Renee Writes

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Author Spotlight: Simple Tricks and Nonsense by Sameer Ketkar


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! Today I have Sameer Ketkar visiting with his new sci-fi comedy, Simple Tricks and Nonsense. We’ve also had Adolf H. Canon, a character from the book, visit to answer some questions about his life and his world. Before we get to that, though, let’s learn more about Sameer.

Sameer Ketkar received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California. He has written one feature film, “Backwaters,” and has published six novels.

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About the Book

“Simple Tricks and Nonsense” is a scathing religious satire set in a scifi space opera universe. It’s told from the point of view of God or Dog, and tells the story of his son, the messiah Adolf H. Canon. Adolf’s story encompasses the religious takeover of the domed planet Naladaya, followed by a crusade to conquer the entire galaxy.

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Keep reading for an interview with Adolf H. Canon from Simple Tricks and Nonsense:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I never found out where I was born. When I was a very small baby my parents put me into an escape pod and jettisoned me out into space. Their space ship was about to explode so they wanted to save me. I was found by a farmer from the planet Naladaya, and raised as his son.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

My happiest memory is from when I was five years old. I was laughing and running with my mother inside Dome 16 of Naladaya. She used to sing me a song about the intergalactic harpies, a song that really made me laugh.

If you could compare yourself to someone from another novel, who would it be?

The character I’m most similar to is Adam Young from “Good Omens,” though he was the son of the anti-Christ while I’m the son of God or Dog. Pretty big difference, but the way that we were raised was pretty similar. We both grew up thinking we were normal, not realizing the great role we had to play in the future of our worlds.

Who do you most admire in your world?

I most admire my true father, God or Dog, though I have had my ups and downs with him. He created the universe, but never found much time to run it. While at first I found that to be a bad thing, in retrospect I admire it. I have gone out amongst the mortals many times in my long life, and every time I have done so — to try and teach them the Word of God or Dog — I have made matters worse. So I think my father, God or Dog, knew this from the start, and decided to stay out of mortal affairs for their own good.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

My most embarrassing moment was when I died — which happened more than once. After dying, my first realization was always that I had failed the mortals. I had failed to teach them how to live in peace, and had instead pushed them towards more war and destruction.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that people will misconstrue my words of peace and use them to launch wars.

What is the strangest situation you’ve ever found yourself in?

One of my followers began selling “tickets to heaven” as a way to finance spaceships and weapons. I was rather appalled and had no idea how to react, so I remained silent. Why would my followers do this, especially when they knew how much I abhorred war?

What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?

My own pride, and that of my followers.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like to pray, using the DISCO method: raising my arm up and down for the glory of the lord.

Do you have a secret you’ve never told anyone?

I’ve never been comfortable having a penis.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

I wear a spacesuit at all times, because air is precious and we should not presume that we will always have a dome over our heads — or a spaceship surrounding us — to protect us. We must carry our own air, and be self-sufficient. Also, it’s hard to see a man or woman as alluring while they wear a spacesuit. This means that there will be far less sexual assault.

What is your favorite food?

Lentils and rice, cooked in Naladayan fashion (using bean curds and imitation lemons).

What was the most exciting adventure you’ve ever been on?

Meeting Lord Auguste to negotiate for peace in the galaxy.

What do you regret most in your life?

That my words are always misconstrued.

What is your greatest virtue?

I am pious and I know what I want.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?

I would negotiate for peace in the galaxy.

Author Spotlight: Blood Betrayal (Brothers of Fang, Book 2) by Iris Sweetwater


Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Iris Sweetwater with the second book in her Brothers of Fang series, Blood Betrayal. We were also lucky enough to meet with Hyacinthe, one of the characters from the book, who will be sharing a bit about herself later, but first, let’s get to know Iris.

Iris Sweetwater grew up on a steady dose of Poe and Dickinson, first getting published in poetry anthologies at the age of 13. As an adult, she has worn many hats; ghostwriter, marketer, teacher, and mother. After spending six years writing for others, she found her way to self-publishing in 2017 and plans on making this a career. When she is not writing, she loves to dance, sign, and spend time with her husband and spunky daughter.



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About the Book

Isaiah’s failure as the new alpha has now gone even farther than he imagined as he faces family betrayal he never expected and a slew of hybrid that must decide whether or not to join the pack. Not surprisingly, he again is finding a great ally in the young and powerful Annalise, the witch that is meant to rule the entire Olympia coven. Though, as they get closer, regardless of the chasteness of their relationship, the distance between Isaiah and his mate will grow.

Annalise is coming into her own and discovering her new powers. She thought she was back with the coven for good until the strangest order came to her from Hyacinthe, the interim leader of the coven that thrusts her right back into the middle of the drama of the Young family. As secrets are uncovered and she finds herself getting more involved with the pack, she begins to realize she is not as over everything as she thought.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with Hyacinthe from Blood Betrayal:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I grew up in the outskirts of Olympia, Washington, inside the coven’s territory. Most people would believe it to be isolated, but it was a strong and loving community, even after tragedy struck.

Did you have a close relationship with your family?

I was extremely close to my family, especially my brother, Ren.

Who is your enemy?

My enemy is anyone who seeks to cause chaos and death in my coven or the pack. It could have devastating consequences, and I do not plan on losing anyone else, ever again.

Who do you most admire in your world?

I would never admit it to her face, but I most admire my niece, Annalise. She was raised by me out of tragic circumstance. She could have done anything with her amazing powers, but she has chosen to be loving and kind.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

My world is one hidden in plain sight. I know about witches and shifters. In fact, i am a witch a very powerful one. I have been seen as the leader in the coven for many years as i held down the fort until my niece was old enough to take over, and I am often seen as an uncaring, independent, powerful woman.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?

The most embarrassing moment in my life was also my most heart wrenching. I have always been a proud and strong woman. In my weakness, I loved someone, only to lead her straight into betrayal. That betrayal led to the death of my brother and his wife.

Have you ever been in love?

I had an epic love once. She was a powerful, ambitious, blond witch who stole my young heart. I thought we had everything, and I ignored it when her ideals were radical and did not match mine. It ended in losing everyone I loved to death, her included.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

I like black, beautiful, and elegant. I can be found in a lot of dresses and lace, but always tasteful.

Would you ever or have you ever lied?

I have not lied, but I have kept the truth hidden. I think it is often for the best for people to find out things on their own in the right time.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?

I would make amends to those I had harmed and make sure my niece had everything she needed to go on without me.

Author Spotlight: Apollo (The Guardian League, Book Three) by TK Lawyer


Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! Today we have TK Lawyer visiting us with book three in The Guardian League series, Apollo. And stay tuned, because she was kind enough to participate in an interview so we can get to know her better.

Welcome to TK Lawyer’s world-

TK Lawyer has always had an interest in the strange and unusual and she’s a romantic at heart.

She writes passion-filled paranormal romance with Angels and Wolf Shifters- weaving tales of alpha males willing to do anything for the one feisty, curvaceous, strong-willed woman who has won their heart. Her alpha males will go to any length to please their mate, in and out of the bed.

She invites you to enter her world and be entertained. After all, she writes for you.

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About the Book

Lauren was an assignment. He didn’t expect to fall in love.

From her birth, Apollo watched Lauren mature, witnessing all her milestones with a strong sense of pride. Advising, protecting and whispering loving words to her, Lauren is strong and perfect.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to live.

A drastic decision one day sets Lauren face to face with her own Guardian Angel- a being she never knew existed. However, he won’t leave her alone. He is relentless, encouraging her to better her life when he doesn’t understand what it takes to survive on Earth. Despite this “flaw,” she is drawn to him in ways she can’t explain and Apollo soon becomes as necessary as the air she breathes. He asks for only one thing- to be his, forever.

Will she allow Apollo to love and care for her when many have failed?

Get it Today!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Foundations Books


Keep reading for an interview with the author:

What genres do you write?

Paranormal and Contemporary Romance with sexy, protective Angels and hot wolf-shifters.

How often do you write?

Whenever I get a chance and am in the mood. I work a day job so it’s very hard to write at night and my weekends are usually pretty full. I try to write when a scene strikes me or I have a bit of time but I also have to be in the mood to do so in order to write at my best.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

Tatiana. I think Jasper is amazing and how they met is even more incredibly so. I would love to have an Angel fall in love with me and pursue me like Jasper did Tatiana. Can you imagine how great it would be to have a protective, loving, loyal Angel want you? Wow.

What is the oddest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?

How much a lap dance typically costs. I had to do this bit of research for Apollo’s book because Lauren is a dancer at a “Gentleman’s club.” I worried that searching for this information online would cause all kinds of viruses to pop up but, fortunately, that didn’t happen.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

Well…I never thought about writing as a career. I always considered it a hobby. So, when a friend mentioned I should write, I laughed at the idea and blew it off. It’s kind of crazy that I’m actually doing what she thought I should be.

What are your goals as an author?

In five years, I hope to be better known and have a wider reader audience. I absolutely love my fans and this year, I decided to do something different and actually go out to meet my fans at book fairs (I have signed up for 2 this year, so far). As with any author, I want to be a bestselling author but mostly, I want to be a best-loved author. I want my readers to really love my work and the characters that I write about. I’d like them to be immersed in my books to the point they don’t want their stories to end. When a fan picks up my book, again and again, to read, that is the greatest compliment for me.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

One of my biggest fans mentioned to me a while back that she never read Paranormal Romance and didn’t know what it was. She happened to pick up my book one day and fell in love with the story. She credits for me liking the genre. She has since read all of my books and is enthusiastic about my future books.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique?

Yes. I received a 2-star review and couldn’t believe it. I was very new at the time and I had to step back because I tend to take things personally, especially when it concerns my hard work. For every book I write, the process is a long, emotional endeavor for me. I try to polish each of my books up so they entertain and immerse readers in my created world but this one particular reviewer was pretty harsh when reviewing my book and it was unfair and uncalled for. However, after receiving advice from several authors who underwent similar experiences, I let it go because I have so many more readers who love my work and those are the ones I need to concentrate on.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I really enjoy spending time with my husband. He is one of my best friends. We could be doing something as simple as watching TV together to running around completing errands. Whatever we do, it doesn’t matter because I enjoy his company. Besides spending time with my hubby, I love spending time with my friends, trying new restaurants, traveling when I can and spending time with my dog.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I am traditionally published; however, one of my books, Angels and Diamonds, is self-published. I found most publishers don’t want to publish a book of short stories, at least not from the same author. I had written the book of seven short stories and I knew it had to get out there. I also wanted the book to be available in Paperback as well as in e-book format so I made the decision to self-publish this one book so it could be available to my readers. It came at a great time as I was in between publishers and my books were delayed as a result of switching publishers. I was able to self-publish Angels and Diamonds in the interim and give my readers another book to entertain them.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

Pantser, always. I could try an outline but, believe me, with my books, it wouldn’t work (wide smile). My characters tend to take on a life of their own and in the middle of a scene, where I have down-pat what I want each character to do, I find the story curves in a different direction than what I intended. It most always happens and it’s hilarious but it actually works out, in the end, to make for a better story.

How do you come up with the titles for your books? Do you find it difficult?

Actually, I’m pretty good at coming up with titles. They just come to me, somehow. My husband finds it amusing how I can come up with creative names for my characters- some of which are books titles. I like to kid with him that these characters are alive and I’m just writing their stories. However, wouldn’t that be great?

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

There’s a little bit of me and my experiences in every one of my books. Even in Angels and Diamonds, I sprinkled some of my experiences into a few of the stories. I think it’s best to write from experiences you’ve had. It makes the stories more vivid and real to the reader.

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre?

In the story, ‘The Gift,’ from the book Angels and Diamonds, the scene in the beginning where the horses rise from concrete and become alive, was actually from a dream I had a while back. The dream was vivid and exciting and seeing the horses come alive in front of me was scary. When I woke up, I immediately considered creating a story around this scenes and that’s how ‘The Gift’ was born.

What are you working on now?

I am currently writing Orion’s book- the fifth and final Guardian Angel in the Guardian League Series.

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