Posts Tagged With: romance

MWN Author Spotlight –Melanie (Hooyenga) Swiftney @MelanieHoo

Melanie HooyengaThis week, the spotlight is on Melanie (Hooyenga) Swiftney;

Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan with her husband Jeremy. When not at her day job as a writer/designer, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with Jeremy.

 

Where are you from?

I live in Grand Haven, Michigan, just a few minutes from Lake Michigan. I’m originally from here, but I’ve lived in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Tell us your latest news?

The third book in my YA trilogy, the Flicker Effect, came out in June 2015. Also, I’ll be at the Grand Rapids Comic Con this October and the Kalamazoo Book Bash. I can’t wait!

When and why did you begin writing?

I first started writing in middle school, but stopped once I graduated college and started my career as a graphic designer. It wasn’t until I was living in Mexico and not working that I started writing again. It’s been eight years and I haven’t stopped since!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer about a year after I started writing, so once I’d finished my first full-length novel. I considered myself an author when I published my first novel, Flicker, in 2012.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first novel was about a teenager trying to sneak across the US border from Mexico. (You could say I was influenced by my surroundings.) I enjoyed including the day-to-day details I learned about Mexico, but that novel is buried safely in my computer.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I prefer to write in first person, present tense. My first two novels were third person past, but I feel much more comfortable in first present. It’s sometimes tricky because you can only tell the story from your character’s perspective–there’s no narrator to add details for the reader–but the immediacy to that voice resonates with me.

How did you come up with the title?

My main character, Biz, uses sunlight to travel back to yesterday. She calls it flickering after the way the sunlight filters through the trees like a strobe light, so it seemed logical to name the first book Flicker, and the series the Flicker Effect.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Try to see beyond yourself. There’s a big world out there and each of us can help others in our own unique way.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s contemporary YA, set in modern day, so aside from the time travel element, it’s completely realistic.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are snippets from real situations or jokes that I have with friends, but very little is taken from actual events. There is a scene in Faded (book 3) that is similar to something that happened to me, but I can’t go into detail without spoiling it.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I’ve read voraciously since I was very young, and my tastes have varied over the years. Because of that I can’t say that any one book or books have had a bigger influence than others. I devoured the Sweet Valley High books in elementary school, so those certainly sparked my interest in the relationships between people — something that plays a strong role in my books.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’d love to spend time with Stephanie Perkins, author of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. Her books blow me away. The storylines aren’t overly complex but I want to be best friends with her characters and I’d love to get inside her head to learn how she does it.

What book are you reading now?

Nothing at the moment but I recently finished SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT by Sarah Strohmeyer. It’s about three wickedly smart high school girls who realize there’s more to high school than just good grades. My current WIP is about a girl who moves to a new school so I’m devouring books about teens going through big changes (which is pretty much all YA) and this one was great.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Linda Budzinski is fantastic. Her debut novel, THE FUNERAL SINGER, is phenomenal and I cannot wait for her next novel, EM AND EM.

What are your current projects?

I wrapped up the Flicker Effect series this past June, so now I’m working on a book about a girl who loves to downhill ski and moves from Vermont to Colorado. And of course there’s a swoon-worthy boy.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My teachers, for sure. They’ve always seen my potential and pushed me to be better than I thought I could be.

Do you see writing as a career?

Someday. Right now I still have a day job, but I recently switched from being a full-time graphic designer to having more of a focus on writing.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope. I’m really happy with the way I concluded the series.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I still have a short story I wrote in first grade, so I’d have to say writing has always been a part of me. My mother is an avid reader, something I got from her, and that turned into storytelling for me.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

This scene takes place right after Cally wiped out doing a ski trick. Blake helped her, and now she’s being examined at the lodge:

I texted Dad after Blake convinced me to call ski patrol, and now he’s pacing behind me while a snow patrol guy in a blue ski jacket appraises my knee. My snow pants are shoved as high as I can get them up my leg but they keep sliding down. Blue Jacket touches his chin before making eye contact with Dad. “Snow pants have to go.”

A fresh wave of humiliation sweeps over me. Of all the days to wear my long underwear with little bunnies hopping all over them. I unsnap my snow pants and shimmy them to my ankles, then slide the bunnies over a knee that is considerably larger than it was when I got dressed this morning.

“Christ, Cally.” Dad forces out a deep breath and rests a hand on my shoulder. “What were you trying to do?”

If I admit I was upside-down without an adult within fifty feet he might not let me out of his sight the rest of the vacation. “Nothing crazy. Just my usual three-sixty. I caught my edge when I landed.”

Blue Jacket pokes my knee and I suck in a breath.

Please don’t let it be serious.

“Looks like a sprain. There’s a med center in town that can tell you for sure, but I suggest you stay off it for a few days.”

I whip around and face Dad. “A few days? That’s our entire trip!”

Trilogy_full covers

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Right now, I’m still working on staying in the voice of this new character. I wrote Biz and her friends for five years, so I have to remind myself that Cally reacts to things differently.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Lisa McMann really stands out for young adult, probably because her two series, WAKE and VISIONS, are similar to mine. They’re both about a normal girl who has a weird quirk in her head that makes her do something supernatural.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I would LOVE to, but no. Fortunately the internet makes it easy to research far-away places. I have traveled across west Michigan for different book events, and hope to attend an event in Detroit in spring of 2016.

Who designed the covers?

I did! The benefit to also being a graphic designer is I’ve designed the covers and interiors of all my books.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Deciding it was finished. Most writers will agree that you could keep editing forever. There’s always one more thing to change, one detail to clarify, or one scene that could be tightened, but at some point you have to step away and decide it’s finished.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that it’s very important to keep a character bible while writing. When secondary characters pop up, or they go to a restaurant, I name it and keep writing. If they go to that restaurant later in the book and you haven’t noted the name, you’ll have to search the entire document to find the name. Notes are good.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up! Writing a novel is a solitary endeavor and it can take a really long time. It’s easy to get inside your head and let self-doubt take over, but if you want to write a novel, sit down with your computer or pen and paper and do it. You are the only one who can stop you.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for reading! I love hearing from my readers and I especially love getting reviews. They are gold to writers.

 

Name of Author: Melanie Hooyenga

Name of Book: The Flicker Effect trilogy (FLICKER, FRACTURE, and FADED)

Author Website: http://www.melaniehoo.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Melanie-Hooyenga/e/B00AHNSQCO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelanieHoo

 

FLICKER Ch 1: http://www.melaniehoo.com/books/flicker/flicker-prologue-chapter-1/

FRACTURE Ch 1: http://www.melaniehoo.com/books/writing/fracture-chapter-1/

FADED Ch 1: http://www.melaniehoo.com/books/faded/faded-chapter-1/

flicker

faded

fractured

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Check out #MotownWriters Books of the Month for November #MichLit

Featured BOMs

Would you like to be books of the month?

Check out our sidebar advertising | Click here

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Nov 8-9, 2013 Essence of #MotownLit Conf & Jam #Detroit | Give, Write & Network Books! #literary #literacy #michlit

New Front Page

Updated back

The Essence of Motown Literary Jam & Conference

November 8th –9th, 2013

 Various Locations, Detroit, Michigan

www.MotownLiteraryJam.com

* most events are FREE to public

To celebrate the written word in Metro Detroit with every reader and writer around!

Detail Schedule of Events

November 8th, 2013 6pm – 10pm – Free to Public
(donation of 3 or more gently used books encouraged, for our book drive or min $4 for entry)

Location: SOURCE BOOKSELLERS, 4240 Cass Avenue, Ste. 105, Detroit, Michigan 48201

Networking, Poetry Performances, Comedy Show & More!

Hosted by EchoVerse, ReppinTheD &  MotownWriters

All ages can attend

 

November 9th, 2013 8am – 4pm

Location: Julian C. Madison Building LLC
1420 Washington Blvd · Detroit, Michigan

  • 8am Registration for Morning Workshops
  • 8:30 Keynote Speaker
  • 8:50 Workshops (2)
    • Write To Be Read| Write to Finish Facilitator TBA
    • Editing Essentials Facilitator: @TenitaJEditor
  • 9:50 Workshops (2)
    • Getting an Agent or Publisher Facilitator: Karen White Owens
    • Taking Book to Stage Facilitator: Octavia Lesley @detroitwriter71
  • 10:50 Workshops(2)
    • Social Media Made Simple – Stephanie Lewis @23_Exchange
    • 360Digital Publishing Symposium
  • 11:00 Poetry Symposium hosted by Aurora Harris
  • 11:30 Marketplace Opens
  • Noon – VIP Lunch for Morning Workshop Participants with speaker
  • 12:10 2013 Awesome Party Reunion & presentations
  • 12:30 Detroit Cares Presentation
  • 12:40 Too Blessed To Be Depressed Author Panel (Inspirations & Autobiographies)
  • 1:30 All Male Literacy Panel w/Questions & Answers
  • 3:15  Love Shouldn’t Cost A Thing (Romance Genre Panel)
    • Literary Voice Vendor Winner Announced
    • National Writers Union Presentation
  • 3:30 Potpourri of Different (SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Graphic Novels & Comics)
  • 3:45 Telling A Good Story (Fiction Panel)

3:55 Kindle Winners (Must be present to win) Continue reading

Categories: Essence of Motown, MWN Events Only, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SaveTheDate: Nov 8-9, 2013 Essence of #MotownLit Conf & Jam #Detroit | Give, Write & Network Books! #literary #literacy #michlit

New Front Page

Updated back

The Essence of Motown Literary Jam & Conference

November 8th –9th, 2013

 Various Locations, Detroit, Michigan

www.MotownLiteraryJam.com

* most events are FREE to public

To celebrate the written word in Metro Detroit with every reader and writer around!

Detail Schedule of Events

November 8th, 2013 6pm – 10pm – Free to Public
(donation of 3 or more gently used books encouraged, for our book drive or min $4 for entry)

Location: SOURCE BOOKSELLERS, 4240 Cass Avenue, Ste. 105, Detroit, Michigan 48201

Networking, Poetry Performances, Comedy Show & More!

Hosted by EchoVerse, ReppinTheD &  MotownWriters

All ages can attend

 

November 9th, 2013 8am – 4pm

Location: Julian C. Madison Building LLC
1420 Washington Blvd · Detroit, Michigan

  • 8am Registration for Morning Workshops
  • 8:30 Keynote Speaker
  • 8:50 Workshops (2)
    • Write To Be Read| Write to Finish Facilitator TBA
    • Editing Essentials Facilitator: @TenitaJEditor
  • 9:50 Workshops (2)
    • Getting an Agent or Publisher Facilitator: Karen White Owens
    • Taking Book to Stage Facilitator: Octavia Lesley @detroitwriter71
  • 10:50 Workshops(2)
    • Social Media Made Simple – Stephanie Lewis @23_Exchange
    • 360Digital Publishing Symposium
  • 11:00 Poetry Symposium hosted by Aurora Harris
  • 11:30 Marketplace Opens
  • Noon – VIP Lunch for Morning Workshop Participants with speaker
  • 12:10 2013 Awesome Party Reunion & presentations
  • 12:30 Detroit Cares Presentation
  • 12:40 Too Blessed To Be Depressed Author Panel (Inspirations & Autobiographies)
  • 1:30 All Male Literacy Panel w/Questions & Answers
  • 3:15  Love Shouldn’t Cost A Thing (Romance Genre Panel)
    • Literary Voice Vendor Winner Announced
    • National Writers Union Presentation
  • 3:30 Potpourri of Different (SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Graphic Novels & Comics)
  • 3:45 Telling A Good Story (Fiction Panel)

3:55 Kindle Winners (Must be present to win)

Mwn2013frtcvr

Categories: MWN Events Only, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Author Spotlight ~Kimmie Thomas

Kimmie ThomasWhere are you from? 

Detroit, Michigan
Tell us your latest news?

New book release, Nursing Dr. Miller
When and why did you begin writing?

I have been a writer all of my life, but began writing to publish to the public in 2008. I had a story in my head I wanted to tell and decided to try and put it on paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Once I actually held my printed book in my hand.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I was encouraged by personal experiences as a mental health nurse.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t believe that I do. My genre leans toward romance and erotica.
How did you come up with the title?

My character sketches pushed me toward the title, “This Side of Crazy.” My main character’s life was just a mess.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My hope is that the reader will see that no matter what your going through you have to believe in yourself and do what is best for you even when everyone is against you.
How much of the book is realistic?

Well, the characters in This Side of Crazy are all loosely based on me and several of my girlfriends.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes, all of my stories are based on my observations in life or experiences.
What books have most influenced your life most?

I loved the book Whoreson by Donald Goines, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Zane, I love that she wrote what was in her heart even when it may not always be the most popular genre.
What book are you reading now?

I just finished Adonis by Daniel Harshaw.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Daniel Harshaw. I like his writing style and his stories are gritty.


What are your current projects?

I am working on the second and third installments of Nursing Dr. Miller and The sequel to This Side of Crazy.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My bowling league. They came in mass for my first book signing and they also purchased my books. I love Local 600 Mixed League.
Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. Every decision I make is an effort to create success so that I can write to pay the bills.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, I am very happy with this one. I feel I am growing as an author and getting better and Nursing Dr. Miller is an example of that growth.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

It began in elementary school with writing short stories.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

My biggest challenge is making time to write and then stopping once I start.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This is hard to answer. I love several authors, but if I had to decided I would say Donald Goines.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

In the beginning no, but lately I have been blessed with various opportunities  that have required me to travel to get the word out about my work.
Who designed the covers?

Nursing Dr. Miller was designed by Dynasty’s Cover Me at www.dynastyscoverme.com
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing any book for me is editing.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I realized that writing is therapeutic for me. When I need to escape, writing is the way for me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just start writing and keep on writing.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you all for reading my books and keep the feedback coming, it can only make my future books better.

Nursing Dr. Miller

 

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Free Read Friday~Nursing Dr. Miller by Kimmie Thomas

Nursing Dr. Miller

Chapter Nine

 

Carla realized her mistake when Dr. Miller closed the door after entering her apartment. Dr. Miller’s eyes told her that he wanted to bed her. The thought exited her and scared her at the same time.

Carla felt her breathe catch. This was the first time any man had been to her apartment, including her brother. The polite thing to do would be to ask him to have a seat. She hesitated because each time she was alone with Dr. Miller she found herself agreeing to do things that she knew weren’t good for her. The growing sexual tension between them was explosive. Every time he touched her, she felt all of her will power leave. She also knew that once he left her apartment, her body would ache for him even more. What if he thought she was childish and never called again?

Carla wasn’t a risk taker. Her whole life up to this point had been planned, including college and the current position that she held. By age fifteen Carla had mapped out the next twenty years of her life. None of her plans included a torrid love affair with a doctor.

If she gave herself to Dr. Miller, she would be taking a chance that he would tell everyone at Kingdom Hospital and become the laughing stock of the hospital or that he would just use her and treat as trash when they were done, just like he had done Tish,  Carla feared the later more.

Although Dr. Miller was always cordial to Tish, it was obvious that he kept a polite distance, even though everyone knew that had been intimate.

Before she could ask him to have a seat or to leave, she found herself overcome with heat. Dr. Miller held Carla in his arms like she was his prize possession as he kissed her.

All of Carla’s will power was gone. She only prayed it would be worth the humiliation she would face later. She finally pulled away and went to the closet door in the living room and hung up her coat. Dr. Miller startled her when she turned around and Dr. Miller was standing right behind her. He pulled Carla into his arms and covered her lips with his own. Carla clutched the back of Dr. Miller’s cashmere coat. He felt her body surrender to him, responding to his touched. He sucked at her top lip and then the bottom. Silently he said a prayer that he could find the strength to release her and leave.

Carla pulled away from Dr. Miller and looked at him. He could see the fear and desire in her soft brown eyes. Slowly she took a step forward and unbuttoned his coat. Dr. Miller caught her delicate hands and kissed each one on their palms.

“Is it all right if I call you when I get home?” Dr. Miller asked her.

“You don’t have to leave just yet,” Carla pleaded.

“I would love to stay but it’s better if I do. I’ll call you as soon as I get home,” he told her. He kissed her on her forehead, then turned and left.

 

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Indie Author Chat Branding Basics~Samantha Fury

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Michigan Author, Cheryl Robinson new book, by @aalbc.com Recomends Read

AALBC.com Recommends spacer

The One: A NovelThe One by Cheryl Robinson – On sale today – enter The 14 Days of Valentines Contest
http://bit.ly/theonebook

A fateful encounter with a savvy young producer lands aspiring writer Olena Day the role of America’s bachelorette on the new reality show The One. There are just two problems: Olena despises reality TV, and technically she’s not single. What could she possibly hope to gain? A book deal? But Olena’s made it clear; she won’t resort to the stereotypical antics often portrayed by women on reality TV. But ratings rule and the producers have plans of their own to assure the show’s success—even if it means exposing some of Olena’s long-held and most embarrassing secrets.

Step behind the scenes of the highly competitive and unique world of reality dating shows, in this relationship-driven page-turner that keeps delivering surprises.  To learn more and to enter the 14 Days of Valentines Contest, visit the author’s website: www.cherylrobinson.com

 

Purchase:

Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble.com

Prologue &
Chapter One

Happy Valentine's DayHappy Valentine’s Day,

Troy Johnson
President, AALBC.com, LLC
Toll Free: 866-603-8394
Email: troy@aalbc.com

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