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Barbara Dee


Sean Penn


Cynthia Hand

THE HOW AND THE WHY Official Blog Tour

Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Monique Snyman


William L. Myers Jr.


Shannon Price


Rachael Craw


Gabrielle Stone


Lisa Edelstein


Josh Duhamel


Kindle Force


Luanne G. Smith


Rin Chupeco


Alex Dahl


Friday, October 18, 2019

A. J. Hackwith Author Interview

Photo Credit: Amanda Hackwith

A. J. Hackwith is (almost) certainly not an ink witch in a hoodie. She’s a queer writer of fantasy and science fiction living in Seattle, and writes sci-fi romance as Ada Harper. She is a graduate of the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop and her work appears in Uncanny Magazine and assorted anthologies. Summon A.J. at your own peril with an arcane circle of fountain pens and classic RPGs, or you can find her on Twitter and other dark corners of the Internet.


What inspired you to pen your first novel?
My very first novel was written out of teenage love for drama, magic, and a poor understanding of how adults function. I was seventeen years old and just discovered this thing called ‘NaNoWriMo’. That particular novel ended up in the trunk, of course, but it seeded the knowledge that writing a complete book was a thing that I could do. 

(I’ll pause here for the deserved laughter every author has at the idea that writing a novel meant simply drafting it once.)

It took fifteen years of college and a subsequent tech career of not writing fiction to bring me back around. By then, I had a lot of feelings of lost time and regret. I had a head full of books I never wrote--which lead to the idea of The Library of the Unwritten.

Tell us your latest news.
I assume I have to start with the obvious: THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN, a novel about the library of books that never got wrote and its librarians in Hell, is out October 1st! You can grab your copy from your favorite local bookstore, or all the usual online booksellers. It’s also got an audiobook on the way, and a UK edition out next year.

The Library of the Unwritten is the first book in a trilogy. I just turned in the second book and started on the last book as we speak. So if you’re one of those readers who doesn’t trust series to finish promptly (I understand!) then you are in good hands.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Every book I read goes into the blender of influences and ideas that eventually puree into my writing. I owe my genre lineage to a whole generation of writers of fantasy and science fiction, especially writers like Anne McCaffrey, Lois Major McBujold, Tanya Huff, and more who broke the mold of the standard, able-bodied white guy hero protagonist. Neil Gaiman probably influenced my understanding of creating and sharing--but not showing all of--a world with its own mythos and magic.

But I also owe a debt to more recent contemporary writers. Writers like Seanan McGuire, V. E. Schwab, Max Gladstone, N. K. Jemisin and others. It's the authors that are just a little (or a lot) ahead of you, and those coming up with you, that keep you going.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The first time--heck, every time!--a reader reached out and told me how much they’d needed a book like mine, or how it got them through a hard time...that makes everything worth it. I am pretty sure if I ever reach the point of a reader cosplaying or creating fanart of characters, I’m going to cry like a baby.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I want them to feel at home in the library. The Library of the Unwritten is a bit of a love letter to readers, and especially those with stories of their own in their head who are too afraid to call themselves writers. 

In your new book; THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it 
The Library of the Unwritten is my love letter to dusty library corners and reading itches you just can’t scratch. It’s my ode to scratched out sentences and fear of failure. It’s my promise to half-filled notebooks and that fear that you’re too old, that it’s too late--its not. 

From the publisher:
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing– a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto. 

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth.

What part of Claire did you enjoy writing the most?
I really relished writing an older woman. If one does the math, Claire was in her mid-forties when she died and joined the Unwritten Wing, where she spends another thirty years as Librarian. She’s not young, she’s not bright eyed, she’s not new. In fact, she’s had several books worth of living done before the start of the first chapter. She’s got secrets, she’s got regrets. I think that makes her a more interesting character to grow and change over the course of the book and trilogy.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I think Walter would enjoy meeting his counterparts from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Saying more than that will be spoilers.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
You are good enough. For that--whatever it is--for everything. You are worth it. Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise.

Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around.
My bag is full of fairly boring daily stuff. I carry around a notebook wrapped in leather. Its important to my writing, and also to my mental health. It is where I leave thoughts to marinate, stew, or pickle until they’re something that fits into a story (or, sometimes, into therapy). 

Like a lot of people, I got into bullet journalling a few years ago--I wrote about it on my blog--then ended up doing a lot of research about historical journals and commonplace books for the novel. Over time, my notebook has lost many of the hallmark bullet journal or commonplace characteristics and become some mutant creature of scribbles that works for my brain and probably very few others. 

What event in your life would make a good movie?
What a hard question! That’s the thing about life--its never a story when you’re living it. It certainly never feels cinematic while you’re muddling through. Stories are a framework for survival.

The other thing about stories is sometimes there’s one we don’t talk about. I have one. In college I had a--well, I called it a stalker back then, but today in the age of internet hate mobs and doxxing he might be downgraded to a harasser. It culminated in death threats on my voice mail and police getting involved. Luckily, since this was back before the days of anonymous social media and he was a known individual, they were able to arrest him and charges were filed. I transferred to a college in a different city. I still remember the day I got a phone call from the victim’s advocate, informing me that he had been released. I was sitting in a crowded university cafe and completely alone.

If it was a good movie, there would be some resolution. Something to make us feel safe besides the expanse of time between now and then. At the very least, there would be some emotional conclusion. But I had class in an hour, and worked late that night, and walked alone to my car and drove home and did it again the next day. A held breath routine that lasted a long time.

I don’t tell that story much, if ever. If I do, I make it a quirky weird joke--there was this weird guy in college! To tell it earnestly feels shameful, somehow. Its not how stories are supposed to go. But telling that story--the real one--has power, too.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
The Codex Gigas (featured in the novel) took the skins of forty goats to make.

● Empress of Forever - Max Gladstone
● The Raven Tower - Ann Leckie
● Jade City (and its sequel, Jade War) - Fonda Lee
● Binti: The Complete Trilogy - Nnedi Okorafor
● Wicked Saints - Emily A. Duncan
● Paper: Paging Through History - Mark Kurlansky
● The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison
● A Choir of Lies - Alexandra Rowland
● The Ruin of Kings - Jenn Lyons
● The Imaginary Corpse - Tyler Hayes

In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.
Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing—a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil's Bible. The text of the Devil's Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell ... and Earth.

You can purchase The Library of the Unwritten at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you A.J. HACKWITH for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of The Library of the Unwritten (Hell's Library #1) by A.J. Hackwith.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Thursday, October 17, 2019

|Podcast| Pappy Hour - Andrea Millard

Photo Credit: JBN Media

Andrea Millard is a writer and film freelancer based in Los Angeles, California. She has worked on a couple features, multiple shorts, and online content. Recently, she has started her own production company Austen Knights Entertainment as the launch pad for her own creative endeavors.

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Pappy Hour is a dark comedy about the Mulligan family and how one daughter, Jean Mulligan, wants to fulfill her father's last wish at a funeral. She unlike her family, believes in her father, while other members have their own agendas or otherwise see him as a deadbeat.

  • Jean Mulligan - Daughter of Robert Mulligan, a successful, pragmatic engineer who wants to do right by her father's last wish
  • Richard Mulligan - Son of Robert Mulligan and brother to Jean, a snarky local cop in his small town who resents his father
  • Gloria Mulligan - Second wife to Robert Mulligan, a career woman who puts business first even at the expense of her deceased husband
  • Diane Mulligan - "Crazy Aunt Diane" a woman who has a particularly sinister plan to steal Robert's ashes for her own bidding

Pappy Hour is based off a true story the writer, Andrea Millard was told about her grandfather regarding his last wish. She always admired that her family honored her grandfather's last wish to have his ashes dumped in the Susquehanna River after his funeral. She ran with that idea when developing the script for Pappy Hour, but created the story using fictional characters. She also added her very own awkward, dark comedic twist.

Runtime:10:40 Language: English
Country: United States of America Premiere: World

Director:Nell Teare, Screenwriter: Andrea Millard
Producer:Nell Teare, Executive Producer: Andrea Millard
Co-Producer: Andrea Millard
Cast: Samantha Sloyan, Christopher Amitrano, April Lang, Jan Haley-Soule, Myles Cranford
Editor: Andrea Botiggliero
Production Design:Leslie Bicknell Composer:George Stanford
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Snow Creek by Gregg Olsen

Print Length: 268 pages
Publisher: Bookouture (November 18, 2019)
Publication Date: November 18, 2019
Language: English


“Gregg Olsen's Envy is a riveting page-turner that I could not put down. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, Envyexplores a serious topic--cyberbullying--in a fantastic, well-crafted story. Can't wait for the next Empty Coffinnovel!” ―Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked saga, Dear Bully contributor

“Gregg Olsen's Envy offers an interesting view on the devastating effects bullying can have, not only on the individuals involved from both sides, but on the community at large.” ―Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine trilogy

"Sure to spice up your reading repertoire!" ―

"Olsen's characters jump to life and his plots are so intricate you never see the killer coming….a definite hit!" ―RT Book Reviews

“Dark and addictive…” ―Jordan Dane, critically acclaimed author of In the Arms of Stone Angels

“Olsen writes with authority, drawing inspiration from actual headlines and crime…” ―Publishers Weekly




Footprints were scattered about like fallen leaves. She looked down into the ravine, and once more her lungs filled with fear. A body, blackened and motionless lay splayed out in the bushes.

Detective Megan Carpenter is no stranger to evil. Escaping the horrors of her old life, she’s vowed never to let anyone hurt her or those she loves ever again. Joining the small police force in Jefferson County’s Port Townsend, Megan is determined to get every victim of a crime the justice they deserve.

So when Ruth Turner walks into the Sheriff’s office claiming her sister Ida Watson has been missing for over a month, Megan’s instincts tell her that she needs to do more than just file a report.

Arriving at a secluded farmhouse in the hills above Snow Creek, she finds Ida’s teenage children alone and frightened.

Then a few days later, close to the Watsons’ home, the blackened body of a woman is discovered in an abandoned pickup truck.

Megan must unravel the disturbing secrets of the isolated Snow Creek community if she is to catch the killer.

But Megan has dark secrets of her own too…

Hidden in the back of her closet is a box of tapes containing every single recording of her therapy sessions with Doctor Albright over thirteen years ago. As Megan begins to play the tapes, she’s taken straight back to her terrifying childhood, back to the time she was a kid called Rylee, fighting to survive.

Can Megan finally confront the past she’s spent years trying to block out and will listening to her own painful story help her solve the complex case she is now entangled in?

From the Number One New York Times and Amazon Charts bestselling author, comes an absolutely heart-stopping and completely unputdownable crime series, introducing Detective Megan Carpenter.

You can purchase Snow Creek at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Gregg Olsen

Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, Olsen has written nine nonfiction books, nine novels, a novella, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest on dozens of national and local television shows, including educational programs for the History Channel, Learning Channel, and Discovery Channel. He has also appeared on Dateline NBC, William Shatner's Aftermath, Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Today Show, FOX News, CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, MSNBC, Entertainment Tonight, CBS 48 Hours, Oxygen's Snapped, Court TV's Crier Live, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, and A&E's Biography.

In addition to television and radio appearances, he has been featured in Redbook, USA Today, People,Salon magazine, Seattle Times, Los Angeles Times and the New York Post.

The Deep Dark was named Idaho Book of the Year by the ILA and Starvation Heights was honored by Washington's Secretary of State for the book's contribution to Washington state history and culture. His Young Adult novel, Envy, was the official selection of Washington for the National Book Festival.

Olsen, a Seattle native, lives in Olalla, Washington with his wife, twin daughters, three chickens, Milo (an obedience school dropout cocker spaniel) and Suri (a mini dachshund so spoiled she wears a sweater).


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

|Podcast| Children of the Fifth Sun - Gareth Worthington

Photo Content from Gareth Worthington

Gareth Worthington is a trained marine biologist and also holds a doctorate in comparative endocrinology. Currently, Gareth works full time for the Pharmaceutical industry helping to educate the World's doctors on new cancer therapies. In his spare time Gareth has a number of passions, including: martial arts - he trained in Muay Thai at the prestigious EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and currently trains in MMA at Phoenix Sportkampf, Switzerland; playing acoustic guitar; studying ancient history; drawing; and most of all writing fiction.

An award winning author, he hopes to one day hang up the pharma hat and write full time.

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"An action-packed, globe-hopping science fiction thriller... pedal-to-the-metal pacing and relentless action make it easy to turn pages..." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Insane! What Gareth did here was incredible! This author took a global look at America, China, and Russia, and added a species from another era into the mix, to create a well-researched novel of suspense, intrigue, with dashing individuals. The characters travel the world on a unique mission while trying to stay out of the line of fire as rogue government agencies from several different countries try to stop them. It's a wild ride from California to Peru, from Egypt to Siberia. The amount of research put into this novel is on par with a Michael Crichton novel. The main character, Kelly Graham, reminded me of Dirk Pitt from Clive Cussler's novels. Overall, an incredible read and a book I'm recommending." ―Jonas Saul, Best-selling author of the Sarah Roberts Series, April 2017

Suspend disbelief and let yourself travel on a downriver, undersea, and overland adventure in this well-constructed novel. The author takes you on a fast paced journey full of intrigue, government secrets, unusual creatures and just a tad of romance. Superlatives abound and the literary illumination paints an image so clear you feel you are there with the characters. For those who know the author, there are bit of his personality revealed which makes reading the novel even more enjoyable. A bit Tom Clancy, a hint of Dan Brown -- authentically Gareth in his debut work. ―Charity Scripture

"Scientist Worthington's understanding of the complexities and possibilities of marine biology and endocrinology are evident." ―Publishers Weekly, May 2017


Genre: “Science Faction” - science fiction, action and adventure with fact-based science, theories and mythology

IN ALMOST EVERY BELIEF SYSTEM ON EARTH, there exists a single unifying mythos: thousands of years ago a great flood devastated the Earth’s inhabitants. From the ruins of this cataclysm, a race of beings emerged from the sea bestowing knowledge and culture upon humanity, saving us from our selfish drive toward extinction. Some say this race were “ancient aliens” who came to assist our evolution.

But what if they weren’t alien at all? What if they evolved right here on Earth, alongside humans . . . and they are still here? And, what if the World’s governments already know?


Kelly Graham is a narcissistic self-assured freelance photographer specializing in underwater assignments. While on a project in the Amazon with his best friend, Chris D'Souza, a mysterious and beautiful government official, Freya Nilsson, enters Kelly’s life and turns it upside down. Her simple request to retrieve a strange object from deep underwater puts him in the middle of an international conspiracy. A conspiracy that threatens to change the course of human history.
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|Podcast| Helix - Mary Ting

Photo Credit: JBN Media

Mary Ting is an international bestselling, award-winning author. She writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers around the world. Her books span a wide range of genres, and her storytelling talents have earned a devoted legion of fans, as well as garnered critical praise.

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Being a huge Twilight fan, Mary was inspired to make book-themed jewelry and occasionally gives it away as prizes to her fans.

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Praise for HELIX

"A stunning sequel! Mary Ting takes us once again into the inventive world of ISAN--one of intrigue and betrayal--but this time, with deadly consequences. A must read!" Jonas Saul, Bestselling Author of the Sarah Roberts Series 

"Captivating from the very beginning, this sci-fi novel explores issues of autonomy and survival in a world where there are few remaining citizens after meteors crashed into Earth... this thrilling dystopian drama has a splash of romance and tons of action. The fast-paced chapters will engage reluctant readers and fans of postapocalyptic scenarios." School Library Journal

"Addictive and impossible to put it down!" Addison Moore, New York Times Bestselling Author

Alliances are forming. The resistance is growing. Everything is about to change.

With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.

But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.

The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels—if she isn’t killed first.

I ran to live.
Bullets whizzed by my ears. Adrenaline pumped through my body like a high-speed train. I peeked around the corner to confirm no enemy remained, then charged down the hall faster than humanly possible. Justine and Brooke hot on my heels. I halted when I realized Justine had slowed.
“Crap. It nicked me.” Justine’s long blonde hair screened her face.
“How bad is it?” Metallic scent spiked my senses. I cringed and reached for her arm, but she jolted back and flashed daggered eyes at me.
Since she didn’t want my help, I checked my digital watch. Ten minutes left to reach the other side of the building before time ran out with my team. If we didn’t end up killing each other first.
“I’ll be fine. It’s not bad.” Justine pressed a hand over the wound and snarled.
Blood soaked her shirt and seeped between her fingers. Crimson beads dotted the floor. Hopefully her shirt would catch most of it.
My jaw tightened. “The hell it isn’t. Make sure you don’t leave a trail.”
Steady the anger, Ava. No time to argue.
Justine liked to test my leadership. I would not let her intimidate me. I knew when to bite back, and harder if I needed to. A charming trait I’d learned from being in juvenile detention.
“Shhh …” Brooke placed her finger to her lips. “They’ve stopped shooting at us.”
“That’s because they can’t see us. They went the other way, idiot.” Justine smirked, then wiped her bloodstained hand on her pants.
Brooke placed her fists on her hips and glared at Justine. “I was only making an observation. My hearing is awesome right now. Better than usual.”
“You’re not the only—”
“Shut the hell up. Stop arguing.” I sighed heavily. Both of them drove me nuts when they bickered—the possible reason we might fail our mental mission.
As I smeared sweat off my forehead, I listened for the clicking of guns and squeaks on the laminated floor. Then, at footsteps vibrating like thunder, I poised to run.
“We need to get moving.” Justine stiffened, her eyes darting every which way. “Where’s the freakin’ door, Ava?”
“This way. Follow me.” I swept the long hallway to my left, then to the right. When I didn’t spot the computerized soldiers, I took off toward the left, then halted when the hallway split again.
“Do you know where you’re going?” Brooke panted. “We’ve never been here before.”
“I do. Trust me,” I said, catching my breath.
Brooke knew I stored a blueprint of the structure in my mind. My mind projected a map in front of me like a hologram, visible to only me when HelixB77 serum had been injected in my system.
As the soldiers’ footsteps got louder, their precise location became harder to detect. The sound bounced from wall to wall, echoing.
“They’re coming from behind us, too.” Justine tapped her foot, rooting her eyes on my watch. “How much time do we have?”
“About four minutes.”
So little time. My heart pounded. I needed to go faster. I took deep breaths to keep from freaking out. The image faded as fear took over.
No, no, no. Not now. Focus. Focus. Focus.
Justine pointed at the air vent. “How about up there?”
“Are you nuts?” Brooke gave Justine the evil eye. “I’m not going up there. What are we going to do, crawl our way to the exit door? And what if they start shooting the ceiling? We’ll be trapped. We’ll be dead. Ava, hurry up. Which way?”
I closed my eyes and tuned out their squabbling voices. Breathe. Stay calm. I inhaled deep breaths, letting serenity wash over me. Then a few heartbeats later, I opened my eyes. There. The image came back.
“The exit is this way.” I dashed down another long hallway and stopped at a door bearing a sign for the stairs.
Brooke’s eyes beamed hopeful, but her muscles remained rigid. “It’s the exit, right, Ava?”
“Yes.” My hand trembling, I turned the knob.
It wouldn’t budge. What the hell? Yanking didn’t help, so I kicked the door in frustration. Pain shot through my leg like an electric shock. I lost precious seconds.
What next?
“Move out of my way.” Justine knocked the door open with one swift kick, the door now becoming one with the wall.
I bolted down the steps, the ping of dampened gunfire behind me. Faster. Go faster. Power and exhilaration surged in my muscles. As I descended, the footsteps pursuing me disappeared.
Twenty feet from the exit … eighteen … fifteen … so close … almost there. I could almost taste sweet victory, my heart leaping for joy. Then …
My watch beeped.
Damnit to hell.
The ground rumbled violently. I slammed against the wall. Justine barked a curse behind me as I braced for another impact.
The blast roared and tossed me in the air. Flames engulfed me, followed by another loud boom. The building groaned and shrieked as it collapsed. I died.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sherry Thomas Author Interview

Photo Content from Sherry Thomas 

USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

Sherry immigrated from China at age 13 and English is her second language.


What was the defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t have that moment during my youth, but only after I was a fully-grown adult!

It happened over a single afternoon when I was 23-ish, a young, largely overwhelmed stay-at-home mom. I read a new-to-me book by an old favorite author. That book so didn’t work for me that when my husband returned home that evening I went up to him and said, “Hey, I read a book that disagreed with me completely l and if that book is on the NYT bestseller list, I could probably make some money writing books too.”

Little did I know how easy that was to say and how difficult to do! It would take me eight years of apprenticeship before a publisher wanted to buy my book.

What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on THE ART OF THEFT?
I read a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories when I was a child so that obviously did have an effect. But I also read as much science fiction and Chinese martial arts epics (wuxia) as I could lay my hands on. And I learned, long before I started to write myself, that what I truly loved was a story that transported me. And to this day that’s what I aim to write, stories that transport, that take the readers outside of their own lives for a while.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I don’t think they’ll be at all surprised to find out that I love cake or that I’m a picky reader. But maybe it might surprise them to know that I’m good at assembling furniture?

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Reading the book that made me become a writer obviously changed my life. But not long after I started to write my first historical romance, when I was still largely doing research and pulling together the general background of the story, I read WICKED by Susan Johnson, who also has the distinction of being the last author I discovered simply by browsing.

Up until then, the historical romances I’d read had either had huge sprawling stories like some of Rosemary Rogers’s earlier works, or had various sorts of murder mysteries etc thrown in, WICKED was the first story I’d ever read that, while still having the Napoleonic War as the background, was focused like a laser beam on the lovers.

And I said to myself, aha, now I know I can plot my way through a romance.

(Not true but at least I had the blissfully ignorant courage to start!)

Which authors have left an impact on you and/or have inspired your career?
So many. From Laura Kinsale I learned to write scenes in which nothing much seems to happen yet are fraught and tense. My love of using photographs to evoke emotions in my books probably comes from having read THE BLIND ASSASSIN by Margaret Atwood. And since I’m writing Sherlock Holmes pastiche, I’m drawing on Arthur Conan Doyle and all the terrific writers who have interpreted Sherlock Holmes in their own manner, most notably Laurie R. King, who made me want to write my own Sherlock Holmes take in the first place.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know while writing THE ART OF THEFT?
I very much enjoyed fleshing out a bit of Mrs. Watson’s past in this book.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer?
I always tell them to read the best books they can find and aim to be that good.

Also, to go online and read one-star reviews for their very favorite books. It will serve as inoculation early on, knowing that no book works for everyone and that one person’s favorite story might be the least favorite anything someone else has ever read.

What are some of your favorite quotes/scenes from THE ART OF THEFT?

I very much enjoy a scene late in THE ART OF THEFT where Charlotte Holmes and her friend Lord Ingram, who is more than a friend to her but not quite a boyfriend, speak lines that have been written for them to deliver, and yet those lines somehow are also very much them talking about their own wishes and fears with regard to their own relationship.

Tell us about your main characters! Were any of your characters inspired by people you know personally?
Normally I don’t base my characters on people—they are cut 100% from my imagination. But for Charlotte Holmes, I gave her one of my BFFs’ dressing sense. My friend is super smart and super accomplished, but she also adores clothes and makeup and I feel like we don’t see enough portrayal of that kind of smart women.

And for Charlotte’s sister Livia, her many insecurities are probably a compilation of the insecurities of my own friends, intelligent and terrific women one and all who doubt and doubt themselves because of the casual cruelties they have been subjected to all their lives.

1) Miss Olivia Holmes often found other women intimidating: the beautiful ones, the fashionable ones, the well-connected ones. And if they were all three at once, then she was certain to feel like a lowly grouse that had somehow wandered into an ostentation of peacocks.

2) Charlotte exhaled—and wished that she had Bernadine’s distaste for cake. Not always, of course, but for brief and intense spells that made it easier to give up extra servings in times of impending Maximum Tolerable Chins.

3) “Not every Indian woman in London is a maharani, Miss Holmes.” Her voice was still soft, as soft as a velvet glove around a hand that had just drawn a sword.

4) Mrs. Watson made sure that she never misrepresented herself to other women, especially those on the other side of the respectability divide. Therefore Mrs. Raleigh had never invited Mrs. Watson to call on her at home. And once, when her widower brother had visited and beamed too eagerly at Mrs. Watson, she’d yanked him away so hard the two siblings had nearly fallen in a heap.

But on her own Mrs. Raleigh was a little bolder and enjoyed speaking to Mrs. Watson on the pavement, in broad daylight, secure in the knowledge that if anyone saw her conversing with a former actress, she could always blame the actress for being too familiar.

Mrs. Watson had never minded. Especially in those years when she had been a widow raising a child and her life consisted of very little excitement, it had amused her to be a source of frisson to the Mrs. Raleighs of the world, an adventure in and of herself.

5) As complicated as his personal circumstances made things, his happiness was uncluttered, the joy he radiated as pure and simple as that of a boy who had just met the puppy that was going to turn his childhood magical.

6) What were the height and width of the individual letters? Were the words packed together or strung long and loose? Did they have the bearing of proud soldiers or were they hunched over like beggars trying to escape the attention of patrolling bobbies?

These were the questions he should be asking himself. Instead, all his attention was on Holmes. She had set one arm on the periphery of the desk, the camel-and-red plaid fabric of her dress a burst of colors at the edge of his vision. He stared harder at the handwriting sample, trying not to recall the warmth and pliancy of her skin.

7) He had wanted marriage, children, and an upstanding life. He still had the children, thank God, but a man who had salvaged his greatest treasures from the smoldering ruins of his home remained in the middle of smoldering ruins.

8) “I was the proverbial greedy woman for whom love was not enough.”

“In the world we live in, women for whom love is enough often suffer for that belief.”

9) The maharani fell silent again.

Miss Charlotte was often and spectacularly silent. But her silence was that of the woods and hills, a natural absence of speech. The maharani’s, on the other hand, made Mrs. Watson think of the walled forts of Jaipur, a silence that watched and hid.

10) The Anglais gave their hearty approval and fell upon their meal, with the exception of Charlotte, who ate slowly, gazing at the spread with the lasting regret of a monk who’d taken his vows immediately before inheriting a harem.

Charlotte Holmes, Lady Sherlock, is back solving new cases in the Victorian-set mystery series from the USA Today bestselling author of The Hollow of Fear.

As "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," Charlotte Holmes has solved murders and found missing individuals. But she has never stolen a priceless artwork—or rather, made away with the secrets hidden behind a much-coveted canvas.

But Mrs. Watson is desperate to help her old friend recover those secrets and Charlotte finds herself involved in a fever-paced scheme to infiltrate a glamorous Yuletide ball where the painting is one handshake away from being sold and the secrets a bare breath from exposure.

Her dear friend Lord Ingram, her sister Livia, Livia's admirer Stephen Marbleton—everyone pitches in to help and everyone has a grand time. But nothing about this adventure is what it seems and disaster is biding time on the grounds of a glittering French chateau, waiting only for Charlotte to make a single mistake...

You can purchase The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SHERRY THOMAS for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock #4) by Sherry Thomas.

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