Cover Reveal: Loving Jack by Cat Miller

Loving Jack_final_ebooksmLoving Jack
By Cat Miller
Coming August 2014

Happily ever after shouldn’t hurt this bad . . .
Grace is a studious business major who always colors inside the lines. Jack is a fun loving, bi-sexual art major who challenges her orderly existence. Grace loses her heart when a night out with friends leads to a wild encounter with Jack. Only time will tell if her heart can survive the rigors of loving a man who may need more than Grace can provide.

Interview with Marcy Waldenville, Author of The Tears of the Damned

Marcy HeadshotI am delighted to have my friend, Marcy Waldenville, with me today to chat with us about… Tears of the Damned

Marcy Waldenville knew she wanted to write at an early age. A firm believer in anything-is-possible, she is happy to be following that dream. Born and raised in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. She lives in Southern Butler County, PA with her husband, Ken.

Marcy, what made you decide to be an author?

I started to write what they now call fan-fiction when I was 10. I wrote little stories about Star Trek, in long hand, in a notebook that I carried with me everywhere. I got a typewriter for my 16th birthday and I just started to teach myself to tell stories. It snowballed from there.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?

The best part is the people I’ve met. Most of my friends are people I’ve met through writing. It has opened up a world of generous, thoughtful people to me. 

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing your special blend of sci-fi, romance, and supernatural stories?

Well, my life is pretty paranormal. I’m a psychic and a medium. It has had an influence on how I do everything. Writing is no exception. I think most of my ideas are certainly touched by that. I tend to see the paranormal as normal, and so do my character, I once had a reviewer say that my character, who was a psychic was “grounded in reality”. She was… mine. In Tears of the Damned. I see all the character as workers for world karma.   

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?

Constantly! I have always maintained all stories exist already in some plane… it’s the writer’s job to bring it to this plane. I also believe that the characters choose the story teller. If you’ve been chosen it is your divine responsibility to tell that story.

You’ve written four novels, four novelettes and are working on the second installment of my Mystic Lake Series, The Walk-In. What’s your favorite time management tip?

I try to make progress on some part of writing every day. I write, edit, format, publish, plot… something every day. Even if I can do only an hour it’s something. You can accomplish a lot in a little time if you’re really motivated.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?

I think I’m a plantser. I start out with a pretty general outline, mostly a paragraph or two about each chapter. I shift that around so that the structure of the story is what I want and then I pants it from there. It a sort of structured organic. 

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?

Work! I have seen people with great ideas and no drive to see it told. What makes a writer a writer… is doing the work of writing.

What is the theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it?

I always do a playlist. And they are always pretty eclectic everything from Patsy Cline to Imagine Dragons. With Tears of the Damned I used a lot on of Nickleback and some classic Bob Seger.

Tell me more about Tears of the Damned. Tears cover 8-5-13

Alexia Thorn is an accomplished treasure hunter. Her work for The Center for Restoration of Stolen Antiquities has recovered everything from rare paintings to centuries old relics.

But now, Lexy is out to find her father, Robert Thorn, missing for more than ten years and accused of stealing a fortune in emeralds called the Tears of the Damned. She is convinced that Finnegan MacGregor Sr. is the one behind Robert’s disappearance and the missing jewels. So she drops in on him, literally through a second floor window of his isolated cabin in Alaska. She is going to get the truth, one way or another.

But what she find when the lights come on is a smoking hot naked man with a charming smile and an answer for everything. Finn McGregor Jr. is not at all what she expects to find but neither is the squad of hired killers bent on stopping Lexy.

When the smoke clears the cabin is reduced to rubble but one of the dying killers whispers one word that sends Lexy and Finn off on the adventure of a lifetime.

“Tears.”

Leaving Finn to explain the dead man in his yard, Lexy sets out to find the Tears of the Damned and what happened to her father.

In Africa, Lexy discovers a whole side of her father’s life she knew nothing about and that the men trying to stop her search are willing to go to any length, even cold blooded murder.

As the body count mounts, Lexy finds the strength to fight on and that help can come from the last place she expects.

From the Land of the Midnight Sun to the heart of the Dark Continent, Lexy and Finn track a mysterious Commander, fighting rebels, government soldiers and their overwhelming attraction to each other to find their fathers and… The Tears of the Damned.

How about an excerpt from Tears of the Damned?

She looked away, toward the compound somewhere beyond the trail and the ocean of green. It really was crazy. Her father, Finn’s father, Samir, those misguided young men who worked for Birch, and the children . . . there were so many bodies piling up on this mission. How many more was it going to take? Hers? Finn’s?

God, why did that thought make her chest tighten?

Finn crushed out the cigarette on the tree truck and tapped her shoulder. She looked up to see him looking down the trail to the south. She heard it then, the welcome rumble of a truck.

She jumped to her feet, grabbing Finn and shoving him into the middle of the road.

“Lay down!” She ran back and got the AK-47, and darted to the opposite side of the road.

“What?”

“Lay down. We need them to stop.” She strapped the gun to her chest, pushed the banana clip into place and slipped the firing position pin to the middle, making it fully automatic.

“And if they don’t?”

“People always stop when they see someone lying in the middle of the road. It’s human nature.”

“That the stupidest–”

The truck turned the corner and Finn dropped to the dirt. Lexy hid in the underbrush and aimed the gun a few feet ahead of Finn. If they didn’t stop, she could stop them on the spot.

The truck slowed and the driver blew the horn. It rolled closer, blasting the horn again. She could see Finn flinch. She took a deep breath and prepared to pull the trigger. The driver slammed the brake and the truck skidded to stop, the dust rolling over Finn’s face.

The truck had a canvas covered cab, common enough for equipment from desert nations. The driver stood up and shouted. Finn’s head appeared over the hood and he pointed the 9mm. The driver and the young man in the passenger seat saw the gun and laughed. Lexy sprayed the back of the truck with the bullets and the two in the cab stopped laughing.

“Get out of the truck!” Lexy shouted, but they obviously didn’t speak English.

Finn opened the driver’s door and gestured with the gun for them to get out. That they understood.

Lexy covered them with the automatic. “Go see if there’s any rope in the back. We’ll leave them here.”

Finn hurried to the back.

The driver and his friend were dressed in khaki fatigues. Lexy took their side arms and gestured for them to move to the tree line at the side of the road.

“American?” the driver asked his accent heavy.

“Yes.”

They looked impressed and the passenger nodded to her and rattled something off. Lexy understood only one word. “Birch.”

“No rope, but they had these.” Finn held out a handful of plastic zip cords. “They make a great set of makeshift handcuffs.”

He pulled the driver’s hands backward around one of the smaller trees and looped the cords around his wrist and zipped the straps tight. He repeated it with the passenger.

“That’ll hold them,” Lexy said, swinging the gun over her shoulder.

Finn was grinning. “Good. You need to check out the supplies in that truck.”

She walked to the back of the truck and the driver and his buddy began to chatter as fast as they could talk. Somehow she suspected they were trying to talk her out of taking the truck. She flipped the canvas cover back and looked in.

There was no food or water in the back, just a gun . . . 50 caliber vehicle-mounted, fully automatic gun, and dozens of boxes of ammo.

“Whoa.”

“No wonder they laughed at my little BB gun.”

“Thank you, Inanna.” Lexy said, fingering the necklace hanging around her neck. She jumped into the back of the truck, and pulled the last of the canvas cover off the bed. She opened one of the ammo boxes and loaded the gun, then took a seat and wrapped her hands around the wheel.

It was a hell of a gun, operating like a big, deadly, first generation video game. The wheel controlled positioning like a steering wheel, and the trigger, mounted like a joy stick was right under her right hand.

It was perfect.

“You get us to the door, Finn, and this will get it open. Let’s go.”

“Who’s this In-Anna?” Finn asked, crawling into the front of the truck.

“The Goddess of War.”

Finn turned the key and the truck rumbled to life. “Hmm, I would have bet her name was Lexy.”

 

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcy.grahamwaldenville

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MRCWaldenville

Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Tears-Damned-Treasure-Hunters-Series-ebook/dp/B00D6LA500/

Marcy, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

 

Cover Reveal: Love’s Sorrow by Terri Rochenski

Love’s Sorrow
Means of Mercy #1

by Terri Rochenski
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Release Date: April 21, 2014

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Blurb:
Hired as a nanny for her cousin’s children, Anne Tearle finds security and a loving family. The children are a dream, but London society is a world of its own, one where a displaced farm girl has no business being. But, wealthy rake, Gavin MacKay, helps her to see associating with the upper class might not be as horrid as she first assumed.

Like all things worthwhile, love comes at a price, and the cost soon bestows more anguish than joy. Lost, but not undone, Anne must find the courage to begin life anew, or succumb to sorrow’s unrelenting waves of grief.

About Terri Rochenski:
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

 

Book Spotlight: The Portrait by Charlie Daye

ThePortrait2When Luc and Anika decide to leave the present behind to spend sometime in the past, Adrienne immediately jumps in to help Lizzy run their antique shop. What she wasn’t expecting was to be kidnapped by Tony.

With Anika missing for over a month, Tony decides to take drastic measures and kidnap the young French woman who’s been working in her place. With enough motivation he’s hoping that he’ll learn everything he needs to know about where Anika went and how to get her back.

The Reston house is in turmoil. Luc and Anika return to help with the search while Lorenzo and Will exhaust the resources at their disposal. As a last ditch effort, Anika suggests using magic to find Adrienne forcing Luc and Lorenzo on a journey to the past to find the only person with magic strong enough to bring back the woman they all love.

Excerpt:

It had been a little over a month since Luc and Anika had left for France. Lorenzo had moved into the house with Adrienne giving up his little one bedroom apartment. Adrienne and Lizzy ran the antique shop and had fortunately not seen hide nor hair of Tony since the day he tried to kidnap Anika from the store. Will still had no idea what was really going on and since he wasn’t asking questions no one thought to bring up the conversation. Lizzy finally went out on a date with Will that turned into several more dates but she still refused to consider them dating. Will would only smile and say he was wearing her down.

Luc and Anika had finally picked out a house in the French country side that they both loved. It was far enough away from his parents so they wouldn’t show up unexpectedly but close enough to civilization to allow for day trips into the city.

Soaking in a tub with Luc, Anika said, “I love it here but I will admit whole heartedly that I miss running water, specifically showers.”

Luc laughed, “Oh mon doux, I am not from your time and I miss the running water.” He pulled her across the massive tub into his arms, “Are you ready to head back?”

Anika leaned into Luc’s warm embrace, “Do you think it’s safe to return?”

Luc shrugged, “There is only one way to find out.”

Anika straddled his hips and wrapped her arms around his neck, “We can go back tomorrow. Tonight, I’d like to make love to you in the safety of our little French chateau one more time.”

“I think I like the way you think mon doux,” he said placing chaste kisses on her throat. “Perhaps we could start now and continue on until we are both too tired to move.”

Anika threw her head back and purred. She loved that Luc always knew exactly what to do to her to make her feel good. “Hmmm…. I think I really like the sound of that.”

About the Author: Charlie Daye

Charlie Daye began writing at the tender age of thirteen. With an obsession for romance, happy endings and the supernatural she delves into your greatest fantasies and worst nightmares. She will have you laughing, crying, falling in love and getting angry. She will always give you a HEA but getting there is the journey worth taking.

Charlie Daye was born in Lynwood, California. Her greatest passions are music and writing. Her first short story was written at the age of thirteen. At the time her entire class was asked to write a short story for Halloween as part of a homework assignment. Most of the kids in the class wrote one to two page stories… Charlie wrote eight. The short story titled The Haunted House went on to win her district wide awards and was published locally. From their she began writing poetry as means of expression.

Since her writing career began she’s has published several titles… The House, The Colonial, The Reservation, The Portrait, The Gypsy’s Dance, Mistaken for a Call Girl, Her Last Request and Breeders. Four of which have been nominated for the 2012 RONE Award.

For updates on her books or just to spend some time in her fun and crazy world check out her webpage at charliedaye.com or find her on Facebook!

Contact Links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlie-Daye-Author/344922355541838

http://www.charliedaye.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5778139.Charlie_Daye

https://twitter.com/CharlieDaye

Book Spotlight and Review: Murder Upon A Midnight Clear by Juli D. Revezzo

murderuponcoverneg500‘Tis the season … for death.
Murder reminds Detective Helene Collias of Holly PD that crime doesn’t respect holidays. And the last victim she ever expected to find in her case files is the sister of her old flame, Sean Grant. Ordinarily, Helene’s psychic gifts give her an edge but this time, that gift has short-circuited. Could her lingering attraction to Sean be blurring her abilities, or is something more sinister at work?

Amazon Buy link

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My Review: Five Snap, Crackle and Pops
Helene Collias has a bit of an edge over the rest of the shield carrying detectives on the Holly Municipal Police force. She has psychic powers and will need every bit of
them to solve one of the creepiest cases of her career.  A young woman who worked as an elf at the local mall has been murdered and the best lead she has is that the killer may be working as Santa. To make matters worse, the victim is the sister of a ruggedly handsome guy she nearly hooked up with on a senior cruise in high school. Sean Grant lost his parents at a young age, now his younger sister is dead at the hands of a killer with an agenda. But what is his agenda? Why does he go after the Grant family with such a vengeance?Against her better judgment and department policy, Helene is drawn to Sean. She resists the attraction and so does Sean, but the urge to solve the case with its bizarre twists and turns drives both of them to distraction in more ways than one.
This is a hot novel with edge of the seat pacing and a plot that doesn’t let you down. Each character is richly drawn and believable. I especially appreciated the author’s use of the paranormal, without relying on a magical solution to the case. Get it while it’s hot hot hot! I give this book five sizzling stars for a great blend of solid police work, suspense, paranormal touches, and sexy characters who can’t keep their hands off each other.
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Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian JuliDRevezzoblegend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world-slightly askew. She has been published in short form in Eternal Haunted Summer, Dark Things II: Cat Crimes (a charity anthology for cat related charities), Luna Station Quarterly, The Scribing Ibis: An Anthology of Pagan Fiction in Honor of Thoth, and Twisted Dreams Magazine. Her debut paranormal romance novel, Passion’s Sacred Dance, was recently released.

She is a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour. Come learn more about her at http://julidrevezzo.com

Interview with Lisa Olech, Debut Author of Picture Me Naked

Lisa - Author shot 2I am delighted to have Lisa Olech, with me today to chat with us about Picture Me Naked.

Lisa is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.

Lisa, what made you decide to be an author?

That’s an interesting story. I’m an artist and I was taking a course called ‘The Artist’s Way,’ which is all about nourishing your creativity and bringing more spirituality into your work. One of the assignments was to schedule an ‘artist’s date’ with yourself every week. As my artist date one week, I found a writing workshop offered at my local university. It was called the ‘Bad Girl Writing Workshop.’ I’d written a small bit before, nothing major, I just thought this would be fun. I’d never taken a writing workshop before so had no idea what to expect.

The instructor started us out with some quick 5-minute prompts, and I started writing away. It was several months after my father passed away, and I started pouring my heart out onto the page. We took a break and the instructor informed us that when we got back we would share what we’d written. I hit full flop-sweat panic mode! I was in the back of the room with no avenue for escape. So, I had to put on my big girl pants and read what I’d written. By the time I was finished, I was crying. I looked up and EVERYONE was crying.

After class, the instructor told me I needed to keep writing. I told her I didn’t know what I was doing, that I took the workshop on a lark. She said I had something she couldn’t teach people, a rhythm and flow to my writing that spoke of a true writer. She actually got angry when I tried to dismiss the idea. Three other women in the class asked me to join their writing group. I knew I didn’t want to write the type of thing I’d written in that workshop. Too much angst, too much pain. I’m not that type of person, so I tried my hand at writing humor and they loved that too. So I started writing shorts and memoire, and then I heard about this little thing called National Novel Writers Month (NANOWRIMO), I wrote my first novel in 2004 and never looked back!

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?

The best part of writing for me is when my characters surprise me. It happens in every book I’ve written. I’ll have one character go ‘rogue’ and do or say something completely independent of what’s in MY head. I love it.

The least is when I get an attack of self-doubt, but I think that’s common among writers and artists.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?

I’m a daydreamer and a creative thinker, and I’ve always loved telling a good story. And I’m a hopeless romantic who’s been married to her best friend for over thirty years, so writing romance was a natural for me.

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?

Absolutely!! All of them!

You’ve written seven novels and are working on a five book series. What’s your favorite time management tip?

My best time is early mornings, so the alarm goes off at 5:00 and I’m in my writing chair by 5:15. (I’ve even put a coffee maker in my bedroom!) I try to limit my early morning email checking, etc. and spend at least three hours writing every morning. 

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?

Oh, I am a definite pantser. Over the years, I have worked with very loose outlines and scene schedules, but for the most part, I like to let the story bloom on its own.

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?

I actually got a piece of advice from a very wise woman when I first started writing. She told me not to submit anything for at least a year. She said this was a tough business and I needed to develop a thick skin if I was to survive. She was right.

Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it?

I don’t have a theme song for this book. The only music was Jagger’s humming and gentle guitar playing, and that was only in my head.

Tell me more about Picture Me Naked. PictureMeNaked_w7791_300 (1)

Z. Z. LAMBERT wasn’t born uptight, but someone needed to be the adult. Zee’s a “color-inside-the-lines” artist with a hippy mother, a mostly dead grandmother, and a cat named Isabella Rossellini. Add to her life’s palette a stunning new life model, Jagger Jones. Is it just her, or does all the air leave the room when he shows up? Good thing he’s just passing through. This is no time to fall in love, especially not with her model, no matter how perfectly knee-melty he may be.

Australian JAGGER JONES is a rolling stone. Living with nothing to tie you down takes talent. Posing without your britches is a piece of cake. He’s three years into his walkabout with only his dead father’s ashes for company.

But Z.Z. Lambert stops him faster than a croc in the mud. Her paintings of him are incredible. She sees past all of his posturing, past the flesh and bone and uncovers his heart. Zee understands the promise he made his father, and comes to love him enough to let him go. But does she love him enough to let him stay? His only other choice is a future without her. And he can’t picture that at all.

How about an excerpt from Picture Me Naked?

      “Artists, let me introduce Mr. Jagger Jones. He’ll be with us for the next several weeks. Make him feel welcome, shall we? Let’s not frighten him off on his first day.” Did Madeline just giggle? “Jagger, there is a men’s room down the hall, third door on the right. You can change down there.” She tipped her hand and checked her oversized watch. “We appear to be running a bit behind schedule this morning, so if you’d like to get us started, I think we’re ready for you.”

“Won’t be needin’ the men’s room, Maddie, darlin’. Can be naked in a blink of your lovely baby blues.” Jagger smiled at Madeline, dropped a beaten canvas book bag near the model stage and kicked off his sandals.

Zee glanced at Leah. She was practically drooling.

“Yummy. Don’t you just love his accent?” Leah whispered. “And what a cool name.”

“Charming,” Zee muttered, trying to shut out the Australian lilt. She resharpened and organized her already sharpened, organized pencils. Next to her, she heard Leah gasp and exclaim under her breath, “Mercy.”

Zee looked back at the model’s dais. Oh… my…

Mr. Jagger Jones may or may not be arrogant, but he was a beautiful example of the male form. His tall frame made his physique long and lean, yet his muscles were chiseled and well defined. She only had a view of his backside, but it was one of the finest backsides Zee had ever seen.

And then Jagger Jones turned around.

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet? 

Website: http://www.lisaolech.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lisa.A.Olech.Writer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaOlech

Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Naked-Stoddard-Art-School-ebook/dp/B00FE3QK0C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1386082422&sr=1-1&keywords=picture+me+naked

http://www.amazon.com/Picture-Me-Naked-Lisa-Olech/dp/1628300418/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1386082422&sr=1-1

Picture Me Naked can also be purchased through The Wild Rose Press. www.thewildrosepress.com

Lisa, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Thank you, Sharon! It’s been my pleasure!

Interview with Tony-Paul de Vissage, Author of Shadow Lord

BEVFINALshadow lord 6x9 300 dpi copy

I am delighted to have my Paranormal Romance Guild friend, Tony-Paul de Vissage, with me today to chat with us about Shadow Lord, Book 1 of the Second Species series.

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, Tony-Paul de Vissage saw his first vampire movie on television at age 6–the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter–and was scared sleepless. He’s now paying his very permissive parents back by writing about the Undead.

Tony-Paul, what made you decide to be an author?

It was a process of elimination. I’m too short to be a nightclub bouncer, too pretty to be a Marine, don’t have the patience to be a teacher, and my Maman wouldn’t let me out of her sight long enough for me to get on a plane and go to Hollywood to be an actor, so… I chose the better of all possible worlds and became a writer.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?

What I like is telling those stories. Getting all them out of my head and into some coherent form.  Unfortunately, that’s like digging a hole in sand, because as soon as I empty my brain of one story, another takes its place.

What don’t I like? Living the life of a starving writer. Those cold water, 4th floor walk-ups can be murder, especially in the winter when the wind moans through the hallways. It does help with the inspiration, however. 

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?

If you’ve read any of the various biographies floating around (and you should take all of them with a shaker of salt), you know I was either a) traumatized at the age of 6 by seeing Dracula’s Daughter, or b) traumatized by being kidnapped by the Andriescu family of vampires at the age of 16, or c) had such permissive parents they didn’t even consider being exposed to horror movies in any form could influence an impression child like moi. Either way, vampires enter into it, so I think I was destined to be a writer of paranormals from an early age.

Other than that, I’ve had plenty of experiences which I’ve translated, in slightly edited and censored form, into passages in my stories, so I’d say they prepared me plenty!

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?

Oh oui! If fact, I’ve often commented on that.  Actually, I once read a short story by Frederic Brown which used that very theme and it certainly hit home! It used to be all I had to do was look at something, or hear a specific phrase and the story would start flowing…from page one all the way through. I’d be at my place of employment toiling away, but a part of my brain would be composing. It got so I wished I could turn it off occasionally. Once I was at a writer’s meeting in California and someone said to me, “I’ll bet you could write a poem if I said…” and she threw out a phrase. I groaned, “Why did you have to do that?” because my brain caught it and started in.  I had the entire thing composed and edited in 10 minutes.

You’ve written seven novels and are currently working on a trilogy. What’s your favorite time management tip?

I really don’t have one. Being unemployed (though Human Services insists on saying I’m self-employed), I have plenty of time to write, so that’s what I do…from the time I get up until around seven or eight PM. Then I take a little break and watch some telly before crashing for the night.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?

I guess I’m organic, my brain kicks in and I let my fingers do the walking…across the keyboard. I tried outlining once but it got so complicated I was practically writing the novel then and there so I decided, “To heck with this! I’ll just do it once and get it over with.”

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?

Don’t give up.

Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it?

It wasn’t a theme song, but it was music. I have this Beethoven CD and there was one piece on it which was so deep, dark, and dramatic, I felt it hit the exact spot when it came to this novel. For those who might care to give a listen, it’s Symphony #7 in A Major, Op. 92, 2nd movement, the Allegretto. As far as I’m concerned, the various sections of that movement capture completely the entire story, from the murder of Marek’s parents, to his losing the woman he loves, to his confrontation with the killer in Paris. Very dramatic, but ol’ Ludwig von always is.

Tell me more about Shadow Lord.

I wanted to write a vampire series but I wanted my vampires to be different. (At this point, I confess to having read JR Ward’s first entry in the Black Dagger Brotherhood and I so liked the ideas she put forth, I was encouraged to write my own series, so merci, JR!) As mentioned in some of my other blogs, the genetic problem of XP runs in my family, so I decided to use my experience with that condition as the basis for why the characters in my story were considered vampires. I threw in a revenge motif, a long-lost love, and a secret about the hero even he didn’t know, stirred well, and voila!

An excerpt from Shadow Lord won an award at the 2009 Maryland Writer’s “Reveal Your Inner Vixen” contest, by the way.

BLURB:

Men call them vampires.  They call themselves aventurieri.  For generations, they hid in the mists of the Carpathians away from their human foes.

In 1793, everything changes… Their Prince’s assassin is murdered. His son demands revenge.

Marek Strigoi’s quest for justice will take him from his Transylvanian homeland to the Hellfire clubs of Vienna and the boudoir of a Parisian Marquise, and a love surviving the centuries…but he can’t give up his quest.

When both the hunter and the hunted are vampires, not even Hell will stand in the way!

How about an excerpt from Shadow Lord?

Though the sun had been down for many hours, Elsabeta Suvoi was still abed. Her lover liked her that way, wanting his woman where she was convenient whenever his lust seized him.

Elsabeta was slavishly in love with Mircea Ravagiu. He was violent and insatiable, as cruel in bed as out of it, but she worshipped him. It had been so from the moment they met, after her father’s reluctant invitation to a banchet at his castel. Elsabeta had taken one look at the black-eyed warrior, saw the lustful gleam in his eyes, and left with him that night against her parents’ wishes. She’d sullied the Suvoi name to become his iubita…and she didn’t care.

He never spoke aloud that he loved her, though often he praised her body for the satisfaction it gave him. He said straightaway she should never expect marriage or offspring, but Elsabeta was a female of her time from a family of women considered mere chattels to their males, so she accepted his domination without argument. Running away with Mircea was her one independent act.

At first horrified by the bloody orgies and attacks upon the deomi, the humans living on the edges of his estate, she now ignored his rapaciousness and his brutal games, letting his prowess in bed distract her. When her lover and his soldati returned from their hunts, she locked herself in her bedchamber, its thick walls drowning out the screams from below. It was the cries of the children cut most into her soul. At those times, she thanked the Oracle Ravagiu swore he’d never get her with child, for it came into her mind should it happen, it might be her own infant shrieking out its life in the castel banquet chamber.

To Elsabeta, Mircea Ravagiu was like one of the dreadful Ancient Ones who devoured its own offspring. She truly believed he wouldn’t hesitate to rip out his own child’s throat and drink its blood should the thought come to him. Yet, with that perversity Nature renders some, she loved the man and never thought to leave him.

She was jerked from her semi-slumber by the chamber door being kicked open, sat up to stare at the figure in the doorway…Mircea, upper body bare, wings hovering around him.

They were still quivering, evidence he’d flown rapidly and had just landed. From where she sat, she could hear his harsh panting. He held something in his arms.

“Get dressed.” No words of greeting or love. Just an order.

“Why? What’s the matter?” A loud crashing came through the doorway, voices crying out. “What’s that noise?”

“My men are disposing of the vanjosi.” He answered as calmly as if merely announcing the moon had risen. “Strigoi’s freak’s on his way here and we have to go.”

“You should’ve expected this.” She dared remind him of what he’d done, though it jeopardized her own life. “Did you think you could slaughter his family and he wouldn’t retaliate?”

She’d been horrified when he returned from his brother’s castel announcing they’d been executed by the Prince’s Taietor, didn’t believe it when he said he planned to kill the Shadow

Lord and his family. She hadn’t thought he’d succeed and waited to be told he was dead, resigned to living the rest of her days as an outcast for the choice she’d made. And then, Mircea returned, bloodily triumphant…and Janos Strigoi and his wife were dead and their children carried away to be tortured before their blood nourished their father’s enemy.

“I never thought that book-bound scholastic’d have balls enough to take a sword in his hands.” He stalked into the room. The sounds from below got louder, women screaming, men shouting, voices abruptly cut off to be replaced by others just as terrified. “Get up or you’ll join my servants.”

Sliding from the bed, she hastened to obey but as she reached for her chemise and overskirt, he said, “We’re flying. Make certain your wings are unhampered.”

The bundle he held began to move. It squirmed, kicking itself free of the swathing blanket. A plump little leg, an arm…a baby, a little girl-child, tiny and out of place in Mircea’s deadly embrace.

“Dear one.” Elsabeta stopped with the garment in her hands. A sick dread twisted inside her. “W-who’s that?”

“My daughter.” His answer was as short as if he’d bitten the word. “Now.”

Daughter? How can he have a child? Hadn’t he told her he wished no brats, that the only thing he wanted from them was their sweet, immortality-laden blood?

Shrugging her wings out of their concealing pouches, she peered at the infant. The child whimpered, turning her head and holding out her hands. She was blond and blue-eyed, not quite a year old. This is Janos Strigoi’s child. Elsabeta’s heart felt as if it had been wrung dry.

“What are you going to do with her?” Even as she asked the question, she knew she had to prevent it. If she had to risk her own life and finally brave Mircea’s wrath, she couldn’t let him harm this child.

“It’ll be fitting, don’t you think?” His laugh was harsh. “Raising the Shadow Lord’s brat as my own? Teaching her how to be a Ravagiu and some day, letting the survivors know?”

“No! Please…” A woman’s scream floated up to them, dying away in a bloody wail.

“Are you ready?” He thrust the child into her arms. Elsabeta cuddled it against her naked breast, holding the little body tightly. I must do whatever it takes to protect this baby. If it kills me.

He held out his hand.

“Where are we going?” She placed her own in it. He led her toward the window.

“I’m fortunate my brother saw fit to have holdings in other countries and I’ve traveled to them.” One fist struck the shutters, sending them flying. He climbed upon the sill. “We’re going to Budapest. Hold tight to the brat. If you drop her, I’ll kill you.”

He flung himself through the window into the air. Naked as she was, Elsabeta was pulled along, clutching the child. Releasing her hand, Mircea circled and rose swiftly, his body completing a graceful curve as he aimed himself over the trees, Elsabeta trailing after him.

Below them, the killings continued for another hour.

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere!  Following is the official list, plus those dedicated to just the Second Species:  VampiresAreForever_D_Front

URL: http://www.tony-paul.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonypaul.devissage?fref=ts 

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/505918625

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5117438.Tony_Paul_de_Vissage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007BDHDZY

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/tonypauldev

Twitter: @tpvissage

Information on The Second Species:

Youtube: http://youtu.be/oB9flkJu6P0

http://youtu.be/7aXa6nYenbY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Second-Species/267805643283799

Website: Http://www.tony-paul.com/

Buy at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Lord-Tony-Paul-Vissage-ebook/dp/B00GH0YJP4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383749411&sr=1-1&keywords=Shadow+Lord+by+Tony-Paul+de+Vissage

Buy at Double Dragon Publishing: http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=Shadow%20Lord

Tony-Paul, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Book Spotlight: Prime Catch by Ilona Fridl

PrimeCatch_w7774_300Blurb: Someone is killing executives in a string of Alaskan canneries. Is it natives because their food supply is being cut short? Or is there another reason, another culprit? With racial tension running high, Juneau ‘s Sheriff Amos Darcy, a man of few words, is going to find out who it is, come hell or high water.Deputy Sarah Lakat, a Tlingit woman, knows her job, but she wants to prove her people aren’t responsible for these vicious crimes. Her family and childhood friends give her access to clues the white sheriff would never have discovered, though, and she has to realize justice must be served no matter who the murderers are.Amos is married to his work and Sarah was badly hurt by a man in her past, yet as they work together in the investigation they grow close, facing danger and discrimination together. Can they solve the case even as they fight their attraction to each other?

Excerpt:

Amos parked the patrol car near the airfield’s office and carried his bag and Sarah’s to the young man. “Lakat, this is our pilot, Bill Wright. Bill, this is my deputy, Sarah Lakat.”

Sarah held out her hand to the blonde-haired, blue-eyed pilot. “Nice to meet you.”

Bill acknowledged her and took their bags to store in a compartment of the plane. He waved them to the back. “There’s seats back there for passengers. You can strap yourselves in, and we’ll be off in five minutes.”

The seats proved to be little more than a cushioned metal frame bolted to the floor. Sarah and Amos found the ends of the safety belts that would hold them in the contraption. Finally, the craft started bumping along the grassy field. Sarah swallowed hard and closed her eyes. This was the first time she had flown, but she knew this was the fastest way to get to Sitka, so she didn’t tell Amos.

About ten minutes into the flight, Sarah heard, “Lakat, are you all right?”

She hesitated a moment. “Yes. Why do you ask?” She opened her eyes and peered at Amos.

Amos tugged at his mustache with an amused glint. “You’re as pale as death. Is this the first time you’ve flown?”

“Yes. But I can take it.”

Amos broke out into a grin. “Swell. I hope I don’t have nursemaid duty when we get to Sitka.”

She gave him an evil-eyed glare. “You won’t. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll handle this myself.” She closed her eyes again and rested her head against the metal bulkhead just as the little plane gave a jerk. Amos snorted as she rubbed the bump on the back of her head. “Not a word, Sheriff.” She glared at him.

Bio: Ilona Fridl was born in California, but now lives in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. CIMG0486She studied Journalism and Creative Writing in high school and college. Hating typewriters, she didn’t do much writing until she got a computer. She sold her first novel in 2008 and is still going. She lives with her husband, Mark. She belongs to Romance Writers of America and was a student of Kathie Giorgio, owner of AllWriters in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Buy Links: http://www.thewildrosepress.com historical-Vintage

http://www.amazon.com/Ilona-Fridl/e/B004TSMK10/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1380291508&sr=1-2-ent

Links for me: http://www.ilonafridl.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ilona-Fridl/127297334022981?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3416410.Ilona_Fridl

Interview with Jo Grafford, Author of Breaking Ties: First Book in the Lost Colony Series

12bI am delighted to have my Twitter friend, Jo Grafford, with me today to chat with us about Breaking Ties: First Book in the Lost Colony Series.

Jo Grafford is from St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author at Astraea Press, Jo writes historical fiction to spotlight unsung heroes and unsolved mysteries. She published her first poem in junior high, edited her high school newspaper while typesetting for a local news journal, and has been writing ever since.  She holds an M.B.A. and has served as a banker, a junior college finance instructor, and a high school business teacher. She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America and From the Heart Romance Writers RWA Chapter.  The mother of three children and the wife of a soldier, she serves as a literacy volunteer for elementary school students.

First off, Jo, thank you and your family for serving our country.

Jo, what made you decide to be an author?

I’ve been writing ever since I could hold my first crayon, but I decided to become a published author only two years ago. I was three classes short of a full certification in public school teaching, and the Army moved us. The university I attended did not have a long-distance study option, so I could either start over at a new university or spend that same next 12-15 months completing and revising my first novel. Sometimes when one door closes, another truly amazing one opens!

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?

I love the writing part best. The marketing part is another whole mountain range to climb, but I wake up each morning determined to reach the top of the next peak!

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?

Laughing, crying, loving, hurting, facing challenges, failing, and succeeding – you really don’t have anything to write about until you’ve lived a few of these things.

Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book–as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?

For me, Sharon, it’s a matter of blocking out the rest of the world and escaping into that special “place.” Every writer knows what I’m talking about. It’s when you succeed in climbing inside your character’s heads and living every word you type through their eyes. You laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry.

You’ve written two novels and are working on a third. What’s your favorite time management tip?

I set goals on iCalendar and stick to them. No exceptions. Sometimes I have to pull a few all-nighters to make up for unexpected additions to the schedule. Sick kiddos, surprise visitors, major surgery, and the list goes on. When you decide that nothing can stop you from writing, then nothing will.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?

I’m a plotter. It works for me, but there’s no right way to write. Everyone just has to find what works best for them.

If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?

Write every day no matter what. A writer friend once told me she could not write on a particular day, because she was so angry she would simply kill off every character. Kill them off if you must, but write anyway. You can always revise them back into existence the next day. To share a favorite quote: “You can edit garbage. You can’t edit a blank page.” –Nora Roberts

Do you have a theme song for this book? What music did you go back to over and over as you wrote it?

No theme song but music is a valuable tool for writing. I played a lot of Native American drum and pipe music as well as Elizabethan sea shanties while I wrote Breaking Ties. It really helped to set the mood for various scenes in my head.

Tell me more about Breaking Ties.

A cursed island, a chilling conspiracy, and an unforgettable love story. The 115 colonists on Roanoke Island couldn’t GPS, skype or twitter their ultimate destination back to their families and friends in 16th Century England. But modern laser technology has finally uncovered a clue – hidden beneath a patch on an ancient map at the British museum – that leads us to their whereabouts. Considered “lost” for centuries, these brave pioneers finally reveal the rest of their story in Book One of the Lost Colony Series.

Rose Payne’s world is left in tatters after a disastrous betrothal, making her an easy target for recruiters to the Colonies. Using every cent she has, Rose sails for the New World and a fresh start, vowing to never again fall for a wealthy man.

Returning from a diplomatic tour in London, Chief Manteo is bewitched by the fiery-haired ship’s clerk and determined to overcome her distrust. He contrives a daring plan to win her heart – one that forces her, honor bound, to serve as a slave to his tribe – a plan he prays will protect her from a chilling conspiracy involving murder, blood money, and a betrayal of their fledgling colony so terrifying it can only be revealed in Breaking Ties.

How about an excerpt from Breaking Ties? BreakingTies_500x750

PREFACE

Sometimes murder isn’t as messy, up-close, and personal as many people imagine it to be. Sometimes it is distant and impersonal – as simple as crossing a line through a name on a sheet of paper. Or one hundred and fifteen names in our case.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

“You want my help.” ‘Twas an accusation.

“Aye.”

His eyes darkened. “I save your life. I give gifts. I offer marriage.” He closed the remaining distance between us, his eyes burning into mine.

I stumbled back.

“You give nothing in return,” he snarled. “You only ask for more.”

“I would had I something to offer,” I whispered. “But I have nothing. I am nothing.”

“Then what use are you to me?” He wheeled away.

I sagged against the door, eyes stinging. I blinked rapidly and pressed a hand to my stomach. Nausea rolled at the thought of informing the others of my failure.

Manteo circled the cabin like a hawk stalking its prey. ‘Twas a fine room with ornately carved shelves lining one wall. Bunks were built into the next wall. A generous desk jutted from the third, overflowing with maps and navigational devices. I recognized the compass and hourglass but could not identify the other instruments. I jerked in surprise when Manteo swooped down upon me.

“I know our location.” His arms shot out and slapped the wall on either side of me, hemming me to the door. “I could swim ashore from here.”

“Then why do ye stay if ye can leave and save yourself?”

“Governor White gave his word to deliver me home.”

“We are going to starve, Manteo. ‘Tis only a matter of days now.”

“Nay. You alone starve. The others eat.”

“I have no appetite.”

“You act as one already dead.”

I straightened my back. “I accept what I cannot change.”

“And I change what I cannot accept.” He shifted his weight to the wall, one arm propped over my head. He drew his fingertips down the side of my face in a feather-light caress.

I closed my eyes against the rush of unbearable sweetness. He made me long for things forbidden. “‘Tis within your power to help us. I am begging you.”

“Very well.”

My eyes flew open. “Ye will do this for us.”

“For you.” His voice was silken, his features as hard as granite.

I smiled tremulously. “I thank thee, Manteo. Chief Manteo, that is.” The new title felt strange on my lips. I beheld him with a mixture of awe and pride.

“I have yet to name my price.”

I stared, confused.

He grunted in disgust. “You refuse me as both husband and lover, so you are left with the hiring of my services.”

I worried my lower lip between my teeth. At least he was willing to negotiate. His eyes flashed with lust as he followed my movements.

“I will entreat the Dares for payment.”

“Nay. You are the one in my debt.”

I raised and dropped my hands helplessly.

“You serve this company, no? You can serve my people, too.”

“Ye would hire me as clerk?” Hope leaped in my chest at the possibilities. I would not have to part from him so soon.

“My people have no clerks.” His eyes narrowed. “We have slaves.”

My breath hitched. “Ye wish to punish me, humiliate me?”

“Nay, I only wish to marry you.”

I briefly closed my eyes against the pain. He already knew the reason for my refusal.

“Rose.”

“Say no more. I will do it. ‘Twill be punishment enough to see you so often and—“ I clamped my lips.

Exultation flickered briefly across his face. “You would give up your freedom to save your friends?”

“Without question.”

“Swear it,” he said grimly.

“I swear it.”

His eyes flared with emotion. He bent slowly ’til his breath stirred my lips. My eyelids fluttered closed. Heaven help me, for I had no will left to resist him.

“Now you will eat,” Manteo commanded hoarsely. He stepped back, surveying me from head to feet.

“Eat?”

“I have no slaves so thin and weak. Go. Collect your rations.” He turned from me and bent to pore over a map on the table.

I reached for the door handle, disbelieving at the curt dismissal.

“And send for Anthony. I have need of him.”

I glared at his back. Faith, should I press my face to the floor as well? “Aye, master.” I bit the words out and fled.

Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet? Please visit me on my web site, Facebook, or Twitter. I am currently running a Rafflecopter drawing at www.jografford.com for three Amazon and Barnes and Noble gift cards (winner’s choice of places) for $50, $25, and $15. Winners will be announced Thanksgiving Day.

Website: www.jografford.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoGraffordAuthor

Twitter: @jografford

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00FYIYM7A

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breaking-ties-jo-grafford/1117230076?ean=2940148412823

Jo, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.

Thank you for hosting this interview, Sharon. I look forward to meeting you in person on my next trip to Baltimore!

Book Spotlight: Cara O’Shea’s Return by Mackenzie Crowne

CaraOShaesReturn_w8160_750 (2)Mackenzie Crowne has a new book, Cara O’Shea’s Return!

After eight years of self-imposed exile, shy bombshell Cara O’Shea returns to her hometown to create her art in peace. Big city living has left her craving the quiet only a small town can offer. Bitter over the wreckage of her father’s infidelity, she risks town gossip and her heart, when she enlists the town’s football hero to help renovate her studio and mend a decade-old rift.

A career ending injury and failed marriage leave Michael “Finn” Finnegan questioning his worth and avoiding anything smacking of permanence. A playboy lifestyle soothes his battered ego, but lately, the pretense has lost its appeal. However, one look at Cara, with her expressive green eyes and bunny-of-the-month body, and he’s hell-bent on proving his worth with the shy artist—and himself.

As old truths are revealed, will Cara and Finn overcome the mistakes of the past, trust their hearts at last, and take a chance on love?

Excerpt:

“You smell great.”

She gritted her teeth. “Back off, Finnegan.”

Her attempt to put some distance between them, by pushing at his shoulder, gained no results. He held her tight.

“Lighten up, O’Shea. It was a compliment. I like your hair down.” He tilted his head to peer into her eyes as he rumbled his absurd comment. “The way you wore it last night.”

Mere inches separated her face from his and her lips tightened in annoyance. Did he actually expect her to respond to that? Stick to the plan, Cara. Ignore him. She stared blankly over his shoulder.

“All those wild curls beg a man to sink his fingers in to see if they’re as soft as they appear.”

Her mouth twitched with the need to respond. Okay, maybe someone who’d spent his life being slammed to the ground by three-hundred pound behemoths wasn’t capable of reading the subtleties of body language. He probably had his brain scrambled so often he needed verbal cues to understand not all women appreciated his brand of juvenile machismo.

“You know, Finnegan,” she spoke nonchalantly, staring straight ahead as though he didn’t bother her at all. “There are medications that can help lessen the mental complications of brain damage from repeated concussions. Someone in the front office of the NFL should be able to give you the name of a doctor who can prescribe them.”

He chuckled, and she made the mistake of shifting her eyes back to his. They twinkled with mirth above a bright, white smile. The riotous fluttering in her belly brought a slight rush of nausea. Dismayed to discover those damn butterflies weren’t dead after all, she looked away.

Was brain damage contagious?

About the Author: Mac is a wife, mother and really young grandmother. Together with her high school sweet heart husband, a neurotic Pomeranian and a blind cat, she calls Arizona home because the southwest feeds her soul. Her love of the romance genre has been a lifelong affair, both as a reader and a writer. A bout with breast cancer sharpened her resolve to see her stories shared with others. Today, she is a six-year survivor, living the dream.

Raised on the concept that a stranger is just one conversation away from being a friend, she loves meeting new people. Her friends call her Mac. She hopes you will too.

Mac’s Links:

Amazon Author Page and buy links

mackenziecrowne.com

FaceBook Author Page

Twitter @maccrowne

Goodreads