Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Tour Giveaway + Review for "Meet Me in the Strange" by Leander Watts

Meet Me in the Strange
by Leander Watts

Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

From the author of Beautiful City of the Dead and Stonecutter comes a dreamy, atmospheric coming of age story that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Davi tries to help a new friend, Anna Z, escape a cruel and controlling brother, and the teens end up running away to follow the tour of their rock idol, the otherworldly Django Conn. The story is set in a weird and wonderful retro-futuristic city of glam-girls and glister-boys and a strange phenomenon that Anna Z calls the “Alien Drift.”

My Review

5 of 5 stars

As I was reading "Meet Me in the Strange" I wondered if the author knew music, real music. Because each chapter flowed effortlessly into another, like movements in a symphony, or maybe a rock opera. Dialogue between characters rose and fell in rhythmic waves. The pulse-pounding songs sung by Django Conn and his band carried me along with Davi and Anna Z. The cocktail of retro, like a darkly tilted mirror of our history, lunar landings and Ziggy Stardust, blended with science fiction offered a surprisingly modern feel. The setting, while important, didn't matter half so much as the characters, Davi and the wild lyrical girl who alters his worldview.

Rarely do books transport me so fully and effectively, until I thought I could see the passing light of Alien Drift. I love how this was as much a thrilling coming-of-age as a love letter to youth, words and music. 

Author Bio

An avid musician, Leander Watts has played and sung for decades in a wide variety of bands. His interests range from garage rock to skronky jazz, from baroque organ to Appalachian gospel. The first rock concert he attended was David Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974. He teaches writing and literature at the State University of New York at Geneseo (his alma mater). Leander Watts is the author of Stonecutter, Wild Ride to Heaven, Ten Thousand Charms, and Beautiful City of the Dead.

Website / Goodreads



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review & Tour Giveaway for LLDR by Safari Spell!

Long Live Dead Reckless

by Safari Spell

(Long Live Dead Reckless #1)

Publication date: July 19th 2016

Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Talor Gardin may be a princess, but her life is no fairy tale.

A year ago, her mother died and her father burned down their house. Now with a father in and out of a mental ward, she’s working a minimum wage job to finish her last semester of college. To make matters worse, she gets itchy every time a guy makes a move on her. The itch could be anything, really: a desire to escape her haunted hometown, a financial windfall, the name of some vampire…or all the above. Whatever the reason, she thinks the answers are written in the freckle constellations of her cute new coworker, Sage Talis.

Sage is the quiet, polite type with plenty of secrets – like fangs and a price on his head – and Talor can’t figure out what makes him so irresistible until she hears him sing. But when cryptic letters appear on her wrist, Talor is thrust into a world where fantastic creatures lurk just below the skin, strangers keep calling her a princess, and everything she’s been through is nothing compared to what’s coming.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Review

3 of 5 Stars

Long Live Dead Reckless is one of the most original genre novels I've read. Shows like True Blood and Vampire Diaries have shaped our opinion of vampires in the last decade for better or worse. But our expectations of a familiar trope also allow new authors like Safari Spell to easily throw us for a loop. The characters all felt fresh and fully fleshed out and the paranormal elements were unique and intriguing. Unfortunately the book ended just as it was becoming interesting. 

Personally I had a hard time deciding which guy to root for, much like Talor. And once we started to get to know Sage and his bandmates I had mixed feelings. However, this is largely an origin story, with much room for future character development. Possibly the thing I was most excited about was the reveal of Big Bad. We finally learn why Talor is a princess and what Sage and his fellow Vamps actually are. I'm a huge fan of bad guys and antiheroes, which is probably why I'm an Eric Northman/Klaus Mikaelson kind of gal. So I have a feeling I would really love Big Bad and the sequel to LLDR.

The imagination and creative way this author circumvents familiar tropes, alongside engaging characters make this a worthy read. Fun for fans of paranormal romance and plot twists, Long Live Dead Reckless is a fresh and campy take on the power of immortal love.

Author Bio


Safari Spell is a native of Albany, Georgia. She has a BA in Journalism from Valdosta State University. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband, hilarious daughter, and a backyard jungle harboring all the dinosaurs everyone thinks are extinct. Her dreams include chasing autumn around the globe, owning a wallaby, and riding a camel for at least nine seconds.

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Updates! March #TakeControlTBR

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone! Today, I'm decked out in my Irish socks, my Irish Princess crown and after eating a very Irish supper with my Irish family, plan to round out the night with some Irish coffee. ;) 

In other news, I struggled earlier this month to get through The Flame and the Arrow, but am happy to say my slow-reading streak is over! Here are three reviews from my latest three reads. Hope y'all enjoy!


by Meagan Spooner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A beautiful, haunting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. In this rare case, I have no words to describe how deeply this novel touched my heart and inspired my imagination to see through to the heart. Proof that fairy tales are truly timeless and once in a while, retellings can achieve perfection.

Rise of the Sea Witch

by Stacey Rourke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Rise of the Sea Witch

Rise of the Sea Witch is the cheekier and fabulous alternative to The Little Mermaid. I've always been a fan of villain origin stories and Stacey Rourke weaves Ursula's tale with the perfect blend of comic tragedy and Disney nostalgia. I haven't had so much fun reading a book since the Throne of Glass series.

Princess? ...I Think Not!: A Princess Series Novel

by Ashley Brooke Robbins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Princess? ...I Think Not!: A Princess Series Novel

Not Your Average Princess

How can I begin to sum up this book in a few sentences? While events didn't pick up right away, and it took some time to grow used to the MC's "voice," I am glad I kept reading.

Baily King is not your classic ideal princess. She swears like a sailor, speaks with brutal honesty and loves all things dark and dreary. Her best friends are also unique, marching to their own drum. Which is what truly drew me in deeper to this story. No one, not even our favorite Goth princess is two-dimensional. Like real people, these character are richly layered and complicated. Each time I expected the author to take them a direction or react in a predictable way, they were delightfully unpredictable.

Certain aspects of Baily's story I saw coming a mile away, but it was still a journey I enjoyed taking with her.

While this novel isn't without flaws, and honestly there are few debuts free of them, it has a strong core message. Each complex character played a part in spreading the authors entreaty for standing not just for your friends or a belief system but rather yourself.

Fun for fans of The Princess Diaries series and other lovely misfit tales.

View all my reviews

Grand Finale for "The Sweetest Heart" by Catherine Lanigan

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Heart's Desire
By Catherine Lanigan

***Premiering as The Sweetest Heart on the Hallmark Channel March 17th, 9 PM EDT***
(check your local listings for your air time)

Launch - The First Heartwarming novel to become a Hallmark Channel Movie:

To say I’m thrilled about my book being made into a movie is an understatement. I’m blessed and so very appreciative to all the people who have worked for over four long and arduous years to make this happen. In the movies, the heroine (me) would get a phone call and someone (the publisher) would announce that Hallmark just bought my book. That’s the dream scenario. That’s not what happened...

But here is the story within the story. For two plus years I have put one foot in front of the other hoping to make good on my promise to Jed. I have asked the producers to dedicate the film, “In Memory of Jed Nolan”. They’ve said they will do this on the end scroll. Whether it makes it past the cutting room or not, is in God’s hands. But I’ll be fighting for it all the way.

I’m still keeping my promise, Jed. I will never give up.

Please join me on my Prism Book Tour for Heart’s Desire. It will air on Hallmark on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, which is the beginning of their SPRING FLING promotion. There will be lots of ads about our first Heartwarming book made into a film.

— Catherine

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

"Heart’s Desire reminds me all over again why I love Indian Lake and its characters. The small town is welcoming and quaint, with its own personality and atmosphere. At the same time, it’s close enough to Chicago to allow for a nice blending of the big city with the small town life. Through Nate and Maddie’s story, Lanigan explores our hearts’ desires – the way they evolve over time and the way they sometimes take a direction we weren’t anticipating. Every reader will be able to relate on this level to these characters, and in the meantime they are treated to a sweet romance and a not-sure-how-this-is-going-to-turn-out plot. Looking forward to its adaptation on the Hallmark Channel. Congrats, Catherine!"

It's All About the Romance - My Favorite Romance Novels

Obviously, hands down my favorite would have to be ROMANCING THE STONE. Here it is 34 years later and it’s still a classic. The story still holds up and it’s funny. The lines are classic.

And so is the story. Even though the movie has been out of print for three decades, the movie is available on Amazon on DVD. So is JEWEL OF THE NILE.

For those coming to this blog, here’s an interesting tid bit. This past Wednesday, I had my pre-interview with the producer of HALLMARK HOME and FAMILY SHOW. Milena was terrific and we got along like old friends. Can’t ask for more than that. She asked me if there was anything in Romancing the Stone that was mine, since I’d written the book from the screenplay...

"Once again Mrs. Lanigan has transported us back to Indian Lake. Where everything seems real including the characters. This is the second book I have read from this author. This book will keep ya turning the pages to see what is going to happen...

I really enjoyed this book and felt every moment of the story."

Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! - Favorite Romance Books

Truth be told, I’m a diehard Jane Austen fan. I could read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE again. But I don’t have the time and the pages are falling out. What’s worse, I’ve seen the movie, oh, thirty, forty times. What a waste of time, right? I know how it ends.

I read Gone with The Wind so many times, my mother thought there was something wrong with me. I studied The ART of the ROMANCE NOVEL as a course in college. My mother gave me her mother’s favorite romance novel from 1914, BEULAH. I hated the woman’s name, adored the story...

"Heart’s Desire, book #2 in Catherine Lanigan’s Shores of Indian Lake series, is a sweet and enjoyable romance - creative and well written. The small-town Illinois setting of Indian Lake is vividly conveyed, drawing me right in to the community and residents, making it a place I’d love to visit – especially Maddie’s café. Each story in this series stands alone; however, reading in order lets you revisit beloved characters and see how they are doing. But best of, this story premiers as a Hallmark Channel movie entitled Sweetest Heart on March 17! As an avid Hallmark fan, I’m excited to see Maddie and Nate’s story come alive on the screen."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

She’d received beautiful flowers a few days ago, which was a first for her. Alex had even called her last night to make certain they’d arrived.

“Hey, beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow,” he’d said, his voice filled with anticipation. He spoke in a sultry baritone she’d never heard during their office meetings. Their conversations had always been about profits, projected earnings and potentials.

“They’re just gorgeous,” she’d gushed. “So exotic. Especially for this time of year.”

“I like unusual and unexpected things. Were you surprised?”

“Very. I couldn’t figure out who would be sending me flowers.”

“Ah. That’s good,” he said. “I wanted you to have something special while I was away...” His voice trailed off as if there was something else he was going to say before he thought better of it.

“So I don’t forget you? Is that what you were going to say, Alex?

Remembrancy - Review

"Another engaging and warm read from Catherine Lanigan that, thanks to Hallmark, we can soon watch on the small screen. Between Maddie’s friendships, Nate’s family, and the small town, this story is a perfect fit for the channel that focuses on romance."

I Am A Reader - Elements of Making a Memorable Movie

As my Heartwarming book, Heart’s Desire, comes to The Hallmark Channel, (re-titled THE SWEETEST HEART,) honestly, I haven’t had but a few moments to reflect on my favorite movies and what are the things that make my heart go ZING. But as I write these posts for this fabulous tour with Prism Book Tours, I realize that there are common threads for me.

Obviously, strong, emotional writing is everything. My producer, director husband, Jed Nolan, used to tell me that there was no way to repair a bad script. That’s why producers look so hard and long to find THE story that they want to spend a year, two years, ten years of their lives on. (Castaway took Tom Hanks 10 years to get a green light.) This isn’t play time. A producer will risk his money, his house, his reputation, sometimes his relationships, to see his film make it to the screen. That’s pretty daunting when you think about it...

"I loved reading about Maddie's quest to franchise her Cupcakes and Coffee Cafe. The whole process was fascinating—and complicated, as Alex, the investment firm employee helping her secure an investor, had more that business on his mind. Then, just as everything seemed to be going right with Maddie's business (and with Alex), her ex-boyfriend Nate showed up. The scene where Maddie first saw Nate was one of my favorites in the whole book ."

Dark shadows filled Maddie’s eyes as she continued to look at herself. Was it possible that only today, the flutter of a memory of Nate Barzonni, her first love, a high school romance, had haunted her? Even now, as she recalled his blazing Mediterranean-blue eyes and the intoxicating, addictive kisses they’d shared, her emotions were a storm of anger and pain. Nate had abandoned her eleven years ago, and she still felt the heartbreak.

If she ever saw him again, it would be too soon.

But then, there was the very real fact of Alex’s flowers—real and aggressive. He was spinning her dream for her, and though he would be gone for nearly a month, he promised to call and text her often. He’d told her they were close to finding an investor. Alex knew there was nothing more important to her than her business.

"Another wonderful story by Catherine Lanigan. I love the story line and the sweet love story. The characters are awesome. It's always so fun to remember them from another story.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone who loves to read a good romance with lots of extras."

Maddie walked into the main showroom and up to the front window where there was a step-up round riser. She lifted her skirt and heard the swishing of all the underskirts and the peau de soie next to the horsehair net. She stood still and looked at herself in the two cheval mirrors. The gleam of the light from the crystal chandelier overhead pirouetted off the crystals in the dress.

Mrs. Beabots clasped her hands together and brought them to her smiling lips. “You are a vision for my eyes, my dear!”

Sarah was dumbstruck and could barely speak. “It’s you, Maddie. The dress is like the angels made it for you.” 

NATE BARZONNI HAD always been a man of single purpose and clear-minded goals. Never once had he thought his mind was incapable of reasoning out the best course of action for the highest possible good. He was a man of honor and conviction. He was a leader, and little swayed him off his chosen course or derailed him from his beliefs. He’d never been drunk, never used drugs, never lied or cheated. His mind was as sharp as a razor and as tight as a trap.

But that day, Nate was sure he’d lost all his senses and the entirety of his reasoning ability when he’d purposefully gone back to that bridal shop to confirm whether what he’d seen was real or a mirage. The shock of seeing Maddie Strong trying on a wedding gown was enough to rip his insides apart.

“I’m too busy for men.”

“So you say, but I wasn’t the one seeing an apparition of my former sweetheart out that window,” Mrs. Beabots concluded with the kind of sharp clip to the end of her comment that warned others that the Oracle had spoken.

Sarah’s eyes tracked from Mrs. Beabots back to Maddie, who was clearly confused and still a bit shaken by the vision or ghost or whatever it was she saw. “Maybe it was just all the excitement of these gorgeous gowns and dressing up. Maybe…”

Paulette's Papers - The Trouble With Loving Films

If you watch WHEN CALLS THE HEART on The Hallmark Channel, you’ll recognize Andrea Brooks. She plays the nurse to Paul Greene’s character. These are lovely ladies whom it was my privilege to meet. If all goes well, we will be meeting again. I have to write a book for Andrea, but I’ve had her character, Chloe in my head for years!! She’s an actress. Oh, to have that heart broken. Sorry, Andrea. But I told her that on set. She was good with it...

Nate believed that people didn’t change their core personalities as they matured. Even at seventeen, Maddie had been compassionate, kind, bright, fun and deeply loving.

There had been times during his stint in the navy and later in med school when he’d remembered all too well what it was like to be with Maddie. To love her. As much as he wanted back then to return to Indian Lake and sweep her off her feet, he couldn’t do it. It wouldn’t have been true to himself. He’d sacrificed love in order to be the cardiac surgeon he was today.

January, 2018 

As I was sitting on the set, freezing in the unheated vacant old Cupcake café that we were shooting in. Ironically, the owner was in financial straits, which is the crux of the conflict for Maddie Strong…. she’s about to lose her business if she doesn’t get funding and expand —we heard that Hallmark was going to change the title from HEART’S DESIRE to THE SWEETEST HEART.
I could already hear the grumbling from Harlequin and my mind flashed back to an executive meeting I had in Los Angeles in January of 1984...

Among the Reads - Review

"It’s always interesting to find a new author only to discover they have been writing for a long time. Catherine Lanigan has written many books, and I imagine they are all as good as Heart’s Desire.   ...

The author did a great job in conveying deep emotion and creating a realistic love triangle. The story went one direction and then another, yet it still made sense given the history and Maddie’s insecurity. Once you thought everything was going well, a new conflict arose.

Overall, it was a great story and just the right length."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt

Maddie stared at Nate. She didn’t know if she’d turned to ice or fire. She felt afraid and bold all at the same time. She told herself again that Sarah had been right. She was seeing a ghost.
Somehow, she managed to gather the courage to put one foot in front of the other, and with half the town staring at her, she walked across the dining room.

Streams of sunlight came through the huge windows that overlooked the lake as Maddie made her way around the chairs and tables, never taking her eyes off Nate. She didn’t hesitate as she pushed through the French doors to the Garden Room and came face-to-face with Nate.

Maddie sank into her office chair and ran her fingers through her hair. “Wow. A real investor.” She stared at the phone. Alex.

She felt the blood in her veins turn to ice as she faced the unknown. She balled her fists. “I can do this,” she told herself and glanced at herself in the antique gilt mirror she’d hung on the wall next to her desk so that she could always check her hair and lipstick before greeting customers. “I can do this. I want to do this. I will succeed in doing this.”

Her gleaming green eyes stared back at her. The girl in the mirror seemed genuinely confident. It was not bravado. She believed what she said.

"Heart’s Desire is a delightful read that I thought was worth sitting down for a few hours. It is heartwarming, cute, sweet, clean and romantic. I did not care that it was slightly predictable. Definitely, worth putting on a reader’s must read list. I give it a well-deserved 5 stars and look forward to reading others in the Shores of Indian Lake series, as well as, more by Catherine Lanigan."

Brooke Blogs - Behind the Scenes on a Film Set

My husband used to say that making a film was no less work and no less hands than building a city. Though THE SWEETEST HEART is a television film on The Hallmark Channel, and certainly not TITANIC (which my agent worked on, by the way, for over two years), it’s mind-boggling what goes into the making of a film.

Sure there are folks out there who video some footage, put it together and post on YouTube. That’s not the kind of film I’m talking about.

One of the reasons this film looks so delicious, so lovely is the eye of the director, Steve Monroe. Yes, he was friendly and funny and had a great story about his kids jumping naked on the family trampoline at home in LA, while we were all freezing and wet in Vancouver. But, he was incredibly concentrated on the film. EVERY aspect of the film. I watched while he blocked the actors. As he created the lighting with his team. Along with the Director of Photography, there wasn’t an aspect overlooked...

"Love the story of Maddie and Nate. I am looking forward to seeing the movie of it. . . . Also I lot of other great characters in the book. I loved the name of one."

"Heart's Desire was a captivating story that had me hooked from the bridal shop scene...

All in all, this was an enjoyable read and I'm glad to have read it. I'm excited that this book was made into a Hallmark TV movie and definitely plan to watch it once it airs."

He considered her to be a genius because she’d made something out of nothing. That was the definition of genius to him. An idea was only ether and energy until someone put faith in it and molded, coddled, loved and forced it into existence.

She was a marvel to him and he hadn’t had enough time yet to tell her.

That was something he intended to rectify—soon.

He pulled the lid off his steaming cappuccino and took a sip. He took another sip. Then he whistled with appreciation. “Darn, that’s good. Really good.”

Nate was a coffee lover, and to his recollection, Maddie’s coffee was the best he’d ever tasted. The drink the other night wasn’t just a fluke. Maddie’s blend was exceptional. Was it possible that Maddie had bested the gourmet restaurants in Chicago and New York he’d visited? Was the milk different? Had she found better beans? What other tricks had she discovered in the years they’d been apart?

Becky on Books - Interview

Welcome, Catherine! What 5 things should readers know about you?

Because this tour is a bit different from my other book release tours, in that we are announcing the airing of THE HALLMARK CHANNEL film of my book HEART’S DESIRE, I thought I’d answer these questions with a film slant.

The first thing readers should know is that I have worked on this particular film for over four years. My producers are two of the loveliest ladies I’ve met in the film industry. They have persevered through a great deal to bring the first of my SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE SERIES to television.

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below, if you haven't already...

Heart's Desire reissued as
The Sweetest Heart
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Catherine Lanigan
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 191 pages
August 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

His homecoming is bittersweet…for both of them

Café owner Maddie Strong is finally ready to take her burgeoning cupcake business to the next level. With the help of handsome businessman Alex Perkins, her future's all mapped out. Until her first love comes home.

At seventeen, Maddie adored Nate Barzonni with her whole heart and soul. But when he asked her to elope, she'd said no—she couldn't let him throw away his dream of becoming a doctor. Then he vanished from her life for eleven years. Now the cardiac surgeon has returned to Indian Lake asking for a second chance, and Maddie has to choose between her new life…and the man she never stopped loving.

Other Books in the Series

About the Author

Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of over forty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over twenty-four languages. Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid foundation to pen a collection of compelling and informative true stories of teen addicts. Ms. Lanigan’s SHORES OF INDIAN LAKE series for HARLEQUIN HEARTWARMING includes LOVE SHADOWS, HEART’S DESIRE , A FINE YEAR FOR LOVE, KATIA’S PROMISE, FEAR OF FALLING, SOPHIE’S PATH, PROTECTING THE SINGLE MOM, FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HIS BABY DILEMMA, TOO CLOSE TO THE FIRE (2018) and MY RACING HEART (2019).

The Hallmark Channel will air HEART’S DESIRE on March 17, 2018.

Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs. She writes a monthly blog for Visit her at, on Facebook, LinkedIn,, Pinterest, Goodreads and Google+.

Tour Giveaway


1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends March

Grab Our Button!

Monday, March 12, 2018

These Vengeful Souls Authors Interview! Hosted by Xpresso Book Tours

These Vengeful Souls


Kelly Zekas &Tarun Shanker

See the source image

Published by: Swoon Reads

Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

About the Authors

Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.

Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.

Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.

Like what you've seen so far? Keep reading for an exclusive interview with this dynamic duo:

Interview with Kelly & Tarun

SS: First of all, thanks so much for sharing These Vengeful Souls with us. Vengeful Souls is third in your These Viscous Masks series. Could y'all tell us a little about the inspiration behind your series?

K&T: It mainly started as a silly brainstorming game about what the typical book we’d write together would be. So we just combined our favorite genres to read at the time (superheroes for Tarun and Victorian-era for Kelly) and started coming up with a list of fun combinations of tropes and “what if’s.” What if the broody gothic hero literally had the power to kill people he got too close to? What if the “perfect” charming sister actually just had a power that made people fall in love with her? And so forth. Eventually, we realized we actually liked a lot of those ideas and hadn’t really seen a world quite like this one, so we started an actual list and pieced together a story from there!

SS: I love it. So many great stories come about from circumventing tropes and turning them upside down. In your bio, you mention how you both met in a writing class your freshman year in college. What made you guys realize you worked best as a team and how has it impacted your writing?

K&T: We decided to work together because we both had an expertise in these two different genres, but we didn’t really know we’d make a good team until we were deep into writing. Since then, we’ve realized Tarun is more of a plot person, while Kelly thinks of character first. Tarun is heavy on outlining, while Kelly is a panster. And though we have different approaches, we have similar tastes for what makes a story good. So when one of us is having trouble with a certain part, there’s a good chance the other will be able to fix it because they’ll tackle it from another angle.

SS: That sounds like a dream team! Now for the serious question... As authors, what would y'all choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

K&T: If we were to pick our mascots we would probably go with a Red Panda or Fiona the Hippo for Kelly and a turtle for Tarun.

SS: You both mention backgrounds in acting and/or screen-writing. Do either of you feel this unique background has helped your writing?

K&T: We realized that acting and screenwriting are just different ways to tell stories and ultimately, that’s what we care about: telling stories. The backgrounds help, especially when it comes to things like backstory, which Kelly has always had to work on with different characters, or structure and dialogue, which Tarun had to focus on with screenwriting.

SS: Have y'all ever considered writing a screenplay together?

K&T: We are currently doing that at the moment! We don’t want to say too much about it yet, but it is a period piece set in England, so still very much on brand.

SS: That sounds exciting! Can't wait to see what you deliver. Back to These Vicious Masks, did y'all know from the beginning this would be a series or did it the story grow organically?

K&T: We always saw it as a trilogy, and while it has changed some from the original concept, we just had too many ideas on that first brainstorming list that we knew it would take a full three books to tell Evelyn’s story and develop the world.

SS: Are your characters based on people you know, or do they live solely in your imagination?

K&T: There are little bits of people we love (and maybe don’t love!) in the books, but overall the characters are just in our heads. We don’t picture any people we know as the characters and we have to give them such different circumstances and backgrounds, that it would be very hard to insert them.

That said, there is always a little slice of us in most of the main characters. Even if it’s a villain, we think it’s helpful to share a trait (or at the very least, an opinion) with them to be able to write their perspective effectively.

SS: Love the way you guys described sharing traits with your characters. Like method acting for writers. Speaking of other authors, are there any you guys are friends with, and how do they help you become better writers?

K&T: We really didn’t know other writers when we first got published! It was only once we were had a debut year group and found other Swoon Reads authors that we began to connect with writers besides ourselves. They have been a huge source of support and love these past few years. We’ve shared panels and parties with some wonderful authors who are always there to empathize and cheerlead.

SS: This is an aspect of this business I love most. It really does take a village. :) Winding things down now. Besides your Vicious Masks series, are there any upcoming projects on your radar y'all would care to share with us today?

K&T: You nailed it when you asked about the screenplay! That’s what we are working on at this exact moment, but we are excited to try out a contemporary YA soon ...

SS: Cannot wait to see how you turn contemporary YA on its head! Good luck with your current WIP's. Meanwhile, could you offer your fans a little teaser for what Evelyn and company might face in this next installment?

K&T: Well, it takes place immediately after the events of the second book, so there’s still a lot of regret and revenge and recovery in the fallout, but there’s also some big changes happening in London that’s a bit different from anything the group has had to deal with before!

SS: What you described sounds like the best kind of sequel. We can't wait to read and I for one am excited to dive into the world y'all have created. Thank you so much for sharing with us today!

Want to learn more about Tarun & Kelly?

Discover more @ the links below!

Links (Tarun):

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Links (Kelly):

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

The Tour Continues...

Don't miss tomorrow's stops!

March 13th

Bibliobibuli YA >> Guest post
Mes Livres >> Excerpt
Birdie’s Bibliotheca >> Review
Jazzy Book Reviews >> Excerpt