Posts Categorized: author interview

Author Interview~ Georgia Clark

30 Jul, 2014 by in author interview, georgia clark, parched Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is happy to have author GeorgiaClark on the site today for an exclusive interview!

author georgia clark
Author of: Parched “Robots, renewable resources, and romance get tangled together in this thrilling futuristic adventure novel about a utopian city struggling to keep its peace.”

Name three of your favorite authors/children’s book authors of all time.

Maggie Stiefvater; She’s a lyrical, adventurous writer, plus she is just a cool lady to boot.
Bret Easton Ellis; Glamoroma is my fave book for grown-ups (very grown-up grown-ups)
Margaret Atwood is a genius.
Lauren Oliver is fantastic, as is Laini Taylor.
New fave author is Rainbow Rowell; just finished Eleanor & Park and loved it! (Sorry that’s more than three!)

What book(s) have you most wanted to read, but haven’t yet?

I haven’t read the new Maggie Stiefvater yet, The Dream Thieves – it’s on my list. Also, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Madness (best title ever).

What book from your childhood changed your life? Adulthood?

The Dark is Rising series and The Hobbit both were pivotal in creating a early love of adventure; twisting, exciting plots that took me out of my bedroom and into other far away places. They were definitely an inspiration for Parched, which has a strong adventure structure. As a 20-something, Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis redefined what literature could be for me: at once postmodern, political and very, very funny.

Who is your favorite children’s book character and why?

I adore Pippi Longstocking: those cool plaits and feisty spirit – plus she’s a pirate’s daughter! Laini Taylor’s Karou is undoubtedly very cool too. Soft spot for Haymitch – who doesn’t!?

Please tell us about your novel, Parched

parchedThe reviews sum up the plot better than I ever could: here’s what Kirkus Reviews had to say: “A gutsy teen living on an arid, depleted Earth two centuries in the future faces danger and shocking revelations when she covertly joins a subversive group. Sixteen-year-old Tess lived in Eden, a seemingly idyllic, domed city where access to information and water is regulated by the governing Trust. After a rogue robot killed her scientist mother, Tess fled with a terrible secret to the desperate, arid Badlands, where she’s recruited by Kudzu, explained to her as a “nonviolent collective working to undermine the Trust and free the Badlands.” Learning Kudzu plans to destroy Aevum, the Trust’s latest advanced robot, Tess reluctantly returns to Eden, where she finds the luxurious life morally unconscionable and secretly trains with Kudzu. Living with her uncle, who’s involved with Aevum, Tess is strangely attracted to his sympathetic assistant, Hunter. During a Kudzu raid on the Trust’s lab, Tess discovers that Aevum will be used to eradicate all inhabitants of the Badlands—and that Hunter’s not what he seems to be.” Bam!

If you could live in any book, which would it be?

Narnia. Or Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Or maybe Forks, because I love rainy days.

If you could have a magical talent (i.e. becoming invisible, or the ability to fly), what would it be?

My girlfriend has the superpower I want: she can sleep anywhere, anytime. It takes me about three years to fall asleep.

Who was your hero growing up? Who is it now?

I was obsessed with a cult comedy group called the Doug Anthony Allstars; an Australian trio of knockabout lads who performed satirical songs. I also loved Winona Ryder. A lot.

Now, I admire women like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who are not only extraordinarily talented and extremely funny, but proudly feminist and working to empower and support girls and women. Love them!!!


about_ the_author

Georgia Clark is a young adult author currently living in New York City. Her second novel, Parched, will be out through Holiday House in 2014.

Georgia was born in Sydney, Australia. Her BA in Communications (Media Arts & Production) saw her becoming active in the student movement and blow way too much money on making short films and music videos.

After graduating she became a professional hipster for a while as Editor of The Brag, an excellent weekly music street press magazine. This also involved being in a band, the seminal electropop trio, Dead Dead Girls. She went on to become an Online Producer for a soapie called Home & Away, and Online Writer for Fremantle Media Australia.

In 2008 her first novel, She’s With The Band was published by Australia’s largest independent publisher, Allen & Unwin. She’s With The Band was released in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2011. It attracted five-star reviews.

Georgia has worked as a freelance journalist and copywriter for ten years. She is published in Cosmo, CLEO, Daily Life, Sunday Life, Girlfriend and more. She has attended writers’ residencies in Martha’s Vineyard and Portugal, and has also received grants for her work.

Georgia moved to from Sydney to New York in 2009 just for fun. Here, she performs improv, creates the award-winning SHO Sync app for Showtime and enjoys meeting new and interesting cheese platters. She writes from the New York Writers Room, which involves macaroons and many, many cups of tea.LINKS:

Website *Facebook *Goodreads * Amazon


Blog Tour: Defector by Suzanne Winnacker

23 Jun, 2014 by in author interview, blog tour, razorbill, rockstar book tours 2 comments

Fire and Ice is thrilled to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Defector hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! We have an exclusive interview with the author plus  an international giveaway.

Defector A Variants NovelTitle: DEFECTOR (A Variants Novel)
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub. Date: June 26, 2014
Pages: 288

Amazon * Barnes & Noble*  Goodreads

Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and long-time love Alec are officially a couple, and for the first time, she has everything she wants.

But the air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit.

When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. But who is after her? And more importantly, why?

When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield any results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Desperate to save her friend and uncover the mystery behind Abel’s Army, Tessa launches her own investigation—but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Everyone in her life is harboring secrets: Alec, her estranged mother, even the father she never knew.

The truth will take her out on the road and out of her comfort zone, with danger lurking everywhere. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for—even if it means going against the life she thought she wanted. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.

Author Interview

Explain the FEA to us.

FEA means Forces with Extraordinary Abilities and it’s a branch of the FBI. The FEA mainly works cases with Variant involvement, but its agents also work in espionage if their talents are useful. “Major” is head of the FBI and most agents live in the so-called headquarters.

What differences are there between the world in Defector and our every day world?

Overall, it’s the same world, but there are Variants, people with extraordinary abilities, in “my book world”. The general public doesn’t know about them though, so it could theoretically still be our world. Who knows what our governments are hiding from us? 😉

If you could choose one extraordinary ability, what wouldn’t be and why?

I’d love to be able to heal myself and others. That way I wouldn’t have to watch loved ones suffer and I could help strangers as well.

Did you listen to any music while writing or have a book playlist?

Some books require music, other don’t. Sometimes I just let my favorite TV series run in the background. But Impostor and Defector have a playlist. Here’s the one I used for Impostor (and sometimes for Defector):
1. The Right Kind of Wrong by Leann Rimes
2. Nobody Knows by Pink
3. Born this Way by Lady Gaga
4. Hate that I love you by Rihanna
5. Fallin by Alicia Keys
6. I think it’s going to rain by Katie Melua
7. Tiger in the Night by Katie Melua
8. In my secret life by Katie Melua
9. Perfect Circle by Katie Melua
10. All in my head by Katie Melua
11. Hedonism by Skunk Anansie
12. Sorry seems to be the hardest by Mary J. Blige
13. Titanium by David Guetta feat Sia
14. What you don’t know by Monrose
15. Even heaven cries by Monrose
16. Bridge of Light by Pink
17. Family Portrait by Pink
(Tessa wants nothing more than a happy family, so the song is perfect.)
18. Just hold me by Maria Mena
19. The Rose by Leann Rimes
20. All good things come to an end by Nelly Furtado

Where is your dream writing retreat?

Bora Bora, in an overwater bungalow, so I could write while watching fish swim in the ocean.


about_ the_author
Susanne Winnacker

Susanne Winnacker studied law before she became a full-time writer. She lives with her husband, a dog that looks like a sheep and three bunnies that have destroyed every piece of furniture she’s ever owned in Germany. She loves coffee (in every shape and form), traveling and animals. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her in the kitchen, experimenting with new vegan dishes.
She blogs for The League of Extraordinary Writers.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads




Tour Schedule

defector blog tour banner


Week One:
6/16/2014- Jump Into Books– Review
6/16/2014- Literary Meanderings– Guest Post
6/17/2014- YA Story Teller– Review
6/17/2014- Supernatural Snark– Interview
6/18/2014- Crossroad Reviews– Review
6/18/2014- The Cover Contessa– Guest Post
6/19/2014- Book Swoon– Review
6/19/2014- Bittersweet Enchantment– Interview
6/20/2014- The Storybook Kingdom– Review

Week Two:
6/20/2014- Fantasy Book Addict– Guest Post
6/23/2014- Shayna Varadeaux Books & Reviews– Review
6/23/2014- Fire and Ice– Interview
6/24/2014- Fiktshun– Promo Post
6/24/2014- A Dream Within A Dream– Guest Post
6/25/2014- Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance– Review
6/25/2014- Such a Novel Idea– Interview
6/26/2014- Becoming Books– Review
6/26/2014- Addicted Readers– Guest Post
6/27/2014- Library of the Seen– Review
6/27/2014- Mom With A Kindle– Interview


The Giveaway

2 hardcovers of DEFECTOR and 1 audiobook of IMPOSTER.

Giveaway international. 3 winners.

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Blog Tour and Author Interview: The Memory Child by Steena Holmes

17 Apr, 2014 by in adult, author interview 3 comments


Fire and Ice is today’s blogger of the day in the Memory Child Blog Tour. We have an author interview by Steena Holmes to share!


Book Summary

The story of a married couple, Diane and Brian, that learn they are pregnant with their first child has come at an unfortunate time.  Brian is thrilled with the news since he has patiently waited for twelve years to become a father, however Diane is unsure of her excitement.  With her family’s dark past, her recent promotion, and Brian being called away to London for work parenthood has arrived unexpectedly.  When a year has passed and Diane is completely head over heels in love with her precious baby girl, Grace, Brian has still not returned from London.  Diane’s dark past collides with her mysterious new life and the surreal family drama is unveiled.

Author Interview

You found critical success with Finding Emma and Emma’s Secret, this is a departure from those books. Why the change and what can readers expect?

Writing the Finding Emma series was and is my happy place. I fell in love with Emma and Jack and even now, I still dive into their world and offer short glimpses into their lives to my readers via my newsletter – but I wanted to push myself with The Memory Child. The stories that resonate the most with me personally are those that hit my heart as a woman and as a mother and in The Memory Child, I wanted to go a step beyond where Finding Emma went and hit deep. Sometimes the story isn’t always about the happy ending but the journey we take to to get to the point where we can see glimpses of happiness.

People had emotional reaction to Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper twist. Your book has an equally interesting twist. How do you think readers will react?

What I loved best about My Sister’s Keeper is that I still think of that twist and its been years since I read the book. Whether you loved or hated the ending, you still talked about it, thought about it and probably went back to see if you could see clues…and that’s what I want from my readers. My goal while writing The Memory Child was to have that emotional reaction from my readers – because then I know this story will stay in their hearts.

The book is about the challenges a married couple faces with one spouse frequently traveling.

Where did the inspiration for this story line stem from?

The idea of a childless couple who were both career focused interested me. I wanted to write about a strong woman – a goal driven woman who knows what she wants and suddenly has her life turned upside down. Many woman in today’s society are like Diane – strong, capable of running empires and I wanted to see how she would react to having those goals altered. The travel aspect came naturally to the story. While I was writing Finding Emma, I worked as a virtual assistant to a large corporation where many of the executives travelled abroad and so I knew that this aspect to Brian and Diane’s marriage would be an ingrained aspect of their lives.

Is there a lesson you want your readers to take away from the book?

Not really a lesson, but more of a reminder. There is a strength found in us women that we underestimate. While I was researching for this story I had countless women/mothers email me to share with me their experiences, and I was continually amazed at the overall theme of each story I heard. There is a strength inside of us that has the ability to alter destinies, to create paths were there were mountains and to forge ahead in the darkness when there is no light. A mother’s love is unfathomable and never ending and even though we are not perfect, we are strong. When a reader has closed the last page of my book, I want them to walk away with that reminder.

What do you find is Diane’s best Trait?

I love Diane’s tender heart. She tries to hide in behind her cool veneer and the masks she wears when she’s not at home with Brian, but she’s such a softy. You see it in the little things that she does or says or takes time to enjoy.

What is your favorite scene from The Memory Child?

There are a few that are my favorites. I love the scene where Brian and Diane are celebrating their anniversary and I cry each time I read the ending. Any scene where their love shines through catches my heart.


About the Authorimage001

Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in theology. She is the author of eleven novels and novellas, including Finding Emma, for which she was awarded a National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters, and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.


Twitter: @steenaholmes


Author Interview with Shelley Shepard Gray

17 Dec, 2013 by in amish fiction, author interview, shelley shepard gray, Uncategorized 1 comment


Fire and Ice is pleased to have the opportunity to ask a few exclusive questions of author Shelly Shepard Gray on site today! Her novel Peace: A Crittenden County Christmas Novel was just released in October and we reviewed it here last week.

It’s perfect pick for the days before Christmas!

Author Interview

How did you first become interested with or acquainted with the Amish?

I happen to live an hour away from an Amish community. Long before I decided to write about the Amish I was a frequent visitor to their stores. When I started writing inspirational romances, having my characters be Amish was a good fit for me.

Have you had a chance to visit them or live among them for research?

I am friends with a lady who grew up Mennonite in Sugarcreek. She was kind enough to introduce me to one of her friends in Sugarcreek who is old order Amish. That lady has been extremely helpful when I’ve had questions.

Tell us some Amish Christmas traditions.

The Amish do not decorate for Christmas. Gift giving is also not a big part of the focus. However, they do bake Christmas cookies and other holiday treats. They usually do exchange one small or meaningful gift, perhaps something useful like a new wool coat or something for their home. The Amish I know also buy their children a few gifts to open on Christmas day. They also love to exchange Christmas cards.

Is there more than one book planned or is this a stand alone?ShelleyShepardGray_Peace_300

PEACE is actually a follow-up novella to last year’s Secrets of Crittenden County series. That trilogy followed the murder investigation of Perry Borntrager and how his death affected everyone who knew him. The books in that series are Missing, The Search, and Found. Next year, I’ll be publishing six novels. Three will be the Return to Sugarcreek trilogy, which begins with Hopeful in February, followed by Thankful and Joyful. I’ll also be publishing a Christmas novella, an Amish historical, and a single title historical titled Secrets of Sloane House, under the name Shelley Gray. It will be an exciting year, for sure!

Favorite Amish word?

It’s definitely wunderbaar, which means really, really wonderful. I love that!


Author Bio

I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.

Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.

I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

Learn More


Author Interview and Giveaway with Tonya Olsen- {Room Recipes} Blog Tour

07 Oct, 2013 by in author interview, giveaway, plain sight, Room Recipes, Tonya Olsen 5 comments

Fire and Ice is pleased to have author Tonya Olsen on the site today as part of the Cedar Fort Blog Tour for

Room Recipes: A Creative and Stylish Guide to Interior Design
by Tonya Olsen
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 24th 2013
by Plain Sight
ISBN 1462112560

From exciting entryways to DIY dining rooms, professional interior designer Tonya Olsen has just the right recipes to make every room in your home a showstopper. Room Recipes: A Creative and Stylish Guide to Interior Design is the ultimate resource for homeowners looking to spice things up or decorate a space from scratch. Inside this guide you’ll find: eye-catching examples of beautiful, budget-friendly designs, step-by-step instructions to recreate even the most elaborate rooms, palettes that break each room into individual patterns, colors, and textures

Create a kitchen or whip up a washroom with these no-fail design formulas and transform your house into your dream home, one room at a time.

We have Tonya here on site to answer a few questions in our exclusive interview…

Tell us about the process that led you to decorating and being an author.

I have always, always enjoyed interior design. On my blog,, I talk about my first design project, my bedroom, when I was 8. My parents always let me decorate my bedroom and eventually relied on my direction for decorating the whole house. I had second thoughts about interior design when I was in college because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make a living at it. So, I got my undergraduate degree in public relations and got a “safe” 9-5 office job with a steady paycheck, benefits and a 401K. I was miserable! After getting married, I was able to go back to school and get my Master’s degree in Interior Design, and I have never looked back. It’s interesting how life works out because my degree in public relations, which requires a large amount of writing, came to benefit me when I was approached by my publisher, Cedar Fort, to write a book.

Do you draw inspiration from any other cultures or influences?

I draw inspiration from everything! People, places, things. My mind is constantly processing what I see, feel, and hear which eventually becomes part of my design. I grew up in the midwest (Minnesota and Oklahoma), so my style is a little bit different than most in Utah. My friends in Oklahoma are pretty eclectic and incorporate a lot of unique finds into their interiors. That’s why I wanted to include some spaces from my home state.

Ten must read books
( I LOVE to read, so bare with me… these are in no particular order)

Design Books:
1. Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
2. Domino the Book of Decorating
3. The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka (and all books in her collection)
4. Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik
5. Decorate by Becker and Copestick
6. Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets by Lisa Quinn
7. Better Homes and Gardens New Decorating Book
8. Good Bones, Great Pieces by Suzanne and Lauren McGrath
9. Pottery Barn series of books
10. Handbuilt Home by Ana White

Books in General:
1. I Knew Their Hearts by Jeff Olsen (my husband)
2. The Gift of Change by Marianne Williamson
3. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
4. The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
6. Heaven is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson
7. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
8. Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
9. Room by Emma Donoghue
10. These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

Have any events, signing or store open houses coming up?

Yes! Next Thursday, Oct. 10 from 6-8 pm, Main Street in Bountiful is hosting an event called Shop Local, Save the Girls. It’s a fundraiser event for breast cancer awareness. Our store, LIV Showroom, will specifically be holding my Room Recipes book launch and signing, a huge floor model sale, and, drumroll please, the Waffle Love truck will be in front of our store from 5-9 pm!

What’s your favorite season and why?

Summer is my favorite season. I love the sun, heat and warmth! It’s a non-fussy time of year to decorate. Life is more laid-back. My home always feels open and clean. Guests casually come and go. Fall and Winter feel so suffocating. It’s cold. There’s pressure to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t like dragging temporary decor out and then having to clean it all up and put it away.

So far, what has been the most rewarding part of being an author?

Technically I’ve only been an author for a few weeks since my book has only been available since then! I’ve gotten some really nice comments and feedback via email and other book reviews, so that’s always nice. I’m glad people are able to find inspiration from my book.

What recommendations would you give a first time home decorator?

Use what you have, recycle, DIY and don’t get stressed out about it. Decorating should be fun and your space should reflect your personality. When I was in college, I decorated every apartment I lived in with hand-me-downs and DIY projects. I was creative with my limited budget. Design doesn’t have to be expensive and high-end.

How do you balance writing, working and family life?

Ugh! Good question! I’m still sorting that out. I’m very, very busy. We had the pleasure of hosting two teenage girls from England for three months while I wrote my book. They were able to assist with my boys, my house and even with projects in the book. My boys are a little older, so it’s a bit easier. My husband is super supportive of everything I do. Plus, I wake up at 5 am to get started on my day!

Favorite recipe?

My husband makes the most awesome chili. He actually named it Jeff’s Famous Chili. Anyone who has ever used it in a chili cook off has won! It’s so good! Let me know if you’re interested 😉

Meet the Author: Tonya Olsen has always had a passion for designing charming, budget-friendly rooms and projects. She loves to combine traditional interior design principles with personal, do-it-yourself flair. Tonya shares ownership of LIV Showroom, a full-service interior design firm and retail showroom, and holds a master’s degree in interior design. She is also the lead interior designer for Utah homebuilder, Rainey Homes. Tonya has over 20 years of professional design experience, bargain shopping fortitude, and do-it-yourself gumption. She spends her spare time gleaning inspiration from interior design books, magazines, blogs, and websites. Tonya and her husband have three boys and live in their recently renovated home in Bountiful, Utah.

Find Tonya on twitter/ instagram/ pinterest/ facebook/ website

Purchase Room Recipes

The Giveaway: One e copy of Room Recipes. To enter fill our the rafflecopter form below.

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Utah Book Month Author Interview with Rebecca Jamison

10 Aug, 2013 by in author interview, Rebecca Jamison, utah book month 8 comments

Rebecca H Jamison.
Photo copyright Heather Zahn Gardner
I had the fun opportunity to meet with author Rebecca H. Jamison for Utah Book Month at a quaint little french cafe where she had pizza and I ordered french onion soup plus a ginormous sugar cookie with sprinkles. Rebecca blew in wearing purple chucks ( I love when authors have spunky shoes)  and was willing to brave a freak downtown wind & rain storm with a pink umbrella to do a photo shoot and quick fire interview with Fire and Ice. 

What is the most rewarding or fun part about this whole process?

It’s fun to write, which is a great escape. It’s also fun to meet my readers. Believe it or not, I actually like doing signings.
Do you have any signings coming up?

Yes! Next Wednesday the 14th at the Sandy Costco and then Friday from 12-3 at the Costco in West Valley.
Top 5 books?

Les Miserables
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Christy by Catherine Marshall
Huck Finn by Mark Twain and 
Jane Eyre
Do you have a critique group?
Not one that meets together. I critique online and have a lot of people beta read my books.
What advice or books have helped you become a writer?
Read a lot of fiction. Read good books. The ones that helped me include : Writers Digest Magazine, James Scott Bell’s books and The Save the Cat book.
Is your next title in the works? 
Yes! I am halfway done with Sense and Sensibility and have the next book all planned out. I’m halfway through the second draft.
What places would you go to for researching your books?
I would have to visit San Jose, Maryland and New York City since those are the places the next book is set but I’ve always wanted to go to Italy or England.  I’d like to write at a remote place like the beach, but then it might be hard to write if I was at a place I REALLY liked.
Are there any important things you want readers to take away from Emma? 
Emma addresses insecurities in women, our perfectionism, and tendency not to think positively of ourselves. 
If you were going to put together the ultimate prize package for your book Emma: A Latter- Day Tale what would it include?
Dove Dark Chocolate, stuff to make s’mores: chocolate marshmallows, chocolate graham crackers and Hershey’s bars, ski pass tickets and note cards.

Rebecca H. Jamison Biography

Looking for love? Rebecca H. Jamison would love to set you up with that special someone, but you’re better off reading her books. She has a terrible track record as a matchmaker.

Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and Cape Verde.

Thanks so much for letting me capture you awesome personality in words and photos Rebecca! 
Check out our review of her fist book, Persuasion and enter to win a copy of Emma: A Latter- Day Tale on our previous blog tour post.
 Be sure to follow Utah Book Month  in August for more local author and blogger features.


Author Interview with Jeff Olsen – I Knew Their Hearts

19 Apr, 2013 by in author interview Leave a comment

Choose Joy.
Those two simple words are what the heavens whispered to Jeff Olsen after he lost his wife and 14- month old- son in a 1997 car accident. It would be 15 years later when Jeff would once again receive a whisper– this time telling him that this story of tragedy turned to healing needed to be shared and published. 
There are many lessons that come from reading about Jeff’s journey in his book I Knew Their Hearts. But what captured my attention most of all is the goodness of Jeff’s soul. Despite having lost his leg, enduring 18 surgeries, and daily pain, he is optimistic. He has a love for each person he comes in contact with– for the ER surgeon who attended to him right after the accident (now a dear friend), and for mankind.   in this poignant memoir, he describes his life, his near-death experience, and the years after. Jeff was given the gift of “knowing the beauty of each individual and seeing them as God sees them.” He knows their hearts.
 In our interview, he emphasized  “letting go of judgment and expectations; letting go of our agenda and being at one with what is.”
“Our lives are absolutely perfect. No matter what we are going through, it is all going to be okay. We are in very good hands.”
Jeff’s most rewarding experience in writing has come through the people he meets, and the emails and letters he receives.  “I knew if I would simply share my experience, people would heal from it.” 
“I got an envelope from my publisher soon after the book was published . I thought may be my first royalty check. Instead, inside was a 3 x 5 card with teeny tiny writing from a prisoner in the Clark County Jail of Vancouver. He wrote about his life, what he had lost and learned, and what had changed from reading my book. I wept with gratitude that I was able to play some part in helping another understand what they really are, instead of who they think they are.”
So often we read a book and we put it away without applying the lessons that it has to offer us. We pick up our life where we left off.  After reading I Knew Their Hearts, and talking to the author, I had to change my way of thinking. It caused a paradigm shift in me about our divine purpose and how to overcome adversity through love. This is one of those books that has the potential to change your heart if you let it. 
Thanks so much to Jeff Olsen for sharing his story and teaching that each of us should “seek stillness, find those things which resonate with our soul and make this time Heaven on earth, letting our heart guide us to God.”

Book Summary: After a tragic accident took the life of his wife and son, Jeff needed a miracle. This personal and poignant journey into the life after death shares the true story of Jeff’s out-of-body experiences and his newly remembered ability to communicate at a deeper level with people on both sides of the veil. It’s a moving read you won’t want to miss!

KSL Mormon Times video with the author:

 Jeff runs the Atonenow community on facebook and a group which gathers the 1st Friday of every month at the historic City and County building room 315 in Salt Lake City. He is in the process of writing book two about meeting his current wife, adopting two sons and how he and his oldest son put their lives back together.

A Night With Author Maggie Stiefvater at The King’s English

10 Oct, 2012 by in author interview, Heather Gardner Photography, maggie stiefvater, scholastic, the king's english, the raven boys 15 comments

Anyone who knows me well knows of my love for two things…books and Maggie Stiefvater‘s writing. I first discovered her writing with the Shiver series in which I bawled like a baby, and then moved on to the Bones of Faerie series which fit my obsession for all things fae. Later I picked up  The Scorpio Races at BEA somewhat dubiously, since it was a standalone about sea horses ( not the nice little harmless ones… no, these are flesh eating horses that come out of the sea) and once again cried my eyes out. So imagine it was no surprise when I squealed like a little girl after I got a copy of The Raven Boys at ALA and saw Maggie walking in the exhibit hall.
Me and Maggie Stiefvater at BEA- Scholastic party
Could I let her pass without making a fool of myself…oh no. Meeting her in a room full of people at the Scholastic Party in NYC was not enough for me…
so I had to or wave her down in Anaheim to simply blurt out “you rock.” But this is oh so different from what happened last night at The King’s English.
The awesomesauce Rachel from TKE set up a cozy little pre-signing blogger meeting with a few of us and THE Maggie Stiefvater. In which we got to sit down and ask her whatever we wanted, armed with our name tags, cameras, front row tickets to the signing and the giddy smiles only book nerds can have. SO what did we talk about…?
Of course we wanted to know about Maggie’s passion, the Mustang Gansey drives in The Raven Boys. Stiefvater said she spent a lot of time on a flatbed as a child with a father who liked to put back together cars that literally had to be towed in pieces. Her dad would “fix them up then move on once he got them running.” She remembers riding in an old Jaguar with the floorboards missing and seeing the road beneath her feet, dragging animals along with them. And her love of cars has carried over into adulthood as Maggie owns her own Mustang, plus is getting her very own Rally license.
Since a fast ride is not enough, Maggie would like to own a helicopter. She’s spent time on tour stops trying to squeeze a helicopter ride into her schedule–perhaps to spot ley lines or the corpse road she described in the Raven Cycle Series. (Her agent isn’t so hot on the idea, ’cause you know she can’t be late to her events) Speaking of agents, hers is David Levathin who will also be coming to The King’s English on October 15th at 7 PM.
But, I digress. We learned Maggie’s favorite book that she has written is The Scorpio Races (which was originally titled Red As The Sea)  and one of her favorite recent reads is When Things Come Back  by Corey Whaley.
An author she absolutely worships? Susan Cooper, whose Dark is Rising series brought Welsh mythology into the modern day. Maggie did a great impression of how star struck and stunned she was to meet Susan Cooper and offer her a hug (which is big coming from a non-hugger Maggie) We were all laughing out loud at the many faces and dramatic antics of Maggie. If you ever have a chance to see her in person, YOU MUST GO.
I asked Maggie about her Bones of Faerie series and if we will get another book….the answer is YES! Requiem (tentatively titled) will come out in Spring of 2014. She’s currently working on The Raven Boys book number 2 which she just cut 25,000 words from. Interestingly enough she cut 90,000 words from Forever.
Her solution to writer’s block is very loud music and deleting. There’s a special folder on her computer labeled “Outtakes” where all the deleted scenes go. (wouldn’t we ALL like to get our hands on that folder?)
The Raven Boys is the first book in a  four book series. She says she’s always wanted to write a four book series “since she was a little maggot.” The plot brings Welsh mythology into her home state of Virginia. (It is one of my favorite reads of 2012 -creepy, atmospheric and magical) Book one features yet another hard core boy like Cole in Forever–a damaged soul with a past.
This was something I was interested in–where does Maggie get these characters? So I asked.
She pulls them from her own past experience and friend’s lives, especially from her college years which were rough. During that time she lost some of her hearing as a professional bag pipe player. 
Maggie’s love of music comes across in her book trailers which she composes the score for and draws herself using acrylic and colored pencil. She is also famous for using a black Sharpie to decorate her guitars.
Her bestselling Shiver series came from a desire to write a bittersweet love story that would make readers cry (she got me on that one!) It was supposed to be about wolves, NOT to be confused with were wolves which she hates. She attributes lots to her critique partners, Tessa Gratton, Brenna Yovanoff
who “she couldn’t do without.” The three of them collaborated on the book The Curiosities.
So, in short…or long, did this event get chocked up as my all-time favorite at The King’s English? Why yes–yes, it did.

Thanks again to the staff at The King’s English for treating us like royalty.

And to Maggie…THIS made my night
If you would like a signed copy of Maggie’s books, check here at the King’s English site to order.
I’m spreading my Maggie Stiefvater love far and wide and am giving away an ARC of The Scorpio Races and paperback copy of Shiver. US residents 18 or older enter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview + Giveaway with Paul Gustavson- Author of Running Into the Wind

30 Aug, 2012 by in author interview, book giveaway, Heather Gardner Photography, paul gustavson 6 comments

Paul Gustavson is most well-known for his work with Fortune 500 companies, helping them to reorganize and strategize to excel and improve their performance as a team and as an organization. Perhaps one of his most rewarding assignments came in 2005 when Bronco Mendenhall called on him for help in reigniting the competitive spirit of the BYU football team. Bronco had a tough job as a brand-new head coach of a team that was failing and was looking for a way to rebuild the image, character, and success of the team.
During my face-to-face interview with Gustavson, he shared some of the reasons he went into the field of organizational behavior in the first place. His father was an engineer at AT&T and his mother a nurse in the suburbs of Kansas City when Paul was growing up. He told me “I recognized as a child that whatever happens at work carries over into the home. When things weren’t that great at work, my parents would come home and ask why hadn’t the lawn been mowed or why hadn’t you been good to your brothers and sister? If, on the other hand, my mother had a good day at work, she would come home and bake the best apple pie; same parents, different type of day at work different result at home. In high school, when I saw the guidance counselor one day, I simply said ‘I want to create great places for people to work.’ “

“I attended Ricks College for one year, then served a full-time mission for the LDS church to Brazil. I had played football before serving my mission and had a desire to continue playing upon returning. When the school wanted me to come home early from my mission and restart football training to retain my scholarhsip, I decided instead to serve the full two-year mission and give up my hope of playing football.”
“I had a wonderful and motivational mission president (George A. Oaks) who taught me D&C 82:10 and told me that because of my faithfulness in serving a full mission, that if I had the desire, I would be given that opportunity to play BYU football. So in 1972 I was the first player to walk on to the football team under the new Head Coach LaVell Edwards. I did so at the suggestion of Keith ‘Mad Dog’ Rivera, who encouraged and befriended me and later a great blessing in my life was that he joined the church.”

“As a senior in college I took a class from Dr. Keith Warner in complex organizations and he pointed me toward the Organizational Behavior program at BYU to fulfill my dream of learning how to create great places for people to work. Later I worked with Bill Dyer as a teaching assistant and research assistant and learned about building successful teams and workplaces.

It was this love of both BYU and football that led Paul Gustavson to work with Coach Mendenhall and to capture their experiences together with co author Alyson Von Feldt in the new book “Running Into the Wind.” The book, from Deseret Book, which hit shelves today, is a unique backstage look at Mendenhall — a very rare view into his thoughts and feelings.
Gustavson said “Bronco believes you play football not just for the football, but to increase the exposure of the Church. By playing well, the players become role models. Coach Mendenhall teaches that first comes faith, second family, third friends, fourth education, and that last on the list is the football. Paul taught Mendenhall the principles he has been using in organizational behavior and team-building. As a result, parts of Bronco’s team-building activities have integrated one of Gustavson’s concepts: that ‘strong facilitators of long-term memory include emotional experiences, metaphor, and music.’ ”
In one such metaphorical and emotional experience, Coach Mendenhall took the brand-new team to the Provo River. He had the players take an hour to write down, on large sheets of paper, everything they didn’t like about the current BYU football team. Once they had it all on paper, these lists of past grievances was thrown into a giant bonfire and the team watched them burn. Mendehall then said “that’s the past. Now, what do you want in the future and what are you willing to do to fix it?”
In another act of exceptional leadership, Mendenhall had all the football players run to the top of the Y, painted on a mountaintop overlooking BYU in Provo. Once they got there, Bronco pointed out that “the view is different from the top than it is from the bottom.” Perhaps the one of the most significant emotional experience that Paul and Alyson write about in the book is when Coach Mendenhall took all of his players into LaVell Edwards Stadium, had them lay on the grass and close their eyes. He then played, on the stadium sound system, sound bites from BYU’s most impactful past games. These and other powerful stories — told through the perspectives of Bronco, Paul, the players, and the coaches — are shared in the book’s 11 chapters and its 23 different video clips. Readers get a first-hand visual experience by using a QR scan code. With a phone or other electronic device, they can watch video footages of Paul and Bronco that correspond to the sections they are reading.
While Section 1 of “Running Into the Wind” introduces the reader to Bronco Mendenhall, Section 2 is a reader’s coaching session that “reveals a bit more about the ideas and research behind each of Gustavson’s “smooth stones,” which are metaphors for five sets of principles and practices.
The first smooth stone, discussed in Chapter 13, is that “organizations can craft a sustainable competitive advantage through differentiation. Create competitive advantage by figuring out what is your uniqueness. What is it that makes you special? What do people say you’re really good at and what are you passionate about? We weren’t all made alike so what is your uniqueness.”
The second smooth stone is that “organizations are perfectly designed to get the results that they are currently getting. We have to ask ourselves if we don’t like the results that we are getting — what is it that we’re going to change? Ask ‘what are the choices I am making and how does that drive the results? ‘ “
The third smooth stone is that “organizations are made up of processes, and not all processes are created equal. Not all work is created equal. What is the most important work? Of all the things you do have you focused on, what’s the most important thing?”
The fourth smooth stone is that “knowledge is the purest form of competitive advantage.” It’s about the discovery of new ideas, sharing of new ideas, and tacit versus codifiable knowledge.”
The fifth and last smooth stone is “effective leaders capture hearts and minds; how do we capture hearts and minds?”
Running into the Wind captured my heart and mind as an interactive, spiritual reading experience. Meeting one of the authors, Paul Gustavson, and hearing him explain the five smooth stones through personal stories brought them to life. Thanks so much to Dave Kimball at Deseret Book for facilitating our interview.
Q&A with author Paul Gustavson
What legacy do you think Bronco Mendenhall will leave behind?
A legacy of great leaders he developed who are making a difference as husbands, fathers, in their faith, community and businesses.
If you had to describe him in one word what would it be?
You teach the use of emotional experiences, metaphor and music in your principles, what music moves you most? Do you have a few favorite hymns or songs?
My favorite performer is “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen and I love music by Enya (Paint the Sky with Stars) and Ray Lynch (creativity inducing)
My favorite Hymns are “Because I have Been Given Much”, “Families Can Be Together Forever” and “How Great Thou Art”
What are the three most influential books you’ve ever read?
The Book of Mormon— especially the story of the 2000 stripling warriors. I see the football team as the sons of Helaman, as role models.
Insight to Impact: Strategies for interpersonal and organizational change by William G Dyer
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
What has been your most moving experience as an author or working with Bronco that you can share?
As an author taking with Bronco about the title of this book. We were talking about the importance of the title and we had talked about some options and then Bronco said “Running into the Wind” and described how moved he was by President Hinckley’s 60 minutes story where he said having been invited to participate in the program that he could have hunkered down and done nothing or leaned into the stiff wind of opportunity. Bronco felt that he had been running not leaning. It just felt right and that was it.
One week when I was to meet with Bronco, three times I had felt a prompting to ask him a specific question before meeting with him. Once we were about to finish our meeting again the prompting came. I asked what was prompted which had to do with the schedule of the recruiting visit of key recruits and he responded to my question and I then felt prompted to ask about church on Sunday morning for the recruits. He said that they had a list of Church meetings that recruits and their families could attend. I felt prompted to say what about you organizing a Sacrament Meeting for the Recruits and their Families. He pondered what was said for a day or so and emailed me that he felt the counsel was consistent with what he believed even and that he was going to do it. He called me after the Sacrament Meeting and said that it was a wonderful meeting with a strong spirit and that tears flowed down the cheeks of mothers and fathers knowing that their sons would be well taken care of at BYU and by Bronco.
In working with Bronco Mendhenall how do you feel he is an example to his players and what sets him apart as a person/ coach?
He never asks them to do something that he isn’t willing to do. He is a master learner and a master teacher. He is a role model in all of the important areas of how one should live their lives.
Favorite works of fiction?
Dr. Seuss last book “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. With 8 grandkids age 7 and under Dr. Seuss books are a favorite right now
Do you have a mission statement, favorite quote or scripture you live by?
D&C 82:10 “I the Lord am Bound when you do what I say, when you do not what I say you have no promise”.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
That they can apply these same “five smooth stones” I taught Bronco and captured in “Running into the Wind” in their lives and that the application of these principles will enrich their lives, their families lives and the lives of those they interactive with at work, school, community and their Church.
Bronco’s message is that “doing the right things you can be successful in all the areas that are important to you in your life”.
About The Author:  Paul W. Gustavson is a leading management consultant. He received his master’s degree in organizational behavior from BYU and has served for more than 18 years as a member of the Marriott School of Management’s OBHR Advisory Board. To learn more visit his website at
The giveaway: Deseret Book has generously donated two copies of Running into the Wind for the readers at Fire and Ice, and we had them signed by author Paul Gustavson. To enter to win a hardback copy of your own, fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Author Interview With Julianna Baggott

09 Feb, 2012 by in author interview, pure Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is thrilled to have an exclusive author interview today with Julianna Baggot, whose novel hit shelves yesterday
by Julianna Baggott
Hardcover, 448 pages
Expected publication: February 8th 2012
by Grand Central Publishing

Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet, she thinks about what is lost–how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies.
Tell us a little bit about where the inspiration and idea behind Pure came from?

Well, there are so many small infinitesimal moments of something like inspiration that accumulate. For one thing, when you have very small children you often feel like they are fused to you. But too I read an early bit of the novel to my daughter who’s now 16, the age of the main character, and she thought it was the best thing I’d ever written and urged me to write it. So in many ways I wrote it for her.
Where is it set and what is the world like in comparison to our world today?

It’s set outside of Washington DC — a world that’s been detonated, turned to ash. There are Beasts and Dusts and Groupies though I don’t want to ruin anything by defining those terms. There’s a dome that’s survived the detonations. Characters from these too worlds collide.
Do you have a play list for the book?
I wrote to The Smith’s “How Soon is Now” a good bit. And there’s a Bruce Springsteen song eluded to in the novel, as well as songs and nursery rhymes that appear in the book itself.
Who do you see cast as your main characters?
Well, the PURE Trilogy has been optioned by Fox2000, but I don’t think they’ll be asking Baggott who I want to cast. It’s hard for me because the characters are fairly young — from 16-20. I don’t know many actors in that age range.
What books and authors have most inspired you as an author?

Early on, I was a Marquez fan, and diehard John Irving devotee and, yes, Lee Smith, many others. I also love poets — Bridge Pegeen Kelly, Olena Kalytiak Davis, Marie Howe, Seamus Heaney…
What has been the most rewarding part of the journey behind Pure and getting published?

For me, it’s always about my relationship with the page and access to the brilliant editorial minds involved. I’m engaged in the work, the words, the world, the characters. The publishing part of it is what people think will be the grand reward for the hard labor. But, for me, the writing is the reward. Going public can be difficult in ways you can’t quite predict. And, in the end, this is solitary work.
Any new books in the works?
PURE is part of a trilogy so, yes, two more books are in the works. F– USE will come out this time next year.
Any inside info or a small deleted excerpt you can share?

There was a character I loved. He had a point of view and a major role in the plot. But I had to cut him in one of the drafts. Arturo. I still miss him.

About the author:  Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott has published fourteen books over the last ten years with five novels slated for publication in the next four years. She began publishing when she was twenty-two and sold her first novel while still in her twenties. There are thirty-one foreign editions of her novels to date.

After receiving her M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she published her first novel, Girl Talk, which was a national bestseller and was quickly followed by Boston Globe bestseller The Miss America Family, and then Boston Herald Book Club selection, The Madam, an historical novel based on the life of her g…moreAlso writes under the pen names N.E. Bode and Bridget Asher.

Critically acclaimed, bestselling author Julianna Baggott has published fourteen books over the last ten years with five novels slated for publication in the next four years. She began publishing when she was twenty-two and sold her first novel while still in her twenties. There are thirty-one foreign editions of her novels to date.

After receiving her M.F.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she published her first novel, Girl Talk, which was a national bestseller and was quickly followed by Boston Globe bestseller The Miss America Family, and then Boston Herald Book Club selection, The Madam, an historical novel based on the life of her grandmother. She co-wrote Which Brings Me to You with Steve Almond, A Best Book of 2006 (Kirkus Reveiws) optioned by Richard Brown with Natalie Portman attached to star.

She also writes bestselling novels for younger readers under the pen name N.E. Bode as well as under Julianna Baggott. The Anybodies trilogy was a People Magazine pick alongside David Sedaris and Bill Clinton, a Washington Post Book of the Week, a Girl’s Life Top Ten, and a Booksense selection; The Slippery Map (fall 2007), and the prequel to Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007), a movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, and Jason Bateman. Bode is a recurring personality on XM Sirius Radio.

Baggott also has a highly acclaimed career as a poet, having published three collections of poetry and having been published in the best literary publications in the country, including Poetry, The American Poetry Review, and Best American Poetry.

Baggott’s work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including the The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Glamour, Ms., Real Simple, and read on NPR’s Here and Now and Talk of the Nation. Her essays, stories, and poems are highly anthologized.

She lives in Florida with her husband writer David G.W. Scott and their four kids, and is the assistant director of Florida State University’s Creative Writing Program.
Along with her husband, Baggott co-founded the nonprofit organization Kids in Need – Books in Deed, that focuses on literacy and getting free books to underprivileged children in the state of Florida.