Today’s Featured Author: Anamika Mishra

Today I welcome author Anamika Mishra to my blog. Though she is currently working on her third novel, today we are talking about her debut novel, Too Hard to Handle, which was released last year.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I am Anamika Mishra. I am from India. I love to write on and about anything. Similarly, I love to read all kind of books and magazines. Travelling and photography is my passion. My love for animals (especially dogs) is never ending. I am a writer and a blogger by profession. I love to motivate people and help them in enhancing their lifestyle.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Kanpur, India. Kanpur is known as the Manchester of north India, and is amongst the largest cities in India. I have lived in Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai for years. But now, I live with my family in Kanpur only.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

Yes, I am a full-time writer. I write for various lifestyle magazines and ezines. I am also a professional blogger. So, I spend my day writing articles. At night, I work on my novels. Presently, I am working on my third novel.

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

Best thing about being a writer is that you can spread your ideas about life and lifestyle with your writings. People read, appreciate and trust your ideas and thoughts. I don’t think there is any worst thing about being a writer. I enjoy each and every bit of being a writer.

Please tell us about your current release.

My second novel The Voicemates is in the pipeline and it would take around 6 months to get on the floors. So, I will talk about my debut novel Too hard to handle.

Too hard to handle is blend of fiction and facts with essence of philosophy in it. It is a contemporary love story which tries to find an answer to the question – what is more important in a relationship? Is it past, present or future?

What inspired you to write this book?

In present scenario, one night stands and day breaks-ups is a trend. People in a relationship break up with the one they love for silly reasons. They are forgetting the real meaning of love. This inspired me to write this book. I wanted to remind the real magic of love with this novel of mine.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

My favorite character is Vivaan. Vivaan is a lead character of this story. He is just like a Mr. Perfect, every girl dreams of. He is handsome, he is witty and he is really romantic. He is that kinda person, with whom any girl can fall in love.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Yeah!! I always keep a bowl of potato chips or fingers chips with me when I write. And yes, I am a big Soft drink addict. I always carry and keep a bottle of coke or pepsi with me. Sometimes, this changes to lime-soda or blackberry squash too.

Do you have an all time favorite book?

Yeah!! Heidi by J.Spyri is my all time favorite book. Other than this, I love David Copperfield by C. Dickens and Like the flowing river by Paulo Coelho. I have read these books many times and I can read these books any time.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

Paulo Coelho- because he is THE MOST favorite writer of mine.

Charles Dickens- because accordingly to me, no one can write like him. I wish I could meet him!

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

Ummm… well, to tell you all I go for shopping whenever I feel sad or down. I call this my shopping-therapy which helps to over come depression, sadness, frustration and other negative emotions like these.

Another interesting fact about me is, I love talking. I can talk for hours and hours and hours. HaHa!! See..!! *Wink

Book Description

Too hard to handleAnushree Sharma is twenty five, uninitiated in the matters of love, and endlessly confused about her life’s decisions. She is getting married to Vivaan Mathur. But after getting officially engaged she realizes that vivaan should know about her past which is full of blames on her, series of misunderstandings, betrayal from friends, innocent crushes, stupid decisions etc. She is in dilemma till she finds a way out –a diary. But there is something else written in her fate!

How fate turns up out of the blue and how it can change one’s life forever is the story of Too Hard to Handle.

A sweet, simple yet an intriguing novel trying to find out what is more important in a relationship –Past, Present or future and what happens when you try to mess with the flow of life.

About the Author

anamikaAnamika Mishra is an Indian Author and a professional lifestyle & travel blogger. Writing is her first passion. Second is traveling and photography.

Anamika holds a degree of Masters in Journalism & Mass Communication. She is known for strong opinions and passionate defense for her beliefs. She has a ‘think positive & keep patience’ perception towards life. Her articles on life and relationships have inspired many people from all across the world.

Anamika is a big dog-lover too. In her spare time, she loves to play with her pet Ronnie.

You can find out more about Anamika on her website.

You can purchase Too Hard to Handle on Amazon.


The all-important book title and covers…

As I work on the second draft of my novel, I have begun thinking about the cover and the title. Even though I have written about both subjects before, I wanted to revisit them since they are so important to the overall impression of the book. They set the tone and create an expectation for the reader.


I never had any problem with picking a title for the books in my trilogy. box setOnce I decided that The Elemental would be the name of my trilogy instead of the first book, the title Summoned just seemed most appropriate. Quietus and Destiny also were easy picks after I decided to stick with one-word titles.

But my latest book isn’t as easy. The working title has always just been Alexandria. On this blog, I have also referred to the working title as Finding Alexandria.

The other day, my husband suggested Heir of Alexandria. I thought that sounded good. But a quick search on Amazon shows that Mercedes Lackey has a series called Heirs of Alexandria. Darn. I would rather not have my title the same as a series of five books.

Of course Summoned and Destiny are titles that others have used, but I try to stay away from titles used by popular authors. I mean I would never name my book Gone with the Wind or The Hunt for Red October.

So I have considered Alexandria’s Heir or The Search for Alexandria’s heir. I don’t know. Nothing is really clicking with me yet.


Covers are very important as this is the first thing the reader sees. You want to select something that intrigues them enough to click on your link and read the book description.

The SearchThis means you want a professional-looking cover. Now I know enough graphic design to design my own (and did so for my short story The Search), but I choose to let someone else with a little more experience do the covers from my trilogy.

Unless you are willing to pay someone to draw you a cover, most designers are using stock photos and graphics. The problem with writing fantasy is that many of the models in those photos are wearing modern clothing. Even the ones in “medieval” garb are not wearing what those in my story wear. It makes selecting artwork hard. And don’t even get me started on finding a decent dragon artwork to use.

So I have been spending some time looking at stock photo sites such as istockphoto and dreamstime. I would love to feature the necklace my character wears but again, there is no artwork that looks like it and I can’t draw. I guess I could look into someone else drawing it for me, but I am wanting to keep my costs low.

I also need to decide if I want to stick with the woman who designed my trilogy covers or go with someone new. She has raised her prices considerably since last time.

Ahh…so much to decide before proceeding. I don’t want to make any hasty decisions on such important topics, so I guess I will keep mulling over what I want to do.

Quote of the Week: Oct. 29

It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin– and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright. ~ Erin Morgenstern


Setting up special accommodations for my daughter’s education

As I have mentioned numerous times on my blog, Lexie has a variety of medical issues. The only ones affecting her daily life right now are her eczema and allergies.

At six, her eczema has really gotten under control. Her skin is looking better, and we haven’t been doing anything different. She puts Vaseline on before baths, and that is about it. It still mainly affects her legs with her ankles being the worst.

As for her allergies, they still cause her to scratch some, but we just deal with it and dutifully give her antihistamines daily. Actually all summer, I gave her no medications, and she did fine. It wasn’t until middle August that something made her start itching again. It is always worst August and September, for some reason. (For those of you who don’t know Lexie’s history, she was diagnosed at age 2 with being allergic to a long list of things, so there is little chance we will pinpoint what causes the flare up during these months.)

I am not sure what triggered the school to flag Lexie as someone who needs extra attention. But last year, I received a Section 504 notice. This was in reference to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Under Section 504, schools must provide individuals with disabilities accommodations to help them receive an education equal to that of the other students.

I had no clue that her allergies would qualify her for that, but it does. I guess they consider allergies – especially a possible life-threatening one (Lexie received an epi pen 18 months ago) to be a physical issue that they needed to make a plan for even though I don’t think they limit her life activities in a way that garners special attention.

For whatever reason, last year we had a meeting with the counselor, principal, her teacher, and the nurse to discuss what the school needed to do to accommodate Lexie. I told them of her medical history, and that she had been to preschool without any problems. There really wasn’t much that needed to be done besides watch for allergic reactions and try to curb her desire to scratch.

Earlier this month, I had our annual review on her 504 plan. Now this came three days after meeting with Lexie’s teacher to discuss her involvement in RAP – a reading program that Jase did last year. It is designed to help those students who need extra help with reading.

On Lexie’s reading test in September, she was assessed at a reading level of D. This level is an end of kindergarten/beginning of first-grade level. I would think this is an appropriate level but guess not. Her teacher thinks she would benefit from the extra reading help. And as I did with Jase, I gave my approval. How could I not want them to read better?

So now her enrollment in RAP is part of her 504 accommodations even though it has no correlation to her physical “disability.” They are also offering to tutor her during school hours if she needs it. But these are all things that would have been offered even if she didn’t have allergies. Now it is just written down in the records- in case someone wanted to complain that she wasn’t being treated fairly.

Today’s Featured Author: Ashley Ladd

I would like to welcome author Ashley Ladd to my blog. Following today’s interview is an excerpt from her latest book, Spooky Sojourn.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a mild-mannered customer service rep by day and a masked crusading erotic romance writer by night. I tried to join the FBI, but unfortunately, I have severe hearing loss from my active duty Air Force days which disqualified me. However, the Air Force sent me through college and I went on to complete my MBA and I function with the aid of hearing aids.

I’m also a wife, mother of five, grandmother of two, and I absolutely adore cats. I love to watch movies on the big screen, take long walks, and swim. I’m a regular Trekkie and Food Network addict.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in Colerain Township. Although I still call that home, I also call South Florida, specifically Fort Lauderdale home. I’ve lived in Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) for the past 24 years.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

Yes. I’m halfway done with “Gaycation”. It’s an MMF about an erotic MM/BDSM romance writer who attends a gay convention to get ideas and she ends up with way more than she bargains for. It’s fun to write so far and I’m sure it’ll be fun to read.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I wish I could write full time. It’s my dream. But alas, I hold down a full time day job as a customer service representative.

I write between 2-4 hours nightly after I get home from work which is about 1,000 to 3,000 words nightly. You see, my real claim to fame is that I type about 96 wpm. I also try to write for a few hours each on Saturday and Sunday.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I make a very loose outline. I’m more of a pantser and let the story unfold as I go. I know the ending and a few high points in the middle but let the road wind around. I’d be too bored with the story if it was completely mapped out before hand.

What inspired you to write this book?

I stayed in a haunted hotel when I attended a romance writer’s convention about twelve years ago. It was a fun adventure and I promised myself I’d write a book inspired by it. Spooky Sojourn was finally born.

How did you come up with the title?

I was surfing the Internet and saw the phrase “Spooky Sojourn” and thought it fit my book.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

I love Harry DeVeaux. He’s so charming and sexy I wish I was theheroine so he could be my hero.

I really dislike Roxanne Cambridge, the villain.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

It would be Haley because she dresses up as Catwoman and saves her hero (repeatedly) from the bad guys. She even jumps her motorcycle over a police car. She’s awesome and has a ton of fun. Haley’s in Purrfect Justice published by Ellora’s Cave.

Or maybe Deanna. She’s chasing ghosts and going to séances. Deanna’s in Spooky Sojourn which will be published by Totally Bound in October of this year.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Probably Make-believe Lover. Becca and her cat Gizmo are transported into the alternate dimension of her favorite comic book world. In this world, Gizmo speaks English. In fact, he won’t shut up! He’s a riot and he tries to steal the show. She gets to fly around on dragons and she has a super hottie for a hero. Make-believe Lover is published by Ellora’s Cave.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I twirled flags in high school and again in the Air Force Drum Bugle & Corps. We marched in the New Orleans Mardis Gras Parade.



Deanna reread her fantasy, barely able to believe she’d penned it, wondering if she should delete it. Did she really want to make out with Harry, a perfect stranger, on a public beach? Did she really want her words on the Internet, even in a supposedly private blog under a make-believe name?

Well, it was confidential, right? As long as she didn’t give anybody the web address or password or tell them about it, it would remain secret.

Enough fantasizing! She had to get back to work. Dragging the files out, she familiarized herself with the ghost sightings as well as Lynette’s and Grant’s history. By the time she finished, she knew how they’d died and the theories about their suicides-slash-murders. She also knew that everybody was afraid to point fingers at the now very influential and powerful Roxanne Cambridge-Anderson. Could Roxanne be behind the haunting nonsense? Did she want the hotel shut down? But that made no sense. The rumors portrayed Roxanne as a murderess. It wouldn’t be in her best interest to keep their legend alive.

Deanna’s temples began to ache the harder she thought about everything, so she decided to go to sleep. Hopefully she’d awake if any hijinks took place in the bowling alley.

About three a.m., deafening booms awoke her. Light brightened lane fourteen and all but one pin lay scattered on the wooden floor.

Groggy, Deanna tried to gather her senses. She looked around then, to her horror, she saw an iridescent figure of a man on lane fourteen picking up a glowing ball. Collecting her presence of mind, she grabbed her webcam, pointed it at the ghostly shape and turned it on. Shaking, she tried to hold her computer steady. Not believing what she was seeing, she knew there had to be a rational explanation. Perhaps some machine was projecting the image onto the lanes. Perhaps a real person stood in front of her in glowing phosphorescent powder.

Whatever or whoever it was, picked up the ball, and knocked down the spare pin. Then the ‘apparition’ bowled three strikes in a row.

Unexpectedly, he turned and glared at her, fire shooting from his eyes. Pins flew from all the lanes at her. Her heart racing, she ducked under the score table.

Book Blurb

spookysojourn_800Someone’s trying to kill Deanna, but is it the ghosts she doesn’t believe in, the rich socialite who might be a murderess, or someone else with a beef against The Gilroy Hotel and Resort that Deanna has just been hired to manage?  The Gilroy’s owners want the ghosts, or whoever is causing the trouble at the hotel eliminated, and they are pressuring Deanna to do the job as quickly as possible. Harry DeVeaux, paranormal investigator comes highly recommended to do the job and against Deanna’s better judgment, she hires him.

Although Deanna thinks Harry’s crazy for believing in ghosts and Harry thinks Deanna has a closed mind to the possibilities of ghosts and they highly annoy each other, sparks fly. Deanna can’t help but fantasize about Harry and inspired by a romance convention visiting her hotel, writes her fantasies in a private blog that Harry finds, hacks, and reads. Ooh la la!

About the Author

Ashley LaddAshley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children and beloved pets. She loves water, cats and playing on the computer.

She’s often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance which she weaves into her stories.

You can find out more about Ashley on her blog or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can purchase her books on Amazon.