This is so exciting! Just found out that Chaysing Memories is up for the Romance Book of the Month Poll through Long and Short Reviews! Yeah!!!! Would love your support! Please vote. The voting is only through Thursday and it’s listed amongst some great authors- Yikes! The winner will be announced Friday (so you have to vote soon). Thank you in advance!
Here’s the link to vote: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/uncategorized/march-non-erotic-romance-book-of-the-month-poll-2/
And here’s the link to their review: http://www.longandshortreviews.com/book-reviews/chaysing-memories-by-jalpa-williby/
Here’s their full five star review:
They say you can’t beat Fate. Maybe they’re right.
What would you do if you can’t remember the one person in your life that means the world to you? What if you don’t have any of his memories?
Chaysing Memories feels so personal. I think this is where I congratulate the author. Though the first book was good, this second book was incredible. The writing was exceptional, emotional and descriptive.
Tess doesn’t remember Chayse but her world comes crashing down when she realizes she has lost three weeks of her life. From then on starts a fight where life and happiness is at stake. Chayse is trapped in hell and the only person who can save is the one who does not remember him.
Maybe I am being a little cheesy but this story shows you the power of love and of the mind and how fate has a hand in our lives.
A lot of secrets in her life are unraveled. A myriad of different events occur that will make her much stronger. The plot was well developed and the author made sure the mystery and suspense element of the book stayed through until the end.
I loved every part of this, from the beginning to the end. My heart went out to them every time it felt like they are going to lose each other. But they stayed strong until the end. The ending….I was surprised. I think that’s all I can say without giving something away.
For readers, I would very much recommend they read from book 1 first. l loved the second book. It made me cry and hope for more of this story to come. Those who love an epic love story should check this series out.
“Don’t judge the book by its cover.”
We’ve all heard this a million times. But the reality check is that people do judge the book by its cover. Since I’ve published three books, I’m slowly learning different tricks of the trade, and a good cover for a book is a must.
I really think long and hard on what kind of cover I want. Colors are very important to me. I also like the covers to look unique. Unfortunately, the stock photos have already been used on other book covers many times. So, I used a professional photographer and a model for the covers of the Chaysing Trilogy. I’m very picky about the vision I have for my covers, so it’s imperative that both the model and the photographer understand what I’m looking for.
Chaysing Dreams Cover
In the first cover, Chaysing Dreams, the model is wearing a white dress. Tess, the main character, is young in this book, innocent and even naïve. It’s mostly a coming of age tale where she’s forced into situations, and she has to find inner strength to grow up. The white dress symbolizes her innocence. At the same time, the woods are dark and have a bluish tint to them. There is some suspense and mystery to this story, so this is portrayed through the dark coloring. In this first book, Tess is haunted by nightmares of being chased through woods. In the cover, the woods appear mysterious and intimidating, just like her dreams.
Also, the model’s pose is an important aspect of this cover. She seems like she’s lost and searching for something. At the same time, her posture is confident. She’s not timid or scared. She looks like she’s trying to find some answers. Athough Tess is a teenager in most of the first book, she’s still a strong young girl.
There are tiny stars scattered throughout the cover. For me, these shiny stars symbolize hope—light through the darkness.
Chaysing Memories Cover
In the sequel, a lot happens. Tess is growing up but has lost much of her memory, especially of the man she once loved. Although Tess is much stronger in this book, she is still lost, searching for answers. For the cover, I wanted to show this through her expression.
Also, the male character is added in this book cover. However, he is mysterious and we still don’t know much about him. Hence, in the cover, he’s hidden within the fog.
Tess is haunted by dreams of a man with gray eyes. To make the eyes stand out, the male model on the cover has glowing gray eyes. Again, this adds to the mystery and suspense of this strange man from her dreams.
Also in this cover, Tess is wearing a red dress. The color red symbolized love and passion. In this particular story, she learns to truly love, and the relationship eventually becomes passionate.
There are stars again around her, symbolizing hope through the despair.
Chaysing Destiny Cover
By now, Tess has gone through a lot in her life. She is a strong, confident woman by now. Tess has hardened herself and is fiercely protective of her loved ones. Oh, and she’s out for revenge.
It was imperative to have a fierce and confident pose in this cover (head/chin up, fists clenched, strong legs). The cover shows how much Tess has matured, and she’s not backing down from anything. And although it’s hard to see, the model is wearing a necklace with a heart and teardrop. This is the gift she had received from the man she had fallen in love with and eventually lost in Chaysing Memories. This necklace is a reflection of their relationship.
Color again is very important. She’s wearing a black dress in this cover because black symbolizes strength and power.
In the background, the sun is setting. I like the symbolism of this. As the sun sets, the light fades, overcome by the forces of darkness. This last book is a lot darker, so the setting of the sun is the perfect background. Also, the sun looks like an enormous fireball, which represents the fire that has been growing inside her through the years.
There’s a creek right behind the model. Again, this creek has a special meaning… it symbolizes perseverance. How? Well, you have to read the story to find out.
Oh and how can I forget? There’s that beautiful guy in the background. Yeah, about that… Who is he? What is his role? Is he one of the good guys or the epitome of evil?
So that’s my hard work on the covers. I’ve never been a director of something like this, but I did have a lot of fun directing these photo-shoots and eventually picking the cover shots. I think it forced me to work out of my comfort zone and really brought out my creative side. Besides, I had a fabulous model and photographer who did a fantastic job doing their magic and creating my vision.
Although the covers may not be like the big publishing house covers, they’re not bad for a little indie author like me. Besides, nothing beats the feeling of creating something yourself and having complete control over it. Now that’s priceless!
The images flash by at a lightning pace…
The pain sears through me, but the reward makes it tolerable. I have to push harder to bring my baby, my everything, into this world. As the fear for my baby’s safety engulfs me, an overwhelming sense of sorrow sends tears cascading down my cheeks.
The sound of the explosion has me running toward the source. I have to save him.
Screams and cries of women and children urge me to run faster. Blood everywhere. Too many dead, mutilated bodies are all around me. No, please, no! I’m too late.
Suddenly, I’m running through the field of beautiful wild flowers. I’m playing with Gem, and while I laugh, she barks with excitement. I glance over my shoulder to see Chayse running after me. He tackles me, his weight holding me down. I laugh.
When he turns me over to face him, his eyes are not happy. Without any warning, the force of his knuckles land hard on my face.
Everything goes black.
The nightmares continue to haunt me. The dread of not knowing if these nightmares are a part of my past, present, or future consumes me.
Too many questions. Not enough answers.
But the truth is out there.
I won’t back down. I will find my answers.
I can’t believe 2015 is almost here. How can that be? I still remember listening to Prince’s song “1999” and I used to think that 1999 seemed so far away. Man, if there was only a way to slow down time.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to that. But as I’m getting older and hopefully a bit wiser, I’ve learned to force myself to slow things down. I’ve promised myself that if there’s a moment in time I want to remember, I’m going to stop what I’m doing and just feel. It could be somebody singing a beautiful song, or my kids opening their gifts, or my dog playing with her toys, or welcoming the birth of my beautiful niece, or finishing my manuscript…
Memories are very important to me. Since time is slipping away, I at least want to try to remember things that touch me—you know, just to internalize it all and live for the moment.
I know, I know…we all try to come up with a New Year’s Resolution, promising ourselves that this new year will be different. We all work hard on it for the first couple of months and then we fall back on our old habits. Trust me, I’ve been there many times!
But this year, I challenge you to come up with realistic goals. It could even be simple things that are easy to achieve. You just really have to look within yourself to see what’s important to you.
Somebody once told me that nobody is responsible for my happiness but myself. I thought about it for a long time, and I realized that the person was right. At the end of the day, it’s up to me whether I see the cup as half full or half empty. I’m in charge of my own happiness—not my family, not my friends, not my work. It’s up to me to find where my happiness lies. So guess what? I decided to laugh more, to appreciate the little things in life, to just live my life to the fullest. Because before I know it, things could be taken away from me in a heartbeat. Yes, life is moving that fast, folks.
What are your dreams? What are some things you always wanted to do? What is your calling? Only you can answer these questions. The only way to do that is to really do some soul searching. Sure, you may not be able to drop all that you’re responsible for and pursue your dreams. Unfortunately, that probably is not very practical. But maybe you can come up with some sort of compromise.
Let me explain. In my case, I wanted to see if I could write a novel. Granted, this has nothing to do with my career field. I’m a physical therapist for heaven’s sake. But I wanted to just challenge myself. And do you know what? I realize I absolutely love it. I enjoy creating my own world through my books, my characters, and most of all, I love bringing these books to my readers. Who would have thought that this was something that would be my passion? But does that mean I’m going to drop my job, go to other countries to do my research for my books, and just focus on my writing? That’s just not very practical for me. So what do I do? I compromise. I try to focus on my writing/marketing on evenings and weekends. Instead of writing two or three books a year, I write one every ten months. It’s the best I can do and that’s good enough for now. Like I said, I enjoy creating stories, and it’s a nice therapeutic escape to lose myself into my fictional world.
So don’t sell yourself short…just go for it! Don’t wait for the right time because it’ll never come. 2015 is YOUR year! Embrace it and take control of your own happiness!
As you think about what you want out of 2015, I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from Chaysing Dreams. This is actually New Year’s Eve party and Tess and Jack are nineteen years old in this scene.
Chaysing Dreams Excerpt (New Year’s Eve)
Jack takes my hand and leads me under the mistletoe. He lifts my chin up to look at him and says, “Ok, Tess, don’t freak like you did last time I tried to kiss you.”
“What? I didn’t freak. I didn’t know…” Before I can finish my sentence, he leans forward and plants his lips on me. It’s a brief kiss, but full of tenderness.
“See, not too bad, right?” Jack asks.
“Shut up, Jack,” I say, laughing with him.
Jack takes my hand, leads me to the rest of the guests, and we begin mingling.
Right when midnight is about to strike, we start the count down.
All of us yell, “10, 9, 8….4, 3, 2, 1!” We all jump around, hugging one another, and screaming, “Happy New Year!”
As I embrace everybody, suddenly my phone buzzes. I glance down at my phone and notice a text that says,
“Thinking about you as this new year starts. Happy New Year!”
I don’t recognize the number. So I reply:
“Thank you. Who is this?”
“Come on, Tessnia, you know who this is.”
Oh my god, it’s him! My heart skips a beat.
“How did you get my number?”
“You gave it to me, a while back.”
“I don’t remember giving it to you?”
I know I hadn’t given it to him.
“I guess where there’s a will, there’s a way. Have a good night, Tessnia.”
And that’s that. The conversation ends and I’m left wondering if that really happened. I quickly save his phone number, purposefully ignoring my shaky fingers and erratic heartbeat.
Since I absolutely adore Tess and Chayse, periodically, I’ll be doing some memorable moments between them. This one is from Chaysing Memories:
Miles leads me to our table and pulls the chair out for me. Luckily, we’re seated at the dinner table with some of the agents I know, including Sterns. I can’t help but wonder whom he may have brought as a date. Maybe he’s married, but I don’t see anybody sitting by him. Did he come alone? Sterns is such a ruggedly good-looking man, with his almost black hair, brown eyes, and a natural tan. I would think that he would be taken. It’s interesting how reserved and secretive he is about his personal life.
There are at least three hundred people there. I’m glad there’s a great turn out, because I know the tickets are $500 per person. Miles wanted to pay for both of our tickets, but I insisted that I would pay for my own.
The masks on everybody make the atmosphere romantic and mysterious. I receive many compliments on my “transformation”. None of them have seen me dress up prior to this event, and certainly not in a dress like this. Even the members of the rescue team for Pierce are shocked when they see me. The men, of course, can’t resist teasing me.
When the music begins, Miles asks me to dance with him. He’s a good dancer, leading me easily while we move. After a few rounds with him, I notice he begins pulling me closer to him. Feeling a bit uncomfortable, I try to think of an excuse to stop our dancing.
“Do you mind if I cut in, Dillon?” Perfect timing! Sterns saves me from the situation becoming awkward.
“No, not at all,” Sterns answers reluctantly. “I’ll get you another drink, Tess. I’ll be at the table.” I smile as he walks away.
As I dance with Sterns, I notice how graceful he is for such a solid man. “So what’s going on with you and Dillon?” Sterns doesn’t hesitate to get to the point.
“Nothing. We just came as friends,” I reply, tilting my head to the side.
“Hm…” Sterns says.
“What’s that supposed to mean? And where’s your date?” I want to change the subject away from me.
“Didn’t have anybody in mind,” he replies.
“What’s the latest on Pierce?” I know he’s not going to tell me anything, but every time I see him, I have to ask. “How is he doing? Could you at least tell me that?”
“He’s doing the best as can be expected, Sanoby. That’s about all I can say.”
Just as I’m about to inquire for more information, the dance changes. All of the women go on the inside circle and their partners form the outside circle. Each partner dances with the other for about a minute and then we switch partners. The circles move fast just like the changing of partners. I have no idea who I am dancing with because of the masks. But each man has his unique style of dancing and leading, and the challenge of switching the dances keeps me intrigued.
Everybody is laughing as the women are spun, dipped, and twirled around the room. I go through at least twenty men and when I switch again, I’m pulled into a pair of strong arms. I gasp when I feel a hard body against me as the dance continues. I look up to see the man, but he makes no attempt to look at me, so I can’t even see his eyes behind his black mask. His dark hair is cut short, his shoulders are broad, and his long, lean body is as solid as a rock. He easily towers over me, even in my four-inch heels. This mystery man is light on his feet as he easily glides me across the dance floor.
He keeps me close against his body as we continue our dancing. I’m in shock at how my body responds to this close encounter. I sink right against him as his touch brings peculiar, yet intriguing sensations electrifying through my body.
Instantly, my body craves more. I hold him tighter, wanting to be closer to him. He continues dancing with me and does not change partners when it’s time; he simply just moves us out of the circle formation.
I don’t complain. I don’t know if it’s the wine or the atmosphere, but I don’t want to let him go. With nothing more than just a dance, this mystery man has made my heart race, my breathing hitch, and my body longing for his touch.
I don’t want to ruin this magical moment so I don’t ask any questions. I don’t even care who he is. All I know is the way he’s making me feel. Not wanting to analyze this further, I just want to lose myself in it. Our bodies continue to move in unison, as if we’ve always danced together. I take this mystery man in, as I inhale his scent and feel his strong muscular body under my hands. Not once does he release me as we dance. I continue to sway my hips to his movement, spin as he twirls me, and keep my soft body against his hard body. I sigh as I sink even more against him, craving his touch while I inhale the scent that permeates the air around him.
Just as the dance is about to end, he dips me with his face buried into my neck. I hold him tightly, not wanting him to let me go. Unfortunately, the music ends, and I’m still dipped with my back arched and his face buried into my neck. Slowly, he lifts his face up and looks at me with such a piercing gaze, that it feels as though he’s looking into my soul with his deep, gray eyes.
He pulls me into standing position, releases me, nods his head swiftly, and before I can process anything, he’s gone. He simply disappears into the crowd, leaving me standing on the dance floor, dumbfounded.
“Pierce,” I whisper.
I’m so excited to participate in an ongoing blog hop about my writing. I was tagged by James DiBenedetto. Thank you, James, for including me with some very talented authors. James is an author of the incredible Dream Series. You can check him out at this link: http://writingdreams.net
Now, here are the questions that I have to answer as part of this blog hop:
What am I working on?
I am currently working on Chaysing Destiny. This is the final installment of the Chaysing Trilogy. I’m only on Chapter Five, but I’m hoping it’ll be available by Spring of 2015. I’m excited, yet apprehensive to be done with the series. I’ve gotten so attached to the characters… I’m sure it will be bittersweet when I write the conclusion.
How does my work differ than others of its genre?
Well, to be honest, I have to admit that my books are multi-genre. The first book, Chaysing Dreams, could be classified as young adult, new adult, romance, suspense, thriller, action… But it’s still so much more. It talks about family, friendship, growing pains, depression, perseverance, and sacrifice. The main character, Tess, is a young girl of fifteen in the beginning and grows up to be a young woman of twenty-two by the end of the first book. This is very different than other books… my character grows up from an innocent young girl to a strong young woman.
In the second book, Chaysing Memories, Tess’s story continues. Again, this is very different because we watch Tess grow even more through her life experiences. But outside of that, we see the other characters change and grow through their experiences as well. Again, many dynamics are brought into this book. Friendships are tested, lost love comes back in her life, and there’s just more action in this one. Very difficult to just label it into one genre.
I think the books are unique because the readers go through the same emotions as the characters. They can feel their pain, happiness, fears, sadness…I really enjoy getting inside my characters’ heads. I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology, so I believe this helps me to really understand how to accomplish this. Many readers have said that the stories made them “feel.”
Why do I write what I do?
I write because I have this crazy head that’s got an imagination out of this world. All these years, it’s been screaming at me to get my thoughts down. I’ve always been an avid reader, so one day, I decided to listen to the voices in my head and began writing. A year later, Chaysing Dreams was produced! And now, I realize how therapeutic writing is for me. I love creating stories. I love bringing my characters to life. I’ve always read to give myself some escape from the craziness of the real world. Knowing that my books have done the same for others is enough of a reason for me to keep writing.
How does my writing process work?
My laptop is my best friend. I work full-time during the day, so I try to get my writing done either in the evenings or on weekends. When I can, I try to go to Barnes and Noble with my laptop. For some reason, this really creates the right mood/atmosphere for me.
Also, I do have an idea of how my stories will go. I’ve taken notes on each story. I know how I want them to start and how I want them to end. But sometimes, when I’m writing a particular scene, the characters kind of take over, and the scene develops into something completely unexpected. I love that- it’s as if the characters are directing me on how they want their story to go. Yeah, I know, it sounds crazy. But hey, I’ve never claimed to be completely sane anyway.
Ok, enough about me… Let’s now move on to some amazing authors that I’m about to tag:
Regina M. Joseph is the author of The Alterran Legacy Series, her first foray into fictional writing. Colony Earth was published in October 2012, Khamlok on March 1, 2013, and on Resurrection May 1, 2014. She is at work on the concluding volume, Redemption. All three novels have been 5 stars by Reader’s Favorite. www.alterranlegacy.com
Errika Lee is a registered nurse dedicated to spreading positive messages of esoteric truth through various routes, her favorite being those that allow her to make use of her creativity. The Kingdom of Dala is her debut novel and marks the beginning of her story-writing ventures. Devoted to her spiritual studies, Errika intends to publish a sequel to The Kingdom of Dala shortly after the first book’s release in hopes of realizing a powerful message. http://www.errikalee.com
Lisa Sommers was born and raised in San Diego, California. She graduated from the University of Phoenix majoring in Business Management. After working in the Accounting field for more than fourteen years she decided to become a stay-at-home mother to her four children. Moving out of San Diego after 37 years, her, her husband and their children moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be near family.
Lisa is just as much an avid coffee drinker as she is a reader and writer. Her genres of reading and writing have been in the romance/erotica/suspense arena. Although, she has been writing for a couple of years she just recently published her first series called, Caught Off Guard, in February 2014. http://www.lisasommers.blogspot.com/
Give these wonderful authors some love!