AWRW Interview of Multiple Award Winning Indie Author: Julie Frayn

Excellent interview with the inspiring Julie Frayn, author of Mazie Baby, about her writing and what’s next.

A Well Read Woman

Hi Julie, thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed. Please tell me a bit about yourself and your background.


“Thanks to you, April, for the amazing review, and for inviting me to your blog.

Suicide City, a Love Story is my first novel, about a teenage girl who runs away from the farm and falls in love with a heroin-addicted street kid. My second, It Isn’t Cheating if He’s Dead, is about a woman whose schizophrenic fiancé, after being missing for four years, is found dead. The story follows her grief and healing, and watches her fall in love again, all while helping a homeless man get back home. Mazie is my third baby – but not my last! I’m working on two other novels, with a plan to publish both in 2015.

Writing isn’t my day job (it’s my 5 a.m. job, my lunch time, weekend…

View original post 2,519 more words

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12 Blogs of Christmas – Martin Crosbie

web pic with christmas tree 2Our 12th Blog of Christmas is written by bestselling author, Martin Crosbie.

Martin lives on the west coast of Canada and has written five books including Amazon bestseller My Temporary Life. His popular Christmas novel Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Christmases is available in e-book format in the US and UK as a Kindle Countdown Deal from Dec. 24-27 for only 99 cents.

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Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Those delicious words open the Dickens classic. Previous to the publication of A Christmas Carol, Christmas was barely recognized. Although it was a holiday it didn’t have the romantic vibe that it has today. Mr. Dickens and his novel changed all that. And, if he’d waited for his publisher to release the book it may never have happened.

Charles Dickens wrote his masterpiece in six weeks. Somehow he was able to channel the story and get the words on paper (or parchment probably) in less than two months. At that time he was suffering financially. His wife was pregnant with their fifth child and the wolves were closing in on their door. His previous novel had not sold well and when he submitted his new manuscript (after having it beta-read surely), to his publishers they were slow to warm to it. I’m not sure how rejection letters were sent out in 1853 but his publishers indicated that they were not interested in publishing the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s epiphany. Anxious to have the book released by Christmas Dickens went the print-on-demand route and self-published. He hired his own illustrator and contracted his publisher to print the books. And, he did the legwork himself. Then, in those very, pre-Konrath days he decided to lower the price to five shillings – a price that most folks would be able to afford. He wanted his book to be read and perhaps he even thought that readers might enjoy his other works if they liked his Christmas tale.

Read More…

Thank you for reading our 12 Blogs of Christmas. A joyous and peaceful season to you!

12 Blogs of Christmas: Wendy McClelland

Wendy McClelland photoWelcome back! Our next contributing writer to the 12 Blogs of Christmas is Wendy McClelland.

Wendy McClelland is a business pioneer; as one of the first small businesses to get online in the mid 1990s, her first website was chosen by the NY Times as “one of the best biz sites on the ‘net”. She is an award-winning entrepreneur as well as a past nominee for “Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year”. She has spoken to over 10,000 people in live audiences throughout western Canada and the U.S. Wendy’s newest project is her book “27 Steps to Freedom – What Learning to Walk Again Taught me About Success in Business & Life” is a story of rebuilding her life after a near fatal illness. You can buy Wendy’s book and get 17 BONUSES with purchase – http://27stepstofreedom.com/book-launch-bonuses/

I’m really thrilled Martin Crosbie asked me to participate with him and eleven great authors to share Christmas stories.

I’m honored to be working with ML GardnerDianne GreenlayRJ Crayton, Jennifer EllisHelga ZeinerRoberta Kagan Author, Heather HaleyJamie Lee ScottSarah Lane and Laurie E. Boris.

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A Christmas Love Story (12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop) by Wendy McClelland

I remember 1967 really well. It was Canada’s centennial – our country was 100! My parents had a fun backyard BBQ party and the whole neighbourhood came. The party went on well into the early hours of the morning. I’ll never forget seeing my parents dance together. We never know when we are experiencing something for the last time – especially as a child. That would be the last summer my mother would be alive.

As the fall approached, I started back to school and was a carefree eight year old, with three younger siblings. My parents Brian and Eileen adored each other and loved us. They were both originally from the UK, but had met in Toronto at a house party. When my dad first saw her he turned to his friend and said, “I’m going to marry that girl.” Sure enough, less than a year later they were married.

Ten years and four children later they were building a life together. Then in early winter, my mom began to feel ill, by late November she was gone. She had been feeling tired and went to the doctor. He asked her to wait in his office, called my dad at his office and had him come in. He told my mom she had leukemia and had less than two weeks to live! Can you imagine? You are only thirty years old, and have four children under eight years old. I remember feeling like the bottom had fallen out of my child’s world, I cannot imagine what she felt.

Read more…

Links:

Amazon Author Page (all books):  http://www.amazon.com/author/wendymcclelland

Facebook Fan Page (daily inspiration and motivation) http://www.Facebook.com/WendyJMcClelland

Websites: http://www.WendyMcClelland.com               http://www.27StepstoFreedom.com

 

 

 

12 Blogs of Christmas – Dianne Greenlay

Dianne Greenlay photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution is from Dianne Greenlay. Take it away, Dianne.

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Hello everyone! I’m delighted (and more than just a little bit in awe) to be part of this group of talented and very entertaining authors in our “12 Blogs of Christmas”, conceived and assembled by my friend and bestselling author Martin Crosbie. By now, you have met several of these brilliant authors, and today it’s my turn to entertain.

I’m the author of the award winning action/adventure QUINTSPINNER SERIES , and also of THE CAMPING GUY , a humorous short story, which is an award winner in its theatre script version. I live and write on the Canadian prairies, home (most years) to 6 or 7 months of winter. Yeah, we never put our parkas away, just in case. (Is it any wonder that I fantasize and write about pirates and adventure in the sun splashed tropics?)

I chose to write my first novel over learning to play the bagpipes, and my husband is grateful. I love to hear from my readers and you can find me at www.diannegreenlay.com, or on twitter at https://twitter.com/DianneGreenlay or even at my Author page .

And now onto my Christmas blog. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday filled with good friends, good luck, and good books!

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Getting Into The Christmas Spirit …

Bah, Humbug!

To steal that popular line, it is Hot Stuff Hubby’s summation of what he also refers to as “a Hallmark Holiday”. The rest of us call it Christmas.

For anyone who has anything for sale, the Christmas retail season is like bottled oxygen to an astronaut in a Space Station – absolutely necessary in order to survive the rest of the year.

Not a particularly religious man, Hot Stuff nevertheless laments the overshadowing of the original intent of fellowship and gratitude of the season, with that of a glut of retail activity.

Personally, I love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I think I must have been a magpie in a former life because I love all things sparkly – twinkling lights, reflective ornaments, the ropes of flashy tinsel, diamonds (ahem, are you reading this, Hot Stuff?), and such.

I love Christmas music, especially the more traditional carols and hymns perfectly harmonized and performed by choirs – I feel no shame in humming along out loud as they are pumped out of the speakers in the mall stores; I thrive on the smells of Christmas baking – sugar and cinnamon, butter and raisins, warm gingerbread – and can often be seen hanging out around the local bakery counter until the clerks get a little nervous at my continuous presence; and I take personal pride in decorating my home and yard as though it were a marker for NASA to be easily seen from outer space.

But this year is a little different. You can read more and find out why here.

12 Blogs of Christmas – Sarah Lane

Sarah Lane photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contributor is Sarah Lane.

Sarah Lane is the author of The God of My Art, a quarter finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. The God of My Art is the coming-of-age story of a young artist for whom a summer fling awakens the dream of a more creative life. Lane’s other fiction and poetry have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Roar Magazine, and Quills: Canadian Poetry Magazine.

Lane is currently writing a psychological thriller about a salsa dancer and her doppelgänger. To be the first to know when it comes out, sign up to her new release mailing list.

To learn more about Lane’s writing, visit www.sarahlanebooks.com

A note from Sarah: A big round of applause for Martin Crosbie for coming up with this great idea and recruiting everyone. I feel honoured to be a part of such a talented pool of writers.

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Morning Light

I.

The leaves are falling, clumping on pavement, wet and mute
like the beat of lips, fluttering with a whisper in the rainstorm
black like mascara streaming down a throat, waft of a secret
curling under earlobes to the small of a neck, drizzling into the
chaos of hair and drift of fingers down the meridian of spine

II

When we close our eyes we forget our continents, yellow
silk of the setting sun, sheen of snow under moonlight, the sweet
spice of a foreign accent, damp warmth of a strange tongue pooling its
syllables behind our lips, this contrast of skin where we sit, side by side,
legs swinging off the bed in the hush of the morning light

(Read the rest of the poem on Sarah Lane’s website…)

12 Blogs of Christmas – Roberta Kagan

Roberta Kagan photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution comes from Roberta Kagan.

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Hey Everyone! Today, I am the featured blogger. It is a true honor to be included in a program with such talented authors. Although my little story is embellished, some of it is actually true. I hope it brings you a little joy this holiday season, God Bless all of you, Roberta Kagan

 

Roberta’s Bio:

Roberta Kagan is an American writer of Jewish and Romany decent. She writes Historical Fiction and Historical Romance, most of which is set during the holocaust. Although she never discounts the horrors of the time period, the main focus of her work is on ordinary people who prove to be strong heroic characters in unfathomable circumstances.

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Bubby’s Christmas Angels

“Come, I’m going to tell you a story. A Christmas story.” My grandmother said as she sat in the thick upholstered chair on the side of the picture window in the living room. I tried to rush by. I was far too excited to sit and listen to anything. It was Christmas day and my aunt had just given me a gift. A gift I’d been hoping and praying for, a very special doll, and I wanted to play with it.

“You don’t want to hear a story? You’d rather go and play with your present?”

“Yes, Bubby.” Although Bubby is a Jewish term for grandmother, I called both of my grandmothers Bubby. My Romany Grandmother didn’t mind. In fact, I think she liked it. “I finally got the Shirley Temple doll that I wanted. I’ve been hoping for this for so long and I want to play with her. She came with three outfit changes too!”

My Bubby nodded. “I see. Well, it is your choice, but I think you’ll like my little tale, it’s a good story. It’s a story about a present that I got long ago. A present from God himself. “

I looked at her a little confused, a present from God? It was true that Bubby did always tell great stories. And usually I loved to sit and listen. I looked into her eyes, considering her offer.

More

Books and Links:

Series:
All My Love, Detrick: A Historical Novel Of Love And Survival During The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 1)
You Are My Sunshine: A Novel Of The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 2)
Promised Land (All My Love Detrick Book 3) due out January 2015

Other Books:
The Voyage: A Historical Novel set during the Holocaust, inspired by real events
A Flicker of Light
The Heart Of A Gypsy (A Historical Romance set in Nazi Germany)
The Gypsy Witch
A Nazi On Trial In God’s Court
Lilith Rising, 1969: A Coming of Age Novel

Amazon Central Page

Website: RobertaKagan.com

Facebook Author Page

Fan Book Club Group- Facebook

Blog

12 Blogs of Christmas: M.L. Gardner

M.L. Gardner photoToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution comes from M.L. Gardner.

 M.L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series—as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She has authored eight books, two novellas, and one book of short stories. Gardner is married with three kids and three cats. She resides in northern Utah. www.mlgardnerbooks.com

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Grandmas Simple Christmas

When I was young I remember spending more than one holiday season at my grandmother’s house. I remember long evenings with homemade cookies, lots of chocolate pudding and watching claymation Christmas specials under blankets that she crocheted. What I don’t remember is the hustle and bustle holiday madness that I experienced later in life. After I grew up and began the planning, cooking and shopping for my family, it quickly became a headache laced chore to get everything done, not to mention the stress and worry of financially pulling off a ‘perfect’ Christmas. I’m not sure whether I am just more susceptible to the stress or if it’s truly gotten out of hand for all of us. What I do know is that it steals the joy and peace of the season from my family and I. As each year passed, my family noticed that I decorated a little less, baked a little less, basically did a little less of everything so I could fit it all in. And worst of all, I was glad when it was all over, and I could take a rest. I don’t ever remember my grandmother being glad Christmas was over. In fact, she was a little sad as she put away the decorations and the blue and white china nativity set that I now own. More…

 

Links

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.L.-Gardner/e/B004W070UC/

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

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mlgardnerbooks/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mlgardner1929/

Subscribe to my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/HIlGj

Current Promotion

1929: Book One is FREE for a limited time and on sale at Amazon:

Smashwords (FREE): http://ow.ly/FDsHB

Google Play (FREE): http://ow.ly/FDsS

Amazon ($.99): http://ow.ly/FDswp

12 Blogs of Christmas – Helga Zeiner

Helga Zeiner photoToday’s edition of the 12 Blogs of Christmas is from Helga Zeiner.

Helga Zeiner is a German-born Canadian author. She left her home town Augsburg at age 18 to explore the world. In the following 14 years she has lived and worked in Australia and Asia. Her amazing experiences in those foreign countries are woven into all her thrilling novels.

Since 2004 she has lived with her husband on a country estate in the wilderness of British Columbia, devoting all her time to writing.

Helga Zeiner has published six novels in German and two in English. She is currently writing her third English thriller.

And with that…here’s Helga’s post.

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My Christmas Mistakes

Yes, I admit it, I make mistakes. Rarely, but still. As well organized as I am, it seems ridiculous that slip-ups in my planning might affect the most glorious time of the year, one that needs careful attention to detail and thoughtful consideration of all people involved. Family and friends deserve the best, right?

When my friend, the wonderful writer Martin Crosbie included me in his 12 Blogs of Christmas, I immediately jumped at the chance to interact with a group of great authors, and looked forward to write my contribution. Then… nothing! Words eluded me. Me! A writer! Everything that is nice and heart-warming about Christmas has already been written, I thought. But what about the Christmases (is that really the correct plural?) which didn’t go according to plan?

Read on…

Links:

http://helgazeiner.com/en/blog/

Twitter: @HelgaZeiner

Facebook: Helga Zeiner author

Amazon.com links:

Section 132

Birthdays of a Princess

Tomorrow our 12 Blogs of Christmas guest will be…me!

 

12 Blogs of Christmas – Jennifer Ellis

Jennifer Ellis photoToday’s installment of the 12 Blogs of Christmas comes from author Jennifer Ellis.

Jennifer lives in the mountains of British Columbia where she can be found writing, spending too much time on skis, and working as an environmental researcher. She has two boys, an eighteen-year-old cat, and a husband who doesn’t want a dog. She has been known to read tarot cards and spring surprise walks on unsuspecting neighborhood dogs. She has wanted to be a writer since she first read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and did not want to come out of the wardrobe.

Her Derivatives of Displacement series is science fiction fantasy for middle-graders (and adults). Books one and two are available, and book three is coming in 2015. She also writes adult fiction with a dystopic edge including In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation and her upcoming release Reversal, set in the Apocalypse Weird world. She has also contributed to several anthologies, most notably Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel, which hit #16 in the Kindle Store.

A Pair of Docks, Book One in her Derivatives of Displacement series is available for 99 cents through Christmas.

You can subscribe to her blog for the latest book news and industry insights at www.jenniferellis.ca. She tweets at @jenniferlellis.

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12 Days of Christmas Blog – What Christmas Means

When Martin Crosbie first invited me to be part of the 12 Blogs of Christmas with eleven other writers of course I said yes. I love blogging, I love Christmas, and I love other writers.

As the date approached for me to prepare my blog, a few problems emerged: 1) How much can be said about Christmas that hasn’t been said already; 2) How am I going to write an amazing post that compares to the efforts of the other participating bloggers who are also writers; 3) A huge number of work and writing deadlines all packed together like coupled rail cars wending their way through my December; 4) The deaths of a friend’s mother, and a friend’s son; 5) The usual stresses of life and winter—ailing mother, geriatric cat, viruses abounding in my children’s school and in our house; and the more creeping and interesting realization 6) Do I really love Christmas?

I have always had somewhat of a yo-yo relationship with Christmas…

Read more…

Links

www.jenniferellis.ca

Amazon Author Page (with all my books)

A Pair of Docks

In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation

Synchronic: 13 Tales of Time Travel

Manifest (on Barnes and Noble)

Manifest (on Kobo)

Current Promotions

A Pair of Docks is 99 cents through the holidays.

Tomorrow’s blogger…Helga Zeiner

 

12 Blogs of Christmas: Heather Haley

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s 12 Blogs of Christmas contribution comes to us from Heather Haley.

Bio:

The Siren of Howe Sound, trailblazing poet, author, novelist, musician and media artist Heather Haley pushes boundaries by creatively integrating disciplines, genres and media. Her writing has been published in many journals and anthologies including the Antigonish Review, Geist, sub-TERRAIN, the Vancouver Review, FORCE Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia and The Verse Map of Vancouver. Haley was an editor and reviewer for the LA Weekly and publisher of the Edgewise Cafe, one of Canada’s first electronic literary magazines. She is the author of poetry collections Sideways, Three Blocks West of Wonderland, and debut novel, The Town Slut’s Daughter.

http://amzn.to/113yB4S

heatherhaley.com   

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A YIN-YANG CHRISTMAS

From Joy to Dread and Back Again

‘Tis the season. For melancholy. Haunted by Christmas Past, I get nostalgic for the little girl who believed in Santa. A child’s lament; “Why can’t it be Christmas every day?”, I’d wail at my mother. Because, my parents would rally, no matter how broke we’d been all year, to put up a tree, to fill the house with presents, candy, nuts and booze, to be filled with joy, or at least in a in a good mood, when they weren’t fighting or knocking over the tree.

I have an image burned into my psyche of sitting on the couch next to it, staring at my reflection in an exquisite silver bulb, in a trance of hope and excruciating happiness. That damned tree. Its heady perfume permeated the house, blasting away banality, infusing bliss. Magic. Or madness, I’ve come to realize. The Christmas tree has become for me an emblem of the innocence of childhood, innocence lost, innocence I have finally quit trying to regain.

Light-Dark. Fire-Water. Male-Female. Yin-Yang. Without dread, how can there be joy? Seeking the answer traces my evolution from doe-eyed youngster to jaded diva, but at last I am comfortable with such dualities. I’m not a Daoist but understand that life is an endless cycle, and that opposites are bound together to create a mutual whole.

“Thank God I’m an atheist.” I struggled with that when my son was little, thought that if we were going to observe-after deciding we would honour tradition, albeit our way-that Junior should know about the Christ in Christmas. He learned that Jesus of Nazareth was most likely a rabbi, his teachings were sound and the man must have been a charismatic philosopher, healer or social reformer who many saw as a prophet and the son of God. I’ve also taught my son to be discerning, to consider the source, to put things in relief. In perspective. With healthy skeptiscim comes a certain ambivalence, but he’s a good kid, smart and compassionate.

I refrain from spouting “Bah Humbug,” but don’t put up a tree anymore. Junior, now 20, no longer cares, which is rather sad, considering how much he did care, how excited he’d get, waiting for and believing in Santa. But we share fond memories; one year he, his step-father and I spent Christmas in Hawaii with his godmother and extended family. We met Don Ho, watched a lighted parade in the little town of Waiamea on Christmas Eve, and Junior even went boogie boarding, despite having been afraid of the water.

Peace and goodwill toward men. Why should it be seasonal? I do enjoy the time the holidays afford us, the opportunity to get together with loved ones. When we gather with those who are dear to us. If the fates allow. I like nothing better than to cook for my family, as I do each time I’m lucky enough to have them visit throughout the year. That is joy. Time is the most precious gift of all and peace comes from within.