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Friday, 4 March 2016

VBT & #GIVEAWAY - Loves of our Lives by A.C. Chenier





For Katie Benjamin, finding the perfect soul mate was just a fairy tale until a chance encounter on a train changes everything. What she discovers takes her on a journey that spans lifetimes.

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“I had this commissioned for you to have. I want you to wear it close to your heart and know my heart is now and will always be yours.” He opened the case and displayed a gold locket. She gasped at the beautiful locket within the case. It was a white cameo in a pale pink background.

“Turn it over,” he said.

She did and read the words he had engraved on the back. Forever in my heart, forever in my soul.

She felt tears running down her face as she looked at the beautiful words and then into Jonathon’s eyes. She looked deep into his eyes and felt her own soul connecting directly to Jonathon. He said to her, “Forever in my heart, forever in my soul. I will find you again.” He then wrapped his arms around her and took her lips in a passionate kiss. Her heart was hammering in her throat as she kissed him back. To her it felt a bit like a good-bye kiss, but a kiss filled with the promise of reuniting in time. 

Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |  B&N  |  Kobo

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here

What was your favourite book as a child?

Lord of the Rings by JR Tolkien.

When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing non-technical documents in earnest in the summer of 2014. My first goal was to write a self-help style book to help other middle age widows based on my own journey from happily married to widowhood. Then in the fall of that year I attended a Dr. Brian Weiss workshop in Chicago, and I read his book “Only Love is Real”. Dr. Weiss is a therapist who utilizes past life regression therapy to help his patients heal. He has written a number of books about the concept of past lives, and how we encounter the same souls over and over again during our many lives on Earth. Suddenly the seeds of a romance novel started to form in my mind.  Why couldn’t I create a romance novel that would end up telling the same story of my self-help book, but in an entertaining package? So, I started writing the novel. It took me about four weeks to write the core of the book. I finished up in early December 2014. All of 2015 was spent in editing, re-working and getting it published. 

How did you choose the genre you write in?

The genre chose me I think. I’ve always been an avid reader of romance and fantasy. After I had read a number of Dr. Weiss’s books about past lives and reincarnation, I stared to toy with the idea of writing a book about soul mates who had lost each other in the past, and encounter each other in the present. What obstacles would they face to finding their “happily ever after”.  Would past mistakes and loss keep them apart? Would lessons to be learned and life in the now prevent their finding each other?
And romance is still one of the biggest selling genres. I think most women, even those who already have the happily ever after, love to read about someone else’s journey to joy. It’s easy to escape into the world of love and passion.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

Pantser 100%.  If I try to plot too much, I engage too much of my logical side. Then I start to get caught up in the structure of sentences, rather than letting the character tell the story for me.  Once I have a good first draft put together, I will often outline the story to help me plug holes and to get the chapters in the right order.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My second book is titled “Love by Knight” and is also a book about past lives and soul mates reuniting through time but with a deep tie to the Knights Templar. I still haven’t written my “elevator pitch” for it yet, but here is a brief bit about it

Imagine visiting a ruin from the 1100’s and feeling right at home, as if you knew every nook and cranny in the place. A siren call to heed and find the mystery that stirs your soul. And a man who’s every look and touch speaks to your deepest needs and desires. What a combination that can’t be resisted. But what does the past hold? It beckons to you, but is shrouded in mystery, pain and terror. Would fear hold you back or would you follow the siren call?

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I would have to say that I have a mix of real life and imagination. Certainly the traits of a number of my characters, and the things they experience do come from my own encounters during my life. Discussions with friends, family, and acquaintances all combine to create a wealth of characteristics and experiences that I can use to build lives for my characters. And then add imagination to that.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

Well, I really do like the past life concepts that I’ve started to explore in this book. It does allow me to work in both historical and current times. So, I’ll continue to write in that “time travel” style.

I do have a number of characters that are screaming at me to have their stories told. Kevin and Sara who I introduce in Loves of our Lives, have an interesting story that is bubbling to the surface right now. Their quest into the world of aura reading and crystal children calls to me to be written. I’ve also been asked a few times to continue the story of Katie and John....where do they end up, does Katie continue on her spiritual path and to what end goal. John “talks” to me a lot, wanting to tell his story, and to describe his adventure in life.

I also have a character from my second novel whose story I want to write. His name is Jason Carter, and he figures fairly prominently in the book, but not as the hero. However, his own journey through life and love promises to be full of twists and turns.

What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee or some complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?

Well, I have some of each.  John is a simple coffee guy. Katie runs the gamut; sometimes just a simple Tim Hortons, other times a non-fat decaf “nightmare”.

What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?

I currently write with my satellite radio tuned on to either Velvet or Spa. I’ve set aside space in my townhouse as a writing area. However, I would love to be able to find a dedicated studio where I could spread out (sans kittens) and allow the full breadth of creativity to flow.

I’m a laptop/PC writer. I currently use Word, but am experimenting with Scrivener as well. So far, Word seems to work for me. I have found that I still revert to a printed copy, with pen, paper and a calendar to create a “map” of the book for me. I wait until the first draft is done, then I start in with the mapping exercise to figure out the holes before I start on my re-write/ editing.

How important are the names in your book?

Names are everything and very important in my books. As I’m dealing with the same soul in many lifetimes, I’ve tried to integrate the names a bit. I spend a great deal of time whenever a new character comes to life for me in choosing the name and learning who they are, what makes them tick. Generally they “come” with a first name, but then I have to craft the rest for them. I’ve only had a couple of characters who started with a name, and “needed” a new one as I wrote their story.

Did you choose them based on how they sounded or looked, or was it completely random?

There is a lot of method to selecting names for my characters. Many of the first names the character tells me when I first start writing them. But the middle and last names I spend a great deal of time on; especially the past life names. It is part of the heritage of the soul, and so is very important in bringing the past to life for them. 

Do you have any name choosing resources you would recommend?

I use google a lot to narrow down names for the time frames. For example a search on “popular names in England in 1740” is a good starting point. When I started working on my second novel, with its strong Templar ties, I spent a lot of time on various Templar websites combing through names to build the historic family ties that come through as the de Cartier/ Carter family.

Do you read your reviews?

I tend not to read reviews. How many have you read where the reviewer doesn’t even get the facts from the book right?

Do you respond to them, good or bad?

Some great advice out there is that you shouldn’t respond to reviews. I’m guessing they figure if you disagree with the reviewer that you’ll end up in an “argument” that could too easily become a train wreck. So, based on that I don’t read reviews nor will I respond to them.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Well, the reality of this world is that not everyone will like what I write. I accept that. And others will love it. What appeals to one person, will turn another off. I think every artist deals with that. It’s why we all have to understand our target market. By ensuring that you predominantly work within the scope of that market, you can achieve your goals, regardless of good or bad reviews. 


1. Light or dark chocolate - DARK
2. Favourite colour - BLUE
3. Dogs or cats  - DOGS (despite having 2 kittens at home)
4. Tea or coffee - TEA
5. Light side or dark side - LIGHT
6. Morning, noon or night? - MORNING
7. Black and white or colour? _ BLACK AND WHITE
8. Drawings or paintings?  PAINTINGS
9. Dresses or skirts?  - SKORTS
10. Books or movies? - BOOKS
11. Pepsi or Coke?  - COKE
12. Chinese or Italian? - CHINESE
13. Early bird or night owl? – EARLY BIRD
14. Chocolate or vanilla? - CHOCOLATE
15. Introvert or extrovert? - INTROVERT
16. Hugs or kisses? - BOTH
17. Hunting or fishing? - NEITHER
18. Winter or summer? – SUMMER
19. Spring or fall?  - FALL
20. Rural or urban? - RURAL
21. PC or Mac?  - PC
22. Tan or pale? - TAN
23. Cake or pie? - NEITHER
24. Ice cream or yogurt? - YOGURT
25. Ketchup or mustard? - KETCHUP
26. Sweet pickles or dill pickles? - BOTH
27. Comedy or mystery? - COMEDY
28. Boots or sandals? - BOOTS
29. Silver or gold? - GOLD
30. Jazz or classical? - NEITHER
31. Dancing or singing? - SINGING
32. Checkers or chess? - CHESS
33. Board games or video games?  - VIDEO
34. Wine or beer?  - BOTH
35. Freckles or dimples? DIMPLES
36. Honey mustard or BBQ sauce? - EITHER
37. Body weight exercises or lifting weights? - NEITHER
38. Baseball or basketball?  - BASEBALL
39. Crossword puzzles or sudokus?  - SUDOKUS
40. Facial hair or clean shaven?  - EITHER (depends on the guy)
41. Crushed ice or cubed ice?  - CRUSHED
42. Skiing or snowboarding?  - SKIING
43. Smile or game face?  - SMILE
44. Bracelet or necklace?- FLIP A COIN
45. Fruit or vegetables?  - BOTH
46. Sausage or bacon?  - BACON
47. Scrambled or fried?  - FRIEND
48. Tattoos or piercings?  - NEITHER
49. Antique or brand new? - NEW
50. Dress up or dress down? _ DRESS DOWN
51. Cowboys or aliens? - COWBOYS
52. Pancakes or waffles?  - NEITHER
53. Bond or Bourne?  - BOND
54. Sci-Fi or fantasy? - FANTASY
55. Numbers or letters? - NUMBERS
56. Star Wars or Star Trek? – BOTH!
57. Fair or theme park? – THEME PARK
58. Money or fame? - MONEY
59. Washing dishes or doing laundry? - LAUNDRY
60. Snakes or sharks?  - SHARKS
61. Orange juice or apple juice? - OJ
62. Sunrise or sunset?  SUNSET
63. Slacker or over-achiever?  OVER ACHIEVER
64. Pen or pencil?  PEN
65. Peanut butter or jelly? YUMMY, BOTH
66. Grammys or Oscars? - OSCARS
67. Detailed or abstract? - DETAILED
68. Multiple choice questions or essay questions?  MULTIPLE CHOICE
69. Adventurous or cautious? CAUTIOUS
70. Saver or spender? SPENDER
71. Glasses or contacts?  CONTACTS
72. Laptop or desktop? DESKTOP
73. Classic or modern? MODERN
74. Personal chef or personal fitness trainer? CHEF
75. Internet or cell phone?  INTERNET
76. Call or text?  TEXT
77. Curly hair or straight hair? CURLY
78. Shower in the morning or shower in the evening? MORNING
79. Spicy or mild?  SPICY
80. Marvel or DC? – NIETHER
81. Paying a mortgage or paying rent? - MORTGAGE
82. Sky dive or bungee jump?  - SKY DIVE
83. Oreos or Chips Ahoy?  CHIPS AHOY
84. Jelly or pudding?  PUDDING
85. Truth or dare? TRUTH
86. Roller coaster or Ferris wheel?  FERRIS WHEEL
87. Leather or denim? DENIM
88. Stripes or solids? SOLIDS
89. Bagels or muffins? BAGELS
90. Whole wheat or white? WHEAT
91. Beads or pearls?  PEARLS
92. Hardwood or carpet? HARDWOOD
93. Bright colours or neutral tones? BRIGHT
94. Be older than you are or younger than you are? NEITHER, LOVE MY AGE
95. Raisins or nuts? NUTS
96. Picnic or nice restaurant? EITHER, DEPENDS ON THE COMPANY
97. Black leather or brown leather? BLACK
98. Long hair or short hair?  LONG
99. “Ready, aim, fire” or “Ready, fire, aim”?  AIM FIRST
100. Fiction or non-fiction?  FICTION
101. Smoking or non-smoking? NON
102. Think before you talk or talk before you think?  THINK FIRST
103. Asking questions or answering questions? ASKING

I am a CPA, CGA and live in Southern Ontario. After working for many years in the high pressure worlds of banking and IT, I decided that it was time to have a change in pace. Leaving Toronto behind I embarked on a new career in retail sales. The change was wonderful, but I felt something was missing.

Then, the unthinkable happened, and I was widowed at 46. That was a truly life altering experience. In time, I was introduced to the books and work of Dr. Brian Weiss. I discovered in his research a new purpose in life, and was driven to start writing, something I had always enjoyed, but never thought of as a career choice.

And now here we are in 2015, and my first novel is ready to be published. My second, also in the Past Lives series, will follow shortly.  I continue to write and dream of a future that I had never even considered in my wildest dreams.


Tour Organised By: 

Goddess Fish Promotions 


  1. Thank you for hosting today's tour stop. I look forward to sharing my debut novel with your readers.

  2. Our pleasure - good luck with your book and the rest of your tour :)

    1. Thanks! One more week for this tour!

  3. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    1. Wow, tough question. I like so many different types of food. But I guess I would lean to steak and a salad. (maybe a black and blue salad?)

  4. thank you for the chance to win :)

  5. Thanks for sharing this giveaway.

  6. Thanks for sharing this :) And thank you for the chance to win :)
    (Ana M on Rafflecopter)

    1. Good luck in the draw. I'm happy you enjoyed the interview.

  7. Great post! Sounds like a wonderful book, thanks for sharing!

    1. Eva, thank you again. Hope you have enjoyed the interviews this week.

  8. Great post, it was fun to read! I also prefer dimples since I have two lol.. thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks. The Quick Fire questions were fun and different to do. I enjoyed answering them.

  9. It sounds SO romantic... gosh,I can't wait to read it!

    1. Thank you. I certainly found it romantic to write.

  10. I really enjoyed this entire post! But how can you say neither to cake or pie???

  11. Betty, all I can say is LOL.....I'm just not a dessert person. But find me chocolate, dark chocolate, especially a truffle and I'm in.

  12. Thanks much for the opportunity. Congratulations on all your successes.

  13. Loved the Quick Fire. Thank you for the post and the giveaway!

  14. Sounds great,thanks for sharing!