Friday, May 29, 2020

Interview with Maria Claridge | Author of Hare and Tortoise Have Counselling

Amanda:  Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc.
Maria: Hi, my name is Maria. Hare and Tortoise Have Counselling is my first self published book.
I am currently writing a pre school/children’s book about Japanese culture and also a fiction book about a young woman having bipolar.

Amanda: Favorite book you’ve published so far?
Maria: Hare and Tortoise haha as it’s the only book I have published so far. ☺

Amanda:  Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write?
Maria: I found the counselor animals fun characters to write, choosing which animal they would be, and how they would interact with the Hare and Tortoise.
Being someone who likes goal setting, I found the Hare more relatable than the Tortoise so it took slightly longer to write the Tortoises story, as I wanted to ensure I got it right.

Amanda: Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
Maria: I loved reading as a child! Growing up I read Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. I am a huge fan of Jacqueline Wilson. Girls Under Pressure is a book all girls should read. The Phillip Pullman and JK Rowling book I also found very magical and inspirational. I still love rereading all these books.

Amanda:  Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
Maria: I have always enjoyed writing short stories and poetry from a young age. I’m actually working on some stand up comedy, where I am learning how to tell stories in a comedic way.

Amanda:  Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
Maria: I actually just wrote a short song (with the help from a dear friend) for my partner as an anniversary gift. I can’t sing very well, so I sing on top of my friends voice.

Amanda: I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
Maria: Through having counseling, and now studying counseling, I have learnt allot on what NOT to say as a counselor. We were taught early on not to make suggestions and I recall having a counselor who made endless suggestions to try solve my problems.

Amanda: Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…)
Maria: Anything I write, I like to check it over with my partner as he always gives me very honest feedback! I like practicing yoga and mediation before I write, as ideas always come to me before writing.

Amanda: Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
Maria: Ellie from Girls in Love, Girls Out Late, Girls in Tears, Girls Under Pressure - Jacqueline Wilson

Amanda:  Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to?
Maria: The current book I am writing, I write about an ex boyfriend, who I definitely would not want to go on a road trip with.

Amanda:  Top three favorite books and authors right now.
Maria: Bernardine Evaristo - Girl, Woman, Other – everyone needs to read this
Harriet Tyce - Blood Orange – gripping read
Morgan Harper Nichols – Story Teller - such inspiring poetry

Amanda: Favorite writing craft book?
Maria: The Illusion of Money (not a craft book, but really motivated me to write the book, and to follow passions)

This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate  Chocolate always
Poetry vs. Fiction.  Ohooo BOTH
First draft vs. Editing.   First draft
T. V. Show vs. Movie.  Movie
Book vs. Movie. Book
Hero vs. Villain  Hero
Villiain vs. Anti-Hero Villian
Witch vs. Vampire.  Witch
E-book vs. Physical Book  Physcial Book
Tea vs. Coffee.       Green tea

Amanda: Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
Maria: Yes!
Children’s book called ‘The Hafu Child’  - this is the story about a half English, half Japanese girl trying to understand her cultures and identity at her primary school in England.
Young Adult/Adult book called ‘This Girl Can…Sometimes’ – this is book about a young adult experiencing love, depression and mental health issues. You go on her journey and witness all the good, bad and the ugly.

Any last comments to share? :)
Maria: Thank you so much for this lovely interview!
Amanda: Thank you for stopping by!!

This is a story based on the characters from the Aesop’s Fable, ‘The Hare and Tortoise.’ For those who are unfamiliar with the story, Hare and Tortoise decide to have a race. In the race Hare decides to take a nap, allowing Tortoise to overtake him and win. But what happens to the Hare after losing the race? How does Tortoise come to terms with his new found fame? Through the different types of counselling Hare and Tortoise embark on a journey of self discovery.

Maria’s website
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Monday, May 18, 2020

Intervieing Myself!!

1. Give us a quick introduction to you. Published books, what you write, etc. 
- My name is Amanda Leigh. I'm a multi-genre author with twelve books published so far, as well as work in several anthologies. I have three poetry collections, one Contemporary Romance (which is going to be Historical Romance soon), a Women's Fiction novella. But I'm best known for my Beauty of the Dark series. A Mature Young Adult Paranormal Romance series.

2. Favorite book you’ve published so far?
- I think that would have to be Angel, the last book of the Beauty of the Dark trilogy. I can't say too much as to why, because it's the last one, but I liked how it all wrapped up. I felt like it went where it was meant to, and I adore it.  The cover is my favorite, as well.

3. Most fun character to write? Favorite character to write? (Because they can definitely be different. ;) ) Hardest to write? 
- The most fun character for me to write. I want to say that is Trent from my Beauty of the Dark series. He is quite complicated, and a total smart ass, so that makes him quite fun to write. However, John from My Heart is Yours was also a lot of fun to write. He's Samantha's older brother. He ended up being my favorite character in that book. Hardest to write? Well, there was a character I wrote for a novel I finished last year. I haven't said much about this novel yet, but I had to go to some dark places (even for me), so he was the hardest to write. You might meet him in the near future.

4. Did you like to read as a child? Favorite book? Do you still have that book or reread it now?
- Oh my Goodness, YES!! Well, I actually couldn't read on my own until I was eight years old. This always seems to shock people since I'm such a bookworm. I remember favorite books at different phases of my childhood. In fifth grade it was On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer. In seventh grade it was  The School Story by Andrew Clements. Then in eight grade I read The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, and I started the Harry Potter series. And those books have stayed favorites since then. I reread them, for sure.

5. Have you always been a writer/storyteller? How did you start?
- I most definitely have. When I was two years old, I would tell stories to my mom. She would write them down and I would draw the pictures. We still have my first "book".  With pink construction paper for the covers. It was about Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Who else loved Sailor Moon?

6. Do you write to music? If so, what kind? I love to hear about new music!
It varies, actually. I make playlist for all of my books. Sometimes these playlists change a lot by the time the book is out. I always have them in the back of the book, too. If I'm not listening to them as I write the book, then I listen to it before I start writing to get me in the right mood. Then I'll put on a movie score a lot. One that has the right mood/vibe I'm looking for. The two movie scores I listen to the most while writing are Crimson Peak (which is also my favorite movie ever), and The Village. As for what kind of music, that is so varied. However, it is often moody, angsty, sometimes eerie or dark music for my books.


7. I know for me, there have been some funny stories since I’ve been deep in the trenches of writing. Like a realization about a work in progress or characters (the funniest has to do with the song Mirrors by JT.) Do you have any funny stories that you’d like to share?
- Yes, this one!! Haha, finally!! SO: I was in the car with my mom. We were driving to my Godfather's birthday dinner. At the time I was writing Angel, the last book in the Beauty of the Dark trilogy). I was stuck on some character stuff. Realizations, reasons why they did things certain ways. Then "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake came on. As I was listening I realized "Oh my God, this is Trent and Kiara!! They are the mirror image of each other!!" And I found it so hysterical that I hadn't realized it earlier, that it took that song to draw it out that I couldn't hold it in, I busted out laughing hysterically. My mom was driving, and she looked at me like she was genuinely worried for my sanity that time. I explained it to her, and kept laughing. When we got to my Aunt's house, I whipped out my journal and wrote pages worth of realizations and epiphanies because of that song. So, I am forever grateful to Justin Timberlake for the song "Mirrors". Which, yes, is on the playlist for Angel

8. Do you have a typical process or any writing rituals? Anything you have to have with you while writing? (Besides computer, paper, typewriter, whichever…) 
- I put on whatever music I'm listening to. I often have a cup of tea or hot cocoa. I always have water with me (even when I'm not writing.) I have a notebook next to me. I have separate notebooks for each project. And I have this wooden turtle my best friend brought back for me from Europe. Turtles are supposed to be good luck, so it's often near me while I write. I write at my desk, or on my little purple chaise lounge like thing (lol), or sometimes on my couch (but not often.)  I would LOVE a typewriter, though!!

9. Who is a character that has influenced you (not from your books)?
- First one that comes to mind is Hermione Granger, definitely. My mom called me Hermione a lot when I was younger. Still does sometimes. I loved that Hermione was bookish, intelligent, academic, but also a total strong, girl power, badass. Who grew into an amazing woman. She still inspires me to this day.

10. Which of your characters would you least want to go on a road trip with? Why? Most want to? 
- Least want to? Either the demon from the Beauty of the Dark series or that character I mentioned above that you haven't met yet. Most want to? If it's just one, that would have to be Trent. It might be a little rocky, but I imagine it would also be a lot of fun. He's very....impulsive, lol. Plus he's about two hundred years old, so he'd know a lot of history about wherever we went, I bet. It would be fun if Kiara were there, too, though, since those two are always bickering. ;)

11. Top three favorite books and authors right now. 
- I'm sorry, but this is pretty much always my answer. The hard part is keeping it to three, because there are a few more I could tack on there. I'm already sort of cheating with Harry Potter.

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontè
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

12. Favorite writing craft book?
- This was harder than I thought. What I'm going to go with is the book we used as a textbook during my Fiction Writing Class in college. It's still on my bookshelf, highlighted and dog-eared. It had so many good exercises and examples. For example, in the back it had a short story before it wwas edited, and then it showed the story with all of the edits scribbled on it. Honestly, I should definitely give it another read through. Not to mention, I need to read more of these books. I have several sitting on my shelf!! This is the book:

Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (Eight Edition) by Janet Burroway, Elizabeth Stuckey-French, and Ned Stuckey-French.

Oh, and another amazing one is Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. I want to reread this right now! haha I highly recommend both of them!

This or that:
Strawberry vs. Chocolate
Poetry vs. Fiction
First draft vs. Editing
T. V. Show vs. Movie
Book vs. Movie
Hero vs. Villain
Villiain vs. Anti-Hero
Witch vs. Vampire
E-book vs. Physical Book
Tea vs. Coffee

13. Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
- Right now, I am in the editing process for another book in the Beauty of the Dark world. This one is told entirely from Kaleib's Point of View, and it is a prequel novella to the trilogy titled Forbidden. It should be releasing this summer. ;) <3 

14. Any last comments to share? :) 
- Well, it was a lot of fun to answer the questions I came up with for other authors. Some were pretty hard!! Which I'm quite glad of. I hope you enjoyed reading my answers (and finally hearing that story about the Justin Timberlake song.) Remember, if you want to write a book, the first thing is to get something written down. Editing comes later, but you can't edit nothing. To quote William Forrester from the movie Finding Forrester (highly recommend): "You write your first draft with your heart, and you rewrite with your head." 

Amanda Leigh is the multi-genre author of numerous titles, including the Mature YA Paranormal Romance, the Beauty of the Dark series. She’s made up stories all her life, and written them down since she was eight. In college she got her degree in English and Communications, and worked as the Assistant Managing Editor on the literary magazine. Amanda advocates for mental health, cystinosis/rare disease awareness, and literacy. Strength: Lives Touched by Cystinosis is an anthology to raise awareness and money for cystinosis. She has a cat she adores and loves cooking, music, art, Psychology, Marvel, Harry Potter, and Elvis Presley. Not necessarily in that order. Find her online at and feel free to get in touch with her. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

My Goals for 2020!!

Me with my books last year. <3

I know, it's May. I usually do this post WAY earlier in the year, but well, as we know, this year is...a little different. However, I am still setting goals for myself. I like having goals, something to be working towards. I set some big goals for myself at the start of each year. No more than ten. Right now, I have eight of them. So I thought that I would share them with you. Let me know any goals you have for 2020 in the comments. <3 Stay strong. <3 

Goals for 2020:

1. Read twenty books.
2. Read Anna Karenina.
3. Publish Forbidden (a Beauty of the Dark story) (Kaleib and Melinda's story).
4. Crochet a scarf.
5. Publish cookbook with mom.
6. Publish coffee table photography book with Aunt Sue.
7. First round of content edits on Dark Book (Historical Romantic Suspense.)
8. Knit a scarf.

I make no more than ten big goals for the year (with lots of smaller ones during the year), but I'm not sure what the last two will be yet, so I left it open. I'll see what else comes up throughout the year, if anything. Also, for me, the ten goals I make for the year are sort of more like projects. They are things that I have control over (mostly). I do the steps for these things. It isn't something that has a lot of variables and even algorithms and the like. Such as making the USA Today Bestseller List. Which, yes, is something I want to do but there are a lot of things that go into it that I don't necessarily have control over. So that goes on a different list. ;)

For me, a lot of these have to do with writing and publishing, because this is what I love and what I put a lot of my focus on. It's my favorite thing, really. And reading is a huge part of my life so that takes up some space. I actually read over forty books last year but I cut that number in half so I'm not focusing on the number of books. There are a couple of longer books I want to read, so I don't want to be worrying about the number of books. For example, Anna Karenina. Definitely a longer book. And yes, I am kind of intimidated to read it. But I have wanted to for a while, so I put it in that list of goals. This year, I took up crocheting and knitting. It's calming, it exercises the muscles in my hands (which is something I really need with Cystinosis.) And a lot of practice is in order, which is why those two goals are on there for 2020. Hopefully, by the end of this year, I'll have both a handmade crocheted and hand knitted scarf. Then there are those two left open. Let's see what ends up there!!

Tell me below, what are a few goals you'd like to achieve in 2020?

Friday, April 24, 2020

Scarred 99 cent SALE!! Three Year Anniversary Celebration!!

Friday April 17th, 2020, Scarred (a Beauty of the Dark novel, book one) turned three years old. It seems unbelievable that it was published three years ago. Of course, the process started years before that!! I tried to go live on Instagram and it didn't go so BUT I also went live on Facebook and that is pinned on my page!! And on there is a GIVEAWAY!! CLICK HERE to be taken to the video. So, to hear more about my thoughts on Scarred and some other things, go to that link below and check that out. ;) You can slso enter the giveaway there. It's super simple to enter. All you need to do is wish Trent a Happy Birthday in those comments. :) And in addition to that, Scarred is only 99 cents right now. So it is a PERFECT time to start the series!! Check it all out!! And thank you so much for your support.

Be sure to stay safe. <3

Click HERE to start the series for 99 cents.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Blog Tour | Andino + Haven: The Complete Duet by Bethany Kris | Playlist


by Bethany-Kris Andino + Haven, #1-2 + Companion Novella  
Publication Date: April 6, 2020  
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance


Kindle Unlimited


Heavy is the head that wears the crown …
Andino Marcello’s world is turned upside down when overnight he goes from capo to boss-in-waiting for the Marcello empire. Here, duty waits on no one and with it comes expectations he isn’t sure he can fulfill. At least, not in a way the mafia expects.
Every choice in this life has consequences. Even if that choice is love.
The one thing Andino won’t budge on is having Haven Murphy at his side. No matter the cost, she will be his. Whether that means starting a war, hurting the person he loves the most, or changing the very foundation upon which the Marcello legacy was built.
For her, he will do it.
It’s the only vow he might be able to keep.
Andino + Haven: The Complete Duet  features the full-length novels Duty  and Vow  as well as the companion novella, One Last Time. 




Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: 

Website  Blog •  Twitter • Facebook Instagram Goodreads •  Pinterest  Mailing List Bookbub Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ramblings During This Global Pandemic

"These are mad times we live in! Mad!"

Any Harry Potter fans in here? There must be. Who can name who said this? Should I tell you or make you comment the answer? hahaha. Either way, this little bit of dialogue keeps running through my head lately. Usually multiple times a day. As well as a few other bits from Harry Potter (I'm a huge Harry Potter geek, you should know that by now. And just a geek in general, too. A damn proud one!! lol )

"This is mental."
"Completely mental."
"The world's mental."

"The whole world's gone topsy-turvy."

(Ten points to Gryffindor if you can name who said all of those. I'm a Gryffindor, so that's why I used that house.)

The bits of dialogue that are running through my head on a regular basis. As well as certain similarities to certain films, that maybe I won't go into here, and leave that for my cousin and I to talk about.

I have anxiety on a daily basis, so when this all started to blow up, so to speak, I expected myself to be far more panicked than I was, or than I currently am. I think I'm handling this ridiculously well considering my penchant for anxiety on a "normal" day. There was a great post on Instagram about this. How people with anxiety are handling things, and watching other people act the way we feel on a daily basis. Which is a scary thought, because as my cousin and I discussed, any decision made from a place of fear, isn't going to do any good to anyone.

The virus of course scares me, especially since I'm in the immuno-suppressed group and therefore more susceptible to it but I think mass panic scares me more than that. Because, again, decisions made from fear don't help anyone. And mass hysteria can spread fast, and quite possibly spread far more damage than the virus itself...?

Something else that scares me, and pisses me off, are the people who don't seem to be taking this seriously. Still. Even though it is literally a global pandemic. I know not everyone can stay home. There are essential workers that keep society going, and are integral at the best of times, but especially at a time like this. Doctors, nurses, Postal workers, plumbers, police officers, janitors, grocery and food workers, etc. So if you can stay home, then do it. If you can and you aren't, I'm sorry, but you are part of the problem not the solution. And if you can't, then be sure to exercise all of the precautions we are being told to. Even if it may not be serious for you if you caught the virus, it could be for someone else. You could give it to someone who may not make it out to the other side of this crisis. So please be mindful of that, and do what you can. If you can stay home, then do. Especially because there ARE people who can't. (And these people should take all of the other precautions).(And this doesn't just mean doctors, nurses, etc. Because there are other circumstances, as well.)  But if you can, then PLEASE DO. (There are still other things to discuss about al of this but today this is what I'm talking about. <3 )

And remember, if you are reading this right now, that means you have access to technology where you can connect with your friends and family still. I'm not saying this is easy. It IS hard, but the more people go against what these precautions are (or don't stay at home when they can), the longer this is going to last. As I said, if you're reading this, then you have access to amazing ways to connect to people you love, even in the midst of this trying time. So hold on a little longer, we can get through this.

Dr. Seuss Inspired Poem on Facebook

Anxiety Post on Instagram

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Release Day | Meant to Be Series Boxset by Amelia Foster

MEANT TO BE SERIES boxset by Amelia Foster is LIVE and only $.99!!!

One-Click today:

Get ready to swoon when you meet the Carlisle brothers in this boxset of the Meant to Be Series by Amelia Foster!


One night. One too many drinks. One mistake. That’s all it took to derail my marriage.

Now, all I can do is beg for a second chance to try and redeem myself in a bid not to lose the love of my life.

I’m determined to use every second, every moment I have to show my wife how much she means to me—to rebuild the trust I shattered. I just hope it’s not too late for us, and that I’ll be able to convince her that our love is meant to be kept.


As a teen, I had my life figured out: graduate and make my dream of being a bull riding champion a reality.

Georgia was willing to give up her own dream to follow me as I pursued my passion, but I couldn’t let her do that. So, I made the hardest decision of my life…and walked away.

It’s been twelve years since I left home without her. I’ve never stopped loving her, and I know she feels the same.


Six months ago, my life veered off course when my fiancée disappeared with no explanation.

The partying lifestyle I'd adopted to cope, ended in an accident that left my body as broken as my heart.

My last chance at staying in my own house is gift-wrapped in wavy, auburn hair and startling gray eyes. The woman that shattered my heart.

Kelsey’s unexpected arrival brings with it the opportunity to ask the countless questions I thought I’d carry forever…

Meet The Author:
A simple girl born in the South, raised along the Eastern seaboard, now in the wintry North who loves books, coffee, and fluffy cuddles from all the fur babies whether they are hers or not.