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Q & A with Shelia Roberts

Shelia Roberts

Better Than Chocolate

Q&A Questions

 

I loved that this was about a small town chocolate factory with a ton of history.  Why did you choose a chocolate factory?

Well, if I had a family business, that is what I’d want to own. I love chocolate and I’m fascinated by the whole process that turns a very strange bean into something so wonderful.

 

Which of the Sterling woman was the most difficult to write?

Actually, Samantha my heroine was probably the hardest because she’s the most opposite of me – a very type A, strong personality. Which is, of course, the kind of woman most capable of saving a failing family business.

 

Is one of them the easiest?

Samantha’s mother Muriel was probably the easiest since I really identified with her. There’s a lot of Muriel in me, especially when it comes to finances!

 

If Samantha didn’t think that her mother’s new husband was capable of running the business, why did she not stay more involved with the business to ensure it was okay? 

Samantha was in an awkward position of seeing problems and not having the position of  power to fix them – which happens a lot in the world of business. Not being the one in charge, she could only do so much. 

How did you decide to add the contest for men into the festival?

I thought that would be great fun. And the women in town sure seemed to enjoy it.

Will there be more books set in Icicle Falls?

Oh, yes. 

Many of your previous books have included recipes, will there be recipes to go along with this one?

Yes, this book has some fabulous chocolate recipes in it. 

What was your favorite scene in this book?

There were a lot of scenes I really enjoyed writing, but my favorite is probably the one where our heroine is dreaming about being chased by her archenemy the bank manager. It involves giant candy bar monsters and a vat of chocolate. 

What can we expect in the future?

I’m very excited about not only this book but the ones set to follow it and I hope readers will enjoy them. Merry Ex-mas, a holiday tale of wives and their exes will be coming out in November. After that What She Wants will be on the shelves some time next spring.

Do you have a favorite type of chocolate?

White chocolate with coconut. Yum!

Better Than Chocolate Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts

  • ISBN-13: 9780778313458
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400

 

Synopsis:

Sweet Dreams Chocolate Company has been in the Sterling family for generations, ever since Great-Grandma Rose literally dreamed up her first fabulous recipe. But now it looks as if they’re about to lose Sweet Dreams to the bank—and that would be a disaster, not only for the family but for the town of Icicle Falls, Washington. Can Samantha, the oldest daughter and new head of the company, come up with a way to save it?

After Samantha does some brainstorming with her mother and sisters, inspiration strikes. They’ll have a chocolate festival! Time’s running out, but the Sterling women are determined and the town’s behind them, so everything’s bound to go smoothly….

Or not. Events seem to be conspiring against Samantha, and her mother’s attempts to help aren’t helping. To make matters worse, the fate of her company is in the hands of her archenemy, Blake Preston, the bank manager with the football-hero good looks. It’s enough to drive her to chocolate. But Blake’s also enough to convince her that (believe it or not) there’s something even better than chocolate.

 

 

About the Author:

Sheila RobertsSheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have appeared in Readers Digest Condensed Books and have been published in several languages. Her book Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009 and her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network. You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (http://www.sheilasplace.com).

 

Interview with Roxanne Rhoads

Hex and the Single Witch

Interview with author Roxanne Rhoads

Please share a little about yourself.

I am a wife, mother of three (ages 6, 13 and 20), author, book publicist and owner of Bewitching Book Tours. When I’m not working I like to craft, garden and hunt for unique vintage items and antiques.

My guilty pleasures include lots and lots of books that are pure escapism, television shows that offer the same escapism (The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Teen Wolf, Grimm…just to name a few) and dark chocolate.

Please tell us about your newest release.

In Hex and the Single Witch most humans think that vampires, were-creatures and all types of Others are just movie magic and works of fiction because after a the Hysteria of the late twentieth century that almost eradicated entire species of Others, a mass worldwide spelling was cast that made humans once again lose their memories that Other folk exist. And the spelling was so successful that Others can walk openly among the humans and never be suspected of being Other.

The only people that see Others realistically are those who have the faintest drop of Other in their blood and those who are so strong willed the spelling didn’t take, and of course children who were born after the spelling took place.

The problem with this scenario is that not all Others are harmless, there are those thrive on danger, fear, and despair and revel in destruction.

So to keep the Others in line and keep supernatural crime to a minimum the Preternatural Investigation Team (dubbed the PIT Crew) was created as a special task force for the Flint Police Department.

Recruits for the PIT Crew are either Others or humans that know Others exist.

Detective Anwyn Rose is an Other, a witch to be precise but her magic hasn’t ever been too flashy, however she has the ability to “know” things. Either by touch or just a direct line into someone’s mind, Anwyn is very useful at a crime scene. She can see what happened just by touching the victim or an object at the scene.

Her partner, Detective Mike Malone is human, and not too friendly with the “monsters”. However he has a thing for Anwyn even if technically she could be labeled as one of the “monsters”, but Anwyn has a thing for a vampire, Galen. To Malone a vampire is the worst of all monsters especially when Anwyn’s love interest turns out to be the prime suspect in a string of killings they are investigated.

The whole situation leads to heated arguments, steamy encounters, a lot of misfiring magic- and a hot love triangle.

How do you find the time to write and run Bewitching Book Tours?

Uhmm….lots and lots of coffee…and the help of my amazing assistant 😉 Oh and an understanding family that sometimes manages to cook and clean up after themselves.

How did you pick the title for your new series?

I have a notebook I jot down all my miscellaneous book related ideas in. I have a couple pages of nothing but possible book titles that match stories I’m working on and story ideas I have (also in the notebook).  Since this is a series I tried to match up similar titles (like this series will all have Hex in the title, at least that’s the currrent plan J) After changing and discarding several possible titles and I decided on Hex and the Single Witch because it worked with the story and genre.

Tell us about the cover design for the book.

Dawne Dominique totally rocks cover designs. I gave her my idea and sent her some images of the Vehicle City arches in downtown Flint. She used to those to create my series logo for Vehicle City Vampires. Then I sent her a series of images of downtown Flint. The one she liked best is from a local area photographer (David C Lucas) and features the bricks of Saginaw Street- which are mentioned in the book several time. 

Then we added the couple. The woman is Anwyn, long flowing red hair and all. The guy…he could be either man featured in the book. I’ll let the reader’s decide.

Dawne was very patient with me (she always is) and tweaked the cover images and layout until it was absolutely perfect.

What inspires you?

Everything.  Images, art, people watching…driving around story ideas sometimes pop into my head.

Sometimes character appear and just start speaking to me -in my head- I don’t actually see them though if I wasn’t a writer hearing voices would be enough crazy to put me on some serious meds.

What is the one thing you cannot do without?

Coffee. Without caffeine I am sure I would die. Seriously. I would.

Giveaway Time!!

Prize Pack 1: A Fang-tastic Tote Bag, glow in the dark gloves, a Bewitching Charm bracelet (made by BookSwag Shop),  , Bewitching Broom pen, mini witch hat notebook and various book swag from Bewitching authors. Open to US Shipping Only

Prize Pack 2: Bewitching Charm bookmark (made by BookSwag Shop), Bewitching Broom pen, mini witch hat notebook and various book swag from Bewitching authors. Open to US Shipping Only

Prize Pack 3: Bewitching necklace (made by paragraphic), Bewitching Broom pen, mini witch hat notebook and various book swag from Bewitching authors. Open to US Shipping Only

Prize 4: $10 Amazon Gift Card delivered digitally. Open internationally

Prize 5 (with 5 winners): 5 ecopies of Hex and the Single Witch. Open internationally

 

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Hex and the Single Witch 
Vehicle City Vampires Book One
By Roxanne Rhoads
 

Anwyn Rose is descended from a long line of powerful witches yet she can barely cast spells young witchlings have mastered. She has one functioning witch gift, the power of knowing, which she puts to good use as a Detective on Flint’s Preternatural Investigation Team (aka the P.I.T. Crew)

It’s a new era in Vehicle City, supernaturals are running the town. 

The P.I.T has their hands full with paranormal crimes. Top priority is a serial killer, who appears to be a vampire, draining young women in the city.

Anwyn is on the case with her sexy partner Detective Mike Malone. 

Complicating things is her relationship Galen, a vampire who looks more guilty than innocent, although Anwyn trusts her instincts even if her power is on the fritz.

Mysterious spells, compromising situations, and a possible demon on the loose make it hard to focus on the case, but Anwyn has to make things right before the human police execute the wrong vampire.

Hex and the Single Witch contains magick, a little bit of mystery, a lot of supernatural mayhem, and a sexy love triangle that will leave you wanting more.

 
About the Author:
 
Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl…these words describe book publicist and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.
 
When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne’s world revolves around words…reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read, promote and review what others write.
 
Roxanne is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours and operates Fang-tastic Books, a book blog dedicated to paranormal and urban fantasy books.
 
When not reading, writing, or promoting Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds.
 
Visit her online

 
 
 
Facebook
 
 
 
 
 
 
Twitter @RoxanneRhoads
 
Roxanne can also be found on Linked InGoodreads and Google+

Author Interview with Rodney Jones

The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains

The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains by Rodney Jones

Please let us know a bit about yourself.

My roots are small town/rural. I like to get outside and walk a lot. I’ll drive out to the country, two miles from home, and walk the quiet roads between the corn and soybeans fields. My mind dumps all the thoughts that I’d put on hold while writing. If I’m alone I’ll sometimes talk to myself—exercise my vocal cords. Sometimes this turns into a conversation—a dialogue. Perhaps once a week I get out my bicycle and ride up the Cardinal Greenway. I’ll ride thirty to forty miles, occasionally fifty, often with my daughter, Jody. We’ll talk for the first twenty miles, then grow tired and quiet for the remaining trip back. Lately, I’ve been getting the itch to spend time alone in the woods. There’s a certain hilltop in Charles Deam Wilderness Area overlooking Lake Monroe, which I especially like backpacking to. It’s a beautiful area—somewhat isolated.

I have a vegetable garden too, all organic, lots of tomatoes, which usually end up as marinara. Now and then I pitch baseballs to my grandson Jory, or dance with my granddaughter, Emele. We do this thing we call ‘song for the day’ where I’ll play old records to which we work out little dance routines. She loves it as much as I do. From time to time I do small carpentry jobs or stonework for income. I enjoy the work, but it tends to get in the way of my writing, so I avoid it as much as possible. I’m smiling, thinking of that line from the movie Office Space. “It’s not that I’m lazy; it’s just that I don’t care.”

And one more thing: I paint—oils—abstract. I was an artist long before I became a writer.

Why did you choose time travel?

The idea came to me while I was hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont. I was playing a game in my head, imagining I was from a hundred and fifty years earlier, walking along, unaware that I’d entered a modern wilderness, wondering about all the little clues our environment holds that don’t fit into a nineteenth century world. What would a person from 1875 make of the piece of surveyor’s tape I found tied to a tree branch? I’ve always loved the idea of time travel, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a ‘special’ interest because I have so many interests. As much as I enjoyed writing The Sun, the Moon, and Maybe the Trains, I  can’t see myself writing another time travel story. I have too many other ideas that I’m excited about.

How do you keep track of the different times travelled to in order to keep consistency in the story?

My story  contains only two separate time periods: 1875 and 2009. The narrative is first person—told from John Bartley’s (a young man from 1875) point of view. The contrast between his experience of his time period and modern times provides clear place markers. There are some moments within the story where I create a little ambiguity there in order to place the reader closer to John’s mental/emotional experience. I think readers will enjoy this particular aspect of the story.

What is your favorite scene in the story?

The scene toward the beginning of chapter seven, which takes place in Tess’s car, parked near the ruins of Greendale. It’s the first tender moment between John and Tess. Holding Tess’s hand, John notices how child-like her hands are—how clean and unaffected by labor they are. And in this scene Tess shares a few intimate secrets with him, which may suggest deeper feelings. I have a strong romantic streak in me, but I like to steer clear of direct declarations of love.

What’s coming next?

I’m sitting on three completed novels, all three of which I’m very excited about, though none have yet been seen by a publisher. The book I’m most interested in seeing in print is a funny, quirky, coming of age story that takes place on the planet Bufadu. It follows the life and struggles of Evelyn Hatfield, a young girl who is obsessed with sailing to a mythological continent called Methania. This story was a huge challenge for me, in that I had to create a new language (mixed up English) for the Methanian character, Fender (Evelyn’s future love interest). I had to write gibberish in a manner that would not trip the reader and slow the pace while at the same time assure that my character is understood. I think readers are going to have a blast with this.

About the Book:

  • ISBN-13: 9781479328499
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 9/29/2012
  • Pages: 252
What would it take to convince you that the woods you just left is one hundred forty-four years distant from the one you entered?

Ten years have passed since the Civil War broke up John Bartley’s family. Living with his aunt and uncle in the tiny village of Greendale, Vermont, isn’t filled with excitement for a seventeen-year-old.

Until John walks into the woods one day and stumbles into 2009…

Fortunately, he chances upon the outspoken Tess McKinnon. To earn her trust, he must first convince her that he is neither a lunatic nor a liar. The proof he needs is buried at the end of a mountain road, where the ruins of Greendale lie just beneath a layer of dead leaves and moss.

What became of his home? Why is there no record of its existence?

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