All posts by willowwritesandreads

My name is Nicole. I'm from Georgia. I really love reading! I've been reading all my life. I didn't always love it. My mom used to have a rule that I couldn't watch the movie before reading the book first. I hated it at first, but I'm glad she made that rule now!

Irresistible Jerk by Mira Stanley Book Review

I just can’t believe that it’s going the way it’s going. Not sure how to even explain how and why I like this book so much. Both books have been incredibly easy reads. They’ve been wholesome as well as steamy. My only critique is that I feel both books could have really been combined into one book. But it’s cute they were made into two.

The characters are completely easy to get attached two. I wish I had more of the other characters other than just the main two. Especially Rico. I hope I’m saying that name right. Bringing his point of view in is very intriguing. 

The narrator did a great job as well. I really enjoyed it. I’ll always be picky about men doing female voices. But he did a pretty decent job with it! Most male narrators kind of make women sound like ditzes. I’m sure it’s not on purpose though. I think it’s just how deep they sound naturally.

Getting Messy by Mira Stanley Book Review

Insane how the story is progressing! I am invested now and need more! The one thing I want to restate is that I feel these could have been condensed to one book. I do get why it was done this way though. I really like the story! I’m shocked I do, but I do! I want to read the next one!

The characters are pretty impressive still too. I was hoping that I would get to see more of Rico in this one with him having a part at the ending of the second book. I was disappointed there. But there are some hints that he might have more of a role in the fourth book! We shall see!

The narrator is still fantastic as well! I want to go find all the books he’s narrated before and listen to them all. He has a very good voice. He has quickly made h8is way to the top of my favorites list for sure! He definitely pulled me into the story!

Good Girl by Mira Stanley Book Review

I have to be honest, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I thought there were parts that would make me a little uncomfortable. I was wrong. Very wrong. There’s a chance that I have also added a new narrator to my ever-growing list of favorites. The narrator of this book was very great! He made the characters very relatable!

First Book Chat With Artemis Milchon

How long did it take you to write your first book?

It was in my head for a while, so The Last Dragon, first book in my pnr Omega Clan Lords series, took a week.

What inspired you to start writing?

I kept seeing these smoking hot Omega Clan Lords in my head. They were telling me what it was like being immigrants from another world, dealing with angels, living with the last member of the dragon clan, having the air and water clan lords try to get along. I couldn’t get enough of them, and realized others might feel the same.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

Three, and then had a great editor who gave me space to write the story the way the characters demanded. I’ll be going through a rewrite soon on the first book.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

My dream came true. I felt so much relief and joy at finishing the story, I was instantly addicted. I couldn’t wait to tell the next Omega Clan Lords story.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

It took me a while to understand I am the Mom of these characters. I’d better protect them just as if they were my child. I’ve also learned to listen to my own voice over everyone else. If you don’t love your book, if the characters don’t make you openly weep, the reader will feel nothing when they get a hold of your work.

How many books have you published since then?

Six books published. 2019-2020 I will release an additional ten titles, launching an entirely new series!

Buy The Last Dragon here:

First Book Chat With Cheryllynn Dyess

How long did it take you to write your first book?

                4 months for the first draft!

What inspired you to start writing?

                My husband! The story was inspired by wanting to let young women know its okay to be different and to be themselves.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

                I’d say 4 on this one, that was seven years ago so its hard to remember exactly!

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

                Weird to be honest. I was scared to death that no one would like anything I wrote and I was be seen as a fool. When I first held the book in my hand I was blown away that I had actually done it. It’s a very surreal feeling.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

                Now, I understand the book industry more. I still write what I want and never write to market but I’ve learned how to do so much more and have total creative control over what I put out. I now have a better flow of the process and that helps a lot.

How many books have you published since then?

                I now have a total of 15 books out, so 14.

Buy Calastan Here:

Interview With Shay Stone

Where do you get your inspiration?

Sometimes things just pop into my head. Other times I’ll here a song or see something on TV that spurs a whole thought process for me.

Can you tell me a little about each book?

The Rise to Fame and The Cost of Fame are a duet. After Colin scares off Alex’s male lead, she ropes him into starring alongside her in a play. He falls hard not knowing she is the daughter of the man that tried to destroy his life. In the midst of dealing with that, they get discovered by a huge Hollywood agent named Richard. It soon becomes clear Richard’s interest lie in more than just Alex’s talent. The books follow Alex and Colin’s struggle to make it in Hollywood while contending with her powerful father and an obsessive agent that wants to thwart their careers and tear them apart.

What inspires you to write?

Music, a walk outside, a nice smile. I look at people or listen to a song and wonder what made them get to that point. Why are they fighting? What lead to that song being written? How did they fall in love? Or out of love? Next thing I know, I have a whole story. I also couldn’t read or write for a long time due to a car accident. Now that I can, I don’t take it for granted. I try to get my ideas out knowing the ability could be taken away. Writing is a privilege some people don’t get. 

Tell me about how you got started as a writer.

The first time, I started writing because I wanted to help people learn how to deal with chronic pain. It was suggested by a popular clinic that I write a self-help book. I did and it ended up getting published. I wrote another book after that that was also a self-help book. Both are currently out of print because the publishing company closed.

The second story is more fun. I didn’t write for years after my first books were published. Then one Valentine’s Day, I decided to write these sexy stories in a journal and give it to the guy I was dating at the time as part of his present. He flipped out over it and told me I needed to be a writer. I decided to give it a shot and here I am. I feel like I’ve found my calling in Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense. I have tons of stories in my head waiting to get out.

When did you first publish? How did publishing make you feel?

My self-help books were published around 2009, I think. And it was liberating. I felt like I had taken control of my life again. My contemporary romances were published last summer. I was still under contract with my publisher, but they gave me permission to self-publish my books because they knew they would be closing. Holy crap! Was I nervous! I had no idea what I was doing. lol  I studied every traditionally published book and read everything I could on publishing because I wanted to do it right. When I finally got to hold The Rise to Fame in my hand for the first time, it was exhilarating.

What advice can you give future authors?

Everyone’s first draft sucks. I say that for two reasons. One because some people finish a story and are so excited to publish it, they don’t take the time to tweak it and edit it properly. Those little things – reframing sentences, catching plot holes, etc, are the difference between something decent and something extraordinary.

Two, a lot of people, write it, judge it too harshly, and give up. The first draft is you telling yourself the story. You can go back in and add the flowery details and perfect sentences later. That’s what editing is for.

What was the easiest book for you to write?

The Cost of Fame – it was the second book in The Fame Series so the characters were developed, and I could just write. The words were coming so fast I could hardly keep up.

What was the hardest?

The one I’m currently writing. It is very intricate and takes so much brain power. Sometimes more than I have! Haha But I think it’s going to be worth it.

What is your biggest challenge as you’re writing?

Time and focus. With the head injury, I work almost like a person with ADHD. I’m usually doing 5 things at once. With writing, you are forced to focus on one task. It takes tremendous concentration. Some days it’s all I can do just to get down a paragraph. Other days, I’ll bust out a chapter with ease.

What do you think of promoting your work? Do you find it easy or hard?

It’s something you have to do, but it’s so hard. There’s a lot of competition and I feel like crap sharing and asking other people to share, which is why I don’t ask often. You try to come up with new innovative things to grab people’s interest. But after a few times, everyone catches on and starts doing the same thing. Look at takeovers for example. For a while they were the big thing. They were fun and didn’t happen that often. Now there’s at least one every day. Less people attend because they figure they’ll just catch the next one.

How would you describe your writing style to people who have never read your work?

Hmmm… My last books were descriptive and written in third person omniscient. My next book is in first person and is more narrative. I want the reader to feel like they are a part of the story and that’s what determines my style and perspective. If you read me, be prepared to get drawn in and emotionally invested in the characters. I’ve been told I write great dialogue and my books are extremely realistic. Fans tell me they feel like they are standing in the room watching the scene take place. That’s pretty damn cool to me. And I don’t use big words just to show off my vocabulary. To me, if a reader needs to stop to look something up, it’s taking them out of the story. I want you in the story, laughing, crying, occasionally cursing my name for making you stay up to late reading because you need to know what’s going to happen next.

How supportive is your family of your books?

My dad keeps asking if I’m ever going to make money off these things. Haha Like a lot of people, he doesn’t understand the business and thinks I should have an agent and publisher just because I wrote a book. But he is supportive. As for the rest, some people are very supportive; others have never picked up one of my books and scoff behind my back. I use both to push me to succeed. I want to prove the ones that believe in me right and the ones that don’t wrong.

Have you ever had anybody in your life ever try to discourage you from writing? How did you cope?

(See above) You have to push through and find it in you. Only you have the power to make your dreams come true. At the end of the day, you’re the one that has to live with knowing you did or didn’t go for it. Do you want your dreams to remain dreams, or do you want them to become a reality? Yes, there may be a million people out there trying to do what you do. It’s your job to show them why you’re special.

Do you have a team that helps with your writing process and promotions?

I wish! I do have a network of authors that I work with and we share things and swap newsletters. I also have some awesome friends and fans that share my stuff every time I post it. I’ve tried to put together a street team but haven’t had much luck. I’d love one… and a P.A. someday.

I only have one person I bounce stories off of because I’ve had some of my writing copied. An author even copied part of my bio. Unfortunately, that made me extremely nervous about sharing anything before it’s published.

How many drafts do you write before you are pleased enough to publish?

I could spend the rest of my life writing drafts and editing my books. I don’t remember who it was, but someone once said [paraphrasing], “A great writer is never finished with their book. They just get tired of editing.” There’s always something I want to tweak. But at some point, you have to release your book baby out into the world and hope it flies high.  But if I had to give a number, I’d say probably about 70. haha

Are any of your books in audio? If not, is it something you eventually want?

Not yet, but I hope to in the future. It’s a cost thing and I’m also scared because I bought an audiobook version of a book I loved. When I heard it, I was so thankful I read the book before I listened to it because the narrator was awful. It made me really cautious about finding the right people to do it when I’m ready.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?

Tiffany Riesz – Original Sinner Series

Sylvia Day – Crossfire Series

Jackie Collins – Chances

Danica Raimz _Awaken My Heart Series

Can you tell us about some of your upcoming books?

I’ll tell you the title: The Redemption of Memphis Drake
(I’ll also tell you I’m so freaking excited about it I can hardly see straight!)

Where can we find you on social media?

Ugh! I’m on too much social media, but you have to be if you want to succeed. Here is the crazy long list. Please stalk away!

First Book Chat With D.L. Pitchford

How long did it take you to write your first book?

Technically, my first book took at least ten years to write, and I still don’t have a completed manuscript. Once I finally had a first draft, I set it aside, and I’m waiting for the right time to go back to it—when I have enough experience to properly tackle the complex story and themes.

My first published book, though, was a different story. The original idea began to percolate while I was a sophomore in college, and I wrote a few scenes—only one of which made it into the book—for one of my college writing classes. Several years later, when I was working as a freelance technical writer after my first child was born, I delved into my stories again and finally managed to finish the rough draft. After several revisions, I published it, a full six years after the characters began to take shape.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’m not sure there’s a particular item or instance that inspired me to write. I grew up in a home that encouraged creativity in all forms—my college years netted me not only a BA in English and Writing, but also in Fine Arts—and I have been coming up with stories for as long as I can remember. There have definitely been influential stories and writers—J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jane Austen, Michael Crichton, and J.K. Rowling were some of my earliest influences—but nothing inspired me so much as my own mind and experiences.

How many drafts did you do before you felt it was ready to publish?

My writing process is relatively in-depth. Generally, I start with a discovery draft, which sort of combines scene drafting with outlining and character mapping. Then, I write the official rough draft, which is then updated in a revised draft. Occasionally, I need to make more updates and revisions after this, but either way, the manuscript goes through extensive line and copy edits and a final proofread before it’s ready to be published. Overall, that’s four official drafts, though  the majority of the actual writing occurs in the rough and revised drafts.

How did publishing for the first time ever make you feel?

The moment was both thrilling and anticlimactic. I don’t know what exactly I was expecting, but there certainly weren’t any bells or balloons. I was pleased to be sure, but the most significant moment was when I received my initial copies of the book.

How different would you say the writing and publishing process is for you now than it was then?

Although it has been two and a half years (almost) since I published my first book, I’m not sure my writing and publishing process has changed dramatically. I write and work slowly for most indie authors, and my revision process is extensive. Because of this, I focus on producing the best book I can, and often, I fall behind on keeping up with the publishing side of things.

How many books have you published since then?

In the years that have followed, I have only published a couple more books: two more books in the same series as my first and the first book in a series of contemporary fairy tale retellings. Aside from that, I’ve had books and short stories featured in box sets and anthologies.

You can buy the author’s book on Amazon for $0.99! Here’s the link:

Daughter Of Death by Lexi C. Foss Book Review

I know I say I need more for a lot of the series types books I read, but for this one, I definitely need more! I practically listened to this entire book in one sitting. With the exception of a few breaks. I loved the unique twist that was put on a pretty popular paranormal/fantasy genre. And the best part is the main character is a fallen angel!!! She’s amazing. She’s definitely going to be considered one of my favorite characters of all times. I really need the rest of this series!

Blood Laws by Lexi C. Foss Book Review

This book was intense and very unique. I enjoyed every bit of it. I enjoyed the setup. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series/trilogy. I am hoping that some of the characters that played more of a background role in this book shine more in the rest of the series. Especially Stas’ best friend. I’m also hoping that many of my unanswered questions are answered very soon. I’m trying to be patient and let the story run its course, but it’s so hard. “I don’t need sleep! I need answers!!!”

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich Book Review

I really enjoyed this book. This is one of my favorite series of all times. But I’m learning quickly that even my favorite series will have flaws. Due to a couple of names in this book, I feel like maybe the author is running out of names for the characters. To be fair, there are a lot of characters in this series. Also, two of the “main” characters are kind of losing consistency. They were fun and vibrant at the beginning of the series. Now they kind of fade to the background and when they are in it they are a little dull compared to how they were. I still absolutely love this series. I’ll be reading every single book. I’ll probably even read them again in the future.