interviews

Interview with Author, Mark Love

Devious by Mark Love

Jamie Richmond, reporter turned author, is doing research for her next book. Attempting to capture the realism of a police officer’s duties while on patrol, she manages to tag along for a shift with a state police trooper. A few traffic stops and a high speed chase later, Jamie’s ride takes an unexpected turn when she witnesses the trooper being shot. Although it is not a fatal injury, Jamie becomes obsessed with unraveling the facts behind this violent act. While she is trying to sort out this puzzle, she becomes romantically involved with Malone, another trooper with a few mysteries of his own. Now Jamie’s attention is divided between a blooming romance and solving the crime which is haunting her. Jamie begins to question the events that took place and exactly who could be behind the shooting. It was a devious mind. But who?

Available on Kindle
Be sure to read the excerpt after the interview!
Tricia: Tell us a little about yourself. 
Mark: Well, Mark Love is really my name. I live in Michigan and have been writing on and off for years, whenever I could find the time. Like many writers, you’ll find some similarities with my characters. I enjoy cooking, so food often shows up in my stories. 

Tricia: Describe your writing process. Are you a plotter? Or do you write by the seat of your pants? Do you have a special place to write, or can you write anywhere? 
Mark: I usually start with an idea and let it flow from there. Often the interaction between the characters will lead the story in a direction I hadn’t considered before. I can’t work with an outline, but I’ll often jot down scenes that I think will work with the story. Ideas can crop up any time. I’ve worked on plots and dialogue when I’m driving, out for a walk or working out. Then the challenge becomes to get them down on the computer or in a notebook so I don’t lose it.

Tricia: Can you tell us about Devious

Mark: This is the story of Jamie Richmond, a former reporter who is now a novelist. She is riding with a state trooper during his evening patrol, gathering information for a character for her next book, when she witnesses him being shot. Fortunately, it is not a fatal injury, but Jamie becomes obsessed with figuring out who did it. As the official police investigation stalls, Jamie keeps coming up with theories. During this period, she becomes romantically involved with Malone, another state trooper, who has a few mysteries of his own. Jamie is determined to find the answers.

Tricia: Where did you get the idea for the book? 

Mark: I had a friend who worked in the forensic department for the state police. She suggested I ride along with a trooper one night to get some ideas. Several of the scenes I witnessed ended up in the book.

Tricia: Which character is your favorite? Why? 
Mark: Malone is my favorite. He’s good at his job, has plenty of self confidence and knows how to treat his lady. He also knows how to cook. And he has a few secrets that he’s keeping from Jamie.

Tricia: Of all your books, which has been the most challenging to write? 
Mark: Devious was definitely a challenge, because I wrote it from Jamie’s perspective. There were many passages that I had to completely redo. Jamie’s an independent woman, but she still has her own faults and flaws. She’s not perfect, but she’s an interesting character.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing? 

Mark: Elmore Leonard, John D. MacDonald, Greg Iles, T. Jefferson Parker and Harlan Coben are some of my favorites.

Tricia: What are you currently reading? 

Mark: L.A. Outlaws by T. Jefferson Parker.

Tricia: What projects are on the horizon for you? 

Mark: I am working on a mystery about a serial killer whose victims are found in room 319 of hotels in different parts of metropolitan Detroit. I’m also starting to put ideas together for a third Jamie Richmond mystery. The second one is called “Vanishing Act” and is scheduled to be released in May with Sweet Cravings Publishing. 
To learn more about Mark Love and his novels, please visit the following links:

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Interview with Regan Walker

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Today we’re visiting with Regency Romance author, Regan Walker. Her novel, Against the Wind was recently released. In addition to an interview with Regan, we will also have an excerpt of her novel to read and enjoy. Before we begin, let’s take a look at Against the Wind

A night in London’s most exclusive bordello. Agent of the Crown Sir Martin Powell would not normally indulge, but the end of his time spying against Napoleon deserves a victory celebration. Yet, such pleasure will not come cheap. The auburn-haired courtesan he calls “Kitten” is in truth Katherine, Lady Egerton, a dowager baroness and the daughter of an earl as elusive as she is alluring. She flees a fate worse than death. But Martin has known darkness, too, and he alone can touch her heart–as she has touched his. To the English Midlands they will steal, into the rising winds of revolution.

Tricia: Hi Regan. Thanks for stopping by to talk to us. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Regan: As a child I loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time I got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of my professors thought I was suited to the profession of law (not sure that was a compliment), and I recall thinking that I’d rather be a hammer than a nail. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave me a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. So, my romance novels often involve a demanding Prince Regent who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.

I am an avid historical romance reader and reviewer with my own blog (Regan’s Romance Reviews, http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com). I live in San Diego with my golden retriever, Link, inspires me every day to relax and smell the roses.

Tricia: When did you begin writing?

Regan: Very young—in grade school–but I did not again take up writing fiction until the last few years. I discovered historical romance about 2010 and fell in love with the genre. My first novel began soon thereafter. If I had it to do over, I would have taken up writing historical romance a long time ago.

Tricia: Can you tell us about the Agents of the Crown series?

Regan: The idea came from my early love of mysteries and spy stories and my knowledge that all branches of government have their own agents. It wasn’t much of a stretch to conceive of the Prince Regent asking a few of his subjects to take on “special assignments.” Kings have been doing it for centuries. Hence each of the books in my trilogy features a hero who has been asked to take on a unique task.

Tricia: Is there more in store for this series?

Regan: Yes, next after Against the Wind will be the 3rd in the trilogy—Wind Raven. It takes place on a schooner and in the Caribbean in 1817 and features a rakish sea captain and a pirate who plied the seas around Puerto Rico at the time. I’m writing it now. Then, there’s a prequel, To Tame the Wind, the story of the parents of the brothers who are the heroes in books 2 and 3. It will be set in the late 18th century in England and France. I have the idea but have not begun to write that one. And finally, I have the idea for a Christmas reunion of the Agents—it will be set in Scotland. You can get a hint of it from my short story, The Holly & The Thistle. Both of my short stories feature some of the characters from the trilogy.

Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novels?

Regan: It might be easier to tell you what was easy first. The concept for each of them was easy, also the characters for the most part. Generally, after I do my research, I have the history I want to incorporate and some idea of how the story begins and ends. My biggest challenge is what I call “the mire of the middle.” I am a complete pantster in the middle and sometimes it’s a struggle to develop an intriguing tale that will grab and hold the attention of the readers. (I envy those authors who plot it all.) Eventually it comes to me but some days I just don’t feel inspired to write. The well is dry, so to speak. So I read and do other things and come back to my writing a day or two later.

Tricia: I understand you’ve also written a short story. Can you tell us about it?

Regan: Two actually. Both are set in London in 1818. The Shamrock & The Rose takes place in February and March (think Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day), and features an Irish hero; and The Holly & The Thistle takes place in December (Christmas and New Year’s), and features a Scottish hero. A central figure in each is Muriel, the Dowager Countess of Claremont, a matchmaker, who also has a cameo appearance in Against the Wind.

You can read more about the short stories on my website (http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com).

Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Regan: Oh, that is hard. I really love my heroes, all of them, and my heroines are women I would like to know. I suppose it might be my Scottish hero…William Stephens, the shipbuilder in The Holly & The Thistle. He is so sure of his love for Lady Emily Picton and very strategic in the way he goes about winning her. We would all love a man like that. You’ll see him again in the Scottish Christmas story that will come at the end of the series (book 5 if you count the prequel). But I also like Hugh, the Marquess of Ormond from Racing With The Wind—the Nighthawk. Very sexy guy, that one.

Tricia: Which character was the most challenging to write?

Regan: That would be Sir Martin Powell from Against the Wind, my latest release. He is a very complex man. A former sea captain, a rebel and a spy who served in France during Napoleon’s reign, a widower, a rescuer and a reluctant hero. But oh, so tender in his loving. And did I mention he has eyes of dark blue flame? No wonder Lady Egerton was helpless to deny his passion.

Tricia: I love Regency Romance. What made you decide to write Regencies?

Regan: Well, first you should know I don’t write the light stories many Regency authors do. I like history in my novels. And I think it was a fascination with all that was going on in France and England during the time that drew me—and a love for the stories of Jane Austen. In addition to England’s war with Napoleon, there was the War of 1812 that made the relationship with young America so interesting. There was just so much to work with. But I love history of all periods, so I won’t likely confine myself forever to the Regency period. I have a half done medieval, The Red Wolf’s Prize, that I will come back to when I finish the Agents of the Crown series.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Regan: The ones who write/wrote the deep historicals: Kathleen Givens, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Penelope Williamson, her sister Candice Proctor, Marsha Canham, Elizabeth Stuart, Virginia Henley, Shirlee Busbee and a host of others. (I have over 500 reviews on Amazon and many “best lists” on my blog.) Some of those still writing have been gracious enough to read my work and even offer a quote (you will see them on my website). I want to write like they do when I “grow up” as an author.

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?

Regan: I’m writing Wind Raven now. The hero is Captain Nick Powell. You meet him in Against the Wind. A privateer during the War of 1812, he is now a merchant sea captain in his family’s business. A rake and a wounded man, he loves all women and he loves none—that is until he meets an impudent American named Tara McConnell. It’s research intensive since I have to learn all the nautical terminology and understand life on a schooner at the time. And I’ve a very worthy pirate to understand, too. It’s so important to get all that “right,” elsewise some clever reader will point out that I got it all wrong!

Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Regan: There is no way to handle them except to either ignore them (which some authors do) or to read them to see if the criticism is legitimate and learn from them. I try to do the latter. So far I haven’t had any really low reviews and that is a blessing. I hate to see authors who spent a year writing a novel get 1 and 2 star reviews for one thing in the story the reader didn’t like. It is so unfair. There is always something good one can say. I try to be fair in my reviews.

Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Regan: First, get some critique partners you respect who are committed to getting (or are) published. Then, when you have finished a novel, get a few “beta reads” (a holistic read of the story for plot, characters and whether the reader liked the story—by different folks than your critique partners). Then, having made the changes that those led you to make, get it published. These days you have many options. If you like being in the driver’s seat, and you don’t want to spend years chasing a publisher, you can self publish. Of course, you’ll need a good editor and copyediter/formatter. But those can be found. I’m told by the authors who use it that Create Space is a wonderful way to go. If you want to go with the big 4 publishers (I think they are down to 4 now), you might want an agent. Otherwise, I don’t think you need one. I got lucky with Boroughs Publishing Group, a small ePublisher, and never felt the need for more. I like having a good editor, flexibility in designing my cover and the fact my publisher has kept the names of my novels. We all have to do our own publicity so that is going to be required no matter what you do. Best to have an author website and Facebook account in ready for when your first book rolls out.

To learn more about Regan Walker or to purchase copies of her books, please visit the following links:

Author’s Amazon page

Author website

Regan’s Romance Reviews blog

Twitter: @RegansReview

Facebook

Goodreads

Chapter One of Against the Wind: 
(Now Available on Amazon)

London, April 1817

She is dead.

Katherine, Lady Egerton, stared at the still form lying on the bed. Beloved sister, friend of the heart…Anne was gone. One minute she was struggling for breath, the next she lay silent and still. The only person in the world Kit loved more than life had left her.

They are all gone now. The sudden solitude tore at her heart.

Kit smiled sadly, gazing through eyes filled with tears at the frail body lying before her. The brown mouse. Anne’s name for herself. Delicate even as a child, she had not long survived her marriage to the cruel Earl of Rutledge. Kit knelt at her sister’s bedside, assailed by grief and guilt, and reached for Anne’s hand. Could she have done more to save her sister from the dread disease? Could she have done more to protect Anne from the heartless man who was her husband?

Pale in death, Anne was still beautiful. Kit had often sketched that heart-shaped face. Not a mouse, but a much-loved sister with a kind, unselfish heart.

Kit had seen the end coming in the last few months, months through which she’d faithfully cared for Anne. The coughs that wracked her sister’s slight frame had grown worse as Anne seemed to fade before Kit’s eyes. Kit knew she was losing her even as she willed that weak body to heal. The physician said he could do nothing; each time he left shaking his head and telling Kit to make “the poor girl” comfortable as best she could. Kit had tried to save Anne, doing the only thing she knew by giving her syrup of horehound and honey. But such a small measure was not enough. Then, too, her sister had seemed to welcome death.

Suddenly, the room grew cold. Kit felt his presence, a looming evil behind her. She took a deep breath and summoned her strength.

“Leave her and come to me.” Rutledge’s tone was harsh and demanding. Kit had no need to see him to know his face would be twisted in an odious scowl, his lips drawn taut. “It is time.”

“I must see to my sister.”

“You need do nothing. I have arranged for the burial. Come away now.”

Kit knew what he wanted, for she had seen the lust in his dark eyes. What at first had been sideways glances became leers and unwanted touches. Though she’d lived in his home since the death of her husband the baron, Kit had avoided the earl, rarely leaving her sister’s bedside. She had been thinking of a way to escape, but her exhaustion in caring for Anne these last days left those plans incomplete. With meager funds, her options were few.

When she failed to rise at the earl’s direction, his hand roughly gripped her shoulder. She stiffened at the pain of his fingers digging into her skin.

“I have waited long for you, Katherine, enduring that mockery of a marriage to your sister while all the while it was you I wanted, you I was promised. Now I shall have what is mine.”

“No!” She rose swiftly, stepping back as she turned to face him. Revulsion rose in her throat. What did he mean by those words? She never had been promised to him!

His smirk transfigured what many thought of as a handsome face. Hadn’t Anne at first been fooled by his aristocratic features and wavy brown hair? One had only to look closely to see his nature reflected in those thin lips and narrow eyes now focused on Kit. A deep furrow between his brows bore witness to his long having insisted upon having his way. When Kit sketched him, it had been as an attacking hawk.

“What will you do?” he asked smugly. “Where will you go, m’dear? You are alone and without funds. I am the one who has provided food and shelter for both you and your weak sister, though I wanted only you. You are mine, Katherine, and I will have you.”

Terror seized her. Cornered, her eyes darted about like an animal snared in a trap. His tall figure blocked the door to the corridor; the only way out led through his adjacent bedchamber. She fled toward it.

She hastened into the room as he stalked after her, knowing she had but seconds, and her eyes searched for a weapon, something to hold him at bay. At the side of the fireplace were tools, short bars of iron that could fend off a man. But could she reach them in time?

He lunged for her just as she ran toward the fireplace. His body collided with hers, and she fell upon the wooden floor with a thud. Pain shot through her hip. His body crashed down upon hers, forcing the air from her lungs. She gasped a breath just as his mouth crushed her lips, ruthlessly claiming dominance.

Tearing away, she pushed against his shoulders with all her might, but his greater strength held her pinned to the floor. His hand gripped one breast and squeezed. She winced at the pain, but that was quickly forgotten the moment a greater terror seized her: His aroused flesh pressed into her belly.

Violently she struggled, but to no avail. His wet lips slid down her throat to her heaving chest as his fingers gripped the top of her gown and yanked at the silk. Kit heard the fabric tear as he ripped her gown and the top of her chemise, and she felt the cool air on her naked breasts. Frantic, she mustered strength she did not know she had. Twisting in his grasp, she reached for the iron poker now a mere foot away.

His mouth latched onto her breast where he voraciously sucked a nipple. Lost in his lust, he did not see her grasp the length of iron, raise it above him and bring it crashing down on his head. Stunned by the blow, he raised up, his eyes glazed. Kit let the bar fall again, this time with greater force. Blood spattered her chest and face as his body went limp. He slumped atop her.

Kit’s heart pounded in her chest like a bird’s wing beating against a cage. Frantically she shoved his face from her breast and rolled his body to the floor.

Unsteady at first, her breath coming in pants, Kit rose and looked down at the crumpled form lying before her, every nerve on edge as she gazed into that evil face, now deathly pale. Blood oozed from a gash in the earl’s left temple. There was no sign of life, no movement.

I have killed him!

Fear choked off her breath as she wiped blood from her face with a sleeve, and with one last look toward her sister’s bedchamber she raced from the room. Footsteps sounded down the hall. Alarmed at the prospect of encountering one of the earl’s servants who would summon a constable, Kit knew she must find a place to hide, and there was nowhere to hide in the house. Quietly stealing into her bedchamber, she grabbed her cloak and reticule, stuffing inside it the one piece of her jewelry that could be sold to sustain her, and fled the dwelling.

Out on the street, she paused to draw her cloak tightly around her, desperate to cover her torn and bloody gown. Where could she go? Who would shelter her in the state she was in, given the deed she had done?

Only one name came to her.

Willow House.

Categories: interviews, regency romance | 5 Comments

Anna Kristell Talks About Unlikely Lovers

Anna Kristell is back to talk to us about her newest release, Unlikely Lovers. This is Anna’s second book release so far this year and I’m proud that we can all be a part of her celebration!

Tricia: Welcome back, Anna. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Anna: I’m a small town gal, who’s always loved a good romance, be it a book, a movie, or a soap. I’m from Southern Indiana, but have lived in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. I always seem to find my way back home to Indiana, which is where I live now, with my husband. We have two children and three grandchildren. When I’m not at my day job with a local mental health center, you’ll most likely find me writing, reading, or traveling.

Tricia: When did you begin writing?

Anna: I began writing in grade school, around second grade, if I remember correctly. I wrote short stories and poems throughout high school. I never pursued my dream of becoming published until many years later. I had thought about it often and had started my first novel, but something always seemed to get in the way. One day, my husband asked if I was ever going to finish it, and from that day forward, it’s become my priority.

Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?

Anna: Unlikely Lovers is the love story between Army Major Jessica Walsh and local factory worker, Cody Jones. The two meet soon after Jessica has ended things with her cheating ex-boyfriend, a “suitable” beau. Cody is not the type of guy you’d expect Jessica to be with. He’s sweet and sexy, but just a down-to-earth regular guy, who drives a pickup truck and listens to country music. Jessica is an Army officer on her way to the top. When she decides to have a rebound fling with him, just for fun, she never imagines that she’ll fall in love with him. She doesn’t tell him who she really is and when he finally finds out, the fireworks begin. These two do everything they can to stay away from each other…you guessed it…they can’t. There’s a lot of scheming going on, a lot of heartache, and a lot of love.

Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?

Anna: The idea was pitched about five years ago. Since I have a niece, who is an Army officer and her husband was a blue collar worker when they met, I thought it might be fun to write the story. The story is in no way a true depiction of my niece’s life, however. It’s strictly fiction.

Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?

Anna: Deciding whether to make it erotica or romance, and since I don’t normally write erotica, I chose romance, in the end. I actually started out with it as erotica and rewrote it.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Anna: I like so many…Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and Fern Michaels are just a few of the authors who have inspired me. Kathleen Woodiwiss was another favorite.

Tricia: If your book was ever made into a movie, which actors and actresses would you cast?

Anna: Kim Williams as Jessica. (She’s married to Brad Paisley and since Jessica and Cody attend a Brad concert…maybe he could perform in the movie…just sayin) Seriously, she’d be great for the part. As for Cody…Jeremy Davidson from Army Wives. Both of them are in their early 40’s and Jessica and Cody are actually in their thirties, but I think it could work. She’s got the long, brown hair, and he has the wavy, brown hair. Both are wonderful actors. 

Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Anna: I ignore them. It hurts, of course, but you have to accept the good with the bad. 

Tricia: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Anna: Lady Antebellem, Brad Paisley, and John Adam Murph

Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Anna: Don’t give up! 

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?

Anna: I recently signed a contract with LazyDay Publishing for the fourth book in my series, and am working on the fifth. Rebel Ink Press will be releasing SUNNY’S LOVE on April 3 and REMEMBER OUR PROMISE this summer. These books, like Unlikely Lovers, are not a part of my series.

To learn more about Anna Kristell, please visit the following links:
Website
Blog
Twitter@AnnaKristell
Author Page on Facebook
Unlikely Lovers is now available on AmazonBarnes & Noble, All Romance, and through the publisher’s site.

Please enjoy this excerpt from Unlikely Lovers

“And I’m Cody,” the sexy man with the brown wavy hair said, flashing a smile that sent shivers up and down Jessica’s spine. He extended his right hand.

She took it saying, “I’m Jessica and this is Missy, nice to meet you both.” The simple touch of his hand was enough to make her want to get closer to him, much closer. Her hand felt as though it had been scorched as she pulled it away.

“Thanks for the beer. You two ready to get beat by a couple of girls?” Missy looked at Andy, laughing.

“Bring it on,” he answered with a wink.

They bowled two games, girls winning one, and guys winning the other.

“How about a rematch to break the tie and the losers take the other team out for pizza afterward?” Cody challenged.

“You’re on. Right, Missy?” Jessica looked at her friend.

“Right, let’s show ‘em what we can do, girlfriend.”

To prove her point, Missy threw three strikes in a row.

“I think we’re in trouble, man.” Andy chuckled as he looked at Cody.

“We’ll see about that!” Cody threw the next strike as the four of them burst into uncontrollable laughter.

The girls won by two pins, much to their delight.

“We’ll let you off the hook and go Dutch since you came so close,” Jessica said as she changed out of the ugly shoes and back into her boots.

“Sounds like a deal,” Cody answered with a smile that set her pulse racing again. And then she knew. His eyes. There was something about them.

They decided where to meet and as Missy drove to the pizza parlor, Jessica turned to her and said, “Thanks for talking me into coming out tonight. I haven’t had this much fun in ages.”

“I haven’t either. But let’s not tell them too much about ourselves. Okay?”

“I agree.” The girls knew from experience some men were intimidated by a female officer.

“Aren’t they hunks, both of them?”

“Oh, yeah, especially Cody,” Jessica said dreamily.

“I prefer the blonde look, myself.” Missy giggled as she pulled into the parking lot.

“That’s good, since I have my eye on Cody.” The mere thought of sharing a bed with the wavy haired man was almost more than Jessica could bear.

When they got out of Missy’s car, the two men were already there waiting for them in the parking lot.

“After you.” Cody opened the door of the restaurant for Jessica, following behind her.

After they’d all decided on a supreme deluxe pizza complete with anchovies and ordered a pitcher of beer and soft drinks for the two drivers, they began to talk.

“Why haven’t we seen you two ladies around before?” Cody inquired as he looked at Jessica with that same sexy smile that had first drawn her to him.

“We’ve not been bowling for a while.” She returned the smile shyly.

“We keep pretty busy with work,” Missy added, looking at Andy.

“I hear that. We’ve been putting in all kinds of overtime at the plant,” Andy replied.

“So you both work at Goodyear?” Jessica asked.

“Yeah, like most folks around here that aren’t lucky enough to get out of town.”

“What do you girls do?” Cody asked.

“Uh, we both work on post,” Missy answered vaguely as she took a sip of the Coke that had just arrived.

“Ah, another place a lot of folks around here work,” Andy observed.

Jessica was incredibly intrigued by Cody. He had the most gorgeous brown eyes she had ever seen, like huge drops of chocolate candy…almost identical to the man in her dream. She began to imagine his hard working hands roaming her body, rocking her world, taking her to the ends of the earth and back…Jessica, get a grip, she told herself as she found herself staring into those beautiful eyes again.

The other three continued with light banter as they enjoyed the pizza while Jessica tried to concentrate on what they were all saying. It wasn’t easy with the brown eyed man sitting next to her. And long before she was ready, the evening was coming to an end.

Andy and Missy had exchanged cell phone numbers already as Cody asked Jessica for hers. She gave it to him and watched as he put it in his phone. She did the same with his.

“I’ll call you soon. Count on it, Jessie,” Cody said as he waved goodbye.

“That’d be great. I’ll talk to you soon.” She flashed him her sexiest smile.



Once they were on the road, Missy said, “Wow, Jess, that Andy is one sexy hunk of man. I’d love to see him again.”

“And I could get real cozy with Cody, if you know what I mean,” Jessica remarked thoughtfully. What would be the harm in a brief fling with a sexy local factory worker?

Missy glanced at her friend. “Jess, that doesn’t exactly sound like something you’d do. Are you really considering it?”

“Maybe, we’ll just have to see now, won’t we? All I can say is Cody Jones is one hell of a sexy man.”

After Missy had dropped her off at home, she prepared for bed with a smile as she remembered what he’d said. I wonder if he really will call. She was just settling in between the cool sheets when her cell rang. She answered sleepily, “Hello.”

“Hey, Jessie, it’s Cody, calling to say goodnight.”

“Hi. When you said you’d call soon, you weren’t kidding.” She giggled and continued, “I’m glad to hear from you so soon.”

He chuckled. “I had a great time tonight, just had to call and tell you. I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon.”

“I had fun, too. We’ll definitely get together soon. Call me.”

“You can count on that, baby. Sweet dreams.”

“Goodnight.”

She soon fell asleep, dreaming that a handsome, wavy haired man with huge, velvety chocolate brown eyes was sharing her bed. He kissed her lips then moved down her body, nuzzled her neck, stopping to whisper love words in her ear as he’d done in her dream the night before. She awoke, alone again, more determined than ever to make this particular dream become a reality, and the sooner the better.



Categories: interviews | 2 Comments

Interview with Katie Gallagher

Today’s guest is Katie Gallagher, author of Catching You. Let’s take a look at the blurb for her debut novel:

This was supposed to be the best summer of Lauren’s life. It turns out to be the worst.

After Lauren wakes up in the hospital and learns that her boyfriend Ryan has died, her life slowly begins to unravel. She soon begins receiving mysterious text messages that make her wonder if his death was even an accident like everyone is saying. She finds herself leaning on Nick, her boyfriend’s best friend, for support. He tells her tidbits about Ryan’s life that make her wonder if she even knew her own boyfriend at all. Now, she’s even more determined to learn the truth about Ryan’s death and she wonders who she’s able to trust. She starts confiding in her best friend, Bryn, until she remembers something about the accident that makes her wonder if she’s trusted the wrong person the entire time. She’s determined to get justice for Ryan, but can she do it without losing her best friends? 

Tricia: Tell us a little about yourself.

Katie: I’m in my early thirties, married to the love of my life and we live in Pennsylvania with our two very spoiled cats. I hate cold weather, love sitting outside with a good book and coffee is a necessity in life. 

Tricia: When did you begin writing?

Katie: I began writing when I was about six or seven years old. I even still have the “books” I made when I was that age somewhere in the house, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid twenties and married that I really began to get serious about my writing.

Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?

Katie: My debut novel, a young adult mystery suspense novel, Catching You came out in November of last year from Lazy Day Publishing.

Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?

Katie: I’d already tried writing a young adult romance novel and thought that I’d see if I was any good at writing mysteries. It started out as a play on the movie, I Know What You Did Last Summer and by the time I was done writing and editing it, it turned out to be like an episode of Pretty Little Liars.

Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?

Katie: For me, it wasn’t the writing part that was tough that first novel, but sitting down and editing it afterwards. I agonized over every little word and felt like I was going insane. With the second novel, it’s trying to figure out an ending for this dang thing!

Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Katie: I’m writing the novels in different characters perspectives. Catching You was in Lauren’s voice and The Betrayal is in Elizabeth’s, so I think I have to say it’s which ever character that I’m dealing with at the moment is my favorite one.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Katie: Sara Shepard, best selling author of the Pretty Little Liars series.

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?

Katie: I’m currently working on a prequel to my novel, tentatively titled The Betrayal. It delves into the events that take place in Catching You. I’d tell you what they were, but it might ruin the first book, so I’ll keep that my little secret, so you’ll have to go out and download it to find out 🙂

Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Katie: I whine that someone didn’t like it for about an hour and then I get back to writing. If someone didn’t like my book that’s their loss. They are many more people that do like my writing than don’t.

Tricia: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have five books with you, which books would you choose?

Katie: Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel (I know, how depressing), Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Kindred in Death by J. D. Robb, Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison and last, but not least….Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I know, they aren’t books that make you think, but they are books that I can read over again. And. you never know, but, Hunger Games might have some insight on how to survive on an island too!

Tricia: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Katie: I didn’t have a playlist per se, but more a bunch of songs that I liked to listen to while I was writing. It often depended on what I was in the mood for at the time. I listened to everything from Nickelback’s Far Away to Taylor Swift’s Love Story.

Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Katie: Don’t give up! I know that probably sounds cliché or you’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. If I’d given up on this novel the first time that I thought my writing sucked and everyone would hate it, I wouldn’t have a publishing contract right now. 

To learn more about Katie Gallagher and Catching You, please click on the following links:
Website
FACEBOOK
Twitter
Amazon
Goodreads

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Interview with Cindy Smith

Tricia: Today, we’re visiting with Cindy J Smith, author of Voices In My Head, a compilation of poetry. Please tell us a little about yourself, Cindy.

Cindy: I am married and work with my husband as OTR truck drivers. We live in Indiana. I love flowers, cats, dogs and dragons. My favorite color is purple.

Tricia: When did you begin writing? 

Cindy: I have written poetry as long as I can remember. It has always been an outlet for my frustrations and confusion.

Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent publication? 

Cindy: My book, Voices in my Head, is a compilation of years of poetry.

Tricia: What led to your decision to publish a collection of poetry? 

Cindy: I published it in honor of my daughter who always wanted me to and because my Facebook friends said I should.

Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your poetry collection?

Cindy: The biggest challenge for me was actually letting anyone read my poems, I did not like to share them.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing? 
Cindy: To be honest, I think Dr. Suess is the most influential. I love his ability to rhyme anything. I have read most of the classics and major poets of the past also.

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Cindy: I think I am considering a second book. I have about 160 new poems that I have been asked to share.

Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews? 

Cindy: I have not received any yet, so I am not sure. I am not that positive my poems are good. I like them but I am not sure they are good enough for the general public.

Tricia: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have five books with you, which books would you choose? 

Cindy: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo, Silas Marner by George Elliot, Complete works of William Blake, Cry to Heaven by Anne Rice, and One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Suess!

Tricia: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities? 
Cindy: I am employed as truck driver so I see a lot of different areas of the country and meet lots of new people. This provides me with a lot of stimuli for writing poems.

Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors? 
Cindy: Believe in yourself and be true to yourself. You can’t please everyone so be sure you like what you do.

Tricia: Which piece of poetry is your favorite? 
Cindy: Not sure if you mean my works or someone else’s here. So, my favorite that I wrote is My Angel. I wrote this about myself and it is how I truly feel most days since I lost my dear daughter.

MY ANGEL

My angel in heaven

Reach down from the skies

Help me to dry

These tears in my eyes

I miss you so much

It is so hard to cope

As this dark emptiness

Takes away all my hope

Let me hear your soft voice

In the songs the bird sings

And with the gentle breeze

Feel the embrace of your wings

Let me see your sweet smile

In the moonbeams at night

And find peace in your love

With the dawn’s morning light


If you’re interested in learning more about Cindy’s poetry or to purchase a copy of her book, please click on the following links:

AmazonUK paperback
AmazonUK kindle
Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle
Authorpage 
Goodreads 
Barnes and Noble
Facebook
Twitter
Website 

Categories: interviews, poetry | 2 Comments

Interview with Mark Love

Today, it’s my pleasure to visit with Mark Love. He’s the author of Desperate Measures and Fade Away.

Tricia: Hi Mark. It’s great to have you on my blog. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Mark: Yes, my name really is Mark Love. I live in Michigan with my wife, Kim. We recently moved to the western side of the state and are enjoying discovering many things about this new area, particularly the large number of wineries.

Tricia: When did you begin writing?

Mark: I began seriously writing in college while taking a creative writing class. The instructor was very encouraging.

Tricia: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?

Mark: My latest book is “Desperate Measures”. It’s the story of Nicholas Burr, a ghostwriter who is determined to publish a bestseller under his own name. After his latest rejection, Burr comes up with a book that he figures no one can put down. A ‘how to kill your wife and get away with it’ book. Three days after he sends it to his publisher for consideration, his wife disappears.

Tricia: How did you get the idea for the book?

Mark: I’ve often wondered how far someone would be willing to go to get their book published.

Tricia: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?

Mark: Trying to keep the pace fast and enough conflict to keep the reader interested.

Tricia: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Mark: My favorite is Malone, who appears in two novels “Devious” and “Vanishing Act”, which will be released by Secret Cravings Publishing in March and May, respectively. He’s a bit mysterious, but very comfortable in his own skin. He knows what he wants and how to get it.

Tricia: Which character was the most challenging to write?

Mark: Jamie Richmond, who is the female protagonist in both “Devious” and “Vanishing Act”. The stories are told from her point of view, so it was a challenge to capture the thoughts and emotions of a woman throughout the stories.

Tricia: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Mark: John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, James Rollins and Greg Iles.

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?

Mark: I’m working on a mystery about a serial killer whose victims are found in room 319 of motel rooms and a screenplay about vampires.

Tricia: If your book was ever made into a movie, which actors and actresses would you cast?

Mark: For “Desperate Measures” I would cast Michael C Hall as Nicholas Burr and Julia Stiles as Karen. For “Devious” I would cast Hilarie Burton as Jamie and T J Thyne as Malone.

Tricia: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Mark: I try and look at them objectively and see if there are any salient points that I can improve upon.

Tricia: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have five books with you, which books would you choose?

Mark: “The Stand” by Stephen King, “Get Shorty” by Elmore Leonard, “Map of Bones” by James Rollins, “Hold Tight” by Harlan Coben and “Dead Sleep” by Greg Iles.

Tricia: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Mark: Diana Krall, James Taylor, Earl Klugh and a lot of old Motown classics.

Tricia: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities?

Mark: I worked as a freelance reporter for several years, which enhanced my writing. I do a lot of writing in my regular job in business, so it’s a way to keep honing my efforts. Cooking is a hobby of mine and I usually weave that into the stories I write.

Tricia: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Mark: Keep writing. If you can find a writer’s group in your area where you can workshop with other writers, share feedback and insights into markets and publishers, that can be a great help. If you can’t find one, check with your local library and see about starting one up. Be open to feedback and constructive criticism.

For more information about Mark Love, please visit his BLOG

Desperate Measures and Fade Away can be purchased on Amazon.

Excerpt from DESPERATE MEASURES:

Nicky limped slowly down the block, trying not to think about his wife. It was no use. She had every reason to be disappointed. He entered O’Brien’s bar and took a stool at the far end of the counter. Reed O’Brien slid a mug of beer before him without waiting for Nicky to speak.

“Somebody steal your dog?” Reed asked.

“Worse. I got some bad news and Camille isn’t taking it too well.”

Reed lit a cigarette and blew a cloud of smoke at the ceiling fan. He watched it rotate for a minute before commenting. “Who died?”

Nicky smiled in spite of himself. “I did. Actually, my book did.”

Reed raised an eyebrow. “One of the Skipper books? My kids will be pissed.”

Nicky shook his head. “This was something else. I call it Double Cross. It was an adult book.”

A smile split Reed’s face. “You wrote a dirty book with lots of sex and wild parties?”

Nicky couldn’t help but laugh at him. “Not pornography you idiot, this was for a more mature audience than Skipper. It was a murder mystery.”

“Camille was counting on this to be the one, huh?”

Nicky nodded. “We met in college. She was struggling in an English class, and I tutored her. Camille was attempting to earn her business degree, and I was going to set the literary world on its ear.”

“How long has it been?”

“Almost ten years.”

Reed put out his cigarette while Nicky drank his beer. “She been carrying you?”

“I had to drop out of school before I got my degree. No money and no chance for a student loan. I was going to enter the army, but I didn’t pass the physical.” Nicky pointed at his bad leg and shrugged. “Only work I can find is minimum wage stuff.”

Reed shook his head sympathetically. “What kind of work does she do?”

Nicky took another sip. “Account manager at McKay Products. She started out as a secretary and worked her way up the ladder.”

“Decent job?”

Nicky nodded. “There’s a little travel involved and she spends a lot of time visiting clients. The hours can get a bit long, but she’s good at it. They pay her well.”

“But you haven’t been holding up your end of the bargain?” Reed waved over a waitress for a cup of coffee.

“The Skipper series is nice, but the money’s not much. I always dreamed of having my own books in print. That may never happen if I can’t break through the publishers’ slush piles.”

“So what are you going to do? Give up? Start buying lottery tickets?” Reed lit another cigarette.

Nicky grimaced and waved away the smoke. “I’m going to write a book people will fight over. And Camille’s going to help me. She just doesn’t know it yet.”

Reed noticed the sudden intensity in his friend’s eyes. He had been about to make a wisecrack, but something in Nicky’s manner suggested this wasn’t a good idea. Instead, Reed raised his mug of coffee in a salute. “Good luck.”

* * *

Camille was in her office when Nicky showed up. Camille’s new secretary discreetly knocked on her door.

“Nicky! Whatever are you doing here?”

“I thought I’d take you out for dinner. We need to talk.” He looked terrible. A week’s worth of stubble adorned his cheeks and chin. His clothes were rumpled. Camille wondered when the last time was that he had gotten any sleep.

“I have to work late. It’s the end of the quarter and I need to make sure everything is up to date on my accounts.” His sudden arrival and his appearance were unnerving.

“I finished it, Camille.”

“What?”

“I finished the book. It’s on its way right now, express delivery to Pete Corrigan. He’ll get it first thing in the morning.”

“Really, Nicky…”

“I know, Camille, I know. It’s an extra expense to send it that way, rather than just emailing him, but Pete will go crazy when he reads it. Let’s go celebrate.”

“Now isn’t a good time, Nicky. I can’t just drop everything to go with you.” She lowered her eyes to her desk, hoping he’d take the hint and leave.

“There aren’t any good times anymore, are there, Camille? No good times left for you and me.” He limped toward her, slowly dragging his leg. His disability had gotten progressively worse in the last few months.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Don’t bullshit me, Camille. You haven’t been coming home before midnight. And don’t lie and say you’re working late. I’ve called. You weren’t at work.” His voice became louder. Camille could see other employees lingering outside her door. She was unaccustomed to so much attention.

“Lower your voice, Nicholas,” she said sternly.

“Admit it,” he yelled. “Or are you going to lie about having an affair?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Bullshit! We both know you weren’t here.”

Camille’s voice was barely audible. “I was working.”

He pretended not to hear. “What about your clothes? The torn pantyhose, the soiled panties and the pair practically ripped in two? What about them?”

“You searched through my clothes?”

Nicholas Burr swept the papers off her blotter and leaned across it, his hands clutching the edges of the desk. “I examined what was left of them. He must be some kinky bastard. Does that get you off, Camille?”

“Get out,” she hissed.

“What does he do? Tie you up with your own pantyhose for a round of slap and tickle?”

“I want you out of here right now!”

He pushed away from the desk. In the doorway, a dozen people had gathered. He glanced at them then turned back to Camille.

“It’s not over.”

Camille struggled to her feet. “Yes it is. I want a divorce, Nicky. I should have done it a long time ago.”

Two men who had been watching the confrontation from the doorway finally came to Camille’s assistance. Together they dragged him away.

“You’ll never get a divorce, Camille. I’ll kill you before I agree to one.”

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Interview with Jade M Phillips

We have all sorts of fun planned today. We’re celebrating the release of MER, the highly anticipated young adult fantasy novel by Jade M. Phillips. Not only are we talking with the author about her new book, but we’re also inviting you to hop over to Jade M Phillips’ website for a HUGE giveaway contest.  
Click here to read the official contest rules

ATW: Welcome, Jade. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Jade: I grew up in the Arizona sun where I still reside. As long as I can remember I’ve always loved diving into a good book and coming up with stories of my own. But alongside my obsession with reading and writing books, I have also been an actress, a stunt woman (trained to fall off of tall buildings and do other scary things,) a dance teacher, bartender, the lead singer and back-up guitarist in a rock band, amongst a plethora of other fun and low-paying jobs. I now have my degree in interior design and own a small business. I love my friends and family dearly and enjoy spending time with them. I am well known for setting off the smoke detector in our house weekly by cooking/burning dinner. I also have two adorable children, an extremely wonderful husband, who is very supportive of my writing and chokes down his “dinner” without complaint, and a crazy cat named Willian Wallace Braveheart Fuzzy MacFarland the Third.

ATW: When did you begin writing?

Jade: I’ve been writing short stories, poetry, and songs since grade school and I just now (ok about a year ago) decided to take the plunge and write a novel, and a pretty darn cool one, if I may boast.

ATW: Can you tell us about your book?

Jade: My debut novel is a young adult fantasy titled MER: tome 1 in the MER series. Here is the blurb straight from the back of the book.

In a land where the sea grows restless, the summer breeze turns to ice and sleet, and Mother Nature has plans of another sort, dark and supernatural forces begin to unfold, fighting to unite the broken prophecy. In the midst of a tangled web lie the Castlecrays, a family with deep tragedy and mysterious secrets, who are torn apart and forced on a treacherous journey. Coming from a time when kings rule the realm, knights fight for honor, and eminence is power, the children of Castlecray are thrown into an unknown magical ambiance where nothing is as it seems, and bedtime stories come alive right before their eyes. Sweeping from a land of severe and savage seas to the sparkling underwater spires of a magical unknown world, this is a tale of lords and ladies, knights and nobility, traitors and trolls, who are all intertwined in a weaving maze of conspiracy and deception. Amidst gallantry and guilt, love and loss, the Castlecrays find their fate to be in the hands of their enemies, of each other, and of their new mysterious allies, the Wavekeepers—all vying to keep the balance between good and evil, land and sea, in a fight for the ultimate desire; the power of MER. 

ATW: How did you get the idea for the book?

Jade: This book has a secret. And I am going to give you some VIP information by telling you this… but if you couldn’t already tell by the title, its secret is Merpeople. The idea came from a couple different sources. First of all, my five year old daughter is obsessed with Mermaids, so I guess there is always a Mermaid floating around in the back of my brain. LOL!

Second, my husband and I were up late one night discussing the current trends in young adult fantasy books (my fave of course). We were talking about Vampires and Werewolves, Zombies, and Faeries, when I was like, “Wait! What about Mermaids?” And thus: MER was born! 

ATW: What was the most challenging aspect of writing your novel?

Jade: Doubting myself. Like I said earlier, I have been writing a long time, but never a novel. I eventually pushed through and gained confidence with the help of family, friends, and critiques (and many revisions.) And also editing was very challenging and time consuming. Even though I hired an editor, who was incredibly wonderful, I still DO NOT enjoy editing. LOL!

ATW: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Jade: Ooooh, that’s a hard one. I have so many that I love. I’d have to say Quin. She’s a feisty, tomboyish ten year old girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind; quite the contrary to the lady of nobility that she is expected to be. She cracks me up by always getting into trouble!

ATW: Which character was the most challenging to write?

Jade: Price Tolan was a bit challenging, although I love him dearly. He is an awkward young prince of 15 years old, and he has a st…st…stutter.

ATW: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Jade: This is hard because I like to think of my writing as unique in itself, but I will say that I read a lot of J.K.Rowling, George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, Diana Gabeldon, and Laini Taylor.

ATW: What projects are you currently working on?

Jade: I am currently writing the next book in the MER series, MER: tome 2. It’s going to be fantastic! I get goose bumps just thinking about it.

ATW: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Jade: That’s hard to answer, since I have had no bad reviews yet. But this is how I see it: Everyone’s tastes are different. There could be an academy award winning movie out there and there will still be people that don’t like it.

ATW: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Jade: I don’t have a specific playlist, although to keep that sort of renaissance/medieval feeling of my book while I’m writing, I put on the Celtic music station on Pandora radio, which is calming and helps the words flow. But when I need an energy boost I will put on some hip hop or dance music. 

ATW: Do you have any special skills, education, or hobbies that enhance your writing abilities?

Jade: I have my degree in interior design, which led me to take a lot of furniture and art history classes. This definitely helps me paint a picture of the scene for the reader.

ATW: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Jade: Persistence! Being an author means being on a rollercoaster of emotions. You will have days where you believe your work to be brilliant, and others, it’s garbage. Don’t give up. Just push through, believe in yourself, and write the best book you can!

ATW: For readers interested in learning more about MER, please visit the following links:

Buy MER on Amazon (paperback) 
Buy MER on Amazon (Kindle) 
Jade’s Blog Contest going on now! 1/13/13- 1/17/13
MER’s fan page.
Follow Jade on Twitter
Jade on Goodreads
Amazon author page
MER Book Trailer now released! 

Categories: interviews, young adult fantasy | Leave a comment

Interview with Joleene Naylor

Today, we’re visiting with Joleene Naylor. Not only is she a talented cover artist, she is also the author of the Amaranthine Series. For a limited time, Joleene is running a Special Editions promotion. Each Special Edition is on sale through January for 2.99 for the ebook versions (that’s all four books plus special features for only 6$, which is half price.) Be sure to visit the book blurbs at the bottom of the interview to learn more. Purchasing links will be provided as well.

ATW: Welcome, Joleene. Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

Joleene: To start with, my name has too many e’s. I believe it is this extravagance with vowels that has led me to the path of wanton excess. Okay, not really. I don’t think I’d know wanton excess if it wore purple and sat on the tv, unless you mean an excess of projects. Between writing the Amaranthine vampire series, doing freelance artwork and book covers, maintaining blogs and a website, and playing at photography, what I really have is a shortage of time.

ATW: Wow. You sound incredibly busy! When did you begin writing?

Joleene: I don’t remember not writing. I ‘wrote’ and illustrated my first story before I could read. A girl gets a telephone call and goes to the skating rink. I don’t remember what else happens, only that her dress is a different color on every page because I couldn’t decide what color I wanted to use. I guess you could say I got serious about writing when I was in high school.

ATW: Can you tell us about your most recent publication?

Joleene: In October I released the Amaranthine Special Editions, which are each two books in one and include a lot of bonus features, like character artwork, interviews and extra stories. Special Edition I includes Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts, while Special Edition II contains Ties of Blood and Ashes of Deceit.

ATW: What book are you working on now?

Joleene: Heart of the raven, book 5 in the Amaranthine series. It was supposed to be a December or January release, but “real life” got in the way. It picks up where Ashes of Deceit left off and sees Katelina and her vampire lover Jorick sent to Munich, Germany to testify before the True Council, the head of all vampires in the world. Of course, nothing is ever straight forward or easy for them, and they deviate in search of an ancient artifact that could cause a lot of chaos if it fell into the wrong hands.

ATW: What is the most challenging aspect of writing your novels?

Joleene: Making myself *write*. There are so many distractions now: facebook, twitter, blogs, websites – all those author promotions we all “must” do in order to be “successful”.

ATW: Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Joleene: Verchiel is one of my favorites because he writes himself, so while he’s in center stage I get to relax and just let him go. Micah is the same way and, truth be told, I think they have more in common than they’d ever admit.

ATW: Which character is the most challenging to write?

Joleene: In Heart of the Raven it’s Sadihra/Zadihra (she may get a name change) because I just can’t connect to her for some reason. We need to sit down and have a long chat.

ATW: Why Vampires?

Joleene: I think vampire offer the most freedom. They can be anything, from any era. They can be sciency, they can have fantasy elements, such as “super powers”. They can be heroes or villains. They can be romantic or loners. They can save the world, or they can simply complain about modern humans need to be “connected” 24/7. They’re a good platform for a lot of societal commentary that gets chalked up to “Oh well, he’s an old fashioned vampire, what do you expect?” Plus, vampires are just really hot.

ATW: Which authors have inspired your writing?

Joleene: One thing I have always admired and try to emulate (perhaps not successfully) is V.C. Andrew’s ability to take the everyday, even the adorable, and turn it sinister. In My sweet Audrina there is a shelf of stuffed animals that *should* be cute, but instead you feel as if they’re staring at you with malice in their button eyes. I also love the Japanese manga/anime’s propensity to make you wonder whether the villain is really the villain, or if it’s a matter of perception. Though I have a hard time doing that in the main series, I tried to play around with the idea in my short story collection Vampire Morsels, which features stories about some of the series side characters, including the villains. If I get time I’d like to explore it further with a collection of Executioner tales. (The Executioners are basically the vampires’ super nasty police squad)

ATW: If your book was ever made into a movie, which actors and actresses would you cast?

Joleene: I actually imagine it as an anime. I’ve always loved animation and someday I may learn to do it. Maybe I’ll animate it myself if no one else offers.

ATW: How do you handle unfavorable reviews?

Joleene: Most authors say to ignore them, but the truth is that this is impossible. Rather than giving you the “publicly acceptable” answer, I am going to do something scary and tell the truth!

The first thing I do is get incensed. “How dare they not like my work?” Then, after I calm down, I read it over and over, until there is no more sting in the review. A that point I analyze whether their complaints are valid. By this I mean “the plot was hard to follow” vs “this book was too short for free” (I actually get the second one. Those I ignore because the book description starts with the words: Short. 8,000 words.) If the complaint is genuine, then I try to apply that in future works.

ATW: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have five books with you, which books would you choose?

Joleene: I’m going to cheat a little. The Complete Edgar Allan Poe (lots of short stories), The Faun and the Woodcutter’s Daughter by Barbara Leonie Picard (lots more short stories), the one volume edition of Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (three books in one!), The Dollhouse Book by Stephanie Finnegan (I love to look at the pictures), and then I would super cheat and sew The Hobbit and The Silmarillion together into one book.

ATW: What songs/artists are on the playlist for your book?

Joleene: HIM & The Rasmus are the usual suspects, but it depends on my mood.

ATW: What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Joleene: If you want to indy publish, do it soon. I know a lot of people are predicting that indy publishing will continue to grow and grow, but I don’t think so. It’s a frontier, and no frontier lasts forever. Eventually civilization comes along – all the gold miners and cowboys get married. Doilies and china tea sets replace the rough and rugged furnishings (we’re already seeing that) and eventually the “laws” start. You can’t do this, you can’t do that, and pretty soon we’ll all need permission to publish from the gate keepers. It will start small; just editing and grammar and punctuation so that only “polished books” can make it, and eventually it will be the same racket the traditional publishers run now, where they only approve the “sale-able” stories. Only, while the traditional publishers at least admit it, the new gatekeepers will claim it’s a “quality issue” for “the good of all” to “eliminate the bad books”. As Mark Coker says, bad books eliminate themselves when no one buys them, but in a society of people who like to be told what restaurant to go to rather then decide for themselves, I think we’ll soon be back to someone telling us what we want to read. I think I’m channeling Jorick, here.

ATW: Thank you, Joleene, for your visit. For any readers out there who are interested in learning more about Joleene’s work, please visit the following links:

Author blog: http://joleenenaylor.wordpress.com/
FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/joleenenaylorbooks
twitter http://twitter.com/joleene_naylor
website- http://JoleeneNaylor.com

Buy Links:
Kindle
Paperback
B&N

Two books in one: Shades of Gray and Legacy of Ghosts, the first two novels in the Amaranthine series weave a bloody tale of death, war, love and most of all vampires.

Shades of Gray: Hunted by a coven of vampires, Katelina has only one person she can trust: Jorick. But when her knight in shining armor turns out to be one of the monsters she has to examine her perceptions of good and evil to survive.

Legacy of Ghosts: For Katelina and Jorick, peace is hard to come by. Kateesha plans to fight the same battle as Jorick’s fledgling, but a common enemy isn’t enough to overcome previous betrayals. Drawn into a deathly conflict, Jorick and Katelina must let go of old regrets, or lose their future to the ghosts of their past.

What’s a special edition without special features? Includes the “Lost Chapters” from Legacy of Ghosts, the short story “How to Silence a Human”, links to downloadable content and a character gallery featuring original artwork. Why should DVDs have all the fun?

Two novels in one: Ties of Blood and Ashes of Deceit, the third and fourth books in the Amaranthine series, continue the saga of Katelina and her new world of blood, night and vampires.

Ties of Blood: A trip to Katelina’s home starts a chain reaction; she and Jorick meet Verchiel, a too friendly vampire, then the police arrest Jorick for kidnapping. Worse, The Guild wants to question them. Will Malick, the head of the vampires, punish them? Or will the mysterious vampire following them do the job first?

Ashes of Deceit: Katelina and Jorick must rescue a captured vampire and discover who really took him. The truth isn’t easy to find. As Oren’s attack on the Guild draws closer, Jorick and Katelina are led back to the Citadel. When the flames of war ignite, can they rise from the ashes, or will they be consumed?

What’s a special edition without special features? Includes character interviews, the story of Lilith, links to downloadable content and an Executioner gallery featuring bios and original artwork. Why should DVDs have all the fun?
Categories: interviews, vampires | 7 Comments

Rebel Elite Holiday Hop: Meet Lila Munro

Welcome back, everyone! It’s day three of the Rebel Elite Holiday Hop and to celebrate, we are featuring Lila Munro. Don’t forget to enter the raffle at the bottom of the excerpt!

ATW: Hello, Lila. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Lila: I’m a dog loving, Crown Royal drinking, bubble bath taking, military wife, mother of a couple or three give or take, and grandma to a few. Right now I live on the eastern coast of North Carolina in Marineville, USA-East, but soon I’ll be living in the Pacific Northwest in someplace called Portland—it’s in Oregon from what they tell me *wink*. I’ve travelled the world, but never did I think as my husband approached 25 years of service we’d be doing the coast to coast shuffle. However, I love our life and am looking forward to the adventure the government has seen fit to bestow upon me. I will of course need to hunt up some new prospects to interview silly—anyone know where the local leather clubs meet there? And what about Adam & Eve? In all honesty, the ironic thing is one of my Identity books is set there—now I’ll know if my research rings true about the sights and sounds!

ATW: When did you begin writing?

Lila: At the tender age of couldn’t spell yet but was a good liar. Hehe? Well, you just know a person is bound for literary greatness when they ask for a typewriter for Christmas at age eight.

ATW: How did you get the idea for Assumed Calling?

Lila: Assumed Calling is actually book five and the final installment to the Identity series. Allen was a character who’d been talking to me for a few books and it just seemed natural he’d be the last to have his story told.

ATW: What projects are you currently working on?

Lila: Currently I’m finishing up A Slower Lower Leap which is the final book in my Slower Lower series. I’m finishing self-edits now and hope to have it whisked away to Jenn by week’s end. I’m also knee deep in book two of my Private Collection, Private Impropriety. It’s almost complete as well. Past that I’m looking forward to the Identity series spin-off series, Steele Image which should see book one hitting e-shelves in June 2013.

Assumed Calling, Book Five Identity Series, Lila Munro
BDSM/Erotic Romance
Rebel Ink Press

Like the beat of a primal drum whispering the rhythm of an ancient dance, the lifestyle calls…

At the seasoned age of fifty-six, Allen Bourke has resigned himself to the fact he’ll probably never find someone to top he can also love. While he’s had wives and lovers, none of them endured and he’s come to the conclusion the clock’s ticking and age is working against him. Then a very intriguing Nicki Cartwright pings on his radar at what Allen determines will be his last house party. He can’t help but notice while he and his friends are getting older, the players emerging on the scene are forever getting younger. Nicki’s no exception. Determined to resist the vibes humming between them, he only agrees to service her after his old friend, Kyle Montgomery, convinces him it’s entirely feasible. Then it’s brought to Allen’s attention who Nicki really is. Knowing their pasts are forever intertwined, as hard as he tries to ignore his heart, he finds himself yielding to the tides of fate.

Born to senatorial royalty, Nicki Cartwright has spent her entire life trying to shield her mother from her father’s wrath while drifting further and further into a world where panic is normal and anxiety is always on the edge of her reality. Tired of burning the candle at both ends and forever trying to live up to the picture of All-American perfection her father James Cartwright touts as his ace in the hole during election cycles, Nicki finds herself on the path of self-discovery in search of relief from the stressors continually swamping her mind. What she doesn’t expect is to find who she thought she was is truly just a shadow of the person she really is. And what scares her most is the fact Allen, the only person she thought she could trust, has been holding a secret since before she was born which could destroy her entire family.

Amazon
ARe
Nook

You can find Lila at:

Realmantic Moments
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Categories: interviews | 3 Comments

Interview with EB Black

Today’s special guest is EB Black, author of Medusa’s Desire. Her wonderful debut novel blends mythology and steamy romance and is sure to be a bestseller.

Let’s take a look at the premise for Medusa’s Desire

It all started the day her god raped her.

She transformed into an abomination through his touch. Her skin grew scales. Her eyes turned red. She screamed for help, but all who saw her became stone.

Medusa thought she would be alone forever, until the day a man came to kill her and fell in love instead. Now Perseus is running from those who hired him as he continues to love a girl who could kill him with a glance.

Please be sure to stick around after the interview. The author has generously provided an excerpt for our enjoyment!


Tricia: Hello, and thank you for joining us today, EB. Can you please tell us five unique things about yourself?

EB: 1. I hate the texture of cotton balls. I get a funny feeling when I touch them that makes me feel sick. I get the same feeling with popsicle sticks and gum wrappers.

2. I don’t own a car.

3. I play piano. I started composing music at the age of 8.

4. My teachers in public school didn’t teach the children how to read. My Mom had to hire a tutor for me or I would have grown-up illiterate.

5. I struggle with severe pain in my jaw. I can’t chew gum or eat certain things like steak anymore as a result.

Tricia: When did you begin writing?

EB: I didn’t begin writing seriously until I was an adult, but I did write some stuff as a kid. I used to write a fake newspaper with fake articles, short stories, poems, crosswords, and word searches, all related to my town. I’d give it to my next door neighbor.

Her and her husband would sit around, reading it and enjoying it with me. Although they are in heaven now, I will always appreciate the encouragement they gave me.

Tricia: What is Medusa’s Desire about?

EB: It’s about a monster who fights her nature and wishes to reconnect with humans again. She falls in love and it’s difficult because she can never gaze at him in the eyes. There’s always this distance between the two of them because he can never truly look at her or he’ll die.

Tricia: What makes Medusa’s Desire different than other novels?

EB: I based it and the other novels I will be writing for the Death of Eros series on the actual myths. I followed them closely. My versions of the myths are supposed to be a twist on the real versions, like a secret that’s coming out that no one understood until now. Since Greeks love their tragedies, the books don’t always have happy endings.

Tricia: How did you get the idea for your novel?

EB: I was terrified of Medusa as a child. I was afraid she was real and that when she turned people into stone, she trapped their souls in their bodies.

When I grew-up and studied the myth, finding out that she was raped and abused by the gods-a misunderstood monster, I had to get to know her.

Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?

EB: I’m working on a novella about Pandora’s box, which will be a fantasy romance called Pandora’s Mistake.

I’m also writing a trilogy about necromancers.

Tricia: What advice do you have for new or aspiring authors?

EB: The most important thing for a writer to be is self-motivated. No one will nag you to write your novel regularly, you will have to motivate yourself.

It’s also likely that you will face many rejections and frustrations throughout your career. You work on writing so much and get very little in return for a long time, but you have to keep picking yourself up and working on improving yourself every day.

I ran a web-site for awhile that was somewhat popular. All my friends had tried to do the same thing and their web-sites all stopped getting visitors. I had to keep promoting my site every day, adding content, and working hard on it. That’s why it took off, although I eventually deleted it.

Writing is the same way. Most of it is hard work and stubbornness-not good luck.

Tricia: That is really great advice. Where can my readers go to learn more about your work or to purchase your novel?

EB: Purchase on Amazon for 99 cents: http://www.amazon.com/Medusas-Desire-Death-Series-ebook/dp/B00ABMAW5K/

Website: http://www.ebblack.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/writerblack

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003033921752

Blog: http://deathauthor.blogspot.com/

Categories: interviews | 1 Comment

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