Tuesday, August 16, 2011

~Author Interview~ Jenna Anderson

I have an extra special treat for you today! I've interviewed Jenna Anderson, author of the supremely funny and sweet novella, Off Leash (click here for my review) and she has graciously agreed to give away a copy of this book. Read on to find out how... 

Laura (Jaimey): 
   Hi Jenna! Thanx for joining us here at Romance, Old School. 

   Thanks for having me. This is my first interview so I’m a little nervous. 

   There's nothing to be nervous about. Interviews are painless, I promise. :O)
   Just to start things off, tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing. 

   I live in the upper Midwest with my husband, son and crazy dog, Chachi. I grew up in a very small town. People who read my ebooks will see some evidence of that in the storylines. Small towns definitely have their own unique vibe.
   My first attempt at writing happened in 2008. Up until then I’d always had stories rolling around in my head, but never put them down on paper. The catalyst was my mother entering the nursing home. It was a rough time for me. I’d sit in her 10 x 12 room and look at what her life had dwindled down to - a few pictures, handmade quilt and misc knick-knacks. Her history summarized by a handful of things. It made me wonder, what would my 10 x 12 room look like? What things would it contain? And will I be satisfied with what I see on my shelves?
   I decided that there couldn’t be anything left undone or untried. My ‘someday’ list couldn’t wait. So I tackled the first thing on it - writing fiction.

    I have heard many reasons for a person to begin writing but I have to say, that's one that really makes you think. I wonder now what my own 10x12 room would look like.
   I know this is a question that is WAY overdone in author interviews but I'm just dying to know what inspired your novella Off Leash!

Off LeashJenna:
   Wow, let’s see if I can remember. I started this story so long ago. I write horribly slow. My first release was in October of 2009. It took me almost two years to finish my next story. Yikes!
   Our current pet is a shih tzu but we used to have two bichon frises. They are such a fun breed. I believe they were primarily used as circus dogs. A tidbit of the storyline came to mind one day - a city gal makes a quick pit stop in a small town with her fluffy bichon. Her purebred pooch gets off of its leash and the rest of the story just snowballed from there.
   I’m a very undisciplined writer - a wild panster. I sit at my keyboard and let the story fly off my fingers. So the incident with the GPS, cell phone, brown and purple leopard skin boots, Sandy the nosey friend, three little nieces, etc. were all gifts from my invisible muse.
   Now Ginger, the goat… she’s based on an actual animal I met years ago. So cute. I hope readers like her as much as I do.

   I can relate to the writing muse of a pantser, believe me. ;O)
   I love the cover and how perfectly it fits your story. Who is the artist?

   Jeff Okerstrom. He’s a former coworker of mine and very talented. I sent him my ideas and he drew the entire thing from scratch! I envy talented, artistic people. He also did the cover for Healing Touch and I made him promise to create more for me in the future.

   That's certainly good news. You clearly work well together to create the perfect covers for your stories.
   You also write reviews but only for a certain length of story. Can you tell us a little about that and where we can find your site?

   My life is so busy and finding time to read a long, involved novel can be tough. I enjoy reading novellas and short stories. They’re perfect for my crazy world and short attention span. My Kindle is also perfect for this. There has been a nice influx of titles since ereaders have been invented and I’m more than happy to read them. I read so many I thought I might as well start a review blog. People can find it here - http://www.NovellaReviews.blogspot.com.

  I've certainly enjoyed reading your reviews and I think all writer moms can relate to a sad lack of reading time.
   There is a page on your website called Struggling Readers. What is this page about and why is it important to you?

Healing TouchJenna: 
   My son was diagnosed with a learning disability in second grade. We knew something wasn’t quite right already in Kindergarten. He is now entering the seventh grade {gasp} and reading is still difficult for him. So that section of my blog is about the trials and tribulations of that life adventure. I’m very proud of his effort. He loves books and has a great imagination. I wouldn’t be surprised if he writes his own story someday.
   I’ve found it difficult and frustrating to locate books at his reading level that he wants to read. Let’s face it, no fifth grader likes SpongeBob or Power Rangers anymore. Sadly, many books are either above his abilities or don’t indicate the reading level. I’m trying to help other frustrated parents by listing resources and creating useful book lists for struggling readers.

  For those of you who'd like more info on the resources Jenna's mentioned, you can check out her page here: http://www.jennascribbles.com/struggling-readers/.
   Thank you so much for joining us! A little bird told me you have a book to give away. :O)

    Thank you for having me. I survived my first interview. Yay!
   I’d love to give away a copy of Off Leash to one of your readers. The winner, once selected, will receive the book either as a Kindle gift from Amazon US or as a Smashwords coupon.

To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post (please make sure you are a follower of this blog) and remember to include your email address so it's easier to contact you if you win. It's that easy. The winner will be announced Saturday, August 20.

If you'd like to skip the giveaway and get your copy of Off Leash (or Healing Touch) right now, they can be purchased through many online retailers. To see the full list of buying options, please see http://www.jennascribbles.com/my-titles/.

For more info on Jenna and her books, check out her website: http://www.JennaScribbles.com or her author page on Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Jenna-Anderson/e/B0033D2I8S.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

~Book Review~ Emma's Dragon

Emma's Dragon: A Fairly Horrible Love Story

My rating: 3.8 of 5 pearls

Emma sees a dragon and tells the local deputy, a man whose belief in her story is a bit strange, to say the least.

This is very well-written story, cute albeit in a twisted, morbid kind of way. Really, it was right up my alley...a bit too much in that I suspected the twist fairly early on. However, had it ended any other way, I'd have been very disappointed in the story and the author.

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes dragon stories that don't follow the norm, anyone who likes strangeness, and anyone who likes romance that isn't what it seems.

*Disclaimer: I was not paid in any way for this review. I purchased this eBook from Amazon at full price.


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