Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview with Paranormal Author, Naomi Clark



Today my guest is Naomi Clark discussing her recent release, Demonized.  A while ago, I offered reviews of books on my blog, but I found I didn't have time to do justice to all the books people asked me to review.  I have to say, however, that I have read Demonized, and I loved it from start to finish. Naomi does an excellent job of creating her characters, setting up twists and turns, and moving the book forward in such a way, it's hard to put it down. 


Please tell us about yourself?
I hate this question! I never know what to say! Well, I live in Cambridge, UK, am a lowly office worker by day but a writer by night. I'd like to be a writer by day too, so I'm working on that. I like 80s cartoons, 90s music, and I own a snake called Ket who likes to hide in my hair.

Tell us your latest news?
I've just signed a contract with Eternal Press for a novella called The Necromancer's Apprentice, which I'm very excited about! It's an urban fantasy with a touch of romance, and is due for release this winter. Yay!

When and why did you begin writing?
I've always written. I don't really remember not writing. When I was a child I'd make little books out of folded paper and string and write stories about ponies.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess, because I've been writing stories since I learned to write, I've always considered myself a writer. It was what I did instead of going out to play with friends! Probably says a lot about me...

What inspired you to write your first book?
My first real book, as in a full-length novel, was inspired by Tamora Pierce's Immortals books. I adored them, re-read them over and over, and they made me move from messing around with poetry and short stories to wanting to write a proper novel.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not as such … I like to think readers will find their own meanings in my work, and for me to hammer a message in feels like using my books as a soapbox, which is never my intention. People will always interpret you in their own way and that's how it should be.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
Nope – although it's impossible to leave my own experiences and feelings behind when I write, I never deliberately include real-life events or people.

What books have most influenced your life most?
I have to mention Tamora Pierce again, as well as Douglas Coupland's Generation X, which moves me every time I read it. The Narnia books were a big part of my childhood, and I think my love of fantasy and the supernatural was heavily influenced by those.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I'm about halfway through Richelle Mead's Last Sacrifice – a YA vampire novel, and I love it! She's one of my favourite authors, so I went into it knowing I'd enjoy it. I love her voice and her take on vampire mythology, which is different from anything else I've read recently.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
All the time... too many to keep up with! I read Karen Mahoney's debut The Iron Witch this year and thought there was a ton of potential for a really exciting world there. I can't wait for the sequel. I also discovered Kalayna Price and LM Pruitt recently and have been eating up their books. Laura Bickle is one of my favourites too – her urban fantasy really stands out as being different.

What are your current projects?
I'm working on Night Breed, the third in my Urban Wolf series, and toying with a couple of novellas too. One is set in the same world as The Necromancer's Apprentice, the other is a much shorter novella about giant snakes!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I hate editing. It's hard to detach yourself from the work and look at it objectively, see what works and what doesn't and be disciplined about changing it. I rely on beta readers to help me through it!

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Not especially, but if I do the best answer for me is usually to work on something else, which acts as a distraction from whatever the problem with the first project is. When I return to the first project, I usually feel ready to face it again.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
Lots of reading!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The ending. I always have to rewrite my endings because I rush them in my excitement over having finished!

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read a lot and write a lot. It's the only way to hone your craft. Beta readers and critique partners that you trust are also very helpful, especially when you're just starting out. They can be objective about your work when you can't, and you'll learn a lot from critiquing their work too.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Hi! Hope you enjoy my books!

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

My website/blog is: http://naomijay.blogspot.com/
I'm on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/#!/naomi_jay
And on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Naomi-Clark-author/122375344483965  (but I don't use FB much and am more likely to be found on Twitter!)


AUTHOR: Naomi Clark
BOOK TITLE: Demonized
PUBLISHER: Damnation Books
BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PYDO0U/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-4&pf_rd_r=0KFMGCC5TDBSNCD61PW0&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470939031&pf_rd_i=507846

Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once.


http://naomijay.blogspot.com/NIGHT AND CHAOS available now from Amazon

Monday, June 27, 2011

Interview with Author, Blake Crouch


Today, my guest is multi-published author, Blake Crouch, talking about his recent release Run.


1.                  Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I write thrillers mainly, although occasionally I’ll turn out a short story with a literary bent. I love thrillers because they’re generally (when they’re good) about characters at the end of their rope, and those are the characters I most enjoy reading about.

2.                  Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

It’s about a family on the run while a genocide is occurring in America.

3.                  How long have you been writing?

Since I was in the 8th grade.

4.                  Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?

Generally, so I have a sense of where I’m going. But I keep the outline loose enough to let plot turns and characters sneak up and surprise me. I know some writers can do it without outlining, but every time I’ve done that, I’ve wound up doing major rewrites.

5.                  What comes first: the plot or the characters?

It’s different from book to book. For RUN, it was just the idea of a Rwanda type of massacre occurring on American soil. Then I had to figure out who my family was. For a recent short story I released called “The Meteorologist,” it all started with a character, namely a man who is obsessed with weather.

6.                  Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

Good question....let’s go with fear....that would have to be Luther Kite, the villain in Desert Places, Locked Doors, Break You, and Stirred, the collaboration novel Joe Konrath and I are writing this year to close our respective series. He scares me. I’m not sure why. I even dream about him.

7.                  What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Sustaining tension for 300 pages.

8.                  Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

This one wasn’t nearly as research-intensive as my historical thriller, Abandon. For Run, I read up on some of the major genocides in human history and tried to put that in America.

9.                  Describe your writing space.

More often than not, a coffee shop in Durango where I live.

10.              What books or authors have influenced your writing?

Thomas Harris, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, J.A. Konrath, Marcus Sakey, Pat Conroy, and Dennis Lehane, just to name a few.

11.              What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

I see the dominance of the ebook as the preferred method of reading, with print books becoming a sub-right, for collectors, die-hard fans, and libraries, until libraries completely adopt e-reader lending technology.

12.              What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?

Glad you asked! Here’s my catalog on Kindle.

Andrew Z. Thomas thrillers
Other works
Draculas with J.A. Konrath, Jeff Strand and F. Paul Wilson
Perfect Little Town (horror novella)
Serial Uncut with J.A. Konrath and Jack Kilborn
Bad Girl (short story)
Killers (with J.A. Konrath)
Four Live Rounds (collected stories)
Shining Rock (short story)
*69 (short story)
On the Good, Red Road (short story)
Remaking (short story)
The Meteorologist (short story)
Six in the Cylinder (collected stories)

In terms of future work, as I mentioned above, later this year Konrath and I will release STIRRED.

13.              Where can people learn more about you and your work?



Name: Blake Crouch
Title: Run
Genre: Thriller
Self-Released

Synopsis:

For fans of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris, picture this: a landscape of American genocide...

5
 D A Y S  A G O
A rash of bizarre murders swept the country...
Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected.
A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike.
A mass of school shootings.
Prison riots of unprecedented brutality.
Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state.

4
 D A Y S  A G O
The murders increased ten-fold...

3
 D A Y S  A G O
The President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace...

2
 D A Y S  A G O
The killers began to mobilize...

Y E S T E R D A Y

All the power went out...

T O N I G H T

They're reading the names of those to be killed on the Emergency Broadcast System. You are listening over the battery-powered radio on your kitchen table, and they've just read yours.

Your name is Jack Colclough. You have a wife, a daughter, and a young son. You live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People are coming to your house to kill you and your family. You don't know why, but you don't have time to think about that any more.


You only have time to....


R U N


This 80,000-word novel also contains a bonus interview with Blake, and excerpts from his other work.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Janie Franz talks about The Ruins Trilogy




Today, my guest is MuseItHot author, Janie Franz.  Janie has several books coming out soon.  Today, she's talking about The Ruins Discovery.  Since there are some graphic sex scenes, this book is released through MuseItHot, the spicier side of MuseItUp Publishing.
Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? 
I come from a long line of liars and storytellers and have been writing stories since I was a child. I never aspired to have anything in print until I took a creative writing course in high school, and my teacher wanted us all to have something published before the school year ended. Ironically, in the class the poet’s first sale was a short story and mine (the designated short story writer) was an essay and later a couple of poems. Perhaps it was a glimpse into the far distant future when I became a full-time freelance journalist over a decade ago.
I never thought I’d have time to write a novel, but I did work on a few over the years, eventually putting them literally in a drawer and later in a big banker’s box. I actually have two big boxes full of handwritten story starts.

I spent several months last year, after my first book (The Bowdancer) came out, writing more tales of the bowdancer and doing substantive revisions to some of those novels I had in boxes. I finished ten books last year. It was the longest sustained writing I’ve ever done and helped me through some really difficult times in my personal life.

What genre do you write in and why?

I’ve really tried to figure out what genre I write in and I’m not quite sure. I’ve been labeled a romance writer, but I don’t fit the template exactly. I write about relationships for the most part, but these are never the typical girl-gets-guy stories. Often they have a happy-for-now ending. But mainly it’s the other story that drives the book, meaning the adventure or mystery or life experience that creates the circumstances upon which the characters interrelate. In addition, many of my books deal with culture and all the things that compose that.

I think I like writing about relationships and cultures because these are the elements that define life for me. People interact based upon social rules within a culture. Also each culture has color—music, dance, religion, healing practices, etc. These are the things that enrich our lives. When people from different cultures meet, they often have conflicts because of those cultural differences. It is how they work through those conflicts that the best qualities of humans are revealed. Looking at created cultures also allows us to look at our own with fresh eyes.



2.     Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.

My first book with Muse It Up Publishing came out in May of this year. Ruins Discover is the first book in a trilogy about archaeology grad student Kate Ferguson. It is set in Phoenix, Arizona, and Wupatki Ruins in the high country of the state. Here’s a blurb about the book:

Gold bracelets, a snake necklace, a feathered cape and a wedding dress. The daily gifts first intrigue then strike terror into anthropologist Kate Ferguson's heart.

The threats begin when she accepts an invitation to visit ancient sites frequented by a maverick native group, hoping to gather material for her thesis. Instead, she finds herself the target of a power struggle—a struggle which has always led to death and disaster for any woman attracted to Paul Rodriguez
And Kate is attracted--very attracted--to this secretive architect haunted by his past. She too has her own secrets. One is her gift of psychometry (being able to read psychic impressions left in objects) and the other—the fact that she’s still a virgin.

As Paul’s enemies draw nearer, they both have life-changing decisions to make. Paul has deserted his position as shaman and leader of his people because of the group’s sinister traditions. He must make a stand or lose the woman he loves.

Kate must learn to trust Paul, not only with her body, but with her very life. Can she do this or will the price to be paid prove too high?

Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?

I never outline my books. I figure if you spend that much time doing detailed outlines, you might as well just write the book. But I do take notes. 

When I wrote The Lost Song Trilogy, the next adventures of Ja-nell the bowdancer, I put a few notes down about where I wanted things to go, just a phrase or a few key words. These would go at the very bottom of the page I was working on. Then as I began the writing, I’d add things here and there, and also remove the notes I’d made as the scene was written. I’d also put research notes or even reminders about the ages and hair colors of some of the characters. (I had a large cast of characters that crossed over from book to book and they would get older, of course.

What comes first: the plot or the characters?

It’s always the characters. I will have an idea about where I’d like the book to go, but often the interactions with the characters often changed anything I’d have initially in my head. So I don’t outline, and sometimes I don’t even know what’s going to happen next. For Ruins Discovery, I sort of knew where it would go, but the ending changed several times during the years of reworking it.

5.     Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? 

I’m most fond of my Bowdancer Saga characters. They are rich and vivid. I like all of my main characters in all of my books, but it is who they interact with that I find more intriguing. But my very favorite character is Bekar, the master hunter, in Warrior Women, book 3 of the Bowdancer Saga. She’s strong, but wounded, and fiercely loyal.
6.     Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
7.      
I have to chuckle about this question. Ruins Discovery took me nearly forty years to get published. I wrote the first draft in 1977 when I first came to North Dakota, right after seeing Wupatki Ruins for the first time. I had held a potshard in my hand—also for the first time. The character Paul Rodriguez was modeled after someone I had seen in a convenience store in Phoenix. I combined those two experiences and started writing.

I put that scant handwritten draft in a drawer, only to bring it out every few years and rework parts of it, retyping many drafts of it. I’d add things as I found out more information about native groups in the area.

In the meantime, I earned a degree in anthropology.  When I brought out the latest draft to try to whip it into shape to submit to Muse It Up Publishing, I used experiences I had gathered working on my degree. I also made a trip back up to Wupatki Ruins last November to take photographs for a book trailer that is in the works. I was able, then, to add a level of accuracy to the work that it didn’t have earlier.
So to answer the question about research, yes I did a lot of research. And how long it took to write the book? This one took almost forty years….. But I wrote The Lost Song trilogy in two to three months.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like reading and watching movies---yes, I know. It’s a busman’s holiday.  I also hike and have started playing blues harmonica again.
9.     What books or authors have influenced your writing?

I read a lot of Stephen King when I was younger. He was good at creating atmosphere, and his use of language is impeccable. Ann McCafery, Mercedes Lackey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley also were big influences. But I think it was Gregg Hurwitz’s work that showed me how to make richness of language and heart-pounding adventure work together.

What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?

The Bowdancer (Breathless Press)
The Wayfarer’s Road (Breathless Press)
Warrior Women (Breathless Press)

Ruins: Discovery (Muse It Hot) May 20, 2011
Sugar Magnolia (Muse It Hot) July 2011
Ruins: Artifacts (Muse It Hot) Aug 2011
The Neighbor (Muse It Up) October 2011
The Premier (Muse It Up) November 2011
The Lost Song: Verses (Muse It Hot) January 2012

Ruins Discovery has adult content so is under the Muse It Hot dvis
Buy link for Ruins Discovery:
https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=130&category_id=13&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

W  What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Read everything you can. How-to books are good, but you’ll learn more by reading other authors. Start with those you like and then branch out into those you don’t know but are in your genre. But don’t limit yourself to books in your genre.

And above all else----WRITE.

12  Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Readers can find out more about the Ruins Trilogy by going to http://ruinstrilogy.wordpress.com
And they can find out more about the Bowdancer Saga here:




Friday, June 24, 2011

Cross-genre Author, Lakisha Spletzer



Today, my guest is cross-genre author, Lakisha Spletzer talking about her writing and latest release.

Please tell us about yourself?
I'm proud to say that I'm an indie author with a cross-genre writing style. Now what that means,  *smiles *,  is that my writing doesn't fall solidly within one genre. For example, my Werelove series is classified as dark paranormal romance/urban fantasy/with science fiction elements. I know that's a bit of a mouthful, but it's true.

Tell us your latest news?
My first children's novel, “The Tempo”, will be coming out in August. I'm writing it for my daughter because she wanted to read something of mine. So far I've written mainly YA or adult fiction, so there's nothing really she can read of mine. That's why I decided to write one for her.

When and why did you begin writing?
I've been writing since the age of 8, but I didn't start writing to get published until I was 25.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
There's a funny story to that one. I always equated being a “writer” with being “published.” My really good friend and fellow writer, Elissa Malcohn, told me one day that as long as I'm putting my words to paper, I'm a writer. That I should always remember that and be proud of that fact. That really helped me look at things in a new light.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write a story about my life in high school and some of the things I experienced growing up. I didn't want to do a contemporary time so I placed it in the genres that I like which are science fiction and fantasy.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are too many to count! Some of them are gaining your self-esteem and self-confidence to pursue your goals and dreams. Also that true friends are hard to find and when  you do, make sure you're a great friend to that person as well because you never know when you'll need that love and support.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
There are two. The first one is Dianne Dykstra who I met online in 2003. She had lots of knowledge about the publishing industry that she shared with me. And also, Elissa Malcohn, who I mentioned earlier. She was in a writer's workshop group I joined when I moved to Florida in 2004. From her I learned about things like query letters, dealing with a publisher once you got one, and a lot of information about ebooks and self-publishing.

What are your current projects?
I have my children's novel, “The Tempo”, which is coming out in August. I  have scheduled and/or currently writing the sequel to my debut novel, “Jewels”,  the third novel in my Werelove series, and a new science-fiction novel which will have my first male character as the main character.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think my biggest challenges always come in the grammar and punctuation. I tend to use repetitive words/phrases and I'm a comma phobe. At least that's what my editor calls me. I've gotten a little bit better but I still have moments when I kick myself for not catching it.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
I used to get writer's block all the time. I would go read a book, listening to music, work a crossword puzzle—anything to remove me from what I was writing until my mind was able to focus on the storyline again.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I like to read. I also teach dance at a local dance studio. It gives me another avenue to be creative.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I wish I could say that I have just one author who I love the most, but I can't. I have a few who inspired and hold my interest:
1)    Piers Anthony for his humor and wit, no matter what type of story it is.
2)    Anne McCaffrey because of descriptions and emotions. I always feel invested in her characters.
3)    Andre Norton for making alien worlds be really cool.
4)    Mercedes Lackey  for making fantasy intriguing and not always having a clear cut answer.
5)    Elissa Malcohn for always making me think while giving great emotional impact.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing a sequel is to keep the momentum going from the first book. You don't want to lose it because that is the quickest way to make readers leave you. I constantly fretted while writing this book because I wanted to make it good, if not better, than the first. So I was constantly asking my beta readers what they thought. I think I drove them nuts, * lol *,  but in the end, I was proud of what I accomplished.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be open-minded. The writing industry is in flux. Always consider all your options and don't be quick to dismiss something without doing your homework about it first.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
That for those who are keeping up with the series, thank you. I hope you enjoy this one as much as the first one. If you're new to my work, I hope you enjoy the ride.

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I will be attending Necronomicon, October 21-23, in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm excited about this convention because award-winning science-fiction writer, Ben Bova, is going to be there. If you're interested in the convention the website is: www.stonehill.org/necro.htm

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

Website: www.kishazworld.com
Blog: http://innermuse.kishazworld.com
Twitter: @kishazworld
FB: www.facebook.com/kishazworld



AUTHOR: Lakisha Spletzer
BOOK TITLE: Werelove: Midnight Revelations
PUBLISHER: Createspace
BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Lakisha-Spletzer/e/B0039SXOE4\

EXCERPT:

::Good-bye, my dream prince.::

He froze at the sound of Laylah’s voice in his mind. Never had he heard such despair and loss.
::Laylah!::  His telepathic yell went unanswered.

Donil whirled around and saw Stefan’s amazed expression. “You heard it too?”

“Yes, but it’s not possible though. She shouldn’t…never mind. Go, two doors down to the right. That’s where she is. I’ll be coming behind you to watch your back. Be careful, Kitty.”

 Donil smirked. “I will.” He broke into a jog. ::I’m coming, Beautiful. Hold on a little longer.::
He headed in the direction Stefan had pointed, all the while opening his senses and casting them out in a wide area. He felt her fear and he growled low and menacing. He took out two more of Zina’s people and sniffed the air.

He could smell Laylah, that welcoming, pure scent. And then there was Zina’s stench. He sneezed, shook his head and then slowly opened the door.

From his spot, he saw Zina’s back and Laylah bound to a chair. This was his chance. He easily squeezed inside the door without a sound and inched his way left so that he could sneak up on Zina.

Laylah’s scream of pain almost ripped a roar of challenge from him but, at the last moment, he stopped himself. He couldn’t quite make his tremor of rage disappear as he fought to remain controlled like Grandpa Hans had taught him. Zina was hurting his mate. This could not, would not continue.

He willed Laylah to be strong as he took a step forward. Zina was babbling and Laylah screamed again before she fell silent as Zina’s little speech continued. He saw Laylah’s eyes widen and knew she’d spotted him. Now if he could just take Zina out….

Without turning Zina spoke. “Donil, my dear old friend. If you don't wish me to gut her, stop moving. Why you thought you could sneak up on me is laughable. Besides, her eyes gave you away. All that hope replacing my well cultivated fear.”

Donil gritted his teeth. Man, he hated that Wolf Bitch. He watched as Zina moved behind Laylah's chair and draped herself over Laylah's shoulders making sure to place the knife against his mate’s throat.

He snarled but didn't move from his spot. Laylah's gaze stayed on him. His heart ached when he saw the faith in her eyes and he almost came undone when she mouthed, “I trust you, Donil.”

“Well, Boy, I have a proposition for you. Why don't we both enjoy the prey?”

Laylah stiffened and Donil glared at Zina.

“I'm not like you, Zina. I don't hurt and kill innocents,” he retorted.

Zina laughed and nuzzled Laylah. “So high and mighty. Too bad the snot-nosed, fawning kid grew up. Such a waste. Did you know, Donil, that I've tasted her blood?”

He growled and took a step toward them.

“Uh, uh. Wrong move,” Zina taunted and nicked Laylah's neck. “Oh, lookie! The prey bleeds.”

Laylah gasped. Donil, enraged by Zina’s evil, glowered and shifted into a battle stance.

“Stop hurting her, Zina!” He ordered and opened his mouth to speak when he felt Stefan’s mind touch his. He snapped his mouth closed and listened to what the older male had to say.

::Boy, get her away from my niece. I’ll free Laylah. You concentrate on your opponent.::

::Don’t tell me how to fight, Stefan, but you are right. I can’t do anything with Laylah captive. Get ready.::

Donil blinked and spoke in a reasonable tone hoping to catch the crazed Alpha off-guard. “Do you think, Zina, that if you injure the girl, it will bring him to you? Perhaps even make him beg for your love?”

Zina tensed behind Laylah, the knife moving closer to her skin.

Donil didn’t stop speaking. “He's incapable of loving anyone except himself and his money. C'mon, you're better than that! Find a male who wants you, for you.”

Zina's mocking laughter filled the quiet room. “Ah, to be young again and so incredibly naive. You know those with power don't have the luxury of fairy tale endings. And if I can't have one, no one can. Enough talking. Come, take me if you're able. Look, I'll even make it easy for you.” She leaned in closer to Laylah's neck and murmured, “Pain is a great incentive.”

“What? Ow!” Laylah shrieked as Zina sank her teeth into her neck.

Donil couldn’t keep his composure and let out an enraged bellow that mixed with Zina's maniacal giggles. He charged and Zina moved from behind the chair to meet him. They slammed into each other and went careening in opposite directions.

“Stupid move, Cat Boy! Do you think you can take out a Wolf?” Zina taunted as she circled.

He didn’t respond, but kept her in his sight. He watched her movements and was able to bear the brunt of her next charge that would have knocked him off his feet. She was even stronger than normal in this maddened state. They continued to feint and attack back and forth. Donil would have loved to shift and show her who was superior, feline or lupine, but he couldn’t. Not with Laylah in the room. And so he and Zina continued their deadly dance.

Stefan informed him telepathically that Laylah was almost free. It was that one moment of inattentiveness that cost him. Zina did a spinning kick and knocked him backward. Donil hissed and fought to breathe. He was pretty sure she’d broken one of his ribs.

He heard the familiar pop and cracking of shifting and swung his gaze over to Zina.

“Crap!” he snapped as he watched her shift to her Werehum form.
:
:Change, Alpha!::  Stefan roared at Donil.

::Be quiet, Old Man! Besides, I can't.::

::What do you mean, you can't? Are you mad? Zina will kill you if you don't!::

::Laylah doesn't know I'm Were. And I don't want her to find out this way. Get her out of here, Stefan!::

::Of all the idiotic...! Fine, I'll get my niece out of here.:: 

Stefan’s anger vibrated in their telepathic link but Donil didn’t have time to placate the older man. Zina was charging.

He dodged, sidestepped and aimed a kick at her knees. If he could break a kneecap, they could all escape.
At most he was hoping to slow Zina down. He knew the moment Laylah was free as her joy washed over him through their bond. He smiled and missed Zina’s feint and reversal.

“Die, Boy!” Zina shouted triumphantly and slid her claws home inside his abdomen. Zina retracted her claws and pushed Donil backwards.

He heard Stefan’s mental yell of denial. Donil staggered and went down, writhing in pain. The fire racing from his stomach to the rest of his body was debilitating.

“Never send a boy to do a man's job,” Zina taunted and kicked his leg. “And you, Stefan, did you really think I wouldn't recognize your scent? You're such a naughty boy, trying to steal my prey. I'm going to kill you, Stefan. But first, I need to get rid of this runt of a problem.” Zina giggled and stabbed her claws downward toward Donil. “Yes! Die, Boy!”

Donil’s last thoughts were of Laylah. If he died, she would truly be alone.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Interview with author Killarney Sheffield




Today, my guest is Killarney Sheffield, author  MuseItUp Publishing book, Guilty Kisses.

1) Tell me a little about your book. 
Guilty Kisses- Imagine being married to a very elderly earl then seduced, in the middle of the night by a perfect stranger who awakens your body as no one ever has before...Sound exciting? This is the position Cassandra Lamb aka Cassie finds herself in. I won't tell you more, you have to buy the book. Anyone got a garden hose or a glass of water?



2) What gave you the idea for this particular story? Many years ago I read an old book called Emeralds and Sapphires. It was a story about a nobleman who masqueraded as a thief. I liked the idea and decided to put my own spin on the tale.

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a part time mother of 5 school aged kids. I have to really micro manage the kids and my horse breeding/training business with house cleaning and writing. I go like heck until lunch, then write from noon until 4pm when the kids get home.

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
A teacher in high school entered some of my stuff in a few writing contests. She really encouraged me. Then 5 yrs ago I had the privilege living a mile down the road from Love Inspired author Carolyne Aarsen, she really encouraged me and gave me some start up writing help like pov and show not tell.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
For me reading is an escape from everyday pressures, you know the ones; kids fighting, phone ringing etc. I guess for me it is my escape to a happy place LOL!

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
Mainly historical romance. I love the pageantry of manners and custom back then. I am very un-techy, would ride my horses to the store instead of drive if I could, although I can't imagine carpooling via wagon train. LOL. Don't say this too loud but I also have a children's book currently in the production phase, all proceeds going to the Mother Tereasa Catholic School in Halkirk AB.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Definitely the tech stuff. I am comfortable running my word program, opening email and posting on my critique group but other than that I'm pretty much lost.

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event?
If so, tell me about it. This is really embarrassing but yeah. The scene in my book where Cohen helps Cassie with her, um mammary gland problem, LOL. My hubby used to hold a hot water bottle on me when I got too full of milk when my first son was a preemie baby and couldn't nurse properly. Please don't call me for advice on that one. LOL.

9) How much is your protagonist like you?
 I think there is a little of me in every heroine I invent. In Cassie I think I instill a little of my naivety.

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Tons on regency England. I have 2 books in particular that I use all the time, (1) The Regency Romance by Gayle Buck, (2) The Regency Companion by Sharon Laudermilk and Teresa Hamlin. I also use 4 or 5 great internet sites.

11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
I love writing the action scenes as I see everything so clearly in my head. The violent scenes are pretty mild so they don't bother me. The steamy sex scenes, well... maybe we shouldn't go there LOL. Lets leave it at, I have 5 kids so obviously I enjoy that stuff, hehehe.

12) What about your book makes it special?
Wow, hum. I think I try to write a book that gets me right into the action in scene 1. Long wind ups and plot settings bore me. Also I really like some mystery and action in a story, give me something to chew on besides the steamy romance and I am hooked.

13) What is your marketing plan?
Everything and anything. I am learning as I go.

14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
 Right now mostly MuseItUp but I do have a blog called Melderman's Horse Guide for Writers and a homepage for my horses@ meldermanstables.bravehost.com. I am working on other sites as we speak.

15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
I am a member of CC (a crit site) so I get to see lots of newbies. I try to leave them with these tips, show not tell (thanks Carolyn for instilling that one on me) tagless writing as much as possible (Thanks Kathleen E Woodwiss, her books are a fantastic example of that) and most of all don't get down when some says you will submit 30+ manuscripts before you get a publishing contract. Guilty Kisses is the second ms I ever submitted and I only sent it to a chosen few. Thanks Lea for giving me my big break, I will remember that acceptance email for the rest of my life.

Killarney thank you for being my guest today and giving us a peek into your writing life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Urban Fantasy author, Ashley Christman



Today, my guest is author/editor, Ashley Christman talking about her writing.


Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

Well, I write primarily urban fantasy and speculative fiction because I find that I’m drawn to all things mythical, legendary, and go bump in the night. 

When I’m not writing, I act, and my day job is a nurse.

How long have you been writing?
Like most writers, I’ve been crafting stories ever since I could hold a crayon. Professionally though, I’ve only been writing to be published in the last four years.

What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always been a storyteller so writing was a natural progression. I don’t quite remember what inspired my first novel (I was sixteen or seventeen at the time), but I do remember the surge of overwhelming pride when I finished, even though it was rubbish.

Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
I don’t outline before I write. I usually just start writing and then somewhere along the line an outline forms and I jot it and my copious notes down.

What comes first: the plot or the characters?
For me, they all kind of arrive at the same time like guests to a party that are way too early.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child. So far I love two. Lucky Sands from The Witching Hour because he’s a very noir type hero. And Kate Kincaid, my vampire succubus heroine of Requiem because she has a very unique perspective on mankind after being alive for nearly six millennia.



What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part is probably getting to the middle. Around mid book I start getting serious writer’s block and writing myself into corners. I often delete whole chapters at this point. Eventually I come out of it.


What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
Some of the challenges I face are in revision and subsequent drafts. When I finish writing, I polish to the best of my ability, send it to my crit buddy and by the time it gets back I still have to wait a while before I can tackle revisions. If I don’t wait, I find that I’m still too close to the story to look at the problems in it objectively.

Describe your writing space.
My writing space is pretty much anywhere my laptop and I are. My editing space consists of my office—desk, whiteboard, incense, candles, Red Bull, and music.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I love to read. I also hike, act, and go on paranormal investigations. I’m also a huge classic movie fan. I love watching silent films and black and whites from Hollywood’s golden age.


What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

I think ebooks are here to stay. They’re not only convenient, but they can be relatively inexpensive to buy depending on where you get them. I think that the big houses are jumping into the ebook game a little late, but at least they’re playing now. I also think we’re going to see smaller and smaller print runs as we go forward over the next ten years because people are starting to embrace ebooks.

What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?
    Currently The Witching Hour and Requiem are available for purchase (Requiem is available in paperback and digital formats). Coming up I have Incubust Lust (as Charlotte Davila) in September and Nightingale: Nocturne Series book 1 in October.



What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

It’s hard to give advice that hasn’t already been given a million times. My biggest piece of advice is just start writing. Quit saying I’d like to write a book or I want to, but I don’t have time. Make the time, sit down, and start writing.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
People can visit my website www.ashleymchristman.com or they can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Paranormal Romance Author, Claudy Conn



Today, my guest is Claudy Conn talking about her latest release.


Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why? This is where an author gets into the boring stuff. So instead I think I will tell you a little about my romance with my husband. We met at his horse farm and I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever seen. Blue-eyed Irishman, smokin’, and I think attraction is very important. Friendship is great, but maintaining passion over the years-- that takes attraction. I am a multi-published author and started out with Regency and historical romances. Took off for a few years when we moved from NY to NC with our horses. Now I write paranormal for the love of it!


Tell me about your current book which you are promoting. “Shee Willow-Legend” will be released on April 1, 2011 by Wings ePress. It is the second installment in my Legend series and will pick up the battle that began in “Spellbound-Legend”.

How long have you been writing? I wrote regency & historical romances for over twenty years. Time off, and now for the last year, I have been writing paranormal romance.

What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book? Reading and the stories that have always made me daydream. Georgette Heyer’s Regency books turned me on to the genre--from there it wasn’t too far to take on the historical genre.

Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process? No outline. Tried it, but my characters come alive and do things I don’t expect—deviating from any outline I have asked of them.

What comes first: the plot or the characters? Both, they seem to evolve together, although I do have a basic plot in my head as I begin my characters’ stories.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why? Ah, in “Spellbound-Legend” which starts it all, I absolutely love my Fae Prince, Breslyn and my hero Julian. Maxine, my heroine makes me smile as she takes on everything I throw at her, but I feel for Shamon and the part that he plays. Gais is a traitor and a villain and although I understand how and why, I do dislike him. I can’t tell you who I like and dislike in “Shee Willow-Legend” as that would give away my twists and turns of characters.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Ending it. I so hate saying so long to my people.

Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you? Research, for me, is all important. I researched Druids, Fae myths, the Tuatha Dé, Celtic folklore and have been lucky enough to have traveled to the settings where my tales take place. Every book is different and some take longer than others, but six--seven months is my usual timeline for writing/re-writing.

What are some of the challenges in your writing process? Discipline. Details, and grammar. I hate grammar.

Describe your writing space. We left our horse farm on Long Island and found a little piece of paradise here in NC for our animals and ourselves. When I get stuck with a scene or my heroine is being obstinate—I look out at our horses kicking up in the pasture or our wolf dogs chasing one another and it puts me back on track.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Swim, hike, ride, walk, garden, travel. My Bob would put ‘travel’ as his first priority.

What books or authors have influenced your writing? Georgette Heyer—because she introduced me to the world of Regency. I wrote over 40 mass market bestsellers and it was because of her influence on my early writing. Now, hands down, Karen Moning as she opened up the world of paranormal for me. I also love Dean Koontz, S. King, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts!

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books? E-book sales will I think grow tremendously over the next few years. Its time has come, however, paperbacks on the shelves of brick and mortar will also lead in numbers. People in general have a need to go out, shop the brick and mortar and hold the books before they buy. I do as well.


What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for release?Spellbound-Legend” published by Wings ePress, was released in December 2010, and my website: http://claudyconn.embarqspace.com will take you to the different avenues of purchase. “Shee Willow-Legend” was released in April, and I have another paranormal which was contracted by The Wild Rose Press, “Darklove” about a black sorcerer and a witch that wants to destroy him, that should be out in the summer.

What is your marketing plan? Advertise! I think in the epublishing business there is no other way to present your work to the readers.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? Don’t give up if you are rejected. Different editors have different requirements and tastes, however, a critique partner could help you along with rewrites.

Where can people learn more about you and your work? http://claudyconn.embarqspace.com is where I give updated news every month, where you can purchase the book, also available at Wings ePress, Fictionwise and Amazon. I have a ‘like’ facebook page that you can access right from my website as well. Please, come on over and visit, give me your thoughts, your views, your likes and dislikes. I love to hear from readers.



My new mid-June release of Shadowlove-Stalkers, the first in my vampire romance series, is out now and available in Kindle at $3.99 and also in paperback. Barnes Cat. is discounting it at $8.60 in paperback. All Romance has it up, and it is already listed as a best seller in Fantasy romance!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award




I want to thank my very supportive cyberfriend, Susanne Drazic (blog -- PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER, susannedrazic.blogspot.com/) for giving me The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  Susanne is one of my most faithful followers and has also hosted me on her blog during my blog tour for my short story collection, A Past and A Future.  Thank you, Susanne!

The Rules:
1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 7 deserving blog buddies. (Originally this was 15, so up to you how many you want to nominate.)
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

7 Random Facts:
1. I was raised in Connecticut.
2. I have lived in Oregon since 1978.
3. I used to own a motorcycle.
4. I taught Hatha Yoga for a number of years.
5. I love spicy food.
6. We have two LhasaPoo siblings.
7. My favorite time of the year is spring.

The hardest part of these blog awards is naming other blogs.  There are so many which are good and finding one among those that hasn't already been nominated can be a challenge.
That said, I am passing the award to: