An Interview With Heather MacKinnon, Author of Shift!

Today, on the release day of her second book, I had the chance to have a conversation with Heather MacKinnon, author of Changed, and now Shift!


I had a lot of fun talking to her and I'm looking forward to read more of her books!


Q. First of all, what was your inspiration? Your last book was a Vampire novel, wasn't it? What made you write a werewolf novel this time?

A. Yes, my last novel featured vampires! My first paranormal loves! I chose to write about werewolves this time because I love the passion and heat that these particular paranormal beings always exude. I had the idea that werewolves would be born as multiple births (small litters) and then had the idea of writing about a set of quintuplet werewolves. The rest of the story grew from that initial idea.

Q. All of the McCoy sisters have such distinctive characters. Were they by any chance inspired from people you know? Or were they all completely fictional?

A. Thank you! I really strove to make the sisters have individual personalities and not just be "one of the sisters", so I'm so glad that came across for you! And no, they're not based off of any real person I know, although I think I'd be great friends with each of them (well, maybe not Beatrice). Some of their characters were early ideas, like I knew Beatrice would be a tough cookie, and that Evey would be the bubbly, fun-loving youngest sister. The other ladies formed in my mind a little later on, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!

Q. Who was your most favorite character to create? And why?

A. That's like choosing my favorite dog! Some days it's one and some day's it's the other. I will say, it was a lot of fun writing Evey. She's so much fun no matter what she's doing. I also really enjoyed Abraham. Writing a strong alpha character who grew up with four sisters and therefore has a much softer side was complex and fulfilling. I hope their characters mean as much to the readers as they meant to me!

Q. If you had to, who is the first character from Shift that you'd kill? 

A. Ben. Bye-bye. Haha. He's terrible, I pretty much had to think "what's the worst thing that could come out of this guy's mouth right now" in order to write his dialogue.

Q. Are you a planner or a pantser?

A. Pantser! The most planning I do is to write bullet points for different events or scenes I've thought up in advance. Then I'll arrange them in what I think their chronological order should be. That's the best I can do as far as planning goes. There's only a chapter or two in advance in my head at a time. Hopefully my style is working!

Q. What is your favorite time to write? Do you follow a specific schedule or do you write as inspiration strikes?

A. I like to write after work. I spend a lot of time during my shifts thinking of my story and what I want to write and it's almost bursting out of me by the time I get home. As far as schedules, I do attend a meeting every Monday night called Shut Up & Write that I try to always make because it really motivates me to write and I can usually get at least one chapter written there. Beyond that, I try to get another 1-2 chapters done per week when I have nothing else major going on. However, when I'm nearing the end, I'm usually writing 1-2 chapters per day.

Q. Which was the most difficult scene to write in Shift?

A. Her actual shift! If you're a fan of the paranormal, you've seen or read of shifters, but being inside the head of someone who's going through it for the first time is more rare. I had to really stretch my imagination for that scene.

Q. I loved Charlie the cat and his skidding nails. What inspired you to create the main man as Elizabeth calls him?
(I think that guy deserves some recognition, therefore the question 💖)

A. Charlie the cat is modeled after my own dog, Charlie! We've had him seven years, and he is just the sweetest little dog, and the biggest cuddler you've ever met. I wanted Elizabeth to have a companion, but knew with her work schedule, a dog would be out of the question. Therefore, she got a cat that's inspired by my dog!

Q. When will we get to read Howl, the book two? The suspense is killing me! 

A. I'm so glad to hear you're excited to read Howl! I am currently writing, and plan to publish this year, hopefully sometime around the middle of 2018.

Q. ‎What's your favorite thing about the Paranormal genre? 

A. What you need to know about me, is I'm a huge sap. I am a sucker for anything romance--it's what drives me. So what draws me to the paranormal genre is the eternal aspect of their romance. With vampires, they live forever and therefore their love never dies. With werewolves, at least with my werewolves, there's such a thing as "fated mates" which is like a soul mate. That one person in the world they were meant to find and love forever. That's so magical to me and what will always draw me to this genre.

I love the paranormal genre too! Thank You for having a chat with me!


About The Author:

Heather MacKinnon is an author living in the research triangle in North Carolina with her husband and two troublemaking dogs. She grew up on Long Island and spent her young adult years in various states in New England. This led to her subsequent addiction to Dunkin’ Donuts latte’s and her gratuitous use of the word “wicked”. She’s tried her hand at many jobs throughout the years as she strove to find the one that made her happy. Heather has sold chicken, kitchen knives, auto body supplies, PR packages, and computer software. She’s been a cashier, a waitress, a cook, a hotel concierge, a phlebotomist, and an Uber driver. Though her jobs have been many, her passion has always been reading. She’d hide in the bathroom and read between sales calls, or find a lonely corner in the kitchen and whip out her kindle between waiting on tables. After a lifetime of enjoying other people’s words, she decided to write down some of her own. Her debut novel is Changed.

You can follow her on:

Facebook.
Twitter.
Instagram.
Website.

Read my reviews of her books here:

Changed.
Shift.

Review: Shift


Author: Heather MacKinnon.
Genre: Paranormal Romance.
Rating: 🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫

Blurb:

Hard working criminal lawyer Elizabeth Montgomery is finally taking a vacation, a solo trip to the mountains of North Carolina to a cozy little cabin in the woods. Unfortunately, she doesn’t even get to spend one night there. She takes an early evening hike and ends up on the wrong side of a vicious animal attack. Or so she thought. When she’s found and rescued by sexy stranger, Abraham, she soon finds out it was a werewolf that attacked her. And that she’s the newest member of Abraham’s pack. Now Elizabeth must navigate the changes that come along with becoming a werewolf while also learning to fit into this tight knit pack. For an only child who rarely speaks with her own parents, getting close to Abraham and his family might just be scarier than becoming a werewolf.

Cover Review:

The cover is befitting the storyline and has a mystique quality to it that I really like. 

Book Review

I devoured Shift in a day. I got this book as an ARC from the author in exchange of an honest review. I had loved the author's previous book so I was looking forward to reading this one.

Though when I received the book and realized it was a werewolf novel, I'd felt very disappointed. Recently, I've encountered way too many badly written werewolf novels, and I'd kinda lost faith in werewolf novels.

But as I started reading Shift, I realized that it was so much better. First off, it wasn't all about romance. There was also a keep you on your toes mystery that made the story worthwhile.

To make it even more better, the lead female was NOT a weakling who falls desperately in love with the big bad alpha. She's an independent chic and a lawyer at that and does not let other people overrule her. I loved her!

Considering I devoured it in a day, you can probably imagine just how unputdownable this novel was. If you like Paranormal stuff, you'll definitely love this one!


Buy Shift now:




A very Happy Release Day to the book!


I also had a fun chat with the author! You can check it out here.

Review: VanishIng Girls


AuthorLisa Regan.
Genre: Mystery Thriller.
Rating: 🍫🍫🍫🍫🍫

Blurb:

She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?
Fans of Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni will be utterly gripped and sleeping with the lights on once they discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.

Cover Review:

It's dark, dangerous and perfectly befitting to the storyline.

Book Review

VanishIng Girls is definitely one of the best mystery novels I've ever read. The characters, the suspense, everything was just perfect. 

Usually, when you read a mystery novel, it usually connects with the brain, right? You try to figure out what'll happen next. You rack your brain about it. 

But this book managed to stir both my head and my heart. It made me cry and smile proudly. It made me laugh and it made me scream 'yes!' (Which made my mom think I was crazy, as usual.)

I loved Detective Josie Quinn for her determination and her badass character. I salute that woman. 

There's another character I loved but I can't reveal his name because that's part of a suspense, but he's the good guy playing the bad guy role. 

All in all, VanishIng Girls was a shocking, goosebumps raising read and I'm excited to read more of Josie Quinn's cases! 


Buy VanishIng Girls now:




Which was the most touching mystery novel you ever read?




Review: The Matter Of The Crown


AuthorLinda Ferreri.
Genre: Crime Thriller.
Rating: 🍫🍫🍫🍫

Blurb:

The Crown of the Andes, one of the world's most precious and beautiful sacred objects, has been stolen right off the stage at Satterling's Auction House in New York City. Five pounds of magnificent baroque gold that ransomed the Inca Ruler Atahaulpa, and hundreds of perfect Colombian emeralds, all gone without a trace! Will this legendary treasure be destroyed for its gold and emeralds? Claire, the heroine from "One Sacred Crown," braving danger and emotional turmoil, is in hot pursuit.

Cover Review:

To be honest, I don't like the cover at all. Though the story behind it is pretty good, so I guess it's okay.

Book Review:

The Matter Of The Crown was so full of twists, revelations and even more twists that it left me confused at times! I couldn't read it in one sitting, because well life. Though whenever I wasn't reading or sleeping, my mind would go back to the book and I'd be wondering about the whys and the whos. 

I'm trying really hard to keep this review spoiler free, it's such a difficult task!

Who stole the crown was pretty easy to guess right from the moment it got stolen, yet there were many other mysteries that needed to be solved. And that's what kept me hooked. (I'd tell you more but it'd be a major spoiler, so sorry can't do!)

A mere glittering hoard serves no Godly purpose and thus would only blind those who do no more than see it sparkle.

At times, I had to skip a few pages, a chapter even because of too much description! I'm not a history lover. I mean, I enjoy reading about places and history but I don't want chapters of that stuff! Especially not in a mystery novel!

Other than that though, it was a pretty good read and I'm glad I got to read this book.


Buy The Matter Of The Crown now:



Amazon UK.

I also got a chance to have an awesome chat with the author! To read the interview, you can click here.



An Interview With Linda Ferreri, author of The Matter Of The Crown


Being a part of the Blog Tour hosted by Rachel's Random Resources, I got the chance to interview Author Linda Ferreri, the creator of the absolutely amazing novel, The Matter Of The Crown! 


Without further ado, I present to you my conversation with the amazing creative author, Linda Ferreri! 


Q. First of all, we'd love to know more about you!

A. I'm kind of quiet about myself, hoping the books get the attention rather than the author. But I know the world in which we live and that authors have to come out of the shadows.  I am possibly over-educated in the humanities.  I studied Latin and Greek for what seemed to be centuries, then art history for 5 years at university after my undergraduate degree, and then became a lawyer. So after forever in school, my career has been art law, until  I turned myself into a full-time author.  I was general counsel of a large art foundation, and of an auction house, and did some consulting for UNESCO. I've been all around the world with art and the law.  It's a fascinating topic. I travel a lot and my education has brought all of the places that I visit vividly to life for me.

As you can probably tell from the book, I'm American with a life in both the US and Italy. I love them both but I consider myself very very fortunate to be able to live and write in the beautiful Marche part of Italy. It really does inspire me.


Q. When I read The Matter of The Crown, I felt as if I was reading a classic novel, writing style-wise. Was that your intention or is that just your style?
Either way, I loved it!
 😁

A. Well thank you! It's both, actually.   My favorite writers are long dead and I quite love the proper turn of a phrase. There is so much to do with this lovely language of ours. I see this story as a film. It's always been like that for me.  I see like a story being told by a narrator to the audience in a movie theater watching the gorgeous scenery and the amazing Crown itself. It told itself to me in a very  old-fashioned way. It's only fair to say, however, that the old-fashionedness of my style in the book is part of the history involved.

Q. The Matter Of The Crown features so many characters! Who was the most fun to write? 

A
. The most fun to craft was the Contessa but my personal favorite is Baldo.  One of my friends is eager to see her back in a new book.  I say Baldo 'is' because he's back, in the book I'm writing now.

Q. In a sentence, how would you describe your writing experience for The Matter of The Crown? 

A. I knew who the characters were at the very start when the idea came to me; once I began typing, they took over and wrote the story themselves.   I was the typist on an exciting free ride with them.

Q. There are a lot of historical references in this book. Being an Art Historian, was writing this book easy for you? Or did you still end up doing a ton of research? 

A. I still did quite a lot of research, but I loved it.  Of course, I know all about the fabulous Crown of the Andes and didn't have to do too much research about it.  I know it exceptiionally well.  I played with the truth a bit, as I think an author may do.  The bits about Mary, mother of Jesus, and the great Cathedral at Loreto took a bit more research. But I love doing that part.   I'm doing it again for this new book. 

Q. Who is your favorite character in The Matter of The Crown? And why?

A. I hate saying this because of things that become obvious once you have read the book, but Alfred is a powerful character and as such he is one of my favorites. I had a vision of one particular actor in mind while I was writing Alfred.  It was a powerful influence on who he is.   Dare I say more here without spoiling the story for readers?  I think not.

Baldo is quite different, of course, and I loved developing him. Actually, he is modeled after someone I know, not physically but in other respects.   I am very fond of his sincerity and his depth.   There was a single conversation with the man I know who inspired Baldo, and then the character himself talked to me one evening. The story just got running.

Q. You've written another book featuring The Crown of Andes, haven't you? What prompted you to write another novel about it? 

A. The first novel entitled One Sacred Crown was inspired by actual events.  It grew out of my earliest introduction to the Crown of the Andes, itself.  Writing it was important to me, but the story has nothing to do with a theft.  I had that story “in me” so to speak, and it just had to be written.  Dare I say that writing it was therapeutic for me?   This novel, The Matter of the Crown, was the one that was oh-so-obvious...the theft of a gorgeous and valuable object.   A theft is always exciting for not only the readers but the author. I knew that story would be written. Once I knew that the Metropolitan Museum of Art would become the safe new home of the Crown, I was free to release a story about its theft.  I wouldn't do it early.  Too frightening!!

Q. Being an aspiring writer myself, I get novel ideas at the strangest of times. Did that ever happen with you? If yes, care to share the moment with us?

A. Yes indeed! They often come in the middle of the night for me.  They come during quiet times. Something will dance across my mind and poke me in the eye and say “Hey...how about this?”   It just happened the other day with the book I'm writing.  I have learned to trust my imagination and the power of those creative urges. They always come and they will come, and sure enough they do, right when I need them most.

Q. Other than writing, what are your hobbies? Do you read a lot? Who's your favorite author?

A. I love to knit and to grow roses.   Actually, I'm crazy about both of those. But yes indeed, I love to read.  My favorite authors, over time, have been Thackery, Trollope, Jane Austen, and Henry James.  I love them all and their powerful characters.   Once they develop those people, then it is so exciting for me to see how they handle what life throws at them.

Q. Any upcoming books we should be looking out for?

A. Yes, there is one in the typewriter.   Baldo and Claire are back, but this one begins in Philadelphia. I quite like this story, too. And there is another work of art involved.  It lacks the spiritual component of the Crown books, but has other special aspects.

I'll be waiting for that one! Thank You for spending your precious time for answering my questions! I wish you the best of luck for all of your upcoming books! 

Read my review of the book here.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:






Linda Ferreri is a well known art lawyer and author, and she lectures often around the world.

Her first novel about the Crown of the Andes,  One Sacred Crown, was published in 2009.  Now you can follow the heroine through this chilling finale in The Matter of the Crown set in New York City and Le Marche, Italy.

Linda Ferreri writes thrillers, and whimsical books  including novellas.  Her drawings are well known illustrations.  Her short, beautifully illustrated iBooks  and her novella The King of UNINI are much loved by all. 





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