Instinctively, I hopped on Twitter to see if Ms Carthage was online (not that instant, but in general!), as I have come to appreciate finding authors I am keen on reading are participating in reader to author connections via Twitter; as it allows the readers (such as I) to ask pertinent questions which might arise out of reading a book synopsis or an excerpt (if one is available). What followed was a happenstance conversation, where a reader enjoyed getting to know an author outside the scope of being able to read the novel! I asked a few direct questions, as I was a bit on the fence as whether or not I could read this novel as it might take me too far outside my comfort zones along the lines of what is seen or unseen in the novel itself.
I’m definitely *the Cosy Horror Girl* at heart, as I have to weigh what I want to read with what I can handle as I have a sensitive heart. Always feeling being honest about this upfront is best, I did share my concerns, and as we talked a bit more about Haunted and our personal likes in books, I decided I truly felt I would love to interview Ms Carthage in lieu of reading the book for her blog tour! The elements of the paranormal within the series is still keenly intriguing to me, and there was a heap about the setting and atmosphere she stitched into it which lit my imagination aflame with curiosity!
The book cover art alone has all the lovely bits I appreciate about what can be considered an epic Gothic suspense, as you have the house barely seen through the misty fog, the young protagonist’s field of vision not focused on what is in front of her but what is unseen to the side, and the colour dimensions give it a purely haunting feel, encouraging your will to want to read this in order to see where the layers enfold and retreat from what is visually representative in the art itself!
Therefore, I am quite happy to bring to you, dear hearts, the conversation I pulled together out of inspiration from our original twitterverse convo intermixed with bits and bobbles I discovered about her book series whilst composing my thoughts on this interview! I hope you enjoy the conversation!
Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she’s a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.
But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…
What originally drew you into the world of *Haunted*, where reality and the unseen co-reside together!?
Carthage responds: I actually had a nightmare! The book began as my trying to craft a coherent storyline around a few scary details from the dream.
I give you a lot of respect for being able to pull together a series based off of a nightmare! I can foresee being able to shape a dream into a novel, but a nightmare!? Goodness! You remind me of M. Night Shyamalan who was able to take nightmares and fuse them into thought-provoking works of motion pictures!Read More
Each of us who joyfully blogs about books will find at times, even our best laid plans to host concurrent blog events can sometimes become a bit hard to juggle when our personal lives intercede on the time we had scheduled to devout to the events themselves. I found myself in this particular pickle last Sci Fi November, but this year, I felt I had shifted a few things around to where I had more hours to give and thereby could redeem myself from what I could not put together last year. Suffice to say, a few unexpected issues arose the least of which were a knock-out of my internet connection by a severe lightning storm and a broken toe of which looked far worse than the injury itself yet gave me enough wincing pain to forestall my blogging.
I was able to jump dive into the #RRSciFiMonth chat at the very tail-end of the conversation, whereupon I happily enjoyed speaking with Ms. Czerneda, Asti, Ana, and Rachel Noel (@Silelda & Purple Owl Reviews)! It was during this part of the convo, I expressed my desire to carry forward into December the posts I was unable to contribute during the last fortnight of SFN: 2014! I was happily surprised to find others were in agreement; November for whichever reason had become a bit of a quagmire for a lot of us, and I was not the only one wanting to extend the celebrations!
*I received a bit of a surprise whilst getting the link for Rachel Noel’s blog! (read: 2014 Thanks) I have always appreciated the randomness to my conversations with Rachel Noel on Twitter & I had always meant to expand our connection by visiting her blog. To see my name listed as a part of a note of gratitude of whom gave her the most joy and support in 2014 was simply an unexpected blessing to discover. Our lives touch each other in ways we do not always realise have an impact that gives us all a boost when we need it most. I can attest the same in return!Read More
I was selected to be a tour stop on the “A Home for Christmas” virtual book tour through Book Junkie Promotions. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author MK McClintock, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Includes three historical fiction short stories to delight and entertain this holiday season.
In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.
Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.
LILY’S CHRISTMAS WISH
Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?
MK McClintock is the author bestselling historical western romance and award-nominated historical romantic mystery. She spins tales of romance and adventure inspired by the heather-covered hills of Scotland and the majestic mountains of home. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana.
I truly have come to love finding short story collections, except to say, my previous wanderings have been within the Speculative Fiction realms (A Chimerical World & Moments in Millennia as a for instance), as not only do they give me a lovely introduction to new authors, but they allow me to soak inside a world whose length of story might be short, but of which has a spirit & heart stitched inside breathing a vibrant life over the characters, the setting, and the timescape therein. I love seeing where different writers take their shorts, as each writer has their own unique style to convey a story within the space granted to them.
I have mentioned previously about my affection for Westerns, and how residing in the world of a Western Historical fiction story is not only a true delight to my senses but it truly feels cosy inside! I have always curled inside a Western novel with such anticipated haste that I could barely see the words across the page — I was always happy to find adventure, love, and a deep resounding passion for the wilds of the West illuminated throughout the stories. There is a connective thread of joy between a historical story and a story set in the Old West; something magical lives within the hours and days of the frontier! I do not think I could ever read my full of these stories, as there are too many exciting writers emerging on the scene to give us something new to chew on and appreciate!
You can gather a ready sense that when this collection of shorts arrived, I was elated beyond the moon!
Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Come Dancing” virtual book tour through Book Junkie Promotions. This is my first tour to host for Amy Bruno’s new endeavour where she is now able to host authors across genres and not limited to Historical Fiction! I look forward to successive tours with her in this new vein of book publicity and am thankful I was chosen for this one! I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Leslie Wells, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Interested in Reading:
I knew as soon as I read the premise for this story, it was going to be straight-up ChickLit and a bit of a departure from what I regularly read; yet that is exactly why I wanted to request it for review! I am always lamenting about how I like to break-out of my comfort zones in literature, try a story that is writ in a style and method that is not within my preferred niche of selections and take a chance on something uniquely different. I think it allows readers not to become clogged into a pattern of repetitive thematics and draws an expansive circle around the hearty breadth of what is regularly offered. I will admit, I can stumble a bit here or there, even find a miss amongst the gems, but what I appreciate about the journey is the unexpected joys, the startling wicked discoveries, and the wide expanse of what is being written across all spectrum’s of literature today. Mind you, as I already disclosed on my Review Policy, a bit of ‘heat’ isn’t something I blush away from reading, as I am far more concerned about the level of vulgarity in novels than I am about a bit of romance! And, as far as vulgarity is concerned — I prefer it to be non-inclusive or sparsely sprinkled if a necessity at best.
Julia is a book-loving publisher’s assistant. Jack is a famous British rock star. “Opposites attract” is an understatement.
It’s 1981. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has recently arrived in Manhattan, where she works as a publisher’s assistant. She dreams of becoming an editor with her own stable of bestselling authors—but it is hard to get promoted in the recession-clobbered book biz.
Julia blows off steam by going dancing downtown with her best friend, Vicky. One night, a hot British guitarist invites them into his VIP section. Despite an entourage of models and groupies, Jack chooses Julia as his girl for the evening—and when Jack Kipling picks you, you go with it. The trouble is … he’s never met a girl like her before. And she resists being just one in a long line.
Jack exposes her to new experiences, from exclusive nightclubs in SoHo to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood; from mind-bending recording sessions to wild backstage parties. Yet Julia is afraid to fall for him. Past relationships have left her fragile; one more betrayal just might break her.
As she fends off her grabby boss and tries to move up the corporate ladder, Julia’s torrid relationship with Jack takes her to heights she’s never known—and plunges her into depths she’s never imagined.
With a fascinating inside look at publishing, this entertaining story of a bookish young woman’s adventures with a rock superstar is witty, moving, and toe-curlingly steamy.
Leslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.
Read an Excerpt of the Novel:
Chapter 1: One Way or Another
“Are you ever getting out of there?” my friend Vicky complained.
I crooked the receiver in my shoulder, scrabbling papers together. “I’m heading out now. Harvey dumped a bunch of stuff on me right before he took off.” My boss, the publisher, liked to clear his desk at the end of the week—which meant I got to stay late every Friday night.
“About time. I’ll see you at your place in an hour.”
“We’re going to stick together tonight, right? Avoid the meat market?” I loved dancing off my pent-up energy from long hours sitting at my desk. Vicky saw it more as a smorgasbord of men, served up buffet-style.
“Depends what’s on the menu. See you in a few.”
The minute she hung up, my line rang again. “Is this Julia?” a familiar voice screeched.
“Hi, Louise. How’s it going in Seattle?” Our high-strung author was on a twelve-city tour for her new thriller, and the campaign had been plagued with problems. A celebrated Texas crime reporter, she had braved drug dealers’ bullets but couldn’t cope with delayed flights and lumpy hotel pillows. Harvey had stopped taking her calls a week ago, and ever since she’d been haranguing me.
“The escort hasn’t shown up yet. Why can’t these people be prompt?” Louise fretted.
I held back from pointing out that it was over three hours until her event. “Let me see if anyone’s left in publicity; maybe they can locate her.”
I scurried around the corner to the desolate PR department. The lights in Erin’s cubicle were still on, which gave me hope. A few doors down, I found her on her knees in front of the copy machine. Erin looked up at me and smiled. “Got it!” she exclaimed, extracting an inky wad.
“Could you come deal with Louise? She’s all pumped up for her signing, but the escort has gone awol.” I rolled my eyes.
“God forbid she should ask the front desk to call her a cab,” Erin grumbled as she followed me down the hall. “She’s stared down gun-toting Mafiosi, but on the road she turns into a quivering mass of jelly.”
“Typical of her,” I said. Most of our authors were great, but a few were real doozies. “Do you want to come out with me and Vicky later? We’re going to hit the Palladium around eleven.”
“I have to finish a press release for that astrology guide. Another glam night in the big city.”
“Okay, be that way. Call me if you change your mind.” I ducked into my office and switched Louise over to Erin, covered my typewriter, then crammed my weekend reading into my backpack.
I sprinted down the deserted hall past shelves overflowing with manuscripts, a few framed awards gathering dust. Our titles ranged from literary to pure fluff; with the economy still in the pits, we were hawking anything from pop psychology to diet fads. This had been a shock when I’d arrived as a starry-eyed editorial assistant after a brief stint in grad school, thinking I’d be spending my weekends holed up with hot talent from The New Yorker. But now I was seasoned enough to plow through the B-list celebrity memoirs and breastfeeding manuals, while relishing any good novels that came my way.
I caught the elevator with a jittery messenger who bounced his bike tire, making the floor shimmy. I waved to the security guard and headed down lower Park Avenue in the balmy air. Usually I walked home to save money on subway tokens; I figured I had time tonight since my best friend was probably still primping.
Vicky had left the company a few months ago to join the publicity department of a larger midtown publisher. I missed her at the office, and I was also envious of her escape from assistantdom. But we still got together on weekends, and now I couldn’t wait to go to our favorite club. We liked the Palladium for its edgy mix of punks, rockers, and regular people like us.
I wove through some guys hissing “Sens, sensimilla!” in Washington Square and stopped at a street vendor selling earrings. A pair with long strands of beads and feathers caught my eye. I fingered them for a minute, calculating. Seven bucks for drinks; three for a cab home tonight … Reluctantly I put them back.
Halfway down MacDougal, I came to a screeching halt. An absolutely perfect small table was sitting right in the middle of the sidewalk. I stepped close for a better look. Gold leaf curlicues adorned its surface, and ornate lion heads were carved into its corners. I gave it a shake to see if the legs were loose, but it didn’t even wobble. I couldn’t believe someone had thrown out something this nice—it wasn’t even large garbage night! At last I could get rid of the stacked milk crates I ate on.
Now I just had to get it home. My place on Broome Street was eight blocks away, and the table was about three feet square. Maybe if I swung my backpack around to the front and hoisted the table on my back …
As I stood there considering, a guy in a dirty tee-shirt approached, holding a can of beer. “You need some help with that?” he asked, swaying a little.
“I think I can get it. Thanks anyway.”
The man leaned against the brick wall of the apartment building to watch. Turning around, I backed up to the table. I tried to reach behind and grasp its sides, but I couldn’t bend back far enough—why I’d always stunk at the limbo-la. Maybe if I bent lower … I crouched down, the backpack wedged against my belly like an unwanted pregnancy, and strained to get a grip on its legs.
Suddenly a woman ran screeching out of the building. “Stop that! What are you doing with my table?”
I stared at her. “This is yours? I thought somebody was throwing it away.”
“Are you kidding? This is an antique! You couldn’t have thought it was being thrown out.” The woman glared at me, hand on her hip.
Oh my god, how embarrassing. “I didn’t realize—I mean, it was sitting here all by itself with no note on it or anything. I thought it was meant for the garbage.”
“The garbage!” the woman shrieked. “I paid six hundred dollars for that! I was waiting for my husband to bring it upstairs! You should keep your paws off things that aren’t yours,” she huffed as she flounced back inside.
The man in the tee-shirt smiled and took a gulp of beer. “Baby, you just took a bite of the B-i-i-i-g Apple.”