Sunday, 3 February 2013

Goodbye and I hope Hello

After owning this blog for a year, I'm now closing it down. That doesn't mean that I'm vanishing off the blogosphere. Not at all. I've missed interacting with all my cyber friends way too much for that. But I'm ready for a fresh approach to blogging. With that in mind, I've started a new blog.  For those who still wish to keep in touch, you can find me at: http://gwynnethwhite.blogspot.com/

I hope to see you there!

Love
Gwynneth

Friday, 5 October 2012

WHY I BLOG

Gwynneth writes . . .



I haven't participated in this meme for a while, and I've really missed it, so here we are back with another FF hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The question this week is an interesting one:

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different? 

To be honest, I'd never even considered owning a blog before I started researching how authors market their books in the 21 century. 

That was at the start of 2012 and every guru on the subject insisted that you had to have a blog to get the word out about your books. So, being the lemming I am, I immediately followed suit. 

But I didn't want yet another new-author-trying-to-make-it-in-an-overcrowded-market-blog, that was why I let Seth and Erin, my characters from Pledged, write most of the posts. It was my way of establishing them as real living-breathing people, not just characters in a book. Doing that proved to be challenging fun, and I know it has been well received amongst my followers.

Now that Pledged has been launched, I feel we need to share the posts. So while most of them will still be written by Seth and Erin, I also want a say.


Has blogging worked as a marketing tool? Again, to be honest, I don't know. But what I do know is that I've grown to love the contact with other bloggers and the excitement of being part of this magical world. That alone makes it all worthwhile.

So, tell me, why do you blog?

Saturday, 29 September 2012

WINNER of the KINDLE FIRE

Gwynneth writes . . . 

September draws to a close and with it the launch month of:



So how has the launch gone?

For me personally the launch was over-shadowed by the sudden illness and death of my father-in-law Tony. More like a father and best friend, he'd been my writing mentor for years. He was part of the editing team on Pledged, freely offering me his magic with words and descriptions. The book was richer for his effort.

Sadly, he took ill with pneumonia at the beginning of September, by the middle of the month he was gone. His legacy will live on. But, as you can imagine, book launches, marketing, blogging, Facebook pages, and Twitter have taken a back seat in my life this month.

October is now upon us, and it's time for me to regroup and to look to the future. I will be more actively involved on my blog, Facebook page and - with the odd sporadic burst - Twitter. Those who follow me on Twitter will know I'm a pretty useless Tweeter! I still have to get my head around that blue bird.

But for all that I was detached during September, I am aware of the effort and support Pledged was given by all the wonderful bloggers who took part in the three months blog tour and launch. Thank you, each one of you. I really appreciate it.

Now to the final part of the launch. As part of the promotion campaign for Pledged, Swallow Press offered a Kindle Fire draw to the bloggers who took part in the blog tour. 

All of your names were put into a hat (a bowl actually) and a winner was chosen. And the WINNER is . . .  Drum Roll . . .
 
 


Congratulations Think from me and everyone at Swallow Press. It's a pleasure to give the Kindle to you. Please email Andrew at: sethanderin(at)swallowpress(dot)com to claim your prize.

Between Seth's and Erin's upcoming posts (they have a few ideas up their sleeves), I will be posting some of the things I learned from the launch. I hope you will find it interesting. In the meantime, take care.

G

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Waking Dream Winner

Seth writes . . .

The giveaway of a signed copy of The Waking Dream is over, but, sadly, our Rafflecopter decided to cop-out, so we had to choose a winner manually. That meant writing all four of your names on a piece of paper and pulling one of them out of a hat. (My wrist is aching from the effort) But, as unscientific as it was, our winner is  . . . drum roll . . .

Martha C.

Congratulations Martha. We have informed Jennifer Ford and she will be emailing you about addresses and all that boring stuff. Hope you enjoy the book as much as we did.

Cheers
S

Friday, 21 September 2012

Meet the characters from THE WAKING DREAM


Seth writes . . .
As promised, we’re chatting with three fascinating people today – Dante, Kerran and Ke’arhra from:

Welcome to Today In Shenaya you guys. 
 As Dante is the commander of the city Illamar, a town surrounded by hostile desert where most of the action takes place, I think it’s only proper that we kick off with him. So Dante, can you give our readers some idea of the size of your town – how many people live there?
Dante: “Seth, It’s a modest city of roughly five thousand people. The city itself is divided into four main sections, with the central square at its heart. Originally it seems they – by that I mean the original builders - meant to have equal sized sections of the city, but it turns out that the northern section is the largest, the southern is the smallest, and the other two are about the same. Geographically each section holds roughly the same amount of territory, but people have come to favor the northern side of the city. The square is full of shops and people flock there all day long. Almost out of the main square is where you'll find the Black Rose Tavern; if you stop in tell Nell I sent you!”  
Seth: Will do, as I hear the food is great. Which brings me to my next question. You’ve been cut off from the rest of the world for five years. How did it feel to be so isolated?
Dante: “At first I wasn't too concerned. But as the years started to go by, our situation was becoming more and more urgent; and we (the council and I) had decided to hide the seriousness of our predicament from the people as much and as long as possible. It was something that weighed heavy on my mind constantly. I never minded being separated from the outer cities. But to be cut off from supplies we had come to rely on was alarming. When you live in a desert, there is only so much you can provide. And when you have a large group of people concentrated in one area, there are many challenges to keeping everyone cared for. It's something I certainly hope I never go through again.”
Seth: A solution came from a most unlikely source – a tribe of pretty scary Desert People you didn’t even know existed. Now, you’re clearly a very level-headed man, how did it feel to be totally overwhelmed by the Desert People’s magic?
Dante: “You said it best - it was overwhelming. That is the first and only time in my life when logic failed me. How does one rationalize magic? You can't! It is what it is and you are completely at its whim. Extremely unnerving experience. And to spend so much time with such powerful people around me, constantly using their power...well, I'm very grateful to be back home in my city where things make sense. I respect the Desert People, I admire them, I hope to be able to call some of them my friends, but I could not live in close proximity to them.
Seth: *smiling* I kind of don’t blame you! But there was someone in Illamar who reacted quite differently to the Desert People – Kerran.
Kerran: *grins, nodding*
Seth: “Kerran, you’ve an adventurous, almost restless spirit. Didn’t you ever want to leave Illamar to go exploring the world beyond the desert?”
Kerran: *looking surprised* “No. I never had a reason to leave. I didn't like the traders much; they were dirty, always traveling endlessly. Some people, the Commander included, loved listening to their tales from other cities, but that never appealed to me. Until I met Ke'arhra, I thought I was content with my life.”
Seth: *nods* “Yeah. All it takes is one woman to turn the world upside down.”
Kerran: “You’ve got that right.”
Seth: So tell me, although destiny is important to the Desert People, how did you feel when you were thrust into the role of the ‘prophesied one’ without your approval or choice?” *aside to the readers* Anyone who’s read Pledged, will know that when that happened to me, I didn’t react well at all.
Kerran: It was very uncomfortable. I knew they were expecting a hero, and I knew I was going to let them down. It was very confusing, because I actually cared what these strangers thought of me. It was like being in some strange dream. The things I spent most of my life fighting for suddenly didn't matter anymore. For a while it was like there was a stranger living inside me- and that was deeply disturbing.
Seth: *smiling* I think the real motivator was Ke’arhra. Initially you hated her, so if destiny had not intervened would you have chosen to be with her?
Kerran: Right from the moment I first saw her, Ke'arhra was different from any other woman I've ever met. I hated her because, well, she provoked me. She played me. And I really did hate her for that. If she hadn't been so damned irritating I would have been very attracted to her. If we met under different circumstances, I would have pursued her. Given what things were, if destiny hadn't interfered, I think she would have killed me. And I would have died hating her.”
Seth: Okay, this is where I hand over to Erin, ‘cause she’d kill me if I stole this moment from her.
Erin: *ginning*. I’ve got Seth well trained! Hello, Ke’arhra, since reading your story I’ve been dying to know something about you. When you first met Kerran you had very little time for him. Would you have chosen to be with him if destiny had not intervened?
Ke’arhra: *gives Erin a steely look* Based on what I knew of him when I met him, no - I would not have chosen him. I thought he had no part in the prophecy and was therefore useless to me. As arrogant as he was, I would most certainly have killed him. Even knowing it to be Aulani's will, I still resisted and did not want him at first.
Erin: Well, on that cryptic note, I think we’ll leave it there. If you’d like to know more about Dante, Kerran and Ke’arha then you can enter our GIVEAWAY to win a SIGNED copy of The Waking Dream.
Or you can buy the book through: Amazon / B&N / Outskirt Press

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER FORD

Seth writes . . .

We're really excited to introduce our author of the week to you: Jennifer Ford.

JENNIFER FORD

She's the creator of the fantasy The Waking Dream and you can read a review of the book here

Erin: Jennifer, welcome to our corner of madness. Please tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you're not writing?

Jennifer:  When I’m not writing I can be found working in my garden, playing with photography (I specialize in black and white film photography), playing with my cats, hanging out with my family, and trying to keep up with life. And for the next couple months I will be avidly following the football season!

Erin: *pulls face* Football? Maybe Seth should be doing this interview.

Seth: No Problem! Although I must admit to being more of a basketball player than a footballer. Still, which team do you support?

Erin: *interrupts* Okay, okay. Enough. Back to the topic at hand. Jennifer, how do your characters communicate with you?

Jennifer: *smiling* Later Seth. Okay, Erin. Characters usually talk to me, telling me what they should be doing. If I don’t listen, they start yelling at me, so I try to pay attention as soon as they start talking.
 
Seth: I like! So your characters really controls your story.

Jennifer: Yes. I just make suggestions. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t. *Erin and Seth share a grin* But it all seems to work out in the end!

Erin: Are you working with some new characters in a new project? And if so, how do your other characters feel about it?
   
Jennifer: I am working with new characters on a whole other world- and the characters from The Waking Dream obliged me for a while and then they got a bit jealous. They started chattering at me, trying to make their voices louder than the voices of the new characters I was working with. It got very loud for a while!

Seth: I can imagine it would. So how do you handle it when your characters give you a hard time with writer’s block?
     
Jennifer: I usually take a break and read something completely unrelated by a really great author. That opens the creative pathways back up and I can focus again.

Erin: Did your characters teach you anything when writing their story? 
 
Jennifer: Yes; they did! They taught me that until the story is written, I don’t know what is going to happen or how everyone gets from scene A to scene B. I just have to trust my instincts and let the story tell itself.

Seth: You mean trust your characters' instincts!  

Erin: Ignore Seth. Jennifer, do you have any advice for other writers coping with the challenge of characters and stories appearing in their heads?

Jennifer: Write everything down as soon as you can once it comes to you. Don’t try to make sense of it when you’re writing it down- just get it all down. I keep a small notebook with me at all times so I can jot things down wherever I am. I’ve had to stop in the grocery store and write down a few lines! There is magic in the moment; sometimes if I wait then I lose it and have to work to try and get the lines right.

Erin: Is there anything your characters want to say to our readers?
     
Jennifer: Hmmm, I’m sure they would say something, but they are clamoring over each other to be the one that gets to talk. So they’re all going into separate corners for a time out!
 
Seth: *aside to Erin* We would never behave like that.

Erin: *whispers* Shush, Seth. They'll hear. So Jennifer, what advice would you give our readers who are also writers to continue in the noble work of providing a voice for characters?

Jennifer: Don’t stop until the story is done. Don’t rush yourself. I always take plenty of time to let the story develop in my head before I try to write anything, I have to let it take root and grow and then I can sit down and visualize what is happening.

Erin: Now for the most important question of the interview.
Who is your favorite book boyfriend?
    
Jennifer: I think I need more information to answer this. . . What kind of boyfriend?? Are we talking people, wolves, elves, dragons, immortals, etc.? Does it have to be a published book or can it be one I haven’t finished yet? There are so many to choose from . . . Young and innocent vs. older and tainted . . . it’s hard enough for me to pick a favorite book. I’m not sure I could actually pick one favorite book boyfriend. . . *voice trails off* 

Jennifer, thank you so much for visiting with us today.

And to our readers, if you would like to contact Jennifer, you will find her at:
And you can buy a copy of The Waking Dream at: Amazon / B&N / Outskirt Press

Or you can enter our GIVEAWAY and win a SIGNED copy of the book. Like all our giveaways, this is International.
Cheers
S&E

Sunday, 16 September 2012

THE WAKING DREAM by Jennifer Ford

Seth writes. . . 

If you're a regular reader to this blog you'll know we usually review books that resonate in some way with our own story, Pledged. The Waking Dream by Jennifer Ford is no exception.


It also focuses on a lost people as you will see from the Goodreads synopsis:

Cut off from the outside world by a hostile desert full of savage secrets, the city of Illamar must fend for itself. Late one night, Dante Montero, Commander and Ruler of Illamar, is confronted on his own streets by a mysterious woman bearing an ominous message from a dangerous man known only as Rasheim. 

Dante and his close friend Kerran, Captain of the Guard, rush to discover the identity of Rasheim and the nature of the threat posed against their city. The closer they get to the truth, the more their worlds begin to fall apart. Both men will have to rely heavily on their friendship as they struggle to comprehend the events happening around them, their past, and even the truth about themselves. They must move quickly and choose wisely, for time is running out as Dante and Kerran discover a secret plot is already underway to destroy their city and kill every last person alive. It seems the answers they so desperately need can only be found in a sequence of dreams, but in a world where nothing is as it seems, even their dreams could turn out to be deadly.

Seth writes. . . Okay, that's the official waffle, now down to what I think. 

The Waking Dream is magical fantasy on steroids. I loved it. The story is utterly original, the world building spellbinding, and the characters so defined they leap right off the page.

But be warned, it does get off to a slow start. Don’t let it put you off or you will miss a fantastical – in every sense of the word – read. The slow build up in the beginning is essential for setting the main characters and the overall tone.

It was also cool to read a story seen through the eyes of two guys for a change – Dante and Kerran. Close friends, they both have very different, but equally important missions to fulfill.

Given the title, The Waking Dream, you can expect a lot of dream sequences and you won’t be disappointed. They litter the book, but are so well handled, with such originality, it almost took my breath away. In one crucial part of the book the use of the dream world was pure genius.

Erin writes. . . And for those who are wondering about LOVE, you need to know that it isn’t a romance, although there is a very sensual relationship that develops between Kerran and urgh! I can’t tell because that would be a spoiler of note. Just know that it’s there, adding a spicy twist to the story.

So now you know that you HAVE to own and read this book, we're pleased to tell you we're running a GIVEAWAY. Yes, the author is giving us a SIGNED copy to offer you as a prize. 

Trust me, if you love fantasy, magic, and great characters then you want this book. So fill in the Rafflecopter below. Or, if you are really impatient to read it, then you can buy it through: Amazon / B&N / Outskirt Press

a Rafflecopter giveaway

On Wednesday we will be posting an interview with Jennifer Ford, followed by our usual character interviews on Friday.

Cheers
S&E