My Chat with Erika M. Szabo

Hello and welcome!

Today I have a great author whose books I discovered a few years ago and whose heroine was the first female to come for a chat on my blog. You know how I love my book boyfriends and I couldn’t decide between the two heroes, so Ilona came instead 😀

Please welcome Erika M. Szabo!

ErikaMSzabo

Do you have a nickname?
I never had one until I went to a medical conference a few years ago. The lady who was making the name tags asked my name, and I told her it’s Erika with a K. So she wrote Kerica on my name tag, and it kind of stuck.
That is too funny, but it is sad in a way too.

What is one word best describes you?
I would say dreamer. I dream big and work on it hard to make it come through.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Small, spontaneous things in life such as when my cat farts and have that “what did just happen? Am I gonna die?” expression on her face.
LOL my pooch used to do that too, hilarious… the faces I mean, but the smell… OY… it could be used for biowarfare 😀

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Peppermint. My mom’s purse always smelled like peppermint.

Favourite place to spend time in.
I’m going to sound dork, but my favorite relaxing place is the big old armchair next to the fireplace, with a good book.
Not to worry, you are in good company. Most who come here, myself included are bookworms.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
I don’t read erotica.

Writing! What started it?
My daughter’s annoyed statement. She said, “If you don’t have a good book to read, then write one!”
I’ll have to thank her for that, I am glad you took up the challenge.

If you could choose another career what would it be?
My career is being a nurse. Writing is my favorite hobby.

Audiobooks! Any plans to have any of your books in audio format?
Working on it.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
Don’t be afraid to use your imagination, dream big and work hard to make it come through.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?
Readers who like historical facts and real life events mixed with fantasy, and like unexpected twists and turns in a story.

What is next in your writing?
I’m working on another health related book about alternative treatments for asthma, and a ghost story.

Thank you Erika for coming for a chat and I am looking forward to more books.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you enjoyed the chat.

book covers

I love the covers of the print book versions of the “The Ancestors’ Secrets”, gorgeous.

2 covers

The Ancestors’ Secret series is an epic fantasy, heroic romance series with magical powers, ancient legends, love triangle and time travel that is a great fantasy lovers and also suitable for young adults.

Here is a book trailer done a while ago for “The Ancestors’ Secrets” series:

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PROTECTED BY THE FALCON

Ilona is a doctor and is ruled by logic. When she starts to develop unusual powers, her beliefs change and she’s thrown into a world of mysteries, traditions and secrets. She doesn’t know much about her heritage besides legends and rituals when begins to remember her mother’s instructions concealed as rhymes. The discovery of her healing power and ability to freeze time is exciting and frightening. A sinister man appears and Ilona connects his presence with the series of mysterious deaths around her. She has been in love with her unsuspecting best friend, when she meets a stranger. She is drawn to him and confused by the sudden magnetic feeling.

The readers said:
“This is so different from the usual fare churned out by ordinary writers.” -Valerie Byron
“Mystery, suspense, romance and well developed characters that hold reading interests from its beginning to end.” -J Faye
“Original, mystical and unique; in fact it’s so original I have nothing to compare it with.” -Miss Devora
“I could feel and visualize what was happening as if I was right there.” -Lauren Sloan

Buy links

ChosenByTheSwordErikaMSzabo800

CHOSEN BY THE SWORD

In book one, Protected by the Falcon, Ilona is thrust from her easy and steady life and forced to face the unknown, which prompts her to discover ancient tribal secrets. In book two, she obtains unimaginable abilities to protect her sister, who bears the next leader of the clan. She can use her powers for absolute good or absolute evil; the choice is up to her. Ilona’s birthright as a Healer runs alongside her desires as a woman. She must sort through her own feelings about the men in her life. Travel with Ilona from the time her people were nomads, to the castles of the 14th century, to present day, as she struggles to overcome the obstacles placed in her path.

The readers said:
“This is so different from the usual fare churned out by ordinary writers.” -Valerie Byron
“The characters felt real and the secrets are alluring. You will get hooked in right away.” -Brenda Barry
“Szabo introduces readers to a fascinating world of ancient rights conducted by a secret order.” -J.E. Rogers

Buy links

TwentyEightTinyPaws800

TWENTY EIGHT TINY PAWS

We found seven orphaned fox pups in our backyard, back in 2005, and I want to share my memories of them with people who love and respect animals. Watching these magnificent wild animals as they grew, played, learned and fought for leadership, was a wonderful experience. They demonstrated their wild instincts as well as their love and compassion for one another. They will always be in our memories and in our hearts. For one delightful summer, we had our very own fox family.
The pictures in the book are my amateur, bad quality photos that I made with a cheap, digital camera hiding behind trees, at the corner of buildings and in the bushes, but I wanted to add the original pictures to the book instead of illustrations.
Part of the royalty from the sales of the book is donated to wildlife sanctuaries and animal hospices.

Buy links

StrangeSymptomsBizarreCravings800

My next read will be STRANGE SYMPTOMS AND BIZARRE CRAVINGS, it sounds interesting!

The symptoms, our body’s signals of diseases and conditions, are fascinating. This book contains unusual symptoms, strange food cravings, vitamin deficiency and overdose symptoms. Also a list of foods that keeps your body healthy as well as easy, whole body detoxification methods. The main purpose of this book is to urge you to pay attention to the signals that your body is sending you.
When I was a child, I often craved sweets. But, when I asked my mother if I can have a candy bar, she gave me a bowl of fruit salad with nuts and raisins, or to my utter disappointment, spinach. She knew by instinct, or rather experience, that my body didn’t need empty calories. What I needed was chromium, phosphor and sulfur from certain foods. After I entered nursing school, I started experimenting with the interpretation of my body’s signals, and I’ve noticed a few things, which were very interesting.

Buy links

To contact Ms. Szabo, keep up with her books, or say hello, here are some links:

websiteTwitterFacebook • AmazonB&NKoboSmashwords

Join her newsletter and stay up to date.

erikamszabo_1431295781_68

In addition to writing books, Ms. Szabo does a whole range of author services, including book cover design, formatting of ebooks, editing, illustrations, book promotions and many more.

She has an awesome tab, “You’ve Made My Day” on her website, where she thanks her readers, that is so cool.

To start you on your reading journey, Ms. Szabo is giving away ebook copies of “Twenty Eight Tiny Paws” and “Strange Symptoms and Bizarre Cravings”. There will be two winners chosen by Sexy Mr. Random, and will be announced after 3pm, EST, Monday, June 8, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

My Chat with Ilona

Hello and welcome!

Today I have the first ever heroine in my chat room and I am very excited. Here is what she has to say.

портрет девушки Лены

What is your full name?
My name is Dr. Ilona O. I know it sounds strange having a last name that is only one letter, but I like it, because it’s different and easy to remember.

Do you have a nickname?
My sister still calls me Ilili sometimes, but I forbid anyone else calling me by my nickname.

What is one word best describes you?
I would say dauntless, because after I overcame my initial fear, I face danger and don’t let anyone control or intimidate me.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in an alternate world that my author created, and let me tell you, I love it there. I’m an ER doctor, but she gave me the ability to heal with my hands and let me acquire other abilities that will blow your mind. The other characters in the story have magical powers as well. For example, Zoltan can travel through time and visit the ancestors in the past. Because of Morana, the evil one, and the strict laws of my people, we spent time in the four hundreds, among other time lines and places. Bela, well I’m not going to tell you that, because he only finds out what he’s capable of in book two. Rua can make can change you in your dream, and Elza can see into the future.

Describe what you are wearing now to our readers.
Right now I look like a parrot. Zoltan made me wear a bright green skirt with lots of flowers on it, a white blouse with hand-sewn red flowers, a yellow shawl and pink ribbons to pull up my hair. We are about to visit a gypsy caravan in King Matyas’ time, so we have to blend in. I’m used to soft pastel colors, but when I looked in the mirror I was surprised. The flowing, vibrant colors made me look more alive and after I noticed Zoltan’s admiring glances, now I don’t mind wearing the colorful outfit.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Yes, I think she did. She revealed my deepest secrets, feelings and thoughts, which are a little embarrassing, but it made me almost like a real person that readers can relate too. I also love that she didn’t make me to be a stunningly beautiful and super strong heroine. I’m pretty and a bit exotic, I’m vulnerable and uncertain at times, but the author made me grow from a naïve girl into a strong woman who can overcome her fears and take her destiny into her own hands. I love the fact that she didn’t give me an easy task to discover my ancestors’ secrets. She gave me clues and made it very hard at times, but while I accepted the healing ability and acquired magical powers, she let me develop my personality through a lot of soul searching. I’m grateful that she didn’t make me a “readymade” character; I’ve changed a lot as the story in her imaginary world progressed.

What makes you laugh?
There are parts in the story that makes me laugh, especially Patrick and Bela are arguing:

“Can I come?” Patrick asked excitedly. “I can help.”
Bela growled, “Help with what? You gonna throw paragraphs from your law books at people?”
“Okay, big smart invisible guy. How you gonna steal all the equipment from the hospital? Did you think of that, huh? They have cameras everywhere. I don’t think they’ll just let you carry boxes out—even if they just see them floating in the air—the guards and staff will rush over and stop you.”
“Alright, what would you do then?” Bela asked angrily.
“I can hack into the hospital’s computer, scramble the security system and you can walk out of there undetected, you big baboon.”
“Okay, that works. You are useful, after all.” Bela laughed and punched Patrick on the shoulder.
Patrick winced, “Ouch,” and laughed along with Bela.
Or when Zoltan says something unexpected in this part of my diary:
I saw the evil face, and I threw all the frustration, anger and hopelessness at it with such force that it almost instantly disappeared. I didn’t waste time filling the empty spot in her brain. I emerged and unfroze time, before I released her head.
She stared at me with a petrified look on her face, “What did you do to me?”
I let her go, stepped back and said, “Now you can tell me everything you know.”
Zoltan took a ragged breath behind me, “I will never get used to this. You froze me, again, didn’t you?”
“Yes, sorry, I had to.”
“When I’m with you, I never know when I turn into an icicle.”
I love this part from my diary too. Gypsy, my St. Bernard got a special place in the books:
From the corner of my eye I saw Zoltan stepping through the door, and Bela indeed pushed the tray out of his hands as I suspected his intentions.
“Bela, you’re in big trouble, and you too Gypsy,” I yelled, hiding the fact that I wanted to laugh. Bela wore a guilty smirk on his face; Gypsy stopped peeing on the chair instantly. He looked just as guilty as Bela.
“How did you do it?” I heard Rua’s voice, and when I turned back to look at him, tears were rolling down his face, “Eniko was so sad about not being able to.”
“I don’t know, Rua, honestly. I don’t care how I do it. I’m just happy that I could.”
Elza stepped out the door and froze as Rua walked toward her, tall and erect. He swung both arms, and there was a young bounce to his steps. He wasn’t the stooping and limping old man any longer. My heart rejoiced. Elza couldn’t take her eyes off him. Rua ran up the steps, and embraced her in his arms. He then turned and ran. We all stared after him as he sprinted and skipped toward his cottage.
Elza looked at me with sparks in her eyes, “Ilona, you did it! I don’t know how, but you did it. Thank you.”
“I should have thought of it sooner, but I’ve been pretty busy the past few weeks. I know why mom couldn’t heal him. She didn’t have the help I have.”
Bela had a puzzled look on his face, “When did you? How did you?” he mumbled.
Zoltan turned to him, “She can freeze time and…”
“I know that moron!” he cut Zoltan off angrily and turned to me, “I just witnessed a miraculous event and I didn’t see it. Don’t freeze me next time, okay?”
“That’s a deal,” I promised and I felt very uneasy about the bickering between them.
Rua returned, and he dropped on his knees before Elza, holding a red tulip in his hand. “I can ask you now,” he whispered. “I love you Elza, always have. Will you accept my love?”
Elza sighed, blinking the threatening tears away. “I thought you’d never ask.” She smiled and took the flower from his hand, lifting it to her lips. Rua stood up and embraced her.

What is your favorite dessert?
As much as the author fed me throughout the close to 700 pages, I should look like a toothpick by now, but my favorite dessert would be anything with chocolate, just because the author is a known chocoholic. I’m glad that the author didn’t feed me on every page though. She read a book once and the author documented every breakfast, lunch and dinner the character had, and in the two hundred page book, she took 72 showers. The readers know that even fictional characters eat and pee, but they don’t need to read about every minute detail of their lives.

What is your favourite drink?
Hm… she never mixed a drink for me either besides coffee that she made me spill on the keyboard. I will make her give me some margaritas with tequila in the next book.
Or maybe a strawberry daiquiri, I love those.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that I would lose my sister and not be able to save the future of my people.

What is your favourite colour?
I love pastel colors, nothing fancy or bright.

What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Silk pajamas and my bed sheets are lilac color silk too.

What is the perfect romantic date?
I will never forget that romantic day and night… Read a little about it from Zoltan’s diary:

We arrived at the lake house, parked in the driveway and unloaded the grocery bags I’d picked up before I went to Ilona’s house. The weather was just perfect. I suggested a little fishing. “We might have some catfish for dinner if we get lucky.”
She smiled, “I love barbecued catfish.”
“Let’s go then. I’ll get the fishing poles out of the garage.”
I also opened a can of corn for bait, and we descended the wooden steps to the deck. Ilona helped me get some folding chairs and a bucket for the potential catch. She was excited and happy, and I wished I could make everything perfect for her. The float on her fishing rig began bobbing under the water, and she pulled the line and wheeled in a pretty good-sized fish.
She clapped, but then the corner of her mouth drooped. “I can’t take the hook out. Would you help me? And don’t you dare laugh!”
“Of course I won’t laugh.” I dropped the nice-sized fish into the bucket, then another and couple of minutes later, even more. “You’re a fish magnet. They don’t even taste my bait,” I mused.
“Yup, fish are drawn to me. I always knew that,” she teased.
“Oh? Then I’m the biggest fish you have ever seen.”
“Are you drawn to me?”
“Big time, you have no idea,” I assured her.
She offered her lips for a kiss, suddenly looking serious. It was a little more sensuous and a little longer kiss than she had allowed before. We enjoyed our embrace, but the lure broke the mood with the buzzing noise. There was another fish on her hook. Later the fish slowed, and we sat there, lazily enjoying the sun and the delicious breeze. We talked, listened to the birds and caught a couple of more fish towards dinnertime. She sat in her chair by my side. Her sun-kissed skin was glowing.
“You’re my life,” I whispered, my throat tight.
My skin was flushed, and my heart drummed loudly in my chest. We stood up slowly, and she put her arms around my neck, caressing the nape of my neck. I held her close to me, and at that moment, nothing else existed, only us. We kissed, passionately and long. She accepted my embrace, but there was still some resistance, carefully masked, but holding her back. I gently eased up. I knew the time would come when she would be ready, and wouldn’t hold back… I will be patient and I won’t rush her. “I think we have enough fish for dinner,” I announced in a lighter tone.
Her eyes seemed a little misty, apologetic. “Thank you for not rushing me,” she whispered.

Is your book part of a series? What does the future hold for the readers of the series?
The Ancestor’s Secrets series contains two books, for now. The author still hasn’t decided if she would continue the series with a third book. I would love to stay and enjoy my relationship with my chosen one and to make sure my people survive and flourish.

I hope there will be more. You know, there is a way to convince her. Wake her up at night, whisper in her ear when she is doing something that takes concentration 😀

Thank you so much Ilona for spending time with me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you for joining me today, I hope you enjoyed the chat.

Ilona hails from the The Ancestor’s Secrets series by one of my fave authors, Erika M. Szabo.

Protected By The Falcon

protectedbythefalconebook

Ilona is a doctor and is ruled by logic, yet when she starts to develop unusual powers, her beliefs change and she’s thrown into a world of mysteries, traditions and secrets. Nursery rhymes taught by her mother lead her to discover her clan’s past, which still exist with its fiercely enforced laws. A dangerous dark man stalks Ilona who is unexpectedly rescued by a handsome stranger, Zoltan. As their relationship grows, her feelings for best friend, Bela, starts to fade. When her life and the future of her people become threatened, she must gather all her courage and use her inherited powers to fight back. Infused with Hungarian legend, the twisting plot keeps the reader turning the pages of this extraordinary fantasy story. The Ancestors’ Secret series is an epic fantasy, heroic romance series with magical powers, ancient legends, love triangle and time travel that is a great read for fantasy lovers and also suitable for young adults.

Chosen By The Sword

ChosenbytheSword-cover

In book one, Protected By The Falcon, Ilona is thrust from her easy and steady life and forced to face the unknown, which prompts her to discover the ancient tribal secrets. The rules of her ancient Hun clan that still exist with strict laws suffocate her, but she is resourceful and daring. She discovers secrets and obtains unimaginable powers to protect her sister, who bears the next leader of the clan. If she does not succeed, the fate of her people is at stake. She must sort through her own feelings about the men in her life. Will she choose Bela, her best friend, or the handsome and noble Zoltan? From the time when her people were nomads, the castles of the 14th century to the present, travel through time with Ilona as she struggles to overcome the obstacles placed in her path by ruthless individuals who want to inflict their rule on the Hun clan.

Being a Hungarian myself, I was always looking to read more about my ancestors, fiction and nonfiction literature. These books brought back many memories of the stories and legends I read and heard. Written in a diary-kind format, weaving fact and fiction together, the different characters tell a beautiful story.

Here is a little trivia on the symbols used in the book.

ChameleonThe Chameleon – You can adopt to new situations easily, make friends quickly. Others describe you as one with a friendly, open personality.

ChosenThe Chosen – You are easily able to make selection from a number of alternatives. You are a logical thinker, fair in judgment and a quick decision maker.

HealerThe Healer – You are able to provide a solid emotional base for those around you. People listen to your well thought out and sensible advice.

HistorianThe Historian – You honor the ancestors and continue the traditions. You have a strong tie to the past, you learn from history to build a better future.

LeaderThe Leader – You automatically take the role of the leader in any situation. People respect you and seek your advice.

ProtectorThe Protector – You provide comfort to others and you love taking care of others. You fiercely protect your family and friends.

TravelerThe Traveler – You love to discover new places, foreign cultures and customs. You respect others’ religion, preference and beliefs, you are non-judgmental.

Here is an example of the Rovásirás, old Hungarian Runes. It is an ancient Hun send-off for the departed which you will find used by Ilona.

ancient Hun send-off

 

To keep in touch with Erika M. Szabo and check out her other books, click on the links below.

websitenewsletter • FacebookTwitterPinterestAmazonB&NGoodreads

question-300x300

If you had to choose one of the symbols above, which one would describe you the best?

Protector

I like to think I am a little bit of each one with Protector being dominant.

Five lucky winners, chosen by Sexy Mr. Random from the comments, will win an ebook, winner’s choice of the two books in the series. Comments will stay open until 4pm EST, Sunday, February 22, 2015.  GOOD LUCK!

Also… Erika has offered to anybody who wants to get a picture of their name in Hungarian Runes, just note it in your comment.

Here is the one she made for me! Isn’t it pretty?

Eniko-TurulProtection

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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past chats

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