Honour by M B Feeney Cover Reveal

I am SO excited to be sharing this with you today! I truly love this author and I can’t wait to share my reviews of her wonderful writing with you in just a couple of weeks time! And so, without further ado, I give you ‘Honour’…..

M. B. feeney is excited to present the cover for her upcoming release, Honour. A collection of 6 short stories with a miltary theme. 

Due for release on 1st November in rememberence of those who have given their lives as part of their job to protect others in times of unrest.

Summary:
The world is filled with people destined to help and to serve. Doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters—each and every day, these special people work to help others in times of need. Often, this means putting their own lives at risk in order to do their jobs. They give of themselves to benefit society, and they do it without any expectation of thanks.
And then there is the military…
These are the men and women who don’t head home to their families and safe homes to relax at the end of a shift. They are on the front lines, far from home and often fighting someone else’s battles because it is the right thing to do.  Military families struggle to cope with the constant worry and the long periods of separation, staying strong to support those who serve in everything they do, and often are left to pick up the pieces when the highest price is paid.
Servicemen and women are heroes in the purest sense of the word. Even when the world’s gone mad and their hearts are breaking, one thing remains unchanged. 
They have honour.
Don’t forget to add Honour to your ‘To read’ shelf over on Goodreads
About the Author:
 M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog.  Currently at university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious doodler and chocoholic.  Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.

Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has a novel under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her own military based shorts, is due for release 1st November 2013. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.

Author Links:

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To Serve is Divine by R E Hargrave

Welcome to Day Four of our wonderful R.E Hargrave feature week! If you missed our interview with the author on Monday, you can find it here and if you missed our 5 star reviews of ‘Haunted Raine‘ or ‘Sugar and Spice‘ you can find them by clicking on the titles! And so, without further ado I am excited to start our review of ‘To Serve is Divine’, one of the best books I have read so far this year. Just one warning, this book does contain material not suitable for under 18’s, and my review may also contain such material, so if you are under 18, please avert your eyes now!

 

First, as always, let’s kick this off with a little summary of the book, and then, as a special treat, a little excerpt as well!

Summary:

When Jayden Masterson – a gentleman Dom with a taste for perfection – meets Catherine O’Chancey – a submissive with a mysterious past and a natural desire to submit – he can’t resist the spark that ignites inside him. He wants to learn everything about her – not just her body, but does she want the same? Can Catherine stand up to her past and find the right Dom who can make her feel alive again?

 

Oooh it’s just so good! I’m bursting to let you know my thoughts, but here’s the first snippet I have for you:

“Dad didn’t scare you, did he? I know he can get a little excited when he gets going on his horses.”

Malcolm Masterson had made his place in the world by breeding and racing thoroughbred stallions. He was quite proud of his charter membership in the Texas Thoroughbred Association and how many of his stallions had made the top five on the Sire List. Jayden was right, his dad did like to talk about them, but he was harmless – he just loved what he did.

“What? No. Malcolm was great. I got to see where you get your good looks and talent for being in control,” she teased Jayden, trying to change the direction her mood was heading after imagining Jayden in a future without her.

“So now you know I’ve got staying power,” Jayden teased right back, throwing in a smirk.

His lips were hovering over her mouth while his eyes bored into hers.

When did he get so close? Erin thought while seeing her wide-eyed reflection in his shiny, brown eyes.

Lowering his voice again, his next words didn’t help the already hazy soup her brain was turning into under the intensity of his gaze.

“And us?”

She didn’t get a chance to answer because the plane hit some turbulence at that moment and bounced them together. The moment their lips smashed together all talk ceased, and she became complacent in his arms. They spent the remainder of the flight making out like teenagers.

Miraculously, all of their clothes stayed on. When they exited the plane and descended to the tarmac at Love Field, Micah waited with the car. His presence reminded them of the intricate dynamics of the relationship they had and there was an unspoken agreement that while Jayden and Erin could keep the memory of the weekend, they wouldn’t speak of what had transpired on the plane just then. It was too raw, too risky.

 

Egads! Even re-reading that little section leaves me hot under the collar and wanting more! So without anymore teasing, here is the wonderful new cover and our much anticipated review!

To Serve is Divine

 

Rating – 5 Star Review!

Well, where to start? I’m going to do my best to keep this brief (partly because I still have a few chapters of the next book to read and Jayden is calling me, and partly so that you can go one-click this and get reading yourself!) but I truly do have so many positive things to say about this book that it is going to be very difficult. If you’ve read my earlier reviews of Hargrave’s writing you’ll know that I absolutely love her style and ability to weave a story, and the same is true in this book.

 

I’ll make a confession here, I usually avoid BDSM and erotica books because they really don’t appeal to me and I have been known to label them with all sorts of names, but right now, in the blogoshpere and beyond, I’d like to rescind all those comments – Hargrave has most definitely opened my eyes to the fact that these books can be more plot than sex, and they can be wonderfully engaging reads, and that they are just as difficult to put down as ‘normal’ books. I opened the book and thought, ‘here goes nothing’, fully expecting to find it difficult to get in to, purely because of my own prior opinions, but it was so damn good to be proved wrong! I was hooked from the first page, drawn completely and irreversibly into the webs Hargrave weaves, wanting to find as much as possible about the characters, especially Erin/Catherine, and not even cringing when reading the sex scenes (which is a first for me!) but instead, I thoroughly enjoyed them. I guess what that garbled paragraph is trying to say is that I absolutely flipping LOVED this book!

 

 

The first thing I really want to point out about this book is how believable it is. Now, I have no experience of the BDSM Lifestyle, however it felt real. I felt thoroughly drawn into the plot and as if there could be one of these clubs nearby. But more than that, I truly felt like this could have happened to a friend, or even myself, had we made different choices. Very rarely do you find a book which pulls you so far into the plot that you actually feel part of it, and it becomes so imprinted on your brain that you find yourself thinking about the characters when you aren’t reading, but Hargrave does this with every piece of writing she presents to us eager readers, and it is truly wonderful to read!

 

I also feel that the plot needs a huge mention in this book. This is the first novel length story I have read from Hargrave, and not only that, but part one of what is a wonderful trilogy. The plot is excellent, and has a great development throughout the book, and handles some very delicate moments very carefully. There’s sex, and lots of it, but it never overpowers the story that Hargrave is trying to tell of two people both helping each other meet their needs. Throughout, it is clear that Catherine’s struggles with Spencer are the anchor to this story, they are the foundations if you were around which everything else is built. Jayden becomes another anchor point, and then the sex and ‘scenes’ serve to develop the relationship between Catherine and Jayden into something that is just beautiful to read.

 

Another key point is that the sex and intimacy is incredibly tastefully written. Too often authors have a habit of being crude or vulgar when writing sex, and with my limited experience in this genre, that is all I had encountered until I read this book. Hargrave has a delicacy about even the most taboo of ideas, making them not only ‘ok’ for newbies like myself, but immensely enjoyable to read. I truly had my eyes opened as to what exactly one could do to pleasure your body, but not once did I find it too much or vulgar, instead it was much more exciting and engaging. This was a very pleasant surprise for me as I had expected to need to skim over the more ‘hardcore’ activities, but instead there was something about Hargrave’s style that eased any possible embarrassment and encouraged the reader to engage with the characters with an open mind.

 

The final aspect I really feel needs a mention are the characters, particularly Jayden (gosh, he’s my latest book boyfriend!) and Catherine, as well as the relationship that develops between them. Let’s start with Catherine, a shy and essentially damaged young girl who literally blooms through Jayden’s attention. And then there’s Jayden, gosh, he’s just amazing. Caring, sexy, full of wonderful ideas, powerful, the list is endless. But it’s when you put these two together that you really get the sparks. I know they aren’t a couple, but for a book partnership, they are just an absolute pleasure to read. They work so well together, complimenting each others characteristics but above all, they are entirely believable. This is a huge benefit as it helps make the book as a whole completely believable which in turn also makes in more engaging! Hargrave has really got some major skill in the way she writes her characters as they’re always amazing and so fun to read!

 

In conclusion, I have nothing more to do than recommend this book as highly as I possibly can. It truly is phenomenal. It’s believable, eye opening and tastefully written with a truly fantastic over arching plot line. The characters are engaging, it’s not all about the sex and to be quite honest, it is incredibly difficult to put down. I’m an absolute newcomer to this genre and Hargrave has completely converted me, I’m literally gagging for more and cannot wait to finish the rest of this series.

 

And in case that isn’t enough, here’s another couple of treats! Another, slightly racier excerpt, and under that you’ll find links to a rafflecopter giveaway, Amazon UK and US links and all the author links too. Make sure you pop back tomorrow for the final day in our blog tour and our 5 star review of ‘A Divine Life’, the second book in The Divine Trilogy by this truly divine author!

 

A slightly racier snippet:

“Oh,” Erin murmured – both from how good his hands felt on her tired foot, but more at the look in his eyes when she lifted her head toward him. It was all too familiar.

That was awkward. She wanted this – to be with Jayden as Erin – but it wasn’t allowed. He’d said so, and she had agreed. So why was he setting her body on fire right now with that look? “Jayden.” She whimpered his name, but it got lost in her gasp of surprise when his hands tugged on her foot, dragging her body over the couch toward him.

His fingers left fiery trails along Erin’s bare legs while he caressed her. The sliding motion had pushed her top up exposing her taut midriff, and when he spread her legs to pull her onto his lap she didn’t resist. Erin leaned in to kiss him and his hands enveloped her with a tight grip. Jayden pulled her in, his large hands spanning her back while he pushed her top further up and then over her head.

They both made a feral sound when his lips molded to her breast and he began to suckle. She was willing to do whatever it took. Even keep her cool when his next words brought her back to reality. She would never be more than a submissive to him.

“Do you want to play tonight, my pet? Since tomorrow is Christmas, shall we start early?”

What could she do? “Aye, Master. This girl would love to see how you put a scene together here in her home.” Catherine would play, but on Erin’s turf.

Her squeals when he stood up and carried her down the hall to her room were swallowed by his mouth descending on hers just before he set her down. “I’m going to have a look around your apartment to see what I can use, if that’s okay?”

She nodded.

“I want you naked and kneeling when I return, Jewel.”

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  So what are you waiting for? And what are you still doing here? Go one-click this and get yourself a bit of Jayden in you’re life! ‘To Serve is Divine’ is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US now.
Well that’s it from me for another day, but whilst you’re looking for something to do, why not go and show our very talented author some love? Here’s the links you’ll need:

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Sugar and Spice by R E Hargrave

Welcome to Day Three of our R.E Hargrave feature week! If you’ve missed our interview with the author on Monday, you can find it here and if you missed our 5 star review of ‘Haunted Raine’, a wonderful read indeed, you can find it here.

 

Today’s focus is her wonderfully sweet little story, ‘Sugar and Spice’. Here’s a little summary to give you a gist of what to expect:

Lacey Harrison has been dealt an unexpected hand in life: being a single mom. With her father’s help and that of the residents at Royal Hills Nursing Home, she thrives and goes on to become a successful baker. She is content with her life but knows that she and her daughter Candy are missing something. Will things change for the better when Trent Childress moves into town and adds some spice to her sugar?

 

And here is the beautiful new cover!

Sugar and Spice

 

So without further ado it’s straight onto another 5 star review for this wonderful author!

If you read my last review you’ll already know how enamored with Hargrave’s writing style I am, and there’s no change here! Sugar and Spice is a delight to read from cover to cover, and as before, I have nothing but praise for the wonderful story Hargrave has weaved in such detail and with such skill in so little time. And as with ‘Haunted Raine’, Hargrave seems to have a hardwire to my thoughts when writing as this taps into so many personal experiences that it’s just amazing and adds that extra level to the reading experience.

 

The first  thing I really need to comment on is the fact that this story is so very completely believable. You could really imagine seeing this take place in any small town in any place around the world. It’s full of the natural beauty of humanity at it’s best, full of reality, and above all full of balance of the good times, and the bad times. There’s no fluffy coating on love here either, Hargrave tells it like it is. It’s harsh at times, but at other times it’s really just true beauty, and that shines through the whole book. There’s no guarantee of a happily ever after, just like in life, and this is something that really endears you to this book as it really is something you could hear from a friend, family member or even experience yourself. To me, that shows great skill in the writing and is simply exquisite in the execution of this skill.

 

However, it’s because of this that the book is so very easy to read and engage with. Rarely do I encounter a book that is such a delight and so easy to read. Hargrave really does pull the reader into her little world, demanding full engagement and investment in her plot, her characters, her world, and then feeding you the events piece by piece, leaving you hanging on every last morsel. It’s just divine and leaves me somewhat speechless, which is a rarity in itself! Although it’s an easy read, and you could theoretically dip in and out of it, you really don’t want to. Once you start this book you’d better make sure you’ve got a clear schedule to sit and finish it in one sitting because it is simply impossible to put down. The pace and plot development is spot on throughout.

 

A further thing that needs mentioning are the characters. They, just like the whole story, are so believable. You could really imagine walking into them whilst doing your shopping (watch the eggs!) or when you least expect it. Add to that the fact they are so well written they literally jump out the page at you, pulling you bodily into their tale as a bystander and you have a perfect match. Candy is adorable, but so smart. I see kids like her and they remind me of myself (no jokes at being big headed!) she’s just so unique and loveable. Then there’s Trent, now who wouldn’t want a guy like that in your life? The perfect gent, a rarity, but there’s another one in this book, Shane – the steadfast rock anchoring the whole family. And then there’s Lacey, and what a character she is. Carrying the weight of the world without realising, and never really expecting true love to appear round the corner. It’s so nice to see aspects of your own life in a book, and I feel there’s such a range here that everyone, no matter what they’ve experienced, can see a bit of themselves in one of the characters.

 

The final thing I really need to comment on is the emotion throughout the book. Hargrave is a true master of creating a wonderful, tenable atmosphere in her writing. You feel the sadness, the joy, the worry, in short, you feel everything the characters feel. It’s expertly done and refreshing to see it done so well! So many authors try, and fall short, bu Hargrave goes far and beyond any expectations and raises the bar even higher. I laughed until I cried, I  held my breath with worry and anticipation, I cried sheer tears of elation, but most of all, I enjoyed the happy times.

 

In conclusion, I think it’s obvious that I cannot recommend this highly enough. It is a truly phenomenal piece of writing, excellent from start to finish and a book I know I will be reading over and over again. Honestly, it’s definitely one to add to the to read list, with a view to making it onto the read list very soon! And with that being said, I’m off to finish devouring even more of this authors handiwork as I seriously cannot get enough of her!

 

And if my waffle hasn’t convinced you to go out and one click this book, here’s a sneaky little taster of what you can expect….

She shrugged her shoulders. “Not sure, just know she wasn’t there today. Coach C was.” The smile was back.

“Yeah? What’s she like?”

“He, Mom. ‘What’s he like?’” she corrected me with a dreamy look in her eye, and it clicked. She had a crush on her teacher. This could not be happening to me. I wasn’t ready for her to be noticing boys, let alone men.

“Oh?” I stalled, panic gripping at my chest. “Okay, what’s he like, then?”

“Um . . .” She licked a dab of frosting from her finger, stalling as well. “He’s got a great tan and these blue eyes that twinkle when he smiles. He is a little older, though.” She had my attention now. There weren’t any teachers at the school that fit that description, and Mr. Crouse, the history teacher I’d assumed she was first talking about who always covered in a pinch, without a doubt did not fit her description.

“Of course he’s older; he’s your teacher!” I rolled my eyes at her, and then I tried to proceed in a calm manner. “Does this coach have a last name?”

“Childress. But he told us to call him Coach C. Oh, and he let me be captain for basketball today!” she announced with glee, unconcerned that my face had pulled into a slight frown. Why did that name sound familiar?

(Copyright 2013 R E Hargrave)

 

If you would like to purchase a copy of Sugar and Spice it is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

Well that’s it from me for another day, but whilst you’re looking for something to do, why not go and show our very talented author some love? Here’s the links you’ll need:

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Haunted Raine by RE Hargrave

Welcome to Day Two of our R.E Hargrave feature week! If you’ve missed our interview with the author yesterday, you can find it here.

 

Today’s focus is her amazing short story, ‘Haunted Raine’. Here’s a little summary to give you a gist of what to expect:

Distracted by the everyday routine of raising children, being a wife, and keeping a home, Lorraine Morrissey let life pass her by. Her wakeup call comes when she realizes that with their children gone, her husband Richard is rarely home, and she’s filling her solitary days with trivial tasks. A crazy idea to save her marriage leads to a summer beach vacation unlike any she’s ever taken; one that involves unknowingly buying a haunted house.

 

And here is the wonderful new cover:

Haunted Raine Cover

So without further ado, it’s onto our wonderful 5 star review!

If I’m honest, this review is nothing more than pure praise for Hargrave, and those of you who know me will know it is very rare for me not to have a moan about something (constructively of course!) but even if I spent days trying to niggle with this book I couldn’t have found anything. As a result, I’m going to highlight a few of the key areas of this book that I felt were truly outstanding..

The first thing I really need to mention is the concept. A couple buy an old house, turns out it’s haunted and then battle the spirits to reclaim what’s theirs – when put very simply like that, you could almost imagine the cliches popping from all sides, but there are literally none in this book! It is entirely unique and gripping from the start Hargrave has weaved her own  magic here, and breathed a very much needed breath of fresh air into this genre. It feels familiar in a way, but also fresh and very new. An intoxicating mix which is excellently written throughout.

Something else I feel needs to be mentioned, is the plot. Again, when broken down very simply, it’s very basic, but it so is full of twists and turns that it was literally un-put-downable! I have rarely picked up a book which pulls me so completely into the story so quickly, and then maintains that level of interest from the reader until the very last page. It is exquisitely written, providing just enough to keep you eagerly reading for more, but not so much that it stifles your own imagination whilst reading. A delicate balancing act, but one that Hargrave has clearly mastered from start to finish. Add to that the careful weaving of characters, emotions, and different strands to the story like mystery, romance and fear, you really do have a story that is an absolute delight to read because you honestly never know what is coming at you on the next page.

Of course, closely linked with plot development is the pace with which a book is written. As I touched on previously, I usually avoid this genre because the cliches and obvious build ups really do annoy me. However, in ‘Haunted Raine’ there is none of that at all. Honestly, it’s like like reading this genre for the very first time. Each plot development or change of direction has brilliant pace, pulling the reader closer to the end of the story with something of a similar rhythm to the voodoo drums we hear at the very end. It’s phenomenally well written, and again, Hargrave has really balanced it perfectly.

But perhaps for me the most shining feature of this book is the collection of characters. Believable, so easy to engage with and an absolute delight to read – Hargrave really does have it all! Raine is so easy to relate to, whether you’re young or old, she just oozes charisma and likability through the pages, demanding the reader take interest and listen to her story. Richard is, from what I know and have experienced personally, a typical law man, wrapped up in his paperwork and in billing hours. That is until he rediscovers his wife in such a passionate and genuine way it left me having a minor tantrum that I haven’t got one of those for myself! And then there’s the rest of the townsfolk. Being a Brit, albeit one who is dying to visit the Southern States, I have never experienced this kind of neighbourhood first hand, but wowzers does Hargrave make it easy for you to jump on in and get stuck in. I truly felt like I was part of the book from start to finish, and I can only attribute that to the characters and atmospheres Hargrave has created in so few words.

And so I guess I should wrap up and stop my gushing, but it’s hard to not be quiet about a book that is so well written, so enjoyable and ultimately an absolute delight to read from cover to cover. Don’t be fooled by it’s small number of pages, this book packs one hell of a punch and is not to be sniffed at. Seriously, it’s been safely stowed in my ‘favourite’ folder on the kindle so I can enjoy it again and again.

 

And if after all that you’re still left wanting more, or are still a little undecided, here is a sneaky little excerpt from the book….

 

The fast approaching ground disappeared, replaced by an old, worn, wooden floor. I shook my head to try and clear it of the cobweb fuzziness I felt. Raising my hands in front of me, I didn’t recognize them. They were dark brown, dry, and the skin was cracked in places. They didn’t feel connected to my body either. My words got stuck in my throat when I tried to ask what was going on. Swallowing to clear the blockage, I surveyed the room. Before me burned a dwindling fire inside an old-fashioned stone hearth, and to my right, old shuttered windows were thrown open, letting the cooling night air in.

 

“Girl!”

 

The hoarse male voice startled me. I spun around, becoming aware of heavy skirts tangling in my legs.

 

“Yes, sir.” The voice, thick with a low country accent, wasn’t mine either, but the sound had passed through my lips. What the . . .

 

“How many sacks of cotton did you pick today?”

 

A tremor settled into my arms as panic tightened my chest. Tall and wide, the white man advanced on me. I skittered back toward the hearth at the look of hatred on his face.

 

“None, sir. I’s sorry, but my momma –”

 

“There are no excuses, Jesse. Rain or shine, y’alls task is at least two sacks a day while the cotton’s a blooming.”

 

“Yes, sir.”

 

“Did your momma get her two sacks picked?”

 

Beyond my control, my head shook side to side, and I curled in on myself more while taking another subtle step back. Warning sirens were going off, but it was obvious, I had no say over my faculties, nor did I have any idea what was going on. “She’s got the sick, sir.”

 

In slow motion, his hand rose, and I took in every detail: thinning, greasy brown hair slicked back from a shiny forehead, a narrow beak of a nose stretched down the length of his long face to a thin pair of pale pursed lips. His green eyes were bloodshot with the drink that wafted from his mouth. The yellowing linen shirt he wore was opened down to his mid-chest, exposing pale, untoned flesh. Proof that he relied on others to get the work done.

 

“‘She’s got the sick, sir,’” he sing-songed, mocking me. “Not my problem, girl. What is my problem is that you owe me four sacks’ worth of cotton, and have nothing to pay with.”

 

At his words, an uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. I didn’t like where this was going and took another step back, bringing me a little closer to the fire and the iron tools I could see in my peripheral vision.

 

“But I can think of another way that you can start paying up.”

When he came at me, I spun to grab the poker. Before I could reach the tool, arms enveloped me from behind, yanking me back until I collided with a hard chest. (Copyright 2013 R.E Hargrave)

 

If you would like to download this book it is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

If you want to show R.E Hargrave some love, here are her links!

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An Interview with R.E Hargrave

Hello and welcome all to our feature week for R.E Hargrave! Her writing is going to be in the spotlight all this week as we celebrate the relaunch and new covers for all of her works! Here is our schedule for the week:

Monday – An interview and author bio

Tuesday – A review of Haunted Raine

Wednesday – A review of Sugar and Spice

Thursday – A review of To Serve is Divine (The Divine Trilogy #1)

Friday – Divine Life (The Divine Trilogy #2)

 

It’s a jam packed week so let’s kick it off with a bang! Here is a little bit of information about our author:

 RE Hargrave

 

R.E. Hargrave lives on the outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer. Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children from elementary age to college age. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter and now, a writer. Other hobbies include gardening and a love of a music.

 

And here are her (rather wonderful, I might add) answers to our rather tricky questions! Enjoy!

1. Who is your favourite fictional character? (not one of your own!)

Of all time? I think I’m going to go with Skippyjon Jones. That cat, who thinks he’s a dog, is a riot; his imagination is something to behold. Sitting down with my kids while I try to do the different southern accents followed by spanish ones, and they listen wide-eyed or giggling like fools at me, are memories I’ll always hold dear.

 

2. If you could have written any book (or series of books), which would it be?

Is this a tricky way of asking what my favorite book is? Seriously though, I don’t think any of my favorites are ones that I would have wanted to write . . . if I’d written them, then I wouldn’t have gotten to take those incredible journeys from the perspective of the casual observer.

 

3. Which of your stories is your favourite and why?

Right now—because this answer could be different in a year, five years, or more—I’m going to say my erotica trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my novellas, but they are just novellas–short stories. The trilogy is a major project I tasked myself with: writing not one, but three novels. I’m two-thirds of the way there, so I’m feeling a profound sense of accomplishment.

 

4. Is there any part of your writing that you’d like to change?

I’m working my way towards being able to weave an elaborate plotline. I want to create a story that has multiple things going on, interweaving with each other, so when the reader reaches the end, they are left feeling like they’ve just been on the best rollercoaster ride ever.

 

5. Are any of your stories inspired by real people or events from your own life?

All of them so far!

In Sugar & Spice, I chose Union, SC as the backdrop and included a reference to Wofford College in Spartanburg. This is the college that I was the third generation (on my father’s side) to attend. Also, the little girl in the story, Candy, is based on my own daughter.

In Haunted Raine, again, I stuck to what I knew as far as locale. While I’ve never personally visited St. Helena, I have spent many summers on the coast of South Carolina; in fact, according to my parents, I could swim before I could walk because of our trips to Myrtle Beach and Pawley’s Island.

In The Divine Trilogy, I’ve also linked some personal aspects of myself into my main female character, Catherine. We share the same middle name (and its unusual spelling), the same birthday, a love for cooking, and I gave her da my father’s first name.

 

6. Do you prefer to write with a plan or do you just ‘go with the flow’?

I’m more of a ‘go with the flow’ kind of girl, until I get stuck. When I encounter the eventual writer’s block that we all face, my first action is to go hunt down picture images to help me envision my scenes better. However, for the first time, I have written an outline for book three in my trilogy, Surreal. As the conclusion to my series, it’s too important not to leave a lose end not to.

 

7. You’ve published short stories and novel length books, which do you prefer writing and why?

The novellas grant me a more immediate sense of accomplishment and closure because they are short and quick, and usually easier to write, but I always wonder what if. What if I’d followed that angle of the story a little more, what if I’d put more into the ending, what if…  I always try to ensure my stories, while leaving the reader wanting more, are creating that feeling because the reader honestly enjoyed the story and connected with my characters, not because they were left confused or wondering about anything.

Novels, on the other hand, afford me the opportunity to go into as much detail as I want and really have fun creating a whole new world. The drawback to this, is having to be aware of when you are just writing filler for word count, and when you are actually moving your story forward. A novel-length tale requires more from the writer, demands their focus and dedication to keep the plot on track and the facts consistent. You don’t want Suzy Q introduced with black hair and green eyes in chapter one, then presented as blue-eyed in another; or to mention that John Doe is an orphan in one place and then have him talk about the family holiday meal he went to five chapters down the line, that kind of thing.

 

Summing up, I like both for different reasons, and I personally think its good to be open to working on both. Sometimes you just need a break from that long, tedious novel, and whipping out a quick short can wipe the cobwebs away.

 

8. ‘Haunted Raine’ and ‘Sugar and Spice’ both have a strong female lead character. Do you feel it is important to have ‘normal’ women portrayed in print as opposed to the traditional ‘damsel in distress’?

Its a fine line to walk. In general, people read to escape reality. Because of this, you’d think presenting ‘realistic’ situations would be off-putting to most. However, I’ve gotten a decidedly positive response to my style of writing, which includes blending ‘real’ with ‘fantasy.’ If I were going to make it all up, what would be the point in doing all the research I do?

 

9. The Divine Trilogy is very different from your other writing, do you prefer writing BDSM or a more ‘mainstream’ romance? Why?

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of presenting a realistic romance fiction with a BDSM twist. I’m not a genre writer, unless you want to loosely count ‘romance’ since I do like my stories to unfold around a couple, but more of a ‘whatever grabs me’ writer. If, by the end of the story, I’ve made the reader think or maybe open their minds to new possibilities, then I’ve done my job. With the Trilogy its true that there is alot of sex and kink written in, a LOT, but I’m trying to tell a story that shows there is more than sex in BDSM; that this lifestyle starts in the mind, and from there, the choices are endless.

 

10. Can you recommend any fellow indie authors for our readers?

You bet! I’ve been fortunate to meet and interact with a few as I’ve set out on the journey myself, and I’d be glad to mention them: Lorenz Font, M.B. Feeney, Elizabeth Lawrence, Elena M. Reyes, and L.J. Harris have some great work out there. Also, my cover designer has taken the plunge, and will be debuting her first novel this December. A novel, I might add, that is my ‘debut’ in novel editing. J.C. Clarke, and The Edelyn Legacy (four books planned), is definitely one that is going to blow people away.

 

11. Can you give us a sneak peek into your next project?

Oh, I suppose so . . .

This is an excerpt from The Food Critic, which will be the next novella I release once it has gone through editing and formatting.

 

Serena sought out locations that used one or more of the five senses to heighten the dining experience, and then brought those experiences to the readers through words. The one drawback to her job? While she was surrounded by people, she was alone.

She had the world at her feet and the best foods being served to her, but while she shared her travels with her readers, she didn’t have that “someone special” to share them with her. Serena always dined at a table for one, her ever-present notepad at her side—or recorder in the case of Dans le Noir?—to take notes. Her life was all about the column.

It was with that depressing thought that she found herself packing a carry-on yet again.  Never a suitcase, because she didn’t want to mess with having to check it. Serena had packing a week’s worth of clothes and two weeks’ worth of toiletries down to a science. The hotel laundry service took care of making her clothes acceptable for the second week.

Her trusty “naughty” products had their reserved spot in the bag, of course. At times it was tempting to give into the flirtations thrown her way when at the bar or in the main dining area, but she knew better. She wanted more than a quick fuck; toys worked just fine for that. No, Serena was holding out for her Mr. Right, a man with a killer sense of taste, to be the one to feast on her body and capture her heart. As much traveling as she did, she was bound to find him . . . someday. Old fashioned? Pipe dream?

Probably, but a girl could dream. Even if she were pushing thirty-five; she was able to pass for late twenties with her long, blonde hair, svelte figure, and vibrant cerulean eyes.

 

 

12. As a published author, what tips can you give aspiring writers?

Edit, Edit, and Edit. Whether you are with a publishing house or going the self-published route, if there’s one thing you want to invest in, its an editor. Write your story, but PLEASE don’t share it with the world until its been properly edited. The technicalities aside, you want to network. Trying to break into the Indie world, and get noticed amongst the millions of titles that are out there, is not easy to do. You’ll be amazed by how a little networking, and being willing to “pay it forward,” can help.

 

We here at Lily Loves Indie would like to take this opportunity to thank R.E Hargrave for taking the time to answer our questions, and also a massive thankyou for giving us a chance to read and review her wonderful collection of writing! She truly is a very talented author that I think you are all going to love as you read our reviews of all her writing over the next few days so make sure you drop in every day to keep up! And just a hint, they’re nearly all 5 star reviews!

 

If you want to show R.E Hargrave some love, here are her links!

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