Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting to Know Junying Kirk

Junying Kirk is the author of The Same Moon, a book I had the privilege of reading. It was a very emotional story and beautifully written. As a reader commented on Amazon, it was like reading someone's diary as she shares her private thoughts and memories.

About the Book
Pearl Zhang was born in Sichuan Province in China, and grew up during the Cultural Revolution. She was raised in a typically Chinese manner, went to school, got a job, got married, and her whole life path was mapped out, or so it seemed. Then she seized the opportunity to study in the United Kingdom – and stayed. How did she adjust to the Western way of life, and what did she have to do to overcome the barriers? Would she find happiness and fulfilment with her English suitor in Scotland, or would her heartache continue? She was in a new world, both foreign and exciting – under the Same Moon.

This book, the first of Junying Kirk’s “Journey to the West” Trilogy, will take you on a journey full of surprises and discoveries, from the East to the West, from the Middle Kingdom to the United Kingdom.

Junying was kind enough to answer some questions about herself and her book.

Me: Junying, tell us about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Junying: I was born at a time when China was in a great deal of political turmoil, as well as economic deprivation. When I started school, it was at the height of the Cultural Revolution, so formal education was often disrupted. However, I had a natural thirst for learning and knowledge, and I particularly enjoyed reading stories and writing compositions, even at a young age. I did excel in Chinese language, and would read whatever I could find, especially fiction, even at the risk of being caught and disciplined.

I was lucky to eventually go to university and English was my major. I can’t explain why exactly but I seemed to love everything associated being English and foreign. I started writing dairies at university and even attempted to write a short story once. The story I penned was about a young girl having a crush towards a boy. Because of the strict rule which forbade any romantic liaison between two sexes, my story never saw the light of the day, but I guess my desire to write was born.

Me: How did you come up with the story for The Same Moon?

Junying: The idea to write a book has been with me for a very long time, but it is hard for me to pinpoint one particular time when I came up with the story. I think coming from a country like China in the East and then having landed in a foreign country like UK came as quite a culture shock for me. In dealing with it, I started a process of self-discovery, as well as a profound learning curve, not just about myself, but also about the world we live in. I wrote a couple of short stories in Chinese which have been published in literary magazines and journals. Then one day I just sat down in front of my PC and started typing away. Having just finished my PhD in Cultural Studies and Education, I did not know if I would have to go back to China or I could stay on. I stayed and started writing the first part of my book, Under Chinese Skies. It was an attempt to record that part of Chinese history, through the eyes of an ordinary young girl. Her story would reflect that of many Chinese people, growing up, falling in love, her futile efforts to fight for her right to choose her love, the expectations of the society, and pressures of everyday life, and so on and so forth. There is some underlying universal truth in her struggle.

Me: How long did it take you to write it?

Junying: The Same Moon has not been an easy book to write, as it covers several decades in Pearl Zhang’s life, as well as a certain amount of deeply upsetting personal experiences and heartaches, set in both China and the UK. On and off, it took me a few years to complete the manuscript, but in terms of solid writing time, it would have been at least a year. I can seriously claim that it is a labour of love.

Me: Are you working on any new projects?

Junying: Before I finished The Same Moon, I actually started and finished another book, Trials of Life, which eventually became the second of my trilogy “Journey to the West”. Right now, I am working on my third and final novel of this trilogy.

I have built my own blogsite a few months ago and I now regularly update it with different writings, like travel logs, book reviews and various aspects of modern life. It is something I really enjoy doing.

My current W.I.P will be slightly different from my first two books, in terms of writing style and storyline. Although there is a central character, Pearl, who is the link in all three, they are all independent of one another, so readers do not have to read all of them or in sequence to enjoy them.

Me: Where can we get your book?

Junying: Currently my books are only in e-form and can be found on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Here are the Links to my books: The Same Moon (Book 1 of Trilogy “Journey to the West”)’ and the sequel, Trials of Life. Or go to Amazon UK Kindle, or go to Amazon USA; Both novels are also available on Smashwords.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Getting to Know Regan Walsh

Today I am spotlighting romance author Regan Walsh. I had the opportunity to read her new romance Whisper Cape, and I gotta tell ya, Regan is one talented woman.

About the book
WHISPER CAPE is a town of secrets and Addison MacKenna soon becomes tangled in a web of them. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe his demise was accidental.

Fighting to shake off one of those devastating early morning nightmares, Addison finds it even harder to escape from the vision of a man lying on the side of the road—a man she may have just killed. When she frantically tries to locate him, he seemingly disappears, just the beginning of strange occurrences in her life. She also cannot ignore the weird sensations in her own body. Suddenly, the impossible seems possible, but is that a blessing or a curse?

Believing that her continual and worsening nightmares are both the key to her own new abilities and the clue to her father’s death, Addie knows she will not rest until she has the answers she craves. As she strives to cope with her new remarkable talents, someone else learns of her abilities—a disgruntled maniacal psychopath with his own agenda that involves eliminating Addie. The only one who can protect her, instruct her in the use of her powers and teach her how to destroy the murderous monster is the same man who makes Addie’s heart race and her blood heat with passion. The same man she’d left for dead.
Cael Sheridan may be arrogant and mysterious but he's also undeniably gorgeous. A member of a secret society, he is sworn to protect the woman he believes to be the daughter of his recently murdered mentor. In the process, he finds it impossible to resist her magnetic sensuality, complicating his efforts to shield and guide her as she learns to manage her newly acquired skills. At the same time, Addison has much to teach him about trust and commitment. Fate has brought them together, but will it make them stronger or destroy them both in end?

This book has it it all - romance, mystery, paranormal. The story definitely held my attention and reading it was like watching a movie. Addie and Cael both drove me crazy at times, but I couldn't help but love them. I guess that's the sign of a good story, right? :-)

Regan was kind enough to answer some questions and help us get to know her better.

Me: Regan, tell us about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Regan: Writing is something I’ve always loved. Ten years ago, if someone had told me I could write a book, I’d have laughed and told them they were crazy, but a few years back, my husband and I sold our business and all of a sudden I had a bunch of time on my hands. After spending hours making quilts, I needed something more challenging and mentioned to a friend that I wanted to write a book. Once I said the words out loud, I decided to sit down at my computer and try it.

Me: How did you come up with the story for Whisper Cape?

Regan: To be quite honest, I really don’t know. It all came to me as I was writing. I didn’t start with an outline or anything, and I had no idea where it was headed or how it would end. It is most definitely character driven. Addie and Cael are real to me, and the story really came from them. At the time I wrote Whisper Cape, we lived in an eighty-year-old house that I believe, to this day, was haunted with a very loving and friendly ghost. My computer was set up in the downstairs bedroom, actually, it was more of a finished basement, and as I sat there, day after day, typing, I felt the spirit around me, encouraging me.

Me: How long did it take you to write it?

Regan: I started writing WC in September of 2007 and finished the first draft December 15, 2007. I wrote every day, eight or nine hours a day. When I was finished the first draft, I set it aside to enjoy the holidays. I didn’t look at it again until February 1, 2008. I read it from beginning to end and then removed scenes and added different ones. I think I edited it at least four or five times before it was picked up by Augusta-Heritage Press for ebook publication in March 2011, and of course, I had to edit it again.

Me: Are you working on any new projects?

Regan: A couple. I have a young adult novel, Allusive Aftershocks. A story of fear, love, hate, devastation and survival. It’s about a seventeen-year-old girl, Abella and a boy, Courtland, who become trapped in a wine cellar when it caves in on them after a very strong aftershock caused from a devastating major earthquake. I recently finished a complete rewrite and will go through a similar process as I did with WC on editing. I'm looking forward to the final stages of editing. Then, of course, there is the sequel to Whisper Cape, A Whisper at Death.

Me: Where can we get your book?

Regan: Right now it is available at White Beard Books and it will be available at Amazon in Kindle format September 23 and in print October 24, 2011.

Regan, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and information about Whisper Cape.
To learn more about Regan, visit her website at

Monday, September 5, 2011

A New Challissian Novelette

So many readers love my romantic fantasy The Wishing Hour and have asked if there would be a sequel. I never planned to write one, but one of the characters who made a very brief appearance in The Wishing Hour begged to have his time on paper, so after three very late nights, he is now having his say.

Guardian of My Heart: A Challissian Novelette is the story of the connection between Gideon, a handsome immortal warrior and his mortal true mate, Cillian. Most of this emotionally-charged short story is told from Cillian's point of view as she shares her innermost thoughts on events that change her entire existence.

So, if you are a fan of The Wishing Hour and have wanted more of the hunky Challissian warriors, you have your wish. And if you are new to the world of the powerful soul's bond that connects true mates from two different worlds, hopefully experiencing these emotions through Cillian's eyes will touch your heart and win you over.
Guardian of My Heart will be available September 9th on,,, and Available in paperback September 30th.

Excerpt from Guardian of My Heart

“Well, well, what do we have here?” The hardened voice causes me to jump, and I drop the flashlight as the large figure appears from nowhere. Matty spins around, coming face to face with the dangerous looking man. “So, having some roadside trouble, are ya? Or maybe a roadside tryst? If so, count me in for a piece of the action.”

Before I can even blink, the man flashes a knife. Since he is blocking the door of the car, I can't get in. Matty shoves me back and I scream when the man takes a swipe at him, but Matty manages to dodge the blade.

“Well, ain't you quick?” he says with amusement in his voice. “Hey, Harvey, this boy don't know who he's dealing with, does he?” A rough laugh fills the air as another man walks up beside Matty's car. He also produces a knife and slashes the tires.

Fear rips through my insides. Turning his head, Matty anxiously looks into my eyes and mouths “run” just as the man shoves the blade into his chest. In frozen horror, I watch his body fall to the wet road. As soon as the man's eyes move to me, I take off running through the trees.

Running blind in the vast wet darkness, the prayer forming on my lips is an endless chant–a chant for my safety, and for Matty's well-being. He just can't be dead, and if he is, I will never get over the loss because it would be my fault for leaving the studio like I did. I continue to run, somehow managing to dodge the trees. As the footsteps draw closer, visions of my mortality play before me on the movie screen that is my mind. The final vision of a beautiful blond god burns itself in my mind's eye, and the sound of his familiar voice saying, “I am here, beloved,” brands a place in my heart, just as the pain of the blade cuts the said organ in two.

Then I hear no more.