Interview – Meet author, Sara Daniell (@DaniellSara) #ContemporaryFiction



Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Sara Daniell, author of YA contemporary novel, Anything Goes on a Friday Night.

The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

My family and I recently moved from northern Wisconsin back down to the south.  I guess we just missed the southern drawls, sweet tea, and southern hospitality of our little town.  Not to mention we hated the long winters up north.  So, here we are…back in Arkansas.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a teacher.  I have pursued that dream and after many years of college preparing me for the job, I accepted a special education position in middle school.  I never saw myself as a professional writer, although, it was my secret passion.  But, I’m lucky to say that my secret dream of writing and actually sharing it with the world came true.

List three words to describe yourself.

Outgoing, Adventurous and Big sense of humor

Who would play you in a film about your life?

Emma Watson.  I don’t have any reason for that except that I just love her.


Do you have any other unique hobbies or talents?

Failing, but sometimes surprising myself and succeeding at Pinterest projects.  When I get crafty it’s either a disaster or a masterpiece.  There is no in-between.

What’s your favourite snack food when writing?

Oreos and milk.  Hands down the best motivation combination EVER.

Who is your favourite author and what is it that you enjoy about their work?

This question is always a hard one for me because I love so many authors.  It is hard for me to pick just one.  I have so many favorites that it’d take up the rest of this interview to list, but I love to read everything and am always open for suggestions and looking for new authors to follow.

Amazon UK | US

The Sensible Side:

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing?  What do you do when you’re not writing?)

I was a closet writer for most of my life.  Writing wasn’t a thing the “cool” kids did.  It wasn’t until my husband and a close friend of mine encouraged me to step out of my hidey-hole and do it.  So I did it and LOVE every second of it.  When I’m not writing, I’m teaching, being a mom, wife, camping, or sitting on my porch with a cup of coffee.

Give us the title and genre of your latest book and a blurb.

Summer Seventeen & You.  It is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance.


He took my boyfriend’s desired position on the baseball team.  That was his first mistake.  Then he moved in with his brother across the street after his parents died.  That was okay until my dad hired him to clean the pool.  I had to set boundaries.  My heart belonged to Logan Hart.  But when everyone left for the summer, I got bored and Elliot Shaw was interesting.          

I questioned everything about me after Elliot and I became friends.  Everything that I thought mattered didn’t anymore and life started to have a different meaning.  But, with Logan’s return from summer vacation, Elliot Shaw had to become my best kept secret.  I was never supposed to fall in love with him.

Love stories are supposed to be happy.  Your stomach does flip flops, your heart beats faster, and you react to life differently.  Life is happier.  But that isn’t this story.  This story is messy and haunting.  I didn’t want to let Elliot Shaw break down my walls.  I didn’t want him to see the demons that lurk behind them. I didn’t want to see his demons either.


We let each other in  and there was no turning back, even when I begged him to forget about me.  

This isn’t a fairytale about a prince coming to save me.  When you begin to read the pages of my story, don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

Samantha Scot

You cover a huge variety of issues in Anything Goes on a Friday Night,is there any subject you would never write about as an author?

I could list a million things I wouldn’t write about, but then again, you never know.  So no.  I can’t say there isn’t because I have no idea where this journey will lead.  Ya know?

What other books/authors are similar to your own?  What makes them similar?

Tracey Hewitt Meyer and I write a lot of the same type of books.  We both bring real teen issues into our stories.  She’s amazing by the way.

You’ve written novellas, short stories for anthologies, full-length novels, and even a children’s picture book.  Which of your books was the most fun to write and why?

The children’s book for sure!  My ten-year-old daughter helped me with the book and it was some of the most fun we have ever had.  I plan on doing it again in the future with both of my daughters.

What can we expect from you in the future? 

Who the heck knows!  I’m full of surprises!🙂

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

My Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can read my review of Anything Goes on a Friday Night HERE.

Huge thanks to Sara for joining us today and don’t forget to pop over to Amazon to see all the books she has written.

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is a look at BHC Anthology, In Creeps the Night.




Guest Post from author, @LisaShambrook #wwwBlogs 7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…



Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Lisa Shambrook author of the beautiful ‘Hope Within’ series and blogger at The Last Krystallos. Over to Lisa…

To be nobody but yourself - the last krystallos- lisa   shambrook

7 Reasons Why You Should Be You…

I spent years trying to be someone different, trying to be someone everyone wanted me to be. Way back in 1989 – I’m giving away my age now – when I was 18, I scrawled a poem: ‘I’ll open my heart and show you inside, but don’t let me know what you’ve seen. I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how. I don’t even know how to be me.’ …and I lived that teenage angst for another decade or so before allowing myself to discover who I was.

Don’t do it. Don’t be anyone but yourself.

Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human experience.  – Anna Quindlen.

Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human    experience-Anna Quindlen-Lisa Shambrook

So, find out who you are and be YOU.

Never apologise for who you are – You are a human being and therefore not perfect, and no one should expect you to be. Don’t apologise for who you are. You don’t have to apologise for your opinions, your ideas, your beliefs, your weight, your talents, your flaws, and never for being yourself.

Love your flaws, they’re not flaws they’re YOU, uniquely you – Embrace yourself and love every part of you. You can love your flabby stomach, you can love your quirks, you can love your freckles, you can love your wonky nose, your flat feet, your penchant for the odd in life, you can even embrace your mistakes – they are what make you grow, and they give you strength and humility. Sometimes people will see flaws where none exist, and you’ll do the same. Be wise, you can change if you’re not happy or healthy, but accept that you won’t ever be perfect, and some things never need changing.

Accept that society’s love for perfection is not only unattainable, but not truth – Repeat after me: I’m not perfect. That’s hard for a perfectionist to say, but it’s true. Society’s values are often distorted and they put pressure on us to reach perfection. Magazine images are airbrushed and photoshopped so that the original picture can sometimes be unrecognisable. With the advent of Instagram and photo apps we can even do the same. We can add as many filters as we like, but sometimes the best pictures are #nofilter. We need to understand that perfect is not something we are meant to be.

Stop comparing yourself to anyone – Who’s living your life? You are, so live it and don’t try to be someone else. It’s easy to look at those around you and believe they have it better, and we all sometimes wish we could be someone else. John Mason said:  You were born an original, don’t die a copy. If we compare ourselves to others we’ll never be satisfied with our own lives, envy will fester and discontent will brew. Nobody has it easy, so look inside yourself and embrace who you are.

Be good to yourself – It’s important to be good and kind to yourself. Don’t punish yourself for not being good enough or for not reaching the heights you desire. Don’t let guilt grow when you need time for yourself. We all need ‘Me Time’ and it’s not selfish, it’s common sense and it’s called looking after yourself. Be patient, be good to yourself, love yourself, eat chocolate, dance in the rain, have a bubble bath, buy the scent you love most, partake of the good things life has to offer and enjoy it!

Live your own life‘Live your life be free’ I think Belinda Carlisle said that and E. E. Cummings said: It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. And more valuable advice from David Carradine: If you cannot be the poet, be the poem. Be the poem, be you, be the most wonderful you that you can ever be!

If you cannot be the poet, be the poem-David    Carradine-Lisa Shambrook

Be authentic, honest and true to yourself – For so long, I tried to be what other people wanted me to be and I denied my true self. Integrity is intrinsic, it is part of you and you can’t escape it, so keep it. Integrity is how you act even when no one else can see. It’s not on show, it’s you. So be true to yourself. Know yourself and know your core values, your needs, your desires, and your dreams. They will frame who you are, and staying true to them will help you achieve what you need to, and to become who you should be. One of my favourite E. E. Cummings quotes is this:  To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.  BE YOU. After all, you have to live with who you are and who you become.

There came a moment in my life when I had to switch up from being an angst-ridden people-pleaser and I had to embrace myself. In 2004 fifteen years after my original poem I wrote: ‘I opened my heart and showed you inside and you didn’t betray what you’d seen. I wanted to be everything everyone wanted, but I didn’t know how to be me. So, I tore off my mask and ripped out my heart and left my soul bare to bleed. I clenched my fists tight and screamed out loud, now I’m learning how to be me.’ And then four years later at the ripe old age of 36 (lol) I rewrote it: ‘My heart is now open and clear to see, and I don’t feel the need to please. People can take me for what they want me to be, but I only need to be me. My heart can soar in a world of its own, and no one can stop me at all, for over the years there are lessons I’ve learned, and I know exactly how to be me.’

Life is short and you need to be you, your authentic self. No one else can do a better job.

Be you!

You can read my author interview with Lisa HERE.

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is author, Sara Daniell.



#TuesdayBookBlog Interview with author, Patricia Paris (@PatriciaParis1)



Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Patricia Paris, author of contemporary romance series, Glebe Point. Over to Patricia…

The Fun Stuff:

What part of the world do you come from?

I live in the US, in Maryland, but my father was in the Air Force so we moved a lot while I was growing up. I never knew when we’d be packing our bags and moving to another state, or possibly another country. I’m number five of six siblings, so although I never got the chance to keep friends very long, I always had my brothers and sisters to play with, or to annoy.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a lot of things at different points, but the ones I most seriously wanted to be were a nun, a spy, a scientist, a gymnast, of course a writer, and taller. Lol🙂

List three words to describe yourself.

Creative, analytical, obsessive

Who would play you in a film about your life?

I think maybe Sandra Bullock, not because we look alike, but because she can play serious, funny, romantic, strong, quirky, and I think I’m a bit of all of those, plus, I just like her.

What’s your favourite snack food when writing?

Coffee. Pretty much it’s coffee. I’m more of a three meals a day kind of gal, so I don’t typically snack when I’m writing, although I admit I’ve been known to scarf down a couple of chocolate truffles when I turn my computer off for the day.


If you had a super power, what would it be?

Invisibility. Maybe it goes back to when I wanted to be a spy, but I’ve always thought it would be great if I could become invisible at will. As a writer, I’m always watching people wherever I go, observing their gestures and expressions, trying to listen in on their conversations because I find people totally fascinating. I’ve discovered that staring intently at strangers in public places though makes others uncomfortable and earns me a lot of dirty looks. If I could be invisible it would make things a lot more pleasant for everyone involved.

Return to Glebe Point
Amazon UK | US

The Sensible Side:

Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing?  What do you do when you’re not writing?)

I started writing at a very young age, probably five or six. My grandmother, who I adored, had a big impact on my life. She was strong and proud, and very much an individual. As a child, I also thought she might be a witch—she seemed magical to me. She loved to write. She actually had an inkwell, and an assortment of pens she would dip in the well when she did. Often when I visited she’d be sitting in her favorite chair, a writing desk in front of her, writing in her journals, which looked old and worn and I imagined were filled with wonderful stories. I have no doubt my earliest desires to write were a result of her influence on me.

When I’m not writing, and once I’ve gotten all of the necessary have-to-do’s out of the way, I spend as much time as I can outside, enjoying my gardens, boating, or just sitting on my deck reading a book or observing nature.

I also love to cook and try out new recipes. I grow most of my own herbs and do use them. You can find me in my kitchen on a lot of evenings experimenting with a meal, whisking up a special sauce, adding new ingredients I’ve not used before to whatever I’m making. My family never knows what to expect, and although I’ve served some real disasters, I’ve also come up with some real triumphs.

Where did the inspiration for the Glebe Point series come from?

When my husband and I were looking to move to Maryland several years ago, we found a house on a quiet cove that we fell in love with. I was so enamored by the wildlife, the sound of the water sifting through the marsh grasses, and the quiet, that I would spend hours down on the dock writing. It was during those first couple of months after moving there that I got the idea for my Glebe Point books. I wanted to write a series about a close knit family that I could plunk down in the middle of the beauty that surrounded me in real life. Family and nature have always been important for me, so melding the two was natural.

What do you like most about writing contemporary romance?

I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense, so I’ll speak to the romance part of the question, because I enjoy writing both. I am, and always have been a hopeless romantic. I’m not an overtly emotional person, but let me see an elderly couple holding hands on a crowded street, or two people dropping their belongings in the middle of an airport to throw their arms around each other in an embrace after being reunited, and I’ve been known to get teary eyed.

There’s so much beauty and good in our world, but it often seems that all we hear when we turn on the television, or go to the news page on our phone or computer is the bad and all that’s wrong. Writing romance allows me to let my inner romantic free and create a world occupied with everyday, good people, going about their lives in the best way they know how. Like most of us in real life, my characters have their flaws, they make bad decisions, they do stupid things, but deep down most of them want what most of us do, to love and be loved. And I get to give them the happy ending they dream of. Go me!

Who is your favourite character from your book and why?

That’s such a difficult question to answer. I get very attached to my characters and there are things about each one of them that are favorite things. Since you want me to make a choice though, I’ll give you a heroine and hero.

For the heroine, I’ll say Rachael, from my romantic suspense, Run Rachael Run. She’s strong, independent, and loyal, but she can be a real smart-ass. She’s also probably the most flawed of my heroines. She tries to give the impression everything in her life is just as she wants it, but she’s more vulnerable than anyone realizes. To be happy in love, she needs a man who can see through the façade and not be intimidated by her. And I think I give her the perfect one.

For the hero, I have to go with Blake Morrison, from This Time Forever, one of the Glebe Point novels. He’s got so much good in him but he lets his pride and emotions get the best of him at times. He makes some bad choices because of them, and then doesn’t always know how to make things right, which sometimes made me want to scream at him. Fortunately he realizes the error of his ways and goes after the woman he loves before she disappears from his life forever. Oh, and he’s seriously drool worthy, just like his twin Justin in book two.

Can you give us a brief excerpt from your latest novel?

From Return to Glebe Point, my last novel:

As the ferry drew nearer the opposing shoreline, Charlene leaned forward and rested her forearms on the top of the guardrail and watched their approach.

Mountain laurel was the predominate understory populating the sandy soil on this part of the river. In mid to late spring, tiny clusters of white and pale-pink blossoms burst forth in jubilant profusion against its lance-shaped, evergreen leaves.

In July, not much bloomed in the muggy heat. Here and there, though, a few swamp mallows grew close to the shore, towering over the reed grass to show off their dinner plate-sized flowers, mostly white with maroon centers, but with a smattering of pink blossoms scattered amongst them. They flourished in the river’s brackish waters, softening the otherwise green backdrop of mid-summer that grew beneath the taller loblolly pine and white oak that were so common to the area.

The Clara Sue slowed and began to sidle up to the pier where it would be tied off for the night. Beyond the pier lay Brenton, which consisted of little more than a country store that doubled as the ferry station; the Brenton Inn, which had the only restaurant in town and served the best oyster stew and beaten biscuits in Maryland; a one-pump gas station; and Smythe’s Book and Brew, where you could get a cup of coffee while you browsed the book stacks. And beyond Brenton…the road to everything Charlene held dearest to her heart.

Phillip wouldn’t get back from his latest business trip to find her note until Thursday night. That gave her four days’ lead before he discovered she’d left him. She didn’t know if he’d try to find her, but she’d covered her tracks as well as she could just in case.

For the first time since making the decision to leave, she began to relax. Inhaling deeply, she dragged in a soul-bolstering breath of the churning salt water air. It filled her head with a thousand old memories and her heart with a whisper of hope. She was a Bay girl, and she was going home.

What can we expect from you in the future? 

I’m currently working on a four book stand-alone series, The Bonaveras, that’s set in Virginia wine country. The series is about four sisters who inherit a winery from their parents after the two are killed in an automobile accident. Each book focuses on one of the sisters and their quest for love.

The first book in the series centers on the oldest sister, Lucia, which is the title. Lucia and Antonio, the hero, were betrothed at birth by their respective grandfathers who believed the circumstance of their births was a sign the two were destined to marry. Lucia and Antonio never actually meet until almost thirty years later. She lives in the States, and he in Italy. Neither have ever had any interest in meeting the other, and consider the antiquated contract a joke between two superstitious old men they have no intention of honoring, but when Antonio’s grandfather blackmails him into travelling to Virginia to meet Lucia and try to woo her, he’s forced to play along until he can figure out how to get rid of the noose around his neck. What neither he nor Lucia ever anticipated is the attraction that flares between them and the risk to each of them if they give in to it.

LUCIA is currently with my editor and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can find all of my books on amazon.

Anyone interested in contacting me about any of my books can do so via email at:

You can also follow me on my author’s Facebook page, or, my general Facebook page.

I’m also on Twitter.

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Shelley. It’s been a pleasure! You are more than welcome, Patricia, it was fun to read about your writing life.

Glebe Point

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is author, Lisa Shambrook.



Guest Post – An #Interview with @BarryKnister, #Author of Godsend #Crime



Today, on the Big Blue Takeover, I’m delighted to share AN INTERVIEW WITH BARRY KNISTER, Author of GODSEND.

You’re in the final stages of finishing GODSEND, your third Brenda Contay suspense novel. Can you tell us a little about it?

Sure, and let me start with a disclaimer: GODSEND isn’t a book for readers who think suspense novels have to pit the forces of good and evil against each other.

But GODSEND is a crime novel, right?

Like the first two Brenda novels, it definitely is. But the criminal in this new story and my journalist main character Brenda Contay meet just once. At the beginning. These two characters remain important to each other throughout the story, but they never actually meet again.

I have to ask you: why don’t they? Doesn’t it make sense that the central character in a suspense series would find herself in conflict with the criminal?

If the writer’s aim is to fulfill the usual conventions or assumptions of the suspense/crime novel, you’re right. But one of the freedoms open to self-publishing writers is to try something new. To invite readers to step outside their expectations.

Aren’t you likely to lose readers?

Probably. Children enjoy being told the same stories over and over, and they don’t like it if you change anything! Most readers of crime fiction have read widely in the genre, and know what to expect. They love to be surprised, but not necessarily challenged.

All right, let’s talk about that first and only meeting. What happens?

A prologue introduces the antagonist, James Rivera. He’s a young illegal alien from Mexico who is the brains behind a successful service company for the elderly, called Lend a Hand. He has secretly started a new “niche” business within the company—assisted suicide. We see him “assisting” one of his clients, even when she changes her mind.

So, the reader knows from the beginning who the bad guy is.

That’s right. In my work, I often make use of Dramatic Irony. In conventional suspense novels or mysteries—whodunits or howdunits—the reader tries to figure out who’s responsible. With dramatic irony, the reader is made an insider, someone who has information the protagonist doesn’t know about. The pleasure—again, for the reader—is being placed in a godlike position, and watching as the hero works her way to knowledge.

In other words, figuring out whodunit isn’t the point. The reader learns that up front. So, what happens next?

Thank you. That’s the most important question any writer wants a reader to be asking. Soon after the novel actually begins, the two characters meet at the Southwest Florida International Airport near Fort Myers. Brenda Contay is a journalist, and she’s come to Florida to write about baby boomers getting ready to retire, and buying real estate. James Rivera has been hired to pick up Brenda and take her to Naples. Everything Rivera does and says impresses her. She doesn’t yet know he’s an illegal alien, and he seems to embody the American dream of success through hard work.

So, this is a rags-to-riches story, with a noir twist.

In many ways, that’s exactly right. After entering the country illegally, James Rivera became the apprentice of a successful but unscrupulous owner of nursing homes. This mentor describes Rivera as being like a sponge in his ability to soak up knowledge. This quality is reflected in Rivera’s obsession with perfecting American English. Aside from his Mexican features and coloring, he sounds like any articulate, likeable young businessman. But when Brenda turns her attention to his story, the amoral potential in business is dramatized.

And your journalist lead character, Brenda Contay. Will she eventually see her first impression was wrong?

She will. Her own story mirrors Rivera’s, in that she, too, is a success. But unlike Rivera, she is plagued by a sense of being controlled by her past. In fact, her real motive in coming to Florida has nothing to do with writing about baby boomers. She’s escaping from her lover Charlie Schmidt (introduced in the previous book, Deep North). But whereas James Rivera sees his life in terms of fulfilling his pre-ordained destiny, Brenda must find a way to break with destiny, and change her life. Uncovering Rivera’s story will help her do this, with a lot of struggle along the way.

Aside from breaking with the conventions of crime writing, what has been the biggest challenge facing you in writing Godsend?

Writing a series means having to make decisions peculiar to a continuing narrative. My biggest problem is how to make each Brenda Contay suspense novel a stand-alone story, while at the same time not ignoring Brenda’s past. Sue Grafton’s character Kinsey Millhone has a past, and some secondary characters reappear. But I don’t think Grafton is very concerned with her character’s past. Grafton has almost worked her way through the alphabet, but I don’t see her character aging much, or being burdened by her past. This is not the case with Brenda Contay. As is true for anyone who isn’t delusional, my character must contend with past events that shaped her. But how to bring in the past—backstory–without slowing down or stopping the forward movement of the current story—that’s been a real challenge.

Do you think you met the challenge?

I hope so. I’m soon publishing Godsend, and my name will be on the cover.

Barry’s novels are available in eBook and Paperback via Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Anything Goes Girl (A Brenda Contay Novel Of Suspense Book 1)

Amazon UK | US


Journalist Brenda Contay Doesn’t Look For Trouble—But It Keeps Finding Her

When she said “yes” too often in college, she became “the anything goes girl.” Pretty soon her sex life figured in locker-room graffiti.

But when Brenda Contay makes it big on local TV as W-DIG’s Lightning Rod reporter, everything seems to be turning around for her. Except succeeding in tabloid TV because your butt looks good in Levis isn’t much different from the “anything goes” days.

That’s why Brenda quits television to learn the truth behind an old lover’s death. Vince Soublik drowned recently, off a tiny island in the Pacific. But All-State swimmers like Vince don’t just drown.

When she gets to the island, Brenda learns that Vince’s death was collateral damage in a scandal of global proportions. And since it involves one of the ten richest men in America, Brenda’s chance of living to break the story is next to zero.

But you never can tell about “the anything goes girl”—she just hates to lose.

Deep North (A Brenda Contay Novel Of Suspense Book 2)

Amazon UK | US



Journalist Brenda Contay seems to have it all: a Pulitzer Prize, plenty of money and lots of friends. Just one thing is missing: a relationship that counts.

That seems about to change when lawyer friend Marion Ross invites Brenda to go fishing in northern Minnesota. But they won’t be roughing it: they’ll be staying on a big, comfy houseboat. Charlie Schmidt has a cabin nearby, and before long, Brenda is thinking a lot about Charlie’s gracefulness and good looks.

But two other men have followed the women. Louis Rohmer knew Marion in college and has an Internet scheme to steal everything she’s worth. Jerry Lomak is much more dangerous: Marion’s legal skills destroyed him in court. He’s headed for prison, but Lomak has no intention of doing time, or of letting a woman lawyer get away with her “crimes.”

It’s a beautiful place, northern Minnesota. Cold, clear, unblemished. But none of it will count when Brenda Contay must choose between losing her chance for happiness, or committing a terrible crime.

Find Barry on his websiteGoodreads and Twitter.

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is Patricia Paris, author of Run Rachael Run.



#FridayBookShare Guest Post by @DreaDamara as she shares Jason’s Princess by @EliseManion plus #BookReview



Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is author, Drea Damara who has chosen to share fellow BHC author, Elise Manion’s book, Jason’s Princess for the Friday Book Share Game. You’ll also find Drea’s review of Jason’s Princess at the bottom of this post.

Anyone can have a go at the Friday Book Share Game – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on a book you enjoyed reading and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

Over to Drea:

First line – It began with a fight.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

 Five years after her parents’ tragic death, Julie Armstrong is still managing to raise her seventeen year old brother, Charlie. Barely making ends meet, there’s no time to seek out her Prince Charming, even if one exists. This is the real world, after all, and the only eligible men in her town resemble toads with ink.

Jason King might have ink, but he’s definitely no toad, even if Julie thinks he’s one. He wants nothing more than to ride in on his dark horse and protect Julie and her young brother. He’s sat on the sidelines way too long, keeping them safe.  But when trouble finds its way back home, Julie must rely on the one man whom she’s held responsible for all her troubles for the past five years.

Will she ever find her Prince?

Introduce the main characterGumption. Forlorn. Devoted.

Delightful Design


Audience appeal Perfect for fans of Lorelei James, Diana Palmer, and Elizabeth Lowell

Your favourite line/scene

Charlie put his hands to his ears and glared at his sister. “It’s not Jason’s fault, Julie. And stop yelling. My head is killing me.”

That shut her up. Jason gave her a pointed look and was relieved when she got in the truck. As they drove off, Jason realized that it was his fault. He had taken his eyes off Charlie for one second, distracted by Julie’s presence. He had seen the look of determination on Charlie’s face as he’d jumped in the water, and Jason had known in his heart that the kid would try something crazy. So much for staying focused this weekend and having a good time. At least he would get to spend some more time with her on the way to the ER.

Crap, he really had it bad.

Drea’s review:

Find out more about Drea Damara, author of Chasing Vengeance, on her website and follow her on Twitter. You can also read my author interview with Drea HERE.

Finally, a LOL, modern western romance series without cliché dialogue, uber-machismo men, and obnoxious, helpless women! Julie Armstrong was a dealt a lousy hand when her parents were killed in a car accident, leaving her the sole guardian of her brother. Her one and only love, Billy, took off on her shortly after, compounding her heartache. One saving grace, as she forged a meager existence to be both a mother and sister to her brother, Charlie, was the King family. The King’s supported her from day one with love and friendship, all except for Jason King—the aggravating, tattooed bruiser who used to torment Billy. Jason King has loved only one woman his entire life—Julie Armstrong. He knows everything about her, even the fact that she hates his guts. Jason’s heart refuses to stop beating for her, in spite of this. When trouble finds his secret princess, he’ll do whatever he can to protect her, even if he must risk making her hate him even more.  Manion’s King family is absolutely infectious with their values, wit, charm, and camaraderie. You easily discover she is a pro at capturing the men’s psyche and antics, if you’ve ever had to chum around with a bunch of guys before. The banter and dialogue in Jason’s Princess is so effortless, you don’t forget where you are—you’re in the room with the characters living and breathing right in front of you. She pulls you into their world like some fantastical warp and you can see the brotherly scuffles of the King brothers play out right before your eyes. I love it when a book can do that.

This is a great modern, Southwestern with suspense and believable love and dialogue. I’ll be back and begging for more because of the resonating characters. Who needs Skarsgard when you’ve got the King brothers? Hummah, hummah! Thank you, Ms. Manion.

Find out more about Elise Manion on her website, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Elise Manion

BUY a copy of Jason’s Princess from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is Barry Knister, author of the Brenda Contay Mysteries.





Guest Post – Writing and Creativity by author, Rebecka Vigus #WritersLife



Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Rebecka Vigus, author of the Macy McVannel mystery series. Over to Rebecka…

Writing and Creativity

Be inspiring, be informative, be creative…all this in one blog? I will do my best. One of the most asked questions when I am at book signings or book talks is, “Where to do you get your ideas?” Life gives me ideas. My books have covered murder, arson, stalking, abuse, and magic.

My take on these subjects is what makes me different. I don’t write blood, gore, horror. I look at these things through the eyes of those trying to stop them. What makes one murder different from another? The way the characters are cast and the way it’s solved. In the end murder means someone died. The best detective, police officer, investigator is the one who can get through all the twists and turns to find out motive. They are always asking why.


If you plan to write, learn all you can about writing. Take classes, attend conferences, go to workshops and read. Read in your genre, read in other genres, read about writing. Then write. Carry a small journal with you every day. When something strikes you as interesting, write it down. Carve out a minimum of fifteen minutes a day to write. Set a timer if you need to. It’s okay to go over fifteen minutes, but you MUST be writing. Not sure what to write? Find a thought for the day or a what if question.

I used to hate it when my teachers, instructors, or professors would say, “Take out a blank sheet of paper, we’re going to write today.” One would think I’d have been thrilled. Unfortunately, most of these esteemed educators had already picked my topic. They would tell me if it was a narrative, a compare and contrast, an essay, an opinion, or a response to a reading. To make it worse, they would assign me a topic. Many of the topics were not to my liking. I found writing to be drudgery. Even when I took creative writing I was not allowed to be creative. I have since learned to create topics which are important to me. Topics I have an interest in. When I do choose my own topic, my writing is better than when I am forced to write on someone else’s topic.

So, create a topic journal. This is a place where you write ideas you want to explore at a later date. Where do you find inspiration? I love walking through the woods. So, I find inspiration in nature. How could a person live off the land if it was their only option? What would they have to know to stay alive? How do you build temporary shelter? Can you build a fire without flint, matches, or a lighter? Then I ask myself: What could happen here? What if this? What if that? Who is the person things happen to? What are they good at? How will they survive? What is the weather like were this takes place? Is it mountains in the winter? Mountains in spring or fall? Is it desert? Are forest fires raging? The list is endless. I love the idea of a topic journal.

When I say I write about magic, I don’t mean magic tricks or black magic. I believe in fairies. I believe they dance when you see the fireflies. I’m sure there are gnomes who stand only four inches high. Leprechauns, of course. And yes, they have a pot of gold stashed somewhere. On the flip side there are witches, good and bad.

Still looking for inspiration? Trace your hands on a sheet of plain white paper, then list everything you can do with them…find anything to write about? Now trace your feet on a sheet of plain white paper.  Where can they take you? How can you use them? Any inspiration here? Put yourself in your favorite sport, how does it go? Does your team win? Did you have any part in the win? Or loss? How are you feeling? Any inspiration here? If you have kids, take time to listen to them play. Or just listen to them. Some of the things they say and do can lead to inspiration.


I can suggest some books on writing and creativity.

Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for your Create Soul, by S.A.R.K

Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People…by S.A.R.K

The Weekend Novelist: A Dynamic 52 Week Program To Help You Produce a Finished Novel…One Weekend at a Time. By Robert J. Ray

The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron

These are my go-to books. Especially books by S.A.R.K. I find her books inspirational and motivating. She’s different and comes at writing and creativity from a totally different point of view.

You can get in touch with Rebecka via email on:


Her Blog


Author Bio:

Award winning author of Crossing the Line, Rebecka Vigus spends her time writing, reading, crocheting, hiking, and swimming.

She is busy working on Rescue Mountain, a suspense/thriller. She will be outlining book four in the Macy McVannel series, Something Borrowed, Something Blue as soon as she finishes her current work and already has ideas for book five. She longs to get back to fairies and magic as well as other children’s books.

You can also find Rebecka’s books on the BHCAuthors website. All of her books are available through and or if you can catch her, the trunk of her car.

You can read my author interview with Rebecka HERE.

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is Drea Damara, author of Chasing Vengeance.





#wwwBlogs Guest Post from @jsbailey_author – How to Organise a Successful Book Signing Event



Today, on the Big Blue Takeover I have a guest post from author of Rage’s Echo, J.S.Bailey.

First of all, I’d like to thank Shelley for letting us all invade her blog while she’s away. THANK YOU, SHELLEY! You are most welcome🙂

My name is J. S. Bailey, purveyor of suspenseful tales about ghosts, demons, and socially-awkward psychics, and I’m here today to talk about book signings.

I have been published for five years, and in my personal experience, it is much easier to sell books when people see physical copies in person than when people see links to Amazon online. It has been my mission to get my books in front of as many people as possible by having as many book signings as possible—usually 3 or 4 per month.

Jennifer Bailey 2

  1. Setting them up

The two types of places where I’ve had the most book signings are used bookstores and coffee shops—more specifically, Half Price Books and Starbucks. To set up an event, call the venue of your choice and politely ask if they host author events, and if so, if they would be interested in having you.

I tend to sell more books when I have bookstore signings on Friday or Saturday evenings and coffee shop signings on Saturday or Sunday mornings, so be mindful of that when scheduling a date and time for your event. I typically set them up to last 4 hours, sometimes 3.

  1. Be prepared!

You should keep a spare table in your car should the venue not have one available. I also bring a tablecloth (made of Doctor Who-print fabric to attract my geeky brethren), bookstands, bookmarks, a Sharpie, and plenty of books. I bring about 6 copies each of my most popular titles and 2 or 3 each of the less popular ones. You should bring enough change and invest in a credit card reader so you don’t miss out on any sales.

In the past I’ve averaged 3 or 4 books sold per event, but so far in 2016 the planets have aligned just so, so I sell about 7 or 8 on average. It’s important to have realistic expectations!

  1. Be proactive!

I talk to a lot of booksellers at my events, and I commonly hear stories of ungrateful authors who refuse to talk to any bookstore customers and proceed to grow furious at the bookstore employees when their books don’t sell. DO NOT DO THIS.

When people pass by my table, I smile and greet them, and if they start eyeing my books, I ask them if they are a reader, and if so, what they like to read. Sometimes they have on a cool shirt or are carrying a book I like, so I’ll mention something about that. Anything to get a conversation started!

Once you’ve got them talking, they will invariably ask you what your books are about. Encourage them to pick one up and read the blurb. Thank them when they purchase a copy. And if they don’t purchase one, be friendly anyway. J

(I’ve had authors tell me they’re too introverted to do book signings. I don’t buy that excuse. I’m so introverted I refuse to walk outside if I see my neighbors out and about because I’m terrified I might have to talk to them, but I do book signings because I want my books to find readers. When you want something badly enough, you will overcome your inhibitions.)

  1. Dress the part

In the olden days I would try to look all fancy and professional at my book signings, but it just wasn’t ME. These days I dress the way my ideal readers dress: like the socially-awkward geek that I am. This typically consists of a Doctor Who t-shirt, an unbuttoned button-up shirt to go over top, black skinny jeans, and purple Converse.

Think about who your ideal readers are and dress accordingly.

Jennifer Bailey 3

  1. To wrap it all up…

I repeat venues every few months, so don’t hesitate to call a venue again and set up a new event, especially if you have a new release. When you conclude a book signing, be sure to return the space to the way it was when you found it (if you took a chair from somewhere, put it back when you’re finished, for example). Most of all, thank the venue’s employees for hosting you. Being kind and courteous is key.🙂

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and advice with us today. Getting out and about to meet readers is such a wonderful thing to do – I know the avid book worms and book bloggers who visit my blog would agree that meeting authors face to face is a lot of fun.

J.S. BAILEY is the author of four novels and seven short stories, including Rage’s Echo and Servant. Her upcoming short story anthology Ordinary Souls will be released in October 2016 (pop back for an in-depth interview with J.S.Bailey later in the year). Bailey lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA with her husband and cats and has an unhealthy addiction to Mexican food.

Learn more about her stories at, and catch up with her on Twitter.

Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is Rebecka Vigus, author of the Macy McVannel Series