Dance of Hearts is a riveting retelling of a classic story with a strong female protagonist and some clever twists. What drew you to Cinderella’s story and inspired you to rewrite this fairy tale?
The story began as a writer’s challenge, but I was immediately taken with the idea of re-writing it as a study in manners, like a Jane Austen tale. Re-telling classics so they appeal to a modern reader can be tricky since many of the heroines in these tales aren’t the sassy heroines we tend to read about today. The difficulty for an author is how we can write characters that remain true to the original and to a historical romance, while also making them enjoyable for modern readers.
I enjoyed the direction of Melinda’s character. What were some things you wanted to keep the same from the classic story and what were some new traits you wanted to introduce?
I feel the essence of the Cinderella tale is of a person who is downtrodden but still succeeds despite their challenges. She takes a chance to do something she otherwise wouldn’t and it pays off for her. Similarities to the original tale include a family situation that is not ideal, being the unpaid servant of the family, and a chance at true love.
While there is no glass slipper in Dance of Hearts, there is a magical dress given as a gift by a mysterious benefactor. The role of “prince” becomes someone more real in this Jane Austen world where fairy magic is present.
What was the funniest scene in the story for you to write?
Probably this won’t be the same for readers, but when Melinda has to chomp on her toast in order to remain silent for it was a realistic gesture we all have had to do when around relatives at some time or another. LOL.
Do you plan to write other stories based on literary classics?
Yes, Dance of Hearts is the first in a series where each tale is a standalone. Beauty and the Beast is retold in the next story, Price of a Rose. This collection will include fairytales familiar to many readers but also some lesser known fairytales that will be enjoyable due to being fresh and new.
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Echoes For Celia follows a young woman who’s life changes forever when she learns about her destiny. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting novel?
As a person with a background in Astronomy and my keen interest in cosmology? Not believing Aliens yet believing we are not Alone I twisted theories of Ancient Aliens, and Ideas of Pyramids, Atlantis, coming up with the idea that maybe even first humans are not even us, so I in fact throw out the theory of Panspermia that our DNA came from another system in fact we are not even the first race inhabiting the Earth
Celia is an intriguing and well-developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?
In the beginning, I wasn’t sure how to start than I thought to take a massive chance and go over the head over scientific society, and I’m sure if someday if this series of the book becomes best seller? I will have loads of questions from the scientific community! I decided to give her godlike power and without spoiling any read? Introduce Ancient beings that Mayans or Egyptian may have worshipped Eons ago around total Ice age of snowball Earth making them Type 6 civilization. Beings with far more abilities to Superman or even Q of Star trek to remind literary readers that if we get our acts together? We certainly can reach the same states. (I managed to talk with the Author (DAVID HATCHER CHILDRESS ON -CAMEO- ) Author of Ancient Mysteries and one of the researchers on Ancient Aliens was kind enough to give his opinion on sisters& Aliens. I uploaded on my YouTube.
What were some themes you wanted to focus on in this book?
Indirectly I referred to Earth & world were Ancient used to live long ago but they were far advance than any Atlantic civilization hance mentioning the Ice age. Without giving too much away. Plus I said the reason why there is two race of humans, what happened, i-e maybe build-up of pyramids. Those brightest should notice I did not write any historical romance and quickly find out the sister’s father sounds like which famous person in the world without referring. During my publication, I noticed that race and equality became an issue, and I strongly decided on the couple’s look and beauty in the book.
This is book one in your Rise of the Omega Empress series. What can readers expect in book two?
I’m happy to say that the second book already going through editorial soon. (The Rise of the Omega Empress) something entirely different, it may have romantic touch about it yes but more of techno-friendly and more diverse with all cultures, backgrounds, and those abilities or inability. This book you can expect to watch as a movie but leaving you sisters trying to protect the secret of life so no one can steal even with all their power, who is there amongst them friend or foe? Yet you got really on your powerful lion to save the godlike sister that can detect the spy? Oh, her name is NOVA.
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Imelda’s Secret written by Liza Gino is a book based on true stories and events. It is a book that tells a story about two women, cousins Gloria and Imelda, both survivors of World War Two. Through the war, they were people known as, ‘comfort women’. Although they are now living in San Francisco, they both struggle with the trauma. Gloria is the one who steps forward and tells her story, but with some hard and painful consequences for her two sons. But Imelda was keeping it a secret to protect her family. What happens when they find the courage and the strength to gather all different women and stories about their suffering? Together this becomes a story of the survivors and women’s rights.
As we know, Liza Gino is not only an author. She is also an advocate and change agent, as we may recognize in her writing. The story written here is more than just a passionate testimony. It is a powerful testament that war is dangerous and deadly for everyone. It tells a different kind of story, one that is often hidden. Years ago – it was taboo for those survivors to take a stand. But, Imelda’s Secret is an illuminating book that speaks volumes to those that were blind to these situations and those seeking justice.
I enjoyed this book immensely, and the straightforward chronology helped keep me on track. But I felt that the dialogue was sometimes sensationalistic in a book that otherwise feels grounded. As we see in the book, it is hard to speak up, but raising your voice can help you and others. Imelda’s Secret is a candid story about ordinary but giant women whose secrets should be heard by the world. As a true believer in a passionate fight, and taboo uncovering, I highly recommend this book thought-provoking book by author Liza Gino.
Pages: 210 | ASIN: B08LB5XG64
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Alice Guy Blaché was a pioneer of her trade with so many accomplishments, feats you could look up and applaud through history. Written fictitiously from the point of view of Alice herself, Mademoiselle Alice tells an intimate and redolent tale, painting Alice in the most relatable way. The reader has a chance to experience through Alice the era she lived in beautiful detail, alongside the relationships that added such color to her life. One, the romance between herself and the renowned Gustave Eiffel himself. Eiffel has no interest in love and yet develops a strong romantic tie with Alice. Their relationship is a cornerstone of Alice’s life and even as she moves on, it reflects throughout her work and pursuits to follow.
Mademoiselle Alice was a powerful and moving story. I applaud Janelle Dietrick and her dedication to bringing Alice Guy Blaché off the dusty pages of history and into present mind. The amount of research alone is worth its own accolade, and Dietrick chose to deliver beyond just that, combining the scholar and the storyteller to create a wonderful recollection of the life of Alice.
One factor that truly stood out to me as a reader, was Dietrick’s innate skill of drawing one in to the many emotions of Alice’s tale. From the budding and fleshed out romance between Eiffel and Alice, her apprehension and excitement when building her own studio, to her joys throughout her journey of motherhood. I found myself feeling the same as Alice and I continued further through her recollection and telling of her own life. Dietrick used the first-person narrative in a masterful and gripping manner, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the personality of Alice and her intriguing mind.
Usually, I find myself caught up in some novelists writing style; their sentence structure and syntax. I can honestly say that Dietrick writes such an enriching and powerful story. The writing style flows well. I can’t recall any particular moment while reading where I found myself jarred out of the story as I often have with other writers. There was a well weighted balance of descriptive setting, dialogue, interaction, and historical detail that kept me immersed and entertained.
I have a strong affinity for historical fiction but such does not negate that Mademoiselle Alice: A Novel stands up for itself as a wonderfully well written and fun review of the life of Alice Guy Blaché. You can tell that Janelle Dietrick takes pride in not only her work, but in the dedication to presenting the important role Alice has played in history. Her writing compels the reader to appreciate such without the dryness or brevity of a history book. She breathes life in to Alice, allowing the reader to really appreciate her as a relatable person.
Pages: 369 | ASIN: B074MB6QTH
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Angie Brown, A Jim Crow Romance was originally written by Lillian Jones Horace 68 years ago. What inspiration did you find in this book that made you want to publish an annotated scholarly edition?
I am certain that most of my admiration stems from my appreciation for Horace, the African American southern woman writer, who remained true to her commitment to write “creatively but constructively.” Before I began conducting research on Horace and her writings, she and the archival material treating her life and works were largely overlooked by scholars.
The protagonists she created all exemplify the kind of determination that Horace herself demonstrated throughout her life.
I wanted to create an annotated scholarly edition to help Angie Brown find its way into the literary canon, where students and scholars of African American literature could weigh in on its value.
Angie Brown is a strong women that is finding her path through troubled times. What are some things you admire about her character?
I admire Angie’s determination, practicality, openness to learning, friendly nature, and commitment to progress.
What kind of research did you do for this novel and Lillian Jones Horace?
I conducted extensive archival research to better understand Horace and the characters she created. A comprehensive list of the repositories I visited appears in my first book-length publication on Horace titled, Recovering Five Generations Hence: The Life and Writing of Lillian Jones Horace (2013). I have been researching and writing about Horace since 2003. Her papers are held in the Fort Worth Public Library, Fort Worth, TX.
I understand you contacted some of the Horace family for this book. What were their reactions to you pursuing this 100 year old story?
I contacted her niece and two of her great nieces. Her great niece, who remembered her well, knew that Lillian Horace was a respected educator, but she had no idea that Horace had written two historic novels. Most of what I shared with her and other family members about Lillian Horace was new to them.
Do you have any other books in the works?
Yes. I am working on an edited version of Lillian Horace’s diary, and a book project comparing and contracting the trajectory of Horace’s life and works to those of her younger and more popular southern African American contemporary, Zora Neale Hurston.
“Angie Brown is a romance migration novel set in the Jim Crow era. Angie, the protagonist, determines to embrace all life has to offer despite the social restrictions facing young black southern women like her. Angie holds fast to her desire to find financial success, personal fulfillment, and true love, but she does not achieve her dreams alone, nor do they unfold in the same place. From Belle, her confidant; to Betty Yates, the teacher; to Chester, the pool hall owner; women and men from various social stations in life and different places share nuggets of wisdom with Angie. With their love and support, she overcomes tragedy, welcomes fresh possibilities, climbs the social ladder, and opens her heart to love. Angie’s progressive journey reflects the migratory trek of many African American Southerners of the Jim Crow era, who left the South for greater educational and economic opportunity. Her quest leads her from a small segregated community to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and eventually to the Midwest, including St. Louis, Missouri, Chicago, and Southern Illinois. As Angie travels from place to place, she gradually comes into her own and learns key life lessons. Angie learns that struggle is universal. While doing domestic work, she discovers that whites, who live on “The Other Side,” also experience pain, suffering, and grave disappointment. Love eludes white women, too, and they, too, face gender discrimination. Having overcome her fair share of personal losses, Angie reaches across racial lines to console Gloria, a member of the Parker family, for whom Angie does domestic work. Her experience with the Parker’s is juxtaposed to her dealings with the Mungers, a rich, Northern white family she meets. Although the Mungers are kind to Angie, she learns that life beyond the South is not perfect. Yes, she and other blacks face less virulent forms of racism outside the South, but economic stability and educational opportunity are not easily achieved.”
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