Tag Archives: fiction

Review of “Girl’s Weekend” by Cara Sue Achterberg

The book Girl’s Weekend, by Cara Sue Achterberg was recently recommended to me through an online book marketing group. It is an honest review in exchange for a free copy. This review also appears on GoodReads and Amazon

This book is a delight!

Three lifelong friends, Meg, Dani, and Charlotte, go away for beach weekend to clear their minds and take a break from the hustle and bustle of being moms and wives. Each of them seeks to find that missing piece of themselves. This book is a wonderful example of female-driven story telling. I could practically hear the sounds of the waves as I read the words.

None of them are fully unhappy in their lives necessarily, perhaps just a little bit unsettled, with the exception of Meg. She had gone through the worst experience of any parent when losing her toddler son two years prior. She has become consumed by her grief but is afraid to acknowledge it. In her attempt to block out the pain she has perhaps grown numb, to her life, to her marriage and most of all to herself. Dani is an artist who has lost her muse. Desperate to reconnect with her creative side she pals up with a local art dealer along the beach hoping to rekindle the passion she once felt. Charlotte feels as if her marriage has gone cold and seeks to find a way to invigorate her restless soul in the worst way possible.

Each of the characters are complex and nuanced. There were times when I disagreed heartily with their actions, just as I would with real life friends. Walking along the journey with each of these women as I read this book was like standing alongside them. Wine, laughter, headaches, heartaches. Things we all can relate to.

Not everything in this book is packaged with a perfect bow and a neat resolution, but that’s how life works sometimes. Achterberg captures with finesse the pressures placed upon women in the modern world. The way the characters express themselves reminds me of the fragility of relationships and the strength of the bonds of friendship. I recommend this book to anyone as a great summer read, but be ready for the twists and turns which only come when traversing the trails of the human heart.

My Interview with Veronica Rhine

The following post was originally published on May 5th, here at the blog of acclaimed fantasy and horror author A.M. Rycroft. Rycroft’s latest book “The Taming” is now available for pre-order on Kindle, with physical sales coming soon. The giveaway promotion for Veronica Rhine is no longer active, but follow her on Twitter for more promotions, @writerveronica. 

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An Interview With Paranormal Romance Author Veronica Rhine

Veronica Rhine is a prolific author of romance and paranormal romance titles. The Dream Walker Series is now available on Kindle and Amazon.

R.G. Westerman: Who is Veronica Rhine?

Veronica Rhine: I’ve been called complicated, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. I am a human animal trying to survive, just like everyone else. That is what I write about. Survival. I think that means different things to different people.

R.G: What does it mean to you?

V.: It means having all your needs met. One of my favorite devices to use in writing is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Once the basic needs are met, food, shelter, clothing, all of a sudden a whole new layer of needs appears. Comfort, happiness, enlightenment. I am sitting here craving a plate of bacon, because let’s face it. I’m always craving a plate of bacon, and I realize that if I were to get that bacon the next thing I would be aware of is the need to… I don’t know, find the meaning of life. It is as if we are never truly satisfied.

R.G: Tell us a little bit about your current series?

V.: It is good. I am allowed to say that about my own work, right? But it is that measure of satisfaction, I guess, that drives my characters. They all have the same desire to find the thing that makes them feel complete, if even for a moment. For Athena it is about escaping her dismal reality. The dreams she has makes her realize just how unhappy she is in her waking life.

R.G: Where did you get the idea for this series?

V.: From my mind of course! No really, I get asked that a lot. I am never sure how to answer that. I guess you could say I had a dream and when I woke up I asked the question.

R.G: What question is that?

V.: The same question all writers ask themselves when they begin a story. “What if…?”

R.G: Ah, yes. I know that question. So back to the Dream Walker series. Can you describe it in a nutshell?

V.: The main character is Athena Maze and she keeps having these dreams. This gorgeous man keeps visiting her and hot and steamy hijinks ensue. Of course this may or may not be real, and she may or may not be traveling between realms. It is loosely, (very loosely) based on Sleeping Beauty. I guess you could say “inspired by” more than based on.

R.G: Is there anything else in the works? What do readers have to look forward to?

V.: Funny you should ask. I’m toying with a Cinderella trilogy. Of course it would be just about as much like the fairy tale as this one is like Sleeping Beauty. I’m still knocking the idea around. I have a lot on my plate right now. But one thing I don’t have on my plate right now is bacon! I need to go and find some.

V.: I almost forgot to mention. The first book of the trilogy, Athena, is available for a free download on Amazon until May 5th (http://www.amazon.com/Athena-Book-Dream-Walker-Walkers-ebook/dp/B01EP4UP8I/). Everyone should flock to the site, literally right now and download a copy. It’s brilliant. You become a better human being by reading it.

R.G.: Duly noted. I’m going to get my copy right now.

Follow author Veronica Rhine on Twitter @writerveronica.

 

 

 

What have I been up to?

Quite a lot.

Though one would not know it by the state of my humble little blog. And so, dear reader, I will update you today, allowing you into the inner circle that is the three ring circus of my life.

Some time ago, over a year, I can’t recall the actual date, I said to my husband, “I want to make a living as a writer. I’m not talking about J.K. Rowling status, just putting words in a row and people giving me money for it. That’s how I want to make an income.”

And so it has come to pass. To make a little bit of extra cheese, I had already picked up a few gigs on elance.com. This site has since been bought out by Odesk and is experiencing some growing pains in the process. Before the switch, I played the numbers game and lined up the gigs I needed to make some decent pocket change, enough so that I could finally quit my day job.

I have read a thousand articles on how to “make a living as a writer”, and I’m starting to get the impression that many writers just use their time to write books on how to become a writer. I considered this. Really, I did. In all honesty, I felt as if it were cheating the system. “Ask me how to make money!!” Okay, how do I make money? “Buy this kit to find out!” *Buys kit* “Sell this kit to people to make money!!” That kind of thing. Cheating. I wanted to compose stories. So I became a ghostwriter.

This topic alone could comprise of many blog posts on its own. But truth be told, the very nature of ghostwriting includes not being able to talk about it. Not even a little bit. I’ve probably already said too much.

In other news, I completed the first draft of my current work-in-progress. To much joy and adulation, this is something I CAN talk about. I don’t want to give away too much plot of course, but it involves a teenage girl trying to survive in the zombie apocalypse. Here is a character teaser I created for it. promo poster

Pretty cool, huh?

In other news, I have created an official Facebook author’s page which can be seen here.

I built it for two reasons. One, it makes a huge difference to see one’s smiling face with the word “author” next to it inasmuch as having something to get one’s butt in gear. Knowing that the entire world wide web has access to it is a great motivator. Let me tell ya! Two, I plan on finishing this thing and I need an author’s page.

It did not make sense to me, but everything I have read says to build up your online presence BEFORE publishing. My initial thoughts were, how on earth can one create an author presence if one has not yet been published? But doing things “my way” has worked out so well, I decided to go ahead and take the plunge, following the advice of the many articles pointing me down the path to imminent success. (tic)

There is an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This has turned out to be true on so many levels. Another resource I stumbled across in my effort to learn everything is the “Fiction Writing” group on Facebook. It is said that in order to succeed one must have a mentor. This group has become that for me in many ways. Everyone is very nearly as goofy as I am and the wealth of knowledge amassed there is invaluable. I can honestly say, I would not be anywhere close to where I am now if not for this group.

And yet, another opportunity arises as well. In addition to all of the above, an old friend of mine is part of the team beginning and independent publishing platform called Eurus. It does not have an online presence as of yet, but I am sensing great and promising things from this group of people.

So much for “just a quick blurb on my blog”. At least, this can be my little corner of the internet where I can rant about life, the universe, and everything as I see fit. Feel free to follow my author site on Facebook. Stay tuned for more to come.

Happy writing, everyone!