Tag Archive | interview

A Very Happy Birthday Interview with Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Please join me in wishing Vanilla Heart Publishing’s newest addition, Neva Squires-Rodriguez a very Happy Birthday as we all celebrate the release of her debut contemporary romantic suspense, Liliana!

Neva Birthday 1


Neva and I both hail from Chicago, where she resides with her family, and that makes for some fun chat between us. Find out a little bit more about this enchanting author in her interview, and if you would like a chance to win an ebook copy of Liliana, just comment or ask Neva a question below. Two random winners will be selected; please check back on this page for winners’ names on Saturday, the 23rd of August.


Neva Author Pic 1

Neva Squires-Rodrigues

Tell us one thing about yourself that no one else knows… please! I won’t tell.

I wore a nice pair of sandals to my Master’s degree graduation ceremony. When my aisle was called to walk up to the stage, the strap on one of my sandals broke. I didn’t know what to do. I managed to scuffle up to the stage and while I was waiting to be called, I literally almost cried. The woman who was ushering us to the stage asked if I wanted to borrow hers, but at the last minute I leaned over and took them both off and walked across the stage barefoot, sandals in hand. I think this is just a minor example of how we manage to get through difficult things in our life, no matter how devastating they may be at the time.

Have you always dreamed of writing a book, seeing your name on the cover?

Yes of course. I think that every author dreams of seeing their name on the cover of a book. It makes you feel like you’re on top of the world and no one can ever take that feeling away from you. Your words are written in history and will be read for generations to come.


Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

Liliana is definitely my favorite character. I think that readers will be left on edge and surprised with what happens next. Liliana allows readers to see how she struggles to find her strength from within. Readers will witness her growth and will be amazed with the many twists and turns in this book.


What is the hardest part of writing your books?

The hardest part of writing my books, is putting my laptop down for the night. I get so involved in the story, that I don’t want to lose my focus. I wish that there was a way to write throughout the night, but alas I need to sleep so that I can get up and go to my other job, the one that is paying the bills for now.


What do your significant other and family think of your writing career?

For the most part they are all very supportive of my writing, more so now that I am actually being published. My best advice to anyone wanting to become a writer, you can ask for support, but don’t count on it. Learn to find the drive within yourself because there are going to be many people that try to convince you that you can’t do it. There is an overwhelming possibility that your work will get rejected. Keep that drive going and  take any criticism you get along the way as positive feedback.


What was the scariest moment of your life?

My car was once hit by a drunk driver. It was New Years Eve and I was heading home with my family and my car was hit from behind. That year we had a heavy snowfall and my car began to spin and eventually hit a median. I am thankful that because of the snow, everyone was driving that much slower, including a semi-truck that was driving in the lane next to mine and managed to avoid hitting me and to the fact that my car spun away from the car that hit me, otherwise my children may have been crushed. The drunk driver kept going and the police did catch him, but were unable to charge him with a DUI because he abandoned his vehicle and started walking. To kind of give you an idea of how fast he was going and how much snow there was. He made it 2 miles down the road even though he had knocked two wheels off his car.


What do you do to unwind and relax?

I go to sleep. I love to sleep. I wish that I could do more of it. I have four children and work full time, so there is no unwinding and relaxing for me.


What question do you wish was on the list? Your answer?

 ‘What is your favorite quote?’ Mine is “Set your goals so high that everyone around you thinks you’re crazy.”

-Wilfredo “Pastor Choco” De Jesus





Liliana ereader graphic


Book 1, The Liliana Series

by Neva Squires-Rodriguez

Now Available in All Electronic Editions!

Coming Soon in Print and Audiobook!

Boom! That deafening sound changed Liliana’s life forever.

Her mother sits dead besides her, shot to death on the streets of Chicago.

Within weeks, Liliana is sent to live with a father she doesn’t know in Colombia – a foreign land filled with challenges for Liliana. While working to pay off her father’s debt, she meets the love of her life, who frees her from her father’s illusory home, only to bring her into a new world of twisted surprises, dangers, and deceit.

 Liliana front CVR full sized

Liliana Links








Smashwords Direct for all ereader devices





Liliana CVR vid clip 1

Liliana Sneak Peek Video




ATO CVR Liliana

A Taste of… Neva Squires-Rodriguez

free download first four chapters

This Neva Squires-Rodriguez sampler is free for your enjoyment. All of Neva’s novels will be published in both print and ebook editions for every reading device, through all online retailers and in select bookstores around the world. Audiobook editions are being produced by professional audiobook narrators and production houses and will be released as they complete production. Audiobooks available at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.

Where to find Neva Squires-Rodriguez online

Website: http://NevaSquiresRodriguez.com

Twitter: @NevaRodriguez22

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Neva-Squires-Rodriguez/1497271613835645

Blog: http://NevaSquiresRodriguez.com

Happy Birthday, Madame Author!

Psssst… Her birthday is Friday, August 22nd (wink)

An Interview with Susan Berry-getting to know her

Welcome to my humble blog where the elite meet and greet. Today my guest is Susan Berry. Her very name is cheerful and delicious. And now the questions. Like a detective, I dig into little known truths about this new author.

1. Where did the idea for your story come from?

While recovering from an illness, I thought about events that shaped my life and people who helped me get through. Dance of the Heart is filled with family ties as well as humor to help keep life in perspective and romantic love that makes the effort worth it all.

2.Why did you pick this setting for the story?

   When  I was a young girl, every year my siblings and I would pick strawberries at a local farm The family who owned the farm is very much like Maggie’s family in the book. Generations working hard together, sharing success as well as failure.

3.Are your main characters fictional or do they reflect aspects of yourself?

Desmond and Maggie are fictional but I admit to finding reality in both of them.  He’s strong and handsome and guarded, not letting people in and he’s quick to judge.  Once he falls in love, he pursues with passion and follows his heart. He reminds me of other men, strong yet  gentle with ones they love.

       Maggie is headstrong and independent. She’s suffered a great loss when she was young and learned to turn off her feelings. She doesn’t like to feel and when she’s confronted with love, her first response is to push it away. It will take a determined man to push through her wall of resistance and find the heart longing to be loved. I think we all have a touch of Maggie in us, not wanting to be hurt so we test those who say they love us.

4. Tell us about your writing space and how it works for you.

Can you believe I write in my kitchen in the middle of chaos, kind of. I dislike being tucked away in a quiet corner. This forces me to focus and shut out real life to concentrate on the voices of my fictional characters.

5. And what are you working on now, Susan?

    I’m just finishing Book 2 of Moments of the Heart series. titled Laughter of the Heart, the story begins where Dance of the Heart ended. There’s more suspense and answers to some questions about Desmond and his troubled past.

6. What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?

  I love detail and force myself not to write too much of it. Better to leave something to the reader’s imagination and enjoyment of the story.

7. Does another genre interest you?

Oh yes. I’ve begun a fantasy novel at the request of my daughter. She keeps looking over my shoulder as I put the story together. It’s fun and I’m getting a kick out of pleasing her.

8.  Dream job if you weren’t an author?

    I’d open a non-profit shelter for battered women and children providing them with housing and stability. I’ve seen the devastation battering causes on the spirit and self-confidence.

Thanks, Susan. It’s a pleasure to meet you and learn so much more about you.

Best wishes on the road to success from Charmaine Gordon   Susan Berry Author Photo B&W in color


selected cover DotH flat fronthttp://www.amazon.com/Dance-Heart-Moments-Volume/dp/069222677X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407266420&sr=8-1&keywords=dance+of+the+heart

Visit With Malcolm R. Campbell author of Moonlight and Ghosts

Welcome to my humble wordpress abode, Malcolm. I’ve enjoyed your books, especially the ones starring Jock, the super detective, but this short story Moonlight and Ghosts grabbed my attention from page one with your description of the Florida Panhandle. Research or first hand knowledge? Confess.

While the story unfolded without specific plan (as always), three things helped pull it together: (a) a nod to James Joyce, (b) personal knowledge of Tallahassee and North Florida, and, (c) my work in a developmental center years ago.

There remains a prejudice toward mentally challenged and disabled people. This is reflected so well in your story.

Many people, as one of my characters says in “Moonlight and Ghosts,” view developmentally disabled people as the “walking dead.” Thinking on that, I turned to James Joyce’s beautiful ending in his short story “The Dead.” That is, I used his style in describing snow over Ireland to describe moonlight in Florida.

You must have grown up in Florida. I could almost taste the air.

 I grew up in Tallahassee, living there from first grade through college. This gave our family plenty of time go explore everything from the piney woods, sinkholes and swamps to the beaches along the Florida coast from St. Marks west to toward Apalachicola and the offshore islands there. Having camped out in a lot of locations while in the Boy Scouts, I didn’t have to use my imagination to see the moonlight coming through the trees or shining off the water.

And did you have experience with a hospital like the one you describe?

Yes, I did. Many years ago, I worked in a center for the developmentally disabled, so I had some experience there to put to good use when describing what the residents and their surroundings were like; I also saw the politics of it and knew that funding is always a problem, especially when it leads to cutbacks and declining levels of care start to decline.

The dialogue is funny in contrast to the setting. It works beautifully. Can you tell the readers how you accomplish this?

When I’m writing fantasy, magical realism or paranormal stories, I like to “anchor them” with real-word facts and dialogue. Most of the dialogue in “Moonlight and Ghosts” is light because it would help reflect the nervousness of the characters while poking around in a scary old building. The story was partially inspired by my connection with the residents at the center where I once worked and by the tall tales surrounding an abandoned hospital near where I grew up that was supposedly filled with ghosts.

Malcolm, thanks for stopping by and revealing a bit about the craft of writing Moonlight and Ghosts, a spooky short story, a thriller and I hope there will be a sequel.