Author Interview

The Five Year Marriage…

I’m  happy to introduce you to one of my favorite people, the mother of modern marriage Annmarie Kelly. Her latest book The Five Year Marriage is a game changer!

*Be sure to leave  a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Author:

As the founder of The Victorious Woman Project and author of Victorious Woman and Victory by Design, she excels at shaping life’s challenges into victories. Annmarie built a successful business, Skillbuilder Systems, is the host of the popular radio show, The Friday Happy Hour, is an empowerment speaker, hosts the annual Girlfriend Gala and she has been married six times, each time for just five-years and each time to the same man.

The Book:

The Five Year Marriage empowers couples to live their best life using a method that enables them to recognize and respond to change-in their life, their relationship, and their marriage. The Five Year Marriage is for couples who are ready to commit- or recommit- in a whole new way.

The Interview:

Is there a typical concept of what a great marriage looks like?

Good question – and I think what a “great marriage” looks like depends on a person’s age and experience.

Younger or never married people – and nearly every woman’s magazine – seem to think passion and sex are top priorities for the basis of a marriage that lasts forever. And, when getting married, many couples seem to believe that the person they are marrying is “the one” and their “soulmate.” So, if there are some problems, they believe that their love will conquer all of them. Those couples are looking for the “happily ever after” that traditional marriage supposedly offers. They don’t usually realize what hard work marriage is.

Also, it seems that – for many people – marriage is a bucket list item. OK, I’m married. Check. Or it’s about a biological clock: I want children and want to raise them in a two-parent household.

Older people and those who are, or who have been married, are more realistic. They are hesitant to say their marriage is “great.” They are more likely to say something like “it’s been a great life and I’m glad s/he was my partner in it.” Or, “I wouldn’t have wanted to go through life with anyone else.” That’s because they know that marriage is a part of life, and just like life, it has ups and downs that create awesome peaks and very deep valleys. So, while you may always love that person, but sometimes you like each other and sometimes you don’t.

More than once I’ve heard people brag that they have a “great marriage” only to find out a year or so later that they are splitting up.

That’s why the Five-Year Marriage is so important to a couple. It recognizes that “getting married” is different from “being” married and “happily ever after” happens in fairy tales, not real life. The Five-Year Marriage changes as the people in it change.

What is a Five Year Marriage? A Five-Year Marriage is one that lasts for just five years. It allows a couple to put a pin in the timeline of their marriage, to stop and say, “how’s it going?” and “what’s working and what’s not?” And, with that acknowledgment, a couple can consciously make changes – and do it while they still like each other!

Think about it: in any five-year period, you can change jobs or careers, have a child, go back to school, move to a new house or a new city…and those are just scratching the surface of change. Each one of those changes requires a couple to shift their thinking and adjust. It happens with every couple, but most couples don’t stop to discuss those changes and that adjustment. Instead, thinking they are still on the same page, they plow through and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, because the couple didn’t stop when they needed to, they rethink and adjust separately. When that happens, they stop reading off the same page. In fact, sometimes they aren’t even reading from the same book.

When they talk to each other, “she doesn’t understand me anymore,” and “he doesn’t care about what I’m doing” become the new filters in the couple’s communication. Then one or both of them become angry, disillusioned or resentful – until one or both of them say, “this isn’t working and I want a divorce.”

Who did you write this book for? Who needs to read it? The singles and couples who need to read The Five-Year Marriage are the ones who are looking for something more and better than they’ve seen in other marriages. I wrote The Five-Year Marriage for the man or woman who sees that traditional marriage is outdated, but at the same time, s/he is still looking for the intimacy that marriage promises.

That woman/man/couple who will love The Five-Year Marriage are one who are more focused on the partnership that marriage offers (vs. focusing on the color of napkins at the reception). That could be the single professional who is ready for a relationship that isn’t a dead end.  Or the engaged couple who is ready for marriage but nervous. And it’s definitely for the man or woman who is the child of divorce.

Here’s who I wasn’t thinking about when I wrote it, but who is giving me a lot of feedback: the traditionally-married couple who, after ten or twelve years is finding the old agreements of their marriage getting in the way and making their relationship a little stale. They are ready to take their marriage to the next level – and maybe shaking things up to bring back the old passion they once had.

Instead of letting that happen, a Five-Year Marriage couple recognizes the impact of even small changes. They give themselves the time and space to look at and discuss them. And then they create new goals and new criteria for themselves. It’s a new relationship created by change and honoring the people they have become as a result of life’s changes.

Every five-year marriage is different because the couple in the marriage is different.

The Review:

I was definitely intrigued by the concept of The Five Year Marriage. Being happily married for more than ten-years I doubted there was anything in this book I didn’t know. Not only was I wrong I was inspired to start numerous conversations with my husband about where we’ve been and where we want to go.

Packed with thoughtful yet expert advice Annmarie has definitely earned her nickname The Mother of Modern Marriage.

I especially enjoyed Joseph’s Take, where Annmarie’s six-time husband shares his insight and personal stories throughout the book.

The Five-Year-Marriage is not a guide to getting out of marriage. It’s a guide to building a solid foundation, resolving conflicts and learning to fight fairly. We all change, some of us for the better and some for worse. Renegotiating your wants, needs and desires with your spouse every five-years is a brilliant way to steer your marriage solidly into the future five-years at a time.

This book should be mandatory reading for every engaged couple, and will inspire you to reconnect on a more intimate level with your partner if you are married.

Amazon:

 

Learn more at AnnmarieKelly.com and FiveYearMarriage.com

 

Streetcar to Justice…

Preparing for this interview I was awed by the passion the author has for history and how that passion has fueled her impressive writing career.

Meet The Author

Amy is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and an American Library Association “Notable Book” and Peabody Award Winner. She is also a Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author.

Her books have been published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Kodansha, and Doubleday, among others. She has been represented by William Morris Agency (now William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) since 1991.

She is the author of two novels, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society and Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County, both published by Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books imprint, as well as seven nonfiction books including Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, a blockbuster bestseller which spawned a Broadway play and television film.

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Angel Bumps, Hello from Heaven…

Angel Bumps, Hello From Heaven I got to know Anne Bardsley in a Facebook Group we’re both members of and I know for sure I cannot wait to meet her in real life! We have so much in common and during a recent phone call I found out she grew up in Wayne, Pa. and I had been in Wayne that day for lunch. She lives in a Florida beach town now and plans to do only 3-things a day and one of them is to go to the beach! I’m looking forward to her coming ‘home’ for a few book signings. Anne gets up at 4:30 am while it’s peaceful and quiet (until she cracks herself up) to write in her sunroom.

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Someone Took The Cork Out Of Her Lunch…

I  love introducing you to the best authors and Vikki is one of them. She is also very funny!

About the Author

Author Vikki Claffin

Vikki Claflin is an award-winning humor writer and blogger, public speaker, and former newspaper columnist who lives in Hood River, Oregon. Her celebrated humor blog Laugh Lines shares the hilarious ups and down of midlife.

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A Quack and a Daisy…

I love introducing you to authors and their fabulous books. This author, Aileen Stewart is the first children’s author I’ve featured here. She is also a friend and we share the same publisher. Aileen is extremely busy with marketing, writing and her family so I appreciate her taking the time to do an interview for us.

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Ghosts, witches and rescued kitties…

I love introducing you to authors. I met Chrys Fey through The Insecure Writers Support Group. I hope you enjoy getting to know her and her work as much as I did.

About the Author

Author Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

The Interview

You write in several genres, what is your favorite genre to read?

I read just about every genre, but I especially love reading the genres that I write – romance, romantic-suspense, and supernatural/paranormal.

 What was the last book you read?

 ’ve been reading a lot of children’s and YA books lately, so the last book I read was A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time Quartet #3).

Did you grow up in a household that encouraged reading, writing or both?

 Oh yes, I did. My mom would take me and my siblings to the library at least once a week during our summer breaks. I thought of those trips as library sojourns. And she was an aspiring author, too. She wrote many children’s books and read them to us. I would watch her, at the dining room table, writing and illustrating her stories and I knew that was what I wanted to do when I got older.

Do you have a designated writing space? A schedule? Any rituals?

 My desk is in a section of my bedroom. I have a “Wall of Accomplishments” and a “Wall of Inspiration” to motivate me while I write. My one ritual is to listen to music. Music is my muse. As for schedules, I don’t really have one, but in the morning I get all of my blogging and social media done. Then in the afternoon and evening, I try to write. I say “try” because some days just aren’t writing days.

 Share your journey to publication:

In the beginning, I had only published a few flash fiction pieces online and a couple of poems. I was trying to get an agent for the first book in a series, which features Avrianna Heavenborn, the detective in Ghost of Death, when I came to the conclusion that I’d have to break into the publishing world with something else. Enter, Hurricane Crimes. I sent Hurricane Crimes to one small press and got an acceptance. That came after years of no success, though. Since then I’ve published a novella (30 Seconds) and two more short stories (Ghost of Death and Witch of Death). Some things happen for a reason…even rejections and setbacks.

 What are you writing now?

I am working on book three in my Disaster Crimes series. Book one is a short story, Hurricane Crimes, and is available on Amazon. Book two is a novel and is the hands of my editor. I am currently awaiting word on its fate. But that’s not stopping me from writing the next story in the sequence. If nothing can stop my characters, not even disasters, than nothing can stop me from writing about the next disaster they face. 😉

 Coffee, tea, wine or whiskey?

 Tea. I’m a sucker for hot tea even in the summer…in the heat of Florida. I drink green tea every morning. Chai, chamomile, and lemon-ginger are three of my favorites.

 Any pets?

 Yes, I have four kitties that I rescued as babies. They were born outside my old apartment complex a couple of years ago and were in danger, so I took them in. They are named Cole, Clover, Milo and Otis. 

 The Books:

Witch of Death Blurb:

Chrys Fey Witch of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Witch Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Ghost of Death Blurb:

Chrys Fey cover

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

Ghost Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Connect with Chrys here-

Author Links:

Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads

Thank you for reading and thank you Chrys,

Doreen

 

 

 

The Caregiver…

I belong to a writer’s group, Lower Buck’s creative Explorers. It is such an inspiring and talented group. The latest published author in our group is, Maria Casale. I had the privilege of listening to her read excerpts from her new novel The Caregiver as she wrote, rewrote and edited. Maria’s writing is lyrical, just beautiful. I am looking forward to reading the ‘finished’ product.

The Author:

Author Maria Casale

The Book:

Author book Caregiver

When Lillian Thomas is hired to care for cantankerous, bedridden Ellen Wilmot, it is Ellen’s beautiful, strangely familiar old house that immediately claims her devotion. But when Ellen’s daughter and granddaughter come to stay, Lillian finds herself drawn into the family’s loves, lies and resentments. And she faces a terrible choice…. The Caregiver is a story of mothers and daughters, the perils of obsession and what it means to be “the help.”

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, so when I was little I said “Hey!” instead of “Hi,” but I mostly grew up in Trenton, New Jersey.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

Yes, my parents both loved to read.  My mother always had a book in her hand—even when she shouldn’t have had a hand free for it.  She had an elaborate system for reading while washing dishes.  She really fostered my love of reading and always gave me books—when I grew up and had to choose my own books I found it kind of overwhelming at first.  My parents were also very conscious of writing and very tough critics: when I had to write my first book report in fourth grade my father told me that the correct way to learn to do this was to read the New York Times Book Review section.  He was serious!

New York Times Book Review

Have you always wanted to write a book?

Maybe, in a vague kind of way.  I have always loved books.  If I had to choose between being a reader and being a writer, reader would definitely win.

For a long time I didn’t really think of myself as someone who could write a book.  When I was younger I wrote poetry.  I came in second in a school poetry contest and decided that was it.  I figured even someone who came in first had very little chance of making a life as a poet.  The person who came in second better just give up!  I really stopped writing then other than for school or work.  When I started writing a lot again in my thirties, I wrote a bunch of interconnected short stories, and then I got the idea for The Caregiver, and finished the first draft in ninety days.

Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

I can write anywhere, any time.  I just need a really nice pen and a spiral notebook (I’m a lefty so I need to write on something that lays flat in the middle).  When I don’t feel like writing I buy new pens and notebooks to coax myself.

sword pen

Did you map your story before writing or did you just let it flow?

The Caregiver was a let it flow project—I definitely found out what was going to happen as I went along.  I’ve written other projects with a little more mapping out ahead of time—just loose outlines, basically.  I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those writers with story boards and reverse outlining and so forth.  That isn’t fun for me, and I know if I’m not having fun I won’t do it.  So I stick with a level of (dis)organization that lets me feel like writing is an adventure.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

No.  I’ve made a pretty conscious choice to make writing portable.  Coffee shops, libraries, my dining room table, my bed—as long as I have a notebook, pen and sometimes my laptop, I’m good to go.

Do you have a day job?

Yes, and it requires me to write horrible, passive-voice bureaucratese!  I sometimes think this is some kind of special torture designed for novelists, or maybe just lovers of strong verbs.  I have great coworkers, though.

What are you writing now?

I’m working on a couple of projects at once, which happens fairly often (see disorganization, above).  My primary project is a novel called Snow Angel, about three cousins whose mothers are three sisters.  I’m interested in how patterns repeat and change down the generations.  And there are some family secrets, and a dead body.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Irish Breakfast tea.

Tea 2

Your guilty TV pleasure?

X-Files reruns and Downton Abbey.

The Caregiver is available in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Caregiver-Maria-Theresa-Casale/dp/1502420953/ref=sr_1_29_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1427819023&sr=8-29&keywords=caregiver

Maria blogs about reading and writing at http://bookwormrrriot.com/

Thank you Maria and thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

 

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