Friday, August 30, 2013

Cover and Snippet of Retribution by Amy Thompson

Last week, I made a mistake... I neglected to share a cover reveal post. I honestly forgot. That day was the first day of school for my children and my brain was wrapped around that. I discovered this error and spoke with the author. She gave me a second chance and I'm thankful for that. 

After seeing the cover image and reading the synopsis of Retribution, I have to admit that I was intrigued. I enjoy reading new, or new to me, supernatural stories.


Regan Edison has just moved from California, to enter her first year at Georgia Liberty College, the place where jacked up Chevy trucks and hunting are a way of life. Regan hopes to start a new life for herself and she thinks that Georgia is just the place to do it. That is until she meets an unexpected stranger.
Colter Hayes is a member of the Collectors, a group of wrongfully punished lost souls. Colter and the rest of his team, Finn, Kaiden and Devon, work for the Requiem Council who pass judgment on those souls that are neither tagged for Heaven nor Hell. The Council has charged the Collectors with finding the lost in exchange for a chance at redemption.

When an ex-councilmember known to pass Retribution on lost souls sets his sights on Regan, the Requiem Council dispatches the Collectors to Georgia to work as protectors for Regan. The Collectors must fight to save Regan from a fate they know all too well, but can they work to earn back their chance at redemption or are their fates sealed forever?

Who is meant for Heaven?
Who is meant for Hell?
                          And who is just lost?

Title: Retribution
Series: Lost Souls
Author: Amy Thompson
Publisher: Thompson Publishing (June 18, 2013)
Format: Mobi; ePub; Paperback ~280 pages
Genre: New Adult; Paranormal Romance

About Amy:

Amy Thompson graduated from Randolph-Macon College with her B.S. in Biology. She currently works as a high school mentor and is earning her M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. Amy is a first time, self-published author of Retribution, a new adult paranormal romance novel that is the first in the Lost Souls series. She lives in Southern Virginia with her family and two lazy cats. Amy Thompson is currently working on the next book in the Lost Souls series and continues to be an avid reader of all things books.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Great British Horror Volume 1 Review

Horror. Who would have thought the genre would fast become a favorite of mines to read. Let me start off by saying that I am the biggest scaredy cat out there. Though I do love a good scare and well done horror movie, I get spooked easily.  My imagination conjures up different scenarios for whatever potentially scary place I'm at and I do believe in evil. I'm sure that this is the result of watching Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, Evil Dead, Night of the Creeps and those other scary, possibly cheesy, movies of the 80's. I never watched the Night of the Living Dead movies because zombies are the most vile and terrifying creatures that will exist. This coming from someone who absolutely love The Walking Dead. You better believe I'm learning some zombie survival skills. I'll expand some more of this in my review.

The point of the Great British Horror is that all proceeds received from the sales of the book will go to charity. The charity organization chosen is Centrepoint, a UK based charity that helps homeless young people and children. If you'd like to donate, you can go to Just Giving to help. However, you can also buy the book, know that you are helping a good cause and still get a good read.

The Great British Horror can be read one book at a time over a time frame, depending on the mood you're in or you can choose to read all the stories back to back, which is what I chose to do because I was just too excited.

Before I started reading stories in the horror genre, I thought that horror involved monsters only. Well, it does but I thought these monsters were the ones who chased you in the woods, in the middle of the night. So, pretty much that's why I stay out of woods, in the middle of the night. While reading the Great British Horror, and some horror stories before, I learned these monsters come in very different forms. From the supernatural, to the religious, the human kind, and who knows what else in between. Sometimes the monsters are separate and sometimes that monster embodies all... super scary.

In the Great British Horror, the authors who collaborated together to put this collection forth, did a fantastic job in choosing different stories to show the many faces of horror. There are stories in here that will touch your very soul all the while making you cringe, some that will leave you in disbelief, and some that will make you shudder.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the cover of the collection. It's got a tattered and old look to it. The cover resembles a book that you would find in a box in an old, dusty attic of an abandoned home. One where it would intrigue the person who finds it enough to crack it open and read its content. Only, it won't come with a warning saying that once you start reading, you won't be able to put it down.

I can imagine that reader sitting there and starting with the first story in the collection and being afraid to look 'behind the door' in fear that something festering in the old house would reach out, grab him and not let go. Ending with the knowledge that she stumbled upon some incredibly terrifying stories that sent shivers down her spine.

That's what the Great British Horror did to me. From the very first story down to the last, images were conjured up at most every turn of the page. Images that I would not have thought of on my own. Images that could very well be nightmare inducing. Not only that but there were feelings stirring inside me. Feelings of despair, sadness and anguish. Feelings of pity and humor, at the same time. How could that be? Oh the stories in the Great British Horror did that to me.

It's amazing how when someone thinks of horror they think only of the scare factor. While that is still there, horror is so much more. It's about the human nature and how when someone is pushed past the point of no return, there's no telling what that person is capable of. There's no telling what that person has become vulnerable to and will do for retribution. I believe that evil exists, true and pure evil. The Great British Horror covers evil in different forms such a person falling victim to abuse as a child by the hands of other children and letting that abuse fester in his heart and mind to the point where the only way for vengeance was to allow that hate, anguish and hurt take over him. Evil hidden in what you think is a calm and serene place. Evil in the form of psychotic individuals looking for love, fame and letting their minds become sick with what they feel they deserve. Evil in the form of the unknown and confusion caused by unexplained events. Evil, oh, pure evil in the form innocence.

I have to say that I truly enjoyed reading this collection. It was a welcome break from reading all the paranormal romances I was reading.

Do I recommend the Great British Horror? You bet I do. If you want a good scare or something to think about, because the Great British Horror does provide food for though, I suggest you pick this up. Just read it on a stormy night, when the wind is howling, the rain is pelting on your roof top and the lights are threatening to go out. It's a nice ambiance to read the story in. If for nothing else, you can get the Great British Horror and help to donate funds to Centrepoint.

Title: Great British Horror Volume 1
Publisher: Horrific Tales Publishing
Location Available: Amazon


A new Indie horror omnibus of eight complete novels and novellas, featuring the United Kingdom's heaviest hitters in the genre, with all proceeds being donated to Centrepoint, a UK based charity that cares for homeless children.

The Thing Behind the Door by G.R. Yeates
Acclaimed writer G.R. Yeates builds terror upon terror, as three friends are drawn back to their past to face a living nightmare in 'The Thing Behind the Door'. 

Whisper by Michael Bray
Evil comes in many forms in Michael Bray's dark, atmospheric chiller 'Whisper'. A young couple seeking refuge from dangers of city living escape to the country...but their new home, Hope House, holds a deadly secret.

Happy Ever After by Matt Shaw
A man in love will do anything to win the heart of a beautiful woman. In Matt Shaw's popular introduction to the Peter Chronicles, we find out just how far Peter will go to woo his latest love. Dark, disturbing, with an undercurrent of Shaw's trademark black humour, you'll grow to love Peter...but will Vanessa?

Insulation by Craig Saunders
Good fences may make good neighbours...but in a flat, it's good insulation that makes for good neighbours. In Saunders' tale, 'Insulation', a writer discovers just what her neighbour's been up to with the previous tenants.

High Moor by Graeme Reynolds
In his breakout novel 'High Moor' Graeme Reynolds pits werewolf against werewolf in this stunning debut. Master of Ceremonies over this unholy first volume of Great British Horror, Reynold's werewolves are brutal and bloody in the first book of the High Moor trilogy.

The Copycat Murders by William Meikle
William Meikle's fiction spans the globe. Author of more than 200 short stories and countless novels, he brings us 'The Copycat Murders'. In it, Meikle breathes new life into the murder yarn with a wicked, supernatural twist when a detective travels beyond the borders of our reality to capture a murderer...into Mirrorland.

Duplicity by Ian Woodhead
Ian Woodhead brings his trademark imagination in a gritty tale of shape-changers 'Duplicity', but the heroes might not be who you expect when anything can be anyone and everyone can die. 

Sam by Iain Rob Wright
Fast becoming one of Britain's bestselling horror authors, Iain Rob Wright's offering introduces us to 'Sam' a little boy with a secret. Sam is no ordinary child, and when he's threatened, Sam's secret will come out at last and blood will flow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Inside the Writer's Mind - Interview with Briana Lawrence

Hello all.. welcome back. Yay! I love sharing Inside the Writer's Mind interviews. This interview I'm sharing is a tad bit different than my previously shared ones, well the questions are at least since they aren't my questions. The author sent in her questions and answers. No biggie on that though. We still get to learn about Briana Lawrence, author of Treat Me Kindly (already out), Double Hue (coming out soon), and Hunters: Seeking the Storyteller (coming out soon).

Well, enough chatter on my part, let's get this interview started, shall we? Enjoy!

Welcome, Briana, to Inside the Writer's Mind. Thank you for joining me and sharing with your readers some little tidbits about yourself and your writing. 

Same DiNamics: Tell us about yourself. 

Briana Lawrence: I’m currently celebrating the mature coolness that is thirty by being a certified geek who often becomes lost in the world of anime, video games, cartoons, movies, comics, and things of that nature.  Sometimes, you might catch me in costume at a convention, or woodburning, or painting.  I’m sort of a mixed bag of art and nerdtasticness.  I don’t think that’s a word, but it gets the point across?

SD: What got you started with writing?

BL: I wish I had a concrete answer to that.  I do remember two things from my childhood.  I remember being nine years old and being asked to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I proudly wrote down “WRITTER,”and the class laughed at me because I didn't know how to spell “writer.” I also remember making pop-up books with construction paper and glue about farm animals.  I can’t, for the life of me, remember what the plot was, but I remember those pop-up books like I had just made them yesterday.

I do have some rather creative parents.  My dad is an artist.  He can draw and paint really well, and he use to show me tricks with shading and things like that.  My mom loves to read and use to read to me a lot as a kid.  The library was less than a block away from her apartment, so fun times were had by all.  So, maybe that’s it?  I really like making my own worlds and characters, and have been lucky enough to be around so many creative people in my life.  My partner, my friends, my mother, some of the most fun I have is just bouncing ideas off of these people. 

SD: Tell us about your latest release.

BL: Sure!  Treat Me Kindly is an adult supernatural murder mystery with horror elements.  The story takes place in current times.  Mild mannered Matthew Sharpton is having the worst existence possible.  He lives in his parents' basement after his fiancee upgraded to a better man.  To make his father happy, he goes to a charity auction hosted by the company the old man works for.  While there, he ends up bidding on a beautiful bird and taking it home.  It's here that he discovers that this isn't an ordinary bird.  The bird has the ability to turn just as human as Matthew -- minus the thinning hair.  The woman is more than happy to belong to Matthew as long as he does one simple thing.  "Treat Me Kindly." 

Meanwhile, Alex Sampson is a detective assigned to a case where Frank Marko, an ex-rockstar, has been found dead in his home.  The only evidence is a small butterfly that was found by the body.  The strange thing about the butterfly is that it's an extinct species.  After some investigating, Alex discovers that the butterfly came from the same charity auction that Matthew attended.  The whispered promises of "rare" and "exotic" animals ring a deadly truth as more people in the city are killed in bizarre ways, the only evidence being some sort of remnant from an animal. 

SD: How did this book come about?

BL: This book is a combination of fanfiction and National Novel Writing Month.  I've been writing fanfiction for several years (I still have old notebooks somewhere full of Dragonball Z fanfiction, this was back before I knew what fanfiction was).  This followed me through high school and all throughout college.  I once wrote a fanfic that I never finished, an alternate universe Naruto fanfic.  I got really busy with working retail and thinking that, someday, I’d be a GameStop manager.  That never came to be, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because now I’m a published author.

Something that gets talked about through the fanfiction community is National Novel Writing Month, which is a challenge to write 50,000 words in a month.  I thought I’d give it a shot.  So I looked at that old fanfic I wrote and completely tore it apart, for lack of better words.  The only thing I kept were two of the animals that show up, an original character, and the first line in the book -- sort of, it’s a bit different in the fic.  Everything else -- the crime drama, the characters, the animals -- is something I came up with during NaNoWriMo.  It’s amazing to see how much this book has changed!  I had some help from my mother and partner since both of them read books in the supernatural horror genre, so their advice was very much appreciated.  I let them read the rough draft first and they gave me their input and suggestions, then I just went with it.

SD: What made you pick the genre you did?

BL: It just sort of happened.  I don’t know what genre I was going for when I first started this, I just started writing.  I knew it was going to be supernatural, at least, but as I wrote, the story got darker and more disturbing.  People were being brutally killed and the animals were having some pretty gnarly transformations.  I just went with it.  When you write, your characters tend to guide you to where the book needs to be.   I just listened to them.  When your main character tells you he wants to be a detective solving some ridiculous crimes instead of the businessman he started out being, it’s best to listen to him.  

SD: Is there something in your book that was particularly hard to write?

BL: Yes.  Absolutely.  There are some rape scenes in my book and that was pretty hard for me to write.  I remember getting to that chapter and thinking, “Oh god what am I doing?” I asked myself if I wanted to take that step, if I wanted the book to be that dark, but I couldn't get the idea out of my head.  I could do a quick scene change, or have the victim fight back immediately, but instead my muses told me to go for it.  I wanted to show how far some of these characters took the abuse of these creatures, and how these creatures are pretty loyal until you push them too far.  So then the question comes up for the main character, Alex, “Were they wrong in defending themselves against their attacker?” As a detective he knows that murder is wrong, absolutely, but if these creatures were hurt in such a way... can he really blame them?

I also decided that if I was going to write rape scenes, they were going to be as brutal as I could make them.  There’s this thing that happens sometimes, where people blame the victim in regards to rape, or they try to redefine rape as not being so terrible because “the body has ways to fight it,”and nonsense like that.  When I was looking over this story last year I was considering taking those scenes out.  The book was getting rejections left and right and I felt that maybe I had gone too far.  But then the Steubenville case happened and people were blaming the victim because of alcohol.  People were actually feeling sorry for her attackers, saying how their lives were ruined now.  Then, suddenly, it was election time and there were these politicians trying to define what rape is.  Terms like “legitimate rape”came to be.  That just decided it for me.  Rape is rape, period, and its terrible no matter how you try to analyze it.  Stop trying to justify it because of alcohol, or what a person wears, these things don’t mean that the victim is asking for it.  You don’t ask for rape, it happens and it’s awful, period.  “Asking” implies consent, and rape is NOT consensual. 

SD: Tell us about your writing process.

BL: The first thing that happens is I get THE idea.  I get a lot of scattered ideas, but sometimes there’s a particular idea hits me so hard that I feel the urge to write the entire book in one sitting.  Usually, I’ll send my partner an email with the idea and she’ll respond back and help me flesh it out.  Once it’s fleshed out, I write out an outline to put everything together.  If I have an idea I really, really like, I can write out a full outline with chapters and scenes and everything.  However, the outline only serves as a guide, not something that I absolutely have to abide by.  As I write I usually end up steering off course.  Characters speak to me, or ideas come from out of nowhere, and I end up deviating from the outline.  That’s o.k. though, because it’s important to listen to your muses.  The outline is just a guide, and a lot of times I’ll follow parts of it, or add to it.  It’s sort of a reminder of what kind of story you want to write.

When I’m finished writing the book I get help from my mother and partner since both of them read a bunch of books in a variety of genres.  I let them read my rough draft and they give great advice.  My mother is the one who came up with Alex’s age.  I had him much younger, but she told me that if he’s a seasoned detective he needs to be older -- especially if he’s so sarcastic and snarky.  That comes from years of police work, not just a few months.  My partner helped me with some of the more twisted scenes and even helped me iron out the ending.  It was completely different before she got a hold of it.  And let me tell you, I was pretty frustrated.  No one wants to reach the end of their book only to hear the, “Hmmmm, well....” However, after sleeping on it I realized that she was right, so I changed it. 

SD: What inspires you to write?

BL: Everything around me.  A cool haircut, or an interesting tattoo.  Conversations with friends or family.  Standing in line at the grocery store.  Just, everything out there is some sort of inspiration.  “The character should live here,”I say as we drive around the city.  “They should have lunch here,”I say as we step into a restaurant.  It’s all over the place.

The biggest inspiration comes from my older brother, who passed away when I was thirteen.  I’d like to think that he’s reading my work and cheering me on.  I’d like to think that he’s proud of me, and if there is a higher power up there, he’s annoying the living crap out of him or her by showing off my book.

SD: What do you do when you’re not writing?

BL: This goes back to me being a geek.  If I’m not writing, I’m woodburning or painting.  Either that, or I’m relaxing with a video game, anime, movie, or things like that.  I love going to conventions in costume and I love selling my art.  Now I’m making the transition of selling my book.  I’m pretty easy to please, I think, just bring home a pizza and watching some crazy anime about boys on a swim team, or teenagers fighting in a war against giant human-like titans, and I’m happy.  Either that or let me swear at the game I’m trying to beat, because swearing is always involved when I game, even if it’s something deceptively easy-going like Mario.  F*** Mario, and his galaxies and worlds and lands.  And his karts.  Especially his karts.

SD: Any other releases from you in the future?

BL: Yes!  I have two for sure!  I recently signed a contract with Eternal Press (a sister publisher to my current publisher “Damnation Books”) for a supernatural gay romance thriller called, Double Hue. There’s some creepy, horror like things to this book too, because I guess I can’t just write romance?  I mean I have for a short story in an anthology through Dreamspinner Press, but as far as an actually book?  I guess I have to creep people out?

Here’s a quick blurb about it: 

When something tragic happens in your life you want nothing more than to close your eyes, go to sleep, and make all of the pain go away.  For Gable Peterson it’s a little more complicated than that.  When detective Maurice Ashford shows up at his door with news that his boyfriend, Avery Blair, has been found dead, Gable is left devastated.  Seeking some sort of comfort Gable does the same thing he did when his grandfather died back when he was a little boy; he closes his eyes and imagines a world where it never happened.

Only, when Gable wakes up, he’s surprised to see that Avery is actually still alive.


Also, my partner and I have a joint book we've been working on for years that’s being published by Alpha Wolf Publishing.  While Treat Me Kindly, was an unfinished fanfic, this joint book is from years of my partner and I roleplaying with characters.  We started out in a long distance relationship and this roleplay was our way of keeping in touch with one another.  Now, it’s being published -- after being polished up, of course.

This book is a planned series, so far we have seven mapped out but the first should be coming out this year.  The first book is called Hunters: Seeking the Storyteller. It’s a modern day supernatural adventure series and isn't nearly as dark as my solo works... so far.  Who knows what the future will bring. 

Here’s a quick blurb about it: 

I know of the Storyteller, it whispers into the man’s ear, I've met him.  If you promise not to kill me, I’ll take you to him.

Alix Andre DeBenit and Randall Fagan live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as part of a hidden network of hunters who track down and kill demons and other monsters so the rest of the Twin Cities can go on believing that such creatures don’t exist.  When Alix finds out about a creature called the Storyteller, who can read and alter people’s lives as simple as reading a book, he decides to take a chance and go against his beliefs to find this creature.  Demons and monsters might be what he’s trained to kill, but if one of them can help him regain his lost family, then he’s willing to travel to their world and step into a fight far out of his depth just for that small chance. 


SD: Any advice for other writers out there?

BL: Don’t be afraid to take a chance.  Writing is difficult and unpredictable, but don’t be afraid to go for it.  I spent six years working retail because it was “stable.” It was a for sure paycheck, so why would I ever want to give that up?  As soon as there are problems with the economy people get scared, and they should be scared, but not at the expense of their happiness.  If you’re unhappy with something you shouldn't be doing it.  Or, if you have to do it, don’t forget to take some time to focus on that thing you love.  The mistake I made wasn't necessarily working retail because I did need a job, the mistake I made was letting it consume my life.  I did do reviews on anime and manga and video games, but I should’ve spent as much time on the writing aspect of my life as I did the retail aspect.  When I came home from work I should’ve been on my computer.  But retail is draining, and hard work, and over the years I was so unhappy with it.  That unhappiness sort of refueled my dream though.  I jumped into doing National Novel Writing Month and actually started looking at publishers.  My advice, however, is to not wait that long.  Don’t wait until things are unbearable to do what you love. 

I’m not saying quit what you’re doing, you do have to be smart about it.  It takes time to get that book done, more time to find a publisher, and even more time to get it out to everyone.  It’s not something you jump into for the big bucks, not right away.  It can take months for a publisher to get back to you, and you might not hear “yes”right away.  Those stories you see about big name authors getting rejections left and right?  All true.  But don’t let that stop you.  It’s a part of the process.  Not everyone is going to like what you’re sending, but you have to keep going.  Allow yourself a little (and I mean little) bit of time to be sad.  Use that time to step away from writing and just go out and do something you like.  Cheer yourself up.  Then, after a good night’s sleep, dust yourself off and try again. 

Also, do NOT compromise your story just to get it out there.  Granted, you will have an editor, but the editor’s job is to make corrections where needed (grammar and such) and point out things that need to change.  For example, my editor pointed out something with two of the main characters in Treat Me Kindly that didn't actually have to be there.  I was adding romance near the end of the book and it felt tacked on, because they hadn't been romantic for like 180 pages, so why do it now when there was only 30 pages left to go?  That is what the editor does.  They point out inconsistencies and things like that, they don’t want you to change the entire book (because, if they didn't like the book, they wouldn't have said yes in the first place).  They want to make your book stronger.  If you really feel strongly about keeping something in your book, you can talk to them about it and they’ll listen. 

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If there’s something in your contract you don’t understand, or something you see online about the publisher or editor or whatever that makes you feel uneasy, don’t be afraid to speak up about it.  It’s great to be published, but you need to find the publisher that fits you.  If that publisher really wants you on their team, they will respond to you and talk with you about any questions and concerns you have.  Always do research before you sign anything. 

It’s a lot of hard work, which is why when you hear things like “writing is easy”it’s a load of crap.  Even after you go through all of this and the book comes out there’s a lot of work to do.  You have to push that book.  Your publisher will, but you have to as well.  f you thought you spent a bunch of time sending the book to people BEFORE it was published, just wait until AFTER it gets published.  I don’t think I've emailed so many people in my life!  And you have to be patient, because you’re not the only person playing the email game.  Thankfully, there is a huge, huge network of places to go.  People love writers who are just starting, because they want to help them get out there.  If you can’t get a review, do an interview, a blog tour, a giveaway, a book spotlight.  Do everything you can.  Hit up local places in your city, hit up places online, just go everywhere you can.  It’s like being a salesman, but for yourself.  You have to advertise yourself as much as you advertise the book.

SD: Where can we find you online?

BL: Here!

Facebook Author Page:
Tumblr Writing Blog:
Amazon Author Page:
Goodreads Author Page:

~End Interview~

What a great interview! It's fantastic learning how every author differs in their writing and their approach. I love learning what inspires them to write and to continue doing so. Sometimes there's a message that authors need to share with readers. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Inside the Writer's Mind - Interview with Cynthia Polutanovich

Welcome to another edition of Inside the Writer's Mind. I love reading the answers to the interview questions. I've learned a lot and discovered new things.

Today, I have Cynthia with me. Cynthia is a poet whose collections of poems can be found in her latest book Two Birds and a Wolf. Let's see what she has to say about her works. Cynthia is doing a launch of the book on her Facebook page and on her blog.  Please be gracious enough and stop by her Facebook Page here and give her a like and check out the launch.

Thanks for joining us. :-)

Welcome, Cynthia, to Inside the Writer's Mind. I'll be asking you some questions, sort of picking your brain a little bit to get to know you as an author. Thank you for joining me. Ready?

Same DiNamics: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your poetry with the world? 

Cynthia Polutanovich: I guess, for me, writing has always been an inevitable prospect, but the thought of publishing it was daunting. I’ve been writing since childhood. I always thought I’d be a writer. But, once I became an adult, I went through a long period of purist artistry where I believed only in making art for its own sake. That may sound silly to some, but I was quite serious about it.  I’m not even sure exactly what changed, but that one day, I thought, yes, I still believe in pure art in that I believe in writing as though I will never have to try to sell it, but I am ready to have people read my words. And I’m actually ready to make a living only on words, instead of waitressing or plumbing or any of the many jobs I had. This internal change resulted in pursuing my M.F.A. in writing, then in a memoir, and now this book of poems. 

SD: Who has influenced you as a poet and what is your favorite type of poetry?

CP: Jack Gilbert is the most beloved of all poets to me, especially his book, The Great Fires. He’s so beloved that I begin this poetry book with a reverential, if slightly bawdy, tribute to him, His mixture of simplicity with moments of deep and true, almost surreal explorations of language is the most powerful and potent use of poetics in my book. But really, to put it simply, it’s his passion that brought me to his words and has kept me there. After Jack is Allen Ginsberg: Howl and Kaddish still continue to open up the way I write and think and live. With both of these poets, it’s crucial for me that they lived their passion. Their passion for life informed the way they wrote and their passion for writing informed the way they lived. They weren’t just sitting around trying to write poems that they thought would win them awards. It was life or death. They are my two giants, but after them, I’d say the poets who most affect me are Whitman, Ovid, Shakespeare, Anne Sexton, Bukowski and Mary Oliver.  

SD: What is your writing method in poetry? 

CP: I guess my writing method is the same as it is for all of my creative writing: I live and live and keep one ear (at least one!) turned to the muses and wait for words. My former graduate school professors would hate that I said that. But it’s not a way to be lazy. I write very regularly. But, my truest description of my process is basically that I listen. It’s actually a truly mystical pursuit for me. And then I rewrite. Then I rewrite some more. I am a zealous rewriter. But even in the revision, which we think of as being so practical, I never turn off that one ear that’s tuned to the gods. If anything, revision is mostly a practice of listening even harder.  
SD: Can you tell me a little bit about your book(s) without giving away too much? Why should I read it? 

CP: The first book I put out was a memoir, which is now being re-titled from Corpses Rarely Wander: How I Became a Loveless, Trailer Park Nomad, to Impermanent: How I Became a Loveless, Trailer Park Nomad. The title explains a lot! It’s about growing up in a few trailer parks, my experience of fundamentalist Christianity, going through illness and death in my immediate family, leaving home at 15, and then moving around, eventually living in chicken wire shacks and school buses etc. in the mountains of New Mexico. The over-arching theme is how experiencing illness and death early on might cause a person to re-think the value of human constructs, the nature of romantic love, and the meaning of meaning. And, believe it or not, there’s plenty of humor in there even though it doesn’t seem possible from this description! I say all this because the book of poems, Two Birds and a Wolf, is really a companion piece to the memoir. The memoir narrative ends when the narrator (me) is 24; the poems take us through ages 28-39, the present. The themes are the same: love, sex, mortality, nomadic living, inquiries into god and meaning – but the settings are different. The two books also balance each other in that the memoir is prose, but it’s poetic, and the poems are poems, but they’re deeply autobiographical and sometimes narrative. Even the few poems that aren’t autobiographical are somehow still autobiographical. I also decided to include photographs of the places I lived while writing the poems, which is also redolent of the memoir in that they are both chronicles of place as well all the other themes they cover. 

Why should you read these books? You should read the books if you have an interest in seeing a female character take on the role of a quester-seeker. You should read the book if you are a person who seeks beauty and passion in this one short life. You should read them if you’re craving a journey. 

SD: How much of yourself is in your poetry?

CP: All of myself is in my poetry. I put every cell of myself into a poem. And then I re-gather myself to put every cell of myself into the next poem. And on it goes. That’s not to say I’m totally out of control in my writing. I have an education behind me that helps to supply me with the paradoxical approach of equal parts passion and discipline. 

SD: What advice would you give to an aspiring poet/author? 

CP: Never write for the sole purpose of making money. Only write if your life calls out for it. Only bother to write if words and ideas bother to haunt you. 

SD: Is there anything else that you'd like to share?

CP: Yes! I'd like to add that my poetry book and memoir are available on Kindle: It is also available for print here:

And I'm doing a launch for it today, August 21st, on my FB page:
and on my blog: launch will include a sample poem and a beautiful song by my good friend Najeeb Sabour, with whom I shared a room in the Czech Republic when I lived there – and who inspired one of my poems.
I think that’s it! Just thank you so much Dianne, for having this blog that gives writers a chance to talk about the thing they love. Thank you!

SD: Cynthia, thank you so much for being here and sharing your words with me. I thoroughly enjoyed this interview.

~End Interview~

Incredible! Poetry is something that I read when I want my soul to be touched in a way that a story can't or won't do. I've read some wonderful poems over the years where the poet is singing to my soul with his words. Poems that are true to the poets essence and very being are among my favorite.

About Cynthia:

Cynthia Polutanovich is a writer of poems, essays, reviews, plays, short stories, and memoir. She can be counted on to laugh at the wrong times and to dress inappropriately for every occasion. In 2010, she received her M.F.A. from Hunter College in New York City. She sometimes lives in tents and hopes to again be living in Eastern Europe by spring for her 40th birthday.

You can reach Cynthia via her different social media sites: Facebook Author PageOdes of a Trailer Park Nomad Blog; and Twitter- @cynthianomad. 

About Two Birds and a Wolf:

Two Birds and a Wolf, poems of the last ten years by Cynthia Polutanovich, takes the reader on a series of parallel journeys: the journey of the nomad, the journey of the lover, and the journey of the mystic. This collection functions as a companion piece to her memoir, Impermanent: How I Became a Loveless, Trailer Park Nomad, in that it’s a continuation of those same themes: nomadic living, love, sex, the gods, and a search for a beautiful life outside of consumerism. Two Birds and a Wolf is a collection of poems, which supposes that the true life force lies somewhere between devastation and ecstasy.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cover Reveal - Love Lost by Maria DeSouza

One of the things I enjoy about books, is looking at their captivating covers. I'm not the judge a book by its cover type of reader but having a good looking cover doesn't hurt.

In my quest to help authors in sharing their work, I am sharing a cover reveal of Love Lost written by Maria DeSouza. Today being the cover release date, Maria has decided to do a giveaway on her author page on Facebook. The giveaway will run from August 16ht - August 23rd. You can like her Facebook page here to enter the giveaway.

Love Lost is Maria's debut novel. Here's a little synopsis on Love Lost, along with the... drum roll please... cover!

Cover Model: Joe Marvullo
Cover Design by: Rochelle McGrath
Photographer, front cover: Jubert Gilay
Synopsis of Love Lost

Love can come into your life in an instant, and leave just as quickly....

Jason Straiz is a New York detective working on a case to bring down a major crime lord.
He keeps his life simple. Work. Family. Friends.
Until he meets Selene.

Selene is a lawyer on a mission.
Her goal is to bring down the monster that has been terrorizing her for years.
When she meets Jason, the attraction is intense. 
When Selene realizes Jason is after the same person she is, he becomes a complication.
When his case and her mission collide, will her secrets destroy a future they could have together?
Can he handle the truth about her?

Can love truly conquer all or is there a limit?

Cover Model: Joe Marvullo
Cover Design by: Rochelle McGrath
Photographer, back cover: David Massa

Love Lost specs:
Release Date: September 30, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Author: Maria DeSouza 

About Maria:

I am a 31 yr old NJ native, not to be mistaken for the craziness that is the NJ Housewives or Jersey Shore!   I have two children, who are my life and family that makes me want to scream at times, but I love them.    I started my affair with reading and writing at a young age.  I loved where books took me, and wished for the day when I would meet my dream boat.  (Yes, I referred to my future man as a dream boat.  Child of the 80s here!)   I grew up on Stephen King, Nora Roberts, and anything my library would let me borrow.  I would always grab a notebook and start writing about the books I read because I wanted the story to continue.  I never took it seriously until I had a friend a few years ago tell me that I needed to publish my work after I wrote down a short story.  My reaction was…yeah, right!  The words stuck with me and I was constantly asked, “Did you write more? Are you done?”   A back injury put my writing on hold for almost 2 yrs and last year, I found the WIP file and started reading.  Then, I started writing and adding to it.   That little dream turned story will be my debut novel, Love Lost. 

You can find Maria on these different social media sites: 

If you want to know more information on those who helped to make the cover possible, you can find out here:

Cover model Joe Marvullo Facebook page.
Cover designer Rochelle McGrath from Shamrock Cover Designs Facebook page.
Front cover photographer Jubert Gilay Facebook page.
Back cover photographer David Massa Facebook page.

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to like Maria's Facebook page to enter the giveaway. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Writaz - A Social Network for Writers and Book Bloggers

Hmmm... a social networking site dedicated to authors and bloggers? I have to check this out! I got the email in my inbox a few days ago. I opened it up and read what it had to say. I was impressed and immediately attracted to it.

"...we have been told by various people that it would be really good to have a social network created for writers, where they can network and share their information, as well as market their books and have a general natter with others.  All of which can be done without the fear of being placed into Facebook jail for a week or a month, simply for being social and networking on a social network.We answered that call and created Writaz! which is a social network created with writers in mind." - Joe Jenkins, Creator of Writaz! & Author

I must admit, that what also attracted me to Writaz! are the owners. I've had the absolute pleasure of working with Sylvia and Joe at Writer Site. At Writer Site, I was able to sign up for the book tours available. I've done reviews, excerpts and interviews. It is a great and easy way for me to help promote authors and their works through my blog. I've always interacted with Sylvia and that has always made the process simpler.

I knew that signing up with Writaz! was going to be beneficial to me, as a book reviewer. It's still in it's early phases but the site looks great. It is user friendly, which is a huge bonus. You get immediate knowledge of when a tour is available for sign up. Oh and the book tour pages where you can sign up are simply attractive. They are colorful, bases on the book cover's colors, and are easy to navigate and sign up.

Just today, I signed up for two book tours with them. One I'll be doing a review on and the other an excerpt. Through Writaz! you can interact with the authors themselves, should you want to.

They also have several other services they offer that definitely pays to be a part of Writaz!. Best of all, as a book blogger it is all for free.

So definitely check it out Writaz! for yourself, sign up and take advantage of what they have and what is yet to come.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inside the Writer's Mind - Carol Moreira Interview and Giveaway

I'm loving Inside the Writer's Mind so much. We get to learn about authors and what books they have coming out or have already published. We get to learn a little about their writing process, who's influenced them and any tips or advice they may have for other authors out there.

Here's another installment of Inside the Writer's Mind with Carol Moreira, author of Charged and Membrane. Along with this interview, Carol has graciously offered an ebook copy of her book, Membrane to one lucky reader. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this blog post telling me what the main character's name in Membrane who comes from a parallel universe. The giveaway will run from August 14th to August 15th. I will let the winner know on August 16th. Good luck!

Well, enough chit chat. I know you're dying to read the interview and get your answer for the giveaway.

Welcome, Carol, to Inside the Writer's Mind.  I'll be asking you some questions, sort of picking your brain a little bit to get to know you as an author. Thank you for joining me. Ready? 

Same DiNamics: Writing can be a daunting prospect, what made you decide to share your story with the world? 

Carol Moreira: I think most writers write because they feel a strong need to – writers love writing (well, most of the time) and it’s how they make sense of the world. That’s probably my main motivation, but in the case of Membrane I believed the story was interesting and relevant to teens and stuck with it until it worked. 

SD: Who has influenced you as an author?

CM: Many, many writers, from dead greats like E.M. Forster and Jane Austen, to modern novelists like Alan Bradley, Yann Martel and non-fiction writer Susan Casey. I also gain a lot of influence and ideas from other art forms, nature and life in general.  

SD: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told? 

CM: I purge my brain on paper! But I’m finding that method is as messy and time-consuming as it sounds, so I’m trying to plan a little more. It can be hard to get the balance between letting your mind be free and deciding what you’re trying to do with a particular story. I get my best ideas while walking my dog, Nikki then rush back to my computer to get things down. I think freeing the mind with other activities or a change of scene boosts creativity. I don’t believe in sweating it out at the screen all the time.

SD: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?

CM: There’s no set time. My first novel, Charged, was written and published in about 18 months. But my latest novel, Membrane, took far longer because it changed shape so much – it started off as a shorter novel for pre-teens and ended up as a full-length teen fantasy. Also, I tend to fall in love with my creations a bit too much, so the editors at Fierce Ink Press had me remove a universe and re-write the last section of Membrane in the interests of making the story more cohesive. So,Membrane was a lot of work, which doubtless explains my new-found interest in planning!    

SD: Can you tell me a little bit about Charged and Membrane without giving away too much? Why should I read them?

CM: Charged is a short novel set in Nova Scotia, Canada, and it’s basically about a romance that develops between two long-term guy/girl friends who are both having hard times at home. Membrane is about TOT, a girl from Nova Scotia, who passes through the membrane that separates our world from a parallel world where she meets P, her double who is far more confident, accomplished and attractive than TOT Is. TOT’s been bullied and suffers anxiety and she’s pretty intimidated by her double. The story is primarily about becoming happy in your own skin, but it’s also a fantasy with a fast-paced plot in which the girls, who become friends, have to resist threats from beings from several universes. I like to think the characters are engaging and the plot unusual.       

SD: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?

CM: I think when I start to write there’s quite a bit of me in many of my characters – at least in the early scenes when the kernel of the character is developing, but that diminishes as the characters and stories develop. 

SD: What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 

CM: Read and write as much and as widely as possible. Also, join a writers’ organization – these can be great sources of support and knowledge – and find a group of writing buddies so you can get in the habit of receiving and giving constructive criticism. 

SD: Is there anything else that you'd like to share? 

CM: I began writing Membrane after reading The Universe Next Door by Marcus Chown in which he writes that some physicists believe there may be an infinite number of parallel universes in which there are an infinite number of versions of each of us living out parallel lives. I found that a fascinating and slightly creepy idea. It’s interesting how real life, real news, real science, inspire us… Thanks for the chance to share my work!
~End Interview~

I enjoy reading books that have messages in them and leave us thinking afterwards about life and the wonderful mysteries of this amazing universe we live in. Stories like this tend to strike everyone differently and makes us think about things in different yet similar ways. 

*Don't forget to leave a comment telling me the main character's name in Membrane who comes from a parallel universe to enter the giveaway to win an ebook copy of Membrane.*

Thank you for joining us in Inside the Writer's Mind. 

About Carol: 

Carol Moreira is an award-winning journalist based in St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia. Her debut novel, the young adult book Charged, was published by James Lorimer in 2008. She is currently editor of the business news site, run by her husband, as well as editor of Celtic Life International magazine.

You can find her on: FacebookTwitter; and Goodreads.