Friday, 18 April 2014

Worlds Apart (Hope Valley Saga #2) by Amy McGuire: Interview + Giveaway


Worlds Apart (Hope Valley Saga #2)
by Amy McGuire

Genre: Young Adult Romance
Paperback, 342 pages
Published December 24th 2012 by Createspace 
You never forget your first love.
Even if it hurts your chance at second love.
In Ontario Anjaline realizes her dream of becoming a journalist for one of Toronto’s leading newspapers.  In Hope Valley Gabriel apprentices to become a skilled carpenter. Together they were two kids in love. Apart they have a chance to grow into the people they were meant to be. If part of that growth means taking a chance on new love, will they embrace it? Or will they cling to what they once had and miss out on what the future has to offer? And if they do take a second chance on love, does that mean they will never see each other again? Maybe there is something even better in store for them both.


       I would like to welcome Amy McGuire to the Making Connections blog!  Thanks for being with us today!

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Anjaline Rodriguez is originally from the bustling city of Quito, Ecuador and changes her name to Charity Sutherland near the beginning of the book. She’s beautiful though she doesn’t seem to realize it and her sweet nature draws the attention of the high school star quarterback. Transplanted from Quito to British Columbia and now Ontario, she has a lot of culture shock to get over before she really feels like she belongs anywhere. From the start though, she knows she wants to be a journalist and enters the University of Toronto Journalism Program, to accomplish her dream.

Gabriel Walker lives in the tiny village of Hope Valley in British Columbia and has his own dreams of becoming a talented woodcarver, or artisan. He has a shy side that women find attractive and he’s kind. His heart has been affected by the loss of a family member as well as Anjaline when she left Hope Valley to move to Ontario. After having his heart smashed by a recent girlfriend, he takes solace in his carving and shows enough talent that one of the local native people mentors him. 

  Q:  What is your favorite part about writing?
Watching the storyline unfold. Since I write romance, I get to choose who falls for whom and how it comes about. Then there’s the writing of scenery. I have been told I do a good job of writing description and that’s probably because I can see it all really clearly in my mind. 

   Q:  How long have you been writing, and when did you first consider yourself an author?
I have been writing stories since I was probably five or six years old. My mom has a few of my first stories, and while they’re not Pulitzer Prize material, they’re not half bad either. I think I started writing full length novels in high school though. As I am in my thirties now, that’s a minimum of eighteen years. I think I first officially considered myself an author in 2009 when I started looking for an agent for my Hope Valley Saga. That was kind of the turning point for me.

 Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
When my daughter was really small and seemed to change constantly she wasn’t a big sleeper. One day she would nap, another she wouldn’t. I was getting tired and frustrated because I had some ‘well-meaning’ friends telling me I needed to get her on a schedule and everything would be fine. My sister told me to ‘roll with the baby’, as in, let her set her own schedule and don’t stress over it all. I started listening to my baby’s cues and not worrying so much and it saved my sanity

Q:  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian. I always loved animals and thought I could help them better when they were suffering if I actually knew what I was doing. I discovered, after three years as a veterinary assistant, that animal care isn’t what I really wanted to do after all.

  Q:  If you could be on one reality TV show, what would it be?
I think Fear Factor would be neat, just because I would love to prove to myself that I can get over my fears. It would also be worth it for the money and added publicity for my books. I mean, I write for young adults. Imagine how much respect I would gain from that audience for doing something extreme?

  Q:  Hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I love how easy it is to carry around ebooks and how convenient it is to carry my Sony eReader in my purse but I will never give up on paperbacks. I love the feel of the paper under my fingers, the smell of the paper and ink and the ability to dog ear my spot or put a real book mark in when I have to pause. I love the weight of the book in my hand and that I’ll never have a ‘software glitch’ like I had with my Sony eReader shortly after receiving it as a gift. I was getting my hair done (a rare enough occurrence that I like to really enjoy it with a good book) and my reader froze up on me. I was halfway through The Importance of Being Ernest and was not amused. That never happens with a paperback. Hard cover books are too heavy. They’re definitely not my favourite.

  Q:  What book are you reading now?
The Long Cutie by Dan Alatorre. It’s the fourth in a non-fiction series about his daughter and a little known condition called Long QT Syndrome or LQTS for short. I read his first book and could relate to so much of what he has been through as a dad. I also am learning so much about this condition. It’s really fascinating stuff.

Amy was raised in Africa by missionary parents and has gained a rich perspective of the world in her travels. She has been writing stories since she could hold a crayon but was officially published in 2009 through Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace. A great reader of romance, it was a natural step for her to start writing it. Amy lives in Toronto with her husband and young daughter. Worlds Apart is her second novel. 

Goodreads Profile:

Coming Easter 2014! Dreams Come True

Back Cover blurb:

Nearly six ago, Anjaline promised Gabriel that she would make it back to Hope Valley, no matter how long it took. Will keeping her promise mean a second chance for them, or just more heartache?

Shortly after ending her engagement to Tom Sawyer, Anjaline Rodriguez is given an assignment which leads her back to Hope Valley. Over the past six years she has become Charity Sutherland, a reporter willing to set aside her dreams to protect her heart. In becoming Charity she gave up with it meant to be Angie, a girl from Quito, Ecuador with a compassionate heart. When she sees Hope Valley and her old friends again, she longs to return to being the girl she once was. Gabriel finds her on the bridge where they first met and she can’t deny the spark of attraction. Can that spark become a flame of true love? Will she have the courage to say yes to her future and no to a past that has only caused her pain? Will all her dreams come true at last?

If you are interested in this book, please email me to sign up for my email list. Readers on my email list are the first to learn the launch date as well as any sales, contests and promotional deals. You may sign up by emailing

All links to Amy’s books can be found here:

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Knockout by J.C. Valentine + Giveaway

KNOCKOUT (Wayward Fighters #1)
by J.C. Valentine

New Adult Romance

From the wrong side of the tracks...

Alyson Blake had learned early on that the only one she could depend on was herself. The only light in her life was a boy whom everyone agreed was destined for prison; but with his first kiss, he had set her soul on fire. Since the day the police dragged him away in handcuffs, she had managed to lead a quiet life, but when she attends an event fraught with mayhem, trouble resurfaces.

The one person she can’t forget...

Jamison Weston is the kind of guy dads load their shotguns for; endowed with a hot temper and a rap sheet as long as both tattooed arms. Known as “The Judge,” Jami’s hot temper, lethal fists, and cocky attitude have earned him respect and admiration both in and out of the ring. But just when he thinks he’s pummeled his past to death, Alyson Blake reenters his life.

Two paths collide…

After years of separation, Alyson is eager to reexplore the man who’s never left her thoughts, but for Jamison, she’s both the distraction he wants, but doesn’t need. As the two embark on a relationship that neither of them expected or bargained for, an outside threat closes in. When Alyson crosses the line of professionalism and takes her work home with her, her life is put in danger, leaving Jamison with no choice but to once again step in and become her protector.

J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.
Brandi Salazar lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.





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Friday, 4 April 2014

Journeys of Wonder, Volume 1: Interview + Giveaway


Journeys of Wonder, Volume 1
by Ian Kezsbom, Lisa Gail Green, Leslie S. Rose, Deborah D. Pasachoff (Editor), Matt Filer (Illustrator)

Adult Speculative Fiction
Kindle Edition, 88 pages

Published June 3rd 2012 by Fuzzbom Publishing

Journeys of Wonder is a new anthology of genre fiction. We’ve assembled three talented writers to bring you five chilling tales that are guaranteed to keep you up at night – or at least make you turn on the lights.

Featured in the First Volume:
The Door: Six people are stuck in a room with no memory of how they got there while a fear of the unknown keeps them from opening the only exit they have.

Blackout: A terrifying tale of a young woman whose memory is shattered and a creepy neighbor who is not all that he seems.

Infinity: Two brothers, forced to travel through time to save the world from an unspeakable evil, have little idea of what they have actually gotten themselves into.

Eye of the Wolf: A young girl struggles against the power of the full moon as she tries to hide her deadly secret from her family.

Afterdeath: In a future where our journey beyond death is no longer a mystery, the promise of eternal love waits, unless you break the rules.

Making Connections would like to welcome Ian Kezsbom and Deborah Pasachoff!  Thanks for joining us!

Q:  How long have you been writing, and when did you first consider yourself an author?
Ian has been writing since he was a small child, but he didn't take it seriously as a profession until about 5 or 6 years ago. Journeys of Wonder aside, he primarily writes children's fiction. He probably first considered himself an author when one of his middle grade works in progress was awarded honorable mention at a Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators conference in 2010.

Deborah has worked in publishing for most of her life, having essentially learned to read from her parents' own manuscripts. In college, she took an internship at Houghton Mifflin and started to actually be paid for her editing work.

Q:  How were the authors featured in the Journeys of Wonder anthologies chosen?  Did you know each other before these books?
The first volume had three authors: Ian, Lisa Gail Green, and Leslie S. Rose. The three of them, and editor Deborah Pasachoff, were in a writing group together. At the time, we were all working on manuscripts and sending out short stories to various magazines. Some of those short stories were accepted, others weren't. We realized that between us, we had so many stories filed away, that if we took the best ones and polished them, we could create an amazing anthology. For the next two volumes we searched our writing circles for other authors whose work we felt fit what we were looking for. For the upcoming fourth volume we have finally opened ourselves to submissions.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
Don't give up. And that doesn't apply to just writing. Almost any passion and dream can be achieved with a great deal of determination.

Q:  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ian: A Paleontologist.
Deborah: A marine biologist.

Q:  What do you keep yourself busy with when you're not writing?
Ian is a film and television picture editor. He's worked on such series as "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Riches." Currently he is an editor on the FXX comedy series "The League."

Deborah works in Strategy and Account Planning at Paramount Home Entertainment.

But those are just our day jobs. What really keeps us busy (and happy) are our two amazing children.

6.  Hard/paperbacks or ebooks? 
Both. Ebooks are the way of the future - their low cost of distribution and environmental impact are too compelling, but we still love to hold a hard copy in our hands from time to time. There is a place for both for now.

7.  What book are you reading now?
Ian just finished (re)reading "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" with their daughter.
Deborah is now (re)reading "Betsy-Tacy" with their daughter.

Ian Kezsbom and Deborah Pasachoff
Fuzzbom Publishing

Author Links:
Ian Kezsbom
Lisa Gail Green
Leslie S. Rose
Deborah D. Pasachoff
Matt Filer

Buy the Journeys of Wonder Volumes on Amazon:

Twitter: @journeyswonder

About Fuzzbom Publishing: 
Fuzzbom Publishing was started by Ian Kezsbom and his wife, Deborah Pasachoff. Their first books were the Journeys of Wonders anthologies, which came to life with the help of their writing partners Lisa Gail Green and Leslie S. Rose. Their first novel, The Binding Stone by Lisa Gail Green – a YA Paranormal, was published this past year to excellent reviews (


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