Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Giveaway and Interview with Cindy Keen Reynders and her book the 7 Year Witch

Hello and Welcome back after our Memorial Day weekend celebration!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  Today I have Cindy Keen Reynders with me and I have asked her to share some insight into not only her book, but herself as well.  This is what she had to say:

How old were you when you first realized you wanted to write?
I remember I was ten years old. I’d been writing poetry, and I was crazy in love with the paper boy. Every night before I went to bed I’d dream up all sorts of scenarios where we’d grow up and get married and have like five kids and live happily ever aver. My plotting abilities were formed back them.

Tell us a little bit about the book.
Novice witch Miranda Rose is completing her seventh and final task for the Supreme Witch’s Council in order to become a high which.  Tasked to find the Philosopher’s Stone, she travels to Merry Olde England in 1877 to confront the wizard who is holding it for evil purposes.  This is where she runs into the very handsome Duke of Pellamshire, Maxwell Chadwick. Because she’s afflicted with the 7 year witch disease, she must make love with the duke seven times in order to break the spell so she can continue on with her mission. Magical sparks fly!

What made you choose this genre?
I started out writing romance and this is where my true writing roots come from. I wrote all kinds of romance in the beginning; contemporary, historical, time-travel, paranormal—you name it. I sold none of it.

Most authors have an unusual story or way that they come up with their ideas for books…Do you have one?
’ve had all kinds of experiences that help me determine what my story plots will be. For 7 Year Witch, I had a dream about seven beautiful witch sisters, and it just really intrigued me. I couldn’t let go of it. Since I’m the youngest of four sisters, I naturally started with the youngest one of the Rose sisters, Miranda, and developed her story.

What is the key element in your character creation?
My main characters must have a problem that seriously needs resolving, but they aren’t completely dramatic and hysterical about it. They look at it pragmatically, then begin the story trying to take care of the issue. Because I adore humor, my characters typically have some fun while trying to deal with troubles, though they always get down to business and take care of things. I give them emotional and physical attributes as well as quirky habits, just like real people. In one of my books, my main character develops severe hiccoughs when she’s anxious, and sometimes that makes for some tense situations, especially when she’s being chased by the bad guy. In 7 Year Witch, since Miranda is the youngest sibling, she deals with emotional issues of how she believes her older sisters got all attention from her parents. She is constantly trying to measure up to their accomplishments and tries to be as successful as she perceives her sisters are.

What was your biggest influence that steered you towards writing?
I have always been a huge reader. As a child, I was the weird wall flower kid and my family moved around a lot for my dad’s job, so I was also typically the new kid. Classmates teased me a lot, wouldn’t let me have a seat on the bus—that sort of thing. So I found a fantastic world of acceptance in books. I fell in love with it so much, at a certain point; I wanted to create those worlds for other readers. I’ve fallen in love with that, too.

I have to ask, what are the hardest scenes for you to write?
The first words of a book, including the first line and the first paragraph and the first page are the most difficult for me to agree with myself on.  So much rides on that initial hook to draw in the reader, whether it’s an editor, an agent or whoever. I sweat blood and tears making it absolutely the best it can be. I work just as hard throughout the rest of the book to make it polished, but seriously, I’ve tossed out a lot of beginnings of books in my lifetime. Once I get past that, I’m good to go throughout the rest of the manuscript.

Are sex scenes difficult for you to word?
Actually, they aren’t all that difficult for me since the first writing group I belonged to was a Romance Writers of America chapter. I cut my teeth on writing romance and developing solid, but entertaining sex scenes. There’s a fair amount of logistical maneuvering that must be incorporated, as well as excellent word choice. That’s where a writer needs to experiment with language in order to find appropriate descriptions for the action. I like to make it somewhat poetic and flowing, as well as anatomically correct. Also, for Pete’s sake, we all want to have fun with sex! Check out the vanilla pudding scene in 7 Year Witch, for example. In the words of my publisher, it is ooh, la, la!

Do you see yourself writing in another genre?
Lordy, I have written in so many genres it makes my head spin. Not all of these books have been published, of course, but it’s given me a good overview of different genres and has taught me specifics about my writing abilities. I’ve written fantasy science fiction, historical fiction, and I have three mystery novels published. Amazingly, after all those years of writing romance and selling nothing, I finally had success when I penned some lighthearted, cozy mysteries. I love, love, love those books, too! I also tried my hand at a darker, more suspenseful mystery with a serial killer in it, but I scared the blankety-blank out of myself, so I finally let it go. It’s still on a jump drive, lurking like a criminal in hiding. I take it out from time to time and peek at it. I think it’s good, but I can’t seem to handle writing about that killer guy. He’s pretty awful.

Has your family been supportive?
First husband was oh, so jealous. I’m sure he would never admit it, but I’m pretty certain that was a big problem for him, and I think he feared I might succeed at writing. He always had to be the big kahuna, you know? That’s not why we divorced, but once I dumped those 250 pounds of abusive jerk along the wayside, my writing began to soar. As far as my kids are concerned, they’re like, “Yah, so what mom. You’re a writer. Big whoop.” My current husband is very supportive and doesn’t mind that I get up at 4 a.m. to write each day before work. My sister, Shauna, is my rock. She reads my work, offers great suggestions and gives me awesome encouragement.

Are any of your characters reflective of you?
Miranda is like me in that she has serious youngest-sibling-syndrome going on. She tries so  desperately to gain acceptance among her family and the witch’s council, and she never feels she can measure up to their expectations. Lexie Lightfoot, the heroine in my Saucy Lucy mystery series, is a lot like me in that her husband was messing around on her and she divorces him then returns home with her teenage daughter to pick up the pieces of a shattered life. She starts a little café with her sister and helps solve murders in their small town. I do not solve murders in real life, but I’m a big fan of Cheyenne’s Citizens Police Academy. When the officers see me, they probably roll their eyes and think to themselves, “Lord have mercy, she-e-e-e’s ba-a-a-ck!”

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read novels my writer friends have written, as well as magazines. I’m a magazine-a-holic, and I like them in my hands, not on a computer screen. Very un-green, but I like to read in the bath tub, and I seriously do not want to ruin one of those expensive electronic e-readers. I also love to keep my house clean, do occasional hobbies like crocheting, love to attend garage sales always looking for antiques, and I love to cook, though working full time prohibits much experimentation and I occasionally burn tomato soup because I’m always in a hurry. Scorched tomato really reeks, by the way. Oh, and I get a kick of out walking my little doggie. She’s too little to go far, but she gets so excited it’s sweet.

Who is your favorite book heroine?
Scarlet O’Hara! Lord, that woman is so spoiled and runs into so much bad luck, a lot of it through her own boneheaded mistakes, but she holds her head proudly and keeps on trucking. I like that she’s a flawed character, but she keeps on surviving. After my divorce, that was my mantra. S-U-R-V-I-V-E.

Do you have any unusual habits that revolve around writing?
Ah, hem. Yes. My little doggie, Ewok, comes down with me each morning. She expects me to have a snack for her, then I must pour a splash of water into her dish and a smattering of dog food into another dish for her breakfast. I am a virtual slave to this routine. Then, and this is really embarrassing, when I’m finished with my writing shift, I must kiss my jump drive for good luck before I place it in my desk drawer. Freaky, huh? I don’t know where that even came from, but now I’m stuck with it!

What is your favorite mystical creature?
The phoenix bird. It is supposed to be good luck, and it never dies. It rises from the ashes and survives again. Awesome!

What were some of your biggest challenges at the beginning of your career?
So many to name! I think the biggest one, however, was determining whether my writing was any damn good, and if I should even continue to churn out all those words and stories. You are your own worst critic, and it’s difficult to distance yourself enough from your work to have good perspective about the quality.

How do you feel about reader comments?

I love it when people like my work. When they don’t, I try to tell myself they must be having a bad hair day, or maybe they don’t like the genre I’m writing in, or maybe they don’t like my kooky humor. I try not to think it’s a reflection of my writing abilities, though it’s difficult not to. Not everything I write is everyone’s cup of tea. That’s okay. We’re all free to choose what rolls our socks up and down, right?

Do you have any advice for new authors?
You must love reading like it’s your child, then you must equally love writing like it’s another of your children.  You’ve got to be patient with it and be willing to sign on for the long haul. Some writers’ journeys are easier than others. Everyone has a different experience. Writers must also sink their teeth into the business, immerse themselves in all aspects of the process so they can develop valuable. Most of all, write, write, write. Challenge yourself to do better and learn at all times. Then hang on tight because it’s a wild ride, but it’s the best ride you’ll ever take.

Where are your books available?
Amazon and Barnes and Noble; both e-books and paperback version. Other places have them like Overstock.com, but the first two are the biggest and most commonly known.

What can we expect from you in the future? 
Three more witch books will be published by Angelic Knight Press in the Wysteria Hedge Haven Clan series starting early in 2013 with A Witch at Midnight. After that I’d love to do something with vampires, but it would most likely be lighthearted and quirky. That’s how I roll.

Where can we reach you and become informed of updates?
My blog contains my most updated information, http://saucylucywisdom.blogspot.com/
and you can also go to my website: www.cindykeenreynders.com
Also Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1711549310#!/
And Twitter: @littlewing1
Now Let's Take a look at the book details:

7 Year Witch

By Cindy Keen Reynders

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Angelic Knight Press

Release Date: April 12, 2012


Novice witch Miranda Rose’s seventh and final task for the Supreme Witch’s Council is to find the legendary Philosopher’s Stone. Once completed, she’ll reach her lifelong dream—High Witch of Wysteria Hedge Haven. In a last ditch effort to locate the precious gem; she travels through time to 1877. In a dilapidated castle a powerful wizard refuses to relinquish the stone. In a fit of pique, the wizard, Balthazar, zaps her in a field outside of Merry Olde London. 

Sir Maxwell Chadwick is the sole witness to a fiery ball of light streak across the midnight sky. Curious, he investigates. Surprised to find a beautiful young woman among the smoldering ashes, he cannot deny his instant attraction to the alluring stranger. While Miranda appreciates the handsome duke’s assistance, she finds him annoying as his well-intentioned interference delays her mission.

It doesn’t take Miranda long to realize the handsome duke holds the key to her heart, as well as her future. Fate, magic and the Seven-Year Witch disease takes the lovers on a rollicking, star-crossed adventure!
Just fill out the rafflecopter for your chance to win!!  Good Luck and a big thank you to Cindy for stopping by!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Joanne said...

You're writing the witch series and you'd like to do something with vampires, any other paranormal creatures that you would write about? This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.


Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hi Joanne! I haven't thought of any other paranormal creatures yet, though in the next book of this current witch series I have a demigod hero. What type of paranormal characters do you like?

Lisa Cox said...

Do you plan on writing a book about each of the 7 witch sisters? Or are you going to mix a couple of their stories up into 1?

AD said...

How many books have you written that haven't been published?
The Seven Year Witch sounds so great!
Thanks for the giveaway.


Yvette said...

The book looks really good and I look forward to reading it. will this be a series or a stand alone?

wanda f said...

Your book sounds great .Who are some of your favorite authors to read ?Have a fantastic week.

divavixenqueen said...

Is your lovable dog EWOK, named after the cute furry,
lovable creatures that were featured in the Star-wars Movies?
Congratulations on your novel.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hi Lisa! I will be writing three more books about Rose witch sisters. This is lots of fun because they tend to get in lots of trouble!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hi AD! Before I had anything published I wrote five finished manuscripts. Guess I had a lot to learn before my work became polished enough for publishing houses. I'm still learning, too! I'm so glad you all think my book sounds fun because I had a blast writing it. It's my honor to offer a free book!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

They're, this book is the first one in a series about the Rose witch sisters. After 7 Year Witch, there will be 3 more. These sisters have a penchant for getting themselves in trouble! And of course, there is always a hunky hero added in.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Yvette, my phone changed your name to they're. Sheesh!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hi Wanda! My favorite author is Janet Evanovich. I've loved her forever! I also love Johanna Lindsey.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hey there, Diva! Yes, my doggie is named for the Star Wars loveable creatures. As a puppy, I thought she looked just like one, and she still does at six years old. I love having a little doggie at my feet as I write.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Milking, thanks so much for having me on your blog!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I swear my phone is haunted! Nikki, thanks for having me on your blog!

April Alvey said...

What Was Your Inspiration In Writing This Book.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

April, I have crazy dreams that get me to thinking crazy things. I also love to laugh, so that inspired this book and all other books I write.

Linda said...

I appreciate a kooky sense of humor! I can't imagine a vampire book being light hearted/quirky. Those I've come across seem so dark n intense. Would be a nice relief. Adore fantasy & historical romance - hope you'll write lots more in those genres

Denise Z said...

Thank you for taking the time to share with us today and for the lovely giveaway opportunity. What do you do when you have finished a book and it is time to celebrate the release or do you just put your feet up and breathe?

tammy ramey said...

Hi Cindy,
thank you for the chance at such a great giveaway. i love the cover, it's beautiful and the book sounds wonderful. just the kind i like to get lost in.

did you design the cover yourself or at least get to have a lot of say in how it would look?
i know some authors have little to no control over how their cover is going to look.

tammy ramey

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Thank goodness other people love kooky humor, Linda! It would be a drab, dismal world if we couldn't find our funny bones. Given the right plot I know I could write a fun, vampire story; one we could all sink our "fangs" into. I've tried to write dark, intense stuff and it just isn't my cuppa tea. Zany is my thing!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I have so many stories to tell, Denise, I don't rest too much after each book. My mind is already excitedly writing the next story. As a horror writer friend of mine says, I'll rest when I'm dead.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Tammy I am so glad you like 7 Year Witch's cover. I offered ideas, such as Miranda's hair color, which is golden blonde. And I also shared that her signature color is lavendar, which imbues her with magical power. But Angelic Knight Press's art director, Rebecca Treadway drew and designed the entire cover. I really loved that she added the duke in the background. I think she did an awesome job. I can hardly wait to see what cover she will design for the next witch book!

Leigh Savage said...

The book sounds great can't wait to read it...how much research did you have to do with writing the 7Year Witch?


Helen said...

Witches are my favorite! What drew you to write about them?

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

I've written many historical romances, Leigh, but none were set in England. Since my father's people came from there, I threw myself into the research and had lots of fun. I maybe spent a month doing research before beginning the book and continued throughout the book as needed, which took about eight months for first draft.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hi Helen! I've wanted to write a book featuring witches for years. After switching from romance to mystery for a while, I decided once again to switch back. I dreamed of witches one night and decided to try and develop a romance plot. It was way fun to work on this!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Hi Helen, I've wanted to write a book about witches for years and I've read many books on the wiccan religion. After writing romance for years I switched to mystery and sold a couple of those, then I switched back to romance. I dreamed one night about beautiful witch sisters, and decided to develop a romance with them in it. It is so fun to write about them!

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Okay, I thought my first response didn't go through, Helen. Guess I was wrong!

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