Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Snow by Kathryn Hewitt: Interview + Giveaway

by Kathryn Hewitt

How do you know, at fifteen, what love and affection really mean? Ruth learned all too soon that love is commitment, and affection has a price. But who will ultimately make the commitment, and who will pay the price?

At fifteen, Ruth thought she had her life planned out. That is until she met Luke, a charming new cadet from the local military school. After entering into a seemingly harmless teenage romance, Luke's possessive attitude and subtle remarks begin to undermine Ruth's confidence, sending her into an emotional tailspin.

A beautiful young girl is suddenly lost in a grown-up world, trying desperately to hang on to a love she thought would last forever. Shattered dreams and hopeless tears become the bricks that build walls around Ruth; yet just below her broken heart, a beautiful vessel is being formed.

Join Ruth on her wedding day, five years later, as her childhood friend helps her journey back to face the demons of her past.

Paperback, 308 pages
Published May 2012 by Westbow Press

Kathryn Hewitt was born and raised in the small town of Camden, South Carolina. Breaking away from becoming a stereotype, she was an Honors Graduate and went on to study British Literature and Sociology at Charleston Southern University, inspiring to be a High School English teacher.

Kathryn has a passion for teaching teenagers and reaching out to those who seem as though the world has closed the door. Because of her own experiences, including becoming a teenage mother at fifteen, Kathryn knows the value of life and the blessings it contains. Understanding the importance of making wise decisions, Kathryn passionately seeks to instill that wisdom into the minds of every young lady she encounters. The inspiration for Kathryn's writings comes from her own experiences, and she is never afraid to speak the truth that others refuse to acknowledge.

Kathryn married in 2005 and is a stay at home mom with her four sons. She and her family currently live in the same town she grew up.

Q & A with Kathryn Hewitt

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters, Ruth and Luke.
Ruth is a young, na├»ve teenage girl who wants nothing more than to be a good person and role model. Her heart, however, is vulnerable and in search of love. Being passionate about everything and having a heart easily broken, she often makes decisions she knows she shouldn’t just to please other people.

Luke Davis is a young, but worldly young man who has had his fair share of heart aches throughout his years. But those experiences have harden his heart and warped his mind. His search for love comes through manipulation, dominance, and sometimes cruelty. He’s the type of character who you want to be good underneath it all, but are unsure if true love actually exists in his heart. 

Q:  What was your inspiration behind Snow? Why did you want to write this story?
I was a teenage mother. Pregnant at fifteen and abandoned after refusing to have an abortion, I know exactly what it feels like to be hopeless and desperate. I said from the very beginning that if this novel changes even one person’s life, then everything I’ve invested (financially, spiritually, emotionally, etc.) will be worth it. I’ve had more testimonies of lives changed than I can count. Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, I want everyone who reads “Snow” to know that there is a God who loves them and no matter how desperate a situation gets, there is always hope. And this hope is an anchor for my soul. Hebrews 6:19

Q:  Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
My publisher designed the cover of “Snow.” I had no idea what I wanted it to look like. I gave them little direction, so the final product was a surprise. I cried when I got the preview file. It was perfect.

Q:  If your book were turned into a movie, who would you want to play the parts?
For Ruth I think I would cast Jennifer Lawrence. I believe she could reflect that emotional struggle very well. Naomi would hands down go to Sally Field. Can’t you see her being sassy, southern and strong just as she was in Steel Magnolias? Andrew Garfield would make a good Luke. He’s got the mysteriousness and facial expressions I could see Luke having in a movie.

Q:   What is the best advice you have been given?
Everyone has a story inside of them, but only a select few have the ability to get it out. You have that gift, so don’t stop using it. No matter what people say or how people oppose you, keep writing. Keep helping people. Keep shining a light in dark places. – From my dear cousin and friend (also author) Denise Hildreth Jones.

Q:  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My dream job has always been to be a writer and a stay at home mom. Because of lifestyle changes and sacrifices, I am both! My husband works hard so that I can be home with our kids. I am really living my dream job.

Q:  Hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
I’m still a sucker for hard copies, especially vintage copies. But my Kindle comes in handy. I think that holds true for almost everyone. We love our e-readers, but still love the feel of a book in our hands.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
I’m reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. I’m hoping to start on my long list of “to-reads” in the summer while the kids are hanging out by the pool!

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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

Other Systems
by Elizabeth Guizzetti 

Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 10th 2013 by 48fourteen
Without an influx of human DNA, the utopian colony on Kipos has eleven generations before it reaches failure. Earth is over ninety light years away. Time is short. On the over-crowded Earth, many see opportunity in Kipos's need. After medical, intelligence, and physiological testing, Abby and her younger siblings, Jin and Orchid, are offered transportation. Along with 750,000 other strong immigrants, they leave the safety of their family with the expectation of good jobs and the opportunity for higher education. While the Earthlings travel to the new planet in stasis, the Kiposi, terrified the savages will taint their paradise, pass a series of indenture and adoption laws in order to assimilate them. When Abby wakes up on Kipos, Jin cannot be found. Orchid is ripped from her arms as Abby is sold to a dull-eyed man with a sterilized wife. Indentured to breed, she is drugged and systematically coerced. To survive, Abby learns the differences in culture and language using the only thing that is truly hers on this new world: her analytical mind. In order to escape her captors, she joins a planetary survey team where she will discover yet another way of life.

Purchase Links
Amazon Print

Amazon E-Book

Barnes & Noble


Facebook Page

Website with deleted scenes and other extras!

Other Systems: Voices from the Stars Trailer

Other Systems: The Stargazer Trailer

Prior to becoming an author, Elizabeth Guizzetti worked as an artist. She created the graphic novels, Faminelands and Lure, and the comic book series Out for Souls & Cookies. Other Systems is her first published novel. She currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two dogs.

Twitter: E_guizzetti

Q & A with Elizabeth Guizzetti

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
  Abigail Boyd Lei, 17, was born in the Seattle City State. (The US no longer exists.) She uses her intelligence as her primary means of getting through life. She is a stargazer, and gets through the worlds using her intelligence and observational skills. When she is offered the chance to go to Kipos, she jumps at it.

Cole Alekos owns one of the privately-held fleets based on Kipos. He loves his Fleet and being a Fleet captain. Due to time dilation, he was not around when Harden and Helen were kids. He tries to be a great dad even though they are adults. Though he loves Helen best, because they have similar temperaments, he tries to hide his favoritism. He swears and can't quite give up smoking - two bad habits that he passed to his eldest son, Harden.

Harden is a different sort of captain than his father, but surrounds himself with a good crew. A scientist first, captain of the Revelation second, he loves puzzles. Widowed and divorced, he has trouble relating to new people. In social situations, he leans heavily on others, especially his sister, Helen.

Helen is the Executive Officer and undoubtedly the best pilot in her father's fleet. Loving and kind-hearted, she mothers people. She shocked her father and brothers by marrying Brian Tolis after a six-day station leave.

Mark is Cole's youngest. Born during the brief time, Cole and his wife lived together. 14/12 years younger than his elder siblings, he was an incredibly lonely kid. As a young man, he has trouble making long-term connections. At times, he is reserved, at times, outspoken.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
I loved writing every Helen/Abby scenes, but I'd say the scene where Helen teaches Abby how to fly a shuttle is my favorite. I loved researching how to fly a plane, orbits, then I went to the Museum of Flight and learned about astronauts.

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
Pretty much everything that an author experiences ends up in their writing. I tend to show happy marriages since I have a happy marriage. I grew up in a pretty tight-knit family. People who know me and also know my writing point out that I write about families and human connection.

Q:  What is the best advice you've been given?
I must be myself and follow my own path, otherwise, I'll be a second best someone else.

Q:  What do you keep yourself busy with when you're not writing?
I enjoy watching movies with my husband, taking care of my dogs, hiking, and baking.

Q:  If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
Teleportation. My husband hates to fly. We'd travel more if we didn't have to fly.

Q:  Hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
Hardbacks. I love the smell and feel of them. Paperbacks are second best. I only enjoy e-Books if I am traveling.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
Right now, I'm enjoying an oldie: Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience: A Guide to Embracing Your Inner Strength by Marquita Herald: Interview + Giveaway

Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience: A Guide to Embracing Your Inner Strength
by Marquita Herald

Kindle Edition
, 157 pages
Published February 2014

You don't need to be facing a crisis to decide you want to become stronger and more resilient.

Trials will always be a part of life … a lost set of keys, financial stressors, overloaded schedules, relationship or health crisis.  Even the most longed for changes such as marriage and the birth of a child require adaptability and emotional resilience.

Consider this … how it is that two people can be faced with the same obstacle and while one becomes mired in a web of negativity and feelings of helplessness, the other is able to overcome the challenge and bounce back stronger than ever?
Emotional Resilience is the Key
When we make the choice to look at all experiences as stepping stones for growth and greater long-term resilience, we are able to approach life on a whole new level, and in the process realign ourselves with what is truly important in our lives.
Stepping Stones answers the questions …
* What emotional resilience is and why it matters.
* Is resilience a gene reserved for the lucky few or can it ever be developed?
* Is the value of emotional resilience limited to crisis management or can it improve the quality of everyday living in any meaningful way?
* Is it ever too late to begin cultivating the habits of emotional resilience?
* How does one go about changing behaviors and strengthening the capacity for resilience?

Buy now on Amazon
Add to your Goodreads shelf

About the Author
Marquita Herald is an author, blogger, traveler, Maui girl, Introvert and lover of wine, road trips, peanut butter cookies and a dog named Lucy. I write about emotional resilience.

She has published 8 books and is the owner and author of the new blog Emotionally Resilient Living.

Marquita makes her home in rural Maui and when she's not working on a new book, sharing inspiring stories with audiences; working on one of her blogs or locked in a battle of wills with her dog Lucy, she is painting or curled up with a good mystery and glass of her favorite wine.



Q & A with author Marquita Herald
Q:  What made you decide to write Stepping Stones to Emotional Resilience?
I grew up in pretty dysfunctional family so I was introduced to the benefits of emotional resilience at a very young age. But at the time there wasn’t much reading material available outside of studies about childhood trauma and crisis recovery, and nothing that related to the benefits of resilience on a day-to-day basis. I consumed everything I could find on the subject but it wasn’t until I began working as a life and small business coach that I found a way to share what I’d learned over the years.
Most of my clients were first time entrepreneurs, many of them single mothers trying to earn enough so they could stay home with their children. Managing stress and minimizing the effects of adversity and unexpected change were ongoing concerns so I started offering resilience workshops and eventually a newsletter.
Later when I decided to try my hand at self-publishing, there really was no question that the first book would be about the benefits of emotional resilience.

Q:  How long have you been writing and when did you first consider yourself an author?
Like many others I’ve written as long as I can remember, even when it wasn’t necessarily my choice. Every company I ever worked for quickly identified and found use for my writing ability so over the years I’ve written everything from corporate newsletters, marketing and public relations materials to promotional film scripts and training courses. The first thing I wrote under my own name was a booklet for a fundraiser for a local Hawaiian non-profit group, and it wasn’t until I’d published my third book that I began thinking of myself as an author.  

Q:  What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice I ever received was from author, Sam Horn. Sam was a favorite speaker at the Maui Writer’s Conference and I’d had the opportunity to get to know her through various business associations.
We were having coffee before one of her presentations and I uttered those infamous words, “Someday I’d like to be a writer.” I will never forget the look Sam gave me as she slowly shook her head and said, “Marty, you’ve been a writer as long as I’ve known you. You just need to find your audience and decide what you want to say to them!” Simple as that may sound, that advice and bit of validation served as the impetus for me to launch my first blog and begin writing and publishing books.

Q:  As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist and I’m told I was considered something of a young prodigy. But the role of starving artist didn’t seem particularly attractive to me at a teen, especially since there were issues of substance abuse at home. So at the very first opportunity I moved out and took a job in a bank.
I’ve only recently returned to art and I’m in the process of fulfilling one of my BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) by writing and illustrating a book that will be published early summer.

Q:  Hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
As a reader I have 3 large bookshelves at home overflowing with favorite books, but as an author I’ve fallen in love with eBooks. Certainly the flexibility and independence factor is part of the attraction, but more than that I love that the digital format makes it so much easier to get books into the hands of readers in other countries. I sell a lot of books in Canada, the UK and Australia, and have recently begun seeing sales increases in Germany and Italy.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
I’m a voracious reader, in fact I haven’t turned my TV on in over 2 years, and now that I think about it I’m not even sure it still works. Normally I read a couple of books at a time - one fiction, one non-fiction so I pick up whatever I’m in the mood for at the end of the day. At the moment I’m reading Walking the Trail - One Man's Journey Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Jerry Ellis and Stone Cold by C.J. Box.

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