Saturday, December 3, 2011

Featured Author: WILLOW CROSS


“INHERITANCE” (The Dark Gifts) 
- by Willow Cross

About the Book
Review
Author Interview
Links to Willow’s Pages


"INHERITANCE"
When Sarah and Jason Masada received an old house from an aunt they never knew existed, they were grateful for the blessing. Until they discovered the curse that came with being part of the Masada family--a full moon.

Intent on tracing their lineage, they descend into a world of lies, fear, ancient myths, and death. Indian hunters have tracked them to the family compound, Jason is wanted for murders he doesn’t remember committing, and their new-found family is on a mission to kill them. It seems their only hope for survival is to combine forces with two unlikely allies and trek across the globe to the place where it all began. Maybe there they can find a way to end it.

REVIEW for “INHERITANCE”
by Books4Tomorrow

Willow Cross’s “Inheritance” is the first book ever I’ve read of this author, and I can assure you it won’t be the last! I was always wondering why other readers were gushing about her books, until I read “Inheritance” - and I was blown away, to say the least.

First off, I need to mention here, that I don’t usually read werewolf-themed books or anything related to werewolves. I find werewolves dreary and the theme repetitive; but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not the case with “Inheritance”. After finishing the book in only a short time, I can safely say that Willow Cross’s imagination knows no boundaries. I have never read a werewolf-themed story before that has evoked such emotion from me, as this one did. Not even the werewolves in the “Twilight” Saga are as real or as beautifully depicted as the ones in Willow Cross’s “Inheritance”. Werewolves are not the only interesting characters the reader meets in this book though. Witches, vampires and a whole array of exciting characters, adds to the splendour of this extraordinary book. 

The non-stop suspense unfolds from the first chapter right through to the very last page; and the well-crafted plot in this book is what sets it apart from other werewolf-themed novels and makes this an outright unique read. The author’s attention to detail is evident as she succeeds in creating a homely and welcoming, but also familiar, setting for the characters to develop in; and consequently draws you into their world from the very start.

Willow’s uncomplicated but clever writing style, made it possible for me to devour this book in only a few hours. At times I was left breathless by the, heart-racing action and edge-of-your-seat suspense, but what I loved most about “Inheritance” is that there are no overtly in-your-face love scenes. Characters falling in love with each other are beautifully portrayed in a subtle way and using only a few simple sentences, Willow let’s you appreciate the deep love the characters feel for each other.

Saying that I couldn’t put this remarkable book down, is an understatement. There are so many things I loved about this book - believable lead characters; effortless transitioning from one chapter to the next; and a masterpiece ending - I will definitely be reading “Inheritance” again and again. Willow Cross clearly knows what her readers want; and how to keep them satisfied and begging for more!

BOOKS4TOMORROW star rating:  5/5

READ more REVIEWS:


MEET this week's FEATURED AUTHOR


WILLOW CROSS resides in Arkansas with her husband, two children still young enough to live at home, an enormous cat named Bitsy, and a wuss of a dog named Tank. Her home has been known to host the occasional ghost, and a few of her friends profess to be witches. Although she dearly loves Vampires and Werewolves, they are never invited for dinner.

INTERVIEW with author WILLOW CROSS

 ABOUT “INHERITANCE”

Q: What inspired a werewolf theme for this book?

A:  I had just finished Birthright and had decided to try the other ‘dark’ half.  Originally Inheritance was supposed to be a daily short story for my blog.  I really didn’t expect it to be more than 15 pages at most.  Around page 25 I realized that Inheritance had no intention of being a ‘short’ story.

Q: What did you enjoy most about writing “Inheritance”?

A:  One of the things I enjoy most about writing any story is watching the characters develop.  It’s almost like raising children, but much faster. ;)

Q: Which part of this book was the hardest to write?

A:  The end.  I was really worried it would just go on indefinitely, lol!

Q: If “Inheritance” could be made into a major motion picture, who would you choose to star in the main roles, and why?

A: Sarah: Nina Dobrev (V.D.) - I think she’s fantastic at playing both the good and bad girl.  With everything Sarah goes through the actress needs to be versatile. 
Jason: Jared Padaleki (Sam in the tv series “Supernatural”). Well, that’s an easy one.  I wrote the part with him mind. ;)

Q: Which songs/soundtrack would you recommend for the movie version of “Inheritance”?

A:  Today the opening song would be Korn’s “Coming Undone”. However, my moods change frequently so it could be something totally different tomorrow.

ABOUT WILLOW

Q: Which books did you read while growing up and which ones were your favorites?

A:  A WRINKLE IN TIME, THE HOBBIT, THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS, JONATHON LIVINGSTON SEAGUL, V.C. Andrews, and anything by Anne Rice I could get my hands on.  (All of them were and are favourites.)

Q: What is your most favorite childhood memory?

A: I don’t know that I have a favorite.  I’ve sat here for several minutes trying to come up with just one and I can’t find one I enjoy more than another.  I grew up on a farm in rural Indiana.  The neighbors next to us had a daughter my age and a large woods on their property.  We spent hours (nearly every day) in that woods playing Little House on the Prairie, cowboys and Indians, hide and seek--you name it.  I believe those countless hours of using our imaginations for play sparked my penchant for storytelling.  Had I just sat inside playing with dolls, things might have turned out differently.

Q: Name five interesting Willow Cross facts, which readers don’t already know about you?

-        My favorite thing to wear is pajamas.     
-        I do my best work in the winter with the windows open so the room is cold, and an electric blanket wrapped around me.  (I have no clue why.  I just do. LOL)
-        I hate shoes.  I’m barefooted most of the time. 
-        I love thunderstorms.
-        I love to throw a blanket on the ground and watch the stars with my children.  Sometimes we make up stories to tell each other, and sometimes we’re just quiet and enjoy the view.

Q: What is a typical Christmas Day in the Willow Cross household like?

A: Busy!!!! LOL! Of course we wake up early for the kids to open presents.  By 10 am, the grown children begin to arrive with their families.  We usually eat at noon, and after, there are more presents to open for the grandkids and those that don’t live at home.  By 3pm, the extended family (Sister and her husband, and nieces/nephews) have arrived.  At any given moment someone will break into song and before long the entire group will be singing Christmas Carols.  Around 5-ish we break out the games.  Generally, there will be a group in every room of the house either playing games, listening to music, or watching movies.  And all the while, the babies are running rampant through the house screaming and chasing each other.  I love it!!!!!

Q: What do you see as a controversial subject and what are your views on it?

A:  I don’t know that I consider the topic that’s closest to my heart a controversial one, but I will share it with you.  Having raised so many children, I’ve come in contact with a multitude of teenagers.  There are so many lost children out there.  Kids who are either unwanted or just uncared for.  Every year, we have several join us for Holiday meals (and other meals as well) that have nowhere to go and nothing to do.  It breaks my heart to see so many restless hearts longing for nothing more than to be loved and have a family.  I’ve said for years, and I still say it....If I ever have the money to do so, I will build a home for teenagers that have nowhere to go and no one to love them.  There is a massive group of young people that are just left out in the cold.  People don’t talk about it often.  Most people don’t know it is even an issue.  They go unnoticed, invisible entities that wander aimlessly around trying to make contact with just one person who will love them.  Now there’s a scarier part to this issue.  Those teens used to be young children.  I doubt their situations came up over night.  Many governments will help to feed, clothe, and educated children/teens in need, but a government can’t teach a child to love.  We learn to love by being loved.  It really does take a village to raise a child.  Our villages need more open hearts, minds, and arms.

ABOUT WRITING

Q: What inspired you to write your first book?

A:  I had a story that was about a page and a half that I’d written a few years before.  I was talking to a friend about writing (she wrote poetry) and ended up showing her my story.  After reading it, she said, “Why don’t you make that into a book?  I love it!”  I laughed at her and told her I didn’t have time to write a book.  She talked me into trying. 

I decided to take on the project as if it were a ‘real’ job and set hours specifically for writing.  Three days into the schedule I was hooked.  I will be forever in Phyllis’s dept for setting me on this path.  I don’t think I’d have attempted such a massive undertaking if she hadn’t taken the time to talk me into it.

Q: Tell us about your next book and when will it be released?

A:  My next release is Oceans of Red volume two.  It should be out this weekend.  However, I’m currently working on Legacy, the third book in The Dark Gifts series.  The release date for that one is still in question. LOL!

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

A:  I’m one of those weird people who almost need the stars to align to write productively.  I must have uninterrupted silence, time, and be in the mood.  If those things don’t combine, it is an impossible task.

Q: Are you currently involved in any charities or community projects? Could you tell us a little more about it?

A:   Right now I’m trying to establish a program with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to get e-readers installed on the computer systems in each of the children’s rooms.  We have managed to compile a list of 70 plus authors who are willing to donate their e-books for the cause, and are still adding names to that list (hint hint).  We don’t know if the program will pan out due to software issues the hospital may have.  However, I firmly believe this can be accomplished eventually with the right people involved.  So if any of you know someone high up in a software company, or you are and author that would be interested in donating your Children’s, YA, or Middle Grade books for the cause, please follow the link below and ask to join the group.  Those of us who are involved in this are highly motivated to see it happen!!!  The ultimate plan is to start with this Children’s Hospital and move right along to the next.  Some of those kids are hospitalized for months at a time.  Some are too weak or physically impaired to hold a book in their hands.  If they had books available that they didn’t have to touch, they could get lost in other worlds for hours.  You can get lost in a movie (which they have available) for two hours at best.  You can get lost in a book for days.


Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?

A:  Write.  Don’t get caught up in worrying about whether or not it’s good.  It won’t be good when you finish it, plan on that.  BUT it will have potential, and that’s where the real work begins.  To arrive at the honing process, where you clean it up, fix the grammar, build the dialog, and all the things that go into making a good story--you must first have something to work with.  Listen to constructive criticism.  You can tell by the demeanour of a person whether or not they are trying to bash you, or help you.  Leave the bashers in your wake and move along.  Revise, edit, revise, and keep at it.  I’ve spent countless hours going over writing manuals trying to learn grammar/writing/punctuation, and I still don’t know everything I need to know! LOL  Yet I press on, because this is what I want to do.  You have to really want it, and you have to grow thick skin.  Regardless of whether you self publish, or traditionally publish, this a tough nut to crack.  It doesn’t come easy for most people and it probably won’t come easy for you either.  If you know and understand all of this from the starting point, you’ll be farther ahead than I was when I began this journey. *smiles*

FIND WILLOW HERE:

GET YOUR COPY HERE:


MORE BOOKS by author WILLOW CROSS:

OCEANS OF RED VOL 2    (NEW!!! released 2011-12-01)

Remy's saga continues as she comes to terms with who she is and what she will become



OCEANS OF RED VOL 1

December 21, 2012 the world ended just as the prophecies foretold. Unfortunately no one noticed until a few months later, and then it was too late. Three years after the event, the only thing standing between the demons controlling the world and the meager population of uninfected humans is a nineteen year-old girl named Remy and her two siblings.


BIRTHRIGHT (The Dark Gifts)

Throughout the ages, druids have passed down a prophecy from one generation to the next. A girl, born of a witch clan, will become vampyre and spark a war that will divide the vampire nation. This young woman will either save humanity from vampire reign, or be the end of it. Although she’s never heard the prophecy, and doesn’t believe in witchcraft, Liz Markum is that woman. 
Working with her maker, Michael, and the remaining members of the warring Vampire Council, Liz must defeat the darkness inside her, and learn to become more than a killer vampire. She must become a vampire killer.


HAUNTED

Have you ever heard something go bump in the night and wondered if someone was there? Only to go looking for the cause of the noise and find nothing at all. Or how about unexplainably feeling like you’re being watched when you’re completely alone? Things disappearing for no reason or strange ghostly footsteps in the hall? 

This book is a collage of short stories about a few of the otherworldly experiences I’ve had. Although they are not movie worthy, you may find them interesting. All the stories are %100 true. Nothing has been added for dramatic effect.

Get your FREE copy of “Haunted” here:


5 comments:

JulieJ said...

I would like to review this book!

magluvsya03 said...

I would love to review this book and I am so glad that they're people in this world who are willing to help the voiceless of the world (I want to open a non profit that helps both animals and kids) so I will try to help support ms willow and her cause in any ways I can!! Thanks so much and let me know if I can help in any way :) magluvsya03@yahoo.com

Wanda Hart said...

Wow what a stunning review and interview. I cant wait to start on Inheritance now. Thanks for the time both of you took to share this with us.

Willow Cross said...

Thank you for hosting me on your blog!!! And a very special thank you for taking the time to read and review Inheritance!!!

Amanda W. said...

Speaking from experience, once you begin with one of Willow's books you are hooked and have to move on to the next! Great interview and review!