Interview with Lynn Donovan, author of The Wishing Well Curse + Giveaway

Why did you choose to write from a guy's POV and what were the greatest difficulties?

This is an excellent question. One that no one has asked me yet! When this story first came to me over twenty years ago, it was about a guy who inherited a huge house and lots of land. The land had a wishing well and a female ghost who was being held captive by a male ghost. The main character falls in love with the female (not knowing she is a ghost) and rescues her from the male ghost. When she is freed from the spiritual hold and crosses over, he’s sad and decides to sell the inheritance and go back home but then he meets a woman who has the female ghost’s physical and personal attributes. He realizes she is the one and they live happily ever after. The MC couldn’t be a woman who rescues a guy … that just didn’t work for me. Now, that’s NOT how The Wishing Well Curse plot worked out, but it was the original idea. 

The challenge in writing from a male POV was greater than I expected. NEWSFLASH! Guys think and talk and move and react differently from women! I leaned heavily on patterning Zeke after my oldest son, Trent. That helped a lot. Still, my first draft had Zeke too girly! I had to talk to my husband and both sons many, many times. The common response was, he thinks too much. Guys don’t think like that. Then I appealed to the men on my critique group and begged their input to de-girlify Zeke. With all those sources, I was able to bring Zeke into alignment with a more masculine character. Some reviewers said he was too emotional. But that was intentional because I wanted him to reflect that he was raised by a single mom until he was eleven, then went to live with his dad whom he had not known up until that time. So he’s gonna have some mommy issues. I hope that element came through in his personality.

Do you believe in ghosts or ever encountered one? (Why yes or no)

You know, there have been times in my life that I thought I saw and/or sensed a spiritual being and was very afraid. More than once, I have seen someone standing at my peripheral, but when I turned they were not there. And once I think my hair was yanked. I really freaked out that time! Another time, I lived in a nice house, but from the first night I was there, I felt uneasy. My gut (or inner spirit-man) sensed fear the entire year I lived there. It was weird. I wondered the whole time if an evil spirit was engrained in that house. But I just don’t know if all those things were my imagination or what. So I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or not. I have had dreams where I talked to people, my grandfather in particular, from my life that had passed, and the way they talked to me was odd. Like they had really been allowed to come talk to me. *Shrug* Who knows.

However! I LOVE ghost stories!

Where did the inspiration of The Wishing Well Curse come from?

Ah! This is a fun question. This whole story started from a tiny seed that got planted in my head over twenty years ago from the song, “If You Could Read My Mind, Love” by Gordon Lightfoot.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta0a3DFUU0Y
When you listen to this song, (If you are not familiar with it) there is a line that goes: “Just like an old time movie about a ghost from a wishing well, in a castle dark, or a fortress strong, with chains upon my feet. You know that ghost is me, and I will never be set free as long as I’m a ghost that you cannot see …”This got me thinking … hmmmm. The story line I told you about earlier was the initial idea from these lyrics.

What kind of research did you have to do for this story?

I researched the Jabez’s prayer and what pastors had to say about its importance in our lives. I want to live in the Canon City area so that didn’t require research, just camping experience, but I did research the Indian history for the area to help me develop the conflict and twists. I made up the Indian story about the Porcupine and the Coyote, but it was based on the style I had read of other Indian folktale.

Now, I literally stumbled across the Jabez prayer while doing my daily reading of the Bible and was amazed by the nugget tucked between all the (to me) boring chronicle accounting. I’m not a bean counter, I thank God that He is, but I’m not! *giggle* I brought my discovery to my pastors and was surprised to find there have been numerous writings about the short passage. Huh?

How did you become a published author? (What process did you go through?)

My story is VERY different from other authors. My story is a testimony to God. I am in a season of my life (and I believe God orchestrated this, too) where I cannot work outside of my home due to my own health issues—I have Ulcerative Colitis—and we have taken in my mother, who has Alzheimer’s, and my sister, who is blind and deaf with mental limitations. I am their guardian and caregiver. But that leaves me with a lot of time on my hands. So, last January I sat down and attempted to write a story about my own life but from the point of view of the spirit world; guardian angels, prayer warriors, etc. It was VERY therapeutic. I completed the story in six weeks. Then I started seeking “How to …” books to learn how to edit and prepare a manuscript for publishing. In the meantime, this wishing well story tapped on my brain. I made the decision that the first story was too personal so I set it aside and wrote the first draft of The Wishing Well Curse. Again, it took about six weeks. I sought additional reading material to learn how to polish the story. I e-mailed a writer friend from my camping forum, Lynn Coleman, and she led me to American Christian Fiction Writers. That led me to Jeff Gerke and his excellent books. From there I signed up for his forum, WhereTheMapEnds.com. On that forum, Kessie Carroll invited me to join the off-shoot critique group and I did. They kindly but firmly helped me learn how to make this manuscript something that could be presented to a publisher. A few members of that critique group are publishers also and one of them, Pauline Creeden, offered an opportunity for members to write a short story about a clockwork dragon which is home to legends (the multi demons from the bible). She posted one of her own versions of the story to give everybody an idea of what she had in mind. Jennette Mbewe and I took her up on the offer and submitted some stories. She accepted them all and published that anthology last October 2012.

To be honest, and I’ve told Pauline this, I thought, “Well that was fun, now I’ll see about getting The Wishing Well Curse published.” Then, continued to research the process for submitting to publishers. I did the typical thing everybody does, --soon as I go through it ONE MORE TIME. 

One day, in December, I had a message from Pauline telling me about her goals for her publishing company, AltWitPress. And how she was getting thing lined up to be able to publish full-length novels. She asked me if I had any finished works I’d let her look at!
I told her about this book. She agreed to give it a look over. A few weeks later she sent me a message saying she liked the story, but here’s what’s not working … if I would be willing to rewrite a section and make sure that change was incorporated throughout the rest of the story, and I would work with her on the editing, she’d be willing to publish the book.
I prayed about it, talked to my husband about it, and took a leap of faith. I said, “sure.”
I recognize this DOES NOT happen. It is all God, I assure you! But I am grateful and accept his blessings. I give Him all the glory.

What genre do you prefer to write and why?

I think I prefer to write in contemporary simply because it’s easier to write here and now. But I have ventured into renaissance (in The Clockwork Dragon) and I am trying my hand at Speculative Fiction. I have a draft of a Civil War Historical Mystery in a drawer somewhere, too.

But I love to read sci-fi, speculative fiction, paranormal, historical, steampunk, well … nearly everything. I don’t like anything sexually explicit. I do love Stephen King. I just skip over the bad words. But I love his creativity. James Patterson, JK Rowling, Kathy Reichs (Bones series), all are my favorites. I am a new fan of Janalyn Voigt, Vicki Hinz, Rebecca Minor, Melissa Turner Lee, and Pauline Creeden. And I was recently introduced to Frank Peretti. (Loved his book The Present Darkness). So … I’ll read anything.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects, please?

TeeHee!  I have already written the sequel to The Wishing Well Curse. It is titled Thorns of Betrayal. It’s about Zeke and Rose and her story. Pauline is looking it over now. I am currently editing and writing a Speculative Fiction story I wrote last June at a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Its title is Fertility Pirates. It’s set 200 years in the future on a planet 600 light years away from Earth. It’s a mystery/who dunnit.  Other ideas are bumping around in my noggin too. So, Yes, there will be more as long as there is an audience who wants to read my books.
I am very flattered that so many have enjoyed The Wishing Well Curse. It inspires me to do more and to do better. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has read my work. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate you. And I remind you that it is all for God’s glory. May you be blessed by it.

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Zeke Clay is down on his luck. He’s lost everything—an apartment, an education, a girlfriend, his job....

When a mysterious letter comes from a law firm in Colorado, he decides things just might be looking up. Now he stands to inherit a fortune, but it comes with a price. He must break a family curse and restore true love. What does he know about breaking a curse? And who is this Great Uncle Luther Clayton, who claims Zeke is the one? Can he piece together the clues left by his dearly departed?

Who can he trust? The Apache Indian attorney? Her great nephew? The leather-clad, Harley riding Pastor? Least of all, himself?
What about the Ghosts?

...And why does his three-year-old tattoo bleed every time he gets near the wishing well?

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Cover Reveal: Angels of the Knights - Nikki by Valerie Zambito

Angels of the Knights - Nikki (Book 3)
Coming Soon!

Summary not available yet...

Angels of the Knights - Fallon 

Summary from Goodreads:
When Fallon Angell died at the age of sixteen, her life changed forever.

The hallowed world of Emperica is everything she had ever hoped for as a mortal—immeasurable beauty, unconditional love and light. But, with affection for humankind still burning within her, she joins the Knight Caste to train as an angel warrior. As a Knight, she will give up her wings and return to the place that killed her to use her unique powers to search out and destroy the evil Kjin that roam the earth. As a Knight, she will stop at nothing to protect the mortals in her care.

The elders warn her that the path she chose will be a solitary one. That she will not have the same bond with humans as she once did. But, as far as she knows, the elders had never met Kade Royce.

When her duties place her in the path of this handsome former cop, emotions buried long ago rise to the surface and she is powerless to ignore the depth of her feelings for this young man. She knows instinctively that she has found what most people search their entire lives for.

Ignoring the risks, she invites him into her world of danger, but soon their lives collide with explosive consequence. As a result, Fallon realizes with heartbreaking despair that she can no longer hide from the painful truth. In order for Kade to live, she must destroy him.

E-book is currently free!
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Angels of the Knights - Blane 
(Angels of the Knights #2)

Summary from Goodreads:
Once the hunter, now the hunted. As the war with the Kjin rages, Blane Romero must lead the Paladin Knights against their mortal enemy while trying to protect the young, Juliet Hunter, who unwittingly finds herself entangled in their sinister schemes. Juliet cares only about shielding her young sisters from harm, but finds herself drawn to the enigmatic man who offers her much more than either he or she was prepared for.

Ostracized by the families they loved, Blane and Juliet find they have more in common than they thought as they battle demons both real and personal to stay together. But, will it be enough when the powerful Cesar Grant decides he wants Juliet for his own?

Book Two in the Angels of the Knights paranormal fantasy series.

Buy Links:
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About the Author
I am Valerie Zambito, and I live in upstate New York with my husband and three sons. After having been involved in a busy sales career for fifteen years, a great love of world building, character creation, and all things magic led to the publication of my first adult epic fantasy series, ISLAND SHIFTERS, in October of 2011. Since then, I have added two additional books to this series and wrote the first book in a new teen paranormal series called ANGELS OF THE KNIGHTS.

My reading preference is fantasy as well and I devour in copious amounts. In my opinion, there’s nothing like it! Great fantasy grants us entry into a world beyond our own that is filled with adventure, mystery and danger. How exciting to enjoy a front row seat to human struggles of epic proportions. Struggles that tug at our heartstrings and elicit real emotion.

I gravitate to fantasy with heroic elements. I like strong, confident men who never back down from a fight against evil. The kind who will not hesitate to throw himself between a woman and a fire-breathing dragon. I like strong women, too. The kind who will appreciate the offer, but is more inclined to push the man out of the way and take care of the dragon herself. ;)

(1) Print or e-book copies of books 1 & 2 in this series plus $25 Amazon Gift Card
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Review: Live for You (Boys of the South #1) by Marquita Valentine

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
On the surface, twenty-two year old Cole Morgan is exactly what any girl would be proud to take home to meet her parents: He’s charming, intensely handsome and goal-oriented...Only he has some secrets of his own, which include provoking bar fights and a former drug-addict of a mother slowly wasting away in a medical facility.

At barely twenty, Violet Lynn is Country Music's hottest star, until one night of partying gets out of control. Violet ends up in jail and on TMZ. Suddenly, she’s the girl least likely to be invited anywhere. Sick of the drama and keeping secrets, she runs away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi to her grandmother’s home in Forrestville, North Carolina.

A chance meeting knocks Cole off his feet, but he doesn’t recognize Violet for who she is. In fact no one does and Violet plans to keep it that way.

Circumstances, however annoying,keep throwing Violet and Cole together. Unable to stop themselves they give into the inevitable.

But when Nashville is ready to forgive and forget, Violet is forced to choose between Cole and claiming her spot as the new and improved Princess of Country Music.

Will Violet and Cole have the courage to live for their dreams...Or their hearts?

I always love it when cliché stories turn out to be so much more. Violet is shunned by the entire A-list world and runs to her grandmother to recuperate. Spending time in a small southern city where nobody knows who she is, is really what she needs right now.

What she didn't expect finding there was Cole, the towns bad-boy and sweetheart all roled in to one fine package. Cole doesn't have the time or energy for the extra drama Violet might bring, but still he has to have her.

The electricity between these two is obviously smoking hot, but they each have so many issues and extra problems going on that might keep them apart. Choices will have to be made and secrets are revealed, it will either drive them apart or together.

The biggest issue I had with this story was the lack of certain details and depth, which kind of go hand in hand. I really like the characters, Cole is simply amazing and Violet is really strong. Still after I finished the story I still had a lot of unanswered questions, which I believe are essential for the story. Violet who has been in an accident and you don't get to know what really happened. Cole's whole family situation, how it became that way could have used more details.

The ending is pretty closed, but I know there is coming a second book in the series. What I don't know is whom's story it is going to be. There is definitely room to continue Violet and Cole's tale, but there were plenty of other characters introduced, each willing to tell their story.

Anyway, overall it was a good and fun read, but I'm still a bit left with the feeling it could have been more.

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Excerpt: Avenging Angel (The Fallen #4) by Cynthia Eden

With a messed up family background and a tendency to grow claws and fangs, Tanner Chance isn’t exactly the boy next door. But he’s a decent cop, and he keeps himself on the side of the good guys. Convenient, because when he rescues a survivor of a horrific shifter attack he finds himself instantly smitten—with an honest-to-goodness angel, as innocent as she is irresistible.

Marna may be angelic, but she’s not stupid or weak. She can take care of herself. Tanner is more temptation than protection anyway. Or so she thinks, until someone wearing her face starts taking out some of New Orleans’ more unsavory paranormals. With police and predators both gunning for her blood, Marna has no choice but to trust Tanner…even though what’s sparking between them is hotter than anything holy.

The delicate angel had broken.

Did she even realize that tears slid down her cheeks? Tanner Chance kept guard by her side. His hand was on her arm, stroking her.

He couldn’t seem to stop touching her.

They’d found her body in the swamp. At first, he’d thought that she was already dead.

So much blood.

Then she’d moved, and he’d realized just what his sick freak of a brother had done.

Sliced the wings right off an angel.

Her lashes lifted and her eyes, the palest blue he’d ever seen, locked right on him. No, those eyes seemed to see right through him. Tanner cleared his throat. He was a cop. He’d spent too many years seeing blank expressions like that on the faces of victims. “You…you’re safe now.” He’d keep her safe. “You just need to rest.”

She didn’t speak, and he didn’t know what else he was supposed to say to her. He never knew what to say to the victims. He just knew how to make the bastards who hurt them pay.

He was very good at delivering justice. But this time…

An angel.

She had to hate him. She knew who he was. Knew that his brother was the fucked-up asshole who’d tortured her. Tanner cleared his throat and finally managed to tell her, “I’m not like him.”

Her eyes never left his.

And he was still touching her. Her skin was the softest he’d ever felt. The smoothest. Her flesh was golden and perfect.

Or, it had been, until claws had ripped into her back and torn that flesh wide open.

Her breath exhaled softly. “When I’m stronger…”

Tanner leaned closer because he could barely hear her words. “What is it? What do you need?” Anything. He’d do—

“When I’m stronger, you should…stay away from me.”

He glanced at her small hands. They’d had to bind her wrists when they strapped her down. Not to hurt her, but to keep the little blond angel from hurting them.

The angel before him—Marna—she wasn’t some sweet and gentle guardian angel.

She was an angel of death. One who could, and had, killed with just a touch.

He could touch her all that he wanted. That was the way the game worked with angels. But the instant her hand touched him…


If she wanted him dead, all she had to do was touch him, and she could send him straight to hell.

She smiled at him. The smile made her seem even lovelier and then the angel said, “When I’m stronger, when I’m free…get as far away from me as you can.” The faintest of pauses then, “Because I’ll have my vengeance.”

She didn’t look so broken anymore.

“Remember…to run, shifter.”

He didn’t move, and he damn well kept touching her. “I’m not the running kind.” Not anymore. The scared kid he’d been had died long ago. Now he fought any bastard who came his way—and he made sure to win his battles.

His angel kept her cold smile and told him, “Wait and see…you will be…”

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