Friday, November 10, 2017

Havenwood Falls

Sorry its been so long since an official post but I have to really find something I like to commit to sharing here. AND I HAVE!

A unique and awesome idea by Author Kristie Cook has exploded onto the book scene in the last few months. A novella series called Havenwood Falls and a spin-off series called Havenwood Falls High. Both take place in a magical town called Havenwood Falls. Filled with magical and mystical creatures of every shape and kind. Some I didn't even know existed. I have been enjoying reading them as they are published and wanted to delve deeper into how this venture came about. Please keep reading for my interview with Kristie.

1.) How did Havenwood Falls come to be? Several years ago, I started thinking about how fun it would be to “play” with my author friends in one world. A small town setting where we each wrote about different characters in the town, but they showed up in each other’s books. When the idea wouldn’t go away, I mentioned it to my agent at the time and was told it would be a copyright nightmare and not to go there. So I tried to put the idea aside. But it wouldn’t stay silent. Then more and more authors were talking about wanting to collaborate on projects, Kindle Worlds was growing in popularity, and a few other (though smaller) shared worlds were popping up. I thought there had to be a way to make this work. So I began speaking to intellectual property (IP) attorneys about it. I went through a few who all thought it was a great idea, but didn’t want to handle the contract, until I found one who understood what I was trying to accomplish. She made it work. From there, it was just a matter of deciding where the small town was (I had a strong instinct that waterfalls were a big part of the town), its name, and how it came to be. I bounced ideas off some of my close author friends and my street team, and they gave me great feedback. Then with a contract and a basic idea, I started approaching my author friends to invite them to play. I was blown away at the response.

2.) What was the process like to map out all of the characters? How do you keep them all straight? It’s an on-going process, actually. One of the first things I ask an author to do after signing the contract is to add their characters (and their businesses, if they own/work somewhere) to our world bible so the rest of us can use them. Our bible is where we track as many of the details as we can, from characters to businesses to the school’s bell schedule. Each time something new pops up, it gets added to the bible, so we’re constantly updating it. Then I, as editor, and Liz, our proofreader, double-checks everything as we’re going through the editing process to ensure we don’t have inconsistencies.

3.) Is the town, or aspects of the town,  based off of a real place? If so, where? Havenwood Falls is loosely structured off of Telluride, CO. They’re both situated in a box canyon, in approximately the same geographical area. HF is about twice the size both geographically and population-wise as Telluride, and there are other differences – for one, I don’t think Telluride has a supernatural population, though I could be wrong on that. ;-) But whenever we need specific answers for the area, such as weather and foliage, or even the schools (school calendar, what classes they offer, etc.), we refer to Telluride.

4.) Are any of your characters based off of real people? Sort of, maybe. Some of the humans with small parts in different books might be a composite of people we’ve known throughout life. I, personally, will use names sometimes and maybe a quirk or hobby. I think all authors bring in different aspects of real people in their lives to their characters.

5.) You have a co-author for Forget You Not. How did that writing process go? Actually, I wrote Forget You Not (and its sequel coming in January) on my own. I did co-author The Winged & the Wicked, though, with my aunt. She’s a lifelong creative, with visual art more her thing, but she’s always enjoyed playing with the written word. So when I started telling her about Havenwood Falls, she became involved in some of the very early planning and decided she wanted to write something in it. At first it was for fun, but then we were brainstorming ideas together and before we knew it, she had a basic story. I helped her in fleshing it out, giving it more structure, and writing missing pieces. I don’t think it’s the typical co-authoring process, but it was fun and interesting. Her writing style is very different from mine, so I stretched my wings (hehe, see what I did there) and tried something new.

6.) Do you invite authors to participate or do they come to you? Any specific criteria? I invited most of the authors, but more and more are coming to me, wanting to be a part of the world. I started by invite-only because I wanted to know who I was working with. I wanted to be sure they were dedicated to their craft as well as to the business side. And most importantly, I wanted to know they played well with others. Our author group is a family, and while every family has “that one” member (you know who I’m talking about – the insane, narcissistic, demanding diva – we all have one), we just can’t have that in ours. The project won’t work without total trust, collaboration, support, and willingness to go above and beyond what a normal writing project takes. I never got through my invite list, though, before we filled up on contracts through 2018 for all three series (I still have a fourth one to add in late 2018). So for those who wonder why I didn’t invite them, that’s probably why – we filled up faster than I expected. I’ll be opening up for 2019 contracts probably after the holidays.

7.) Do you have any creative control over the books that are being included? As far as ensuring the plot and characters work with the town and premise, I do. Authors submit a proposal for their story and we do some brainstorming to ensure it will work for what’s already been set up for the town and what I know is coming from other authors. The brainstorming with the authors is one of my favorite parts of the project. They’re so creative and enthusiastic, and our energies just feed off each other. It’s exciting! I also do the structural editing, which allows me to provide ideas for bringing in more crossover from other books.

8.) Havenwood Falls High just launched. Any other spin-offs planned for the future? Legends of Havenwood Falls launches in June 2018. This series is historical fantasy, telling the histories of our town and/or its inhabitants. Then later in 2018, we’ll be launching Havenwood Falls Sin & Silk, an erotic romance line that shows a different type of naughty in Havenwood Falls. 

9.) What does the release calendar look like for the coming year? Each series has a new release every month. So we’ll have two releases a month up until June, then we’ll have three releases a month until Sin & Silk launches, then we’ll basically have a new release every week. But each series targets a different type of reader. While some readers might want to read them all, the idea is to offer something for everyone who loves fantasy and paranormal. Even books in the various series might target a slightly different audience – we have romance, but we also have cozy mysteries, suspense, thrillers, horror, and we’ll be adding steampunk to the mix, too. So really, something for everyone. Amy Hale, Lila Felix, Michele G. Miller, and R.K. Ryals finish up our 2017 releases. Authors coming up in 2018 include Cameo Renae, Heather Hildenbrand, Randi Cooley Wilson, Belinda Boring, E.J. Fechenda, Susan Burdorf, Kristen Yard, Amy Hale, AnnaLisa Grant, Eric Asher, Tish Thawer, Morgan Wylie, Amy Miles, Katie John, Brynn Myers, Kallie Ross, Michele G. Miller, Daniele Lanzarotta, Stacey Rourke, Danielle Bannister, J.L. Weil, Rose Garcia, and more from me. We’re looking at doing some short-story anthologies, as well, but they haven’t been officially added to the calendar yet.

10.) Will you have any repeat authors or is it just one shot? We have several authors writing more than one story. That’s partly how the release calendar filled up so fast. Some authors have a sequel to their first book while others wanted to tell another character’s story. We all love writing in the town so much that we keep coming up with new stories to tell.

11.) Is there an end game or you hope this will go on forever? I don’t expect (or probably even want) it to go on forever, but as long as there are readers to read and authors to write, we’ll keep publishing books. I do know the final end game, though – zombies. 

12.) What is in store for Ang'dora Productions Inc. aside from Havenwood Falls? Ang’dora Productions and Red Coat PR have teamed up to form AfterWords, which delivers training seminars to authors throughout the country. Once we work out all the kinks for Havenwood Falls and it becomes a well-oiled machine, I’d like to create another shared world, but in a different genre. We’re in plans for other offerings as well, but I have to keep them secret for now.  There are some amazing opportunities for Ang’dora and its authors in the coming years. It’s so exciting.

As you can see Kristie has been a busy beaver this past year! I am so proud of her! Books are available on all major platforms.  After Forget You Not (the introduction), the books can be read in any order.

I hope that you will take a chance with one or both of these series. They are novellas so a uick read will tell you if Havenwood Falls is the place for you. I'm willing to bet it is!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Booty Camp by Debra Anastasia

Hmmmmm.......seems like it's been over a year since I actually posted a review on the actual blog page. Awesome (she says sarcastically)! Oh well......moving on.

I received this book as an ARC and man am I glad that I did. I was in a FUNK! I had a bad taste in my reading mouth due to a much anticipated book release that I didn't like. I needed a palate cleansing book and this was it!

Its fun and funny without being cheesy and behind all the jokes is a great story!

Ever gotten roped into doing something you wouldn't normally do? That is just what happens to Hazel when her friend convinces her to go to a Booty Camp dating service 'mixer'. I mean just the fact that it's called Booty Camp is hilarious considering how serious the owner is about his talent and process of matching up soul mates. Hijinx ensue and at the end of the day their promise of 110% guaranteed satisfaction still holds true.

Check out the commercial for Booty Camp and see if it peaks YOUR interest! :)

Book doesn't release until 8/28 but all of the buy links can be found here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ryan Revisited by Sam Davis

One of the best things about attending book signings, besides totally fangirling all over your favorites, is finding new authors to read and befriend. As I was talking with Amy Miles, one of my favorites and the hostess with the mostest of Penned Con, she pointed across the aisle and said to me, "You need to go over there and meet Samantha Davis. She is a new author and this is her first signing. Her book is really good." Well, I don't know about you but when a guru speaks you listen. I marched my not so little hiney right over to that table and said, "Hi, My name is Valerie and Amy Miles just gave you a glowing recommendation. I want to buy your book but I'll have to come back because I need to take all these books up to my room." I know.......suave! In my defense I suck at small talk and my arms really were full of all the pre-orders I had picked up. Anyway, I did go back, I had a much more meaningful conversation with Sam and her husband Justin, bought the book and enjoyed the rest of the weekend 'getting to know them'.

(I would love to insert my picture with Sam, but apparently it has disappeared - which a running theme for me at Penned Con! :( So here is a pic of the book...)

Even though I often give off a confidence I don't feel I can't imagine what it feels like to work on something and put it out for the world to critique. Terrifying! I honestly and truly want the best for good people and I could tell that the Davis' were good people. So, I picked Ryan Revisited as my first Penned Con book to do whatever I can to help get the word out.

I read RR in the car on the 12 hour car ride back home. Because I always have lots of questions about books when I finish I approached Sam about a Q&A and she agreed. The questions contain content that is specific to the story line of the book so if you haven't read it, please don't proceed to the questions. The following review also contains spoilers!

Check out Sam's Author page for her bio and buy links for the book!

Stop here if you haven't read the book!!!!!! Continuing to read will result in spoilers!!!!!!

I have to be honest and say that it took me a few chapters to get into this book but after that I was committed. I think that I am such a black & white kind of person and the way the Prologue was written had me convinced she had a mental illness or something......I kept waiting to see what was 'wrong' with Ryan, but it was in front of me the whole time! We can chalk that up to a blonde moment! Outside of attending frat parties while in college I have had no experiences with the Greek system. This story was educational in that aspect and reaffirmed that I made the right decision to never take that route. LOL! It also made me ask a question that we should all ask ourselves. Who am I? The honest answer is that I am not just one thing, just as Ryan isn't just one thing. Unfortunately for Ryan her past has her struggling to figure out the answer to this question. She also struggles to see if the Ryan she is today is the Ryan she is supposed to be. She embarks on a quest to discover her true self and to find her place in this world. While I would have made different decisions than Ryan, her journey was her own and I enjoyed it!


1.) Ryan Revisited took me on a journey someplace I am not familiar with - the world of the Greeks! I have to ask - were you a Sorority girl? If so, which one? How much of the story is based on factual people or events?

Yes. I was the worst sorority girl ever. LOL Like Ryan, I came from high school in MT, so I didn't exactly "fit in" to the Southern sorority scene. LOL But I met some wonderful girls there, too. One of which was a best friend, and we were in each other's weddings. smile emoticon

Well... wink emoticon None of the characters or events in RR took place in real life. However, there was a teeter-totter-a-thon because I remember seeing the flyer, but I didn't go. LOL And the way sorority rush was organized is pretty similar to the way it happened when I rushed.

2.) Ryan really annoyed me in several different places but only because we are so different. What is/was it about her personality that made her react the way she did to her Father's leaving/returning? A lot of people (me) would have just said screw it! Are you like Ryan?

Ryan annoyed me a lot, too!! Correction--she made me so mad!! LOL Her character was built over the course of the novel through a lot of bad decisions and screwed-up thinking. Because Ryan didn't know how to process her father's loss and because she thought it was because of her, she was desperate for his approval. Not having a father in her life, left her void of identity. Constantly trying to fill the void with outside influences. She was chasing his affections and she let him influence her decisions and who she was because she hadn't yet figured out who she was on her own.

I can relate to the identity issues she had moving across country to two VERY different places and trying to fit in during such vulnerable stages of her youth. I struggled with trying to define me because I had to learn identity is rooted on the inside, like Ryan did. But nope, I'm not like Ryan in the sense of her daddy-issues. (But sadly, I've known a lot of Ryans.) My dad is awesome! Always has been and always will be. Loves me and supports me unconditionally! smile emoticon

3.) I am a 'right' fighter so I wasn't very happy with Ryan's decision to side with the majority to kick Savannah out of the house. Why did you decide to go that route vs. having her tell the truth or telling others to try & sway their vote?
*** I didn't like Callydee & had her pegged from the beginning! I know several real life versions of her. Ugh! smile emoticon

I wasn't happy with her decision, either. I also feel like she didn't have a good choice. That was what sent her to rock-bottom. She knew she had been forced into becoming like CD--reinventing herself yet again. That horrible decision and situation was the final straw for her to face her own issues. I think Ryan just wanted a clean break to fix what was going on inside her own heart and mind. I think maybe she felt like she could never win against CD. It would take someone like MB to do that.

5.) This is not a normal love story & has not one but two triangles.
Manny - Ryan - Geoffrey and Manny - Ryan - Svea. Did you always know Manny & Ryan would end up together? Do Geoffrey & Svea get a HEA?

Ha! It's not your normal love story!! I think RR is triangle-ish, but in the sense that both R and M didn't know they still had an option in each other. They were never really trying to choose whether they wanted to be with each other. They were trying to cover up the pain of thinking they didn't think they could. smile emoticon 

Always. But my heart sure broke for G! Which again was kind of the point. That R's bad choices or failure to make tough decisions and act left casualties.

I would like to think so. Would you want to read that??? wink emoticon
BTW - YES! I would so read those stories.....maybe they end up together???? LOL!

6.) Do you have a Swedish background? If not, where did all that.come from? I've never had to look up so any words in a book before. LOL! I LOVE TOR! He would be my friend too!

Nope. Hahahaha!! You're so funny. I LOVE TOR, TOO!!! He is one of my favorites! I did A. LOT. of research on Tor! smile emoticon

7.) Father's play a major role in this book in how involved or absent they were/are in their kids' lives. your relationship with your Father?

I kinda already answered this one, but my dad and I are very close. He was my second reader after Justin read it. He is NOTHING like Mr. Ester other than he is from the South and I attended his alma mater. Which I LOVED!! I absolutely loved attending college in the South. I am an Auburn girl through and through! War Eagle! LOL My dad is super awesome! smile emoticon

8.) I'm guessing Justin is a great Dad. If you had to give him a letter grade what would it be? Would it be different if you had boys? LOL!

Justin definitely gets an A++! He is such a man's man, but when it comes to his girls, he plays princess, dances as the prince, lets them "fix" his hair, and laughs at how many times he's found glitter on his person. LOL He takes them to theme parks, movies, but his favorite place to take them is "Fish & Bear Store," aka Bass Pro Shop! LOL He loves the outdoors (grew up in Montana), so he loves hiking, fishing, and exploring with them, too. A lot of Daddy-daughter dates happen when I'm writing. (Thank you, Justin xoxo) I know he'd be just as awesome as a father of boys, too. smile emoticon

9.) Do you think Manny & Ryan will have kids? How will Manny rate? 

Yes! I think M's quiet strength and his unconditional love will make him a great dad. He knows all too well the impact fathers have on their kids. He'll get to be the father to their kids that he and R never had!

Ok...these are.more personal than book related:

1.) Do you have a day job outside of writing?

I taught elementary school before my girls were born. Since then, I have worked at my church, done some freelance writing and editing, volunteered as a women's group leader several times, and have written for women's blog. smile emoticon

2.) What are your future writing plans? Anything in the works?

Keep writing! That's my plan. smile emoticon Now that I have signed with an amazing agent, Italia Gandolfo with Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management (, I have someone prodding me along to get the next book done. smile emoticon I'm working on a totally different project right now than RR. Different genre entirely! It's title right now is The Sifting. Stay tuned!!

3.) Besides PC2016 do you have any other scheduled signings?

Right now PC2016 is the only big signing I have scheduled. I do have a local Barnes and Noble signing coming up on Aug 15 here in San Antonio. Any other signings will be posted on my website. smile emoticon

4.) Who are some of your favorite authors? 

That's a tough question. I adore some amazing authors as people...AnnaLisa Grant, LP Dover, Shelly Crane, Rachel Higginson, Michele Miller, Amy Bartol, Fisher Amelie, Eric Asher, Casey Peeler...and a TON more! (But I haven't read all of them...YET!) It's easier for me to tell you SOME wink emoticon of my favorite books... Emma by Jane Austen, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Star-Crossed series by Rachel Higginson, Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie, Collide AND Significance both by Shelly Crane, Twilight Saga smile emoticon (seems like people either loved it or hated it. You?), The Outsiders, Where the Red Fern Grows, Hunger Games, Flat-out Love by Jessica Park, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire... so many more, but I'll stop now. smile emoticon

5.) Quick Fire Questions (because I was too lame to do it at PC!)

Coke or Pepsi?
Peanut Butter or Jelly?
Sweet or Salty?
Crunchy or Chewy?
Fruits or Vegetables?
McDonald's or Burger King?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Salt or Pepper?
Fork or Spoon?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hell's Ink by Nicole Reed

Click for OptionsIf you have read Beautiful Ink (and I sincerely hope you have) you know that at the end Mr. Holden Dawson was riding that fence between good guy & bad guy. Where I come from 'good-guys' don't do some of the things that he did BUT when you know he had good intentions it makes it a little more palatable. Sort of! Well in Hell's Ink we get to see the repercussions of Hold's actions.

While I am inexplicable drawn to this Motorcycle Club atmosphere I am appalled at the way they treat the women! I wouldn't last very long :D Joining this type of family is a choice and I guess if they didn't want to be there they wouldn't be. With that being said, it's a hard life & one I am glad I am not a part of.

Click for OptionsHell's INK follows Holden through the trials and tribulations of constant fighting against his Father for control of the Hell's Highwaymen Motorcyle Club, falling in love unexpectedly with Shyla Pass, and trying to let go of his first love Helen/Keller.

I have to honestly say that I wasn't too sure about Holden at the end of Beautiful Ink and I still wasn't sure at the end of Hell's INK.........until I got to the Epilogue. That tipped me over to his side :D

I can't wait to read more.......of Mikey's story, which I am SURE is going to be next considering the way this one ended.

I love well-built, bad-ass tattooed biker men and I love me some Nicole Reed! This goes on the favorite list next to the first one!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley

This is a book about best friends. Friends that are as close, if not closer than sisters. This story is about something that I don't have. When I was young I had a best friend named Shannon. She & I were like Liesel & Evelyn. We spent all our time together & I loved her. In a nutshell Shannon got meningitis and died when we were in the 5th grade. I haven't had a best friend like that since, but I do remember what it was like. This little stroll down memory lane will make more sense to you after you read the book, but it affected how I viewed the story.

As far as a zombie books goes this one is pretty good. The harsh realities of what would happen in a world overrun by the walking dead are not pretty. No matter how much I may want them to be! After reading I had some thoughts & feels that I wanted to run by the authors so I joined the discussion group. They were so awesome at corresponding with me & I wanted to share some of our conversations. After reviewing them I found that they contain too many spoilers so you'll just have to read the book & then join the discussion group! LOL! 

While the authors and I respectfully disagreed on what a HEA entailed for this character I will tell you that I was completely engrossed in the story and engaged with all of the characters. That is why I had so many opinions on the book. I encourage you to give it a try and check back in to let me know what YOU thought. Don't forget to leave a review!

Friday, January 9, 2015

All Good Deeds by Stacy Green

If you love a good mystery/suspense book this lady is for you. I first fell in love with her when I read Welcome to Las Vegas after my first trip to Las Vegas. We began corresponding and I became a lifelong fan. It's nice to take a break from the romances that I usually read to delve into the minds of some amazing characters. Her latest series starts with the book All Good Deeds and here is my short & sweet review:

Stacy has done it again. Following Lucy Kendall on her voyage of vigilante justice has us falling in love with people we wouldn't normal find ourselves endeared to. A child pedophile who has been released from prison. A self-proclaimed sociopath who knows all her secret...Read More
Following Lucy Kendall on her voyage of vigilante justice has us falling in love with people we wouldn't normal find ourselves endeared to. A child pedophile who has been released from prison. A self-proclaimed sociopath who knows all her secrets because he's been stalking her. A cop who may or may not follow the letter of the law when a suspect is his brother. Somehow the 'villians' in this story become the he
roes and I LOVED it.!

I will soon be delving into book 2 in this series (See Them Run) and look forward to continuing on the journey with Lucy & the gang as the line between right & wrong continues to be blurred!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Top Reads of 2014

Took me awhile to compile a list, but when pressured here is what I came up with. They are not in the order I liked them, but alphabetical. I can't pick which ones I like better - I like them all! I also couldn't condense down to a Top 10 so you get the Top 15.

1. Apolonia - Jamie McGuire
2. Burned - Tara Sived
3. Easy Virtue - Mia Asher
4. Eyes of the Woods - Eden Fierce
5. Forbidden - Amy Miles
6. Heller's Regret - JD Nixon
7. In the Stillness - Andrea Randall
8. Love in Spanish - Karina Halle
9. Maybe Not - Colleen Hoover
10. Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover
11. Red Hill - Jamie McGuire
12. Tears of Tess - Pepper Winters
13. What If - Rebecca Donovan
14. Wither - Amy Miles
15. Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover

Which ones have you read? What did you think? What books are on your list?????????

Please share :D