Sunday, July 29, 2012

Book Review: Timeout! To Retreat, Review, & Renew by PJ Campagna

Timeout! To Retreat Review & Renew A practical 3-Step Strategy To Advance Your Life, Relationships & Businesses "THE playbook for happily-ever-after!" Timeout! To Retreat, Review & Renew was created, in part, at the request of family, friends, and colleagues who have observed and been curious about our personal annual timeout as a couple: the time we set aside each year from our daily routine to focus on our personal and professional relationships-with each other, and the world to which we are both individually connected. Our annual timeout has provided the "breather" for us to re-couple and move forward with a renewed sense of purpose, respect and joy-together. TIMEOUT! To Retreat, Review & Renew is about the insights and practices we've gained and developed along the way. It's also about defying the odds when it comes to melding families, businesses and strong-willed us, and maybe, like you! These techniques have assisted us in creating a richer, happier, and more playful life together and we hope they'll add richness to your life too. TIMEOUT! A 3-Step Success Strategy Retreat... Slow down the pace; Smile more; Stress less! Review... Assess goals and challenges; Dream big; Reflect on possibilities! Renew... Map out the Bliss; Plan for prosperity; Celebrate your union! For more info:

PJ Synergy LLC

PJ Synergy LLC is a personal development organization founded by Phyllis and Jerry (PJ) Campagna whose mission is to enhance and synergize human potential toward the realization of personal and professional goals.  PJ Synergy LLC is the publisher of the book Timeout! To Retreat, Review & Renew as well as related seminars and workshops.

Phyllis Campagna

Phyllis Campagna is the owner of Excelsis Performance Strategies, a professional development firm. Phyllis is a pioneer in the emerging profession of coaching, having coached businesses and individuals for over twenty years. As a Chartered Business Coach™ (ChBC™), she holds the most advanced designation available to business coaching professionals through the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC). Phyllis’ coaching strategies are summarized in her company slogan: Focusing Internal Truths Toward External Goals; guiding her clients in finding more effective ways to meld their personal beliefs with professional goals.
Phyllis has a BA in applied behavioral science from National Louis University. In addition to being a Chartered Business Coach™ through The Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, she is certified in both business and executive coaching through the former National Association of Business Coaches, has completed advanced mediation training through the Divorce Mediation Institute, and is proud to be a member of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches, the International Coach Federation, the National Association of Professional Organizers, and Leadership Illinois (Alumni- Class of 2002).
Phyllis has served in 20+ other business and civic leadership positions during the past thirty years, including: Rotary President, Rotary Lieutenant Governor, Illinois CUSD 300 Board of Education, and volunteer mentor for Women Unlimited.
When she isn’t pursuing her passion for business, Phyllis loves to spend time with family and friends, travel with her husband, and indulge in her hobbies of genealogy, dancing, and collecting holiday movies.
View my profile on LinkedIn.

Jerry Campagna

Jerry Campagna is the President of The MOST and MST Latino, Inc., a change management, capacity building, and Latino marketing/ management firm based in the Chicago suburbs. Jerry’s varied experiences as a Latino media and segmentation marketing expert, entrepreneur, and national sales executive gives him a unique set of talents in “orchestrating” target marketing and management initiatives for both corporate and nonprofit clients.
The former publisher of Reflejos Newspaper (Paddock Publications), Jerry led his team in the growth of the monthly tabloid, culminating in a weekly format with over 100,000 copies distributed throughout the Chicago suburbs, now the largest suburban bilingual publication in the United States. Campagna has been recognized by numerous marketing and publication organizations, including the Newspaper Association of America, the American Press Institute, and the National Association of Hispanic Publications, for his innovative approaches within the Latino community in the areas of circulation, editorial, and marketing—Latino Style.
Jerry has co-founded a number of nonprofit leadership development programs, including: The GoodGuys Inc., an at-risk youth development life skills program; the Suburban Minority Business Council, a marketing and management development organization; and the AGUILA Leadership Program, a leadership development program for aspiring adult Latino leaders.
Jerry has also served as a board member with numerous community organizations, including: the Boys and Girls Club, the Chicago Headline Club, the National Association of Hispanic Publications, the Elgin Community College Foundation, and the Harper Community College Foundation.
One of Jerry’s proudest professional moments was being recognized with an Honorary Degree from Harper Community College in 2004, acknowledging his contributions and leadership in the Chicago suburban Latino community.
View my profile on LinkedIn.

My Review:

Favorite Famous Quote - "The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention."~Thich Nhat Hanh

Favorite Quote from Book - "What you say is not nearly important as how you say it."

Best Acronym - VIBE - V=values, I=Intentions, B=Beliefs, E=Environment.

Everyone has relationships. We deal with them every single day of our lives. Whether it's with our husbands, wives, children, or business associates, we deal with some sort of relationship with another human being. Timeout! To Retreat, Review, & Renew is a blueprint for success no matter the type of relationship you face.

How on earth will they ever make it as a couple? How many times have you thought that very question when looking at friends that have new relationships? Two people from completely different backgrounds, little in common. Phyllis and Jerry had this asked about them, and they even thought it about themselves at one point. BUT...they knew there was something they loved about each other, that each had something to compliment one another. How did they make it all these years and still stay together?

A Timeout!

Within these pages you will find advice on the best ways to communicate in all of your relationships. From reading the first sentence, I started implementing their steps. My husband and I have taken their advice and finding it works great! I love the ideas they gave, not only for us as a couple, but as parents and business owners as well. The book comes complete with tools and links for amazing resources that if you follow and really take heed, you may just find that a Timeout! is exactly what you need to analyze and communicate with other people.

They by no means tell you how to live your life, but instead offer ways to make it all it can be. The Campagna's have written an easy to follow plan that you just won't be able to say no to. I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to learn how to live life with less stress, and that wants to communicate effectively with others.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Talking Shop & Giveaway with Author Cindy McDonald - Hot Coco (The Unbridled Series)

Today we are chatting with a fellow Pennsylvanian, author Cindy McDonald. Welcome to Mass Musings Cindy!

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

People ask me this question often, and one person was very concerned that I had them in mind when I wrote the character, Ava West. She is gorgeous, she is manipulative, and she is a real witch. I felt bad that this individual thought that I felt that way about them, and I assured them that Ava was a figment of my imagination—nothing more. All of my characters are fictitious. They are part of my Unbridled stories, and that’s all.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Honestly, I love all my characters. Each one holds a special place in my heart, but if I had to pick one to write about today, it would be Lugowski—Lieutenant Carl Lugowski that is. He is a homicide detective at the Rosemount Police Department, and he dates Mike West’s ex-wife, Ava. Now here’s the kicker—he’s in love with Mike’s younger sister, Kate. Ouch! He wrestles and wrangles with his feelings for Kate because he has always been in love with Ava. And now Ava is exactly where he always wanted her to be—in his life and in his bed.

Lugowski also has a nicotine addiction. Boy oh boy do I have a blast writing in his struggle to give up those cigarettes, and all the little quirks that he has with the cancer sticks. Eric West once said to him (in the first book, Deadly.Com) “I thought you quit smoking.” Lugowski answer was—“It’s on my bucket list.”

Will Lugowski ever be able to kick the habit? Mmmm, not on my watch—he’s just too much fun to torment.
MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

I had to think about this question for quite some time, and I finally decided upon Scarlett O’Hara.
MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

*Devilish chuckle* I just loved Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops series, and I especially enjoyed With No Remorse. Yep, that’s right, I would love to dive right in that story as the character, Val, and Luke could rescue me any ol’ day! Yum!

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?  

I love this question! How fun! When I started my FB page for the Unbridled Series I posed this question to my “followers”. Each week I would post a picture of a character, be it a celebrity or a model as to the person that I thought fit my characters, and then I asked my followers to post pics of whom they thought would fit said character.
Here were just some of those results:

Mike West—I chose a photo of a male model from the UK, Stuart Reardon—minus the tattoos, I’m afraid. But I thought this fabulous specimen of man candy fit Mike to a T. Well, hands down! Mr. Reardon got everyone’s vote.

Eric West—the imposing patriarch of Westwood Thoroughbred Farm conjured different visions for different people. I thought Tom Selleck would be a great choice, but I got posts for James Brolin—hmmm, too old but not a bad suggestion. Another person thought Bruce Boxleitner might be good…interesting.

Punch McMinn—the West’s farm manager is a huge black man with the heart of a teddy bear—he reminds me of Hoss Cartwright when I write about him, although Dan Blocker is dead and of course he was a white man, my daughter suggested that Michael Clarke Duncan would be the perfect actor to play this role.

Most of the Unbridled cast was actually models rather than actors or actresses, for example Shane West was portrayed by an Australian soccer player that was incredibly handsome, but I must admit that Jennifer Landon would get my vote for the role of Kate.

MM:  What can we expect from Cindy McDonald in the future? Any new projects?

I finished a manuscript for The Unbridled Series in April and have been editing and tweaking it to get it ready for my editor. The book is the 3rd book of the series titled Dangerous Deception is set to release in November, and I’ve begun work on the next book already which should release next spring titled Against the Ropes. I’m always writing.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

Please check out my website:

Yep, I’m on twitter too, here’s my handle: @cindymcdonald7

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

For the past twenty years Cindy has helped her husband, raise, train, and race thoroughbreds at their forty-five acre farm known as Fly-By-Night Stables.
During those years Cindy has paid close attention to the characters that hang-out at the back-side of the track. She found the situations and life style intriguing. In 2005 she sat down at her computer and began a journey into writing about this life that few understand.

Cindy has recently retired from making her living as a professional choreographer and owned and operated a dance school since 1985. She studied at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and with the Pittsburgh Dance Alloy at Carnegie Mellon University to name a few. She has choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards.

Cindy’s Unbridled telescripts has received recommends from three film industry readers and has been a semi-finalist in the Scriptapalooza Contest, and finalist in the Extreme Screenwriting Contest, and now will become a book series. The first telescript to become a book is Deadly.Com which is available NOW on and Kindle as well!

That’s right, Coco Beardmore is sizzling hot and she’s landed in Mike West’s lap. Problem is Coco’s middle name is chaos! Her driving skills are a real bang-into Mike’s horse trailer. Her sultry seduction will set the room on fire-the kitchen that is.

But what’s worse is her mischievous Thoroughbreds ability to mimic their owner’s habit of screwing things up. It’s enough to send a normally calm and collected Mike West to the very edge.

But Mike’s not the only one having problems with women, his father Eric has bitten off more that he can chew, and he’s about to get spit out by two women: One that he’s in love with, and one that thinks he’s in love with her. Oh yeah, things are hot around Westwood Thoroughbred Farm… and someone’s about to get burned!

Excerpts :

The following excerpt is taken from Chapter 5. Coco has invited Mike to her home for
dinner after she had accidentally wrecked her Escalade into his horse trailer that afternoon...

While waiting on the steps of Coco’s brown stone townhouse, Mike hoped his evening would be
worth the trashed trailer and rather acute case of heartburn that he was anticipating. He cocked his head when he heard what sounded like a large dog growling and barking from behind the lavishly, beveled front door. He looked around at the meticulously landscaped townhouses with sporty Mercedes, Porsches, and BMW’s parked in the driveways before glancing over his shoulder at his pickup parked next to Coco’s wrecked SUV. When the door finally opened the Cocker Spaniel sprung out to circle his legs while sniffing, barking, and snarling at him.

“Booger, behave.” Coco looked like forgiveness wrapped in a little black peel-me-off when she
appeared in the doorway. “Don’t worry, he doesn’t bite. Come in, Mike.” She said like a spider coaxing a fly.

She guided him through the foyer into a living room decked-to- the-hilt with stylish, French
provincial furnishings. Booger sniffed and nipped at Mike’s legs while following close behind.

Beautiful paintings hung on the walls in ornate frames. Mike knew exactly one thing about artists
or artwork: Jackshit. But it was obvious, even to him, that these pieces had come from a gallery, rather than a retail store. The vibrant colors splashed across the canvas were thick, and sweeping, and perhaps a little angry, that much he could appreciate—kinda.

A large, gilded mirror hung on the wall behind the sofa. Crystal framed photographs of Coco and
her father filled the coffee tables. Classy.

“Make yourself comfortable. I’ll be right back.” She slipped through the doorway into the

Mike buried his hands into the pockets of his Levis and studied an abstract work of art on the
wall. What the hell is that supposed to be?

Booger’s growl thinned to a low grouse. His curly ears perked, and he stomped his paws against
the white carpet.

“What’s the matter, boy?” Purring cautiously at the spunky spaniel, he patted Booger on the
head, and then turned his attention to a photo of Stanley Beardmore, with his arms wrapped around
Coco. Booger sprung at him, clamped his little body around Mike’s leg. Wagging his tiny tail, he
humped and panted erotically.

Holy shit. Mike’s eyes widened. Shaking his leg frantically, he danced around the room while
trying to free himself from the dog’s nirvanas grip. He braced against a table while kicking his leg, but Booger, enjoying the ride, hung on tight.

“Booger, that’s not nice.” Holding two full wine glasses, Coco trotted toward them. After
hurriedly setting one of the glasses on the table, she slapped Booger on the top of his head, during which the wine in the glass splashed down Mike’s white shirt. Booger shrunk away from his leg with a yelp and scampered out of the room with his tail-tucked between his legs.

“Oh Mike, I’m sorry!”

Hoping that he wouldn’t only have to envision this butterfingered beauty naked tonight, he took
a deep breath. He truly hoped that it would be an evening of pleasure worth the abyss of calamities that seemed to suck her in.

“Quick, take that shirt off, and I’ll soak it in seltzer water.” She fumbled with the buttons until
she opened the shirt to reveal his muscled pecks and tight abs. Her fingers fluttered over his shoulders
and down his strong arms when she slipped the shirt from his torso. Blushing, she averted her gaze to
the red stain on his shirt. She wet her pink, full lips and looked into his eyes. Good God, he’s setting me on fire. Can I make it through dinner?

Smiling, she brushed a wisp of his dark hair away from his brow. “I’ll be right back.”
Listening to her trot up the stairs, he found his thoughts going to Ava’s cat. He hated that cat.
She was an evil little thing. He wasn’t exactly in love with Coco’s Cocker Spaniel. Go figure.
When he spied the glass on the table, he drank down the remaining wine to wet his dry mouth.
He heard her footsteps on the stairs, and she reappeared with a shirt draped over her arm. She
held up the over-sized nightshirt, which she helped him slip into. Although it was over-sized for her, it
was a quite taut for him.

Stepping back to take a look, she giggled.

He looked down and groaned. The shirt was brown with pink lettering that read: “Chocolate and
men, the richer, the better.”

“Well, it’s better than nothing.” She felt how the shirt clung to his firm torso and outlined every
detail of his pecs and abs. “Although, nothing would be fine, too.” Her hands traced his shoulders, down his arms, through his fingertips, and then lightly across the crotch of his jeans. “Come sit at the table,” she whispered. “Dinner’s almost ready.”

Mike was feeling the heat, but he managed to ask, “What are we having?”

“It’s a surprise.”

“I can hardly wait.”

She led him into a spacious, gourmet kitchen. The stainless steel appliances gleamed in the
bright lights. The white cabinetry swooped around dark, granite counters.

Mike took a seat at the table, which was dressed in white, satin linens and delicate, fine china.
The light from the crystal chandelier glinted off the silverware. Booger scooted under the table to mope.

The kitchen was most impressive, but when he sat at the table with a fresh glass of wine, it
wasn’t the cabinetry that he was admiring. Christ, she looks so damned tasty in that tight little rip-it-offme-now dress. He took a big gulp of wine and swallowed hard while trying to keep other hard thingsunder wraps.

Coco carefully placed several pieces of meat into a skillet. It spit and sizzled in the hot oil. She
cradled her wine glass in her fingers. “Your shirt should be ready for the dryer after dinner.”

“That’s fine.” He felt the squeeze of the dog latching around his shin again. Sonofabitch. He
kicked. The dog yelped. He grinned.

Coco was attracted to this handsome man sitting at her table. She was more aroused by the fact
that he didn’t cancel their dinner date after she had smashed his horse trailer. He’s definitely a gentleman cowboy. How sexy is that? Her lips curled at the thought. With a sultry gleam, in her sapphire eyes, she strode toward him.

More than the meat was sizzling.

Mike knew what that look meant. Oh, yeah, no imagination needed. The ballerina is about to do
her little dance.

She leaned over him.

While she paused to take in his hazel eyes, he could feel her breath on his face.
“I wanted to cook something fancy,” she whispered, “because it makes me feel fancy,” Her lips
crashed against his. Her tongue searched his mouth.

He ran his fingers through her hair. Cupping her face in his hands, he kissed her back with

The meat crackled in the skillet.

She ran her hands over his chest and down to his hips. Her fingers found the outline of his
erection pressing against his jeans. She groped at his belt.

Kissing her neck, he slipped a sleeve of the dress off her shoulder and nipped at her shoulder.
Tasting her skin, he made his way hungrily down her chest.

Crunch! The force of a body wrapped around his leg broke through the lust. Booger humped and
pushed, which made it impossible to ignore.

Damn it. Mike’s eyes popped open. He attempted to kick the dog, but he was fastened on tight
and going at it strong.

Abruptly, he became aware that Booger’s love connection to his leg wasn’t the biggest problem
at hand. Smoke billowed from the skillet. Flames leapt from the stove. Greasy fireballs ignited dish
towels. The curtains were already ablaze.

Shoving Coco onto the table, Mike sprung to his feet.

Her face lit up with intense desire. “Oh Mike, you are naughty,” she gasped.

“Coco, where’s your fire extinguisher?”

“You wanna be a fireman?” Coco was giddy.

Booger was rapt.
Mike was exasperated. “No, your fire extinguisher, where is it?”

Flames shot across the counter top. The smoking skillet spit sparks and fire like a cannon.
He snatched the tablecloth from under Coco and ripped it off the table. China, glassware, silver,
crashed and broke against the wall and on the floor. He beat the flames while dragging the horny,
Cocker Spaniel, still humping his leg, across the room with him.

“Call the fire department.”

“Wha—” Coco stammered while trying to get a grasp on the situation.

“9-1-1,” Mike shrieked while thrashing the flames, kicking his leg, and cursing her calamity.

Genre: The series is a family drama, that said each book is quite individual.
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: June 15, 2012

Website -


#1-We are doing a drawing at the end of the tour to include anyone who
commented or participated in the conversation at the blogs I visited
for a free signed copy OR ebook of Hot Coco.

#2- A drawing at the end of the tour for a $25.00 amazon gift card for
anyone who purchased a book/ebook of Hot Coco during the

#3-is actually a surprise at the end of the tour--I hate coming in
second, so the second person's name that is drawn from giveaway #1
will receive a copy OR ebook of Deadly.Com-the first book of the
Unbridled Series.

July 31 - Book Featured at The Lucky Ladybug
August 2 - Interviewed by Louise James

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Interview with Author Jonathan Maxwell - Piltdown Man and Other Hoaxes

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing author Jonathan Maxwell. We will be discussing his book, Piltdown Man and Other Hoaxes, available now on Amazon.

Welcome Jonathan!

MM:  Many authors relate their characters to people they know.  Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

JM:   I write non-fiction, so things are a bit different.  However, I did relate to many of the persons I discussed in Piltdown Man and Other Hoaxes.  The major players in the whole Piltdown affair were all fascinating individuals, larger-than-life, a complex mixture of good and bad.  Sometimes they were admirable, and sometimes not-so-much.  They weren’t always right, but they were always impassioned, and always opinionated.  In other words, they were distinctly human.  Everyone can relate to them, if they give them a chance.

MM:  Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

JM:  Charles Dawson, but for all of the wrong reasons.  He’s not exactly a moral figure, but he’s just so interesting, you find yourself not caring that he’s immoral.  He represents a common truth found not just in literature, but in all of human society.  People are drawn to morally ambiguous characters.  They may not trust them, they may not admire them, but they always find them somehow beguiling.  It’s like with Dracula—yes, he’s villainous, but he’s also strangely seductive as well.  Oftentimes, we secretly want to be Dracula.  I guess it’s because such characters don’t follow the rules.    

MM:  Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

JM:  I’m getting my Master’s of English, and, in Victorian Literature, we just read Great Expectations.  I have to admit it, but I didn’t look forward to reading it.  It sounded stuffy.  I really enjoyed the book, though.  Pip was just such an endearing character.  On the one hand, he was just so friendly and sweet.  On the other hand, he was so incredibly ambitious and driven.  You root for Pip, and you want him to become a success.  Still, you worry that he’s losing his values, that he’s selling out, that he’s abandoning his best friends in his pursuit of success.  He’s a complicated character, and its complicated characters that produce great literature.

MM:  If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

JM:  I suppose Pip.  His story is very exciting.  He’s a humble blacksmith apprentice, resigned to a life of hard, dirty work.  Then, he suddenly discovers that he has high friends in high places.  An anonymous benefactor comes forward, willing to make him a wealthy member of high society.  The benefactor pays for his schooling, his rent, his food, and even his social life.  He’s not supposed to ask who this mysterious benefactor is.  He’s just supposed to collect the money.  Of course, not knowing who the stranger is simply drives Pip crazy.  And, eventually, he discovers the identity of the stranger—and the figure is definitely not what Pip expects, or even wants.  It’s just a classic story.  It’s a shame that a lot of younger readers don’t care for “older” literature these days.  There’s some great stuff there.

MM:  If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

JM:  Richard Dreyfuss would be great as Charles Dawson, I think.  This seems like an odd choice—this actor isn’t young, and he’s not a typical leading man.  Still, he looks a lot like Dawson.  More importantly, they’re both larger-than-life figures.  They’re both egocentric but likable.  They believe in themselves.  They’re both extremely sociable.  They’re doers, and while they’re both impulsive, you instinctively believe in them and whatever they’re doing.

MM:  What can we expect from Jonathan Maxwell in the future? Any new projects?

JM:  My latest manuscript is about the Rolling Stones’ experience at Altamont.  This was a free concert held by the band in California in 1969.  They made the horrendous mistake of hiring the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang to provide security at the event.  Once there, half of the bikers decide to wage war on the concertgoers, beating them with their fists and with bats.  Apparently, the other half decided to sell the concertgoers hard drugs.  What were the results?  Among the results were one cold-blooded murder, three additional deaths, hundreds of violent assaults, and thousands of drug overdoses.  Commentators often claim that Altamont spelled the deaths of the hippie movement and of the spirit of the 1960’s.  I think that the commentators are pretty right on.

MM:  Where can readers connect with you?

JM:  Listeners can find my book at Barnes & Noble, and on  They are welcome to contact me on Facebook.

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

I'm a Georgia-based writer and editor. My first book, Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS, was released in November 2009. A history of the Nazi party, the book can be found at

I'm a writer. My first book came out in November, 2009. It's called Murderous Intellectuals: German Elites and the Nazi SS.

Around the turn of the century, mysterious bones are found on a work site in otherwise sleepy Piltdown, England. They look very old, perhaps prehistoric. The bones clearly belong to a primate, but what kind? Some of them look extremely primitive, while others appear to be those of a modern human being. Despite the paradoxes, British scientists hail the specimen as the first man. Thus, humankind originated in Europe, and not in Africa, as Charles Darwin believed. However, things are not quite what they seem, and Western scientists would endure a scandal that would almost destroy anthropology and the theory of evolution. Piltdown Man and Other Hoaxes examines this disastrous fraud in depth, and explores other scientific scandals as well, such as those in regards to Bigfoot, the Yeti, lake monsters, and mermaids.

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: American Book Publishing (April 26, 2012)

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Chat & A Giveaway with Lola James - Touring With Unbound

Today we welcome author Lola James to the hot seat for an interview. She is currently touring with her novel Unbound, Book Two in the Spellbound Series, with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe'.

Welcome Lola!


MM: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

LJ: No all of my characters are figments of my imagination. I may give some of my characters my friend’s characteristics but not many.

MM: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

LJ: That would be Dawn; I love her! She is a southern girl in the big city and she try’s (and fails) to cover her southern accent but it pops out when she is angry. Plus she is smart, witty, and loyal!

MM: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

LJ: Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades Trilogy… I love him! He was so tortured but so sexy. I want to find him and marry him!! LOL

MM: If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

I would want to jump in the Sookie Stackhouse novel and I would LOVE to be Pam!! I love her in the book and the TV show!

MM: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

Toni: Olivia Wilde
Ben: Ian Somerhalder (Drool)
Kevin: William Levy (Drool)
Dawn: Julianne Hough
Annie: Katy Perry
Hades: Paul Walker (Drool)

MM: What can we expect from Lola James in the future? Any new projects?

I have another series that I am working on called the Fate Series and the first book Fate’s Design is available now and I am working on the second book in the series, Defy Fate! I have just finished a short story for an anthology that will be out later this year with a fabulous group of authors. Also, I am in the outlining stages of a murder mystery suspense novel and a contemporary romance novel as well! So you can expect a lot from me!

MM: Where can readers connect with you?

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

Unbound, Book Two of the Spellbound Series
Toni went from being a doctor, to the lover of a god in an instant. Remembering who she was, she's now torn between her past self and her current love. Ben is stunned when Toni leaves and at the arrival of his long lost love, Catherine, but her arrival doesn't eradicate Toni from his mind. Unlikely allies will team up to get Toni back from the Lord of the Underworld, Hades, but it's not Hades they need to worry about.

Excerpt 2

I picked up a strawberry and ate it as I wondered: Why would Hades want me if he has a wife? The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I wasn’t in the habit of sleeping with married men. I prepared to go to him, sick with the news that I was no more than a mistress. I turned to walk toward Hades’ office. I stood in the hallway in front of Hades’ office before placing my hand on the door. It was amazing how that the mildew smell had just become natural to me—I didn’t think twice about it anymore. I pushed open the door and walked in.

I was waiting for you, my sweet,” Hades said the moment he saw me.
The anger I had felt dissipated at the look in his eye. He smiled as I walked slowly over to him behind the black glass desk. I outlined the edge with my finger before I took my place in Hades’ waiting lap.

Giveaway: Lola will be offering a $25 Gift Card to readers choice of Barnes and Noble or Amazon at the end of her tour. Please use the Rafflecopter code below.

Lola James has been reading romance novels since her teens, and fell in love with the paranormal after discovering Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Her love of the dark worlds of vampires and witches, as well as her fascination with Greek mythology led her to create the Spellbound Series, an ongoing Paranormal Romance combining all of the above into tales of suspense with a little bit of humor in an Urban Fantasy setting.

A long time lover of reading and writing with a passion for a great story, James became discouraged by the complicated and arbitrary publishing process, James had initially set down her laptop and her hopes of being a writer. However, with the purchase of her first e-reader, James became re-energized by the new possibilities for an undiscovered author to reach the masses. Dusting off her keyboard she finally finished Bound to Remember, the first book of the Spellbound Series and self-published it. Energized and ambitious, James is now hard at work on both the Spellbound Series as well as the Fate Series, a paranormal romance about dreams and what happens if they come true.

Living in Southern California with her two beautiful children, James finds time to write in between her full-time job as a mother as well as her other full-time job as an HR manager, as well as her academic schedule as she studies for her Master’s degree which she hopes to complete in 2013. With the success of Bound to Remember, James hopes to continue to reach an audience that will allow her to leave her HR job and focus on her writing as a full time career.

July 24 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
July 26 - Review of Bound to Remember and Unbound & Interview at A Book Lover's Library
July 30 - Review of Unbound & Guest Blogging at Waiting On Sunday To Drown
August 1 - Review of Bound to Remember & Unbound, & Guest Blogging at Always a Booklover
August 3 - Review of Bound to Remember and Unbound & Guest Blogging atWhoopeeyoo
August 4 - Review of Bound to Remember, Unbound, Character Interview & Ebook Giveaway at Black Hippie Chick's Take on Books & The World

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brainpicking Author Sylvia van Bruggen - Mindscreens

Today we are pleased to welcome Sylvia van Bruggen currently on tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe' with Mindscreens.

Welcome Sylvia!


MM: Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?

My characters are usually a mishmash of things I observe in people. Jess, the main character of MindScreens, is a mishmash of me (loving history and books for instance), a girl I once saw in the underground, who looked both sad and strong at the same time, and some other people I have observed, men and women alike.

MM: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite is Ben. He sticks with Jess even though there is a lot of tension between them.

MM: Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?

Granny Weatherwax from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. She was the first character that popped up in my head. Love her wisdom and sheer craziness :) I want to be like her when I grow up!

MM: If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?

I would want to be in Neil Gaiman's Sandman. I would be in Lucien's library, messing up all his books.

MM: If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?

It's funny, I signed up for a challenge about heroines, and I had to look for an actress that looked like Jess in my mind. The actress I came up with was Saoirse Ronan, she has both the strength and vulnerability that Jess has. As for the actor that can play Ben, I could see Aaron Johnson :)

MM: What can we expect from Sylvia van Bruggen in the future? Any new projects?

You can expect a lot of fun things, like a new book called Ganesha's blessings, that is partially non-fiction, partially fantasy. Am also freewriting the sequel to MindScreens.

MM: Where can readers connect with you?

Many places, mainly my blog:

Jessamine Harper has it all: University course she loves, job as a Top-level Healer and dream man in the form of desirable Professor Lucas Corwin; but when Corwin breaks down and is taken away by the Mindcops, the world that Jessamine knows begins to unravel. Does the boy she hate, Ben, hold the key to her past as well as her future? Can she escape the clutches of the Mindcops herself? Only time will tell, and does Jess have much of that left?
Publisher Simply Blissful Press
Release Date April 21, 2012
Purchase Link: MindScreens

Sylvia van Bruggen is a fantasy/science fiction writer, poet, avid blogger and artist. She is the founder of Playful Creative, a website for creatives who want to work through their mental blocks and who want to learn how to play with their writing. She has self-published a novella, two poetry books, and her poems and short stories have been published in various magazines. She currently writes a fantasy novel, and she works on publishing another poetry book. She lives in the Netherlands with her husband, two cats and several novels in various draft stages.

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a wonderful pleasure.

Thank you for having me over! Was a great joy :)

Follow the Tour:

July 23 - Guest Blogging & Ebook Giveaway at On Emily's Bookshelf
July 25 - Review & Guest Blogging at Waiting On Sunday To Drown
July 27 - Review & Ebook Giveaway at Books, Books, and More Books
July 30 - Review & Interview at A Book Lover's Library

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...