Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet The Author of Lucia's Web

 I'm happy to host international author Sue Searless on A Writer's Devotion today. Read my interview of Sue to learn more about her and her new release, Lucia's Web. Enjoy reading an expert of this story below. Her writing drew me in immediately. This out of the box writer also gives excellent advice to aspiring authors.

What book(s) have you written that you would like to tell us about?

My latest release, Lucia's Web. I didn't think it was possible to have so much fun writing a book, and hopefully that carries through to my readers. The characters are so real to me that I feel I know them personally. I'm beyond excited about this latest release and can't wait to start getting the reviews.

Do you have any favorite childhood books?

Strangely enough, I wasn’t a huge reader as a kid. I enjoyed a bit of Nancy Drew and Beatrix Potter, but nothing particularly memorable. I only started devouring books as an adult.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Stop procrastinating and just WRITE! We all have busy schedules and it’s way too easy to come up with reasons why you’ll tackle that first novel “when you stop working” or “when the kids are older.” If you don’t MAKE IT HAPPEN, it never will.

Where can we find you and your books?

Instagram – Sue Searles


I sucked in a deep breath and held it, then wiped sweaty palms on my trousers. I’d only arrived home ten minutes ago and hadn’t relaxed enough to freshen up or change out of my work clothes.

Get a grip, Ali. I shouldn’t be so nervous—this was my apartment, my advertisement. So I was in charge.

It took me a little over eight seconds before I snapped myself out of my trance. If Lucia James had seemed distant and sociably inept on the phone, meeting her in person only solidified my impression of her.
Pin-straight hair, dyed jet black with purple streaks, hovered just above a sorry pair of sagging shoulders. A thick, black fringe fell across an insipidly white face, barely hiding brown eyes bordered top and bottom with a heavy band of eyeliner. Black lipstick sapped the girl of any natural color and made her look deathly pale. She clutched a brown leather bag across her chest, and a black leather jacket and studded jeans rounded off the look. The girl bit her lip and dipped her chin, her nervousness palpable.
I closed my mouth when I realized I’d been staring. “Um, sorry…come on in.”
I stepped aside to let Lucia enter. Her brown eyes darted furtively around the spacious lounge, then focused on an invisible speck on the hardwood floor.
“So, do you live nearby?” My eyes remained on her as I asked the question and tried to size her up.
“No, I’m not from around here. I don’t know many people in Umhlanga yet.” A shoulder raised two inches, then went back down.
“Where are you from?” I studied her, trying to draw the girl out of whatever spell she was in.
“Eastern Cape.” Her eyes remained averted, the brown leather bag clutched like a lifeline across her chest.  The long fringe hung like a thick, black curtain over her right eye, and I had to resist the urge to reach out and pull it aside.
“So, what brings you to Durban?” I honestly wasn’t trying to sound pushy, just curious. Besides, it was a reasonable question, not so? When Lucia didn’t reply, I crossed the room and closed the front door to give her time to answer. Just as I turned back to face her, she jerked her head away and averted her eyes back to the floor. I felt my frustration levels start to rise. So Lucia could quite easily look at me, as long as I wasn’t looking back at the same time?
I held my palms together and tried to shake off the girl’s unsettling presence. “All right, so…the rent is fourteen grand, split three ways. With water and lights, say an extra grand, we can round it off at five grand each. How does that sound?”
Lucia bit her lip hard and her eyes darted around the room briefly. “Sure. Whatever.”
“Rent’s due by the first of each month.” I tried to keep it upbeat, to sound much friendlier than I felt. “I’d like to check references before I make a final decision.” I gave Lucia a pressing look, one intended to communicate that I wasn’t too convinced about her yet. And in case she hadn’t been looking, I’d made sure she heard the threat in my tone.
“That’s no problem, you don’t have to worry about me not paying or nothing.” My warning didn’t seem to rattle her one bit.
I drew in a deep breath and gathered my thoughts. “Right, so we have a domestic worker who comes in once a week. Name is Thandi.”
Lucia met my eyes for the first time since she’d stepped foot in the place. “A-a cleaning lady?” There was measured trepidation in her voice.
“M-hmm. That’s okay, right? With all three of us girls working—”
She waved her hand. “That’s okay, I’ll clean my own room.” Lucia returned her grip to the bag and her gaze to the floor.
I narrowed my eyes at her, unsure how to respond. For somebody trying to gain approval, she was being surly and aloof, if not downright rude. “Well, if you’re sure. Just let me know if you change your mind.”
She gave a quick nod, obviously just to appease me.

Lucia’s tone was as colorless as her complexion, and lacked any kind of verve or energy whatsoever. The girl was as insipid as a jellyfish, with a personality to match.

Author Bio:

Sue Searles has written several books, ranging from women’s fiction and short stories to poetry and children’s books. Having worked on various forms of storytelling since childhood, writing has been a lifelong passion.

Now somewhat older and wiser, she is passionate about thinking outside the conventional box, and conveys messages that are thought-provoking and life-changing.

Her inspiration comes mainly from studying people, reading, and daily life.
Sue is happily married and lives in sunny South Africa with her husband and son.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Meet Author Jane McGarry

It is my pleasure to introduce fellow Clean Reads Author, Jane McGarry on my blog today. Join me in learning more about her and  her young adult debut novel, Not Every Girl.

What inspired you to become a writer?
I've always loved to read. When I was young, I might imagine a story had a different ending or plot twist. Eventually, I started creating my own stories, but always thought the idea of publishing a book was just a dream. Over the years, I read voraciously and found that I enjoyed the young adult genre. The idea for Not Every Girl developed and I finally decided that the time had come to give the "dream" a shot.

 What book(s) have you written that would you like to tell us about?
Not Every Girl is my debut novel. It is a young adult adventure/romance with a feisty heroine, a standoffish prince and a few crafty outlaws for good measure. The two main characters are thrown together on an unexpected quest to save their fathers with plenty of action along the way.

Do you have any favorite childhood books?
I remember taking a copy of Thumbelina out of the library over and over when I was little. On the cover, the tiny girl was sitting inside a flower and it simply fascinated me. When I got a little older, I devoured the Nancy Drew mysteries and all the Little House on the Prairie books.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
1.Read. A lot. Especially in your chosen genre so you know what publishers are looking for.

2.Write. There will never be a “perfect time” for it, life will be in the way, don’t let that dissuade you. A bad page can be edited, a blank one can’t.

3.Persevere. Never give up on your work. Keep believing in it and you will find others who believe in it as well.

Where can we find you and your books?
Amazon buy link:

Barnes & Noble buy link:

Goodreads link:

Author website:

You Tube Book Trailer:

Facebook link:

Twitter link:

Instagram link:

Pinterest link:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Five Things I Learned From My Character

I anxiously await a release date for my YA novel, Too Be Honest. In between biting my nails and crossing my fingers that I'll learn the date soon, I decided to reflect on some interesting things I found out from my characters while writing the story. The hero, Chase, is an avid BMX rider. I had to do some research on this topic since I hadn't a clue what it entailed. I've listed five cool things I found out.

1. BMX racing and freestyle is a worldwide sport.

2. It was founded in the 1970s and began with children in California racing their bikes on a dirt track.

3. In 2003 the International Olympic Committee declared BMX a full medal competition.

4. There were too many freestyle air tricks to list so I'll tell you about a couple that caught my attention. The Superman-the rider removes his feet and extends them behind him to resemble Superman in the air. Decade-the rider holds onto the handle bars and throws himself or herself(girls compete too) around the bicycle then lands on the pedals.

5. The USA BMX Mid America Nationals are being held right now in Western Missouri.

I've developed a great respect for this sport after doing my research. These riders have to put in a lot of hard work and practice. I'm sure talent plays into it also. Chase taught me a lot about this sport! Next post I'll talk about what I learned from my heroin, Starla.