Sunday, June 25, 2017

Welcome, Author Jillian Chantal!

This week it is such a pleasure to welcome author Jillian Chantal to "Gina's World of Good". An accomplished attorney as well as a prolific writer of a broad range of genres of engaging romantic fiction, Jillian truly has a gift for both creative and analytical thinking - great right-brain, left-brain balance! Jillian will be giving away a copy of any of her backlist books (US only for paperback, anywhere for ebook) to a lucky reader, so leave a comment for your chance to win. Welcome, Jillian!

Welcome to my blog, Jillian. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in mostly Virginia and Florida. My dad was in the Navy for a while when I was very young and we moved several times. When I was six, he left the service and we moved to Virginia as he took a civil service job in Washington, D. C.  When I was in the 6th grade, his entire unit was moved to NAS Pensacola and so that became home. I left for college and law school and then moved back to what I consider home. Pensacola.

What is your newest book about?
It’s called Lightning Strikes Twice and is a Regency romance/adventure. It’s part of a group of stories where 9 authors have teamed together to imagine what certain superheroes would be like in Regency England. It’s part of a series to be released this summer called The Heart of a Hero Series. All the books are up for preorder now. Link:

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel/book/work?
I chose to base my story on what would happen if the Invisible Woman met Mr. Fantastic in Regency England. Obviously, it was just the inspiration and there’s no real supernatural abilities nor is it based on the actual characters – it’s merely a jumping off point.

What kind of research did you do for this book?
I have other Regencies I’ve written so the basics of that era are known to me but I did research electromagnetic fields and when they were first discovered. I also researched the time it takes a horse to go certain distances as well as a place to set one of the vital scenes that takes place in the story. I needed it to be on the water and not more than a day or two’s ride from London.  I also researched Vauxhall Gardens and when certain features were in vogue there.

Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?
I did, but I fudged the year of the discovery. Hans Christian Orsted discovered the relationship between electricity and magnetism in 1820. I had the hero discover it in 1812.

What intrigues you most about writing these stories?
I love history and putting characters in situations where they need to find solutions to problems without the modern conveniences we have appeals to me.

Tell us a bit about your other books.
I have so many, it’s hard to say much without going on for ages. I’m very eclectic in my tastes and so I have stories that run the gamut from historical to contemporary to magical. I write what I feel at the moment which isn’t great for creating a brand other than a brand of mish-mash, but it makes me happy.

Which of all your characters is your favorite?
Yikes!  That’s a loaded question. I think I have a different favorite depending on the day of the week or what I’m writing at the moment. I tend to fall in love with my heroes so I’d have to say, pick a man, any man, and he’s my favorite.

How did you get started in this genre?
I have a friend who told me she thought I’d rock the Regency era so I took that as a dare and here we are!  

When you have time to read, who are some of your favorite authors?
Harlan Coben, Martha Grimes, Christopher Fowler.

Let’s get personal for a moment: Please share with us the most daring thing you’ve ever done.
I went skydiving. It was divine! I loved it.

Favorite meal?  
Pretty much anything Italian- especially Spaghetti Carbonara. As to my favorite meal ever, when I was 19, I was in Europe with my parents. We were in Verona this particular day and we ate at a very nice restaurant. My dad and I had champagne chicken. It was beaten thin, breaded and cooked in a champagne white sauce with mushrooms. Man, oh, man, it was so good. I’ve never been able to recreate it but I still remember it vividly.

City you would love to visit and why?
I love to travel and one place I haven’t been is South America. I’d love to go to Machu Picchu.

To learn more about Jillian, visit her website at

And here's a link that takes  readers to the Amazon site for all 9 books that come out

And here are Jillian's links:

Fascinating, Jillian! Thank you so much for visiting “Gina’s World of Good”! I wish you many sales!! Please visit again soon.

Readers, be sure to visit with our next guest, the wonderful Gail Pallotta, July 10-17!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Welcome, Award-Winning Mystery Writer Dr. Julien Ayotte!

It is a joy to welcome award-winning author Julien Ayotte to "Gina's World of Good" this week! 

A fellow Rhode Islander, Dr. Ayotte will be here from June 19-26 to discuss his wonderful writings, in particular his latest mystery "A Life Before". 

Dr Ayotte will be awarding a copy of his book "A Life Before" to a lucky commenter!

Welcome to my blog, Julien.  Tell us about your newest book.
JA: My latest mystery thriller is A Life Before, a satisfying combination of courtroom drama and highly promising supernatural occurrences.  The novel offers a fresh new approach to the theme of reincarnation and the effects of past-life memories.

My wife and I moved into a new home in Cumberland, RI, in 2011, a one-story residence which needed a radon gas mitigation system because the level of radon gas emanating from the ground into our basement level was too high.  Then a thought came to me.  What if a devious contractor hid the threat of radon levels from prospective buyers and exposed them to the danger of lung cancer as a result of overexposure to this odorless gas.  At about the same time, I had been reading about factual accounts of reincarnation in India, and decided to see if I could combine the two events into one mystery thriller.  The result was quite satisfying and the ending quite startling.

The research required for the book involved extensive reading on radon gas and its effect on individuals who are overexposed to this gas emanating from basements left unsealed.  When I heard that over 20,000 people a year die of lung cancer from exposure to this gas, I was shocked.  The research on reincarnation was fascinating, especially the true accounts of Shanti Devi whose claims at being reincarnated could never be refuted, no matter how many attempts were made to do so.  Much of my research is included in some form in the novel to allow the reader to do his/her own follow-up if they choose to do so.  Most of the locations in my books are places my wife and I have been to over the years.  It allows me to take readers to places they wish they had been.  According to many readers, “You have taken to places I wish I had been to, but now I feel like I’ve been there.”

I have always loved a good mystery, and have had the good foresight to solve the ones I’ve read or seen before they are revealed to the readers or viewers.  This often upsets my wife who wonders how I do this.
What I enjoy most is when readers tell me how much they enjoyed my stories and that I deserve more recognition than I am getting.  That is quite flattering.  A Life Before has been cited by Jon Land, a USA Today bestselling author, as a work worthy of reading, remembering, and recommending.  US Review of Books and Apex Reviews called the novel a must read and a brilliant novel.  As an author, what more can I ask for?...other than a literary agent and a movie producer’s blessing.

My debut novel in late 2012 was Flower of Heaven, a thriller about an affair between a young French woman from Paris who has an innocent affair with a young American on holiday.  Once she finds that her young lover is a newly ordained priest, the affair ends as abruptly as it began, but not without its consequences.  Francoise Dupont is pregnant and has twin sons which she gives up for adoption because she is penniless and cannot raise the sons.  Fr. Richard Merrill is unaware for thirty-five years that he is the father of the boys until Francoise informs him.  She is now part of a royal family in a Mid-Eastern oil-rich country and seeks Fr. Merrill’s help in finding the sons who are in danger from enemies of the royal family.  In both Flower of Heaven and its sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, the reader experiences searches in Paris, Stockholm, Orvieto, Italy, and into war-torn Ethiopia to find the two sons.  These two books have each won four national book awards, hold a prestigious Kirkus Review, and carry excellent rating reviews on Amazon.

I am a sucker for a good heroine, and all three of my novels have one.  Clearly in Flower of Heaven and the sequel, Dangerous Bloodlines, the main character if Francoise Dupont, the young French woman who rises from desperation after giving birth to twin sons out of wedlock to become a princess in another kingdom.  Her dedication to the betterment of women in her newly adopted country is only overshadowed by her unfailing quest to find the two sons she foolishly gave up for adoption years earlier.  In A Life Before, the heroine is Samantha Collins, the headstrong college student possessed with the mind of a murdered young housewife from twenty one years earlier.  She is determined to rid the demons in her dreams, even if it means she must accept that she is the reincarnation of the slain woman from the past.

And what do you enjoy reading? 
JA: I love to read David Baldacci, James Patterson, John Grisham, and Dan Brown, all excellent and accomplished mystery thriller authors.  For me to mentioned as writing like they do is quite humbling.
What's the most daring thing you have ever done, Julien?
JA: The most daring thing I have ever done was to complete writing my first book in 2001 with a dentist from South Dakota, a book about financial planning.  I believe this accomplishment inspire me to complete an old manuscript from 1987 which eventually resulted in my debut novel, Flower of Heaven.
Fascinating! Favorite meal? 
JA: My wife of 54 years and I only eat chicken/turkey in the meat category.  Otherwise, we are avid seafood lovers.  A good Frutti di Mare is a dish I seldom pass up when dining out.
We have travelled the world during our fifty four years of marriage and, at age 75, we don’t have much of a bucket list left.  The only area we have not been to is Asia, and at this point in our lives don’t really care to.  I would much prefer to land a literary agent and a good publishing house that could get one or more of my books into a screenplay or major film series on television.  Perhaps one day that will happen.  Until then, I keep writing.  Later this summer, I expect to release my fourth thriller, Disappearance, about the troubles within the witness protection program.
Thank you for a great interview, Julien!
To learn more about this author, visit his website,, where you can connect to all the links for his books, including his email address.