<![CDATA[shannaswenson.com - My Blog]]>Thu, 18 Jul 2019 19:15:53 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[The Writer's Block- Interview with fellow indie author, Evelyn Montgomery]]>Thu, 18 Jul 2019 22:24:13 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/the-writers-block-interview-with-fellow-indie-author-evelyn-montgomery
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely and talented Evelyn Montgomery on Instagram among many of the indie romance authors in that supportive writing/reading community. We connected easily and as soon as I read the blurb for her book Indecision, I knew it was going to be right up my alley- Firefighter southern gent and a strong Cali girl writer, what’s not to love about that? After I read it, I had to know what inspired her to write it. 
Here’s what she had to say:

Me:   Hi Evelyn, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?

Evelyn: I’m a Southern California girl, who grew up in Northern California before moving to Central Kentucky almost three years ago. I knew at a very young age I wanted to be a writer. To be honest, it has always been with me before I could even write words. I would scribble down what I thought was a book on several pieces of paper and staple them together, very proud of what I created. I was probably about 4 years old. 
Me:   Aww, how cute is that! I love it! So, what inspired you to write Indecision?
Evelyn: Indecision is sort of an autobiography in some ways. In a lot of ways it is not, but there are very similar mirrored situations in the book that took place in real life. I am a journalist. I was born in Orange County. My family still lives in Huntington Beach and I always wanted to move back there. 
A lot of the characters have traits from friends I call family in my life, but for the most part are made up. I wanted to tell the struggle of a woman having to give up her dreams for something she did not expect. I guess in a lot of ways like I feel I gave up mine. 
Don’t get me wrong though, I am happy here in Central Kentucky. But Cali will always be home. 
Me:  Awww, it’s such a beautiful location for this book, I’ve always wanted to go there. Why did you choose this setting for your book? 
Evelyn: I grew up there for 34 years. It was all I knew before moving to the South. I wanted to write about what I knew. The great places I have visited and the places I called home. 
Me: I love it!! Now, how many books are in the Kismet series?

Evelyn: Three. The fourth is in production. ;) 
Me:  Awesome! I’m excited to read Reckless soon. So, which character in the collection is your favorite? Why?
Evelyn: Before I started writing my current work in progress, I would say Rex. He is the man candy in book 3. But now, I am falling in love with Jolene and Troy in book 4 and can’t wait for others to fall in love with them too. 
Me:   Aww, yaayyy. From the teasers I’ve seen I can understand that ;-) 
Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Noah? Evelyn? Rex? Gwen? 

Evelyn: Noah is completely made up. Not one person inspired him. I wanted to create my own version of a southern dream, and so he was created. Lol Evelyn takes part of my personality, but she is A LOT her own too. Gwen is me mixed with a lot of my longtime best girlfriends. Rex, lol, he’s everyone's favorite guy friend and the man most women drool over but know they can never tame. I created him with that mindset, and that is for sure how he turned out. 
Me:   Haha, yes! Understood! So, what are you working on now?
Evelyn: Deliverance - A military romance due out this fall. I am hoping early October if not sooner. It is the story of Jolene, Noah’s sister, and Troy Young. 
Me:   I can’t wait!!! Tell us a little about your writing process? 

Evelyn: For Indecision and Devotion - I did not plan. I just wrote as the story flowed out of me. For Reckless, I plan and plotted for the first time. I can honestly say I think that made the book take longer to write. For Deliverance, I am going back to the way I naturally am - realizing I am not a planner or plotter. So far the story is flowing well and i don’t feel trapped in a plotted box like I did with book 3. 
Me:   LOL! Yeah, I’m not much of a plotter myself so I completely understand that! 
What drew you to the romance genre?

Evelyn: I am a woman who loves a good love story. Enough said. ;)
Me:   Haha! I’ll drink to that ;-) Who are your favorite authors/books?
Evelyn: My all time favorite is F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby. Some Contemporary Romance authors I like are: K. Broomberg, Adrianna Locke, Corrine Michaels, Britney Cherry and Melanie Harlow. 
Me:   I guessed as much when I read about Gatsbys ;-) Now, what do you personally love about writing?
Evelyn: Creating worlds. I love the feeling I get from starting and not knowing what is going to come out, and later standing back and thinking- Oh my, did I write that? The feedback from readers is amazing too. I have met some amazing faithful readers and some awesome author friends since starting my indie author journey.
Me:  Agreed 100%. So, what are you looking forward to in 2019?
Evelyn: My first book signing. Finishing Deliverance. Making new author friends and talking with readers who enjoy what I have written. 
Me: The signing is going to be awesome! I can’t wait!! I wish you all the best, Eve. And I look forward to meeting you face to face in October. It’s so amazing to be on this great writing journey and have so many supportive and awesome women by my side. 

Grab Evelyn’s Kismet series, now available on Amazon. 
Evelyn Montgomery is a Southern California girl now embracing her southern roots in Central Kentucky. She is the author if The Kismet Series, available on Amazon. Her novels take you from the West Coast to the deep South. When she is not writing, she works as a journalist and editor of a community newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three children - Ava, Sophia and Logan - and her husband, Jason.

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys good books that thrill, chill and warm her heart...and supporting her fellow indie authors, like Evelyn Montgomery


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[Review for Devotion by Evelyn Montgomery]]>Tue, 16 Jul 2019 01:01:09 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-devotion-by-evelyn-montgomery
5 Dazzling Stars for Devotion

Ah, love… It never fails to endure and in this book it simply did, again and again and again! 

This was the sweet and satisfying conclusion to Book 1, Indecision, in Evelyn Montgomery’s Kismet series. It picked up right where Indecision left off. 

Noah, upon hearing Eve and Gwen talking on his way into the hospital room, is devastated to know that Eve’s feelings for him are unrequited. He leaves in a mad dash to escape both his breaking heart and to run from the stain his past has marked him with, no matter the attempts to break away from it. 

Eve is left alone to recover without the man she loves, not understanding that he had even attempted to come see her at the hospital let alone misinterpreted her words. She’s left with nothing but a note of encouragement as Noah heads home to Kentucky--Jack’s (my male MC in Abundance) home state btw, how could I not be intrigued?--freeing her to live the life she’s always dreamed...without him. But being without him, even if that’s what he seems to want, is killing her. 

Gwen is the one to suggest they go to Kentucky after him as she has an idea of why he might have hightailed it out of Dodge. 

What follows is beautiful scenery, a makeup made in Heaven, and the beginning of a new life for Evelyn Monroe as she finally stops to smell the literal roses and embraces where her life is taking her. 

But just as Noah and Evelyn’s fate seems to have ultimately turned around and their paths are headed where they were destined to go, that awful past Noah thought was behind him has just threw a major sucker punch to his gut and that happily ever after he was hoping for with the beautiful woman of his dreams may never be. 

A determined woman, a broken man torn by heartbreak, and a devotion so strong it can withstand miles and months and leagues apart. That is what you’ll find in this beautifully written story of Evelyn Montgomery’s. We should all be lucky enough to meet a man like Noah Stewart with his southern charm and big heart, to be a woman with the backbone, strength, and spirit of Evelyn Monroe, and to have a relentless fortified love that bonds these two lovers to each other forever. 

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills and warms her heart...and showcases the power of love like this one did ;-) 


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[Review for Washed in Blood by Ashley Lane]]>Sun, 07 Jul 2019 04:05:17 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-washed-in-blood-by-ashley-lane
5 one of a kind stars for Washed in Blood

“In our world, you pay for your sins in blood.”- Priest, Washed in Blood by Ashley Lane
I honestly don’t even know where to start! This book! Holy moly! Ok, so, usually I take a little time after I’ve read a book to process how I want to review it- a day, a few hours…but I simply have to write this review NOW! LOL! I literally just finished this book minutes ago.
Yes, it’s seriously that good! I’m not just saying it! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This is Ashley Lane’s debut novel and boy, does she get your blood pumping on this one!
**On a personal note- I’ve never seen Sons of Anarchy. And this is my first MC (motorcycle club) romance novel…Peeps! It definitely won’t be my last Ashley’s Lane novel or my last MC at that.**
With that being said, this book is HEAVY! There is violence, mentions of rape, drugs, beatings, cartel, sex-trafficking, etc. so if those are triggers for you then reader discretion is advised, but in this day and age of shows like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, etc. it’s not quite as intense as all that, in my opinion.
Trust me when I tell you this book is SO worth the read!!!
Anyway, for the review:
So, Kingston Blake, aka “Priest” was literally killed along with the woman he loved when they were merely sixteen years of age. Only…Priest didn’t stay dead. He got a second chance at life for sacrificing himself to save an innocent life. He was sent to meet the Angel of Death who explained to him that it wasn’t his time to go and that God had a plan for him.
Fast forward twenty years, Priest is now the President of the Heaven’s Guardians Motorcycle Club. A club he’s built with blood, his own as well as his four brothers, who have histories as skewed as his own. This MC is unlike others in that they save innocents like the one Priest did all those years ago and punish the wicked who prey upon them. As the Prez and “Priest” of the group, King is judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one.
Enter Willow, one of those sweet lost souls, who literally stumbles onto the grounds of the clubhouse, seeking refuge from simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s got a secret she’s keeping, the reason she’s running, and she’ll do everything in her power to keep it protected. She ends up in a rotting tree in the snow for three days before she’s found and the minute Priest rescues her and holds her against him, he knows he’s found his own personal salvation.
His draw to Willow is possessive, protective, and so endearing. He’s so swoony with his knight-in-a-dark-cape super hero vibe and takes his guard over Willow very seriously.
But there are many forces at play here that will literally alter the paths of both of their lives. Priest and Willow have lost so much over the years, what more can they bear to lose and will it end up being one another in this dangerous game they find themselves caught up in? Will Priest’s past continue to play over and over again like a time continuum he’s helplessly caught up in? Or is Willow the angel he’s waited on his entire life to absolve his sins?
You’ll simply have to read it to find out!!! Sorry, I don’t like spoilers, so that’s all you’re gonna get from me. Just know that this book is intense in its emotions and action. It was super suspenseful and I got super sucked into it right away within the first page with the whole premise. I cried, I laughed, I swooned, but mostly I cried. This is one of those diamonds in the rough, and you’re gonna love the plot, the characters and the twists, twists, twists.
So, if you’re looking for something different to read that breaks the mold and draws you in, then get Washed in Blood and prepare to read all day because that’s what I did! 

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...especially ones with swoony bad-a$$es like Priest ;-) 


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[The Writer's Block- Interview with fellow indie author, Trisha Harley McCarthy]]>Wed, 03 Jul 2019 21:53:11 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/the-writers-block-interview-with-fellow-indie-author-trisha-harley-mccarthy
I met the inspiring and talented Trisha Harley McCarthy on Instagram last year and we connected instantly. Being both a fellow believer in the paranormal and writer of cowboys, I knew I would enjoy her work. When she released her newest book in May, I knew that I had to get my hands on it. It revolved around the existence of Big Foot, so when I finished it, I simply had to ask her what inspired her to write it. 

Here's what she had to say: 

Me:   Hi Trisha, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Trisha: When I was in high school, my creative writing teacher told me I had talent. At that point in my life, the thought of writing wasn’t on my radar. Around 2006, I became hooked on fan fiction and wrote (poorly I might add) a continuing story of Bridget Jones’s Diary. After I began to receive positive reviews it was then that I began to entertain the thought I could write my own book. I began in 2007 and published my first book, Just As He Is in 2012. The rest is history. Since then, I’ve published 9 books with 3 more in progress.

Me:   That’s great! What inspired you to write Eye Shine?
Trisha: As a kid my family used to go camping in remote locations. Late one winter night, we were parked in our camper at a secluded campground in the Sierra Nevada’s near Lake Tahoe, CA. Something woke me up in the middle of the night. I could hear large footsteps outside. I remained still listening intently. I was so scared and the hairs on the back of my neck raised during the entire episode. The next morning, I saw large footprints in the snow. Since then the subject of cryptids also known as Sasquatch or more commonly known as Bigfoot has fascinated me. I love to write unique stories involving the paranormal.
Me:   How cool! Scary, but a great story..and it inspired you to write a book! Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Macy? Carson? Colton?
Trisha: There may be a little of me in the Macy character. Carson and Colton are purely fictional hunky characters conjured up through my imagination!

Me:  Nice! Love it! Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Trisha: I personally love the Colton character. He is the dapper, sweet and rationale character of the book. I love his alpha mentality towards his love interest, Macy.

Me:   Yes, he was my fave too! What are you working on now?
Trisha: I am working on three projects at the moment. On Ice, A Hockey romance due out by fall. It is my first sports romance inspired by the San Jose Sharks, my team. Taboo is a contemporary romance featuring very sophisticated characters who face the challenge of heartache and coming to terms with being unable to conceive a child. The third project is The Staircase in the Woods. A suspense thriller romance with a supernatural element woven into the storyline.

Me:   How intriguing!! Sounds awesome! Tell us a little about your writing process? 

Trisha: I think all writers have their quirks. Mine is I do my best writing around four pm in the afternoon and write for several hours. I listen to loud rock and roll featuring my favorite band Nickelback. It allows my creativity to flow.

Me:   LOL! Yes, we do!! Nice- I love Nickelback!! What drew you to the paranormal romance genre?
Trisha: I am a paranormal investigator. So, the subject matter is near and dear to my heart. They say write what you know, and I have. I’ve written about aliens in my book Dimensions, and now Bigfoot with Eye Shine. I binge watch all the various paranormal shows on cable.
Me:   LOL! Likewise! I am completely fascinated with the paranormal! So, who are your favorite authors/books?
Trisha: I love Helen Fielding who wrote Bridget Jones’s Diary. She is my real inspiration for my very first book. Other favorite authors are Maria Luis, Carian Cole, Ella Fields, Louise Bay and of course you, Shanna. Suddenly Forbidden is an all-time favorite of mine by Ella Fields.

Me:   Aww, wow, thank you so much! I’m so glad I rank up there among your faves (Blushes ten shades of red) I’ve never read Bridget Jones’s Diary but I loved the movie, it was hysterical!  What do you personally love about writing?
Trisha: I love when people tell me my writing has helped them in some way. A recent reader told me she was going through chemo and my books helped her during a difficult time. Another reader emailed me and told me how after an accident when she reads my stories it allows her to escape the daily pain she endures. I am humbled at the way my writing has helped others in some small way. I love being of service to others. If my writing brings some measure of comfort, then I am elated.

Me: Aww, that’s so awesome! How wonderful! Yes, touching hearts is definitely a perk of our work for sure. Now, what are you looking forward to in 2019?
Trisha: Being a better version of me in all ways and maybe striving for a best seller!

Me: Aww, I love that! We can all improve ourselves in various facets. Love the perseverance and dedication. You’re a true inspiration, Trisha. Thank you so much for being my guest tonight! I wish you all the best in all you do and look forward to reading more of your work!! 
You can follow Trisha on Amazon and read her various romantic and paranormal works. Be sure to grab your copy of the thrilling tale, Eye Shine.  
Trisha Harley McCarthy is a certified Life Coach and prolific romance author specializing in fantasy, paranormal and contemporary genres.  All her books are available through Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys hearing stories about the paranormal and all things unexplained. She also enjoys supporting her fellow indie authors...like Trisha :-D


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[Review for Indecision by Evelyn Montgomery]]>Wed, 03 Jul 2019 00:24:03 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-indecision-by-evelyn-montgomery
5 stars for this California dream

I just loved this book. I’ve always wanted to go to Cali and I got to go there in this debut book in the Kismet series. Evelyn Monroe is that warrior goddess in all of us; the one who has all these big hopes and dreams and isn’t gonna let any one, especially a man, stand in her way of them...that is until sexy, too good to be true, southern gentleman, Noah Stewart literally charges into her life. 

Firefighter hottie alert, ladies, this man is smokkkkiin’. (Yes, that’s a word!) 

These two meet at a bar as Noah pulls Eve from one danger, right into another- his tempting arms. And man, is his aloofness to how gorgeous he is SUCH a turn-on, damn...

Noah is a dreamboat with his good looks and irresistible charm, but as quickly as he took her world by storm, Eve’s best friend, Gwen (who is a total cock-block at times) just as suddenly pulls her out of La-La land and back to reality as she literally drags her out of the bar, WITHOUT Noah’s number… OMG! UGHH!! NO….See, Gwen has a habit of being kinda self-absorbed at times, and tends to rain on Eve’s parade. Buuuttt, Gwen’s been through hell--losing her sister--and she’s kinda hard when it comes to Noah and Eve. She doesn’t trust Noah and wants Eve to pursue her dreams and not let some smooth-talking Mr. Right (who’s probably Mr. Wrong) deter her BFF from reaching her goals. She’s all eyes on the prize…and I respected her for wanting the best for her friend, even if she sometimes makes wrong decisions herself. 

Anyway, back to Eve and Noah… So, as fate would have it, Noah and Eve get a second chance to meet up. Who’s BFFs with Eve’s brother’s BFF and co-worker, Rex? Ding ding ding! Noah!! They have no idea they are in the same place, Eve’s parents house for a dinner party, until boom, they see each other again the next day. All thanks to the love gods and goddesses above- Ahhh, romance. 

Noah and Eve’s magnetism is undeniable to everyone, including them, and both waste no time indulging in what the heavens have sanctified as “All systems go.” 

There’s just one problem- Noah is from Kentucky and was on his way back there until he met Evelyn. But he’s chosen to stay- for her. Now the only question that remains is- Is she willing to do the same for him? Will she risk her dreams for true love? 

Evelyn was a lovable MC with real world problems. She was level-head, goal-oriented, sweet and funny and her family and their antics were endearing too. 

Noah is so sweet and swoony, I loved him right away, especially when he shows up with three roses on her doorstep for “each day he hasn’t been able to be with her.” Oh my heart! He’s such a romantic.

Rex was funny and suave and Gwen was a good BFF despite her own flaws. 

I loved the realism here. A love story with angst and indecision. Thus, the title. It begs the question- why do we have to choose between love and dreams? But as you ladies know, most times, we can’t have both- or can we? 

If you enjoy a good story with a twist (and cliffhanger type) ending then give this one a try. Let Evelyn Monroe’s characters sweep you off your feet, anger you and then break your heart. It’s worth it, I promise ;-)

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...this one did ;-) 


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[Review for Eye Shine by Trisha Harley McCarthy]]>Fri, 28 Jun 2019 22:00:35 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-eye-shine-by-trisha-harley-mccarthy
4 Stars for this paranormal romance tale of intrigue

Most people who know me, know that I’m a big fan of the paranormal and all things that go bump in the night...and cryptids are no exception ;-)  

I’m fascinated by the unknown and a believer in Big Foot, despite my husband’s skepticism. 

After reading the blurb on this book, I knew I wanted to grab it! 

Eye Shine starts interestingly enough in a Big Foot “hotspot” in the Cascadia National Park in Oregon as Carson Campbell is contemplating his current relationship situation with Arden Forsythe, his fiance, whom he’s starting to discover isn’t the right one for him. Soon, he realizes that the two of them are not alone and captures some unique footage of a creature unfamiliar to him. 

Upon finding out that Carson kept this information from her, Arden is furious and a fight erupts, ending an already precarious relationship, and Carson leaves to go to his friend Colt’s cabin. 

Next comes, Macy, Arden’s little sister, and what ensues begins a complicated love triangle before Macy hits it off with Carson’s best friend, Colton MacCaffrey, all the while, looms the interesting encounters with this mysterious creature. Carson, amid his melodramatic love affairs, finally finds what seems to be a potential relationship with Shanda, Macy’s employee, before Arden is found “murdered” under unexplainable circumstances, seemingly by the creature. And Carson is once again back in the field to investigate and gets to witness, firsthand, the truth. 

This was an entertaining and engaging read as the tale wove around this mysterious creature and budding romances. 

At first, I had a hard time connecting with the lead female character, Macy. I mean who runs after their sister’s fiance? And just after he was dumped by her? SMH. (Stage 4 clinger alert!) She’s supposedly secretly loved the man for a decade now, but once she finds out he’s possibly “married” it’s like, boom, crush over, and she’s moving on to Carson’s BFF, Colt. She came off as desperate and flighty. Buuttt...then her relationship with Colton turns out to be genuine--not an act to get Carson jealous--which was what I assumed at first. And I found myself enjoying these two and their love for one another. I also felt bad for Carson, who despite his broody disposition, has been totally unlucky in the love department and was done wrong by both Abel and Kathryn, I mean- what a witch with a capital B, then ran over and emasculated by the overpowering Arden. I’m glad he and Shanda found one another and after Arden’s death, my heart really went out to him and I was glad she was there for him, despite her own insecurities. It was endearing. 

I also enjoyed the angst of this novella, the fear that Trisha incited with her descriptions of the encounters with the creature. I loved that in the epilogue, there was a POV from Tor, completely unexpected and unique. 

All in all, this book had drama, angst, action and romance and I would recommend it for a good summer night’s camping trip read...but beware, there’s something in the woods... and you don’t wanna be its next victim ;-)


Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna that thrills, chills and warms her heart...and gets it pounding, and this one did! 


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews

<![CDATA[The Writer's Block- Interview with fellow indie author, Bella Emy]]>Thu, 27 Jun 2019 22:19:43 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/the-writers-block-interview-with-fellow-indie-author-bella-emy
I met the lovely and talented, Bella Emy on Instagram and through networking in various groups began reading her work. Bella is a USA Today Bestselling Author and has her own library of amazing books on various platforms. I was lucky enough to read two of them so far and will be reading lots more before the years’ end. 

Bella was able to take a few minutes out of her busy schedule to chat with me about her work, her writing life and what’s coming next for this “heart-breaker”. 

Here’s what she had to say: 

Me:   Hi Bella, tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?

  • Bella: Hi, Shanna! Thank you so much for having me! This is such an honor for me. To keep it nice and simple, I’m a total bookworm from NJ. I’m always reading or writing something. I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was 12/13… a friend of mine and I were in the 8th grade back then, and she and I would write poems. I would spend hours at night and write these poems, which I always kept. Then, a few years back, I decided to publish them into a compilation, along with my first novel that I wrote as a teen. Once I put myself out there, that was it! I didn’t stop writing since, and now I have my own library of books I’ve written ☺️.

Me:   It’s my pleasure having you on my blog! That’s so awesome, Bella. What inspired you to write Beneath a Starlit Sky?  

  • Bella: Well, Beneath a Starlit Sky actually started out as a piece I submitted for an anthology back in the summer of 2018. It was themed as a summer romance anthology, so I wanted to write something that would truly touch readers. The beach definitely inspired me for this piece, so I started writing a love story that took place on a beach. The reviews came pouring in saying how much readers loved it, and how they couldn’t stop crying, so I decided to expand it into a series, The Kaleidoscope Skies Series. Beneath a Starlit Sky, book 1, released as a solo back in May. Book 2, Beneath an Iridescent Sky, released at the end of May, and it is featured in an anthology called, With Love From New Orleans.

Me: I just loved King of Arrogance too, OMG, Derek Mykels, grrr. I can’t wait for Between the Sheets! When will that one be out?

  • Bella: OMG, thank you so much! I looooved writing Derek!!! He was so much fun because I was really able to let go and create your typical college jock with the cockiest personality of all. But if I’m being honest, he really wrote himself. The story came so easily, and I can’t tell you how much I laughed when I read it back. Then seeing how much readers loved Derek, too, I knew he needed his own full length novel. Between the Sheets has got to be one of my most favorite stories of mine that I’ve written thus far. Derek gets a lot more attention, which he craves, lol, and the chemistry between him and Ellie is straight fire! I love these two characters! But to answer your question, I’m hoping to get their story out by November of this year… hopefully sooner! Fingers crossed!

Me:   Man, it’s gonna be so good. So, which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?

  • Bella: Derek Mykels is definitely a favorite for the above stated reasons. But I really love all my characters from my books. They really are like your babies… even the bad guys, LOL. I have to mention Emily from Brokenhearted as well, though. I see a lot of myself in her. Again, this is another tearjerker like Beneath a Starlit Sky, but a little less.

Me:   Did anyone in real life inspire your characters? 

  • Bella: Yes! A ton of my characters are inspired from my everyday life. I won’t mention which ones and who, though LOL. 

Me:   Haha, right! I understand completely (wink, wink) So, what are you working on now?

  • Bella: Right now, I’m working on another anthology piece for a project that will be released later on this year. I’m not really allowed to say much about it yet, but I will say that if you’re a fan of the traveling series, you’ll want to keep an eye out for something else. 

Me:   Perfect! Our little secrets, haha!! Now, tell me about your writing process? 

  • Bella: My writing process always starts off with a cup of coffee, LOL. But, I don’t really have any rituals or things like that. I usually just sit at my computer for hours on end and let the words pour out of me. Sometimes, if I’m really inspired or have a scene in my head that I need to get out, I’ll write right on my phone… whether I’m home, out and about, or even in bed. My phone is glued to me for this specific purpose, LOL. 

Me:   Haha yes, understood. Hubby bought me a ton of notebooks for Christmas that I leave around the house to jot down  inspiration on when it strikes! And I feel ya, no day starts without coffee. LOL! What drew you to the romance genre?

  • Bella: I love romance - all of it. I started out as a reader of the genre, and then stories just came to me. So, I started writing my own tales. I love creating beautifully,  heartbreaking stories, LOL. I do always try to give my characters a HEA, though. I do feel that stories with a little heartbreak in them - whether it be through the end of a relationship or through the death of a character - always touch people the most. At least they do for me. Or maybe because I just know pain so well, it helps and makes me bring out these heart-wrenching stories that readers love. 

Me:    Understood-100% and I agree. Romance is the best, but throwing in some tragedy is always a strength builder for the characters and the story ;-)  Who are your favorite authors/books?

  • Bella: I have soooo many! My BBBs (these awesomely talented romance authors know exactly who they are, and I love them!) Alyssa Drake, my talented co-writing partner in the Avalisse Ross Mysteries Series, S.J. Hermann, Jeremy Simons, Jade Royal, Niki Livingston… the list goes on and on, and it’s impossible for me to name them all. The indie community is packed with so many wonderful authors that I’ve met along the way. When it comes to authors traditionally published, Nicholas Sparks is my favorite. I’ve read every single one of his books, but The Notebook still remains my favorite of all-time. 

Me:   Yes, love my BBBs and Nicholas Sparks too. What do you love about writing?

  • Bella: To be honest, I love the whole process… from having an idea pop up in my head, to plotting the story, to writing it, to publishing, to making teasers to promote it… everything! I love that I get to create characters and worlds, bringing them to life. This is a dream of mine, and I’m so thankful I get to do what I love.

Me:  Yes, it’s really the best feeling ever, being a creator! So, what are you looking forward to in 2019?

  • Bella: I’m looking forward to meeting even more indie authors in this community. So many are so incredibly supportive, it’s amazing! And of course, I’m looking forward to bringing readers Between the Sheets, along with books 1 & 2 in the Avalisse Ross Mysteries. However, we already have quite a few books in this series planned out, too! 

Me: Awesome. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to read more of your work in the future. It’s been a true pleasure. Thank you for joining me tonight!

You  can find all of Bella's books on her website and be sure to follow her for updates, sneak peeks and more. 
Bella Emy is a USA Today Bestselling Author.

She loves all books, but her favorite genre to read, as well as write, is romance. Bella loves creating heartbreaking stories that will deeply touch her readers, but in the end, a good HEA is usually the turnout.
Whenever Bella is not typing away on her computer with a nice hot cup of coffee, she loves spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite places to go are the movies, the beach, or just on a good plain old road trip. Some of her must haves are coffee, chocolate, pizza, music, & movies.

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills (and breaks) her heart. She also enjoys supporting her fellow indies...like Bella! :-D


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<![CDATA[Review for Beneath a Starlit Sky by Bella Emy]]>Tue, 25 Jun 2019 22:35:57 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-beneath-a-starlit-sky-by-bella-emy
5 brilliant stars for Beneath a Starlit Sky- oh my heart...

“Through you I’ve lived the most fulfilling life I could have ever possibly imagined. Like a ray of sunshine, you are my light… Rae. That’s why that nickname was so perfect, Braelynn, my pretty girl. You are my ray of light, my world… my life.”
- Bella Emy,
Beneath a Starlit Sky 

Her tagline is: Breaking hearts one story at a time

Well folks, it’s both literally and figuratively true! This wonderful story is about true love, loss and the importance of remembering the simple things life has to offer. 

Braelynn tells us the story of her summer of firsts. She’s eighteen and on her usual family trip to Waverly beach, but this trip is going to be very different this time and in so many ways. 

She, in usual fashion, unpacks before meeting up with her girl, Misty, and the sweet neighbor she always enjoys visiting, Mrs. Neverly, before finding herself face to face with the man of her literal dreams. Zachery Taylor sounds like a dream come true; dark hair, blue eyes, and of course, perfect in every way possible. 

Rae and Zach enjoy their summer together, learning about each other and life, and discovering an incredible love in all its wonder, all the while, he’s keeping a devastating truth from her that’s going to rip her heart out when it comes to light.

Their relationship was so lovable and beautiful and innocent. Misty and Mrs. Neverly were endearing as well as Brae’s family. 

This book was heartfelt, funny, sweet, sad and inspiring. So, if you love a good story with heart, give this one a go.  

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna loves a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...and this one ripped it right out! 


Book Reviews
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<![CDATA[Review for King of Arrogance by Bella Emy]]>Tue, 25 Jun 2019 21:31:22 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-king-of-arrogance-by-bella-emy
5 stars for the King, somebody get this sexy boy a crown...

Damn Derek Mykels! He’s cocky, arrogant, a complete womanizer...and he sounds utterly delicious. Grrr. He’s in college and on the prowl for a certain piece of tail in particular, Candy Corbin to be exact, but the joke ends up being on him that night at the party- Haha! Never the less, nothing seems to deter him from his endgame and he ends up right where he wanted to be all along because well, he
is the king of arrogance after all! LOL! 

Bella is a new to me author and she didn’t disappoint in this cute and sexy little tale of hers, it’s totally FREE by the way, the prelude to the highly anticipated (myself included) Between the Sheets

I’ve never much been a fan of cocky guys in real life, so I don’t always fall head over heels for an arrogant male MC right away, especially if he’s not well written… well ladies, this man is the exception to the rule because he is well-written and sounds like virtual sex on a stick. She wrote Derek Mykels in a way that made him bold, sexy and mysterious and I want to read more. 

Bella Emy is now one of my new faves. I will definitely be reading more of her work! And you should too.

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart...even ones with cocky boys like Derek Mykels ;-)


Book Reviews
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<![CDATA[Review for Last Round by Nicole Rodrigues]]>Tue, 25 Jun 2019 02:54:44 GMThttp://shannaswenson.com/my-blog/review-for-last-round-by-nicole-rodrigues
5 stars for Last Round- It’s a real knock-out
This book marks the last one in the Double Play Series, so loving this sports romance series like I have, reading the final one was bittersweet but also heart-warming as always, as I got to go back to Louisiana once again and catch up with the Gavinwood/Turner/Johnson/Jameson clan once more.
We met Alessandra Thompson in Walk Off, book 5 of the series. She’s the stripper Nico had compromising pictures taken with in Florida and we learned that she was as much a victim in the ordeal as he was. Aless goes to live with Miguel Jameson, Normani’s sexy green-eyed brother, after Nico takes her out of the hellhole life she’s been having to live. Miguel is a cop and can protect Alessandra and her two-year old son, Peter, from the monsters of her past.
Neither are prepared though for what such close quarters are gonna do to these love-starved cohabitants and the sparks start to fly immediately upon meeting. Miguel hits it off with Peter too and if you don’t swoon over that big dose of adorableness then prepare your ovaries (or former ovaries in my case) for the hit they are gonna take when he’s described in the boxing ring. Swoon and swoon. Rocky eat your heart out!
Since I’ve called Nicole Rodrigues the queen of swoony male MC’s, she certainly doesn’t disappoint in this book either. Miguel and Aless have an immediate steamy, sexy chemistry. He’s protective and a southern gentleman with a dirty mouth. (Oh, and I’ll never be able to look at a peach emoji the same way again, LOL!) Alessandra is fighter herself who’s been through her own private Hell and faced some pretty terrifying demons there. Now she’ll do anything to keep her child safe. She’s a fierce mama bear and I just loved her tenacity. Aless goes to work with Charlotte at Double Play and of course the clan takes her in as one of their own right away. Just love that girl power!
Miguel and Alessandra try to fight their attraction for one another only long enough to give this book a nice sizzling slow burn and then the heat is on.
I loved getting to catch up with all our former couples and see what they’ve been up to and enjoyed the way it was all tied together to highlight big events (wink wink). I enjoyed how Aless shined and how Miguel reveled in her “light” as he emerged from his own dark place. I loved the twist at the end--girl is a bad-a$$--and the extended epilogue too. This book was sweet, funny, sad, sexy, tragic and endearing.
As sad as I am to see this series end, I truly fell in love with these characters. If you haven’t started the Double Play series, start it right now and meet a family that knows the true meaning of the word. If they don’t warm your heart, nothing will. 

Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series

Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills and warms her heart...and this one did all three :-)


Book Reviews
The Writer's Block Indie Author Interviews