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REVIEW – Burning

Burning, by J.M. Gregoire

Wow! Short but enticing! I can’t wait to read the rest and find out what happens!

While there’s not a whole lot of content to this prequel (it’s short), it really gets to the point and I found myself instantly connected to the characters. Gregoire does a great job of drawing you in, especially in a short space.

I highly recommend this short story, and am looking forward to reading the whole series! 5 Zs!

Burning

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Spotlight Author Victoria Sawyer

Hey everyone! Transcending Dreams here with an exclusive interview with the author of Angst, Victoria Sawyer.angst

 

[Transcending Dreams] In your bio on goodreads, you’re very open about your anxiety and depression. How has that changed who you are as a writer, or hasn’t it?

[Victoria] Prior to writing Angst I was always a very secretive person about my anxiety.  Only those closest to me knew the truth or the depth of my condition and in order to hide it I had used alcohol as a crutch for many many years in social settings.  Writing Angst was a start, but the real exposure didn’t come until I decided I wanted to actually self-publish it. 

 One of the first people to really read it for me who didn’t know anything about my panic attacks and anxiety was my friend Kerri who edited the book for me.  During the process she didn’t say much to me about what she thought of the subject matter, but after she told me that I had opened her eyes about panic attacks.  Her thought had always been, have one get over it, no big deal. She didn’t know that people like me were out there suffering from this every day.  So I was pleased with that outcome and of course with publishing I decided to be very open about it online. 

 In my personal life, I have opened up a bit more, but there are still people who don’t know, both in my family and in other relationships, like work.  I find it’s very difficult to have a quick conversation about how it feels to suffer from anxiety and often there isn’t time for a longer conversation.  It takes a lot of explaining for someone without panic attacks to understand what’s happening with someone like me.  My goal is that my novel will do the talking for me and more and more people will hopefully learn what it’s like to suffer from a mental illness and the long talk won’t be necessary because people will come to the table with an open mind.

 

[TD] Here’s the dreaded question all writer’s get asked: what’s your writing process?

[Victoria] I like to call my process “organic,” in that I go with the flow.  I write what I know, I allow the story to grow and change until I feel like I have the story line set.  Angst was not always the way it is now, it took time to learn her voice, and for me to learn more about plotting, pace etc.  I thought with writing a second book I’d plan more, but I find I still need to just jump in write what I know and the plotting will come together.

 

[TD] What did it feel like to finally see your published work?

[Victoria] It’s incredible.  I never thought I’d really write an entire book, never mind publish it.  It was always a dream but since I’m pretty pessimistic, I never really thought I’d get here.  It took some pushing from the right friends but here I am.  And I really hope that I can help someone, either to understand what it’s like to suffer from a persistent mental issue or to know that you aren’t alone in feeling the way you do.

 

[TD] Do you have any more books in the works?

[Victoria] I do, I have 3 books I’m working on at the moment.  I’m still having a hard time narrowing it down to one, but I do know I need to because I’ll never get anywhere with 3 books in the works.  One of them is the second installment to Angst and one that I knew I wanted to write prior to publishing but I didn’t know all the details of the story.  I’m still working through that now.  The other two stories are different and do not deal with mental health.

 

[TD] Who are your favorite authors?

[Victoria] I have a lot of favorite authors.  I’m really quite interested in history, so I read a lot of historical fiction which is of course quite different from the kind of stories that I’m telling.  History fascinates me, but I’m not sure I could actually write a historical novel myself.  A few favorites that come to mind:  Sara Donati, Robert McCammon, Wilbur Smith.  My current favorite YA authors are Belinda Williams, Laurie Halse Anderson, Colleen Hoover.  I also have a soft spot for Karina Halle. 

 

[TD] Who inspired you to write? Who or what keeps you writing?

[Victoria] I think feeling alone in my mental state is what pushed me to writing in the first place, plus I’m a very expressive person by nature.  I like to call myself an “emotional spewer” which means that I can’t keep it in, I have to share.  Heaven help those around me like my husband/parents and friends. But this definitely lends itself to writing.  Plus I’m emotional in general and I like writing about the emotional moments in life.  I also think that writing can be addictive.  I just plain enjoy using words to tell a story.

 

[TD] What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring writers?

[Victoria] Don’t stop!  No matter what happens, don’t stop.  Everyone has an opinion, everyone’s a critic but you can’t please everyone, you need to write for you, write as if no one will ever read it. That’s not to say that editing and criticism aren’t good, they are, but there is a time and place.  I think if I had taken all the criticism to heart, I would have stopped or I would have tried to change my voice, my writing style so many times that I would never have felt confident about it.  Don’t be afraid to do you. 

 

[TD] Do you have any regrets about the story you shared in Angst?

[Victoria] Do I have doubts?  I do, of course.  Every now and then I think of all the scandal, swear words, hurt, depression and anxiety that I’ve poured into my novel and I think, oh my god, I did that, I released that into the world, I need to pull it all back.  But most of the time, I don’t really care. Yes, I broke the rules with a flagrant disregard, I did something that some people will probably hate, I wrote a book that isn’t mainstream and I told my story in a way that might make people insane or anxious or depressed, but I did it my way and I told the truth.  At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to me is that I was honest and I told the story in the best way I can.  And I hope people can at least recognize that even if they don’t like it. 

 
For more info on Victoria, check out my webpage. You can buy her book, Angst, on amazon.

Freebies and Cheapies!

Check out these free and cheap ebooks for kindle! I know I swiped a bunch of the freebies. There’s a lot of books that sound great!

REVIEW – In the Nick of Time

Nick of Time

In the Nick of Time, by Sylvie Fox

Well, I have to admit this book was a bit more emotional than I was expecting. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to finish it, to be honest. I’ll try not to give too much away as I explain.

Holly is sure of one thing – she wants commitment. She was marriage, a baby, a house, the whole shebang. Then Nick waltzes into her life and everything goes out the window. They are drawn to each other immediately. At least, until Holly gets pregnant. Nick, only 26, isn’t sure he’s ready to be a father, but Holly is overjoyed. It’s everything she’s ever wanted, but will Nick come around before he loses everything?

The story starts off fairly slow. There’s a lot of sexy scenes to keep you going but I did find myself wondering where we were headed. Then Holly gets pregnant. That’s when things got emotional for me. Ms. Fox does such a good job connecting you to Holly that for someone like me, who was abandoned when she was pregnant… Let’s just say I had very deep sympathies for Holly, and at one point last night I was so upset at Nick and identified so deeply with Holly that I was sure I was not going to be able to finish the book. It was just too upsetting. BUT! I will say this – I am so happy I did finish it. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the end.

Overall I’m going to give this book 4 Zs. It was really well written, the characters were real. I love the small details that really made Holly’s and Nick’s families come to life. There were a lot of cliches used, but I think that as Ms. Fox develops her writing style, she’ll become more comfortable with her voice and those will disappear. Great book! I’m adding Sylvie Fox to my list to read more of!

Benefit for a fellow blogger.

Indie authors unite for a good cause! Charity auction to help a blogger in need. Make donations at http://www.gofundme.com/helpgigi or check out the auction on facebook.

help~

So, wordpress is not nearly as user friendly as, say, wix.com. I’m really having trouble building my blog into something more than a list of posts. I’ve thought about switching to blogspot or something but I’ve already paid for my domain. Grr. Anyone have any adivce?!

wip

writing&publishing

Last week I encountered an author who had delayed writing her book for an entire year.  “Writer’s block!” she exclaimed.  It is real, writer’s block does happen.  Because of it this author’s frustration had grown so much that she allowed the process of her book to come to a screeching halt.  Most of the writer’s I’ve heard from have experienced this phenomenon in one way or another, but it’s really up to the author how they will go about handling it.  One should never allow writer’s block to be an excuse for not writing.

writers-block21

 The key is to leave your computer, pen or paper behind, but keep your mind in that writing mode.  Allow yourself to have a break from writing, while engaging yourself in activities that will stimulate and shape your writing process.  This writer explains 23 tips that don’t involve writing that will do just that—give you a…

View original post 96 more words

New website is now LIVE!

Hey everyone, check it out! My new website is live! I’m still in holy-cow-I-can’t-believe-I-built-a-website shock! But take a look and let me know what you think! (And definitely let me know if you spot any broken links, typos, or any other mistakes!!)

Once again, if you’d like to be featured or linked, let me know!

 

Oh. I suppose it would help if I put the link in here, huh? 😛

 

www.transcendingdreams.net

 

Enjoy!

Calling all Blogger/Reviewers, Indie Authors, and Booklovers!

I want you

 

Like to review books and post them to your blog? Do you write books and want some free publicity? Are you a booklover who wants to share a website?  I am setting up a website for Indie authors, reviewers, bloggers, etc. and I want to link to YOU! Email me at transcendingdreams@gmail.com and I will get it set up for you! I hope to go live within 24 hours, so please, don’t wait!

Mandee Marlane Rohn

Marriage-Motherhood-Ministry-More

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