June 30, 2017

Jessica Stone used to be a normal human. Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly. Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool… Or is that a weapon?

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. That includes Simon Bunce, manager of the Ship Inn, who turns out to be lieutenant to the Redcliffe werewolf pack, and lover to the wolf alpha Danny Mason. He fights to protect his master from the ethereal animal familiar who threatens to claim their pack. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

 

Find the Redcliffe novels in bookshops and online, and request them in your local library.

For buy links and more details, visit Catherine Green at http://catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

You can find her here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpookyMrsGreen/

Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen

The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spookymrsgreen/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal! Eye of the Tiger

Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel)

by Catherine Green

 

 

Jessica Stone used to be a normal human.

Then she fell in love with a vampire, met his identical twin werewolf brother, and her life fell apart spectacularly.

Meeting Detective Jack Mason, and his brother Danny, brought about a powerful change, and Jessica’s magic was released. Now, in Redcliffe book 4, she must learn to control her ethereal animal familiar, who lusts after the alpha werewolf, and will stop at nothing to use her human mistress as a tool… Or is that a weapon?

Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel) – coming June 2017

 

The Redcliffe novels series follow the adventures of bookshop owner Jessica Stone as she meets a man and falls in love, only to discover the hidden werewolf secrets of her close friends. Who knew the Cornish coast could be so deadly?

 

Find Catherine Green and her British paranormal novels in the following places:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpookyMrsGreen/

Author blog: http://www.catherinegreenauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/SpookyMrsGreen

The Pagan Housewife Blog: http://spookymrsgreen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spookymrsgreen/

Have you discovered the Redcliffe novels? Sign up today, and receive your fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

New Release Alert!!

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

Kai Bertrand’s

ENFORCER

 

Description

It started with death, mine. It went downhill from there.

My name is Cain. I’m an Enforcer. I’ve been given the power

to suggest someone commit suicide. If the circumstances are

right, it happens. The purpose of this power is to combat demons.

 

They’re taking over our town. People are being possessed

and trapped in their own bodies with no way out. As an

Enforcer I give them one last chance to rid themselves of the

demon controlling them. The separation process is…messy.

 

I hate being an Enforcer. I could refuse to do it but it means,

I’ll have to stand by and watch my friends and neighbors

become victims, or worse, killers.

 

My twin brother Ari tells me I’ll get used to it. That’s easy for

him to say, he’s Death. I’m a smartass with a deadly power.

What were they thinking?

 

In the war between Good and Evil, my brother and I are in

the middle. Both Heaven and Hell have plans for us. We are

so screwed.

 

BBB: I was so taken by the description, I started saying to myself, ‘I’m going to get this book’. Cain not only sounds cool, but I’m intrigued about the type of trouble a smartass with deadly powers can get into.

But first, I wanted to do something fun. So, I asked Kai, ‘if Cain were to go to a club, what would he drink and what type of playlist would he be rocking to?’

Kai: Cain prefers beer and always keeps some in the fridge, probably something like Guinness.

If he were going to go harder, he would go for scotch or bourbon. No mixed drinks for this guy.

The music in the background in the bar he frequents is from the 50’s and 60’s.

Here are some of the songs in the Jukebox:

Who’s Sorry Now – Connie Francis

Since I Don’t Have You – The Skyliners

Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino

Diana – Paul Anka

Love me Tender – Elvis Presley

Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

BBB: Yup, I’m sold! He got me at Love Me Tender. ((swooooon)). 

To further tickle your taste buds, here’s a short excerpt from ENFORCER

Ari had just reminded me that when I woke up after the accident, an angel stood at the foot of my hospital bed. He was glowing, he was beautiful. I just about peed myself. He had long dark hair and bright blue eyes. He was big, solid. He was wearing a white robe so I couldn’t see his body, but his forearms were like stone. He looked like one of those guys you see on the cover of romance novels.

“Hello Cain, I’m Michael. You and your brother have been chosen,” he said. His voice played in my ear like music.

“For what?” I croaked. His voice was music; mine was like a tin can being scraped out with a spoon.

“We have need of you. As you’re aware, the battle between good and evil has been waged for millennia. The angels are busier than ever fighting the dark. We’ve chosen another human to perform a vital function. Your brother has taken on the sacred duty of Death.”

“He did what?” I asked.

“Your brother has agreed to help others pass to the other side; he has agreed to become an agent of Death.”

“How hard did he hit his head? Or how hard did I hit mine? This is crazy,” I said rubbing my eyes thinking I must have been hallucinating.

“I’m telling you this because your brother will maintain his life as it’s always been. He’s been granted special powers that allow him to answer the call of anyone dying that he’s assigned to escort. He is one of many people who have the power to relieve suffering and pain by helping people to pass over.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“You and your brother are linked, when he escorts a soul to the other side, you’ll feel it. We want you to be prepared. The passage through is cold, but spirits can’t feel it, neither can Ari because of his abilities, but you will. I thought it fair to warn you.”

That was how I found out my brother was Death.

~o~

Click the link for

ENFORCER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview with Tanya Bird

BOOKS, BLOGS, & BITS

presents:

Tanya Bird

Today, Books, Blogs, & Bits has the pleasure of introducing you to Tanya Bird. 

Tanya is a writer, mom, and Lego expert who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to her three wonderful children and an accidental six-year stint in media/advertising, she studied professional writing and set about writing bad novels on a laptop she could not afford. (LOL! “Bad novels” those are her words, not mine.) But, there was a nagging problem – she needed to eat. Like many of us do, creative endeavors were put on hold as she went about making money. But she eventually realized that writing is an illness, and one can only numb the symptoms for so long before the words begin to decay inside of you. 

Thankfully she returned to writing and the decay is no more!

Without further adieu, here is Ms. Tanya Bird 🙂

BBB: Describe yourself in five words.

Tanya: Motivated, witty, chocoholic, uncoordinated, dreamer.

BBB: How many children do you have?

Tanya: Three (way too energetic) boys, aged seven, four and two.

BBB: How do you juggle your writing with being a mom to three young boys?

Tanya: I don’t have the luxury that some other writers have of scheduled time and being in the right mindset. Over the past few years I have had small windows of opportunity and that is it. Use them or lose them. Writing is often done in small bursts. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than not writing. I have become used to writing when I’m tired. In the evenings I often think my brain is done for the day, but once I start, I come good.

BBB: What would be your ideal Mother’s Day?

Tanya: A sleep-in. A late (sugar-laden) breakfast with my boys that is prepared by someone else. The rest of the day reading books in the sun. Finish the day with no-one complaining at the dinner table and someone else wrestling the kids into bed. Best. Day. Ever.

BBB: What are you reading at the moment?

Tanya: Colleen Hoover’s, It Ends With Us and Hannah Kent’s, The Good People.

BBB: You have just launched your first romance novel. What is THE book that made you fall in love with romance as a genre?

Tanya: I would have to say Paulina Simons’ The Bronze Horseman. Hands-down the most intense love story I have ever read and the only book I have ever re-read immediately after finishing it.

BBB: How did The Royal Companion come about? 

Tanya: When I was pregnant with my second son, I was prone to really vivid dreams that would stay with me for days. One particular dream stayed with me for much (much) longer, and is now my first published novel.

BBB: What can readers expect from the book?

Tanya: It’s a Royal Romance, though I struggle to fit it neatly into one sub-genre. Its court setting and characters will appeal to regency romance readers, but the story also contains medieval and fantasy elements. Throw in some horses and action, and you have quite the Romance hybrid.

BBB: That is great, Tanya. I understand you also have a gift for our readers?

Tanya: As a special Mother’s Day gift, Books, Blogs and Bits readers can download The Royal Companion for free up until midnight on Sunday 14 May. So grab a copy (and a fishbowl of wine) and enjoy.

 Click here to download your free copy of The Royal Companion.

Thank you so much, Tanya! Come back soon and Happy Mother’s Day to you! 

If you’d like to learn more about Tanya, be sure to check out her blog by clicking here.

 

Spring Cleaning

Spring is here.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I’m getting the urge to purge.

This doesn’t happen every year. I’m not exactly what you’d call a neat-freak, but I’m not a complete slob either. I’m somewhere in the happy middle. But for some unknown reason, this year, I’ve been getting this nagging feeling to purge my electronic files. Yes, my files, not my house, but my PC drives. I’m a bit of pack-rat when it comes to my e-files. I don’t delete anything. So, what ends up happening is I have duplicate and triplicates files of lots of things. 

The files are daunting to look at. If they were hardcopy files, I’d have mountains upon mountains of paper everywhere. It makes it so difficult to find anything. Plus, talk about all the storage space all those files are taking up. It’s like a closet in a home, eventually it fills up and all your stuff begins to spill over until you can’t close the closet doors anymore.

That’s about where I’m at with my e-files. So, with a large cup of coffee next to me and my favorite snack to fuel me on, I’ve started deleting the duplicates and triplicates from my drives. It actually feels pretty good. I’m cleaning up and getting more organized. This is one of my goals for this year as I get out of my comfort zone.

Cleaning up my e-files, makes room for other files to come in.

This is very spiritually symbolic for me. I’m ready to get rid of the clutter I don’t need and leave room for good things to come in.

Plus it’s just a good thing to do. As an author, I need to be more organized and efficient. It’s not really of value when I have to spend hours just trying to find the final-final copy of my book cover, or the final-final copy of the manuscript and wondering if that version is what I uploaded into Amazon. Now, with clearly labeled folders in my PC, I know exactly what I have and don’t have. 

I can breathe a sigh of relief. 

If you haven’t looked at your e-files in a while. I would recommend spring cleaning your e-files too. It’s amazing how good it feels to be de-cluttered 🙂

 

 

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

– William Morris

 

 

 

 

Let’s connect!

This post is going to be very, very short.

I want to invite you to visit my Facebook page 🙂

It seems I’ve been doing more regular posts there than here. My posts there are motivational and of course shout-outs to friends of Books, Blogs, and Bits.

It’s a positive and happy place to be.

See you there 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/Books-Blogs-Bits-345767795513819/

 

Veteran’s Day 2016

file7621263245344Happy Veteran’s Day. Today we honor those who served in the military. Because of these great men and women, our liberties have and continue to be protected.

I admire the courage and strength it takes to serve so selflessly. To know that by volunteering your name–you are leaving your family, your home, and have to go to someplace unknown; I know, I couldn’t do it. It takes the heart of a hero to do something so incredible.

That these amazing men and women would give up their comfort and their safety so that we may continue to have ours is humbling. They are my heroes.

All I have to say is THANK YOU!

Updates

tempestdawnfinalHi!

This is a quickie post to provide some updates:

  1. Cecily has a new book out! Tempest Dawn is live and on sale at Amazon.com. Grab it now or wait for some promotions that Cecily will be running soon. Dates are pending, but it’s coming.

2. If you haven’t checked BB&B’s Facebook page, you might just want to take a gander here. The posts there are more regular and I try to keep them fun and entertaining. Also, a new Facebook cover is coming soon! I don’t even know what it’ll look like. LOL! Totally leaving it up to the designer. We’ll all be surprised at the same time.

3.I’ll be posting more regular reviews on books I read. Freebies and bought books. I’ll take you on my learning journey. Hopefully it’ll be helpful for you as well. I’m looking forward to taking my TBR pile down a few books.

If you haven’t yet read any of Cecily’s books and want to get a feel for her writing, ya got three (3) options:

  1. Prelude to a Storm is free on Amazon. This is a short story prequel to the much bigger Order of the Anakim series. It’s a quick read that’ll take you on fantastical trip to Tijuana, Mexico.
  2. Gathering Storm is available free on Cecily’s site. Click this link and you can get a copy of this novel for free! 
  3. Escaping Midnight is a reader exclusive available only to Cecily’s reader list. You can get this for free by clicking this link.

It’s a smorgi of free books. 

Enjoy and happy reading.

Think and Grow Rich

napoleon-hill-mind-quotes-wallpaper-1030x643

I’ve had Think and Grow Rich in my library for a looong time. It’s one of those books that I’ve seen numerous times mentioned by successful people.

Mentions like, “I always carry it with me,” “It changed my life,” or “Amazing,” are just some of the descriptors I’ve associated with this book. So, my thought was ‘how good could it be?’

When I came upon it on Amazon.com and it was free, I had to grab it out of curiousity, but that was two years ago? Anyways, I’ve swiped through my library, see it, and swipe past. But something made me stop this time and actually download this 70+ year old work into my Kindle.

I’m so glad I did, cause WOW! Let me just say that I just started reading and I’m not finished, but I can’t get this guy’s lessons out of my head! If you like the Secret or are familiar with the book or movie or have heard of the Law of Attraction, this was the originator. At least in my opinion anyway. But it doesn’t just scratch the surface, he gives you actions steps and plans. He provides explanations and such wonderful stories to stress his point.

I also thought that I might have trouble reading writing from that time. Too formal? I thought I might fall asleep, but I haven’t. Napoleon Hill’s writing style is smooth, easy, and understandable. I kind of feel like I’m listening to a really eloquent uncle.

Napoleon Hill was teaching about success mindset and coupling action with desire 70+ years ago. The book was written right after the Great Depression. The American economy had taken a large hit and many people were ruined. People were desperate and hopeless. It was a time when it would have been easier to give up.

Although the book is old, reading it now — it’s still so relevant. Again, in my opinion, our situation now, may be a little bit better economically, but with so many wars, and general hatred being spewed all over the place… there’s the same sense of hopeless and desperation. It’s crazy. Anyways, that’s not really the point of this.

My point is that this book is a MUST READ for anyone who has a dream they’d like to accomplish and breathe into reality.

It is a classic, but more importantly, the work is eternal in its wisdom. Mr. Napoleon Hill’s words are alive and well in the 21st century and I am so grateful for it. I now understand all the accolades 🙂

If you want to pick it up, as of this post, it’s not free on Amazon.com, but it’s running for .99.

Here’s a link if you’re curious.

 https://www.amazon.com/Think-Grow-Rich-Napoleon-Hill-ebook/dp/B00AIR8CMS/

If not, search the web and I’m sure you can find a free .pdf of it somewhere 🙂

Happy reading!