Monday, October 22, 2007

Access Denied by Jacquéline Roth

It's Monday again! Boy time sure did fly this last week. Today's guest author is Jacquéline Roth and the book I'll be reviewing is her new release, Access Denied. But before we get to the book, let's meet her and find out a little bit about her.

1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?
I'd start much sooner. I had a less than ideal childhood and the idea that I could actually be a writer was sort of smothered out of me early on. I can remember making up stories and even illustrating them as a child. My grandfather partitioned a place behind his recliner in the living room for me and my stories and pictures were taped to the walls. He always said I could be anything I wanted to be. Unfortunately after a while, his wasn't the voice I heard in my head. I heard the one that laughed at the idea that I could ever really be a writer. So if I could go back, I'd listen harder and longer to my grandfather and never let anyone silence that dream.

2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?
The best advice I've ever received came from a friend of mine who is part of my critique and workshop group. Britannia has this way of cutting through the...nonsense...and laying out on the line in a way that makes you go, "Well duh! Why didn't I see that before?" I was recently agonizing over the direction to take a story I was writing. After listening to me dither she said "Go with your muse, if the muse says [option A], go [option A]. If the muse says [option B] then go with [option B], if the muse says both [option A and B] and everything in between then that's the way to go. If you start second guessing yourself out of guilt you'll compromise your story."

Then of course there is the advice my editor, Helen Woodall keeps giving me. Have fun.

I guess in a way they are both saying the same thing. I think as writers we want to be liked and accepted. Our stories and characters are our children and we want them to liked and accepted. But if we lose sight of who we--or our stories--are, then we will lose something much more important than the approval of others. Not everyone is going to like what you write so you had damned well better be satisfying your muse and pleasing yourself.

3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
This is a hard one. I’ve really had to think. There have been so many people who have changed history and so many who have touched my life in some way though I have never met them. Either something they wrote reached out to me through the pages of their books or something they did made the world a different place. People like Robert Kennedy for his integrity and courage, Thomas Jefferson for his eloquence and foresight, Jane Austen for her ability to capture people and make us want to be or know them and Eleanor Roosevelt for being a woman far ahead of her--time all inspire me.

But if I had to choose one person it would be Queen Elizabeth I. She altered women’s roles in the world forever. Following in the footsteps of her step-Grandmother, Queen Isabella of Spain, she was a woman who ruled and who did so with no apology for being a woman. I’d love to ask her how she managed such a male dominated society so completely. Was it that she was wise enough to surround herself with the right people? How much of what was attributed to her did she really accomplish on her own volition and how much was orchestrated for her and done in her name?

4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?
Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy. But only if he agrees to fall madly in love with me and sweep me off my feet to a life of wealth and privilege in a lovely English manor house surrounded by servants. Oh, and only if he really does look like Colin Firth.

Darcy isn’t my favorite Austen hero, but Colonel Brandon belongs to Marianne so completely that I could never dream of coming between them. But then again…

5) What do you want to be when you grow up?
You mean I actually have to grow up? *sigh* In that case I want to be Sherrilyn Kenyon when I grow up. I want to create a fresh and original story concept and thrill and fascinate a world of readers. I want to “birth” amazing characters that thrill and astonish people. I want to have a book that I’ve created become someone’s “comfort book” the way Night Play has become mine. I could go back and read the story of Vane, the werewolf who is so overcome with passion and love for the plus size heroine that he can’t help himself.

Yep, I wanna be Sherrilyn Kenyon when I grow up. I’m not sure how that works, though, since I think technically she is younger than I am.

6) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?
If anyone remembers me in the next decade, let alone the next century, I want it to be for one reason. I want someone to say, “You know, she really showed me that reading could be fun.”
I don’t care if it’s a former student of mine for whom I found that book which opened up a whole world of possibilities in the written word or a reader who had a good time reading one of my stories and decided to pick up another book and keep going. It is really a thrill when I see people lined up at bookstores to buy the latest installment in any series, be it Rowling’s Harry Potter or Stephenie Meyer’s teen vampire series. That is what reading should be. Exciting, thrilling, provoking and fun.

Access Denied by Jacquéline Roth from Cerridwen Press

"That is what reading should be. Exciting, thrilling, provoking, and fun." Well, this week's author certainly delivered. Each week I'm struck by what a very talented group of writers our editor has gathered together in her "Frog's Pond" and this week is no exception.

Access Denied is a creative look at "what if". "What if" a meteor struck Earth and we had enough time to prepare for it? What would the response be? What would life be like afterwards? How would our culture change?

In Access Denied, we are presented with a couple who are matched by the ruling body of Sanctuary, the Committee for a three month assignment. During their assignment time, they will get to know each other and decide ultimately if they are suited for permanent status. There are a few problems. Leah, a school teacher is less than attractive. James, a nurse is recovering from the aftermath of the loss of his first wife followed swiftly by a bad divorce from his second wife. He's in no mood to take on a third wife.

Slowly but surely the two misfits fall in love. And of course, there should be a Happily Ever After. But not so fast... There are forces at work here behind the scenes that lead to a shocking ending I never saw coming. Jacquéline very skillfully led me right down the access tunnel by my nose. Bam!

The story is filled with wonderful memorable characters that tug at your heart. The world building is creative and very well thought out. When I reached the end I wanted the story to go on. I hope that Ms. Roth writes another story for the Sanctuary world. If you want a very entertaining read, then go immediately to Cerridwen Press and buy a copy of Access Denied by Jacquéline Roth.


Today Kelly has the Saga and it's a doozy. Go to to check it out. The head on over to Amarinda's blog at to find out how she triumphs over the lowly management at work. I'm sure it will demonstrate true creative flare.


  1. Oh yes...Colin Firth as Mr there's a man. Tall, dark and moody, just the way I like 'em....hhmmm...oh, and the book sounds fabulous but we all knew it would be

  2. Oh yeah. Mr. Darcy and Vane--who could resist a man that combined the two of them? Looking forward to Access Denied, Jae! Great job.

  3. Big Darcy fan here too. Of course, I'd chain Colin in my basement just for fun. But the guy who played Darcy in Pride, I'd hold on to him too. Jae, you blog slut, you're on my blog Friday! :) Can't wait to finish chatting with you for the piece. You two did a fantastic job on this.

  4. Anny,

    How do find all of the cool people to interview. Wow. Just catching up of your week of blogs. I haven't been up to it this past weekend/week. Still slow on the uptake, but loving every minute.

    Mom says your odd, but fun. She agrees and does the paying forward like you do. She's a mom to look up to, just like your a writer I can believe in. Keep up the great blogs and the awesome books.

    Susie AKA Susilien

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  6. Anny,

    OK, Now I have yet another book I must read. Why do you only have good things to say about books that you review? Do only post reviews about books that are good, or are you just in love with the written (digitized) word? Do you love all books? or Are you so positive a person that you refuse to post a "bad" review? If its that latter, great for you. Like grandma always says, "If you don't have anything good to say, stay quiet and listen."

    Susie AKA Susilien

  7. Hello Susie! Glad you're feeling better. Fortunately, the group of writers that I've been interviewing and reviewing are great! All of the writers in the group share the same editor. I think she can really pick them!

  8. Thank you so much Anny. You are officially my first review. I've become such a fan of yours that I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the book.

    Yes, Colin Firth, Mr. Darcy and Vane. *sigh* I actually have an avatar of Colin Firth that looks as if he's being covered in chocolate. It's actually coffee, but it looks like chocolate and considering how much I love coffee, I'd take it. It's one of my favorite images.