Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NETHER SOUL: An Interview with YA Author Bonnie Rae

Bonnie, welcome back to Small World, Big Dreams!
It's great to be back! Thanks for having me!!
Give us a little insight on your newest release, NETHER SOUL.
NETHER SOUL is the darker, more action based sort of unraveling to the characters that you met in NETHER BOUND. Everyone is fighting some type of demon. Whether it be internally or actual demons, no one is safe this time around.

Sounds deliciously interesting. Tell us, what was your inspiration for this series?
Growing up in a strict Catholic home talking about Hell or the Devil was practically forbidden unless it was in Sunday School or a Church sermon type setting. So, as a child I was naturally curious about the darker side of religion. Now as an adult and a writer I was able to explore my curiosity and create a pretty neat story from it all. This is a definite good versus evil story, but instead of shying away from evil my characters have to look their fears in the eyes and learn to gain strength in order to conquer this evil.

What is your greatest challenge when starting a new novel?
Staying focused! I know that sounds insane, right? You would think I would be focused all the time with a new idea and everything, but no. As a writer I have so many ideas and all of them want my attention. I have to make sure I set a certain amount of time aside every day just for the novel I am currently working on. That doesn't mean all of my other muses in time-out quietly waiting their turn. Everyone always has something to say! =P

Just listening to the voices in your head. I see, I see. So, do your novels require research? And if so, do you research before you get started or as you go?
Yes, yes they do! I am touching on subjects that involve the coming war between Heaven and Hell on Earth so I can't get my hands on enough research. I will research before I start and always as I go. In my world research is ongoing.

How does this novel differ from its predecessor, NETHER BOUND?
This novel is much darker. I went back and forth with some things, almost taking two scenes out because I thought they might be too much. But in the end I left them in.
They are essential for character transformation. 
Indubitably. Without giving away too much, tell us your favorite scene in this new book.
My absolute favorite scene is when Ava is at the ball in Nether World. She is given a very intriguing gift and I very much enjoyed writing that scene!!!

How about your favorite character? And why him/her?
Ava will always be my favorite. She is so much a part of me and who I was growing up. Devon is my second favorite. His ability to love Ava unconditionally no matter what is inspiring.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any other character from any other book, who would it be and why?
Omg, this is an awesome question!! I would have to say I would love to see Lilith meet Bellatrix Lastrange from Harry Potter. I mean they are both bad girls, beautiful in their own evil way, and totally dying for their sinister master's attention. Two evil attention seekers locked in a room together. I'd love to be a fly on that wall!

Tell us about your writing space.
You mean my desk and walls full of organized chaos? I love it. My office is my own little slice of writing heaven! I have story boards from all of my novels on the walls as well as notes and research everywhere. Also, there are cats. My cats are always with me when I am writing. You should see the cat hair I clean out of my keyboard.

What really gets your muse ticking?
Books and Music! Oh, how I love music so much!! Music inspires scene after scene in all of my novels!!

Tomorrow's one of the biggest holidays of the year. Any memorable experiences from Halloweens' past?
My most memorable are from when I was a kid. My mom and aunt would take me trick or treating and afterwards as we sifted through my candy we listened to Monster Mash and watched Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.

I love that movie!! Anything else you'd like to share with us today?
Don't be afraid to break the rules. Writing about Heaven and Hell isn't an easy task, but I knew there was an awesome story I had to tell mixed into it. I might mention the Devil and demons, but in the end my books are about being strong and conquering your fears. Writing is an adventurous journey. Sometimes we don't always know what paths are muses will take us down. Embrace your ideas and let your creativity flow. Be happy and love what you write, don't ever let anyone bully you out of an idea. Thank you to everyone that has taken a chance on NETHER BOUND and now NETHER SOUL. Also, thank you to all of the writing communities and blogs that are hosting me this week. Being a part of such wonderful writing communities is the best support system any author can have.

Thanks again for joining us, Bonnie! If YOU, Gentle Reader, would like to win an ebook copy of Bonnie Rae's newest release, NETHER SOUL, all you've gotta do is leave a comment with your email address. The winner will be randomly picked and announced this Saturday, November 3.

You may also purchase NETHER SOUL for $1.99 on Amazon.com. :)
Good luck to everyone! Oh, I almost forgot! For a limited time, NETHER BOUND, the first book in the Nether Series, is available for FREE on Amazon.com. Happy reading!
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,


Bonnie Rae spent her early childhood in the sunny state of California. At the time, she was an only child with a very large imagination. Thanks to her Grandmother, the love of reading books started at a very young age. Every walk to the grocery store meant an ice cream cone and a new Little Golden Book. Through books, Bonnie learned you could be transported into other worlds. The addiction was instant.

At age eleven, her grandparents gave her E.B. White's Charlotte's Web for her birthday. Even though she was completely grossed out when it came to spiders (and still is), Charlotte's Web fascinated her. A spider that was able to weave words and befriend a pig? Bonnie then realized not only could books provide imaginary worlds, they confirmed anything was possible. She might have only been eleven, but she knew writing was what she wanted to do.

She started her first set of novels at the age of sixteen and has been writing ever since.

Bonnie currently lives in California with her wonderful husband and two very spoiled cats.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Hayes Halloween

When my best friend got married almost two years ago--I can't believe it's already been 2 years!--I spent a LOT longer than I wanted to in various airports. Long story not worth rehashing, except for the great people I met along the way. Anyways. While in one airport or another, can't remember which, I had a little bit of a layover and decided to hit the newstand. There, I picked up a YA novel solely based on its cover.

Well. And the cool blurb on the back.

It was FALLING UNDER by Gwen Hayes and it's still on my Keeper Shelf.

Since then, she's released an equally fabulous sequel, DREAMING AWAKE.

And yesterday, she announced a BRAND NEW story she calls a "Creep, Gothic Romance" entitled OURS IS JUST A LITTLE SORROW. Oh, but that's not the only good part. She's knocked it down to .99 until... you guessed it... Halloween! It's only 118 pages. Nice, quick read for the upcoming spooky holiday. Available for Kindle, Nook, and on Smashwords.

Here's the pretty cover:

Here's the delicious blurb:

The colony of New Geneva has risen from the ashes of her dying mother planet, Earth, by rebuilding a society based on a time before everything went horribly, horribly wrong...the Victorian Era...

Violet Merriweather first sets eyes on Colonel Winston when he purchases her at auction from Witherspoon Academy, the orphanage where she’d been raised after her rescue from Earth. Dutifully, as she was taught, Violet pushes away her fear of the monstrous, forbidding Thornfield Abbey, and throws herself into her work as governess to the Colonel’s youngest son.

But the Colonel's elder sons have other ideas.

John and Gideon Winston are as different as night and day, and each wants to claim Violet for his own. John immediately charms her with his intelligence and cordial demeanor, while Gideon, the dark rogue, delights in flustering her at every opportunity, awakening a yearning she doesn't understand and most assuredly does not want. She tries to deny her pull to both men, but an uneasy midnight bargain with one forges a new alliance as she’s dazzled by an underground New Geneva she hadn't known existed. And temptations she cannot resist.

But something is preying on the women of New Geneva, something that threatens to unleash the ghosts of Thornfield and drag them all into hell. And that something wants Violet most of all.
For more information, including an excerpt, go to Gwen's blog here. While you're at it, start following her! :)
Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gettin' Artsy Fartsy

I've always considered myself artsy-fartsy. Art, opera, classical music--heck, music, period--poetry, open mic nights, musicals, plays. If it features artists doin' their thing, I'm on board. In fact, this is one of the many, many things I loved about my bonus-kid (that's stepson but, like, way cooler) Matthew. Ever since he was little, I called him my artsy-fartsy child, because he loved to color, draw, play his drums, and if a music awards show was coming on--no matter the genre--you could find him parked right in front of the television, lovin' every minute of every performance and award distributed.

So, when YA author Kiera Cass (The Selection) challenged her readers and fellow writers to spice up their laptops, I thought, "Why not?" Heaven knows I could use some major inspiration, and my laptop deserves a bit o' love, considering it's just plain and black and usually boasts more fingerprints than a crime lab.

So, here's what I came up with:

It's actually a lot like Kiera's, but with different colors. Honestly, I'm glad I did it, because it kind of dotted the i's on my mission. And that is to get back into writing ASAP, lest I grow to accustomed to long stretches of time off.

Not that this leave of absence could be helped, mind. But I digress.

Next up? Create a storyboard complete with pictures, phrases, whatever helps keep my focus on this novel.  The flip side of the board I intend to use for slapping Post-Its scribbled with plot points.

Have you ever taken a considerable amount of time away from something you've deemed important? What steps did you take to get yourself back into the groove?

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Release Pt. Deux!

Had to give the title a little bit of that Louisiana flair, don't cha know? I'm really excited today, because it's (finally) RELEASE DAY HALLELUJAH for ENRAPTURED, the second book in my little Betrothal series.  Funny enough, I didn't have a name for this series (in all actuality I didn't even realize it was a series, but there you have it), until I had to make a couple of promotional items for my last signing and needed to fill a small space on a postcard template.  But that's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Kind of like being forced to write a book blurb when you have no idea how the story's gonna end up.

Aight, so here's the specifics:  Kindle Edition ($2.99) & Paperback Edition ($12.99)

Also, I'll drop BETROTHED down to $.99 starting this weekend and ending the next, so if you haven't yet purchased the prequel to the sequel, get on it! :)

My sincere thanks and hugs and kisses to all who continue to support this crazy writing career of mine by promoting in any way you can.  Word of mouth is what keeps independent artists like me afloat!  Troll Amazon frequently, folks, and delve into those self-published works.  Though some may disappoint, the gems you find among the lot will speak for themselves. 

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Moving Forward, Staying Focused

So, BETROTHED has done well; a million times better than I ever anticipated.  ENRAPTURED releases on Tuesday (Oct. 16!), which is SO, so cool, because I super-duper love the story.  Not that I don't love BETROTHED, of course, but if you're a writer, you know what I mean.  There's always that one story who clings to a special place in your heart.  And you can no easier explain why than hold back the tide.  Amen?

All right, then, now I arrive at the point in the road when I must either continue writing what I'm writing or venture off into a completely different direction.  My husband asked me yesterday, "What if your readers want more of this kind of story?  What if they want the next spin off?  The next story in the Betrothal series?"

My answer?  They'll get what they want.  Just not right this minute.

For now, I've decided to keep at my current work in progress--which, by the way, I haven't touched in a month--and see where it takes me.  I've got a small idea of the distant direction in which I'm heading; I just don't know how I'm going to get there.  The biggest feat for me is staying focused, keeping my eyes and brain steady and looking ahead toward the ultimate goal. 

In the midst of consoling a toothing infant and dealing with the public at a day job, mind.

While other stories and plot lines sift into my thoughts and dreams, respectfully. "Write me! Write me! I've a much more interesting cast and promise excitement and mayhem, to boot!" 

Sounds crazy, I know, and it is a little.  After all, wasn't it E.L. Doctorow who proudly said, "Writing is but a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia"?

How do you stay focused and sane while working? 

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints,


Thursday, October 11, 2012


Our family & friends releasing Matthew's balloons.

Release is a big word for me at this point in my life.  Releasing tears, anger, anxiety, extra body fat.  I've got a long way to go on that last one.  Heck, as long as I'm being honest, I've got a long way to go on all of 'em.  To say I have my ups and downs is putting matters as plainly as possible.  They don't call this kind of crazy an Emotional Roller Coaster for nothing, I guess.

Be that as it may, and in keeping with the whole "release" bit, I aim to release the second book in my little Betrothal series next Tuesday, October 16, 2012.  One month to the day after my precious stepson Matthew was taken from us.  Seems fitting, I think, because he above all people believed in following one's dreams to the max.  I don't think I'll ever write again without thinking of him throughout the process.

So, what's this book called, you ask?  Enraptured.  And what's it about?  Two married people with a whole lot of problems.  Oh, but they live in a castle.  And eat with their servants.  And have a penchant for cinnamon orange scones.


Maybe a little?

If so, click THIS LINK, and blurb-a-rize yourself.  Then, check out the lovely cover below.  After that?  Keep an eye out on Amazon.com and all other major online retailers next week.  I might even throw Betrothed on sale as a thank you for your continual support and uber, ooey gooey sweetness.

Peace, Love, and Junior Mints--and a HUGE thank you to all of you who have prayed and continue to pray for our family,

Anna at her vanity.

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