Book Review – Stealing Time by K J Waters

At the beginning of June, I featured K J Waters on here when she was celebrating the launch of her debut novel. If you missed the exclusive excerpt on launch day, interview, and guest post, just click on them to play catch-up.

Well, now I’ve had time to actually read the novel and want to share my thoughts with you. So here’s they are:

Book Review – Stealing Time by K J Waters

KJWaters-Front Cover for blog

I was intrigued by the blurb on this book, especially as it mentioned Hurricane Charley which I experienced in 2004, so although it’s not the sort of book I would normally read, I was interested enough to give it a go and I’m glad I did.

The concept of the plot was very original and I liked the way Waters constructed the method for the time travel to take place. She weaved the plot well and it certainly kept me turning the pages. KJ had certainly done her research about London and the time period. Factually it was very accurate, especially when it came to how women were treated more as chattels to be sold into a loveless marriage to advance the standing or financial position of the family. She’d also done her homework on what happened to women who were accused of witchcraft. The detail she included gave the reader an accurate picture, but I’m glad to say there wasn’t an info dump. The author intertwined it with the plot so it read as a natural progression within the story.

The detail included in the hurricane scenes was scarily realistic. Trees crashing through roofs, bringing down power lines, loss of power and water – these were all things I remembered only too well!

The main character, Ronnie, was well crafted. She had depth, was realistic, and relatable. When Ronnie became Regina, after the time travel incident, the confusion and desperation she felt was palpable – something which isn’t easy to achieve without over-emphasising. However, the author accomplished it with ease. I enjoyed the blossoming love between Ronnie/Regina and Matthias and I hope they meet again in the future. Matthias was the perfect gentleman, perhaps a little too perfect, but I liked him just the same. Jack, Regina’s brother, on the other hand, was a monster and I had a hard time believing parts of his story. I couldn’t understand how a man could treat his sister in such a horrendous way and then denounce her as a witch and all because she didn’t encourage the suitor of an arranged marriage. It seemed to me that his behaviour was way too extreme for the circumstances, which made his character less realistic.

The supporting cast were well thought out and, for the most part, likeable. Jeffery wasn’t a character I warmed to, probably because he used Ronnie for his own ends and was cheating on her too. Those directly involved in the Hurricane Charley part of the story showed myriad emotions and reacted as most people would under the same circumstances; this was very well done. I particularly liked the two main characters in this section.

The writing flowed nicely, the story lines were easy to follow, and the descriptions of places and events were extremely well written, without going over-the-top.

My only real criticism was that the proof reader didn’t do the greatest of jobs. However, this didn’t spoil my enjoyment too much. Overall, this was a page turner for me; I found myself invested in the story and characters to the extent that I really want to get my hands on book two. For a debut novel, I would have to say this is one of the best I’ve read in a while and would definitely recommend it.

Book Review: Vera’s Song by Natalie Erin

Yesterday my blog was hijacked, but I really didn’t mind. I thought the character interview was great. But moving on to today and it’s LAUNCH DAY for Vera’s Song by Natalie Erin. I have to say, I love this cover!

Vera's Song cover

I received an ARC (Advance Review Copy) of the book in exchange for an honest review and this is what I thought of it:

Book Review – Vera’s Song by Natalie Erin

Having read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, I was interested to see what the author would do with this one. Was it going to be the dreaded second book in a series which didn’t live up to the promise of the first? Actually, no. In fact it was quite the opposite.

Erin introduces some new characters in this story and ties them in nicely with those from book one. Vera’s Song takes us forward about four years from where the previous tale leaves off. Kiatana has grown in confidence and taken the mantle of queen of the forest to the next level. Her son is typical for his age: curious, fearless, and a bundle of energy.

Wyntier, a new character, is deliciously evil. He’s hatching a plot and needs Kiatana’s son and his changer to make it work. Wyntier is cruel to the nth degree. He beats his changer, Vera, for the slightest thing and yet she loves him and does whatever he wants, even if she knows it’s wrong. There are no redeeming features in this character. He shows no remorse for anything he does, or the pain he causes. Driven by his need to be powerful and to control everything around him, he will stop at nothing to achieve it. I had to wonder why he was so brutal and driven and this was never addressed. It would have been interesting to know his background a little more, but even the flashbacks to his childhood showed a nasty boy who bullied weaker kids.

Vera’s a conflicted character who has been in love with Ionan, Keota’s changer, since they were young. She yearns to be reunited with him, but despite the harsh treatment she endures, she still won’t leave Wyntier. Vera’s character is well crafted. You feel her frustration, pain, love, and basically she has a good heart. She wants to do the right thing and tries in her own way to make life more comfortable for Wyntier’s victims. I found myself really sympathising with her plight and she’s the one who has stayed with me the most.

The other new characters all added something meaningful to the story. Some of them were written in a stronger voice though. Those from book one had all grown into their skins or pelts. However, I found Keota to be less effective in places and would have liked to see him as formidable as his wife, Kiatana.

The plot itself was exciting and dramatic. There were lulls, but they didn’t diminish the story; there needed to be some less intense moments so the reader could draw breath and take in what had happened in the previous few pages. There were no plot holes and the only part of it which felt contrived was an altercation with some elves. Later in the story, the elves return and the complete 180 didn’t quite sit right with me. However, the rest of the story was so engaging that this small irritation didn’t spoil it for me.

The world Erin built in book one was equally as strong in this one. From forests to icy mountains and beaches, her description was detailed without being overwhelming. She brought each part of the world seamlessly into the story giving good reasons why the characters were there.

For me, the definition of a good, enjoyable book is one you can remember several weeks later, and that’s exactly what’s happened here. I finished reading Vera’s Song about three weeks prior to writing this review and yet I find myself transported back into the pages as if I’d finished it only yesterday. There were enough errors which made me want to shoot the editor or proof reader for missing them, but they didn’t detract from my pleasure in reading it.

In conclusion, this book was better than expected, a good and memorable story with characters that stayed in my heart long after I finished it. If you’re looking for a fairy fantasy read with something a little different, I would certainly recommend Vera’s Song.

My Rating 4/5 stars

BOOK TAKEOVER: Vera’s Song

Hi! Remy Injay here, indie book reporter! Firstly, I’d like to thank Carlie for letting me takeover her website today for an interview! Today we’re interviewing Ionan, a fire breathing, emerald green dragon who takes center stage in the second book in the Creatures of the Lands series, Vera’s Song! Vera’s Song comes out this Friday, June 10th. 

Vera's Song cover

Thanks for being here today, Ionan. Can you tell us a little about the book?

It’s different, this time around. In the first book my companions and I had to journey the realm in order to find a cure for a strange illness. Now my friend Kia’s son has been kidnapped, and we must go beyond all reason in order to get him back.

This book is about your first love, Vera, correct?

Yes, that is what our sequel pertains to.

And? Details?

I’m not inclined to give any, at the moment. (Lets out a puff of smoke).

Darn! Okay, then tell us about your adventures. What can readers expect this time?

What else? Danger. Excitement. True love gone wrong for multiple couples, and a despicable creature out to destroy the Lands. Usual, I expect.

You sound rather grumpy today.

You cannot possibly imagine.

But this is your book!

Yes, it is my story, though not a particularly pleasant one all the way through. People died, you know. There’s a fair bit of tragedy among the adventure. Not everyone gets their happy ending this time. Sacrifices had to be made for the greater good. The first book was lighter. Things are getting darker.

I see. And you’re not inspired to tell us anything except for what’s on the back?

I am a dragon. I do not meddle in the affairs of humans. 

Irritable reptile.

Did you expect anything different?

Okay, fine. In the first book, you participated in a great battle to save Kia’s forest. Is this book going to be similar to last time?

Things involved more people in Book 1, but now all of our battles are on a much more personal scale. There’s more to lose for all of us, if you can believe it. Our children are at stake, and the people who have them like to play mind games.  

Wait a second…if this is your story then why aren’t you on the cover?

Because dragons are expensive to make, you fool. I suppose none of you humans could catch me in all my scaled, green glory anyway.

Will you behave?

I do not know the meaning of the word.

You know we could call your rider, Keota, in here. He’ll put a stop to this.

That’s what I thought. Can you tell me a little about the book’s antagonist, Wyntier? From your honest opinion?

I could tell you I want to rip him limb from limb until he goes out of this world screaming.

Ionan!

Well, you asked me to be honest. I am a fearsome creature, as you well know, and I don’t take well to people who try to destroy everything I hold dear. I don’t suppose anyone does, really. I’m certainly not going to sit down for tea and crumpets with him…that’s what you humans eat here, tea and crumpets? I’m sure that must be what the phrase is…

Fine, fine. What’s the last thing you want to say to readers?

Expect the unexpected. Things aren’t always what they appear in the Lands, and this time, enemies are lurking everywhere…even from within our circle of friends.

That’s a wrap! Thanks again Ionan for showing up…

I really shouldn’t have.

And make sure you grab a copy of Vera’s Song, which can be found here at Amazon!

Book Launch & Review for Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson

As you saw a couple of days ago, I revealed the cover and book trailer for Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson (in case you missed it, click here). Well, I’m really excited to announce that today is the official launch day and as I was lucky enough to see the manuscript prior to it being available for sale, I decided to write a book review for you.

First though, let’s just have a reminder of the blurb:

Charged by the goddess Aeos, Wynn and his companions bicker and bumble their way through the Mountains of the Moon. Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies chase them through a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps.

Can they survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s crumbling castle before his minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

The Gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

And now, here are my thoughts on it.

Book Review – Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson

MOTM Front Cover Final 6-18-2015

Having read Tower of Bones and Forbidden Road, I was thrilled when I discovered Connie was writing a story set two generations previous.

Wynn Farmer, the grandfather of Edwin (the main character in Tower of Bones), finds himself in what is, for him, unknown territory. He’s met by a mage who takes him to Aeoven, the main city in Neveyah, where he falls in love, marries, then finds out he needs to go on a quest with three others to stop a rogue mage from committing any further dastardly deeds.

I won’t say any more about the intricacies of the plot as I hate reading spoilers in reviews. However, I will discuss it in general terms.

The story begins slowly and gathers momentum as you continue through the pages, reaching an amazing climax just before the end – a bit like good sex really. But all innuendo aside, it has to be that way as the four questers train for a task that will test them to their limits. As the story unfolds, the main character grows into his skin, learning to control his magic along the way. Events affect all the companions prior to leaving for the quest which adds nicely to the story.

Once the quest begins and the four mages are on the outskirts of their destination, having had to deal with various strange creatures on route, the author turns up the heat. She twists and turns the fates of the four in ways which are totally unexpected. I’m not going to reveal whether they all make it out alive or uninjured – you’ll have to read the book for that – but suffice to say, the ending was momentous and satisfying.

Connie crafts her characters in totally relatable ways. None of them are without faults and some are more lovable than others, but all of the main cast are definitely memorable. The dialogue is as realistic as the characters. They have their strengths and weaknesses, fears, loves, and insecurities, just like you or I. My favourite character was Wynn, closely followed by Devyn D’Mal. Those of you who have read Tower of Bones will undoubtedly recognise that surname! Her ‘baddies’ are deliciously heinous, but are also realistic. They have aspirations to climb the proverbial ladder to success, which in their case is being rewarded by Tauron, the Bull God, but they also have their self-doubts, relationships, and varying degrees of arrogance and subservience.

Jasperson is one of the few writers on my bookshelf who can successfully build a world which is so exquisitely detailed, that it seems too real not to be fictional. She doesn’t go overboard with description, but gives just enough for the reader to fill in the gaps, yet does it in such a way that you don’t realise it. She knows the world she’s created as well as her own home town and it shows in her writing; there’s a confidence which runs through the writing as she talks about various places, which is a rare thing to find.

Overall, this book is well-written, gripping in all the right places, and a damn good story. I won’t hesitate to recommend this to fantasy fans, especially those who love epic fantasy, as I know for a fact there are more books being written in this whole series. And I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on them!

Buy Links – Amazon http://hyperurl.co/MountainsOfTheMoon

http://bit.ly/MOTMKindle

http://bit.ly/MOTMNook

Connie 2014

 

Connie J. Jasperson lives in Olympia, Washington.  A vegan, she and her husband share five children, a love of good food and great music. She is active in local writing groups, an editor for Myrddin Publishing Group, and is a writing coach. She is an active member of the both the Northwest Independent Writers Association and Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and is a founding member of Myrddin Publishing Group.  Music and food dominate her waking moments. When not writing or blogging she can be found with her Kindle, reading avidly. You can find her blogging on her writing life at: http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

Connie J. Jasperson’s  body of work includes:

WORLD OF NEVEYAH series by Connie J. Jasperson

Mountains of the Moon – Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies, lie deep in a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps. Can Wynn survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s stolen castle before the Bull God’s minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

TOWER OF BONES, series based in the World of Neveyah

The gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

This epic fantasy series opens with Tower of Bones, and follows Edwin Farmer as he journeys deep into the lands claimed by the dreaded Bull God, in an attempt to rescue a girl he has only met in his dreams.

Forbidden Road takes up Edwin’s story six years later. When four mages are sent into the shadowed lands claimed by the mad priest of the Bull God, who will return unscathed? Sorrow, peril, and magic await in the Valley of Mal Evol.

OTHER BOOKS BY CONNIE J. JASPERSON

Huw, the Bard, a novel that takes you to the world of Waldeyn, and a medieval alternate reality. Fleeing a burning city, everything he ever loved in ashes behind him, penniless and hunted, Huw the Bard must somehow survive. Available as an ebook and in paper.

Tales From the Dreamtime – a novella consisting of three modern fairy tales told in a traditional style. Available as an ebook, in paper, and as an Audiobook, narrated by the wonderful voice actor, Craig Allen.

Cover & Trailer Reveal – Mountains of the Moon by Connie J Jasperson

One of my most favourite authors, Connie J Jasperson, is about to launch another book in her epic fantasy World of Neveyah and Tower of Bones series. I love the world of Neveyah that she has created for both series; the detail is so exquisitely crafted and written, one could be forgiven for thinking it actually exists. I won’t say too much more about what I think of this book as it’ll spoil the review which I’ll be posting on the day the book launches.

Now, I have to say I think this cover is awesome. It’s so perfect for the book, it’s almost uncanny. So fanfare please……… put your hands together, scream and cheer for the cover of Mountains of the Moon:

MOTM Front Cover Final 6-18-2015

Isn’t that fantastic? I absolutely love it!

And now for the all-important blurb:

Charged by the goddess Aeos, Wynn and his companions bicker and bumble their way through the Mountains of the Moon. Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies chase them through a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps.

Can they survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s crumbling castle before his minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

The Gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

Sounds intriguing, eh? Now check out the book trailer:

Pretty cool, wouldn’t you agree? I’ve been lucky enough to score an excerpt from Connie from this awesome book to share with you all, so here it is:

The two prisoners heard heavy footsteps approaching, sounds that seemed to echo down a long passageway and stopped outside the door. A tired sounding voice said, “Well, your lordship. Did you feed them and give them water?”

“Of course I did,” replied the baron, in a quavering tenor. “I live, Jenner, but only because I serve. I understand that well.”

“They’re awake then. Those two soldiers of Tauron roughed them up pretty bad. Should I call Grakken to heal them now?”

The old man’s tones were sardonic. “Yes, you should. Your tame minotaurs were far gentler on them than they’ve been on some of the others, which isn’t saying much. At least these two big fellows have enough slack in their chains to be able to feed themselves and piss in a bucket.” His tones were scathing.

 “They’d better not have hurt them too badly. These two must be in good health for the ceremony tonight,” muttered the earth-mage. “Grakken is expecting a visit from High Priest Kandek today. The high priest will be pleased to have a real sacrifice to offer up on his new altar tonight instead of the usual miserable rabble.”

“I’m sure ‘the miserable rabble’ would have been glad to hear that if they’d survived your boss’s little frenzy the other day,” replied the old man. “Speaking of which, if we’re done here, I have to go and check on the one that does remain. I’m sure despite the ruckus of the other day, Grakken still has plans for her and wants to keep her alive even though he has these two fine specimens for tonight’s festivities, so….”

“Well, go about your duties then. I’m going to sit here just to keep those freaks from Serende from getting any ideas about using these two for sport. As soon as he’s awake, I’ll let Grakken know they’re here, through our link. He’ll be worried about their safety.”

“He should be worried about those soldiers, Jenner. They’re bored, and there’s nothing worse than a bored minotaur. Just so you’re aware, the woman likely won’t live through the day after their gentle courtship of her. You only have your minotaurs to blame for that. But it’s not my job to worry about the health of his sacrifices, especially since Grakken himself seems to be so careless with them.”

Well, if this doesn’t whet your appetite, I’ll be very surprised!

To contact Connie. find out more about her fabulous books, and to get to know her better, here are her links:

Twitter: @cjjasp  WattPad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/ConnieJJasperson

Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/connie-j-jasperson/33/94/b38/

Connie J Jasperson, Author on Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/cjjasperson

Life in the Realm of Fantasy (Connie J Jasperson’s Author Blog)  http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

The Best in Fantasy Book Reviewshttp://bestinfantasy.blogspot.com

If you’re a newbie writer, you would be well-advised to visit Connie’s Author Blog. It’s chock full of extremely helpful and useful information!

In the meantime, here’s the lovely lady herself and more…

Connie 2014

Connie J. Jasperson lives in Olympia, Washington.  A vegan, she and her husband share five children, a love of good food and great music. She is active in local writing groups, an editor for Myrddin Publishing Group, and is a writing coach. She is an active member of the both the Northwest Independent Writers Association and Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and is a founding member of Myrddin Publishing Group.  Music and food dominate her waking moments. When not writing or blogging she can be found with her Kindle, reading avidly. You can find her blogging on her writing life at: http://conniejjasperson.wordpress.com

Connie J. Jasperson’s  body of work includes:

WORLD OF NEVEYAH series by Connie J. Jasperson

Mountains of the Moon – Danger, mystery, and dark prophecies, lie deep in a gauntlet of jagged peaks and deadly traps. Can Wynn survive the dark secret hidden in Tauron’s stolen castle before the Bull God’s minotaurs overrun Neveyah?

TOWER OF BONES, series based in the World of Neveyah

The gods are at war, and Neveyah is the battlefield.

This epic fantasy series opens with Tower of Bones, and follows Edwin Farmer as he journeys deep into the lands claimed by the dreaded Bull God, in an attempt to rescue a girl he has only met in his dreams.

Forbidden Road takes up Edwin’s story six years later. When four mages are sent into the shadowed lands claimed by the mad priest of the Bull God, who will return unscathed? Sorrow, peril, and magic await in the Valley of Mal Evol.

OTHER BOOKS BY CONNIE J. JASPERSON

Huw, the Bard, a novel that takes you to the world of Waldeyn, and a medieval alternate reality. Fleeing a burning city, everything he ever loved in ashes behind him, penniless and hunted, Huw the Bard must somehow survive. Available as an ebook and in paper.

Tales From the Dreamtime – a novella consisting of three modern fairy tales told in a traditional style. Available as an ebook, in paper, and as an Audiobook, narrated by the wonderful voice actor, Craig Allen.

Check back soon for launch details and my review of Mountain of the Moon.

Guest Post: Inspirational Characters by K J Waters

Inspiration is something that fascinates me. I love how my mind can imagine different places, characters, and creatures totally unbidden and then give me the words to create stories. I often wonder where other authors get their inspiration from and how they craft their characters.

I asked K J Waters, author of the debut novel, Stealing Time, and who I’ve been featuring on here over the last week, what her inspiration is and whether she’d be interested in writing a post on it for me. I won’t say she ripped my arm off, but she was very excited about it. So without further rambling from me, here’s K J’s post on inspiration:

Inspirational Characters

Thank you so much Carlie for letting me pen a guest post for your blog. Carlie asked me to talk about what inspires me to write and how I develop my characters. It’s funny because when I think of my characters I get all warm and fuzzy. They are part of me of course, but so much more than that, they’ve become my dear friends as well.

Let me start with what inspires me to write. I was born with a very creative brain and have used those skills in various ways to bring me joy. As a kid I’d play for hours with my brother and our stuffed animals. He is my Irish twin, only 11 months older than me (well yes, I was a mistake). In high school and college I set aside my animals to pursue art classes and filled my creative brain with water colors, pen and ink, and acrylics. I didn’t ever consider being an author until I decided to quit my job to stay home with my children well after college.

Without the constant demands of my job, I had time to be very creative with the kids, with constant art projects, day trips to fun museums and loads of imaginary play. But at a certain point, my mind started craving more creativity, more of a challenge than finger paints and zoos. The idea for a novel began brewing after the hurricanes hit Florida in August of 2004 and the following summer we were on a road trip driving up the coast from Florida to Maine.

The idea sparked a wild adventure that has come to fruition with my first novel, just released this past December, called Stealing Time. I’m so thrilled to be back writing again after the months of editing and promoting, and I’m working on book two in the Stealing Time trilogy. My inspiration now comes from wanting to spend time with my beloved characters. I’m falling in love with Mike Walsh, and can’t wait to get back to some of the interesting characters that are in this second book. The time travel elements are so much fun to explore and I’ve delved into it a lot more than I had time for in the first book.

Characters

Carlie asked me how I develop my characters. Ronnie is the main character in Stealing Time and I’d have to say she is about 80% me, with a dash of … hmmmm, not really sure, but there has to be someone else in there. It was easy to make her love the water, because it is something I’m passionate about, and I can say she reacts the way I would in many of her situations, at least as far as I can imagine being back in time and in trouble.

Steph, the second main character in my trilogy, is another story. She is based on one of my best friends who moved away from me years ago. It is my way of spending time with her now that she is gone. I don’t think she is exactly like my friend, because we’ve grown apart somewhat, but it is how I think of her and how she would act in similar situations.

When I developed Jeffrey, Ronnie’s boyfriend, I had to go with what I knew about men. He is a mixture of the good and bad of a few people in my life. It really surprised me that I would enjoy writing from the male perspective so much. Some of my best friends are men, and I love seeing the world through their eyes. Writing from Jeffrey’s perspective has given me a new window into their minds, and from what male readers have told me they really identify with how I’ve written them. Which is a huge relief!

In book two I began writing Mike Walsh, Ronnie’s boss, as the good parts of the same person that Jeffrey is based on but had to diverge enough to make the two characters very different. They have completely different motivations and views in their roles in my book. The other way are very different is that Jeffrey pretty much listens to me and does as he’s told. Mike has his own ideas. He’s hijacked my story on numerous occasions and it has shocked me as some of the twists and turns that have spiced up the story. I gotta say, he’s really grown on me and if I could make him into a real person my husband would be in big trouble. I guess that’s a writer for you, always making up stuff and often glad it’s not real.

As for Mathias in the first book, an Austrian man from the 18 century, I pretty much had to go on a big fat guess on how he would act. You don’t really run into many men from that time period these days. I have a friend who read the book and reported, much to my surprise, that he had a really good friend from Germany who was so much like Mathias in how he acted and thought. Maybe, just maybe, I tapped into some special time travel skill to mind meld with these characters in a different realm. Hey, I’m a writer I can think outside of the box on anything if I want.

The side characters are a mish mash of people I run into in my real life – a waitress, a PTA mom, an old boss. On several occasions I’ve created a character not really knowing him well, but as he develops into a full blown personality I meet someone who is ridiculously like that person I crafted. It has definitely freaked me out. This happened with Nick in the first book.  

I’m really curious to learn how other authors create their characters and see if my approach is standard operating procedure, or if, as I often do, I’ve created something completely different.

Thank you again Carlie for allowing me to spew on and on about my inspirations and character development. I’d love to talk to you about how you created your well-loved characters in the Heart Search series.

I’d be only too happy to talk about my characters with you, K J!.

It was a real pleasure for me to feature K J on my blog during this last week and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. Don’t forget, if you’d like a copy of Stealing Time, click here for all the buy links from the Book Launch post!

KJWaters-Front Cover for blogkj pic

Author Interview: K J Waters

A couple of days ago, I revealed the book launch and an exclusive excerpt of Stealing Time by K J Waters. Click here if you missed it. I was so excited and intrigued by this book that I asked the author if she’d be kind enough to grant me an interview. She very kindly agreed so here it is:

kj pic

Welcome KJ. It’s great to have you here. Are you ready for a grilling?

Thank you so much Carlie, great to be here. Yes, let’s put the shrimp on the barbie! Wait… you meant the other kind of grilling. Yes, hit me with it!

CC: Your book Stealing Time deals with time travel. How long have you been interested in this subject and what was it that attracted you to it?

KJ: When I was a kid my step mother would read to us on long walks in the woods. We would sit down on a bed of leaves surrounded by the sounds of nature, the smell of pine, and the view of a canopy of tall trees and lose ourselves in the book. It set the tone for our mystical and beautiful adventures with C.S. Lewis, J. R. Tolkien, Richard Adams and more. One of books she read to us was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle and it really sparked my imagination, and believe it or not starts with the famous Snoopy line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

I soon discovered that the possibilities were endless with time travel. When I began writing, it was even more magical because you can go anywhere and change anything you want to suit your needs and tell an exciting story.

CC: I agree, the possibilities are endless with time travel – there are so many places you can take your characters to! I was particularly interested that you featured Hurricane Charley in the book. I was actually in Florida when it hit and lived through it myself. Did you experience this first hand? If so, how were you affected by it?

KJ: We have that in common, Carlie. I hope nothing too dastardly happened to you. Hurricane Charley was my welcome to Florida. I moved there and just like in Stealing Time, three days later Charley paid us a visit. Rude, don’t you think?

I’ve grown up on the East Coast and it seems where ever I’ve lived the hurricanes chose that location to wallop us. The prior year I was in Virginia Beach where Hurricane Isabelle devastated North Carolina and Southern Virginia coastline. I have been in over 15 hurricanes and tropical storms in my life, so it was an easy subject matter to convey the terror and helplessness you feel as the storm is raging around you, dropping trees and tornados as Mother Nature throws her tantrum.

I was lucky with Hurricane Charley, and for that matter, Francis, Ivan, and Jeanne that same summer in Florida also hit, but didn’t sustain any real damage, mostly just a lot of clean up. The last hour of the last hurricane, Jeanne to be exact, a branch from a Loblolly pine dropped and pierced our Florida room roof. Other than that was just a messy clean up and the dreaded no power or cable service for a week or more after each storm. It was a hot summer anyway, but throw in no power and zero entertainment… well you were there so you know.

CC: I was actually quite lucky. I didn’t lose power or water. It sounds like you had a rough time there. Moving on though, one of your characters ends up in London – have you ever been to the UK or has all your information come from research?

KJ: I visited London with my best friend after I finished grad school. I have always been fascinated with English history and how people lived back before modern conveniences. The details and social issues I had to research, but I felt very natural writing in that place and time.

I’m definitely an Anglophile and loved visiting the castles and other historical buildings when I was there. We also visited Ireland and Scotland on that visit and I was equally enamoured with the land, the history, and the people.

CC: If you come back to the UK, we’ll have to meet up! Anyway, I’ve given away a few minor details about Stealing Time, but can you tell us more about it?

KJ: Stealing Time starts with Ronnie Andrews and her best friend Stephanie McKay watching news coverage about Hurricane Charley. Ronnie gets a call from her boyfriend to spend the night at his weather lab, he is monitoring the storm, and it’s her birthday. He shares a very special gift with her – a watch she found on her trip to London with Stephanie the month prior. The watch is a very important part of the story.

During the peak of the storm, Ronnie is thrown back in time to 1752 London, where she struggles to figure out what brought her there and how to return. She is a modern woman and the people around her start to notice differences in her speech and behaviour and accuse her of being a witch. Ronnie struggles to find her way out of the life and death struggle to return to Florida and save her neck from the witch trials that ensue.

Meanwhile, Steph heads back home and invites her hot friend Nick over so she is not alone when the hurricane hits. She and Nick are caught out in the middle of the storm a few times and quickly find everything is falling apart around them, and are faced with losing everything.

CC: I noticed it has Volume 1 on the cover. How many books do you plan to write in this series?

KJ: I started Stealing Time as one book, but as I got so detailed in the telling and found so many cool twists and turns I decided to turn it into a trilogy. I neatly ended Book 1 after the storm and will pick up Book 2 immediately after. The third book will be the final in this trilogy. If you ask my son, who is my helper on the ideas of the books, he has mapped out 3 more trilogies after this. I’ve no idea if I’ll want to move on to something different after the first three books or keep it up. We shall see.

CC: I’m so glad there’s another book in the works. Can you give us a few hints about what’s coming in the next book?

KJ: Book Two has been so much fun to write. I have Hurricane Francis approaching and if you were there, Carlie, you remember it was the size of Texas and a category 5 as it approached Florida.  In Book Two, many of the same characters, and several new and quite colourful ones emerge as heroes and villains. To give you a quick 30 second snapshot of book two I’ll provide a list of highlights.

Stealing more time, seduction, rape, deceit, mud slides, Hurricane seeding and steering, drowning, suicides, Puerto Rico, Wild West shootouts, Hurricane Jeanne, the black plague, London 1666, and past life theories coupled with string theory, fifth dimension and other religious, cultural and belief systems to explain the time travel method I’ve invented.

CC: That sounds fantastic and maybe a little darker than book one. Changing the subject, I understand you also design book covers. How long have you been doing this and how did it come about?

KJ: Great question. I designed the cover to Stealing Time with a professional photographer friend of mine, Jody Smyers. A year later, I had several author friends approach me wanting to know who did my cover and if they would help them with theirs. I’m an indie author and I know the importance of having professional cover that captures the mood of your book – as you know everyone does judge your book by the cover. I’ve seen too many indie authors either pay way too much for a good cover or struggle to create their own without the marketing and editing knowledge on how to pull it off.

I talked to Jody and asked if he’d be interested in going into the business of book cover design and he was game. We started in January 2014 and you can see some of our covers here:

book cover from calendar graphic

We offer the usual book cover services of design and we can use your photo, one you purchase or as a niche market that most don’t offer, we can create a custom photo shoot to capture the cover you want. You can see a mixture of these methods on the book covers we’ve done.

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

KJ: Well I’m a water lover so if it’s warm out I’m neck deep in some body of water, whether it’s my pool or preferably I’m on a trip somewhere awesome. This summer will be Cape Cod.

I spend a lot of time with my gorgeous children and help them with school, or develop fun learning things for us to do during summer with my Camp Waters, where I invite their friends over for learning, lunch, and swimming.

When it’s not warm out, I write about my love of water on my blog, Blondie in the Water (kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com) and you can see some of my water adventures here.

I love the gym and you can find me there 4 days a week, if I’m not too busy.

CC: What sort of books do you enjoy reading? Do you have an all-time favourite?

KJ: I like a lot of different genres, from Michael Criton’s science fiction to Dan Brown, but my all-time favourite is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She is the main reason I decided to write a book. Her stories are so rich in history, character development, humour and time travel, that it inspired me to create a story of my own with more modern tilt.

CC: Let’s have a few fun ones to finish off with.

Gold or Silver?

KJ: Gold

CC: Cats or dogs?

KJ: Dogs, although I really like cats, too.

CC: Sandals or bare feet?

KJ: Bare feet, unless it’s cold. Then boots!

CC: Summer or winter?

KJ: Summer a million times over!

CC: Witches or vampires?

KJ: Witches.

CC: Hot or cold?

KJ: Hot! Hate being cold!

CC: Sweet or savoury?

KJ: I have a massive sweet tooth!

CC: And finally, pizza or chilli?

KJ: Pizza!

CC: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and talk to me today. I wish you every success with Stealing Time!

KJ: It has been a pleasure Carlie! Thank you so much for having me on your blog!!

CC: You’re very welcome.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! KJ has kindly agreed to write a guest post on what inspires her so I’ll be posting that in a couple of days time. It’s another chance to learn more about her so make sure you keep checking the blog for the next post.

If you’re interested in buying Stealing Time, the buy links are on the launch post (see top of this page for the link to the post)