Grow Your Virtual Bookshelf with Smashwords

This week the popular online book retailer, Smashwords is promoting 1000’s of ebooks! Some will be free, others will be deeply discounted. The promotion runs from March 5 to March 11. This is a great way for you to discover new authors and add more books to your virtual bookshelf.

This year, in addition to Changes (Family Portrait Book 1) (which is always free), you can get two other titles from the series at a deeply discounted price.

Banovic Siblings Smashwords special

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Synopsis:

Blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him.

After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

Reviews

“A fast fun read that will give you a soap opera feel and leave you wondering what will happen next.” – Mel

“Why, oh, why did this book have to end? Seriously, I was reading, reading, reading, and the inevitable “The End” comes. I literally was like “OMG, Gillian, you are torturing me!”- Jovon Tucker, Book2Buzz

“I was excited to read The Banovic Siblings after reading Changes. The way the Gillian Felix slowly builds her characters and intertwines all of their lives intrigues me.”  – Karen-Anne Stewart, Author, The Rain Trilogy

Synopsis: 

Bastards Brew Gillian Felix

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Everything we touch, we destroy.

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.

Reviews

The writing style is still very good and I think it is mostly that that draws attention to the book and makes it stand out in this genre. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good drama! – Jola

I really enjoy these books and Gillian Felix’s style of writing. – Bound4Books

Once again, I have to take my hat off to Gillian Felix for a book well written!  I stayed on the edge of my seat waiting for the next twists, turns and surprises.  She is undoubtedly a master at reeling readers in. – K. McCoy

Banovic Siblings Twitter Promo

Bastard's Brew Gillian Felix Smashwords 2017

Why writing bad girls is so much fun

The Family Portrait series is an ensemble cast made up of diverse characters. The series is packed with good and bad characters. But today I’d like to focus on the bad girls. In the series the bad girls outnumber the bad boys 3 to 1. Why do I like them so much? They are hella fun to write, not to mention, there is a sense of empowerment writing about these ladies who have done some pretty despicable things to get what they want.

You’ve seen it on television, bad-ass ladies like Amanda Wentworth (Melrose Place), Brenda Welch and Valerie Malone (Beverly Hills, 90210), Gemma Teller (Sons of Anarchy) and the Queen Bitch herself, Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones). If we are honest with ourselves, we love to watch them in action! Okay … I love to watch them in action.

Bad girls serve the purpose of driving the story forward. In a series like Family Portrait with many plot lines, all of my bad girls do a stellar job of kicking the drama to a whole other level. They’ve been known to piss you guys off, but that, dear readers, is what makes the series interesting. Go on admit it. If everybody was nice or we only had one bad boy/girl in the series, the series would be a single novel.

Without further ado … I present, the bad girls of the Family Portrait Series. Continue reading

Building Character with Gillian Felix

One of the things I love about writing is building characters. They drive the story. One reader says:

Ms. Felix has written some of the most interesting characters and they come with an abundance of challenges that read like they’ve been ripped from the pages of the latest gossip mag.” – Patricia

In the original version of the saga, the characters were older; in their early to mid 20’s and they had promising careers. I decided to take the audience on a journey of how they got to where they were. So I never published that version. The version that is on the market today is kind of like the beginning. Sure, they all had lives before the story picked up, but the point where the story picks up comes from significant changes in their lives. Hence the name of the first book, Changes.

How my writing process has been working … so far

When I come up with a dilemma to put the characters in I don’t necessarily know how that scenario would turn out. I’d sometimes write points on my whiteboard or in my story bible but when I sit down to write the scene and the characters get involved, they pretty much take over. They usually get themselves in more trouble than I bargained for and that makes for a good storyline and more drama. Every once-in-awhile I think I’m the boss and try to direct them, then they stop talking to me and I don’t feel like writing for a few days; I start thinking that the scene is not working and I hit delete.

Another thing that I do that really gets in my own way is carrying on too many storylines at one time. I am currently writing Book 6, and I got stalled for about two months because I wanted to tell so much about one character and their back history that the essence of the story was getting diluted. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not writing for television and it is difficult for the audience to follow so many characters and storylines. It’s only when I cut those scenes that the ideas started to flow again and the characters started to bring their A game.

If you’ve read any book in the series you know that they are drama filled and different storylines all connect in the end. The books aren’t meant to be long 400 page literary masterpieces. It’s witty and in some situations dark, but in the end it makes fun of itself.

“Best line thus far Zax telling Adriana that her life is like a soap opera loved it.” – SassyGirl Books

Why I write short form versus long

Continue reading

Gillian Felix on Book Wyrming Thoughts

This interview was originally posted on Book Wyrming Thoughts as part of the Banovic Siblings blog tour. You can read the full interview here.

Hi Gillian Felix! Welcome to Book Wyrming Thoughts. Feel free to make yourself virtually comfortable. :3 Let’s start off the interview with knowing a bit about you. Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me. It is always fun to kick back on Bookwyrming’s virtual couch.  Very comfy, love what you’ve done with the place..

Banovic Siblings 3d coverHow did you come up with the idea for The Banovic Siblings?

The Banovic Siblings is the second novel in the Family Portrait series which was originally written as a television series, I have 24 episodes written and parts of episodes 2, 3 and 4 make up The Banovic Siblings.

What was the hardest part of writing The Banovic Siblings?

Sometimes I have to get myself emotionally worked up to get into a scene, sometimes I’m not in the mood to get worked up, but I have to in order to bring forth the emotions to put into the scene/chapter.

Are any of the characters in the book similar to you or someone you know in some way?

We all have moments when we take a walk on the dark side or straddle the fence of crazy, and that’s how these characters are. I think readers would identify with them and see a bit of themselves in them. I bring a bit of my experiences into each character, I think as a writer you have to kind of be able to do that to make it authentic. Haze I would say is most like me, I suffered financially when I just moved to Los Angeles and couldn’t identify with the culture just like him.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope your readers will take?

Actions have consequences. In the case of Adriana, she does things that she thinks she’s gotten away with, and gets into trouble. When you do something bad and you think no one’s looking, think again. Adriana is discovering that she is not invincible and that’s a hard thing for her to accept.

What’s the hardest part about being an author?

It feels like everyday there is something new or some change in marketing, it is hard to keep up. These days authors are not just authors, we are entrepreneurs. I’ve been an entrepreneur from a young age, with the business aspect of producing a book and actually writing, sometimes it feels like there are not enough hours in the day. Continue reading

Moments from Bad Uncle

Book cover Bad Uncle Family Portrait Book 5Bad Uncle was truly fun to write, as with all my fiction books, I never know where the story is going to end up. Sure I outline (sometimes) and I pull stories from the script, but once it hits the draft page of the book it changes. The characters unleash themselves because they don’t have the same restrictions they do in the script. The book belongs to them and they own it! Here are some things that stood out for me.

Most fun scene to write

The scene involving Frankie, Kristin and the hooker. That was so unexpected it shocked even me. Frankie is an interesting character, you never know where he is going to take the story. He is really not afraid to `go there’. Imagine Kristin, this well bred Beverly Hills girl and Frankie is just a trainwreck. He is having an affair with his best friend’s girl. I believe he does it just for the thrill of it. It is interesting to see what’s in store for them.

The hardest scene to write

Adriana and Haze’s breakup was the hardest for me to write. Believe it or not I got teary eyed they had that intense scene when Adriana thought he’d slept with Carys. The intensity in the dialogue really got to me. I really love Adriana and Haze together and breaking them up was hard to do, especially like that.

Scene stealer

The hooker ahem, sorry call girl, she was in for a nano-second but her confusion of being trapped in Frankie and Kristin’s drama was so cute. Here’s what the scene looks like:

“She’s not a hooker, she’s a call girl, and she’s gotta eat.”

Kristin slapped him, hard.

“You said you wanted a threesome. What’s the problem?” Frankie rubbed his cheek.

“How could you treat her like that? The poor girl is probably a run away, or a victim of human trafficking! You disgust me!” Kristin gathered her things.

“She’s American, she’s working on her masters. She’s just doing this to help with tuition. I’m just helping the situation.”

“Yeah? Only you would see it that way.” Kristin marched into the bathroom to fetch the girl.

“Krissy! You’re overreacting.” Frankie followed her.

“Can you understand English?” Kristin spoke slowly to the girl.

“Yes, very well.” She replied with a thick Brooklyn accent.

“We’re getting out of here. He shouldn’t be allowed to treat you that way.” Kristin grabbed the girl’s hand and led the way.

“You owe me money, Frankie.” The girl said on her way out.

Most Memorable Scene

The introduction of Adrian, the Bad Uncle. There is a gun drawing scene when he first enters Bacchanal Jake’s, and of course he and Kevin duke it out. We see Adrian keep his suave and has the nerve to sit at the bar and order a drink. I’m like, Really?

Male model in suit sitting

Classic dialogue

Adriana really pushed Zax to the limits in Bad Uncle, I guess he figured if he indulged her, she wouldn’t be all up in his business. Here’s the dialogue, this happened after Zax came in and found innocent Leighann smoking a joint.

Zax turned to Adriana. “Who are you, Satan’s helper?” he admonished.

“She didn’t say it was from me,” Adriana defended.

“She didn’t have to.” Zax yanked the joint from Leighann’s hand and crushed it, releasing its contents into the breeze.

“What the hell, Zax? It’s not the neighbor’s lawn she’s smoking, I paid good money for that!” Adriana protested.

Classic line

This one comes from Zax and Adriana again. Adriana just revealed big plans to Zax about her future with Haze. Here’s his response:

Adriana – “Why do you always have to piss on my party?”

Zax – “Because you always throw your parties in a nut-house.”

Most shocking scene

Bad Uncle had so many shocking scenes, that’s what happens when you let the characters tell the story. I would have to agree with the readers and say the torture scene towards the end. You’ll have to read the book to find out.

To learn more about the Family Portrait Series, click on this link.

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Kindle Countdown Special – Family Portrait Series

Starting on Monday you can get The Family Portrait Boxset (Books 1 – 5) for $0.99 on Amazon. Get it now because the price will go up every day until it is back to the regular price of $5.99.

Family Portrait Box set Books 1 - 5Synopsis

The Banovics and the DaCostas share a rich history and their futures are about to get complicated. Los Angeles serves as a backdrop to this fast paced dramatic series about first loves, family and friendships.

Changes (Book 1)
Ready, Set, Drama

In Changes you’ll meet Robin Banovic, financially challenged, dealing with the death of his father and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

Banovic Siblings (Book 2)
Blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bastard’s Brew (Book 3)
Everything we touch, we destroy

When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi.

Perfect Escape (Book 4)
One person’s perfect escape, is another’s perfect hell.

In this coming-of-age story, teen singing sensation Leighann DaCosta tries to find out who she is without her music career. A career that has been part of her life since before the age of ten. When Leighann’s estranged father enters her life, she is caught up in a tug-of-war between both parents. Does she trust the man who abandoned her as a baby, or a mother who is losing her mind?

Bad Uncle (Book 5)
Who needs enemies when you’ve got family

When Kevin’s lifestyle puts innocent L’Wren in danger, his retaliation brings his ruthless uncle back to Los Angeles and into the lives of his family. In Bad Uncle you’ll get to know the man who has the power to change the legacy of the Banovic family forever.

These novels are written like a television series and this box set is your binge watch.

Click to get yours now before the price goes up. This promo will not come back again. The book goes into wide release after the sale.

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Gillian on NAYA

This was originally posted on NaYa Books as part of the Changes blog tour.


As a child I used to hate doing the dishes (I still do), to get out of doing them, I used to bribe my younger sister with a story if she’d do them for me. While she did them, I would pull up a chair, and tell her stories of cool American kids who lived in Los Angeles. Why LA? I don’t know, I didn’t know anywhere else, plus we used to get television shows filmed in Hollywood and everything seemed so sparkly and nice. And so the Banovic, the DaCostas and the Malone family was born.

Over the years the story has evolved, the Banovic, DaCosta and Malone kids have grown up and started families of their own. With all the family history between them I figured it would be fantastic to capture that in a story. I’d written the story from so many angles over the years and in 2010, I decided to focus on their off springs, living in the present time.

When I queried the first book to agents, I had written the main character, Adriana Banovic as a young, hot, up and coming actress making a name for herself on the Hollywood circuit. Several rejection letters later, I decided to turn it into a television series.

Made for TV

Cats watching TVIn the TV version I wrote Adriana as a 15 year-old, washed up soap star, forced to fit in at a prestigious high school. I pitched it to a couple of production companies and got interest but they wanted it to be more of a half-hour comedy format.

I had already written 2 seasons worth of material with it as a dramedy, and changing it to their format would completely change where I felt the story could go. I had envisioned a Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, Beverly Hills 90210 type show. At that time I entered the pilot script into a British TV writing competition and it place in the top 10 out of 4000!

Fast forward to 2013, frustrated with Hollywood and traditional publishing, I decided to self-publish.

Birth of the novel series

I changed the pilot script into the first novel, Changes. Readers enjoyed it and expressed interest in reading more so I released Banovic Siblings and shortly after Bastard’s Brew. The forth novel Perfect Escape will be released later this year.

While the novel series has its funny moments, it is much darker than the script. I made Adriana an angst ridden teenage trouble maker, and bumped up her eldest brother Kevin’s character into a drug dealing bad boy, who gets himself tangled up with the wrong woman. There is still a lot of drama to come with the Banovic, DaCosta and Malone kids all leading up to the final book, where Adriana is a 21 year-old up and coming actress, who has made a name for herself in Hollywood.

I hope readers will enjoy Adriana’s journey to adulthood and stardom.

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Bad Uncle Book Reviews

Winner of the most entertaining Bad Uncle book review goes to Janette from Sassy Girls Books

Bad Uncle book coverWelcome back to the Sassygirlbooksmz, last we saw the Banovic’s kids life was starting to take slightly different turns, Zax’s eyes have started to see a little clearer when it came to Leighann, Adriana was and still is madly head over heels in love with Haze and Kevin bulldozed the ever selfish Savi out of his path and managed to find love with L’wren. But who said it was time for rainbows and roses this is LA and the Banovic’s we are talking about.

In this edition of our favorite family the lid has been removed and booms and revelations have been unleashed. Kevin has it all a growing business and the love of a great woman but fear that his truth will be exposed is pushing his inner-self to leave behind his doubled life.

Zax can’t help but start realizing that his chance with LD has slipped or is slipping away from him, and being around her is getting harder and harder to handle.

Wholly Brenda (90210 moment), the truth that Adriana was so desperately holding on too struck her hard as hell the moment Haze found out BOOM WTF MOMENT (so thankful no commercial interruption when this happened). But damn you can feel the pain, betrayal, love being pulled from the revelation but I gotta say I’m hoping and still rooting for #Hazriana..

On the key players sweetie Kristin isn’t so sweet after all she is being naughty and when the sheets cool down what will happen when golden boy Zax finds out, and what would happen to Joel if Zax finds comfort in LD (time is ticking before Zax embraces his Banovic tendency to take what he wants no matter what).

Savi is out of it still but time is only a matter of time since a ghost from the ashes has risen…. I’m guessing this is his wild card to control Kevin….it’s only a matter of time..

And finally the moment we all been waiting for the voice taunting Kevin has been revealed and it’s a whopper but the bigger questions are why? How? What does he really want? And the fact that I (I mean we have to wait for the next book is like waiting for the next DAMN season premiere) this is why I’m anti summer all shows go into hiatus and apparently so do the Banovic’s.

I gotta say Gillian Felix is killing me very softly here because books 1-4 were like this great setup for the book boom that is Bad Uncle and no teaser on book 6 is urgh.. Well played Gillian.

****best line thus far Zax telling Adriana that her life is like a soap opera loved it****. Continue reading

Soundtrack for Bad Uncle (Family Portrait Book 5)

One of the most fun parts of finishing a novel is compiling the soundtrack. I only started compiling soundtracks for my novels after Bastard’s Brew (Family Portrait Book 3). Actually a reader gave me that idea. She enjoyed the books so much that she compiled her own ‘hit list’ as she called it. They were the songs that resonated with her as she read the scenes. I loved it! Since the Family Portrait series is character and plot driven it made sense. The books are written like a television series with story arcs, and the merging of characters and plots.

Here is my soundtrack for Bad Uncle (Family Portrait Book 5) and an explanation of why I chose them to accompany the scene.

Little Do You Know by Alex & Sierra

Haze and Adriana are so much in love with each other they make themselves crazy. For Adriana it was love at first sight when she first saw him at a photo shoot. Their relationship went through all sorts of trials and twists but they made it. Cut to Bad Uncle (Book 5), Haze discovers that Adriana has a secret that could land him in jail or worse. Because of this secret coming to light he has to break up with her and it is killing them both.

Little do you know I … Love you till the sun dies. Continue reading