Monday, January 28, 2013

BETWEEN by Kerry Schafer

Kerry Schafer's debut fantasy novel, Between has the potential to bridge the non-fantasy reader to this genre.

Fantasy readers know exactly what they're getting into: a vivid world, full of imagination, creativity and a whirlwind of action, romance and betrayals.

Non-fantasy readers are okay with all of that, but the common complaint goes something like this: "Fantasy novels are long and start slow. I need a map to follow the story. I need a decoder ring to follow the powers of each character and a family tree to track the kings, the goblins, etc etc etc."

There is some truth to that. Fantasy novels are longer because one of the main characters in the story is the story world. If done well, the world will be unique and by definition, the author will have to explain the rules of the new world.

Aspiring Fantasy novelists will do well to study Between. The story starts fast. The characters are rendered completely but throughout the novel. The back story is kept in the back, but the threads that we need to understand come at you in a clean concise way. The world is developed in a digestible manner. You are not given a straw and asked to drink from the fire-hydrant.

The story is creative, deep. The characters are powerful and beautifully flawed. The world is rich and vibrant and the enemy formidable.

Not all is great, I am saddened to say. The story is a trilogy, which means that I have to wait forever to read part II, much less Part III. The waiting is not good, but what awaits in the next installments is sure to be beautifully crafted.

Finally, a word on the book cover. Having a face on the cover is always tricky. The reader's imagination is seldom the same as the publisher's. Without the context of the story and the main character, an objective person would say that the book cover is pretty. But as you read the novel, the cover converts to perfection.

I highly recommend Between, by Kerry Schafer.

Visit the author's website

Order you copy today.

Official launch, Tuesday, Jan 29th, 2013.

Fight the good fight!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Welcome to the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. I hope you'll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy. On this stop on the blog hop, you'll find a bit of information on me and one of my books and links to four other authors you can explore!

My gratitude to fellow author Kerry Schafer for inviting me to participate in this event. You can click the following links to learn more about Kerry and her book. 


Buy her debut book: "Between" releasing on January 29, and available for pre-order online

In this blog hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We've also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write--the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it.

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the working title of your book?

Game of Love

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

In May of 2010, I went to Paris on a business trip. It so happens that it was during the French Open and many of the world's best tennis pros were staying at the same hotel. Weeks before that trip, a tennis coach had told me to keep an eye on my six-year-old who had recently attended a tennis clinic. "He's got talent," I was told. With that in mind, when I sat for breakfast at the hotel, I had the privilege of meeting WTA star Dominika Cibulkova. I got to think of the challenging life-style of athletes. And worse, those who were celebrities in their own right (think Maria Sharapova). I live in LA, so I've seen the impact of the paparazzi on celebrities. Every smile, frown and blink captured by the needy. Then another thought sneaked in... do I want this for my son? The seeds of an idea had been planted.

3: What genre does your book come under?
Commercial fiction, specifically women's fiction.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That's a tough one. The main character, Gemma, will have to be one badass character. I know what her eyes should look like...

5: What is the one (or two) sentence synopsis of your book?

[Side note: every time I see the word synopsis, I break into a violent shake.]

The critic’s favorite target is a British tennis virtuoso who has yet to live up to her potential—or hype. But to master the game of tennis on the grass, she’ll first have to trust the game of love.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

No, No and No... but stay tuned.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Seven weeks. And ever since, I've been revising and editing. My editor is nearly ready to call if done (crossing fingers).

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Everyone who has read my story has compared it to a movie, not a book. One of my mentors said the story and writing style is similar to Nick Hornby's--I have a hard time with that one as I'm a huge Hornby fan. Also, those who enjoyed the movie Notting Hill, will connect with the story and characters.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As mentioned in question two, the seed was planted in Paris during breakfast at the hotel. Over the following days the idea kept churning. Finally, on the return flight from Paris to Los Angeles, I wrote the opening scene on my iPad (I had just received it weeks earlier as a gift from my wife). 

The problem was that I had never considered writing a love story. I was nervous and certain that I would not be able to pull it off. Within a couple of days I was ready to give up. My wife told me to keep at it--work through it. When I was done, and found the courage to hand the first draft to my wife, I knew I had done well when I heard her crying. Good tears, I assure you.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is a love story, but also a story about the role our professional ambitions take. It asks the question of why we willingly jump into the rat race?And if it is a race, how do we know if we've won? What do we win in the end and what do we give up in the process?


Thank you for being here. Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases!

Aline Ohanesian (Website Twitter)
Gayle Carline (Website Twitter)
Jennifer Carlevatti Aderhold (Website Twitter)
Mark Koopmans (Website Twitter)

Fight the good fight!
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