Business

What The Healthcare Industry Should Consider Before Making a Marketing Plan

If you are running a business in the healthcare industry, you are going to need a marketing plan, as does every other business. Now when it comes to creating a marketing plan, every company has to go through a lot of considerations before they can finally come to the conclusion as, without the conclusion, there can be some issues that might be an issue or two.

With that said, for all the news on business, the Cascade Business News is one of the best places that you can visit. They have some amazing informative articles that can help you with the issues you are facing, and also helping you stay up to date.

As for now, the focus is on some of the things healthcare industries should consider before devising a perfect marketing plan.

The People They Are Targeting

In order to make sure that your marketing plan or strategy is good, you need to know the type of people you are going to target. If you are a healthcare company, you can’t target customers that are more interested in fashion or some other industry altogether. So, knowing your target customer is something that happens to be extremely important and necessary.

Cover Every Aspect

Another thing that you must know is that when you are making a marketing plan, you must cover every single aspect of your business in the plan, and how you plan on achieving everything that you have talked about.

Another thing that I would tell you is that do not add any jargon in the plan, only add things that are relevant to the business, and the plan itself. If you are having issues, then you can actually go to the professionals for the consultation.

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Health

The Advantages of Eye Care

You might find the process of eye care a bit trivial and pointless. Much like other parts in our body, and other organs in our body, our eyes can take care of themselves as well. However, there is only a limit of what our eyes can own their own. Sooner, or later, they are going to need proper care, and for that, we need to do that for our eyes. This means that eye care is important as anything can get.

Now if you are looking for articles related to health care, or eye care for that matters, do check Nurse Buff. We are going to mainly talk about some of the advantages of eye care. This is important because, without proper vision, there can be a lot of issues in our life.

You Can Maintain Your Vision For Longer

The biggest benefit is that you will be able to maintain your vision for a lot longer. Sure, the vision has to deteriorate over time. But that does not mean that you are not going to look after that at all. By being careful about your eyes, you are basically giving your vision to stay better for a longer time.

Good For You in General

Having healthy eyes is good for you in general. You can prevent a lot of infections from taking place, your eyes can stay healthy, and your vision can stay optimal for as long as possible. Sure, you will have to do some effort, but at least the good news is that you won’t have to worry about running into any issues unexpectedly. This can be a huge problem for those who do not take care of their eyes and regret later down the road.

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Home Improvement

The Benefits of Learning Gardening

Gardening is something that is certainly interesting. No matter the age group you are from, if you are really interested in gardening, you can learn a lot, and have a lot of fun as well. The only thing that you really need to take care of is making sure that you are serious about gardening. Rest assured, there are countless benefits of learning gardening.If you are looking for reliable gardening supplies from a good place, then I would suggest that you look at https://colorgardening.com/black-magic-potting-soil-review/. They have been serving the gardening enthusiasts for some time now and the services they provide are among the best. So, needless to say, you are definitely going to have a great experience going with them.

Below, you will see some things that you should consider when learning gardening. So, let’s not delay any time and have a look.

It Teaches You Patience
As ironic as it might sound, practicing gardening can actually teach you quite a lot of patience. Considering how you will take into the account a number of different things, you become greatly disciplined as you go on the journey towards learning all the nooks and crannies of gardening. It certainly is a great experience that you should look into.

It Disciplines You
Another interesting benefit of learning gardening is that it will allow you to become more disciplined. Because in gardening, you have to follow a specific set of rules, and it is always better if you follow those rules, otherwise, the process can fail, leaving you with wasted time, money, and potential. So, in order to avoid that from happening, it is best if you learn gardening and become better disciplined, as well as a lot more patient.

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Tech

Some of The Major Benefits Provided By an Antivirus Software

Computer and internet usage is on an all-time high. Now with the affordable computers along with reasonable internet charges, almost every house has access to the internet. But with every new development, the people face new risks. Computers and the internet have much horrifying risk of contracting viruses.

The virus is a computer’s worst enemy which targets its functionality and the protection of personal data. It comes forward as quite costly for the target computer’s owner as their files can get hacked and stolen and even their whole unit can stop functioning. Thus, soon it became apparent that a solution is needed and now we have it in the form of Antivirus software. Antivirus software aims to protect the computer from any viruses by blocking out its invasion. It keeps check of all files and transactions, keeping your computer safe and secure. Some Antivirus is even secondary necessary protection in nature, like the Smadav latest version.

Following are some of the major benefits of having an Antivirus software installed on your computer:

Protection Against Viruses

The most obvious benefit of an Antivirus is that it protects your computer against any probable entry of viruses, i.e. it removes the threat before it can harm any functioning.

Protection Against Phishing

Phishing is the term used for any attempts of a third party to hack into your computer, invade it and have access to all your personal files. Antivirus software recognizes any phishing attempts and blocks them.

Scans Removable Disks

On connecting any removable device, like a USB, an Antivirus software quickly scans it for any viruses before it can affect your computer.

Ads And Spam

One of the key features of Antivirus software is its ability to block unnecessary ads and spam that you may come across while browsing.

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Featured

Watership Down’s Sober Take on Rabbits

Rabbits are generally considered to be very cute animals but they are often treated in a rather sober context within popular culture. All depictions of rabbits tend to deal with some form of grim reality, and it seems that this theme is continuing with the new novel by Richard Adams, Watership Down. This book is meant for children and it is about rabbits, but when you read the book you will realize that it is not exactly the kind of whimsical tale that you might come to expect from a premise such as this one. Indeed, there are a lot of different ways in which this book might be suitable for adults more than it is for kids, and in the vein of a lot of modern children’s literature it sort of treats kids like the adults they are going to be in the future and helps pull them towards the sort of mentality that adults might be expected to have.

One the reasons why this book seems to be a little more adult than a lot of other children’s books out there is because of the fact that the theme is so mature. A lot of the conflict in the book is about the struggle against one’s natural way of being. Kids are naturally impulsive, aggressive and self centered simply because of the fact that they have not learned empathy yet. This book teaches you how to put yourself aside and think about others which is a skill that many adults could do with learning even if they have grown well past the age at which they might have been considered a child.

One thing that this book does really well, and is indeed a pretty significant contributor to its overall success in the world of children’s literature, is talk to its audience in a manner that does not seem condescending in any way. Children’s books have a terrible tendency to talk down to the people that are reading it. Lots of kids notice this language and they do not appreciate it. Kids are kids, they are not quite mature enough to be spoken to like adults and indeed if you try to talk to a kid like he or she is an adult then this is definitely not going to help get the message across in a manner that would end up being truly meaningful in some way.

What Adams does really well is straddle the line between condescension and excessive complexity. He also creates a realistic world where rabbits have their own language and in which he brings a lot of the experiences he had during his time as a soldier. This book is very well written, and it’s pretty clear that actual work has gone into creating a world that would seem realistic and enchanting to children rather than the throwaway efforts that children’s literature often ends up being. All in all, Watership Down has managed to capture an eager audience.

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Featured

Victor Hugo’s Life on The Wild Side

When you think of Victor Hugo, what image comes to mind? Perhaps it is the image of the wizened old writer, looking thoroughly sagacious with his long white beard and contemplative pose. Or perhaps the image you get is one of a young, intrepid looking man, hunched over a writing desk and hard at work. What you might not think of when you imagine the author of classics such as Les Miserables and the Hunchback of Notre Dame is a libertine with an insatiable appetite for sex and a highly passionate and fiery personality.

Indeed, the true Victor Hugo sounds less like a respected playwright and more like a rock star from the 70s or 80s where debauchery and hardcore partying had become the norm. A couple of Hugo’s habits will help you better understand his eccentric personality. For example, he used to prefer to write while completely naked as this was the only way in which he felt free enough to let his creativity run loose and allow him to capture each and every facet of his imagination until it became the sort of thing that he could truly channel in whatever direction he chose. Another habit of his was to eat oranges whole at parties in order to impress people. Suffice it to say that people were definitely very impressed indeed whenever Hugo managed to swallow an entire orange whole.

Yes, Victor Hugo was a huge party animal. He was famous for being the life of the party during the days of his prime. For a long period in his life, Hugo never had dinner alone. Instead he would entertain around 30 people every single day for dinner, and some of these soirees ended up turning into full blown parties. Indeed, he was such a huge partier that even his funeral ended up turning into a party. If that doesn’t sound like the funeral of a rock star, we don’t know what does!

Hugo was also very obsessed with how famous he was. Indeed, it can be quite difficult for someone so famous that the very street they are living on ends up being named after them to not get a bit of a big head in this regard. In the dinner parties that have been mentioned above, one of the main events of the night would be when Hugo would read out a list of reasons why he was better than all of his contemporaries.

All in all, Victor Hugo lived a very exciting and fulfilling life, one that involved a lot of different phases and throughout all of them he remained the literary great that he is now remembered as. It is important to read up on figures like Hugo so that we can begin to understand the method to their madness and add facets to their characters. We often don’t pay as much attention to the personalities of authors as we do to musicians. Victor Hugo can teach us why this needs to change.

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Featured

Good Omens: A Love Letter to Collaborative Writing

Collaborative writing is often not the best way to get your message across to as large a group of people as possible. The fact of the matter is that when two authors write a book together it often ends with their personalities clashing. After all, each individual writer has a strong understanding of their craft, as well as a specific style that they will tend to focus on while they are undergoing the task of completing a specific novel or short story. There are plenty of examples of bad collaborations in the world of literature. Even the likes of literary legends Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs were guilty of a subpar collaboration, and this was in spite of the fact that they were both part of the same literary movement.

Good Omens might an example of how good collaborative writing can be, and in many ways exemplifies the best of collaborative literature. In many ways it hasn’t just equaled great collaborative novels of the past, such as the progenitor of the steampunk genre that was The Difference Engine which was released the same year as Good Omens. In fact, it might just be superior to this novel, as well as any other collaborative novel that has ever been worked on.

The authors that collaborated to create this novel are definitely a big deal. None other than Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in fact. It is fair to say that Gaiman was the newbie in this situation, but in spite of the fact that these two authors shared a strange dynamic akin to that of an apprentice and a mentor, their voices ended up complimenting each other’s. The fact of the matter is that they both have writing styles that are unique in their own way, but, whether by serendipitous happenstance or by willful efforts on the parts of both of these authors, these individual voices came together to create a glorious singular narrative.

If we were to try and understand the value of this novel as well as why it has remained so popular, it can be easily ascertained from realizing that this novel is just plain fun to read. Its humor lies in its wit, not in its over the top overtures towards comedy. The characterizations are vivid and realistic, and we become genuinely invested in the characters. There also seems to be a genuine enthusiasm for the craft which can be explained by realizing that both of these authors pretty much only collaborated for the fun of it rather than money. The novel ended up becoming a best seller so they did in fact end up earning money from it, but the fact remains that the genesis of the project came about due to their love of writing and their desire to create something that was truly worthwhile. This is why Good Omens might just be the greatest collaborative novel ever, because its intention was pure from the very start.

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Other

Hard Edit Cover Reveal!

It’s all fun and games until egos get hurt.

After a year of a seemingly happily-ever-after, Troy Babilonia throws a curve ball that smacks Larson Blackburn right in the head. When Troy’s debut novel, “Bridge to Lonely,” threatens to overshadow Larson’s own success, inviting a past shadow into the light of their present, the two alphas must learn to adjust.

“Bridge to Lonely” has garnered an unexpected success both in the literary world and in the film industry, forcing Larson to accept that he is not the only successful author in the building. But as Troy’s old flame decides to make an appearance, the two alphas are forced to test the strength of their love. Let the battle of the egos recommence; where sarcasm is the preferred weapon, and the testosterone levels go beyond the boiling point.

Because Black Balled just wasn’t enough…Smith & LeNoir bring you

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Other

Celebrate your love of Romantic Comedy novels!

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you.

I’ve teamed up with more than 40 fantastic romantic comedy authors to give away a huge collection of novels to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a Kindle Fire to the Grand Prize winner! You can win my novel, Disheveled, plus books from authors like Meghan Quinn, S.L. Scott and Poppy Dunne!

Enter the giveaway by clicking here: bit.ly/rom-com-mar17-1

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Other

Interview with Author Aleatha Romig

Enjoy this interview from 2013.

WELCOME ALEATHA ROMIG to Wednesday Writer’s Interview! You cannot imagine how thrilled I am to have you here today! Please sit back and enjoy, and hopefully your answers will only have positive “consequences”.

The goal of my interviews is to talk about the authors and their work…which, yes, is pretty much the definition of an interview. However, I like to do it with fun and humor. We always start out with this first question: Who is ALEATHA and what makes her tick as an author and a person?

Aleatha is someone who has a hard time saying “no”. But, just like some of her characters, she’s doing better.

(Ok, enough 3rd person…) I’d love to say I live a wild and glamorous life, but that isn’t true. I’m your everyday 2013 woman. I have a family, husband, three children, friends, home, job, dog, cat, two turtles, some fish, and a little hobby (writing) – all of which take time and energy. My little hobby has increasingly demanded more of my time. I’m blessed that the people and things in my list have been so supportive. That support is what makes me “tick” as both a person and an author.

So, Tony? Hmmm, no. Tony cannot be the hors-d’oeuvre. He can only be the dessert. One simply does not start an interview with Tony, one must lead up to him. Let’s start with the idea of this Trilogy: Consequences…Truth…Convicted. Where the heck did the idea come from? I mean, this is NOT your run-of-the-mill romance novel.

Ha.. sorry, I’m still thinking about Tony being dessert… ok, let me try to focus… trilogy… oh, yes…

I LOVE that my series isn’t your “run-of-the-mill” anything! I think that may be what has attracted so many of my readers. The idea began with a “vision” – “dream” or “idea” of a woman in a bedroom. It was the opening scene. I didn’t know any more about the story, but I couldn’t shake the thoughts. I wanted to know who that woman was, why she was there, and how she got there? I decided to sit down and write my thoughts. My original draft was entitled “Claire”.

When I wrote Consequences, I envisioned a standalone book. Next, I wanted it to end with Truth. However, as I neared the end of Truth, I knew I couldn’t leave the story there… I had more I wanted to reveal… thus, Convicted.

While we’re on the subject, would you even consider this trilogy a Romance? And yet, it is. How about we give it its own genre? The Tonyesque?

I think it does have its own genre… and although I like the idea of Tonyesque, my agent calls my books, “Contemporary Dark Romance/ Thriller”. When I wrote Consequences, I was thinking “Psychological Thriller with a romantic quality”. I wasn’t thinking “dark”, but I agree with it!

I am trying really hard not to give away too much, because honestly, you have to go into this adventure with as little knowledge as possible. However, as a reader, the first scene of Consequences had me frowning, appalled, cringing for the rest and yet it was IMPOSSIBLE to put down. As the author, how did you feel writing that moment when Claire realizes the unbelievable turn her life has taken?

Perhaps I watch a lot of crime shows, but that scene was what “hooked” me, manipulated and dominated my thoughts… it was why I had to know what happened. I hoped it would do the same to my readers. I also believe, I’d have more trouble writing that scene or some others in Consequences today. Three years ago when I wrote it, I didn’t know Claire; but I do now and I’d hate to put her through that again.

And then there’s Tony. No. Still not the time but I feel I’m getting there. The plot, or should I say the plots with a capital S… Did you ever, at any point, lose your footing? I mean, this is intricate business and definitely NOT your average “Meet – Greet – HEA”.

I didn’t lose my footing, but I have to say – I have very detailed timelines and notes. Interestingly, the timelines and notes came after the writing. The story dictated the plot(s), I just wrote what the characters and story told me to.

This leads me to the ending of Consequences… Those who have read this incredible book will agree when I say: WTH?? Be honest, when writing it did you have an evil grin while mentally saying: Muahahahahaha?

Yes!!! I had an idea how I wanted it to go; but as I typed I was like, “OMG! That works so freak’n well!!!” I couldn’t wait to tell my husband what I’d done!

Okay, so enough with the questions, for now. Could you show our readers just what I’m talking about with a little (and I do stress “little”) snippet from Consequences? Trust me, everyone, you do NOT want too much info.

I believe I can provide a snippet and answer your next question at the same time…

Ahh…Anthony Rawlings. The one. The only. I have a few adjectives that would describe him but I’m wondering if you could give us your favorites.

Here it is…. here are Claire’s adjectives.

She (Claire) pondered the many puzzling sides of his (Tony’s) enigma as she watched him in the mirror. First, looking at him as he removed the towel, her pulse quickened and she forgot about her primping. No one could deny his incredibly handsome physique. Hell, he was gorgeous. Despite the almost twenty-year age difference, she observed his defined muscles, broad shoulders, and firm abdomen. Momentarily, she fantasized about the feel of his skin against hers. Second, he was undoubtedly an extremely successful businessman who desired to keep his personal life private. Third, he utterly and completely believed in appearances. Fourth, he had an insatiable sex drive. In that arena Claire had come to terms with his varying approaches, anywhere from tenderness to domination. The side of Tony that bothered Claire the most was his unpredictability. His temperament could shift without warning making an Indiana tornado seem docile.

Let’s move on to Truth. All is right in the world at some point. Claire is free, life is getting back to normal. And then we have that oh-so-familiar-moment of WTH??? (Yes, the three question marks are a necessity). How about a little taste of Truth, maybe with a side order of Harry?

Truth excerpt:

He (Harry) continued to talk about the accident as Claire warmed the fish in the microwave and heated the sauce on the stove. Next, she refilled the sauce pan for the asparagus. As the faucet gushed water she heard Harry’s voice, but her mind filled with other words — Tony asking, “Who was the expected recipient of that dazzling smile?”

Tears came to her eyes as the realization struck. Her presence wasn’t making Amber and Harry’s life more exciting; she was putting them in danger.

The memories of her parents and Simon’s untimely deaths paralyzed her movements. Water overflowed the pan as she stood motionless staring at the tiled backsplash. It wasn’t the mosaic design holding her trance; it was her new thoughts about Amber. She’s flying home tomorrow from meetings in Houston. Simon died in a plane crash. Claire’s heart began to beat erratically.

Harry appeared behind her. So deep in her sudden rational or irrational terror, she didn’t hear him approach. She jumped as he grasped her shoulders. As if from a tunnel she heard his voice, echoing against the cavern walls, or maybe he was repeating himself, “Claire are you all right? Claire, Claire are you all right?”

Her grip on the handle of the pan failed. The metal pot fell to the depths of the sink as water droplets splashed violently coating the tile, granite, and porcelain. Her body trembled as she tried to speak, “It’s me. I have to leave. We need to call Amber.”

“What’s you? What are you talking about?” Harry tried to calm her; however, she barely heard his words through the commotion within her head.

Finally in desperation she screamed, “Call Amber, now!”

Still unsure of the reason for Claire’s sudden outburst, he turned off the water, reached for his phone and led Claire’s unsteady body to the table. Harry dialed his sister. Once the connection was established, he handed Claire the phone.

Her words ran together as she tried to explain everything to Amber. Claire told her about Harry’s accident, about Tony’s visit, and about her fear. Harry listened to every word. When she spoke about Tony visiting the condominium, Claire saw his neck stiffen and jaw clench. She pushed on.

Amber listened to what some might consider a mad rant. As Claire finished, her voice slowed, reflecting her utter exhaustion. She listened to Amber’s steady voice of reason as tears slipped from her downcast eyes. Her fatigue wasn’t physical; she’d slept until after five. It was psychological. All of the research was well and good. She could plan and possibly implement a great demise. However, none of that mattered, if her friends were lost in battle.

Only after Amber promised a thorough inspection of the SiJo plane prior to departure, did Claire hand Harry back his phone. Harry spoke to his sister for a few moments, hung up, and reached for Claire.

She wanted his embrace, his comfort and support. Nevertheless, she knew if she took what he offered, she’d in fact be condemning him. Resolving to keep him safe, she stiffly returned his embrace. With her head safely against his chest the trembling ceased. She started to speak, but Harry spoke first.

“I want to hear more about that visit. Why did he come here?”

“I was going to tell you about it and other things I learned…” She pulled from his hold and reached for the water goblet. It shook as she tried to make it reach her lips. “I just haven’t had a chance.” Her voice sounded stronger than she appeared.

Harry watched as Claire regrouped. He saw a mixture of emotions passing like clouds before her emerald eyes. Once again, he put his arm around her shoulders, “How about we eat some of this delicious food and then talk?”

Claire stared momentarily into his pale blue eyes. The intensity she’d witnessed as she told Amber about Tony was gone. Now, she saw concern. Claire replied, “I think I need to find a new place to live.”

“Let’s eat and sleep and then discuss it.”

Claire steadied her stance. “We can eat. We can sleep. But it’s my decision and I’m not putting you or Amber is harm’s way for my vendetta.”

Harry carried the dish of tilapia to the table and walked back to the stove for the sauce. Drizzling the white cream over the rewarmed filets, he said, “It is your decision. But I’m the head of security at SiJo Gaming. I’m pretty sure I can take care of myself. And as for Amber, we’ll arrange additional security.” He smiled a feigned smile. “Now eat. Someone made us a wonderful meal.”

Claire obediently picked up her fork. With her hand lingering above the plate he’d dished for her, she considered his words. Finally, she nodded.

Taking his seat across from Claire, Harry added, “And as of tomorrow, you’ll also have around the clock security. No more surprise visits.”

Her chewing stopped mid-mastication. Swallowing became difficult as her mouth dried. She didn’t like his authoritative tone; she’d lived through that once and didn’t plan on doing it again, no matter how pure his intentions. After a much needed drink of water, she said, “I don’t think that’s necessary. Tony won’t hurt me. He wants me back in Iowa, besides; I have Phil Roach watching me.”

Harry started to speak when Claire interrupted, “What are we going to do, ask Phil and the security detail to share a car? I mean with the occasional paparazzi, a private detective and a security guard, I might as well lead a parade.”

Ignoring her attempt at humor, Harry asked, “What do you mean he wants you back in Iowa?”

Claire looked back to Harry. The intense stare from earlier glowed. It surprised her, how the normally soft shade could stay the same, yet appear so different. She answered, “When he was here, he told me the reason he came to California was to take me back to Iowa.”

“Did you respond?” During the last two months, Harry witnessed Claire’s transition from a quiet guarded woman, into one who spoke more freely. Nonetheless, he wasn’t sure she possessed that ability while with Mr. Rawlings. That was part of the reason he’d waited for her after their dinner. He wanted to be sure the stronger Claire still existed. Last night, he wasn’t sure.

“Of course I responded. I said no.”

“And he was fine with that, and left?”

“He left. He isn’t still here.” Claire looked down at her plate as she stabbed another leaf from her salad. “He didn’t argue, but…”

“But what?”

“He said he wasn’t giving up his quest.” She ate some more salad and added, “I’ll consider the security.”

I have seen on your Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AleathaRomig?fref=ts) page, the huge number of fans praising their love and devotion for Tony. What about Harry? Anyone out there infatuated with that hunk of a man? And how do you feel about him?

Harry has a following… not as large as Tony, but they are there. We even have “Stay Calm and Love Harry” t-shirts. They were the idea of one of my good friends and a beta reader. I showed her the “Stay Calm and Love Tony” t-shirt and her comment was, “There needs to be Harry t-shirts, because NO ONE can stay calm if they love Tony!” I immediately emailed the t-shirt company and “Harry” merchandise was made.

How do I feel about him? I love all my characters. I purposely made Harry very “Anti-Tony”, from his coloring: blonde, blue eyes, to his demeanor. When writing, I felt Claire wouldn’t find herself where she was at that point in the story in the condition to meet Tony face to face without the help of a support system. Harry was meant as part of that support, someone to help build her back up and help her realize she was capable of being her own woman.

And yes, what I’m trying to ask is: can we look forward to some positive “consequences” for him?

Harry is in Convicted… I can’t tell you more. 🙂

Convicted. Book 3 of the Trilogy and the one with ALL the answers. You do realize that I’m here writing this question thinking: I want to know but then I really don’t. So, I’m going to settle for a generic question. How does it feel to be finishing up this incredible adventure? And how the heck are you going to live without Tony?

I have a strange way of writing… I write the beginning of each book, then I write the end. In Consequences it was from the moment you yelled at your Kindle and said, “Don’t do it Claire!” In Truth it was from the point of an enlightening conversation away from cameras. I’ve done the same thing for Convicted. I can honestly say, I started crying when I typed “The End”. Now the thing is, I don’t have the middle done, but I do know, without a doubt where I’m (or should I say, Claire is going and with whom)

I don’t think Tony will ever leave me, nor will any of my characters… I’ve spent too much time with them. They are my “first”… you never forget your first!

Dare I ask for an excerpt of Convicted to hold us over?

Yes – Convicted Excerpt:

Claire fastened the final clasp on her luggage. Sighing she turned toward Phil. “I’m glad you didn’t have to fly back to Iowa to meet with the ICPD.”

The golden flecks shimmered in Phil’s hazel eyes as he responded, “Well, Mrs. Alexander, it wouldn’t be very husbandly of me to let you travel to Venice all by yourself.” Nodding toward her midsection he continued, “And especially not in your condition.”

Claire’s hand instinctively moved to her growing baby. “And, Mr. Alexander, I appreciate that.”

While Phil spoke, Claire made the final adjustments on her dark wig. She’d gotten good at making the fake hair look real. That didn’t mean it didn’t itch. She was beyond ready to forgo the disguises.

“It seems the Iowa City Police Department no longer needs my information. The prosecutor’s office said they had new evidence to investigate. They asked me to keep in touch.”

“Hmm,” Claire said, as she placed a few more hairpins. “I wonder what new evidence has come their way?”

Stepping behind her, he gazed into the reflection, their eyes met as he answered, “Since I heard your end of the conversation, I’d say they were informed of a very …”

A loud knock interrupted Phil’s words. He saw the question in Claire expression. Every contact was suspicious and required scrutiny. Phil straightened his neck and walked toward the door.

She didn’t realize she’d held her breath, until she released it, hearing her husband announce, “It’s the bellhop. Are you ready to leave?”

Allowing her shoulders to relax, Claire took one last look around the suite. The luxurious furnishings paled in comparison to the lovely view beyond the balcony. As the sun rose in the east, hues of blue and sparkling waves danced across the water of Lake Geneva. The unseasonably warm breeze bathed her cheeks as she paused gazing at the sight for one last time. She knew it was time to go; their things were packed and ready. Exhaling she replied, “Yes, I’m ready to move on.”

Phil nodded as he opened the door and allowed the hotel employee to enter.

“Senior, seniora,” Although the predominant language of Geneva was French, the Alexander’s were thought to be Italian, as such, even the staff addressed them in their native language. Truthfully, most residents of the metropolitan city fluently spoke French, Italian, German or a combination.

Claire silently reached for her purse as her husband instructed the staff regarding their luggage. Standing patiently Phil placed his arm casually around his wife’s waist and led her toward the elevator. Their charade remained flawless until they were within the confines of the taxi.

The streets filled with people blurred as Claire contemplated her future. “Are our reservations set?” Claire asked in a whisper.

Phil leaned closer, “Yes, my dear, let’s discuss it further in private.”

Claire sat straight, gazed toward the driver, and nodded. No one could be trusted. She reminded herself to be mindful of listening ears. Disappearing into the night was Phil’s specialty. Doing that with a pregnant wife and multiple pieces of luggage was a new test of his clandestine skills.

As the early morning streets of Geneva passed by the windows, Claire reflected on her last piece of business. The day before she’d made one last visit to the financial institution that essentially made her incredibly wealthy. If the employees were surprised to have Marie Rawls visit for a second time, they didn’t show it. Instead, they willingly took her to the safety deposit box where she completed her business. Claire couldn’t be one hundred percent certain, but her intuition told her, when push came to shove, Tony would make his way to this hidden fortune. She decided his pot of gold shouldn’t be totally empty. She also knew the contents she left wouldn’t make him happy. Nevertheless, this time it was her game and her rules. He’d follow them, or he wouldn’t.

Phil gently squeezed her hand. “You seem far away. Are you going to be all right?”

Claire shrugged, “I don’t know. I guess time will tell.” She wondered how she and Phil had come this far. Given their initial meeting in San Antonio, it seemed unlikely. Sighing Claire turned back toward the window as the car slowed. It seemed very few of the relationships in her life could boast normal beginnings. Placing her hand gingerly over her midsection she prayed for a normal end.

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a fan of this trilogy. I mean, I literally cannot hear the word “consequences” without immediately thinking about his book. What about you, Aleatha, what books, or authors in general, have left that type of impression on you?

Funny you mention the word association – consequences, glitches, accident, truth, convicted, compartmentalize… they all do that to me!

My all-time favorite book has been Gone With the Wind… who doesn’t see Rhett Butler when they hear, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” I enjoy books that mess with my mind. I like Greg Isle’s thrillers. They keep me glued to my Nook. I also enjoyed the Dark Duet. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even while at work. I wondered, “Is this what my readers go through?”

I don’t read much while I’m into my writing… but right now I’m excited about Game of Thrones Season 3. I think George Martin has created an amazing and complicated world. I love how he has so many stories and somehow they’re all intertwined. I think that’s a fun way to make readers think. Starting a story at the beginning, moving totally in chronological order, and thoroughly introducing each character doesn’t stretch the reader.

Here is my favorite part of the Interview! Please choose one answer and you may explain if you want 😉

  • Claire or Catherine? Claire! No explanation needed!
  • Tony or Harry? Oh, I can’t … how about Phil?
  • Consequences or Truth? (Evil, isn’t it?) Consequences… my first!
  • Pearls or Diamonds? Both!!
  • Yacht or Private Jet? Private jet! (I’m caught in Spring Break traffic right now – I’d love a jet!)
  • The Lake or the Beach? For me, beach… for Claire, her lake!
  • Vanilla or Spice? Spice!

Please name One author off the top of your head that you’d like for me to interview next 😉

C.J. Roberts

Again, Aleatha, I cannot thank you enough for taking time out of your busy schedule to spend it with me. I cannot express how impatient I am to get my hands on Convicted. No pressure, really.

Eva, thank you! I’ve had a great time! I promise Convicted is coming! I just have a reputation to uphold. It wouldn’t be the Consequences Series without messing with your mind – that kind of debauchery takes time! **Evil grin**

Wishing you all a great Wednesday!
Writers go write, readers go read!
Cheers,
Eva 🙂

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Interview with Author CJ Roberts

Enjoy another author interview from 2013!

 

WELCOME CJ ROBERTS to Wednesday’s Writer Interview! What an honor to have you here with us! Please sit back, enjoy some French wine as I hold you as my “captive” for just a little while. I promise, you will be free to leave when we are finished! 🙂

I’ll sit anywhere you like if the booze is flowing. 🙂

Ahh, see, now that’s what I like to hear!

With every interview, my goal is to give our readers a little glimpse of our favorite authors which explains my first question: Who is CJ? The person and the author? By the way….I know you hate referring to yourself in the third person so be at ease, it is not a necessity 😉

There is a line from Captive in the Dark I have tattooed on my arm: “It had always seemed to me as though I were split into two people, but not equally.” This is me in a nutshell.

For whatever reason, I have always felt odd. Over the years I have learned to make it work for me. I became funny. I became bold. I became a fighter. If you cross me, I will take no prisoners. These things have allowed me to thrive. This is CJ, the author.

CJ, the person, is more vulnerable than one would expect. It’s a side of me I don’t like to talk about. I’m a writer for a reason.

I discovered your work thanks to Aleatha Romig who invited you here to be with us. Of course, I knew I would enjoy your stories seeing who recommended you. However, what I was not expecting was the way the story completely “captivated” me from the beginning to the end. Now, for those readers who are wondering why I keep make allusions to the word “Captive”, here is the explanation… We are featuring the extraordinary work called: Captive in the Dark, Seduced in the Dark and with any luck, a little wink at Dark Duets!

So, Ms. Roberts, where did this extremely complicated and devastatingly dark idea come from?

I used to be pretty naïve before the world got a hold of me. I suppose it also planted a seed of complete and utter fascination with all things horrible. It scared me. The world scares me. I face my fear through my work. I turn the world into something I can tolerate. I give it shape and meaning so that the whole of human existence doesn’t seem fraught with random acts of treachery that only culminate in our eventual devastation. Also…I’m pretty f**kin’ dark.

Let’s begin with Book 1: Captive in the Dark. We are thrown into a world of desperation and I cannot tell you the different emotions that swept over me as I read it. As authors, we are often told to write what we know so my question is, where did you get all the details of this underground world?

This question is always difficult. I never know how to answer it. I have had experiences in my life good and bad. They have shaped me as a person. I have thoughts other people might not have and they drive me to the brink of insanity unless I write them down. That people read my work and identify with it is all blessing because I’d have written it anyway.

Were there any times, as you wrote the more difficult scenes, like Livvie’s training sessions, where you thought…”maybe this is too much” ?

No, that comes later. I write whatever is in me to write and then I wait to hear from my beta readers. When the majority comes back and says, “Please, CJ, have mercy!” then I consider taking it out and in the case of Captive in the Dark, there were two scenes I can remember cutting without hesitation.

And you do realize that with that singular comment, my mind will forever wonder…

The emotional setting here is hard core. The reasoning behind her abduction, the thought process Caleb goes through in choosing her specifically is sometimes disturbing, when we really think about it. Did you any point have a love/hate relationship with your dark character?

I love and hate them all at different times. People usually love Livvie and hate Caleb. Just to change things up, let me tell you why I sometimes hated Livvie and loved Caleb.

I wrote Livvie in first person and that brought me face to face with her weakness. I abhor weakness in myself, so I sometimes hated Livvie for giving over to it because I knew I would do the same.

I love Caleb because he is a strong motherf**ker. He knows what he wants and he doesn’t let anything get in his way – not even his conscience. I admire that about him because he is something I could never be.

Of course, the ending to Captive in the Dark is…what is the word? GRRRRR…yes, I had to settle for an onomatopoeia. How did you feel when finishing book one and thinking of your poor readers’ reactions as they reached the ominous ending?

Book one is all set up. I wanted you to have time alone with these two characters, get to know them, see beyond what they do and into who they are. I also considered it my vetting process. If you couldn’t get through book one, you weren’t going to survive book two. I have no regrets.

How about a little snippet for our readers? I’m incapable of choosing one specific scene, because, honestly, all of them are important. I did, however LOVE the first time Livvie is allowed in the kitchen…

That was a really great scene. I enjoyed writing them having an actual conversation and dropping the veil a bit. However, my favorite thing about Caleb and Livvie is what they DON’T say:

There was a hard knot in my throat. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t swallow it down. It was just stuck there, choking me. Caleb’s fingers slid across the bedspread toward my leg, then faltered and returned to his own personal space.

I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to reach out toward someone and pulled back. I know what’s said in those moments. The longing between the both of them is almost tangible, but neither of them will reach out and take what they need.

Luckily for me, Seduced in the Dark was already available when I began book 1 so my shocked moment only lasted the time it took me to download book 2. So, here we are, anticipating Rafiq’s arrival and BAM! We are immediately submerged in a dark, horrible world of slavery. So, Felipe… I was fascinated by this character: his evolution, his different shades of…black (because gray annoys me.). Was it clear from the start that he would play such an important role in the outcome of the story?

I always liked Felipe as a character and he did always have an important role though originally, he was Caleb’s business partner. Caleb was much more sinister in my earlier drafts and Felipe provided a bit of levity and counsel. However, as the story evolved, his scenes became few, but I still wanted to give him a purpose.

Of course, Livvie morphs completely from the beginning of Captive to the end of Seduced. How does your author mind picture her today…after all is said and done?

Livvie has gone from being someone who is sad, lonely, naïve, and weak to someone angry, strong, manipulative, and brave. She survived. I think in the aftermath, she is a much more balanced individual. She’s been put through hell and stands on her own two feet. She also appreciates the simple things and I think that helps.

Would you mind giving us a little taste of Seduced? I don’t want to say what my favorite part is because it would kill the intrigue, so…I’ll let you choose!

This is one of my favorite scenes. We get to see the bulldog Livvie has become after her time with Caleb. She’s still vulnerable, but she’s learned to fight back. In this scene the FBI is trying to get her to talk about her time in Mexico with Caleb:

[Agent Reed] pushes me back gently. This man is all business. “Entry into Witness Protection isn’t guaranteed,” he says. He grabs the chair I threw and motions for me to sit. “This crosses international lines, not just federal. The DOJ is currently reviewing this case, and it depends on other complicated factors.” He sets it down where he wants and looks at me. “Sit down.”

I look at the chair and raise my arms from behind my back, wiggling my fingers.

“I’m going to leave [the handcuffs] on. Forgive me if I don’t trust you.”

I force a smile just to piss him off. “I won’t sign anything until you come through. I’ll say I lied about everything.”

He steps closer. “Have you been lying, Miss Ruiz?” His gaze is hot and smoldering – intimidating as hell. If it weren’t for the fact I’ve been with Caleb for so long, I’d probably piss like a puppy – but after Caleb, Reed’s threats feel like a caress. “Sit. Down,” he orders less nicely.

I sit slowly, giving him the sultriest look I can muster. He holds my eyes the entire time, trying to maintain his authority, his control. I slowly lean over and spit on his shoe. I look up at him, lips wet, and smile.

His hand wraps around my bicep with enough force to make me wince and he hauls me to my feet. “We’re done for today. You can go back to your room.” He shoves me toward the door and I go without a fight.

I want to go back to my room. I’m too close to falling apart and I don’t want Reed to see it. I don’t want anyone to see me falling apart.

So, imagine my excitement when I leaned that you were working on a little novella in Caleb’s POV. Without giving away the juicy details, can you tell us if it will be revolving around his past or their future?

Kind of neither. First, it’s a full-length novel. Yay! It was supposed to be a novella, but when I let Caleb back in my head he dug his claws in and wouldn’t let go. Second, the book isn’t really about Caleb’s past or future. It simply fills in the gap between Epilogue and The End. I basically made the epilogue 62,000 words instead of the original 1400.

Oh, that is fantastic! I know you have just made your fans, myself included, very happy campers!

I know inquiring minds NEED to know…May we, please…pretty please…get a little teaser of Dark Duet to hold us over?

I would, but I’ve already put so many teasers out there. But you can totally read chapter one: https://www.facebook.com/notes/cj-roberts/epilogue-the-dark-duet/367286930035589

In conclusion, yes, I loved this series and cannot wait to read more of your work. What can we expect from you in the future?

Well, Epilogue: The Dark Duet is out June 15th, 2013 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon in both ebook and paperback.

I’ll be going to San Francisco, Pomona, Orlando, and Las Vegas this summer. You can check my website for details: www.aboutcjroberts.com

After the summer, I’ll be starting my next book featuring Agent Reed from Seduced in the Dark. Should be my epic return to the dark side.

And this makes me very happy! I loved Agent Reed and the little teaser we got in Seduced. I’m thrilled that we will be getting a full story about him!

Here is my favorite part of the Interview! Please choose one answer and you may explain if you want 😉

  • Caleb or James? James. He’s like Caleb, without all the death.
  • Kitten or Pet? Kitten.
  • Flogger or Whip? Flogger.
  • Livvie: Before or After? After!
  • Yacht or Private Jet? Jet. You won’t catch my brown ass navigating the seven seas.
  • Captive or Slave? (mwahahahaha) Depends on the gate keeper.
  • Truth or Dare? Dare. I might be drunk enough.
  • Vanilla or Spice? Spice.

Please name One author off the top of your head that you’d like for me to interview next 😉

Tarryn Fisher. She asks the hard questions, so it’s only fair to turn the tables.

Again, CJ, it was an honor to have you here with us today! Good luck in your future endeavors and please…please….HURRY!! 🙂

Wishing you all a great Wednesday!

Writers go write, readers go read!

Cheers,

Eva 🙂

Thank you, Eva. I had a great time. I have to get back to work now.
Best,
CJ

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