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Author: Ingrid Foster

My Interview with Author Tina-Marie Miller

My Interview with Author Tina-Marie Miller

My guest this week is Author Tina-Marie Miller. Hello Tina-Marie, thanks for joining us!

Hello Ingrid, thanks so much for the opportunity.

The Hamptons

I recently read your novel, THE CURIOUS MISS FORTUNE, your second novel in The Hamptons series. I love the way you start the story with Tiggy getting notified by her father’s lawyer, leading her to return to The Hamptons. You don’t tell us why she’s returning or the backstory of why she’s reluctant.  Your writing is mysterious, dynamic and compelling. I couldn’t stop reading.

So, my first question, Tina-Marie, is where did your idea for The Hamptons come from?  

Thank you so much for your kind words Ingrid, I am truly thrilled that you enjoyed The Curious Miss Fortune.

The idea for The Hamptons came about when I was writing my debut novel, Everything Happens For A Reason. Although I always intended to make this a series, I hadn’t at that stage created anything more than King’s Oak, the fictional village, that the main protagonist – Poppy Jackson – was brought up in. As the story developed and I had her returning to her roots, the idea for Hampton Ash and Hampton Waters – known as The Hamptons – evolved. A plethora of future story lines started vying for attention so I took the time to step back and create a whole fictional county! This has fed my imagination further and will hopefully lead me to create many more future books in the series.

The Series

There are three books in the series now, EVERYTHING HAPPENS for a REASON, THE CURIOUS MISS FORTUNE, and FAME and FORTUNE. For those of us who love your writing and are anxiously awaiting your latest book, can you give us a few words about FAME and FORTUNE to wet our appetites?

I had already planned out some of the story lines for Fame and Fortune, but despite this, once I began actually writing it, two more ideas were screaming at me to be told. So, I went back and revised my original ideas and was pleasantly surprised by how it all turned out.

Whilst we return to the light-heartedness of village life, Fame and Fortune explores the phenomenon of Ghosting – the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation. I have attempted to tackle this serious issue from different perspectives.

We welcome back many favored characters such as Diana Fortune who, as The Curious Miss Fortune reveals, has become quite the celebrity. The Hamptons receive an invitation to participate in the Cotswolds County Majorette of the Year competition and Diana is approached to form a team for the villages’ entry. Enter the Fortunettes, who are soon put through their paces in preparation for the big event – which of course doesn’t come without its challenges!

We are introduced to several new characters too, including the glamorous Georgina Fame, a popular weight loss guru.

It’s a tale of family conflict, deceit, broken hearts and redemption… Well… this is the Hamptons after all!

Sounds wonderful, Tina-Marie!  I can’t wait to read Fame and Fortune.

That’s super kind of you to say Ingrid, thank you.

Getting to Know Tina-Marie Miller 

Just a couple questions so we can get to know you better…

1) If you were a bird, what would you be and why?

It would have to be a hummingbird. Apart from their glorious colors, they always appear to be so happy despite being so busy. I see them as spreading happiness and positivity wherever they go which is something I aspire to do each and every day.

Like you, I admire hummingbirds and your posts and tweets never fail to make me smile.

2) What is your favorite thing to do to relieve stress?

Like many people, I am no stranger to stress and anxiety, and I have tried various techniques over the years to bring relief. I remember once driving into the depths of Oxford for a reflexology session – something I had never tried before. At the end of the session, I felt amazing – until I got up to leave. I hadn’t appreciated that the lotion the practitioner had applied to my feet was slippery and I ended up falling down three flights of stairs! Literally black and blue with bruises over the following days, I had a good chuckle about it. I then went on to try Reiki healing – something completely non-evasive that clicked with me immediately and over the following years I went on to train as a Reiki Master. Now I regularly meditate and perform self-healing. It is always my immediate go-to in times of stress.

Falling down the stairs, how awful! I’m so glad there wasn’t any permanent damage.

As for Reiki healing, I’ve experienced it with my sister who is also a Reiki Master. It just proves how amazing you are, Tina-Marie. An author and a Reiki healer, too worthwhile and time consuming endeavors.

Thanks so much for sharing.

3) What is your favorite quote?

‘Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops’ – Cary Grant

Another favorite, Cary Grant, what a great quote!

4) Now, do you want to give a shout out to anyone?

I would like to give a huge shout out to my daughter Alexandra who is always on hand to listen to my latest ideas, offering encouragement and giving me the confidence to put a voice to my thoughts. We not only share a passion for books and writing, but we have a wealth of other common interests and never run out of things to discuss! She is a complete blessing to me and I give thanks for her each and every day.

Tina-Marie, Alexandra sounds like an amazing young woman!

Thank you, Tina-Marie, for being our guest today. It was a pleasure getting to know you a little better and for hearing about your new release, FAME and FORTUNE.

Readers, for more information about Tina-Marie Miller, please read on, and thank you, as always, for visiting!

Tina-Marie’s Bio:

Tina-Marie Miller is a UK based author and writer of women’s fiction. She was born and bred in the beautiful, historic village of Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, famed for being the final resting places of George Orwell (author of Nineteen Eighty-Four) and Herbert Asquith (Prime Minister 1908-1916).

Having previously enjoyed a successful career working for a number of blue chip organizations based in London and the Home Counties, Tina-Marie is now based in a small village in South Cornwall with her husband and two adult children, where she spends her time reading, writing and walking along the idyllic Cornwall coasts.

She enjoys nothing more than curling up with a good book and a cup of tea, and losing herself in tales of love, life and laughter.

Stay in Touch

If you would like more information about Tina-Marie Miller, here are her links below:

http://tinamariemiller.co.uk

https://twitter.com/tinseymiller

https://www.facebook.com/tinseymiller

https://www.instagram.com/tinseymiller

 

 

 

 

My Review: HOUNDED by Ellie Douglas

My Review: HOUNDED by Ellie Douglas

Ellie Douglas A New Name in Horror

My Review: HOUNDED

 

I just finished Hounded yesterday. It was a well-written, fun to read novel, especially if you’re into Horror and don’t mind the blood and guts. Fortunately that describes me to a “T.” For horror, I usually stick to known authors but I’d been following Ellie Douglas on Twitter and Facebook for a while and I’d been wanting to check out her writing.

From page one, I knew. Not only did I make a good choice, but I was kicking myself for not reading it sooner!

Ellie Douglas is a talented breath of originality. Rather than repeat the overdone Zombie hordes, she elected to focus on man’s best friend. But don’t worry dog lovers, by the time Fido turns into a zombie, aside from a name on its collar, its unrecognizable.

Hounded is well written and the characters well developed. Overall, it’s an excellent read with enough twists and turns to not only keep you reading but make you consider a Do Not Disturb sign on your forehead.

5-STARS for Hounded and I definitely look forward to reading more by this excellent author.

My Review: The LoveLock by Eichin Chang-Lim

My Review: The LoveLock by Eichin Chang-Lim

The LoveLock

Overview

This is the first book I have read by Eichin Chang-Lim, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. The LoveLock has reached into my soul and touched me deeper than I ever remember a book doing. The Author’s prose is laced with the deep-seeded knowledge of what it is to lose someone you care about. But the story isn’t only about loss, it’s about love and the courage to keep love and hope alive no matter what.

Captivating and Compelling

Upon The LoveLock’s pages, Ms Chang-Lim’s characters become real and familiar. I believe from page one I related so strongly to Violet not from losing a twin or a sibling, but just from the emphatic knowledge of how it feels to be rejected and still seek to have that person in your life. The Author’s writing is beautiful and  touching, captivating and compelling.

Closure

I was elated at the end as these two people, so injured by loss as children embrace their pain and rise above it, reaching out to others in need and from those experiences heal to become the adults they were meant to be. Yes, it’s just a story, but at the same time, it could easily be a memoir. Beautifully written, Eichin Chang-Lim. I highly recommend The LoveLock.

Review: THE CURIOUS MISS FORTUNE

Review: THE CURIOUS MISS FORTUNE

A Captivating Novel by Tina-Marie Miller

I am usually more of a dark fantasy, suspense and horror reader. But having seen Tina-Marie Miller’s book advertised on Twitter, the cover caught my attention. I decided to take a chance on it and I’m so very glad I did.

The Curious Miss Fortune reminded me of my favorite shows on the BBC. I never knew what would happen next and I was always eager to find out. The various character sub-stories within the story kept the prose well-paced and smooth; the story line both engaging and compelling.

The Curious Miss Fortune is a fun, mysterious and well-crafted adventure that I highly recommend. I forward to reading more by this author!

NETHERWORLD: Book One Chronicles of Koa

NETHERWORLD: Book One Chronicles of Koa

NETHERWORLD by K.N. Lee

 

The Book

I recently finished K.N. Lee’s NETHERWORLD, the first book in her Chronicles of Koa series. Angels versus Vampires.

The Hook

The opening for the book is an instant hook, the characters entertaining and engaging. The writing isn’t as smooth as I’d prefer, but from start to finish I couldn’t stop reading.

The Story

The story is about a Korean half-vampire named Koa who works for an angel named Halston. Together, their job is to keep the human population safe from Netherworld vampires.

The only catch is two-fold, Koa’s mother is trapped inside a cat’s body and the only one who can release her is an imprisoned Netherworld vampire prince. A prince Halston and Koa must go to Netherworld to rescue and bring back to the human world.

The Stars

NETHERWORLD by K.N. Lee, the first book in her Chronicles of Koa series, a glowing 4 out of 5 stars! 
A New Adult Novel?? – My Life

A New Adult Novel?? – My Life

Life in the Air Force

New Adult VS Young Adult, Yep, That’s My Life –

This morning while dressing, it occurred to me that since young adult novels seem to be “it” right now in regards to book sales, maybe I should be working on that “great” young adult novel I still have inside my head. But, of course, being ADHD, my brain went in a multitude of directions from there. When I finally sat down to write what came out was more “new adult” than “young adult.”

One of the adages that writing teachers readily preach is “write what you know or know what you write.” So, with that in mind and being that my “new adult” experiences began when I left home and enlisted in the Air Force, this is what came forth from my cranium this morning….

The Plan?

In June of that year, I graduated high school, less than two weeks later, I turned nineteen and more than a month after I graduated, my new life began, or at least that was the plan. In retrospect, I probably never should have enlisted. I should have figured out a way to go to college and become this great, amazing writer, the one who lays dormant inside me.

But that wasn’t my life; mine was about surviving and getting away from the hell that was “home.” It wasn’t always that way, one upon a time I was surrounded by people who loved me and wanted me, but then not all fairy tales have happy endings and when my “wicked” stepmother married my father, she truly was not a very nice person. So like all fairy princesses, I needed to escape and my escape was the United States Air Force. Who knew the proverbial jumping from the frying pan into the fire actually existed? I soon found out.

The Great Escape

I was a farm girl in rural Pennsylvania, my graduating class was 265, actually I don’t think every one of them graduated. We were poor, no way around it. My father’s get-rich-at-farming attempts just never panned out, so if I stayed in PA (my favorite abbreviation for Pennsylvania) it was either flip burgers or marry a farmer. Somehow neither was very appealing. I wanted to travel, to see the world, so for someone like me, the best option was the Air Force.”

In truth, not a bad start. BUT, I write fiction, not creative nonfiction and isn’t my reality incredibly boring? So, here are my thoughts…perhaps, as I siphon through my memories of what my life had been like back then, maybe I can come up a few kernels of research to use in a fictional novel. With that goal in mind, I’ll keep writing and share whatever remotely clever bits I come up with here, on this blog… Or, at least, that’s the plan today. Of course, being ADHD, I could have a new plan tomorrow… 😉

Interview with Author Sam Boush

Interview with Author Sam Boush

 

Please welcome Sam Boush, Author of the great new Thriller – ALL SYSTEMS DOWN

Hello Sam, welcome, and thanks for doing the interview –

The Cyber War and ALL SYSTEMS DOWN

I just finished reading your amazing first book of your Cyber War Series, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN, and I was going to ask where a journalist and a novelist came up with the background for this story. But then, I noticed on your website: “Center for Internet SecurityInternational Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.”

How did you get involved in writing about cyber attacks, and a hypothetical and realistic war? It is a big step from being a firefighter, a journalist and owning a marketing agency.

Sam BoushAfter I sold my marketing agency, I had some time to finally jump into the career I’d wanted to pursue since I was a kid. (I have this theory that most of us secretly or not-so-secretly want to be an artist of some kind – whether it’s a rock star, sculptor, or scribbler.) So I wrote a novel on one of the subjects I find most interesting, which is the vulnerability of our physical infrastructure to cyber war.

 All Systems Down has done pretty well, and I’m feeling good about the sequel that should be out in 2019.

Glad to hear the book is doing so well and that’s great news about the sequel!

While I was preparing for your interview, I spent some time on your website, Cyberwars.com , and came up with some questions.

Great website by the way, okay, now to learn more about Sam Boush…

About Sam Boush

Sam, you’ve led such an exciting and no-doubt dangerous life first as a wildland firefighter and then a journalist. What led you to being a wildland firefighter and what, if anything, do you miss about it? And regarding journalist, taking into account France and Spain, am I right in guessing you were a foreign correspondent?

Sam BoushFirefighting was probably dangerous, but my journalism career wasn’t. I WISH I’d been a foreign correspondent. But, alas, my most successful article was a science piece about the (ahem) below-the-waist features of snakes. It did win a Society for Professional Journalists award, though!

“His Heart Belongs to Portland”

According to your website you have lived in France and Spain, but your heart belongs to Portland. I know there’s a story there, so please tell us as much as you want to share. Were you raised in Portland or does it have everything to do with your lovely family?

Sam BoushI’m originally from Eugene, Oregon, about two hours south of Portland. But I’ve lived in this blustery city for fourteen years, and really do love it. Great neighborhoods, very livable, nice people. And of course, my family, like you say. My kids are elementary-school-aged and I’m pretty sure they like this place as much as any kids can love their hometown.

The Irishman and the Vikings

Please tell us about your first full-length story. No, not the first one you published, but the very first one you ever wrote. How old were you and what was it about?

Sam Boush –I’ve told the story before about how my first story, as a kid, was Winnie-the-Pooh fanfic. (http://jodigallegos.com/author-spotlight-sam-boush/). But I don’t think anyone has ever asked me about the first full-length book I wrote (and never published) as a teenager. It was a cringy historical fiction attempt about a 7th Century Irishman who gets captured by Vikings. If I can say one good thing about it, tackling that manuscript taught me a lot about writing.

 Funny enough, the first fifty pages were actually decent enough to get me an award from the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. I guarantee that if they’d read the whole thing (as a couple unfortunate agents did) they’d never have given me that award.

Advice for New Writers

Sam, congratulations on the award! You mentioned how much you learned about writing while you wrote your Irishman story. What advice would you give new writers, especially those “cringing” after their first story?

Sam BoushThere’s so much. The advice I hear a lot is just to keep writing—and I think that’s great. But I’d also add that there’s a lot to the craft of writing that new writers sometimes struggle with. A few examples are: plotting, especially creating acts (as in a three-act structure); ensuring all major characters have a story arc with a resolution; and focusing on chapter-level writing, rather than trying to write perfect sentences.

The Cyber War Series

What can you tell us about your next book in the Cyber War Series?

Sam BoushI can tell you that I’m wrapping it up now and that my publisher should be getting it after I get some more feedback from advance readers. There’s a much bigger military focus in this one, so I’ve got a lot of help from the good people in our armed forces around what they would do in certain situations if the lights went out and satellites started falling from the skies.

In Case of Cyber Attack?

Wow, how exciting. Can’t wait to read it!

Now, speaking of wrapping up, one last question, Sam. If there was a cyber attack on the US, much like in your book, knowing all that you know about the subject, where would you go?

Sam BoushWell, the conceit of the book is that the cyber attack in All Systems Down is hugely devastating. More devastating than we’d probably see in real life because of the difficulty in coordination. But if a cyber war hit us at that scale, I’d probably stay home if I could. Heading out into the country or off camping with my family just wouldn’t cut it.

Well, I’m thinking that’s good advice. Thank you, Sam Boush, Author of ALL SYSTEMS DOWN, for being here. I wish you continued success in writing career and all the best on your upcoming book.

And for those who want to know more about the Sam Boush, his links are below:

Sam’s Website

Twitter 

 

Just One Last Time…

Just One Last Time…

Today I read King’s The Stand and

For the first time I felt their pain,

You died a week ago and my life

Will never be the same,

I exist

Through the good days and bad,

The ups and the downs…

Oh, how they threaten to drown!

My mind in a fog,

My emotions on hold,

I never knew

How much I loved you

Until you were gone,

I wonder,

Does one ever get past this pain,

This suffocating sense of loss?

I love you, Mom,

Wish you were here,

Just one last time with

Your laughter and smiles,

We could journey down roads unknown,

Just you and me, how much fun it would be,

We could picnic at the end of our miles!

I love you, Mom. Rest in Peace

Copyright – 2015 – Ingrid Foster

Where’s Your Box?

Where’s Your Box?

Is This Your Box?

 

Talking to my husband the other day, I told him I envision a room full of tables and around each table women and girls, mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces, grandmothers and granddaughter. And I am presenting on stage.

Your Power

“Do you remember a time?” I ask. “When you felt powerful? When you felt like you could do anything, be anything and no one could stop you?”

“Do you know, you still can?”

“Sure, we’ve gotten older, our skin is not so pliable, our bodies not as flexible, but our minds, our minds are still young and that power within us is still there. We just have to find new ways to work with these bodies that have aged or changed in some capacity.

Your Box

“So, this is what I want you to do. I want you to sit up straight in your chairs, look straight ahead and close your eyes. Now imagine a box, just an ordinary box, it can big, really big, or as small as you are. But every box has two things in common, they are square like a cube and they close at the top.

“Now you can decorate your box anyway you’d like inside your mind, but what I want you to do is imagine that that box is your life and you are living inside that box. Everything you do, every thought you have and every dream you dream for your life must fit inside that box.

Your Life

“No. No. No. These aren’t my rules. They’re yours. Unless you’re living a life where dreams can and do come true, you are currently living inside a box. And you’re life will never change.

“Do you know why? Because you don’t want your life to change.  You like your box, you like your walls and how familiar they feel. And that’s fine, if you’re happy and content and you never want your life to change. But, if you’re not happy and you’re living to please someone else. It’s up to you to change.

“I won’t lie to you, going outside your box is scary and unfamiliar. It takes courage to move outside what’s familiar. It also takes faith.

Your Choice

“Sure, faith in God, faith in your higher power, but also faith in yourself. You have to believe you can do it, and you have to believe you deserve it. Once you get past that voice inside you that says, “You can’t do this. You’re too dumb. or you’re too weak, or dreams, especially yours, will never come true. Or, maybe, it’s just because you’re too busy taking care of everyone else and it’s selfish for you to think about what you want.

“But, I have to tell you. You deserve to be happy as much as everyone else. Now mommas and grandmothers and aunts and sisters and daughters and everyone else look across the table at the person you came here with tonight. I want you to say, “You’re allowed to take care of yourself. You’re allowed to be good to yourself. Your allowed to love yourself. And then, I want you to tell the other person, you don’t have to live in a box. Together we can tear down those walls.

“Well done, Ladies. So, now I want you to take that piece of paper on the table in front of you and I want you to write a number one. Beside that number one I want you to write something you can do today to start breaking free of your box.

Taking That First Step

It can be as simple or as complex as you want. But, if you are really serious about getting out of that box, I want you to start off with something you can do, really do, today. Because if you can accomplish one goal today, tomorrow you work on number two.

“Baby steps, Ladies. Mothers, do you remember when your child was a baby. Do he or she start walking overnight? Probably not, can they walk now? Do you get what I’m saying?

“Every goal starts with a dream and every dream is accomplish by you taking that first step and then your second step and your third and so on. So, Ladies, let’s start getting you out of that box!”

 

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