Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interview with Jane Carroll ~ Bertha Size Your Life

I've read Bertha Size Your Life and I enjoyed it! It's a humorous tale of empty-nest. While I'm not there yet, it made me laugh out loud, and I will be sure to read this again when the time comes. And that time is not too far off, my daughter is sixteen. Today I have Author Jane Carroll on the blog with a few questions, let's start off with something wild and wacky!

You’ve been contacted by the Association of Libraries from the Alien Planet of Zaolia. They want to know the five most important novels in all of Earth’s history. Which five novels do you give them?

The Greatest Miracle in the World—Og Mandino
The Alchemist—Paulo Coelho
Garden Spells—Sarah Addison Allen
The Little Engine That Could—Watty Piper
Bertha-Size Your Life!—Jane Carroll

What was the turning point in your life when you decided to start writing?

My youngest daughter had just gotten married so although she had been away at school, my nest was officially…empty. Having been a single mother for many years, I was relieved. But I knew that many women don’t feel that way. Their identity is so entwined with their children that they don’t know who they are once the kids are grown. I had completed Life Coach Training and loved to write…a book about empty-nest just seemed like the perfect thing to do at the time.

Q: What is or are the genres of your book or books?

Bertha-Size Your Life! and the upcoming sequel are considered non-fiction, personal growth, self-help but they read like a series of funny short stories which makes them unique.

Q: What made you decide to write in your particular genre?

Personal growth has always been my primary interest…it’s just where my mind gravitates. I love seeing myself and others reaching a new level of understanding.

Q: When you write do you take notes, organize your characters and plot, or you write freely as you go?

Generally I just write…I may make a note of an idea that crosses my mind for a story so I won’t forget it…but I’m not into outlines and such.

Q: Where does your inspiration come from?

Life…everything I see and hear is likely to become a Bertha story. Bertha is all about taking everyday life experiences and teaching poignant lessons from them.

Q: Do you write about your personal life experiences in your stories?

Yes and no. The stories in Bertha-Size Your Life! are generally life lessons…some of them I’ve learned the hard way and some I’ve learned from others…and some were written to answer questions asked by others…they just all get in the mix…and no…I won’t tell you which ones I learned the hard way!

Q: What is your favorite scene in your story?

You know…I can’t choose a favorite. My favorite was always the one that I just finished writing…now it’s the one that I need that day.

Jane, you are a wonderful guest, and I enjoy our time on social media together! Thanks for visiting today and sharing so many fun things about yourself!


Jane Carroll Links:

Book Synopsis:

Bertha-Size Your Life! reads like a series of humorous short stories but it is so much more. Bertha, a zany redhead, mysteriously appears into the narrator’s life while walking in the park. Quicker than a man can hand off a baby with a dirty diaper, she has moved into her new friend’s empty nest and the fun begins.

Bertha is always up to something and delights in standing on a soapbox while dispensing down-home wisdom and perky advice. She explains The Law of Attraction in a refreshing, humor-filled, practical way that has you going hmmm instead of humph.

Throw in a conniving nemesis, an antagonistic cat, lime green spandex, and high-heels and you’ve got a book that’s sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you wearing your thinking cap as you read and reread each vignette.

Who knew personal transformation could be so much fun? “Bertha, that was a rhetorical question. Get off your soapbox…”

Here's the link to purchase Bertha for .99 cents! Amazon: 


Jane Carroll, Author of Amazon Bestselling Bertha-Size Your Life!, is a Life Coach, Registered Nurse, Reiki Master, Mother, Grandmother, and long-time student of life. She has seen the focus of her over 30 year nursing career change from illness to wellness to wholeness, a philosophy that permeates everything she does. While she enjoys all aspects of her life, writing is her passion and she is currently working on Bertha’s latest adventures.

Bertha-Size Your Life! recently received the MK Traditionally Published Best Book of 2012 Award.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cover Reveal - Cry Me A River, by Devyn Dawson

Cover Reveal
Cry Me A River
by Devyn Dawson

Caide Palmer, Emerald Isle's resident chef and grieving father.  Everything in his life is turned upside down when his ex-girlfriend Heather dies from an accidental overdose.  She left behind their eighteen month old daughter.  Heather's parents filed for emergency custody of baby Lucy.  Now Caide is in the fight of his life to raise his daughter to the best of his ability.  The courts order Caide to attend parenting classes and Al Anon meetings.  It is there that he meets twenty-two year old River.  She is drawn in by his story, and she wants to mend his grieving heart.  Will Caide allow River in to his world, or will he find his role as single father is to be faced alone?  There's something about her that he wants to save.  Can they really save each other?  

Cry Me A River is a New Adult book with sexual situations and explicit language.  If you've ever mourned the loss of someone you loved, Cry Me A River will show you that love can conquer when you meet the right person.  Available July 2, 2013.

Add to your TBR list Cry Me a River

The author Devyn Dawson is from Oklahoma, but she kicks up her boots in New Bern, NC.  She spends her days writing about the characters who live in her head.  Devyn has been intrigued by the young adult world and is now branching out to new adult.  This is her first non-paranormal book.  Although the characters are fictional, grief of losing someone you love is drawn from her own experiences of death and loss.

Stalk Devyn's website

Devyn's Blog - tons of giveaways!


Young Adult Books by Devyn

The Legacy of Kilkenny - book one
The Seduction - book 1.5
Malevolence - book two

The Light Tamer
Light Bound - Summer 2013

The Wisdom Series
Trust - book one  Winter 2013

New Adult Books

Sapphire, A Werewolf Love Story

Friday, May 17, 2013

This I Promise You, by Tressa Messenger

Today I have Tressa Messenger on my blog. She's written a very emotional novel called This I Promise You.

Tressa thanks so much for being on my blog today. Could you tell us a little bit about why you wrote TIPY?

I'm not even sure where to begin. How do you explain what an impact a story has on one self? This story is one so very special to me and I put a lot of tears into writing it.
After a friend of mine came to me and presented a book idea to me, which has happened many times since becoming a writer, immediately the story unfolded in my mind. I knew the exact story I wanted to tell. A story that I felt needed to be told. It is a story of finding yourself through young love and trying to maintain that love through life’s obstacles. This story is so very special to me because this story is about me and someone who was very special to me, my first love. I am truly honored to be able to share it with you.
My story is not very unlike the one you are about to read. I fell in love for the first time when I was just 13 years old with the most beautiful boy I had ever known, Jeremy Hayes Hewett. Some told me it was just a crush, a child’s fantasy, and some just dismissed it all together. They were all wrong. Yes, I was 13 and that is young, but I knew how I felt and they did not. He was a truly special person who had the biggest heart of anyone I had ever known. We dated the entire school year until I moved away at the end of the school year. We continued to stay in touch after I moved away, but long distance relationships are hard whether you are 13 or 31 and like so many long distance relationships it didn’t last. Slowly, the once constant letters and phone calls started becoming fewer and further in between until they stopped all together. I would always think about him from time to time though whether I was driving through his hometown, or if I heard a certain song on the radio. I sang our song “I Swear” every night for a year.
Finally, when I was nineteen, I contacted everyone that I could think of who knew him or would possibly know how to contact him, and since this was before advances in technology had taken off I decided to leave it up to the universe. If we were meant to be, then we would be. As the years went by the universe remained steadily quiet, so once again I grew impatient and took it upon myself to try and locate him once more. Unfortunately, this time I did find out where he was, but what I found out was the LAST thing I had ever expected to hear. My first love had been dead for three years after taking his life. The impact of his death left me in complete shock, and after the shock, there was guilt. I was utterly consumed by guilt because oddly enough, it had been exactly three years since I had last tried to find him, I felt guilty for not trying harder. I thought that maybe, had I known what he was going through I could’ve helped him.
Well, what I can’t do, as much as I wish I could, is go back and help him, but what I can do now is share this story in the hopes that it may help someone else. So, that is what I have done. He and I may have only had that one perfect year together when we were kids, but it was a time in my life I will never forget. I often wonder had he and I stayed together how would our lives have played out? People always say that if they could go back in time and change anything in their life they wanted to they wouldn’t change a thing. But if you knew that was the ending would you change it if you could do it all over again? I would.


You only get one first of anything, and no matter the time, or space, or age, you never forget your firsts.
When thirteen year old Nicky Moore’s parents decide to buy a small summer beach cottage at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, she thought her life would end. It didn’t matter the beauty of the area - land and water as far as the eye could see - she was bound and determined to make her family’s summer vacation as dismal as she felt. That was until she met a boy from down the beach; a beautiful boy, with the most intense brown eyes she had ever seen and a smile that could light the ocean on fire. A summer that Nicky thought was doomed from the start, turned into a summer that she would never forget; one full of firsts. It was impossible for her to know years later how one seemingly little decision could change everything forever, but soon, as an adult, Nicky will find out that everything she once thought were real and the promises once made, were lost in a sea of inner turmoil.

Where to find Tressa:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Furry Inspiration Behind Kiwi in Cat City, By Vickie Johnstone

The furry inspiration behind Kiwi in Cat City
By Vickie Johnstone

Most of my books are for children; middle-grade, especially. I didn’t set out to write books for kids – it just happened. The first proper book I ever finished was Kiwi in Cat City, in 2002. I had been made redundant and suddenly had a lot of time on my hands.
The book was inspired by a little black, fluffy, golden-eyed, chubby cat that I used to have, called Kiwi. She was cheeky, intelligent, curious, and liked to follow me down the road on the way to work – I’d have to scoop her up, take her back and run off! I’m sure she’d have hopped on the train with me if she could. Kiwi liked to chase shadows on walls, munch Whiskers food, roll on her back with her paws in the air for strokes, and hunt birds (alas, she was very good, and it was the only thing we argued about). When she wasn’t trying to swipe the dinner off my plate when I wasn’t looking or jumping in the air to catch a moth in mid-flight, she’d be curled up on my bed or waiting to pouncing out at me. One day she followed me to the supermarket round the corner, waited patiently on a wall, and then came back home with me.
Kiwi was lovely, but I lost her in 2000, when she was six, which is no age really. I started to really hate cars.
When she was still alive, I wrote a poem about her. In 2002, during this time between jobs, I reread it and started thinking about a world populated by cats. I’d lie in bed at night, imagining it. They ran their own lives and did their own thing. I named this world Cat City, where cats roamed free and happy, away from the dangers posed by cars and dogs, and where it was always summer. The star would be Kiwi. I would bring her back to life on paper and make her go on adventures. In Kiwi in Cat City, she is four, and she is ‘owned’ by Amy and James, and their parents, in the human world. I ended up making Amy a bit like me, although I named her after my niece. James was just my favourite boy’s name.
Gradually, other characters started talking and a catnapping plot emerged. I was writing by the seat of my pants, as I had no idea where the book was going, but I was also having a lot of fun. I wrote every day. Kiwi became magical and able to communicate with the kids, whom she turned into kittens and took on an adventure to her other home – the blue-lit Cat City. Soon other characters evolved – Siam, a computer whizz with bent whiskers, Inspector Furrball, a ginger tom with a very red waistcoat, and Kip, a good friend of Kiwi’s, among others. Plus there had to be a bad cat and a few red herrings.
As a kid, my favourite books all starred animals: Winnie-the-Pooh, Narnia, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Ugly Duckling, The Three Bears, The Incredible Journey, Pigling Bland and Watership Down; a little later, the It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet series, Call of the Wild and Animal Farm. And these are just a few that I can think of! Human characters just didn’t get a look in. To me, they weren’t as interesting as animals, especially ones that could talk. If a book didn’t star some furry hero, it had to contain magic, such as The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and the Folk of the Faraway Tree, though the latter did have a squirrel! Magic AND talking animals – now that was the ideal!
So, back to Kiwi in Cat City... In a few weeks I finished writing it. I’d had so much fun that I surprised myself, and I’d managed to write every day. But the big thing was that I’d actually completed a book; a whole book. I hadn’t finished a story since I was at senior school. I remember having this big feeling of accomplishment. And I was very happy because my little Kiwi had become immortal.
It would be another nine years until the story saw the light of day and was read by someone other than myself, but that’s another story. Today, my little Kiwi is the heroine of her own series, the Kiwi Series, of which there are now six books, and never a finer heroine could there be. Long may she purr!

Kiwi in Cat City

Book blurb:

Have you ever wished your cat could talk or wondered where he/she goes when you are not around? Kiwi in Cat City is the first book in a series, of which there are six fun adventures so far. They are set in vario
us animal-inhabited worlds, along with the human one, of course.

Kiwi seems like a typical moggie, content to nap in the sun and chase shadows, but she has a secret. She is a magical cat from a place called Cat City. With her two humans, James and Amy, Kiwi finds mysteries and adventures, dealing with catnappings, jewel thieves, giant rats, time travel, haunted houses, Father Christmas, pyramids and more. The fun stories contain positive messages about loyalty, friendship, honesty, bullying and the power of standing together.

Kiwi in Cat City opens on one dark night. Amy cannot sleep and she looks out of the window into the garden to see her cat, Kiwi, transfixed by the moon, which is glowing brightly like a cat's claw. Waking her brother, James, Amy suggests they follow Kiwi to see where she goes... whether it involves a hunt for mice or something else. Little do they know that with a flick of her tail, Kiwi is going to magically change the children into kittens and lead them on the adventure of their lives to a land they never knew existed in their wildest dreams. In the blue-lit world of Cat City, the budding detectives help Inspector Furrball to investigate the mysterious catnapping of Mr Katz and find out what happened to Madame Purrfect.
The books contain illustrations by the talented Nikki McBroom. Furry fun for ages 9-99.

Author bio:

Vickie Johnstone lives in London, UK, where she works as a freelance layout sub-editor on magazines and as an editor on indie books. She has a thing about fluffy cats and also loves reading, writing, films, the sea, rock music, art, nature, Milky Bar, Baileys and travelling. If sleeping was an Olympic sport, she’d be a contender. Vickie has self-published the following books: Kaleidoscope (poetry); Travelling Light (poetry); Life’s Rhythms (haiku); 3 Heads and a Tail (comedy romance); Kiwi in Cat City (magical cat series for middle grade readers); Kiwi and the Missing Magic; Kiwi and the Living Nightmare; Kiwi and the Serpent of the Isle; Kiwi in the Realm of Ra; Kiwi’s Christmas Tail; Day of the Living Pizza (comedy detective series for middle grade readers), and Day of the Pesky Shadow. Vickie is currently working on a fantasy with a female central character called The Sea Inside.

Author links:

Twitter: @vickiejohnstone
FB author page:
FB Kiwi Series page:
FB poetry page:
FB editing service page:

Book links:

Ebook price: $2.99/£1.99
Paperback price: $7.50/£4.86