Thursday, September 30, 2010
Hello, Clare. Thanks for including me in your blog tour. Tell us a little bit about how you became an author.
I just love to tell stories and I have a vivid fantasy life. When I was very young, I made up stories and poems and told them to my dogs and horse as it didn’t feel safe to tell them to the humans around me. Then when I was eight, my neighbor encouraged me to write a story and send it to a publisher. We sent it to Doubleday. I wish I had that rejection letter. It was encouraging. I never let the dream completely die, even though my life took many turns before I came back to the love of writing.
That's a lovely story. I'm sure all of your fans are glad you started writing again. Can you think of 3 things that would surprise the readers to learn about you?
Two of my horses were born into my lap.
I am neurotically private.
My legal first name is Máire (pronounced Mora). I go by Clare because I don’t like it when people call me Marie by mistake.
Being neurotically private is hard for an author. I struggle with that too. What do you think makes a book a page turner?
Empathy with characters and impeccable timing are essential. A book is like a good piece of music. It needs rhythm, harmony and, though there are moments of dissonance, it must resolve in a satisfying way. If I can use the violin as an example, when a note is played in perfect pitch, other strings on the instrument resonate, creating a brilliant balance of sound. A book that is perfectly pitched should ring clear in the heart and mind of the reader.
That's a lovely description. Can you describe the time you first realized you were a “real” writer?
It was when I finished my first manuscript. It was called Land of Ahhs and was almost four hundred pages of everything I ever thought I could toss into a story. I wrote it in a month and after that I felt I could keep writing forever. Just to make sure it wasn’t my only story, I wrote three more full length novels that year. Butterfly was the fourth book but my first sale. I was traveling in Ireland shortly after signing my contract and I remember someone asking me what I did for a living. I said “I’m an author.” Wow…that really felt grand.
How would you define your writing?
My writing style has been described as lyrical. That doesn’t surprise me, as I am a musician. I love words… the sound of words… and I like to put them together in beautiful and interesting combinations. Sometimes this gets me in trouble and I end up editing out unnecessary verbiage. I like to elicit emotions from my readers whether that be laughter or tears. I also have been told that though my novels are classified as “romance” they tend to cut across genres to include literary fiction and women’s fiction. I also have a number of male readers, but I don’t know if they talk about reading romance novels when they are in the locker room with the guys!
In my opinion crossing genres makes any book better. What are your future goals for your writing?
I have two books in progress now. Selkie’s Song is the third book in the Fadό Trilogy and Rosy Again is a romantic comedy set in a small fishing village in Ireland. After those are wrapped up, I plan to write a series of mystery/suspense novels featuring two characters from Angel’s Share. When I was writing that second Fadό book, I loved working with Campbell and Tripp, the two FBI agents. They need their own series. Another project I will finish is my novel about the Women’s Air Service Pilots of WWII. The title is Ground Effect and it reflects my love of aviation and the gallant women who were pioneers of the early era of flight.
Wonderful plans, Clare. Would you share your links so we can find you on the web?
We’d love to read an excerpt from you new release. Be sure to include a buy link so we can get the book.
Back cover blub…
Kate Aiello has spent her entire life trying to please others—her three brothers, her Italian mamma and her husband of twenty-five years. It isn’t insult enough she is turning fifty, and left at the side of life’s road by her philandering husband. Now she has to contend with her body’s betrayal…hot flashes!
The plain truth hits her with each thermostatic aberration—she has never been first in anyone’s life, including her own.
Brandon Sullivan has been on a downward spiral since the death of his beloved wife. Now he is a man desperate to save himself from impending financial ruin, loss of his farm and his life’s dream. He needs to get into the winner’s circle by spring or he’ll be just another poor, landless Irishmen downing his pints and bragging about the good ol’ days.
Sparks fly when Italian attitude meets Irish temper. Add two big crazy families, a barn full of horses and one woman’s menopausal hot flashes and the probability for combustion increases exponentially.
What will Kate and Brandon risk for a second chance at love?
Short excerpt from Hot Flash
“So, Katie, tell me…why riding lessons?”
“It’s Kate.” She corrected him.
“What?” He looked genuinely confused.
“Kate…my name…it’s Kate, not Katie.” She wasn’t sure why it bothered her he liked to call her that. Maybe it felt a little too personal. Jeffrey had never called her anything but Catherine.
“Ah and why not? Katie suits you well, a good name for a beautiful woman.”
Nervous laughter welled up in her. “You have that ‘charming Irishman’ thing down to a fine science don’t you? Go ahead, call me anything you want.” Obviously, the man had his own opinions. It was most likely fruitless to try and correct him. She should have resented it, but his arrogance fit him like those breeches he wore. From another man, his attitude would have felt patronizing, but coming from him it was...well…titillating.
He said nothing, just looked directly into her eyes and smiled a slow, lazy grin that made Kate shiver deep in her bones.
What is being said about Hot Flash….
"Sexy but sensitive, powerful but poignant--HOT FLASH is not your daughter's romance! This is a story for real women. Savor every word!"
~Award-Winning Author, Deb Stover
All my current books are available in print and digital formats. If you would like an autographed copy please go to my website buy link http://www.clareaustin.com/books.html if you use PayPal or contact me at AuthorClare@gmail.com
Most online booksellers have both digital and trade paperback editions of my novels or you can order from www.thewildrosepress.com
Thank you for having me on your blog today.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thank you so much, Elaine, for being one of my hosts during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour, which launches my contemporary romantic suspense, Lancelot's Lady. Today I wanted to talk about chase scenes―and I'm not talking speeding cars and hubcaps flying.
As a reader of romance novels, I want to be part of the romantic adventure. I want to experience the thrill of the chase from both the hero and heroine's perspective. I want to feel the rush when she's finally caught, because while I'm reading that novel, the heroine is me. Deep down, women want to be "caught" by some muscle-ripped Adonis. When all is said and done and the journey is over, I want to release a long pent-up breath and say, "Whew! What a ride!"
As a reader, I love the conflict that results in a chase. I enjoy that element of (almost) surprise as he realizes he wants her and she realizes she wants him to want her. I love the little teaser scenes, like the one where he leans in close but doesn't kiss her, even though she wants him to, or the one where he kisses her but she runs away. Sometimes there's even an actual physical chase, like this little scene from Lancelot's Lady.
Jonathan raised his head slowly and she saw the warning in his narrowed eyes. It told her she was down to one choice.
With a startled yelp, she leapt to her feet and took off into the dense brush. Branches caught at her already-ruined dress, ripping a long tear in the shoulder. Behind her, she heard Jonathan crashing through the bushes.
“For Christ’s sake, stop running!” he bellowed.
There was no way in hell she was going to do that.
As she raced toward the faint golden light that she prayed was the house, two thoughts occupied Rhianna’s jumbled mind. Was Jonathan as angry as he looked?
And what will he do when he catches me?
Hmmm...yeah, I wonder what Jonathan will do. Don't you? Guess you'll have to buy Lancelot's Lady to find out.
Yes, the thrill of the chase. It's a primal need in all of us. Men tend to enjoy their chase scenes with high speed cars; women enjoy a more tentative chase that slowly gains in speed, one that is more emotional than physical. As readers, we want the tension. We want to watch as the prey is slowly reeled in, both in romance and suspense. Lancelot's Lady is a combination of both.
Lancelot's Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.
Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and "Cherish the romance..."
You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at http://www.cherishdangelo.com and http://www.cherylktardif.blogspot.com. Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.
Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.
Millionaire JT Lance is terminally ill, but Rhianna McLeod isn’t sure what to make of it when he summons her to Florida. Yes, she’s a nurse, but she doesn’t have a lot of experience, and they’ve never met. Imagine her surprise when she first meets Lance. He throws his arms around her and calls her Anna.
Soon Rhianna is treated as part of the family. She tells JT things about her past that no one else knows, things that have tormented and scarred her. When her birthday rolls around, JT gives her a fabulous gift-a beautiful painting called The Lady in the Mist. And the woman just happens to look like Rhianna. He also gives her a vacation to Angelina’s Island in the Bahamas.
The trip turns out to be a whole lot more than Rhianna bargained for. JT’s son’s estranged son is on the island, and while Rhianna is attracted to him, there are things in her past that make her guard her heart.
Rhianna has more than a sexy man to worry about. Someone is coming for her, someone who has nothing good in mind.
This author is a genius with lyrical description. I felt as though I saw and touched everything Rhianna did. Her characters are vivid, memorable, and likeable. The plot is fast moving which is good because there are so many secrets to uncover! They are woven throughout the plot and keep you guessing from start to finish. I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong. If you’re a romance reader, you won’t want to miss this one.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Readers, please help me welcome Caroline Clemmons to the blog. Caroline, thanks for coming.
Thank you for inviting me, Elaine. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Can you tell us a little bit about you?
After seven years in Southern CA, my parents moved back to West Texas just before I was eight and I grew up in Lubbock. Other than stay-at-home mom, I’ve worked as secretary/bookkeeper, office administrator, newspaper columnist and reporter, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and as bookkeeper for the county tax assessor-collector. Thankfully, I was able to quit and write full time. My husband and I live in on a small acreage about an hour from Fort Worth. Our two daughters are grown but don’t live far away. We have a sweet Shih Tzu named Webster and two cats, Bailey and Sebastian. When I’m not writing, I love to spend time with family, read, travel, browse antique malls and estate sales, and investigate family history/genealogy. My brother and I are compiling a book on my father’s family and it just keeps growing and growing. If we don’t start paring down information, the book will be the size of the Encyclopedia Brittanica.
Why did you become a writer? What keeps you at the keyboard from day to day?
I was always a big daydreamer and made up adventures as long as I can remember. One of my teachers saw potential and suggested I write down my stories. I became editor for my school paper and won a couple of nice awards, but my head was usually in a mystery or romance book. I used to write voluminous letters to my family. One trip to visit, my mother-in-law brought a grocery bag of romance novels and told me that from my letters she knew I could write a romance. That set me thinking—and plotting. It was a few years before I completed a novel. My daughters and I have had health concerns that consumed a lot of time. Still, I don’t know how women with a job and a family find time to write. Probably they’re more efficient than I am. My first novel was so bad it’s embarrassing. The initial story plot was pretty good as were the characters, but I had no idea about character arc, black moment, etc. Fortunately, my husband heard about RWA and told me I should join. Participating in a local chapter and going to workshops was the best thing for my writing! I also took a community ed college class on writing fiction to sell. My husband is very supportive of my writing and helps out around the house to free up my time to write. What a hero! My daughters are also supportive and help with research, plus my eldest daughter helps maintain my blogsite.
I learned through this process that writing makes me happier than any other job I’ve had—except as wife and mother, of course. If I couldn’t write, I can’t imagine what I’d do. Read a lot, that’s for sure.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you? The easiest?
The hardest are the sex scenes. Don’t misunderstand—I love sex with my husband and I’m not a prude. My characters become real people for me. I’m a private person, and writing sex seems intrusive to my characters. To me, part of the romance is the mystery behind the closed door. I know I’m crazy, but then I think all writers are –it’s a requirement for the job. LOL One of my favorite quotes is from Meg Chittendon: “Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” So, it’s not just me.
The easiest is the dialogue. Can’t say why, but it is. I love when my characters speak to me and to one another. Then I go back and layer in setting, emotion, etc.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a time travel in which a woman from the past comes forward. As with all my books, it’s set in Texas.
That sounds interesting. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t let anyone steal your dream! It’s important to listen to critiques, to contest results, etc., but don’t let negative comments defeat you. Work only with critique partners whose opinions you value and who know their craft and who offer constructive criticism. If it ever turns personal, find other cp’s. What’s great is to find cp’s who are strong in those areas in which you are weakest and vice versa. Continue to study your craft. Whatever you do, persevere. As Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up!
LOL. That's the advice I always give, and it's true. Would you share your links with us?
My website is www.carolineclemmons.com
My blog is http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com and I offer weekly prizes there, have author interiews like this one, book reviews, research articles, and writing tips.
I have a fan page on Facebook. On Twitter, I’m @CarolinClemmons with no E in Caroline
We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget to give to give us a buy link.
The e-book buy link is www.thewildrosepress.com/the-texans-irish-bride-p-4199.html $7.00
Print buy link is www.thewildrosepress.com/the-texans-irish-bride-paperback-p-4205.html $14.99
Of course it’s available on Amazon and other online sources.
Before I give the excerpt, let me set up THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE with a blurb:
Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas, but she agrees to wed handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.
Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. His wife has a silly superstition for everything, but passion-filled nights with her make up for everything—even when her eccentric family drives him to distraction.
Here’s a slightly R, maybe PG, excerpt from the first night they’re in Dallas’ ranch home:
Dallas tugged Cenora behind him as he raced up the stairs.
“You’re fair dragging me, man. Show a care o’ me leg bones, will you?”
“I have plans for those lovely, long leg bones,” he promised, but slowed his stride.
“Thank you,” she said, fanning her face with her fingers. Then she tugged on his hand. “Saints preserve us, right now all me thoughts of legs are of winding me own around you.”
“How can you expect me to walk slow when you talk like that?” He blew out the candle and scooped her up. She nestled against him and her sigh fanned her sweet breath against his neck as he hurried to their room. When they were inside he kicked the door shut behind them and set her on the bed. He closed the curtains and lit the bedside lamp. Soft light played across her perfect features.
“At last we have privacy without cracks the next morning about our creaking wagon.”
“And tonight when we sleep ‘twill be in a bed that fits yourself with room for me as well.”
“That’s the best part, Cenora, you’ll be beside me.”
He meant it and the thought hit him hard. He’d been plenty mad at their forced union. Still was, in fact, no matter how much he enjoyed their couplings. Considering himself a loner, he hated having a crowd around. But he hadn’t realized how comforting sharing his life with a woman might be.
The right woman, that is. Dang, he hoped Cenora was the right one. Like it or not, and whether or not those vows were legally binding, he was honor bound stuck with her now. It looked as if he had her family as well.
“I didn’t know to bring me night clothes,” she said with a coquettish glance and slid off the bed to meet him.
After he kicked off his boots and socks, he caught her hands in his. “You won’t need a thing.”
She giggled again and he pulled her to him. His blood boiled when she returned his kiss. He’d been horny as Xavier’s goat since the first minute he thought of Cenora in his bed. No longer a shy miss, she met his tongue with her own. When he thought his head would explode from the skyrockets her mouth ignited, he broke the kiss.
Her rose scent filled him and he thought he would never tire of it. She fumbled with his shirt buttons then pushed it from his shoulders.
“Yours is a very broad chest.”
Her fingers skimmed across him and his need for her magnified. When she traced the whorls of his nipple he thought his knees might give way. He stilled her hand.
“There’s something I want from you, have wanted since we met.”
Fear sprang into her widened emerald eyes and she paled. Dang, he cursed himself for frightening her and her for not trusting him.
Her voice trembled. “Wh--What would you be asking?”
“Dance for me.” He knew it sounded crazy, but he’d imagined this for days.
She looked askance. “Here? But ‘tis your bedroom, and not a note ‘o music playing.”
“Our bedroom, and you can sing or hear the music in your head to keep time.”
“Please? Not for coins or where others can see, but only for me.”
A slow smile spread across her face and she cocked her head to one side. “Aye, I see now. If ‘tis for your pleasure, then ‘twill be mine.”
After she took off her shoes and stockings, she spun away. But not in the regimented dance he’d seen when other women accompanied her. This time she took the red scarf from her waist and used it as an instrument meant to entice a man.
She twirled as if to a measured rhythm only she heard. Her green skirt and white petticoats billowed out to reveal long, perfect legs. Legs he wanted around him. She slid the scarf in imitation of a caress along her slender arms. Then she moved the red silk along her body.
Dang, he was hot as a gunslinger’s pistol and just as hard. His manhood strained against his britches until he thought he’d pop through the fabric. He loosened the buttons and stepped from his clothes, never taking his gaze from her. Reaching behind him, he turned back the bed and sat on the sheet.
Before his heat warmed the cool fabric, she pulled him to the middle of the room and circled around him. He pivoted, naked as a newborn, and watched her every move. Dipping, fluttering, and arching her lithe frame, she lured him with each sinuous flow of her body.
Flush with the throbbing pulsating through him, he pictured himself plunging into her again and again as she wound around him. Her erotic gyrations set his already heated blood at a boil, but he stood mesmerized by her and the dance.
Her flaming hair streamed around her in a fiery cloud. She looped the scarf over his head and the red silk left a tingling trail across his shoulders and down his right arm. Then she threaded it around her own shoulders and sawed it while she shrugged first one shoulder up and then the other one. Fabric of her blouse pulled taut against her full breasts and pushed the peaked nipples into view.
Dang, he couldn’t take much more of this or he’d explode like fireworks on the Fourth of July. On and on she whirled and kicked, first coming near to brush against him, then moving back with a captivating smile. Teasing him with the piece of silk as she pulled it across his body, she seared him with her touch and made him part of her beguiling ritual.
When he could stand it no longer, he said, “Come here, let’s dance together in bed.” To his ears, his voice rasped hoarse with the need that burned inside him.
She approached slowly, seductively, with fluid grace. As she moved, she drew off her remaining clothes. Twining the scarf around his wrists, she pulled his arms high until she slid under them, imprisoning him and herself in their circle.
“Now we are truly bound together,” she said, her voice breathy from her exotic dance.
“Am I your prisoner, then?” he asked, amused at her tempting play even as her touch fueled his need.
“Yes, and I am yours.” She met his gaze, but her jewel eyes held uncertainty. “Did I please you then, or was I too forward with meself?”
“You are beautiful and graceful and your dance was even more special than I’d hoped.”
She breathed a big sigh. “Then you approve and will be taking me to bed now?”
“I suppose I must do as you say, since I’m your prisoner.” He nibbled at her neck and she released the scarf binding him. The silk fell from his skin as her arms slid around his shoulders.
Their lips met and he delved his tongue to sample her nectar. She responded with fervor. He rejoiced that if he must be tied to this woman, at least she shared his apparently boundless passion. He pulled her with him across the bed, then scooted her until she lay cushioned in the center of the thick mattress.
“Finally, I can see and taste all of you.”
“I’m hoping ‘tis all right for us to act so heathen.”
He lay propped on an elbow beside her, content for a moment to look his fill of her. “It isn’t heathen for a husband and wife to enjoy one another. Doesn’t it feel right?”
In the golden lamplight, her skin gleamed like ivory.
“Aye, it feels more than right. It’s as if being with you is where I was meant to be.”
He smoothed her auburn hair across the pillow. It looked even more glorious there than he had dreamed. Desire darkened her emerald eyes and the pink of exertion tinged her cheeks.
“No woman will ever be more beautiful than you are right now.”
“If you think that then we’re well matched, for never lived a more handsome man than you are.”
He took her graceful hand in his and brought it to his lips. After he pressed a kiss to her palm, he suckled each fingertip.
She pulled away and put her hands under her. “You’ll be driving me mad with wanting. Hurry.”
He smiled down at her and shook his head. “Nope. I’ve thought about this night since we wed. Reckon we might not get much sleep, for I intend to take my time.”
“But ‘tis torture waiting.” She reached for his manhood.
He twisted away. “Let me give you something to think about, then.” Starting with her beautiful eyes, he rained kisses on her face, her neck, and her shoulders. He cradled one of her ample breasts while his mouth suckled the other.
She moaned and clutched him to her. In spite of his throbbing need, he restrained his own urgency and slowly trailed kisses down her ribs, her stomach, to her mound of curls. He slid a finger inside her moist heat
“Now, Dallas, now! I can’t wait another second.”
Desire won and he stretched himself over her. “Nor can I,” he said and slid into
her. “Let’s begin our own dance.”
Elaine, thanks for having me as your guest today. I’ve enjoyed the interview and will check in several times today to see if any of your readers have questions.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I'd like to introduce Sharon Donovan to everyone. Sharon has a book coming out today, but she can't tell you about it herself because she's in the hospital in very serious condition. So, I've decided to share a bit of her writing with you. Just read and enjoy.
From the shadows of the woods, he keeps vigil. The stage is set to drive the pretty little princess insane. He’s coming for her. And when he catches her, he’ll pounce on her like the big bad wolf.
After receiving a disturbing fan letter, New York Times best-selling author Tess Kincaid flees to the New England home she’s inherited following her father’s death. The manor has been tainted, every room staged to resemble the way it was in its glory days. However when Tess calls the police, the chilling props vanish into thin air.
Ruggedly handsome Sheriff Mike Andretti is called to investigate the reported burning candles, dancing gargoyles and otherworldly events. When he discovers no trace of the eerie setting, he finds himself caught between duty and desire. Is the woman with the bewitching green eyes delusional or is this a trap of twisted wit set by a demented fan?
(Pages 278) Sensual
Cool air drifted out of the ballroom, carrying the scent of burning candles and cigarettes.
Music floated through the corridor, the seductive undertone hauntingly familiar. The music was hypnotic, mesmerizing. Tess could barely think over the loud beat of her heart.
Every sense screamed to beware. She was about to come face-to-face with her stalker, her biggest fan. But over the hammering of her heart and accelerated senses, her will to put an end to this deadly game prevailed. She had to face him, find out who was behind this bizarre masquerade. Anticipation mounting, she made the turn at the end of the corridor and came to a riveting halt.
A female wax gargoyle stood in the doorway, long blonde hair billowing in the breeze. Her glass eyes shimmered with madness, an eerie smile on her face. In one hand, she held a mission bell, the other reaching out for a candle.
Music played from the old phonograph, the plucking of guitar strings laced with seduction. A breeze blew in through open terrace doors, stirring the sweet scent of jasmine from the candelabras.
Two wax nymphs stood at the bar, glass eyes shining bright in the candlelight, pliable fingers wrapped around flutes of pink champagne. Lit cigarettes burned in ashtrays. From behind the bar, a winged monster served drinks.
In the center of the ballroom, two gargoyles held a pose as if they were dancing, their waxy bodies closely pressed together, their reflections glowing in the mirrored ceiling. From the old phonograph in the corner, the hypnotic music played.
Tess gasped, her hand clasping her mouth. “Oh, my God!”
Mike raised his gun, circled the room. “Come out with your hands up. Hancock County Sheriff. Put your hands where I can see them.”
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Hello, Kari. Thanks for coming. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a multi-published author writing in the Paranormal Romance genre. To date I have 8 books published and two Shorts. I have a Degree in Child Psychology but I’ve never used it due to extreme health problems. Becoming a writer was a dream come true. I’m also a Freelance Editor for an Arizona Publisher, and a Reviewer for the major Publishing Houses like Kensington, Avon, Signet, Grand Central, etc. While not writing I am a full time Caregiver for my dad.
Good grief! You have a busy schedule! What attracted you to the paranormal genre?
The countless possibilities you can come up as a writer! I have a vivid imagination (LOL!) and that genre seemed to be the perfect outlet for it! Too, it’s my favorite genre to read.
I can sure understand that. Which of your books is your favorite? Why?
Not a fair question! LOL! I love them all! And each one has a different reason for being a favorite.
My favorite is always the one I'm working on. What is the hardest part of writing for you? The easiest?
The hardest is finding the time and energy. I constantly want to write –but Life intrudes. The easiest is just sitting down at the computer and letting the characters and story fly with my imagination.
Again, I can sure relate. How do you juggle all of life’s demands with your career?
Writing keeps me sane so I HAVE to jiggle the time in! LOL! Seriously though, being a 24/7 Caregiver is stressful and draining sometimes, so I force myself to make time to write. It takes me away from the worries.
Would you share your links with us, please?
Yes and thanks! My website is: www.authorkari.com
and readers can reach me at: email@example.com
Here are my Books/BUY Links:
UNDER A SHIFTER'S MOON
PREY FOR THE WOLF
SEDUCING THE HERO
HER HEART HIS SOUL
7.We’d love to read an excerpt. SPELL-KISSED is my latest Release (July 15, 2010), so here’s an Excerpt:
Released July 15, 2010!
Print and Ebook, July 15, 2010
ISBN # 9781934912287
HEAT INDEX: FOUR FLAMES!
Briana Adair is a witch with a glitch.
Whenever Briana's emotions kick in, her spells fizzle out. Entrusted with a magical sphere containing the Tree of Life, she can't risk letting her feelings run amok. Her life and the safety of the world she knows depend on it. But now an evil force is putting her guardianship and witchy skills to the test - and the one man she needs to help her brings enough sizzle to cause an awful lot of fizzle.
Hunter Dallas doesn't believe in magic.
Burned out, hunky police detective Hunter thinks his mother's new tenant is just about as crazy as they come. Witchcraft? Maybe it's just the power of the moonlight, but even cynical Hunter can't deny Briana has cast a spell over him. As he begins to see some supernatural threats firsthand, will Hunter learn love and magic are actually one and the same before it's too late?
Briana looked up at the doorway just as she paused in her dancing around the room. Her breath whooshed from her. Hunter, a shocked expression on his handsome face, stood just a few feet away from her. Despite being suddenly breathless, she uttered a startled scream.
“Oh my Goddess!” Faster than she thought she could ever move she dove across the small space and grabbed her robe lying on the ﬂoor by the table. She never knew how she managed to get it on so fast, considering she was shaking so hard. Oh why, why hadn’t she thought to lock the basement door? This couldn’t turn out good no matter what she said or did now. She took a deep cleansing breath, deep into her lungs, and then slowly released it on a shaky sigh. Bracing herself, she lifted her head and reluctantly turned around to face Hunter.
The look in his piercing, hungry stare made her knees buckle.
She actually fell forward. Hunter took the few steps separating them in two long strides and caught her up against his hard body. In the split second it took her to wonder if witches really were capable of melting, she thought to clear her mind of any stray spells. A misﬁred spell right now wouldn’t help this situation.
Stunned, she stared up into his handsome face and uttered a soft cry of shock as painful, arousing, electric waves arced between their bodies. This close she could see the intriguing dark grey ﬂecks in his eyes. And she could see herself reflected back.
It was disturbing—and yet exciting all at one time.
His arms felt like steel bands around her and there wasn’t a spot on their bodies not meshed together. Lustful heat sank into her pores as it wafted oﬀ his hard body, and she went completely limp, feeling suddenly drunk on the primal sexuality he radiated.
His eyes darkened at her slight movement and he somehow managed to gather her closer against him. His ﬁrm, sensual lips parted on an intake of breath and he muttered, “What the hell is that?”
“I feel like we’re connected to a live wire,” he answered hoarsely.
One of his arms moved from her lower waist to slowly inch down her backside. She instinctively wiggled against the hard line of his erection pushing against her there. “Damn. Stop moving. I can’t think straight.”
Delicious excerpt, Kari. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have great luck with your new book.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Today's special guest is Jacqueline Paige. Jacqueline, welcome to my blog. Tell us a little bit about yourself, please.
I'm a busy mother to five adventurous and unpredictable children (and I wouldn't have them any other way). Most of which are now old enough to not need me hovering over them all the time. (on good days) We live in Ontario, Canada. (with the ever changing climate) I’m also a café and eatery manager, meaning I have a never ending supply of coffee, latte and cake to help with those times my muse needs a little boost.
I'd weigh 300 pounds if I had you job! What event triggered you to become a writer? Any major inspirations?
I have always been a writer I think. Remembering as far back as I can I had a notebook close to hand all the time. Of course I didn’t do anything with all of those notes until recently, in fact I hadn’t sat down to write anything more than an email in several years until a friend of mine was going away for a month. I felt deserted and asked her what I was supposed to do for a month without her, she told me (jokingly) to write a book. So what started out as a gag so I would have the last laugh when she returned actually became a finished first draft of Beltane Magic (the first book in The Magic Seasons series). I surprised myself and everyone around me when I sat down and wrote an entire story in a few weeks time without plotting and was well into the second story by the time she returned.
Of course that was completely beginners luck and since then I have had to sit and think through plots and characters.
That's a gag that turned out well. How many manuscripts did you submit before you were published? How did you feel when you got “the call”?
I played with Beltane Magic for two years before I ever sent it anywhere. By the time I submitted it I had written four books in that series and three other stories. I completely expected a rejection letter, when I finally clicked send for Beltane, but I received a contract offer instead! I was shocked speechless and I’m sure it didn’t actually hit me until about a week later that someone wanted to publish my book.
What’s the very best thing about being an author?
For me it’s when I see the cover mockup. I’m not sure why but once a cover has been created for my story it makes it all seem real. Of course, holding that first book in your hands is almost surreal, to know that it’s filled with your words and people read it.
I can relate to that! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Proof, polish, edit and click SEND. You’ll never know until you do it.
Would you share your links with us so we can find you on the web?
Absolutely. The best place to keep up-to-date with what I’m up to is my website. From there you can find the links for excerpts and my publishers.
And of course my blog, which I do attempt to remember to post to, but reality likes to get in my way more often than not.
We’d love to read an excerpt from Mystic Perceptions. I’m impressed that you have a trilogy going.
I am finding it challenging to write a trilogy. Each of the three stories will have a connection to the same characters, but resolving a separate story each time while keeping them within the same theme has been interesting for me. Of course, taking somewhat normal people and giving them a not so normal ability was a lot of fun.
Here’s a bit of tease:
Jac looked around the empty parking lot, not even sure why anyone would ever be here. Glancing back at the two men sitting in the car, they’re going to think you’re crazy. She turned and walked over to the spot that had been pointed out to her.
It wouldn’t be the first time someone thought she was crazy, she frowned at the broken asphalt ground, and it probably wouldn’t be the last.
Taking a deep breath, she knelt down and placed both hands on the ground. There were glimmers of vibrations. She focused harder, nothing solid enough to grab a hold of. Moving her hands slowly, she tried a few more places.
“What is she doing?” Reid growled.
Brent shrugged. “I’m not sure.” He looked over in the direction she was looking. “Does she see something in the field?”
Looking away from her Brent studied his partner. “Why exactly are we doing this again?”
Reid rubbed his forehead quickly, and then glanced back to her. “Because we’re out of ideas - and she has looked at the same things we’ve looked at all along and come up with something to follow every time.”
Nodding Brent turned back to look at her. “She’s presently looking at an empty field, surrounded by nothing - pretty sure she’s seeing the same thing we did here.” He watched as she walked slowly back towards them. “Why do we have to wait in the car?”
“I don’t know.” The frustration was clear in his voice.
Both men swung around in their seat to look at her when she got in the back seat. Briefly she smiled. “Next.”
Giving his partner a scoffing look Brent turned back around.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Hello, guests! Please join me in welcoming Rebecca Rose to the blog. Rebecca, thank you so much for coming. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
First, I want to say thank you Elaine for having me. It’s a real honor to be here.
About myself, eh? Well… I write contemporary romance novels for Lyrical Press. I’m also on their blurb editing team. I started a review site on my blog-- www.authorrebeccarose.blogspot.com where I review other romance novels from sweet to erotic romance. And, I’m currently editing a YA manuscript for a friend of mine. When work isn’t pulling at me, I’m with my three children, ages 6 to 14, and my husband of 16 years. I live out in the country with four cats, a dog, and a turtle. (No, I won’t touch the turtle!) LOL That’s my daughter’s.
LOL I don't do turtles either. When did you realize that you were a “real” writer?
The first time I had an article published in our hometown magazine. I was like, “WOW, holy sh*t, I wrote that!” Then I kept writing, thinking this was a fluke thing, and the stories kept getting published. When I finished my first novel, the feeling of accomplishment was so immense that I didn’t know what to do next. I felt that same feeling of, “Yes, I’m a ‘real’ writer, now.” So, I went on a 4 year search for a publisher. I was picked up by Lyrical Press, Inc and thought to myself, “Dude! You did it! You’re a real writer! But can you do it again?” I wrote my second novel in 2 ½ weeks and it’ll be out September 20th. *giddy with excitement* It’s so cool to know that I’m a Romance Writer. I mean really? How many people do you meet on a daily basis can say that? I love my job! And with each accomplishment, I prove to myself that I’m the ‘real’ thing.
"Giddy with excitement" I know that feeling. Why do you write, Rebecca? It isn’t as easy as some people think?
I write to keep myself sane. Really, I’m not pulling your leg. I need to put down my thoughts to organize them. Plus, the people running around in my imagination demand their stories get told. No, it’s not as easy as some people think. Once in a while, I get a joker who says something to the fact that it’s not a ‘real’ job, or asks how hard can it really be. I smile and inquire if they were stellar in school when it came to writing reports and stories. They’re usually the ones who weren’t. Writing is a full-time job. If you’re not typing, you’re planning and outlining. If you’re not doing that, then you’re editing or plotting in your head. We writers never get a vacation because our stories drive us to obsession--and that’s not such a bad thing.
I've even taken my computer with me on vacation. The characters in my head were nagging me to let them out. What can readers expect when they read your books?
Emotion… I’m a firm believer in having an emotional involvement with what you’re reading. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good sex scene. Actually, I find it fun writing them. But, I can’t drive a story on that because I’m too nosy. I want to know why they act the way then do. Where did they come from? How were they raised? What holds them back and makes them happy? When I meet people for the first time, I have to stop myself from interrogating them. Like I said, I’m too nosy!
What or who has been your most significant inspirations for your writing?
Music. I get so many of my stories from it. Okay… I listen to country. Enough said, right? LOL But, I don’t get all my ideas from songs. Many times, someone will say something and an inspiration forms. The right song then brings the vision to life.
I'm a bluegrass fan myself. Could you share your links with us?
Sure, I’d love to! My webpage is- http://www.authorrebeccarose.com/
We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget to give us a buy link.
This is from my novella, Divine Redemption, which will be release September 20th. It’s the follow up to Divine Turmoil. You can find it at, http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=authors&authors_id=103&zenid=e71amhntfrkcbe0ql1p7bteug5
“Hey, Donald, I need that expense report. Where are you?”
“Under the desk.” Since Donald started working for the Allens, he’d learned a valuable lesson in patience. Not touching Jacqueline was the hardest thing he’d ever done.
“You know, Donald, there’s talk that you’re the most eligible bachelor in town.”
Donald craned his head to look at her. “That’s my chair you’re sitting in.”
“Yes, but I like the view of your behind.”
He wiggled it for her and she laughed.
“Donald, what are you looking for?”
“I dropped my paperclips.”
His dry response had another giggle coming from her. “You’re too cute.”
“I’m not trying to be cute. This job really sucks sometimes, you know.”
“But you’re so good at it.” She rubbed her foot along his bottom, then attempted to go between his legs but Donald closed them.
“We talked about this, Jacqueline.” He turned and placed a hand on each of her knees.
“I’m only flirting with you.”
“You’re sexually harassing me, and I believe there’s a strict policy about that.”
“Donald,” she said, bringing her face close to his.
“Ya.” His eyes went to her lips and back to her eyes.
“I need that expense report.”
I truly wish that every one of you could have won this prize, but since that's not possible I printed off everyone's comment and cut them up. Then I let my grandson draw one out of his old Halloween pumpkin. The name he came up with is Katrice Miller. Katrice, I'll be emailing you later today to get you mailing address.
If for some reason the winner does not respond in three days time, I will chose another winner.
Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you come back soon.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Sarah Kingsley, one of the lead characters in Maryann Miller’s latest mystery, Open Season, a police procedural.set in Dallas, has offered to interview the author for this blog. Sarah said she was a little nervous because she’s never done this kind of interview before. So give her a big welcome and help to make her feel comfortable here.
Sarah: Where were you last Tuesday at 8pm?
Maryann: Wait. This isn’t an interrogation. It’s an interview. Like for a newspaper story.
Sarah: I’m a cop. Not a reporter. This is what I know. I don’t know how to act like a reporter.
Maryann: Okay. Just pretend we are two women talking over a cup of coffee. Ask me anything you want to know about the book or the characters.
Sarah: Ah,,,, so, tell me Maryann, what is your problem with language. You keep telling me to put a lid on it. What are you? Some kind of prude?
Maryann: Of course not, Sarah. It’s just that there’s a limit to what people should be exposed to. And there are places where you should zip it. Remember what happened at the Review Board.
Sarah. Okay. You made your point. Something else I’ve been wondering is why you partnered me with a woman like Angel who has a huge chip on her shoulder.
Maryann: Cause it’s fun. You guys really rub each other the wrong way.
Sarah: You’re telling me. Just when I think things might be thawing between us you throw another problem at us. Why can’t you just let us get along?
Maryann: It’s called conflict, Sarah. That’s what keeps people reading a story. If that issue was resolved people wouldn’t have a reason to keep reading.
Sarah: What about the mystery? Isn’t this a mystery?
Maryann: Of course. But readers want to know more about the characters than how good they are at the job. What do you think kept NYPD Blues popular for so long? Sure, people checked in every week to see what kind of sleaze balls the detectives were going to be up against in this episode, but they also kept coming back to see what was happening on the home front with Sipowitz.
Maryann: Never mind. It was before your time. So, what else do you want to know?
Sarah: Am I your favorite character??
Maryann: Not fair. That’s like asking a mother who is her favorite child. I have worked with a lot of characters and each has been special in her or his own way.
Sarah: So you like Angel, too?
Maryann: Sure. She is as complicated as you, even though she is so different. After spending most of two years with the two of you and the rest of the characters while writing Open Season, I feel close to each of you. I guess that’s why I thought of doing this Season’s series.
Sarah: Does that mean we’re coming back?
Maryann: I hope so. I mean, I’ve been working on the second book and hoping that the publisher will accept it.
Sarah: Cool! I get to kick more---
Maryann: Zip. Zip Zip.
Sarah: Right. No bad words. What will it take to get the second book accepted?
Maryann: Sales. Good reviews of this first book and sales numbers. It’s all about the bottom line.
Sarah: Well, that stinks.
Maryann: Yeah. But that’s the way it is in the business now. So we suck it up, do what we can to promote, and concentrate on writing the next book and make it the best we can.
Sarah: What do you mean ‘we’? Did someone else help you write this book?
Maryann: No. I was speaking in general terms about all authors.
Sarah: What made you want to write this story of Open Season?
Maryann: Partly to explore the issues of racial tensions and the deadly force controversy that went on in Dallas in the late 1980’s. I had several friends who were officers and the problems were impacting them. Then I got this crazy idea of murders in shopping malls. I used to go mall-walking with a friend for exercise and when we went into dark corridors I wondered aloud whether someone could hide down there and kill people. My friend was so thrilled when I brought that up.
Sarah: That’s pretty good. You think like a cop.
Maryann: Thanks. That’s quite a compliment coming from you. Now lets get back to the next book and figure out how you are going to catch the killer.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Welcome to Blogmania. I’m so glad you decided to stop by. The theme of my giveaway is The Old South. The centerpiece of the prize is a handmade sweetgrass basket. Designs for these baskets came from Africa with slaves who made them of local grasses found in the area. At first the baskets were used for practical purposes such as gathering rice or cotton, but today there are many designs that can be used any way you choose. I wish you could see the quality of the basket! If you are interested in the baskets, there are many websites devoted to them. One such site is https://cityofcharleston.info/shop/default.cfm?irefer=charlestonsweetgrass&CategoryID=42&CFTOKEN=553503mz&CFID=553503mz&ishow=list&ssl=yes&i_Search_Res=1
In addition to the basket I’m offering a cookbook by Dorie Sanders. The book is filled with traditional Southern recipes and stories from her family’s farm produce stand. I’m also offering a pair of handmade earrings by Lucy O Designs, and last but not least, I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest release Return Engagement.
To win you must do two things. First, leave a comment with your email address. Second, become a blog follower by visiting my blog and clicking ‘Follow’ at the top of your screen if you are logged into your Gmail or Google account, or alternatively by scrolling all the way to the bottom and clicking where it says ‘Subscribe To: Posts (Atom)’ to subscribe to the feed using Internet Explorer.
Naturally, I’m hoping you’ll come back to visit often. If you like books you’ll probably find something to interest you. My winner will be announced on Saturday morning. Sorry, but I only mail to the US or Canada.
Below you will find the list of participating blogs. Have fun!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Can you guess where today's guest lives? If you said Australia you're right. Maragaret Tanner, thanks for coming today.
Hi, Elaine, thank you for allowing me to visit your blog.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Australia and am married with three grown up sons and a gorgeous little grand daughter. I work as a typist in Radiology. I have ten books published with two publishers, Whiskey Creek Press and The Wild Rose Press.
I had boys too, Margaret. When my granddaughter came along, I was thrilled. What prompted you to write your first book?
I have always loved writing. I started out writing pathetic sad little poems, then short stories and finally I graduated to the love of my life, except for my husband and sons, writing novels.
Even sad poetry impresses me. I couldn't write a poem to save my life. How long does it take you to produce a book?
From when I first start writing in long hand, (as I always do), a throw back to when all we had was typewriters, then typing it into my computer, several lots of revisions, I guess about six months or so. I can write quickly, it is the research and revising that takes up the time.
What’s the easiest part of writing? The hardest?
The easiest part of writing for me is, just writing. The hardest part, revising.
Revision! It's tedious, isn't it? Tell us two things about you that would surprise us.
I am a chocoholic, and I have been known to swear when I get angry.
Don't tell anybody, but I'm a chocolate freak too! Would you share your links with us?
We’d love to read an excerpt from your latest release. Don’t forget to share a buy link with us.
North East Victoria – 1879
Tommy Lindsay wiped her damp forehead with a lace handkerchief. Perspiration ran in rivulets between her breasts, pooling at the waistband of her gown and leaving a damp patch. She coughed a couple of times to clear the dust clogging up her throat.
“I don’t like it here.” Her little brother, Jamie, kicked one of the leather sea trunks and she was tempted to join him. “Why doesn’t someone come?”
A few boxes and trunks stacked on the hotel verandah held all her possessions and those of her two brothers. Just thinking about how the once proud Lindsay family had been reduced to such pernicious circumstances caused tears to build up at the back of her eyes. She wouldn’t cry. She couldn’t afford such a luxury, not with a young brother and a sick older brother to worry about. She had to be strong, resolute.
Warrior, a thoroughbred black stallion, stomped and snorted restlessly.
“Easy, boy.” David patted the stallion's glistening neck. “How much longer do we have to hang around, Tommy?”
“I don't know.” Her voice trembled even though she fought to control it. “Uncle Henry’s lawyer said someone would take us to the farm. Do you think he might have forgotten? Maybe he got the days mixed up?”
Sick dread washed over her. Oh, God, what if this desperate undertaking of theirs failed? It was sheer madness sailing thousands of miles across the sea to start a new life in an alien, hostile country, but what other choice did they have?
“Sorry for being so grouchy but my leg is aching, makes me irritable.” David grimaced as he rubbed his thigh.
His skin looked even more ashen than usual. Perspiration beaded his upper lip, not entirely caused by the fierce Australian sun searing them from a cobalt blue sky.
One glance at them and anyone who wasn’t blind would pick them out as newly arrived immigrants. Their skin was pale, not just because they were blue-eyed blondes, but they came from England’s gentle, temperate climate. David once felt the burning South African sun, but his tan had long since faded beneath the pallor of prolonged illness.
“I'm hungry.” Jamie’s bottom lip quivered.
“Someone will come soon,” Tommy reassured him.
“Why don't they hurry up?” He scuffed his boot across the verandah boards and tugged at the swathe of corn-colored hair flopping across his forehead.
A tall, slim young man sauntered up to them. “Are you the Lindsays?”
David took a step forward and shook the other man’s hand. “Yes, I'm David Lindsay. This is my sister, Thomasina, although she’ll only answer to Tommy.” He gave a strained grin. “And the young fellow is Jamie.”
“Pleased to meet you. I'm Jim Cavendish. Easy to see you're fresh out from the old country.” Smiling, he touched his hat as he glanced at Tommy. “I'll be taking you to your Uncle’s place.”
“Oh, Mr. Cavendish, you’re Uncle Henry’s friend. He often mentioned you in his letters.” Tommy greeted him with sincerity. He had been a good friend to a lonely old man.
“How you doing, boy?” Jim ruffled Jamie's hair.
“Will we see outlaws, mister?”
Jim laughed. “They’re called bushrangers out here. We might run into some. This is Ned Kelly country, you know? He glanced at David. “Fine stallion you’ve got there.”
“He's the best, aren't you, Warrior.” David stroked the stallion's neck, his voice soft, reassuring.
Tommy smiled as her brother's eyes lit up for a moment, before bleakness snuffed out the light.
They waited until Jim returned with a decrepit cart drawn by one horse. She tried to suppress a shudder. The Cobb and Co. coach bringing them to this frontier inn had not been too bad, but this cart looked ready to fall apart at any moment. She did not mind so much for herself, but worried about David, who had still not recovered from his injuries.
Jamie jumped up and down in excitement now. The long sea voyage out from England and the coach ride had not bothered him over much. With the resilience of the young, he soon forgot the traumatic events of the last few months.
On their father’s death, they discovered their manor house and all the land surrounding it belonged to someone else. They were left in such dire straits she sold family heirlooms to pay for their passages out to Australia.
What a great beginning, Margaret. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Please come back and see us again.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Hello. My special guest today is Heather McCollum. Please join me in giving her a warm welcome. Heather, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thanks so much for asking me to be on your blog. Hmmm . . . about me. Well, I’m a full time mom of three young kids and a gigantic golden retriever pup. I’m a part time (in other words, any coherent moment I can find) writer of historical paranormal romance. I’ve been writing all my life (how many times have you heard that one : ) but not seriously until about eleven years ago when I joined my local RWA chapter. Up until then I was a writer-in-denial, pursuing a doctorate in cellular immunology. My English teachers thought I was crazy, but I told them that writing was too subjective. That I wanted my grades and success based on objective results and I didn’t want anyone telling me how I should write. Ha! Now I am attending all sorts of workshops and conferences, paying people to tell me how I should write. And I eagerly await comments and revision requests from my agent and editor (okay, not eagerly, more like anxiously).
So why the change (am I allowed to ask myself questions?)? After a long day in the lab working with Western blots to see if an invisible protein in an invisible cell moved, I would go home to relax – in other words, write. On a sick day with a box of tissues as my Siamese twin, I would drag myself into my chair and boot up my current WIP to lose myself in someone else’s adventure instead of thinking about how awful I felt. When I slumped through my days during the first stages of depression and my girlfriend suggested I start writing again, just the idea propelled me to do something instead of sitting stagnantly in exhaustion. After subsequent months following the birth of my daughter when I was so terribly sick that the doctors thought I would need to be hospitalized, my husband suggested I write again – and I did. And the knot of hopelessness loosened. It was as if I’d been unable to breathe fully and suddenly my lungs were free to inhale and balloon. After all this – well, even stubborn Capricorn that I am had to admit – I’m a writer. I need to write.
Now writing hasn’t cured me of sickness or depression or the crazy life I lead with my dh and my “spirited” kids and dog, but it has given me an avenue to authenticity. I finally realized who I was and what I loved to do. And I began working toward publication.
So – there’s a TMI intro : ) I should also mention my books (I’m a terrible salesperson). My debut novel, PROPHECY: Book One of THE DRAGONFLY CHRONICLES, released in July in print and electronic formats from The Wild Rose Press. Book two of the same series, MAGICK, will be released in October. The series consists of five books, each set in a different historical time period about sisters who have been hidden in time by their mother in order to save them and the world from a malicious group of demons. PROPHECY was a Maggie finalist in 2008 and MAGICK was a Golden Heart finalist in 2009.
I will also be part of The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance with my novella, HIGHLAND HEART, which will be released in January 2011 by Running Press.
Heather, those are some major contests! Congratulations are in order. I know what you mean about having to write too. How did you celebrate when you got “the call”?
My “call” to be published was actually an e-mail from my now editor, Jamie West, at The Wild Rose Press. It was sort of a slow motion realization, after a month of e-mails back and forth about my series, that this editor was actually interested in my work. Another editor at TWRP had given MAGICK a first place win in the 2008 Lone Star Writing contest and had passed the manuscript to Jamie.
I remember that night, sitting with my husband by the computer when Jamie’s e-mail popped up saying that I would be in the Faery Line. I didn’t quite know what that meant and e-mailed her back. It was then that she e-mailed that she’d sent me a contract earlier but it hadn’t gone through, but that she was indeed asking to publish my book! My husband and I smiled (that’s such a mild word – beamed widely until our faces nearly cracked) at each other while my kids screamed and jumped around the house (much like they do every day but with a slightly higher pitched screech). It was like I’d swallowed a bubble of happiness that expanded to fill every part of my body. I floated for a month!
That's such a wonderful story! Do you think being an author changed you?
Well I think I’ve always been an author so I haven’t changed much. I think when I finally started calling myself a writer (which was about a year before I published – here’s to the power of positive affirmations) I actually committed to producing pages.
An author, as most of you know, sees life a bit differently. I watch people, listen to their quirky lives and tuck away the information to use one day in a book. I run through random dialogue in my head while I’m driving. My brain whirls towards worst case scenarios. Being an acknowledged author has helped me realize that all this is normal. I’m just as strange as all the other writers I’ve met.
That's so funny. The brain of every writer I know works that way. Before I met other writers I thought it was just me. What drew you to the paranormal genre?
I love magic. And I love the idea that there is hidden magic all around us. I suppose normal reality is interesting, but add in a woman hiding her telepathic abilities or the spirit of a Wiccan priestess trying to save the world and you have excitement that transforms reality from a snake into a Westminster best-in-show poodle (talking about twisty balloon animals here).
Paranormal stories make me wonder “what if.” What if I had the ability to send my daughters through time to hide them from monsters? What if vampires and werewolves are real (I don’t have any in my stories but I’m a Twilighter). What if you can walk between train platforms to board a magical train to a wizard school? With paranormals, the only limits are what works and what doesn’t. And I’ve read enough to think that the right writer can make ANYTHING work.
What was your favorite scene in the book?
Oooo . . . there are so many favorites! I love the whole gypsy suitor scene with the bee and of course the ending. But I guess my favorite is the scene with Keenan and Serena in their magical clearing when Keenan realizes that he’s begun to fall in love. His whole life up until then has been about fighting and dying for his people. For the first time ever Keenan thinks about living instead of dying and he finally wishes on a shooting star.
Would you share your links with us?
Please visit me at my web site - www.HeatherMcCollum.com. I’m also a member of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart Finalists. You can find us at www.RubySlipperedSisterhood.com . This amazing group runs a daily blog on writing. My fabulous publisher can be found at www.TheWildRosePress.com .
7.We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget to give us a buy link.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog. Here’s a brief excerpt from PROPHECY at the time Serena and Keenan first meet. Enjoy!
As long as the music played, Serena would
continue to dance as the flame. She never tired as
the serenity of the blazing ribbons of fire and the
dance kept the voices, the unending thoughts of
others, at bay. She heard them only as a whisper,
saw them only as a blank wall surrounding her on
the edge of light. Around and around she moved,
watching with half seeing eyes the web of thoughts
held out at the edge. She leaned against it evenly to
keep the thoughts from seeping inward, into her
As she rounded the fire once more, pushing
against the wills of her audience, a hole in the wall
appeared. Curiously she danced toward it. Reaching
out with her mind, Serena leaned into the hole. Her
mind fell through it, and her protective wall
shattered. “No!” she whispered frantically.
Images bludgeoned her. Naked flesh, her naked
flesh, pressed from behind, shoved into beds. Her
mouth on the men, her lips skimming over sweaty
“No,” she gasped as if for air. Quickly she flung
hard at the shards of carnal images. She took a
wrong step, her body flailing. She felt it, or rather
didn’t feel it, the void. She fell against it, against
him. She stared up at the dark, silent mountain
The man was a giant. He stood taller than any
man she had known. His face glowed with the light
of the fire, accenting a slash across his left cheek
from his ear to his jaw. The scar accentuated the
square set of his serious face. His eyes stared back
into hers, they were light, but she couldn’t tell the
color. They narrowed as if trying to read her. Read
her? Shocked, Serena realized that she could not
read him. Not at all, as if he were a hole, silence in
the noise of thoughts flowing around her.
His arms steadied her as he gazed into her eyes.
“Who are ye, lass?”
Serena was mesmerized. Never before had she
met someone who was blank to her. Someone with
whom she could not read their thoughts, their
“Lass, are ye hurt?” he asked, his sensual mouth
forming the deeply accented words.
Serena glanced at his hands wrapped around
her bare upper arms. Nothing, she read nothing
from him. Serena snatched off her glove. His scar.
Scars, chiseled into skin during battle, were
extremely powerful. Even her defenses could not
block the gruesome details.
Serena held her breath as she traced her finger
down the length of the slightly puckered skin from
his ear hidden in waves of dark hair to the rough
squareness of his chin. The muscles in his jaw
jumped at her touch. His lips opened on a ragged
No jolt shot down through her arm and up
behind her eyes. No visions of bloodstained iron,
muddy grime and anguished cries of war victims.
Just the void. He was the first person she had ever
met whom she knew absolutely nothing about.
“What are you?” she whispered. “A demon?”
The man’s face relaxed. “Some have called me
Was he serious? She couldn’t tell. Serena had
never needed to learn the subtle ways a body tells
when it speaks lies or jests. She had always been
able to tell even before the lie was uttered. But now,
now she was lost.
“What are ye called?” he asked, releasing her.
The gently rolling brogue reminded her of the
mountain people up north on the edge of the sea.
“Serena.” She wondered what her name would
sound like on his tongue.
Love it! This reads like a winner, Heather. I believe you do the paranormal well. Come back and see me again.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Wendi, thank you so much for including me in your blog tour. For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with you, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a wife, mother to a youngling, and an artist. I love to write and have been doing so for almost 6 years. When I’m not writing, my life is more or less boring with two dogs, an indoor cat and an outdoor one. What am I saying, it’s like living in a zoo, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I write contemporary, paranormal, and erotic romance. I want to write historical, but am finding it hard to make the heroine strong in times when she’s bound to be helpless. I’m chalking that up to a work in progress.
Living in a zoo? That sounds like my house. Do you think being a published author has changed you? If so, how?
Yes and no. It changed me in that there are topics I’m much less likely to shy away from. I’m more outgoing when it comes to telling people about what I write. I’ve also found that time to write and write well is a precious commodity. If I plan to write, the ideas won’t come. If I’m in the middle of something and can’t find a pen and paper, then the ideas flow like water. But it hasn’t changed me in that I can still go to the library and check out books and be normal.
3.Was there any pivotal event that triggered your becoming a writer?
I read a Harlequin NASCAR novel. The story was good, but in my opinion, the technicals of the sport were lacking. I put the book down (after finishing it, of course) and decided I could write something like that. I put fingers to keyboard and didn’t look back.
Good for you! How many manuscripts did you write before you were published?
Four that were the NASCAR novel series. I even subbed the first one. It was rejected, but, here’s the important part, I learned from it. I know, lots of other authors say that, but in this case, it’s the turning point for me. I found out that this thing called POV is kinda important. Oh and head hopping? I guess it’s a bad thing. Now I know this stuff. Then, I didn’t.
How long does it take you to complete a manuscript? Do you work on more than one thing at a time?
Depends on the length of the story and the time I have available. Short stories can be done in as little as a month for the first draft. I wrote a NaNo story which I’d love to finish. (I got to the 50k mark, but it needs edits.) For a longer story... it can take up to a year. And I work on about fifteen things at one time. Not all manuscripts, but at least 15 things. I can’t sit still and I can’t just focus on one manuscript. I think it’s because the characters in my head love to shout at the same time.
Curiously, most writers I know say the same thing. Would you share your links with us?
My site: www.wendizwaduk.com
My blog: www.wendizwaduk.blogspot.com
I’m published through The Wild Rose Press (Right Where I Need to Be) and Total-E-Bound (Learning How to Bend, Must Be Doing Something Right, My Immortal).
We’d love to read an excerpt. Don’t forget a buy link.
Blurb: What’s a girl to do when she finds out the man of her dreams is a 340 year old vampire?
Run like hell or offer her heart.
Being a vampire hasn’t been easy for Storm Richardson. He’s not programmed to kill or harm, unless he needs to feed. When he meets Stephanie “Stevie” Persing, he knows he’s found his mate. But if he crosses the line between work and play, he risks losing the only person who matters—her.
Stevie’s been in love with Storm since the moment she laid eyes on him. He’s brooding, intense, and her one weakness. But is her heart too steep a price to pay for his love, especially when she discovers his deepest secrets?
Excerpt: My Immortal
At the traffic signal, Stevie screeched to a halt. She turned to him and rolled her eyes. “You know what I meant, Storm. Do you think he could get us through the line faster? I hate to wait in heels. Then again, you know how much I hate working in heels to begin with.”
Storm rubbed his jaw, blotting out a smile. She hated anything but comfy sneakers or good old socks. Unfortunately, clubbing required sexy clothing and footwear. Whether she was comfy or not, she looked darn cute jacked up four inches in knee-high boots.
“If we cut in line, honey, then we’ll give ourselves away. The point is to blend in, so don’t worry about the heels. You’ll be able to sit at the bar. Allan’s waiting on you to give you the scoop about our clients.”
Like it was possible for him to disappear in the crowd; he was a freaking vampire. A bloodsucker. He couldn’t blend in if he tried. Women clung to him in droves, claiming they liked his raw sex appeal. He never understood the draw. When he looked in the mirror, all he saw was a monster in expensive clothing longing to regain his humanity.
Stevie stuck out her bottom lip in a pout and distracted him from his pity-party. “Fine, but this time, you’d better act like you want to be there with me. The only attention I got Tuesday night came from the tacky bartender and what he wanted was a better tip. Fortunately, Allan’s more of a gentleman. Still, we aren’t acting like a convincing team when you pretend I don’t exist.”
Storm frowned. Oh, she existed and blocked out the image of every other woman in the room. She inhabited his dirtiest fantasies each time he closed his eyes. In his latest dream, he wanted to throw Stevie against the nearest wall and make love to her until they both screamed with delight.
He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. But then Stevie never saw that because of the never-ending line of women dogging his heels. What would she say if he finally told her the truth? She had an open mind. When he asked her about ghosts, she claimed to believe they existed.
Vampires were people, too…
Storm clenched his jaw. His heart thudded and fear thundered through his veins. The reason he kept his identity secret was the sheer terror of knowing she’d run screaming into the night if she knew.
Buy link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=904
Wendi, this sounds great! I can't wait to read it. I want to know what she says when she finds out he's a vampire.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Finding a site that’ll tell you the top musical hits of the 1940’s was harder than I imagined it would be. Each one I went to had a different list, but I picked this one because even though I wasn’t around in the 1940’s I recognize a lot of these songs. They’ve stood the test of time, so I though this list was the best pick. It comes from Aclaimed Music.
1.I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry by Hank Williams 1949
2.This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie 1947
3.White Christmas by Bing Crosby 1942
4.Blue Moon of Kentucky by Bill Monroe 1947
5.Round Midnight by Thelonious Monk 1946
6.God Bless the Child by Billie Holliday 1941
7.Boogie Chillen by John Lee Hooker 1948
8.Take the “A” Train by Duke Ellington 1941
9.The Midnight Special by Leadbelly 1940
10.Lovesick Blues by Hank Williams 1949
11.Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday’s Just As Bad) by T-Bone Walker 1947
12.You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis 1940
13.Wabash Cannonball by Roy Acuff and the Smokey Mountain Boys 1947
14.La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf 1945
15.It’s Too Soon To Know by The Orioles 1948
16.Move On Up A Little Higher by Mahalia Jackson 1947
17.Foggy Mountain Breakdown by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs 1949
18.Sentimental Journey by Les Brown and his Orchestra with Doris Day 1944
19.Manteca by Dizzy Gillespie 1947
20.Walking the Floor Over You by Ernest Tubb 1944
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Hello, and welcome to my blog. The fabulous Barri Bryan stopped by to talk to us today, and she's sharing a very interesting excerpt. Barri, thanks for coming. Can you tell us five things about you that nobody would ever guess?
I’m superstitious. I know in my head superstition is not grounded in fact and to believe such nonsense is foolishness. I do know, but if I spill salt, I throw some over both my shoulders, just in case. I would never intentionally walk under a ladder or cross a black cat’s path. You can never tell. . . God forbid that I should break a mirror.
I once entered a beauty contest. It wasn’t a big contest, just a little competition held by a local night club. I lied about my age in order to be a contestant. When my dad learned what I’d done, he was livid. Needless to say, I didn’t win. I was disappointed. At that time I imagined myself a young Betty Grable.
My husband proposed to me on the main street of our little town, in front of a jewelry store, and on a Saturday night. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I always thought that was very romantic. It was also very brave, proposing with all those people around. After that he couldn’t back out; I had too many witnesses.
My middle name is Louise. I like that name, but it never seemed to fit me.
I like pickled pig’s feet. That sounds gross, but they are really very good. Now my guilty secret is out and the entire world knows.
Wow! Your husband's proposal was so romantic! It sounds like something from a Valentine story. What do you think makes a book a page turner?
That’s a difficult question; one I’m not sure I can answer with any degree of accuracy. So many factors feed into producing a page-turner. I can best sum it up by saying the way a story is told has most to do with what makes it a page turner. Some writers have the marvelous gift of making the most mundane of subjects seem and stirring and moving. They can make the reader feel a building tension as the story progresses, to wonder who-done-it, or think, how she will ever get him back now?
And don't we all want to have that gift? Which genre of books appeals least to you? Why?
I don’t care much for some horror stories. That’s not to say I don’t read and enjoy what might be classified as horror. I like gothic romance novels, tales about shape shifters, monsters like the beast in Beauty and the Beast, and some vampire stories. I take pleasure in that feeling of fear and anticipation that precedes the reading of terrifying experiences. I don’t care for stories that involve torture, gore, vicious animals, and cannibals. I don’t like the feeling of repulsion that comes after I have read about some ghastly episode.
Well said. I get that feeling of repulsion too. On the average, how long does it take you to write a book.
I’d say anywhere from six months to a year. There are so many variables involved, such as how long will the book be, how much research I will have to do, how much time will I have to devote to writing during that period.
Revision is what slows me down. I think I revise more than I write. Would you share your links with us?
We’d to read an excerpt. Be sure to give us a buy link.
"Julie " Max spoke her name softly and then swore, "Damn!"
"And in the future I'll try to be a little more cooperative."
Max dropped into the chair near the door. "It's not you, it's me. I'm not handling this very well." He rubbed his hand across the back of his neck. "We need to talk."
Julie was oh so cautious. "About what?" Was he going to ask her to leave? Common sense told her it would be best for all concerned if she did.
"I know that this is not the ideal situation, but we have to cope with it for the next few months. Maybe if we lay down some ground rules it will be more pleasant for both of us."
She knew how clever he was with words. "What kind of ground rules?"
"I've thought about this all weekend." Max fitted his shoulders against the back of the chair. "I believe I've come up with a workable solution to our problem."
Even Max was not that much of a genius. Folding her hands in her lap she waited for him to speak.
His questioning gaze lingered over her face. "Are you interested in trying it?"
"I might be, if I knew what it was." Her voice softened. "Why don't you explain?"
A smile erased the lines of tension in Max’s face. "Our problem is we're too bound up in the past and too concerned about the future to concentrate on the present."
What he said was true. It also seemed irrelevant. "We can't change what was." Nor could Julie stop being concerned about the many uncertainties that lay ahead. "Or control what is to be."
"I know but we could stop letting the past and the future disturb our present."
Now he was being absurd. "To do that we would have to exist in a vacuum, or find a way to place ourselves in some state of suspended animation."
"Nothing that drastic." Max smiled but his eyes were grave. "What I'm suggesting is that we try to make the next few months a little more bearable."
She had been here less than three days and already Max was pronouncing the situation unbearable. He did have a point. It was well taken. Julie said so and then waited with resigned acceptance for him to explain.
"I’m talking about the willing suspension of linear time."
"Have you lost your mind?" Julie's laughter rang out into the tense atmosphere. "No one can suspend time."
"Oh, but we can, if not actually, at least figuratively."
What was he up to now? "How?"
"By living in the moment; suppose from this day forward we live as though time was on hold? We can operate on the supposition that for us, there was no worrisome tomorrow and no troublesome yesterday."
"How long do you think that would last?" Julie’s doubts gave way to cautious optimism. The suggestion had possibilities.
One of Max's shoulders rose and then fell. "I don't know but isn't it worth a try?"
On the surface the plan sounded childish and a little foolish, but if it worked-- "I've never dared do that, live for the moment, I mean."
"Maybe it's time you gave it a try." Max said.
Maybe it was. "You said we should lay down some rules. What kind of rules?"
Max stood. "Now comes the hard part."
Barri, thanks for coming. The excerpt is very intriguing. I'm dying to know what rules he wants to lay down.