Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: Throb

Throb Throb by Vi Keeland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fast and a fun read but lacked the something more to make it memorable...
It was an interesting story. I liked Cooper, but then he got super controlling and talked about sex all the time. It was a turn-off. I liked Kate, and the story was interesting. But there wasn't much else there. The sex was hot, but this is the second book written by Vi Keeland that I get a "50 Shades" vibe. I know that 50 Shades didn't invent the no touching and the "bossy" and a whole host of other cliche things that are now aligned with that book, but I can't help what I feel. I never got a strong connection to either ​characters and so I didn't really feel either of their pain through the conflict part. It was a fun and fast read but one I will probably soon forget.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review: Just Imagine

Just Imagine Just Imagine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great one by SEP. This was the last book of hers that I'd not yet read. It was so clever and unique and I loved the Kit and Baron. I will definitely re-read this one. I did see elements of Rhett and Scarlett but in the end their stubborness was overcome by their deep love. I loved that she flirted with every man except Baron and he was going wild. I also loved the other woman that played along but really knew that Kit and Baron needed to get over themselves and be happy together. It was funny and sexy.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Confession

When I was a teenager, and I'd waited until the last possible minute to do the dishes before my single mother would come back home after being out trying to find a husband, I'd pretend I was a spurned wife.  I would act out a scene. I was the stay at home wife or wife that had happened downtown and saw my husband out with another woman, kissing, holding, whatever betrayal he committed, and I would be waiting for him. Doing the dishes and ready to pounce, then I'd imagine him walking in, and I'd ask him what he'd done that day, luring him into the lie, ready to smash him with the truth that I'd discovered earlier that day. I'd yell, I'd argue, I'd say horrible things and bring myself to tears with the real emotion that I had conjured up thinking of how hurt I would be that my husband did this to me.  I think I was about 15 years old.

Then when I was in college, and the invention of cell phones was so new that I had one that only held 180 minutes/month that I primarily used for emergencies and when I'd make the trek from Austin to Dallas to visit my family, I have elaborate conversations. With my boyfriend, parents, friends, boss, whoever I could think of and I'd create situations or conflict to discuss.

Then when my husband I were searching for our home together, I'd make up stories about the families that lived in the house and why they were selling. I'd look for clues; the master closet would be empty on one side, or the bedside table was full of stuff while the matching one on the other side was empty. Divorce, cheating, drama.  That's what I would create. If there weren't enough in my already crazy life, I'd create stories and arguments, heartache, betrayal.

I don't remember making up fun or happy stories. Maybe there was more emotion or punch to the scenes in my head when I could yell and tell my imaginary husband that I never wanted to see him again.

I tried writing stories when I was even younger. I got a large spiral notebook and would decide on a name and what my character looked like, blah, blah and then nothing. I had no story; I tried to write about my life but I was boring, and I didn't know what to write that was interesting, and I got bored with it.
So in my 30s, I had come back to two loves that I left when I was young. In my youth, I gave up the idea that I would be a writer and I gave up on a legal profession. Now over 20 years later, I am doing both. I am doing them better than I could have during my naive youth and I'm grateful that my experiences stimulate my stories.

Now, I write or think about stories and then quickly write them down while I'm waiting at the traffic light, singing in church, spending time with my family, driving, waiting, and in the silence, I think about stories. I write my ideas down; I record my ideas, and I think about my ideas.

For me, I have to get the story down while it's fresh or it will evaporate. And when I have the time to put the story on the page, I usually have 20-30 records of ideas or scenes for the stories.  Sometimes I listen to them if I've forgotten a part but most of the time, I 've been thinking about it and plotting the scenes that when I write it, it just flows out of me. I don't do much else but write. I stop begrudgingly to go to the restroom, to eat, to pick my kids up from school, to live beyond the story in my head.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Bluebird (Caged Beauty Series, Book2): SPOILER ALERT

Writing the second book in this series has some positives and negatives. There are things that I want to do with the book, but I have to balance keeping the fans and readers interested along the way. So many readers fell in love with Alex along the way with Kathryn, and they eagerly anticipate their reunion in book 2. But I will hint to a spoiler that there is some unexpected good news that will bring them back together, it can't be accomplished so easily or else we'd all get bored with the story.

So when I wrote The Swallow, it was a stand-alone novel in the first draft and Kathryn and Alex did end up together.  But I got bored with the progression of the story, and it seemed to be so tidy. I wanted more suspense and to draw out the relationship. But by drawing it out, I had to create separation and distance between the romantic couple. So I know the end goal for this novel, and I believe most of my readers will be very happy, but we have to go on the rollercoaster of thrills to get to the satisfying end.  I struggle with the boundaries that my readers will accept without getting too pissed off with Kathryn or for that matter Alex.  I don't know about you, but books that I love are books that are filled with characters the frustrate me, make me laugh and bring me emotionally along with them on their journey with the other characters. I do not usually love everything about my characters, it wouldn't be an accurate picture of a complex person, for the characters to have no flaws. But some flaws are fatal for readers.  Some readers must not have screwed up as badly as I have because I can't write off characters for being selfish, spoiled, bitchy, adulterous, deceptive, and a whole host of other bad acts.  Because I'm not perfect, my characters aren't either.

I heard and excellent verse in church today from Proverbs about friendship: 
Proverbs 27:6 "Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy." NIV

Relationships are messy, and we hurt each other, but that usually means we are invested, and care, easy and pampering only comes from those that don't care about you as a person. So my characters are sincere friends, and they hurt each other. They are real, they screw up, they are conflicted, they are selfish, and many times well-intentioned but act wrong.

Another spoiler is that I plan on including Alex's Point of View. I am still working out how it will occur if it will be in a few chapters or if I will include a separate book with just his perspective. But for those of you who LOVE Alex and want to know what he's thinking about when he looks at Kathryn when he leans down to kiss her when he wants to reach out and hold her, you'll get it.  Just not sure how much you will get.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Howdy Girl

My first job out of school was at an advertising agency in downtown Austin. I started as an intern in my final year of school and they hired me to stay. I loved the work I did there but I wanted more responsibility and to be an account executive. My first job title was "Howdy Girl" and I hated it. I would rather have been called "Jr. Assistant" but no, my boss thought it was cute.  Anyways, I have been writing down my thoughts for a new novel in more of a Chick-Lit genre from my experiences there. I have the basic premise down and have been fleshing out the first few scenes but as I think over what I've written, it sounds more of a romance than Chick-Lit. I need to develop it more to see if I can make it humorous but I may not be a humor writer. I love reading books that make me laugh and I love comedies but I'm not sure if that will translate into writing well in this area.  I'm going to keep trying and maybe it will just be a romance, but I like the story as I'm taking notes.

Interview

I was featured in an interview by Mercedes Fox.
Click here to read the interview on her blog!

New post on Mercedes Fox ~ Author

Meet Author Isabelle Joshua

by Mudmule13
Howdy my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat showcasing author Isabelle Joshua
Isabelle Joshua writes suspenseful romance novels with strong women leads and interesting characters. Her characters are witty, complex, and they love intensely—they are known to steam up the windows with their heat. She loves a good story that captures her and doesn't let go. She hopes to create stories that captivate her readers as well.
Isabelle Joshua has been married for over twelve years and is the mother to five beautiful children. She wrote her debut novel in the last year of graduate school and spends most days at her desk writing, posting on social media, or watching funny videos.
Book blurb: The Swallow (Caged Beauty Series, Book 1)
Suspense. Passion. Deceit. More is uncovered than the terrorist’s plans when NSA Special Agent lures her target. Forced to work for the NSA, sexy Special Agent Kathryn Bryant has one last mission before she escapes her lonely life of espionage. This mission is unlike any other Small Amazon The Swallowshe's done because she has to reveal herself in more ways than one. Spending the week with gorgeous Alex Reed without arousing suspicion puts all her wits and training to the test. Kathryn has to move quickly to gain his trust and desire so she can steal the intel, but Alex puts the mission and her heart in jeopardy...
If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?While I’m supremely proud of my writing, the legal profession is very traditional and the fact that I’ve written a romance novel may not garner anything positive for me.
I had to get another pen name after researching my first one as it was currently in use by another novelist, so I used the middle names of my three young children, Isabelle Reagan Joshua.
Why do you write? I wrote this book because I wanted to go to sleep. I laid in bed thinking about a particular scene so I went into my living room, got a notebook, and thought I’d get it out and be able to go to sleep. By 4 a.m. I wrote almost the first quarter of my debut novel. Ever since then, the voice of my characters need an escape and their stories demand that I tell them. I tried writing during my youth, but felt too constrained. Now I don’t care; I write what is interesting. When I write a scene and think, “God this is boring, I don’t care about what is going on,” I scrap it. Instead, I write what keeps me engaged as a reader. I love to read, and I want the juicy, good parts—not a page about the chair and table in the room.
When did you decide to become a writer? It wasn’t a conscious decision; it became apparent that I loved spending morning to night creating stories. When I can’t write, I record my ideas or scenes on my phone to be listened to later. It’s a great process of fleshing out what will work and what makes sense. I wrote many of my favorite scenes from the recordings I made.
What genre are your books? My current book is definitely a Suspenseful Romance, but it doesn’t follow the established Romance novel format of boy meets girl, they fall in love, there’s conflict, then they work it all out. And it isn’t Suspenseful as in there are people after them, I think it is just the pace and suspense of anything could happen to them. I have about five books in various stages, and I’d say the central theme is romance. I love to find romance in everything, so I definitely write it in every story. But I have some deeper issues running through my stories, in The Swallow the main character is forced to become a spy, in another one the main character is thrust into sex trafficking, one is freshly divorced, and one is widowed.
Actually, reading through the list I wrote above, a big theme is that I put women in situations that they don’t want to be in see how they manage or get out of it.
What draws you to this genre? Romance. The love story. I read romance novels. But I grew up reading whatever I could sneak off my mother’s bookshelf which was primarily Suspense, Thrillers or Espionage stories. So those genres also influence my writing.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book? It took me a year to write The Swallow. It would have been less time, but I had to stop writing because of my school work. I’ve been in law school, and I couldn’t keep putting off school so I had to stop for months.
I tend to write in spurts, when I have an idea, I write it down. If I wrote full time, then it would probably take just a few months or more because I hate editing, so I tend to procrastinate when I’m editing.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? As I stated above, I had this image and scene in my head that had to be written down. That is generally how each book has started. Although one came from a horrible day I experienced.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-time because I’m in school. I hope to one-day write full-time, but it doesn’t currently pay the bills.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? When I’m writing, I usually wake up, have my breakfast at my desk, and I write from morning until late in the day. I stay at home with my youngest, and I take breaks to tend to her, but if I am in the creative mode, I stop only because life forces me to. And sometimes life forces me to stop for weeks or months.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Great question, I don’t know. I’ve read more about writing and try to incorporate things that I’ve come across that work, but I realized that I need to stay true to my voice. I actually cut a pivot scene after my first beta-reader read my novel and then when she read it again right before publishing, she called me right away to argue with me about why it needed to be in there. I wanted it there, and I hated cutting it, but I’d read and listened to some “experts” that said you shouldn’t include backstory in the first chapter. I happily put it back in. So I learned that I need to listen to my own instincts about the story.
Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? Usually music, but sometimes silence and more often that I would like I write while my children bicker in the background. For The Swallow, I compiled a playlist on youtube.com because I mention songs frequently during the story.
What have you written?
The Prequel To The Swallow (Caged Beauty Series)
The Swallow (Caged Beauty Series, Book 1)
Currently writing: The Bluebird (Caged Beauty Series, Book 2)
Working Title: Redemption
Working Title: Locked Out
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? The Swallow wasn’t written with an outline, and I’m not sure that any of the rest of the book in the Caged Beauty Series will be. Redemption was written with a sort of outline. I had the initial idea for the story and then started an excel document and took notes about where I wanted each chapter to go, but while doing it, I started writing out full scenes. The others are still in the initial idea phase, so I don’t have outlines for them.
Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website? I have an amazing friend that is a graphic artist, and I would have loved him to do my cover, but he’s just too good and too expensive at this point. Hopefully, I will one day be able to afford him. So I did the covers myself. I’ve worked in advertising and on books before but not from the design aspect, but I’ve learned a lot over the year.
My cover isn’t traditional for a romance novel because there is no half-naked man on the cover. I went through book covers of the books that I loved and let them inform my vision for the book. And I think it works because The Swallow doesn’t fit the mold of a romance novel.
How do you market your books? Tirelessly. I promote them on my social media pages, my blog and website. I did some Facebook ads at first, but it’s costly. I’m a new author, and I think the best marketing has been word of mouth. I have a great group of friends and family that recommend my book. I have many friends at school that have read them and tell their family about them. I recently got a message from a friend telling me her grandmother loved my book and she can’t wait for the second one.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? My mother. She has told all of her friends about my book, and they bought them. I haven’t seen interest turn into sales as quickly as her promotion.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future? At this point, I’ve only done a little, but just as far as ROI, I’d say doing the ads on Facebook.
Do you find promoting your books challenging or enjoyable? Challenging. I’d rather be writing. But I love talking to readers, so if more of the marketing involved that then I would love it.
Any advice for aspiring authors? Don’t write for any other reason than for yourself and write what you want, not what you think will sell. And keep reading!
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?It’s in her title. Kathryn is a NSA Special Agent. She’s extremely intelligent, she loves figuring out solutions to problems, but she’s not happy luring her targets and having to get close to these men. She’s been trapped in this role by her ex-boyfriend, and she is planning her escape from this life. Until she meets her next target…
Where do your ideas come from? My crazy head. I’ve gotten ideas off of TV shows, songs, movies, or my life.
What is the hardest thing about writing? Finding the time.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Staying focused till the end. I get impatient and I want to finish it. I have other stories that I want to write.
Which writers inspire you? I love Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but I definitely don’t write like either of them. I read Nelson DeMille and Ken Follett when I was growing up. I love classical literature, but I don’t read it as much as I read current romance. I am currently obsessed with Outlander, so Diana Gabaldon. But I don’t know how she can write 9 long books about that story. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sophie Kinsella, and Kiera Cass.
What is the current book you are promoting? The Swallow (Caged Beauty Series, Book 1)
You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? The new story that I started writing last November is Redemption.
It is the story of a young woman working in a brothel and a man that she meets there. It begins three years after she was sold and forced to work in a brothel at the age of 15. He comes in as one of her customer, but he’s an undercover cop. He protects her and ultimately saves her. They are both the main characters, so the book follows each of them until they meet. It’s gritty, suspenseful but there’s also romance. I am really excited about it.
Sex Trafficking and Child Abuse is an issue very close to my heart. When it is published I intend to donate part of the proceeds to organizations that help the victims of sex trafficking.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why? My ladies. In The Swallow it is Kathryn. In Redemption it is Helena.
Who is your least favorite character and why? That would have to be in Redemption. I have some real monsters in that one. But they are usually unnamed, wretched men that hurt little girls for sex. Despicable.
Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school? I minored in English during undergrad, and I took a few writing classes in college, but really in law school, you have to write so much that writing a 100K word novel no longer is a daunting task.
Do you have any “how to write” type books/instructional you’d like to recommend? I am horrible at reading “how to” books and non-fiction, so I usually skip around in those types of books. The most help I’ve found is by reading articles, blogs, etc. But I don’t have one particular book to recommend.
If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast? Well, I love finding a face for my character, so I google actresses, models, actors, but I’m not sure if the person I chose visually would work for a movie. So I’d leave it up to the casting director. But my lead in The Swallow has always been Emily Blunt.
What is your next project? I’m working on The Bluebird now and hope to start back up on Redemption later this year.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Elizabeth Bennett, she is so strong and independent. She’s witty and speaks her mind.
What one person from history would you like to meet and why? It would be the fictional character, Jaime Frazer (Played by Sam Heughan in Outlander). Jaime Frazer is fiercely loyal, very funny, he talks a lot, he’s brave, he’s so caring and he loves deeply. And if you’ve watched the show, you can see why I might want to meet the incredibly gorgeous actor and how he portrays Jaime is perfect. I’m not fond of the Alpha Males that don’t talk and don’t share what they feel. I love that Jaime expresses his feeling for Claire.
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? End Sex Trafficking.
Who is your favorite author and which of their books is your favorite? I have to choose? I can’t. I love Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice but really I’ve read and love all her books. I love Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Villette. I love Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. There are so many others as well, but those were probably my first and longest loves.
Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? I read The Swallow right before publishing it on my Kindle. I loved it. I’d forgotten some of the parts, and because I rewrote it a few times, I couldn’t remember what made the final cut. Because I couldn’t edit, it made it easy to read it for enjoyment. I was proud of the work.
What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? Stay true to your voice and you know what is best for your characters and the story.
What is one thing you hate about being a writer? Editing. Once I’ve written it, I’m so done with it. But editing and rewriting is an important process. I’m just not great with grammar, but I surround myself with people who are. I tend to write as I talk, so when I went through my first draft, I had so many fragmented sentences it was ridiculous. You’ll probably see them in this interview because no one else besides me is editing my responses.
Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes? Not really, I like writing sex scenes. I find I maneuver my characters into sex scenes more than they should, so I sometimes have to cut them. I feel self-conscious when a male friend says they’ve read my book. Many readers that don’t write assume that the author is the character, and so if you’re writing the sex a certain way then that is what you like. My characters are wholly and distinct from me.
What are some of your favorite books and why? It is really hard to choose. I read almost 150 books this last year and there were so many that I loved for different reasons. I’m not stingy with my 4 and 5 stars. I put up my reviews 99% of the time even if I didn’t like it. If I didn’t review a book it is probably because I went directly into the next book and didn’t take the time. I tend to devour books.
From 2015, my favorites were:
Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
Heroes Are My Weakness, Call Me Irresistible, This Heart of Mine, Natural Born Charmer, Match Me If You Can, and so many more by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
What do you think of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing? Both are hard. I chose self-publishing really because I was impatient and didn’t have the time to send off to literary agents. At first, I wanted to be traditionally published but then I saw how much I’d have to do and my laziness won out.
Would you say there is a stigma to being self-published? Probably with people in the traditional publishing industry and maybe with readers. I don’t really know what’s self-published when I search for new books to read. I completely judge a book by its cover, and if the cover grabs me, I’ll check to make sure it has good reviews and then read the blurb. And I talk to my friends about the books they’ve read and loved. I think that is the best way to find good books. I don’t tend to choose books with half-naked men on the cover, but I’ve read some that are good. I mistakenly, at times, believe that the plot will be weak and just heavy sex. I want just as much plot as I do steam.
What book are you currently reading or just finished? Did I not already mention that I loved Outlander. I did and I read it, then watched the first season on Starz, then I read the next two books and then reread just the Jaime parts in Outlander. Before that, I read Me Before You (Great), Stuck-Up Suit (okay), and The Girl on The Train (oh my gosh, it was so suspenseful, and a great book).
What do your fans mean to you? More than I can express. I love hearing what they think of my book. Some will write a review or contact me to tell me what they liked or didn’t like, I love that interaction. I want to hear it. I love that they cried, or got frustrated, or some other emotion all due to my book. Once I’m told I usually have a huge smile on all day.
Is there a book you love you’d like to recommend to others? Anything written by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Tell us something unique about you. I have a very loud and distinct laugh. My husband made it his ringtone.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to connect with readers.
Many thanks Isabelle for chatting! For more about Isabelle and her work, follow the links below:
Mudmule13 | April 20, 2016 at 6:31 am | Tags: Author Interview | Categories: Author Interview | URL:http://wp.me/p748lv-BH

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: Can You Keep a Secret?

Can You Keep a Secret? Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is hilarious! One of the funniest things comes out at the end due to Jemma, her flatmate, and her crazy mother. I laughed so hard I was crying. Emma is a delightful character and Jack is cute and so much fun. This is one of my favorites of Sophie Kinsella but I find it hard not to love all her books. She is the first author I read (Shopaholic book) where I laughed at loud repeatedly. She never disappoints! This is my second time reading it and I love it even more than the first time.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Review: Wrong Number, Right Guy

Wrong Number, Right Guy Wrong Number, Right Guy by Elle Casey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good read and uninteresting storyline

I liked the book. The characters were good, and it was meant to be humorous at times, but it didn't make me laugh out loud or chuckle. The main character was quirky and interesting, but the move to love seemed quick but maybe because I didn't feel like we knew anything about Ozzie except basics. I liked her sister and their relationship. And I like Ozzie a lot, but I wanted to know more about him. The other team members were a little one dimensional, but maybe they are developed more in further books.

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Review: I've Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is so funny, and I love Poppy. Sam is interesting, and their attachment is subtle and slow and believable since she's engaged the entire time. I'd love more story after they get together but it was a great book. Her internal dialog and footnotes were hilarious. Sophie Kinsella is an author that can typically out loud laughter when I read her book and she didn't disappoint here as well.

She does a great job of pushing together two people so very different and making them like and admire each other; it causes each one to grow and encounter life in a new way because of the other person. It also causes such funny events to transpire.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Review: Stuck-Up Suit

Stuck-Up Suit Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I did like the start of the book a lot and how their interactions were sarcastic and fun. But I felt like it was trying to hard and although I like 50 Shades of Grey, it isn't the best-written book, but I thought Stuck-Up Suit was trying for that a little. While this book is written better, it felt like it was trying to summons the essence of Fifty Shades. And I felt the deep fall for Graham was inauthentic, yeah it was lust but for someone to be such an ass and then so sweet just with her, is improbable. And yeah the ex with the daughter coming into it was a little too much and forced. I wanted to love Graham and Soraya but I didn't. I liked them a lot and s*** if the guy on the cover was actually Graham and I was seeing him, yeah, I would fall in love immediately. I didn't get upset with the characters, I didn't get emotional, I just read it and enjoyed the few hours but it was a forgettable book. And that she's in love with the daughter after a short period, I'm a stepmom myself and I do love them as my own but I wouldn't have ever said that after only a few weeks or months. I thought it was too tidy and not deep enough for me. The sex while good didn't even made me hot. The raunchiness was also not hot. A book that is less sexually explicit but starts with a similar premise is "I got your number" by Sophia Kinsella. It's chic lit but I loved the characters and laughed out loud and wished for the explicit sex but was satisfied without it. Don't get me wrong, I like sex and reading about it but this didn't do it probably because the connection to the characters wasn't there.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Happiness and Disappointments

I am so happy and ecstatic to hear back from readers that loved my book, The Swallow. I love talking with them about the characters, finding out what they liked and what bugged them or frustrated them by the characters. I find that no matter how much you love a book, it will frustrate you at some point because the characters if written well are flawed and make mistakes and you as the observant reader know what the mistake is before the protagonist, and it's frustrating.  But I believe we grow more from our failures than our success. When we're successful, we try to emulate it and hope to get the same result, really no growth. But when we fail, we are forced to evaluate what didn't work and make adjustments, although uncomfortable and unwanted, the growth happens when we change.

So I join the innumerable group of authors that write well, readers love, and yet the book doesn't sell or in my case trickles in sales. So you evaluate, and since the book is published, there isn't much to do with it except change tactics for advertising and marketing. Tedious and hit or miss.  Despite the disappointments from slow sales and tedious work required to get even those few sales, I am catapulted into the atmosphere of jubilation when I hear back from readers telling me that they liked it or even loved my book. That they can't wait for the next book, that they fell in love with Kathryn and Alex just as I did writing their story.

So I encourage all readers to tell the author what you think of their book, even it is a few words as "Loved it, couldn't put it down."  or "Great book!" or "Good story, had some issues but enjoyed it." Whatever it may be, as writers we write to quick the story playing in our head and to share it with others. And we love to hear that someone else liked the story you told!

Take care and keep reading!

Isabelle

Share your review of The Swallow at:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BW2N0XI

Or on Goodreads at:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29215714-the-swallow

And on Goodreads, you can ask me any questions you'd like:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14979062.Isabelle_Joshua

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Addictions

I fall in love with book characters. I enjoy the love story of two characters. When I get completely hooked like with Tris and Four in Divergent and now Claire and Jaime in Outlander, I can't get enough of them. I love the build up and trust that is built and the testing of the relationship. I think authentic characters and their complex relationships is the strong pull for me. I have read so many romance and women's fiction novel that when two characters are still with me long after I put the book down, it's special. I don't read fan fiction or stuff like that because I love the story the original author told, but I might be swayed in my love affairs by the actors that portray Four (Theo James) and Jaime (Sam Heughan). I will admit to watching countless interviews with the actors. I have to admit to not finding men with red hair and long hair attractive, but Sam Heughan is the gorgeous grand exception for me.

I've been thinking about the characters and love stories that stick with me and I am working to hopefully translating what I love about these characters into better storytelling for me. I have a work-in-progress that I started last November which I am dying to get back to because it involves a great passion of mine. Through my doctoral studies, I have researched and written about the prosecution of Sex Trafficking and Child Pornography cases. These are horrible crimes and a wretched industry that I'm passionate about reducing (elimination would be awesome, but I'm a realist) and putting the perpetrators in jail.

The book is set in a large metropolitan city (not NYC) that is one of the largest hubs for child sex trafficking in the nation, and it affects everyday children that don't have a voice to protect them from these predators. A young girl is brought up in a good home but because of the death of her father and a new influence in her life, she is kidnapped and trafficked in a brothel.  The book unfolds through the actions of two people that don't know each other and eventually meet and have to form a tentative trust relationship to get through the dangerous situation. It is a love story but told through unspeakable events. Right now, I'm addicted to thinking about these characters and weaving an authentic love story through their interactions and I hope it rings true with the readers.