Friday, June 30, 2017

Interview with YA Fantasy Author Diana Rose

   It is a pleasure to welcome Young Adult Fantasy Author, Diana Rose, to my blog. I originally connected with Diana through social media and our mutual love of romance and fantasy made us fast friends. 

   Diana is the future author of Forbidden Love and other romantic titles for Whippoorwill Press. I'm looking forward to reading all of her stories one day soon!

 Thank you Diana, for joining us on Passion Between the Pages!

    You write about true love and how to find it.  In a world where true love is, too often, not at the forefront of people’s minds and hearts, what inspires you and what inspires your romantic stories?

  When I began writing Book 1: Forbidden Love, I knew that it would be a romance fantasy novel right then. My inspiration for writing romance came from the most unexpected place, I think. It came from my grandparents. My maternal grandparents had a very interesting love story that I fell in love with. I wanted to express that kind of love in my books. I believe that this is the reason why I myself believe so strongly in the existence of true love. My grandparents lived together for 63 years and would have celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary if they were still alive.

I do also, read a lot of romantic novels and watch different romantic movies which also help to inspire me but the biggest inspiration, I still think was the story of the love my grandparents shared. I hope that one day I will find this kind of love for myself. Also, many fairytales of princesses, and brave princes fueled my idea that true love exists. “A true love’s kiss is the most powerful magic in the world.” I grew up to believe that this is true.

    What is a typical writing day like for you? 

A typical writing day, for me usually begins after I get a big cup of fruit flavored tea and some food. I watch a romantic based movie and then I am off to write. I usually try to write as much as I can before I get stuck. I like writing after breakfast and in the evenings late into the night.

Tell us about your writing style and process. Are you a plotter? A "panster?" Do you do a lot of research before you begin writing your stories? 

I usually like to have an idea in my head of what I want to write about but I don’t like to plan. Maybe I’m a “plotter” more than a “panster” as I can easily figure out the main idea but it takes me longer to figure out the details and especially character names. However, in relation to Book 1: Forbidden Love and Book 2: Sacrificed Love, I think details were easier in Book 1.

Research? I don’t think that I have done much research for this series other than listening to my grandparents tell me their love story. I think that all I wanted to do for the Power of Love Series that started with Book 1: Forbidden Love was retell a story I knew by heart and tell the story in such a way that it did not sound like a biography. I choose fantasy, magic, royalty because those are also things that I enjoyed when I was little.

   I’ve heard great things about your upcoming debut novel!  What is this story about and what inspired your characters and premise?

The first book in my Power of Love Series, Book 1: Forbidden Love is about Princess Amy from the Moon Kingdom and Prince Darien who is from the Earth Kingdom. They fall in love with each other and Princess Amy’s mother, Queen Alyona is against them being together so she attempts to separate them. But Prince Darien goes out to find her. The story is about how, despite all the obstacles Princess Amy and Prince Darien faced throughout their lives, they still manage to find a way to be together. This book shows that true love can conquer all evil no matter what that evil is.

The inspiration for Amy and Darien came from my grandparents’ story essentially. It amazed me how two people can love each other so much no matter what is going on in their life. In a world that was just coming out of WWII, my grandparents managed to find love and have a wonderful family. That was probably what sparked the idea for this book and series. I wanted to let people see that “Darien” can exist in real life. My grandfather’s care and love for his wife and children and grandchildren was so beautiful that I truly believed that I was living among the most real Prince Charming as I grew up. I believe that my grandparents deserve the attention and respect of the people in today’s world.

My first ever editor, Professor Susan Ednie at Kingsborough Community College used to joke a little. She used to ask me, “How old is our Darien now?” Of course, she meant my grandfather and I always smiled at that question. I think that the Darien I write about in my book is a true novel-made version of who my grandfather was. Amy is made up of two women, my grandmother and my great-grandmother on my mother’s side.

    You write stories for young adults which is something I, as an author, have yet to attempt. What are the challenges that come with writing for this age group in today’s world, and what do you find most rewarding about doing it?

Hmm….I would say that the first challenge in writing for Young Adults is that my chapters have to be smaller. I write 20-30 page chapters at a time so when I wanted to submit this book to a publishing company I had to divide the chapters into five to six pages long.

The most rewarding aspect of writing for young adults is that I believe that I can make a positive change for today’s children by showing them that even though a boy is young he can still perform heroic acts and protect the people around him and that girls will appreciate it. Chivalry and romance and the expression of feelings to the one you love is still as real as having a wedding to celebrate the union of two hearts. Of course, I write about royals, but some things are always present and exist even in today’s world. I want today’s children and teens to have hope that somewhere out there is someone who will love them forever and never betray you. After all, every fairytale starts with hope and it is that hope that helps us to move on in life and believe that better things are possible.


What do you enjoy most about writing?  What do you hope to achieve in your career as an author?

My favorite part about writing is that I can express my ideas in a way that shows truth about life in a whole new way. I can write books that people can relate to and see their lives reflected in my stories. Having a talent to create stories, books, and characters that are realistic is my favorite part of writing. Yes, I did fall in love with Darien and I still am in love with him because he represents what I want to find.

My career as an author is something that I keep thinking about. The most important thing that I want to achieve is giving people hope and making people believe that true love is possible and it can be found not only in a book but outside in our daily lives. I want to keep writing and finding new ideas that center around the idea of true love. I have been saying for a long time that I want to see my name in lights. But what does that mean? I think it means that I want to have as many people as possible read my books and see that I don’t just write books, I put my heart, my soul and all my emotions into my writing. I want people to ask each other, “Have you read the new Diana Rose novel?” Ha ha, yes, that would be the best thing in the world, to be one of the great authors of our time!

I’ve heard many people make the suggestion that pre-published authors should begin to build a web presence as early in the process as possible, so that once their debut novel is released a digital platform has already been established. You’ve done this better than any anyone I know! What advice do you have for pre-published authors regarding marketing and social media?

Wow, I’m flattered that you would say this, Jessica. You asking me for advice makes me feel like I’ve done something right, and here I was thinking that I was not doing this marketing thing the correct way. But…really, is there ever a "correct way?"

I think my advice to pre-published authors who want to build a platform that they can “stand on” is keep your marketing “voice” the same as in your book. Your personal style for writing things and expressing ideas should be your own. Do not copy anyone unless they are doing something that you think is important. Be yourself.

For example, my style is to write “I thank you all for your infinite support” at the end of my posts on my blog and author page. But that is my way of writing and it might not be yours.

Also, social media marketing always needs something new every day. If you can put out quality work every day, great, but if it takes you more time to work on something worth showing then don’t feel pressured that you did not do a post yesterday. Today, you do two or three. I believe that quality matters. You want your future readers to see you at your best. Just like you would not publish a book without editing it, you don’t want to put out something in social media that everyone will see and isn’t your best work.

Pre-published authors, make an author page, blog!! It’s your way to show agents and publishers that you are not in some dark corner and that people actually know who you are. Be consistent and if you write on social media that you are going to do something on this day, do it. People expect things and they get disappointed if you don’t give them what they are waiting for. Really, even I still have a lot to learn about marketing at least I’m half way there. I know things may seem impossible but you need to try. Try to do something if you don’t try, you will never succeed.

   What kinds of books do you most enjoy reading?  Do you read mainly YA Fantasy or do you enjoy a variety of genres?

I read romances and some are YA and some are not. It depends on if I like the author or what the book is about. I read romance and romance is a large genre in and of itself. The books I would never read are thriller, mystery, crime. Those would give me nightmares.

    Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Yes, I’m a romantic at heart. When I’m not writing my books, I like to read romance to see what others write. I like to talk to my friends who may also give me ideas. I watch Once Upon A Time which has all the fairytales set in a modern day setting - my guilty pleasure. I like helping my friends and I always try to give good advice.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Diana!  You can visit Diana online at the following links:

Facebook Author Group:

The Magic of True Love Blog:



Monday, June 12, 2017

Author Spotlight on Mystery Author James Moushon

It’s my pleasure to introduce James Moushon, author of mystery, murder, intrigue and politics. Today, James is sharing his new release, Operation No Sanctuary, A Jonathan Stone Mystery Short StoryHe's provided us with a fabulous excerpt for this title, which is now available at Amazon for only 99 cents!

Title: Operation No Sancturary

Author: James Moushon

Genre: Mystery

Published: June 2017

Available: Amazon

A Short Note about James: Author James Moushon is the self-published Mystery Author of the Jonathon Stone Mysteries. Also, he is a Short Story writer and an Author Advocate. James is the creator of the industry blogs: The eBook Author's Corner, the HBS Author's Spotlight and the HBS Mystery Reader's Circle.


A gang war erupts in East LA between neighborhood gangs and the notorious MS-13 gang from San Salvador and a Mexican cartel from Tijuana is right in the middle of the conflict. Drug trafficking, gang shootings and politics all play a role as Jonathon Stone battles the sanctuary city LA which seems to protect the innocent and the guilty.

Excerpt from Operation No Sanctuary:

Twenty-One. My favorite words unless the dealer is looking at her hole card. I was on a great run which doesn’t come too often. The dealer kept busting and I kept raising my bet and the Jack and Cokes kept appearing at my elbow. The Ocean Queen Casino was my sanctuary. 

Being an at-large agent for the CIA had its perks. Of course, tomorrow I could be anywhere in the world. Actually, tomorrow was the day for our weekly phone conference so I was safe until 0900. My boss, Russ Evans, would be prompt. 

I liked the freedom but I liked the action more. I am a part of the DOT division which is the domestic unit of the CIA. We handle terrorism matters that originate outside the country. 

And you are asking me if that is legal? It’s not. And it’s not a well-kept secret either. Yet here I am in the Long Beach area living in the shadows. 

I motioned to the cocktail waitress for one more. This would have to be my nightcap. Jill was back in a flash. “Here you go, Jon,” she said, taking a long look at the stash of chips in front of me. I put a five dollar chip on her tray as she brushed against me. 

I had about two thousand in black and green chips so she had higher expectations. “Not tonight, Jill,” I said to myself. I was going to cut and run shortly. 

The next morning came quickly. I made it to the back patio with my coffee just in time to catch the first ring of my cell phone. Wiley was controlling the calls, taking roll and passing along the weekly code word. Sometimes I got confused with this process but Wiley had my back. The regular agents used the code regularly. Me, not so much. 

“Good morning, gentlemen,” Russ said in an authoritarian voice. “Before I get too far into the briefing, I want to talk directly to Agent Stone.” 

That comment got my immediate attention. I could hear him asking Wiley if I was there in the background. 

Russ continued. “Last night we had two murders in East LA. I know that’s not very unusual but the LAPD and now the FBI are trying to identify the deceased. The victims had false ID’s on them and the documents were excellent forgeries. In fact, they were so good that the FBI got called in and they traced them back to one of our old ops. The ID’s were made by the Romero Cartel in Tijuana. They are a merciless group of thugs and they are right in the middle of a drug war with a gang in LA.” 

He paused for a second. “Agent Stone, this is the group you were chasing several years ago in Mexico. The Feds have a meeting to setup a task force at the FBI office downtown LA at two this afternoon. I want you to get involved. We have to stay to the sidelines on this one. Oh, and Agent Jodi Shannon is in charge of the FBI portion.” 

I could hear someone on the other end chuckling. That damn Wiley. He knew about Jodi and my history. 

“I would love to snag Raul Romero,” I said. 

I remember Romero, I thought to myself. In 2006, I was involved in a gun sting. We were selling guns through straw purchases, trying to trap Romero’s Cartel into using the guns for their illegal activities. Unfortunately, the op went sideways and the guns wound up back in the states. We concluded that Romero got tipped off someway about the sting and resold the weapons to gangs in Southern California. This deal in LA could give us another shot at Romero. 

That afternoon I checked through security at the LA Federal Building and was directed to a conference room on the second floor. I slowly opened the door to find at least a dozen people already seated. I saw Jodi in the front with a man dressed in a LAPD uniform and another guy in a suit. Probably FBI. 

It sounded like Jodi was taking roll. She saw me and smiled. I halfway raised my hand in acknowledgment and took a seat in the back of the room. Except for Jodi, I didn’t recognize anyone. 

On the side wall was a map of LA with a big red ‘X’ and a bigger map of Southern California next to it. After studying the LA map a little, I noticed an area painted in blue and another area with a green ‘X’ that I recognized as the City of Whittier. 

Also there were two rows of pictures next to the maps. The first row had only two pictures which I assumed where our two victims from the murder yesterday. The second row had four pictures. The last one caught my eye. It was Raul Romero, the cartel kingpin. I turned in my seat to face the front as one by one people introduced themselves. We had the whole alphabet here. We had people from the ATF, a guy from ICE, a DEA guy and, of course, the LAPD and the FBI. I sat there trying not to make eye contact with anyone. I was there for observation but that didn’t last long. 

Jodi had the floor. “I want to thank everyone for attending on such a quick notice. The quicker we get on these murders the better chance we have to resolve this case.” 

Then she turned and looked straight at me. “We have a new member of the task force I would like to introduce.” 

I shook my head slowly no. 

“Agent Jonathon Stone from the CIA will be joining us. We think his involvement with the Romero Cartel can be invaluable especially south of the border. Everything we know now points to the Romero Cartel from Tijuana.” 

A man at the front table raised his hand. 

“Yes, Agent Lopez,” Jodi said, acknowledging the man. 

“Are we sure that we want the CIA involved in this? I know from the DEA’s point of view, we can handle the Mexicans. Besides we already have people in place there that can give us live intel. We are all setup to handle both sides of the border. Besides, the CIA can’t work domestically.” 

Agent Lopez had a good point in a perfect world. With my division involved, that changes the game but Lopez didn’t know that. I wish Jodi had let me sit by myself in the back. 

Jodi got a big frown on her face but didn’t say a word. I had to jump in on this and try to keep my cover. 

“I need to say something about my role. I am here to just add information if it’s needed. I will not be a part of the active task force. I was involved several years ago with the Romero Cartel in a gun sting so I know the players in the cartel, that’s all.” 

Now it was Lopez’s time to frown. He wasn’t going to give up. 

“Mr. Stone, I think that the DEA can handle this. We don’t need someone coming in and blowing everything that we have going against the cartel.” “I understanding what you’re saying, Agent Lopez,” Jodi said. “We will be careful not to expose the DEA’s position on this. I would like to introduce LAPD officer, Jerry Martin. He will explain our working theory on what we’re faced with. Officer Martin.” 

A tall officer with a large brown hat stood up from the table and took Jodi’s place at the podium. “Thanks Agent Shannon. I am in charge of the LAPD gang unit. We believe we are in the middle of a gang turf war. The Romero Cartel has become real aggressive in the last six months. There MO for years has been to supply drugs and guns to the small, individual gangs in Southern California. The gangs, in turn, distribute their drugs in their own neighborhoods.” 

I surveyed the audience. Lopez was staring directly at me. Something was up with this guy. He must feel I’m going to intrude on his turf. 

“We believe two things happened. The MS-13, the Salvadorian gang, has started taking over various areas in LA and eliminating the gang members. We understand from informants that they want the drug trade all to themselves,” The LAPD officer continued. 

That sounds like a regular gang war to me. 

“The other thing that happened was the establishing of the sanctuary areas in the state. That’s where Romero comes in. He is taking advantage of it by crossing people from Mexico with forged documents and getting them into safe zones. These guys are setting up businesses and using those as fronts to distribute drugs, guns and false documents. Also, because of the sanctuary status, we have a problem getting warrants for wire-taps to try to pin them down. As long as these guys stay squeaky-clean, they are home free.” 

About James:

James Moushon is a Mystery writer and an Author Advocate. 

Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars. 

In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development. 

He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published three books: 'Black Mountain Secrets', 'Game of Fire', ‘The Cajun Ghost’ and 'Operation Alpha Dog', a collection of short stories all featuring Jonathon Stone, CIA undercover agent. 

He is currently wearing two Hats. He is a mystery writer and a book publishing blogger. You can find his blogs at: 

HBS Author's Spotlight
The blog's purpose is to help authors get exposure in the book publishing industry. He has interviewed and showcased over 450 authors to date. 

HBS Mystery Reader's Circle
The HBS Mystery Reader's Circle provides information about the latest novels and what is coming next from a collection of Bestselling and Outstanding Authors in the Mystery, Thrillers, Historical Fiction and Crime genre. 

eBook Author's Corner
The Corner is a collection of Author advice and studies including Marketing, Social Media and other major topics created to help writers in today's ever changing world of book publishing. 

He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing mysteries.

How To Contact James:

Website: James Moushon - Mystery Writer
Author's Blog: eBook Author’s Corner
HBS Author's Spotlight
Twitter: @jimhbs
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile

I’d like to extend a big thank you to James for joining us today and sharing his exciting new story. And, of course, thank you to everyone who stopped by! Come back and visit us again soon, James!

Happy Reading and Beautiful Fantasies,

Jessica Lauryn 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summertime Reads

When you think back on your childhood, what are some of your favorite memories of summertime?  If you’re anything like me, some of those memories include reading stories, which you may have done on the beach, by the pool, or under the shade of your favorite tree.  Summertime brings with it a certain enchantment, an enchantment that stirs the imagination and spurs the beauty around us to life.  Indeed, stories and summertime are a powerful combination.  Not only can they cure the winter doldrums, but they can take you inside a world of fantasy you never dreamed was possible!

As a child, I enjoyed going to the library during the summer, and choosing stories to borrow, not because my teacher had assigned them but because they were the ones that I liked, the ones that I considered the be the most fun.  I enjoyed the mysteries solved by the Boxcar Children, the crazy life of Ramona and Beezus and the excited adventures had by Nancy Drew and her friends.  I graduated into my teen years with the drama at Sweet Valley High.  Then, life got in the way.  Schoolwork and SAT prep, college courses and school activities all took away from the time that I’d spent reading, even during summertime.  Like many people, I became too caught up in the daily routine of life to make time for this sort of leisure and if asked what I was reading, or what I enjoyed reading, I’d answer that I was too busy to “read for pleasure.”  Though I did enjoy the occasional magazine article, (pictures optional, of course!)

When college graduation neared and I was considering a career in writing, I realized that it had been some time since I had picked up a novel to simply read for my own enjoyment.  Though I’d done plenty of reading in college virtually none of it had centered around my favorite subject and true genre of choice—romance.  With the burden of school work now behind me, I set out to make up for the lost summers past and as I rode the train to my summer internship I cracked open my very first romance novel and fell head-over-heels in love.  Romance had always been my genre of choice but now I knew it, and that changed everything.

Once I understood my preference as a reader, the imaginative world opened up for me.  I quickly made up for lost time, reading every romance novel that I could get my hands on in every sort of sub-genre, contemporary romance, historical, romantic suspense, paranormal.  It was the lost world that had always been there but that I’d never taken the time to really notice.  I changed all that and what better time to do it than best time of year for reading, summertime.  There had always been something magical about reading during this most relaxing time of year but the experience of reading a romance novel beside a lake, under a tree, near the ocean seemed to get even better.  Perhaps that is because I’m a reader who chooses to immerse myself completely in my romantic fantasies, and I appreciate that the setting in which I read can only enhance the experience.  Whatever genre you’re reading this summer I hope that you experience total escape while you’re doing it!  Books are the ultimate escapism, and summer is the best time to read them of all!

Would you like to spend an exciting night at the theater this summer?  How about several exciting nights?  I’m thrilled to share that A Passionate Play [The Rabourn Theater Series #1] is now available in paperback!  This suspenseful story is set in summertime and is certain to make this year’s vacation even more fun!

Happy Anniversary, Dangerous Proposal!!!  To celebrate, Siren BookStrand has discounted it and ALL titles in the Pinnacles of Power Series to $2.99!  Did you miss a story? You can enjoy it now for a fantastic low price!