Interview with our Author of the Month, Sydney Jamesson by MJ

Hi everyone!

We are thrilled to share a lovely interview with one of our favorite authors, Sydney Jamesson!

She’s been very kind to us by accepting our invitation to be featured as our Author of the Month.

She honored us with  a heartfelt interview that I’m pretty sure you’ll all enjoy. We wanted to really know Sydney, and together, we’ll discover this amazing, passionate and hard-working woman. She opens up to her fans and she even talks about the importance of Sylvain Reynard (another favorite in the house ;)) and her fans in her career as a professional writer.

And in case you missed it, we reviewed The Story of Us Trilogy. Check them out!

Without much further ado, we’re glad to introuduce you to the talented Sydney Jamesson. 🙂

sydney jamesson

We know you’re an English teacher, how and when did your love for literature starts?

I’ve always loved the idea of immersing myself in another world, being someone else for the duration of a novel is what attracted me to literature. As an only child, there were times when I’d be gone for hours reading and writing in my bedroom, traveling to faraway places and different eras, becoming someone else until my mum would call me down for dinner or it was time for bed.

I had an English teacher at senior school (high school for Americans) who seemed ancient at the time. She loved literature and spoke of it with such affection that it made me think it must be something wonderful. English became my best subject at school and through that teacher, my enthusiasm grew. She was also very encouraging of my writing, suggesting I take up a career as a journalist – which I went on to do.

I believe that’s why I side-stepped away from commercial journalism and copywriting to teach – and then returned to writing. I try to enthuse my students in the hope they’ll go on to pursue their ambition, and create something of beauty. There’s a lot of young talent out there in need of encouragement. Who knows, at least one of them might well have a bestseller taking shape in their imagination right now. All it takes is little self-belief to put yourself out there and share your stories with readers.

Which was your favorite book as a child? As an adult? 

I never took to The Famous Five or any other of the Enid Blyton books or even Judy Blume as a child, (they were popular when I was a young) but I went straight from magazines to the classics: Austen, Bronte, Hardy, Shakespeare and Dickinson to name but a few. I think the lyrical nature of the words and the imagery captured my imagination and made me feel that anything was possible. If you could dream it and write it down, that’s when the magic happens.

I have a brilliant guest blog on my website that makes an interesting comparison between Ayden and some of the classic romantic heroes like Mr. Darcy. It’s certainly worth a read: http://sydneyjamesson.com/a-new-mr-darcy-comes-out-to-play/

As an adult, I have an eclectic taste. I am always drawn to character driven plots. Having said that, I prefer plots that have twists and turns and are full of surprises. I hate the predictable.

One of my favourite authors is Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire is a work of genius. I love Anne Tyler, her portrayal of misfits and disconnected families can make you laugh and cry in the same paragraph.

I’ve always loved Stephen Leather, Stieg Larsson for crime or suspense. Ian McEwan for ingenuity and character development, and more recently, Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl. In the romance department, Tiffany Reisz is incredibly talented; her stories have so much heart. They are sexual but so well written that the most surprising act seems like an everyday activity. That takes some doing. More recently, I have enjoyed Sylvia Day; she is mistress of steamy writing and quite rightly so after years of perfecting her art. I have also enjoyed reading Jason Luke, You by Caroline Kepnes and The Girl in 6E by Alessandra Torre.

We read that it took you 20 years to finish TouchStone for Play. Why did it take you so long?

When I released TouchStone for Play, it was barely recognisable as the book I’d written twenty years previously. I considered the original as a series of notes, a starting point which I could built upon. TouchStone for Play became a reincarnation, a transformation of a basic love story into something deeper and more meaningful. There was a wealthy guy with a playboy reputation, but ‘Beth’ was not a teacher and Dan was not so much a stalker as a jealous lover.

What I did carry forward was the intense attraction and the loyalty that soon became apparent between the central characters. They were from different worlds, but something had brought them together – fate. That is the essence of The Story Of Us Trilogy and in the series, what keeps them together.

Sylvain Reynard’s writing had a very important influence in your life as an author. Can you share with us why? 

It certainly has. Only after reading Gabriel’s Inferno did I feel there was a place for The Story of Us in the publishing world as a piece of literary romance. The romanticism and the lyrical style blew me away – it’s no secret, least of all to SR, that I was inspired. I had a kind of epiphany. I said to my partner, “This is the most romantic book I’ve ever read.” (I loved it that much) It’s so perfectly constructed and written with so much love and devotion. When I saw how readers loved it, I thought there might be a place in their hearts for Ayden and Beth’s love story. I was also aware of the popularity of stories that were more sexual than sensual and so added spice to Ayden and Beth’s love affair. Along with the heartbreak I added hotness and a heap of humour and suspense and, The Story of Us was born.

Who are Ayden Stone and Beth Parker in Sydney Jamesson’s life? Did someone inspired both characters?

I have to confess that as Beth is a school teacher, most people assume that she is me. In her professional life she probably is. In terms of personality, she’s much softer than me. I’m less sentimental and forgiving. Her softness and compassion probably reflects my daughter’s personality. Having said that, we both cried when we watched Beaches. Who didn’t?

I have enjoyed giving Ayden a voice too. He is much more business-like than Beth. He’s had a difficult childhood, but beneath that cool, polished and impenetrable exterior, there’s a heart of gold – a heart that beats for Beth. A lot of readers will recognise that in their partners. The same can be said of mine. Most of the men in our lives are all bark, but they rarely bite … not without permission. Ha!

As for Dan, he is Hannibal Lecter let loose, a sociopath with an obsessive streak. Poor Beth Parker is the focus of that obsession and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on his ‘princess.’

The Story of Us Trilogy introduces us to Ayden and Beth’s love story. How did you choose the titles for each book? Did you design the book cover as well? 

I did come up with the concept for the book covers, but had a wonderful designer create them. The covers are clues to what happens in the books. The background is always a significant setting and the foreground represents an important moment in the book. I also wanted them to reflect the fairy-tale concept in that The Story of Us has many fairy-tale elements, and Beth could be recognised as Sleeping Beauty. She has her Prince Charming who rescues her from being attacked and killed by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Dan Rizler. The entire series has magical elements like prophecy and destiny, the stars, nature and transformation, as well as self-sacrifice and redemption. Fairy-tales tend to be about battles between good and evil, and this series is no exception.

Also the images are very childlike, reflecting the length of time their love has existed, and it isn’t until the couple are fully settled in Blue Genes that the imagery becomes more adult, but still symbolic.

The titles of the books are all variants on TouchStone: a reference point against which things are measured. Ayden Stone is ‘the best’ – he has no equal in Beth’s eyes, he is her TouchStone. Also including his name means that in each book he, plays, gives and then offers her forever. The Into the Blue Series sees them moving forward together into the unknown: Blue Genes, Blue Hearts and Blue Moon will complete their story.

How would you describe Ayden and Beth’s love story? For those who haven’t read this trilogy, what do you think makes your story special and different? Why they should read it? 

I would say that The Story of Us is epic. It’s unique in that it crosses genres. From the outset it appears like many other stories out there; a wealthy businessman meets an young, naive woman who is waiting to be ‘trained’ or dominated in some way or looking for a sexual encounter. This story is not that. Beth is shy but smart, beautiful in spirit and it is she who teaches Ayden how to love, even though he is the playboy. He must transform himself into the man worthy of her love.

Over time, readers discover they are soul-mates, their love has been written in the stars. They have been waiting to find each other. After a long and lonely period of twenty-two years, fate looks down on them and brings them together. From that point on, they cannot be separated, even though the forces of heaven and earth conspire to break them up.

In the wings, let’s not forget Dan Rizler, Beth’s stalker who has also been looking for her. Will he get his hands on her before Ayden does? There’s only one way to find out …

You finished The Story of Us Trilogy (TouchStone For Play, TouchStone For Giving and TouchStone For Ever) and now you introduce us to your new series in your recently published book Blue Genes. Why did you decide to continue Ayden and Beth’s love story in this new series?

The Into the Blue Series, is all about Ayden and Beth as they strive to find their happily ever after. That means bringing families together and starting a family of their own. But as ever, there is always someone to rock the boat …

But, knowing their love is worth fighting for, they will do whatever it takes to keep their love, and each other alive. Blue Hearts is releasing in December. In the book their love will be tested, pushed to the limit and readers will have to ask themselves: will Ayden and Beth be able to withstand not only the heartache of separation but the forces that are conspiring against them?

 Ayden Stone has the face of Henry Cavill. How did Henry influence Ayden’s character?

Right from the start I had an image of Ayden in my head and struggled to find an actual picture of a man who could live up to my expectations, and then … I saw Henry Cavill at the Immortals premier and I called out to my partner, “There’s Ayden.” Of course he rolled his eyes, but from that moment, Henry has been Ayden, not only for me but for all my readers. He would make an awesome Ayden. Not only because he could portray him physically, but I think he has the wit and the intelligence to pull it off. Ayden is a complex character, and it would take someone who has both the screen presence and the sensitivity to bring some of the softer moments to life. For instance, when Ayden says,

When I lean back and look at him, hes still and serious, lost somehow.

I don’t deserve you, Beth,he mutters, stroking my hair so softly it feels more like petting than caressing. What happened last night was, what can I say, unexpected, especially as we didnt get off to a very good start. It was more than I deserve. I felt so relaxed and turned-on. It was a new experience for me.

Also he could handle the sex scenes, who can forget The Tudors?

“With grasping hands, he fists my hair urging me to respond to his impassioned kisses while his tongue licks and penetrates me: hes unstoppable.

Using his free hand he lowers me beneath his Herculean body so I can feel the full weight of him flattening me to the mattress. Its all bump and grind: silk material against hard muscle, nails on bare skin, my saturated flesh up against his hard cock. Every nerve in my body is tingling, every breath a fight for survival. I want him so badly.”

I know I’d pay to see that. Ha!

Do you consider yourself a #CavillAddict? 😉

In answer to your question, am I a #CavillAddict? I would have to say yes. I find him intoxicating and rarely a day goes by when I’m not doing something with him – in terms or writing or sharing a photo, I mean. 😉

We have published authors among us and aspiring writers. As a very successful author, do you have any words of advice for them? 

Always make sure that whatever you publish is your very best work. Don’t be pressured to follow the crowd, find your own voice. If you have an idea for a story and it’s something you’d like to read, the chances are others would too. Get friends or someone you trust to read it objectively and, whatever you do, take no notice of negative reviews. You can’t please all the people all the time.

How important are your fans for you? Describe your fans in three words. 

I can’t tell you how much my fans mean to me. We have a family of fans from all over the world and we congregate on the TouchStone Family Circle page on Facebook. Of the many things I have set myself and achieved, I am most proud of the fact that The Story of Us has brought so many lovely people together. The ladies in the circle are my second family and it’s for them and readers who believe in romance and true love that I write. It is they who continue to make this journey so enjoyable for me.

Three words: passionate, loyal, devoted.

I won’t lie and say it’s all been a bed of roses, it hasn’t. There have been times when I have been tearful and exhausted. I have taught all day then wrote all night, and done that on four hours sleep for months. To be a writer you have to be so dedicated and believe in what you’re doing or it will become too much like hard work. Knowing I have the love and support of so many readers, motivates me to keep at it, and to produce stories they can laugh, swoon, and cry along with.

 

What’s next for Sydney Jamesson?

I want to finish the Into the Blue Series with Blue Moon which is going to be the most amazing HEA anyone has ever read! #Justsaying Ha!

After that I have lots of ideas on bits of paper, in notepads — literally everywhere. I think I will take a break and think about finding an agent who can introduce The Story of Us Series to a wider audience. I would love to have it translated into other languages, just so people everywhere can experience love in its purest form and fall in love with Ayden and Beth as my readers and I have done.

They are so special to me, I actually tear-up when I think of not having Beth in my life, she is so pure of heart and an inspiration to so many of my readers. What she has been through and how she has handled herself, has inspired so many of us. And, as for Ayden, well, it goes without saying that he will be missed, but I will always have Mr. Cavill to remind me of him and make me smile.

Thanks so much for having me as your author of the month. It’s been a treat reading your reviews and having this chance to introduce The Story of Us to fellow romantics around the world.

Much Love,

Sydney  X

It was truly our pleasure!

We hope you all enjoy this interview. Certainly, Sydney Jamesson is someone to watch closely. Don’t miss her extraordinary work. Good luck, Sydney!

Thanks for reading. Until next time!

MJ

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Ilona’s Book Review: TouchStone For Ever by Sydney Jamesson

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I had high hopes for a happy ending for Beth and Ayden in TouchStone For Ever. And why not?

Ayden Stone and Elizabeth Parker are soul mates. Their love is a force to be reckon. They were destined to find each other once again because they are soul mates.  I believe that such love does exist. I believe in destiny; I believe that everything happens for a reason. Things often happen in ways that we cannot understand, but we always can dare to hope that in the end, everything will be okay. Our sacrifices, tears, anguish, sleepless nights… At the end, it’ll all be worth it. That’s why so many people believe in miracles and we often pray for one.

The beautiful and brave Beth shines in this book like no other heroine. She shows a strength and love that we only hope we have if our love has to be tested. Her love for Ayden shines through in each and every moment of her actions. He was made for her and she was made for him. Their souls are destined to be together. But now that they can finally prepare for their future together, tragedy hits again. To keep a promise, one of these lovers must make a choice and commit themselves to an impossible task. As Beth starts this magical “journey,” she shares her thoughts and feelings about love, life and her desperate wish for her happily ever after. She allows the reader into her own private thoughts and through them all her feelings and emotions are revealed. It takes her to places she never knew existed or even dreamed to visit.

How far would you go to save the one that you love?  What a woman would do to get her true love back? Those are questions we all can ask ourselves. In my opinion, I think Beth did what any woman in love would’ve done to get her true love back. The sacrifice that Beth was willing to do for Ayden leave you breathless. Beth proves how much she loves him with her charm and patience. She has so much love in her that even the one that tried to take advantage of her has no other choice than to love her back and give her what her heart desires the most.

I cried at times. Even felt like losing hope at others. I felt all the sadness and sorrow in Beth’s soul.

TouchStone For Ever is definitely a very beautiful story. Undeniable love and passion are two elements that make Ayden and Beth’s path through happiness one to remember. This is Sydney Jamesson! Unexpected plot twists will be found just to add richness and capture our full attention through the story. The characters kept me guessing till the very end. Jamesson’s craft just gets better and better after each book. The result is a mind blowing story that captures your heart, mind and body. And just like in many fairy tales, there were monsters to be slayed, obstacles to overcome and promises to be kept.

If you are a lover of classic romance, this is the book for you! You will laugh, cry and cheer, while reading this modern fairy tale story realizing that true love can withstand any storm and last forever.

Sydney Jamesson pulls you in and then hooks you with her unique writing style, and a plot that keeps you captivated and hungry for more.

I give TouchStone For Ever 5 magical stars. Well done, Sydney!

five stars

“I wished for a prince but have been blessed with an angel” Quote by Beth, which touched my heart deeply

MJ’s Book Review: TouchStone For Giving by Sydney Jamesson

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Book Review by MJ: TouchStone For Giving by Sydney Jamesson 

When I write a book review I’m completely honest. I write what I think. What the book made me feel. If the author makes me feel what his/hers characters feel, then most likely I’ll write a 4 or 5 stars book review.

So what do I think after reading TouchStone for Giving, the second book in The Story of Us Trilogy?

The story picks up exactly where TouchStone For Play left us. Ayden and Beth trying to work out their relationship. A relationship they both are aware is worth fighting for. The writing style and pace of the story is flawless. It flows organically. Every scene written and every plot twist (which were a few and unexpected) added the right amount of angst, romance and suspense to not let you stop reading until the very end of the book. Dan and Elise make their appearance again and cause enough trouble. These two characters are very well developed as well. You’ll hate them both!

Answers of many of your questions in the first book, TouchStone For Play, will be found in this novel. Secrets are revealed. Redemption, unconditional love and forgiveness play an important part in this second installment of the trilogy.

Ayden is still the sexy business wizard capable to melt you with those blue eyes and his sinful mouth. You’ll be able to understand the ghosts he’s facing as we get a good view at his past. To sum it up, he’s simply swoon-worthy and, as his creator says, he’s a man of very talents… Read him a poem, and you’ll find out how talented he can be. 😉

It was a pleasant surprise to see how Beth’s character developed through the book. She’s more confident and stronger. Doubts and fear are emotions that all of us will always experience, but how we handle each situation is what makes the whole difference. It was great how she grew after each challenge faced. And they weren’t easy at all. Kudos for Beth!

The sex in the story never disappoints! Ayden is a Greek god that knows what he’s doing and even when he’s controlling, he’s totally smitten with Beth. She’s really the one in control in this relationship, but don’t tell Mr.Stone! Let him think he won … 😉

The story ends up with a cliffhanger, but it’s totally something we can deal with! Don’t let this stop you, because you’ll be missing an amazing love story which is very well written.

I personally gave TouchStone For Play 4 stars, but Miss Jamesson, you blew me away with this story. Loved it! That’s why my review for TSFG is 5 brilliant stars!

Great job!!!!

five stars

Book Review: TouchStone For Play by Ilona Gunther

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Hello everyone!

As promised, we’ll be sharing the book review for the first book in The Story of Us Trilogy, TouchStone For Play, written by our dear author and friend, Sydney Jamesson.

In our previous post, we introduced you to this talented and best selling UK author. Our very own Ilona Gunther has a few words to share with you in her book review.

What does Ilona thinks about TouchStone For Play? 

Lets find out, shall we? 😉

Book Review: TouchStone For Play

I must say that in the beginning, I didn’t know what to expect. This novel seemed to me to be like a lot of other erotic romance novels out there. Billionaire meets a young, beautiful and innocent woman whom he seduces until she falls head over heels for him. I was wrong. So very wrong.
I loved the heroine of the story, the teacher, Beth Parker. She’s very gentle and shy. She’s wounded. Broken, like all of us. You could almost think you were about to read about a weak character, but as the story develops, you’ll discover (as she does) that she’s a strong female character whose past made her blossom into the woman she has become. She’s intelligent, witty and clever. I have no doubt that she is the perfect match for Ayden Stone and Ayden was the man who could bring her best, inside and out.
Ayden Stone, our hero, is an enigmatic media magnate. He’s gorgeous, wealthy, controlling, passionate, and oh so darn sexy… I love his masculinity, sexiness and the instant attraction and support he has for Beth. But he’s also vulnerable. Such a strong character, but his vulnerabilities make him so real. It is a very likable character, which with you can swoon, dream and emphasize, especially knowing how tough is for him to carry the burdens from his past. The moment he met Elizabeth Parker for the first time, his destiny was sealed. He knew he couldn’t let her go. Ayden is a man that knows what he wants and fights for it, as a businessman and as a man in love. That’s my kind of hero.
As they both embrace the depths of the feelings growing between them, you’ll be able to witness a beautiful relationship that has to battle with issues and mistakes, just like us. But every challenge is a new opportunity of growth for each of them and their relationship. And there’s no doubt that this two are made for each other. You can see through the story how badly they both want their love to last. This love gives purpose and meaning to our dear protagonists.
The character I did fear was Elizabeth’s stalker Dan Rizler. This character gives a twist to the ‘normal’ plot you’d expect for an erotica novel. It adds angst and suspense to the story. His obsession took a hold of me to the extent that I did not want to turn the page fearing what he might do to Beth. Well, not that much since the story captivated me and I just could not put it down until I finished it. 🙂
I was taken to a whole new level of reading with this book. The suspense and dramatic moments of the story made me feel like if I was watching a movie. I felt everything the characters felt! Love, hurt, anger, fear… This is something I had never experienced before.
Ms. Jamesson’s writing is flawless and the characters Ayden and Beth are unforgettable. I am so excited to continue this love story. It is wonderfully written, sexy, smart, modern day fairy-tale. I laughed, I cried, I was completely blown away! Sydney Jamesson has found a fan for life!
I give this story 5 amazing stars! five stars

Our Author of the Month for October is … Sydney Jamesson!

Hi everyone!

We want to officially introduce you to our Author of the Month, Sydney Jamesson!

sydney jamesson

We see her daily on Twitter. Her enthusiasm is contagious. She likes to chat with her fans and invites them to stop by and say hello! She’s fun and she is also a #CavillAddict. Therefore, no wonder her male lead character in her best selling series, The Story of Us, is inspired by our incredibly and amazingly gorgeous and talented Henry Cavill. 😉 

We truly appreciate how kindly and enthusiastically she accepted our invitation. We love our authors. Especially, we love when they write stories that make so easy to picture Henry Cavill as our book boyfriend.

But who is Sydney Jamesson?

During the day, Sydney Jamesson is an English teacher in the UK. Although, the magic in Sydney’s life happens at night. At night, The Muse inspires her to create a world where the angst, drama and suspense enhance the love, passion and intensity between our hero and heroine, Ayden Stone and his beloved Beth Parker.

Sydney describes herself as a nocturnal creature who enjoys to stay up late listening to music and writing when inspiration strikes her. How kind The Muse have been with her? Actually, very generous. Sydney Jamesson is a best selling author whose trilogy is sold worldwide! The Story of Us Trilogy consists of TouchStone for Play (Book #1,) TouchStone for Giving (Book #2,) and TouchStone For Ever (Book #3.) All her books are in the top 100 Best selling romance novels on Amazon! Congrats, Sydney!

She followed Beth and Ayden’s epic love story in her new work, Blue Genes (part of her new series Into The Blue,) which promises to keep us as captivated as Sydney Jamesson does with every book of her trilogy.

Don’t miss next week our book reviews for The Story of Us Trilogy and coming soon a very special interview with our dear friend and best selling author, Sydney Jamesson.

TSFP TSFG TSFE

blue genes

The Story of Us Trilogy (Amazon US)

Touchstone for Play: http://www.amazon.com/TouchStone-play-Story-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00CW6FNXO

TouchStone for Giving: http://www.amazon.com/TouchStone-giving-Story-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00GF4TC9K

TouchStone For Ever: http://www.amazon.com/TouchStone-ever-Story-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KI7EDEE

Blue Genes: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Genes-The-Story-Series-ebook/dp/B00VPMHKDW

Interview with Paullina Simons, CAASisters Author of the Month

Hello everyone!

We’ve been sharing book reviews of our Author of the Month, Paullina Simons. The Bronze Horseman was recommended to me a while ago, and my only regret as I mentioned earlier is why didn’t I read it sooner. Don’t make my same mistake! We truly recommend this trilogy. It’s simply amazing.

I fell in love with the story more and more as the story unfolds, just as my friends did. Tatiana and Alexander’s love is one of the most purest, yet passionate, I’ve ever read. The story is engaging and it’s a page turner. You need to know what’s going to happen next! Soon! 🙂

The lovely Paullina Simons agreed to answer a few questions in this charming and touching interview that you don’t want to miss. Shall we? 😉

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  1. How did you become an author?  Did you always like to write?

I always wanted to become an author, to write the kinds of books that captured my heart when I was growing up.

2. What was the first story you wrote?

“Is the Sky Blue?” It was a story about losing my father for five years when he was imprisoned in the GULAG and then exiled for his political views after the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

3. Did you always believe that you would achieve success as an author?

I never thought in terms of traditional success. I had always hoped and prayed and dreamed that I would one day be able to create stories and characters that moved people the way I had been moved by the books that meant the most to me when I was growing up.

4. What has been your experience so far? What do your fans mean to you?  

In terms of reader reaction, my experience has been wonderful. The real satisfaction comes from having my story reach men and women all over the world. In that sense, I don’t feel like my work is finished or successful in any meaningful way until I hear from my readers. One of my deepest joys is touring for my books and meeting and talking to my readers.

5. Which are your favorite books and authors?  Is there any author (dead or alive) that you would/would’ve like to meet?

East of Eden, In Cold Blood, Master and Margarita, Lolita. I also love Steve Martin and Ira Levin, who wrote Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives among others. I would have liked to meet Truman Capote because I’d heard he was the best conversationalist.

5. What is your writing process like?  Is your writing Muse more generous to you during the morning or at night?

At night definitely, but as I get further and further into a book, that matters less. By the end I have trouble thinking about anything else. Once the fire is lit, I become like a ghost in my actual life. If at the start of the book, the hours in the day stretch out long, when there is a fire inside me for the story, no hours are long enough. I don’t want to do anything else.

6. You have written romance, historical fiction and suspense mystery.  You even ventured into writing a cookbook (Tatiana’s Table) and a children’s book (I Love My Baby Because…).  You are a well-rounded writer!  Are there any other genres you would like to explore and write about in the future?

I don’t set out specifically to tackle genres. I simply work on the story that captures my heart at the moment. That said, my new book will involve time travel (a first for me) and mysticism.

7. How do you choose the names of your characters?

From everywhere. Naming my characters is one of the most important things that I as a writer do. The name reflects the character, and the character is life and story. Sometimes characters name themselves. Sometimes it’s a combination of names from people I know. Sometimes it’s from my high school yearbook. And in Lone Star, my thirteen-year-old daughter chose all the names except for Johnny Rainbow and Chloe Divine.

8. Is there a certain type of scene that is more difficult to write than others?

The toughest scenes to write in any book are the early ones, when the characters and story are still forming. But also there are certain scenes that I can’t type, that I must write out in longhand. Usually the most emotional scenes, I write in longhand.

9. What was it like for you to grow up in Leningrad?  Do you have any favorite memories you care to share?

We lived in one room in a large communal apartment that we shared with a dozen other families. I never went without because my mother always gave me first and then fed herself and my father. So if there was only one apple, one banana, one piece of chocolate, I was the one who got it. My favorite memories are the ones of my summers in Russia. For three months I left the city and lived with my grandparents in a tiny fishing village on the Gulf of Finland. I had true bliss there as a child. I read, ate blueberries, swam, fished, swung in hammocks, played with my friends. All the happiness I know as a child I know only from there.

10. What inspired you to write The Bronze Horseman books?

My grandparents lived through the war in Russia and the blockade in Leningrad. My father knew World War II as he knew nothing else. I absorbed a lot from family lore when I was growing up. After writing three novels set in America, I felt I was finally ready to tell a story from my homeland.

11. What is your favorite scene in the trilogy? What was the hardest scene to write?

I have many scenes I love. The first time they meet on the bus. All the scenes leading up to their wedding. The escape from Sachsenhausen. The glory of Napa Valley. The celebration of their sixteenth wedding anniversary.

The hardest scenes? Escape from Leningrad with her sister across Lake Ladoga. Alexander alone with Tatiana’s brother. Carmen.

12. Many of our followers envision Henry Cavill as Alexander in The Bronze Horseman.  What is your opinion of this?

I think he would be wonderful. He is certainly handsome enough. We better hurry though. The man is not getting any younger.

13. Can you tell us what the status is of bringing The Bronze Horseman to film?  Has a cast been selected?  Who do you envision as Alexander and Tatiana?

This is still a work in progress. We are negotiating something new at the moment. I’ll keep you posted.

14. Please tell us about your new book, Lone Star?

It’s a story of young love as four Americans who grew up together explore Eastern Europe by train. There is a mysterious stranger who joins the group and there is also a tie-in to The Bronze Horseman that the fans have really enjoyed.

15. We have published and aspiring authors among our sisters/members. Is there any advice you would like to share with them?

Write stories you are passionate about. It’s not a guarantee of success, but it’s the only way I can imagine working. Writing a novel takes two years of your life. Passion for the story needs to sustain you through many grueling hours.

16. How would you like your fans to remember you? 

I would rather they remember my books as ones that really moved them, ones they will never forget.

Please complete this sentenceI feel so Russian when I celebrate our traditional Russian Easter and I feel so American when I celebrate our traditional American Christmas.

We can guarantee you, Paullina, that you already moved many, many hearts with your story because your words come from your heart. Whoever reads your stories will immediately feel and see the passion and talent of a great writer.

We, the CAASisters, wish you all the best and we hope we can have you sharing with us again in the future. Thank you for your stories and kindness. We love Shura, Tania, and their love story. A love story that we won’t be able to forget. Never.

To all our followers, thank you! Don’t miss The Bronze Horseman trilogy!!!

Cheers! xo

Book Review: The Summer Garden (Book 3 of The Bronze Horseman Trilogy from Paullina Simons) by Linda

summer garden

There was a boy…
A very strange enchanted boy.
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea,
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he.
And then one day,
One magic day he passed my way.
And while we spoke of many things,
Fools and kings,
This he said to me,
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.”
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.”
“Nature Boy”
Nat King Cole

The third book in Paullina Simons, “The Bronze Horseman” series is called, “The Summer Garden.”  After the incredible love story that introduces you to this fearless and determined heroine and her courageous and strong hero in “The Bronze Horseman” and the second book, titled, “Tatiana and Alexander,” where their timeless love story continued. I was most anxious to read what would happen to these characters after the daring and heart stopping conclusion of book two.

The story picks up with Tatiana and Alexander after the war. Through miraculous circumstances, they are now living in the United States with their young son. Although their love for each other is still profound, they each find themselves struggling with the horror of war and the aftermath. Living post-war in a bountiful peaceful America should be prodigious for them but the Cold War arises and threatens the peace they are searching for. Traveling through the United States, they finally settle in Phoenix where they will live throughout the book.

The next several years focuses on Tatia and Alexander’s marriage and the raising of their son Anthony. It is never dull in its storytelling due to remarkable characters and unforeseen threats that they encounter along the way. Shocking betrayals and astonishing scenes of anger, heartbreak, and a fight between the two lovers will leave you speechless.

“Tatiasha, my whole life…My cradle and my grave, my wife, the only woman I have ever loved….”

The conclusion of the book brings about a joyous event in the lives of Tatiana and Alexander and I was saddened that I had to leave them. BUT, a second part of the book surprised me as it picks up several years later and it focuses on Anthony, their oldest son and his military action in Vietnam. Once again, our hero and heroine do whatever they need to do to keep their family intact. Thrilling war battles and rescues intermingle with life on the home front. Not to give away any spoilers, I was very happy to follow these remarkable characters into their older years and witness through reading, the legacy that they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren. The third book wraps up the trilogy exceptionally.

“We’ll meet again in Lvov, my love and I”

I can’t begin to tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed these books. From the first page to the last, I was wrapped up in this beautiful love story. Mixed with the horrors of war, it never had a slow point. Ms. Simons fleshed out these characters so well, that long after you’re finished reading, they will stay with you. I have re-visited them so many times and plan to again in the future.