Friday, June 29, 2012

Evil Stalks the Night, Kathryn Meyer Griffith




Why I Wrote Evil Stalks the Night
…and also The Heart of the Rose


Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition is special to me for many reasons. It was my first published novel in 1984 and as it comes out again on June 1, 2012, rereleased from Damnation Books, it will bring my over forty year writing career full circle. With its publication all fourteen of my old books will be out again for the first time in many years. Sure, it’s been a grueling, tedious two-and- a-half year job rewriting and editing these new versions but I’m thrilled that it’s over. I have my babies reborn and out in the world again…and all in e books for the first time ever. Now I can finally move forward and write new stories.
I’ll start at the very beginning because, though Evil Stalks the Night was my first published novel, it wasn’t my first written one.
That first book was The Heart of the Rose. I actually began writing it after my only child, James, was born in late 1971. I was staying home with him, no longer going to college, not working, and was bored out of my skin. I read an historical romance one day I believed was horrible and thought I can do better than that!
So I got out my borrowed typewriter with the keys that stuck, my bottles of White-Out, carbon paper for copies, and started clicking away. I’d tentatively called that first book King’s Witch because it was about a 15th century healer loved by Edward the Fourth who was falsely believed to be a witch. At the library, no computers or Internet back then, I did tedious research into that time in English history: the War of the Roses, the poverty and civil strife between the Red (Lancasters) and White Rose (Yorks); the Earl of Warwick and Edward the Fourth.  Edward’s infamous brother Richard the Third.  A real saga. Well, all that was big back then. I was way out of my league, though. Didn’t know what the heck I was doing. I just wrote. Reading that original version now (a paperback released from Leisure books in 1985) I have to laugh. Ironically, like that historical novel I’d thought in 1971 was so bad, it was pretty awful. That archaic language I’d used–all the rage back in the 80’s–sounded so stilted. Yikes! Yet people, mainly women, had loved it.
And so my writing career began. That was over 40 years ago. It took me 12 years to get that first book published as I got sidetracked with a divorce, raising a son, and having to get a real job. Life, as it always seems to do, got in the way. The manuscript was tossed into a drawer and forgotten for a while.
Then one day years later I found it and decided to rewrite it; try again to sell it. I bundled up the revised pile of printed copy pages, tucked it into an empty copy paper box and took it to the Post Office. Plastered it with stamps. I sent it everywhere The Writer’s Market of that year said I could. And waited. Months and months and months. In those days it could take up to a year or more to sell a novel, in between revising and rewriting to please any editor that would make a suggestion or comment. Snail mail took forever, too, and was so expensive.
Now to Evil Stalks the Night.
In the meantime, I’d written another book. Kind of a fictionalized look back at my childhood in a large (6 brothers and sisters) poor but loving family in the 1950’s and 60’s. I started sending that one out as well. Then one day an editor suggested that since my writing had such a spooky ambiance to it anyway, why didn’t I just turn the story into a horror novel. Like Stephen King was doing. Ordinary people under supernatural circumstances. A book like that would sell easily, she said.  
Hmmm. Well, it was worth a try, so I added something scary in the woods in the main character’s childhood past that she had to return to and face in her adult life, using some of my childhood and my young adult life–my heartbreaking divorce, raising my young son alone, my new love–as hers. It was more of a romantic horror when I’d finished, than a horror novel. I retitled it Evil Stalks the Night and began sending it out. That editor was right, it sold quickly to a mass market paperback publisher called Towers Publishing.
But right in the middle of editing Towers went bankrupt and was bought out by another publisher! What terrible luck, I remember brooding. The book was lost somewhere in the stacks of unedited slush in a company undergoing massive changes as the new publisher took over. I had a contract and didn’t know how to break it. Heaven knows, I couldn’t afford a lawyer. My life with a new husband, my son and my minimum-wage assistant billing job was one step above poverty at times. In those days, too, I was so na├»ve.
That was 1983, but luckily that take-over publisher was Leisure Books, now also known as Dorchester Publishing. Talk about karma.
As often as has happened to me over my writing career, though, fate seemed to step in and the Tower’s editor who’d bought my book, before she left, told one of Leisure’s editors about it and asked her to give it a read. She believed in it that much.
Out of the blue, in 1984, when I’d completely given up on Evil Stalks the Night, Leisure Books sent me a letter offering to buy it! Then, miracle of miracles, my new editor asked if I had any other ideas or books she could look at. I sent her The Heart of the Rose and, liking it, too, she bought it in 1985; asking me to sex it up some, so they could release it as an historical bodice-ripper (remember those…the sexy knockoffs of Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen Woodiwiss’s provocative novels?).  It wasn’t a lot of money. A thousand dollar advance each and only 4% royalties on the paperbacks. But you must remember in those days the publishers had a huge distribution and thousands and thousands of the paperbacks were printed, sent to bookstores and warehoused. So 4% of all those books over the next couple of years did add up.
Thus my career began. I slowly, and like-pulling-teeth, sold ten more novels and various short stories over the next 25 years–as I was working full time, raising a family and living my hard-scramble life. Some did well, my Leisure and Zebra paperbacks, and some didn’t. Most of them, over the years, eventually went out of print.
And twenty-seven years later, when publisher Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons and The Woman in Crimson, she asked if I’d like to rerelease (with new covers and rewritten, of course, and all in ebooks for the first time ever) my 7 out-of-print paperbacks, including Evil Stalks the Night–I gave her a resounding yes!
Of course, I had to totally rewrite Evil Stalks the Night for the resurrected edition, as well as my other initial novels, because I discovered my writing when I was twenty-something had been immature and unpolished at times; and not having a computer and the Internet had made the original writing so much harder. Also in those days, editors told an author what to change and the writer only saw the manuscript once to final proof it.  There were so many mistakes in those early books. Typos. Grammar. Lost plot and detail threads. In the rewrite I also decided to keep the time frame (1960-1984) the same.  The book’s essence would have lost too much if I’d updated it.
As I finished the final editing I couldn’t help but reminisce about all the life changes I’ve had since I’d first began writing it so many years ago. Though it was actually published in 1984, I’d started writing it many years before; closer to 1978 or 1979. I’m as old as my Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother and who the grandmother in the story was loosely based on, was back then. While I was first writing it so long ago, I was a young married woman with a small child holding down my first real job and trying to do it all. Now…my Grandmother, mother and father are all gone. Many other family and friends I’ve left behind, too. I miss them all, especially my mom and dad. It’s strange how revising my old books reminded me of certain times of my life. Some of the memories I hid from and some of them made me laugh or cry. This book, though, is the most autobiographical of all my novels as it contains some of my childhood, my devastating divorce, and what my life was like when I first met my second husband, Russell, who’s turned out to be the love of my life. We’ve been happily married now for thirty-four years and counting. Ah, but how quickly the years have flown by. Too quickly. I want to reach out, at times, and stop time. I want more. I have so much more life to live and many more stories to write.
So Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition (http://damnationbooks.com/people.php?author=79 ) republished by Damnation Books will be out again for the first time in nearly thirty years on June 1, 2012, and I hope it’s a better book than it was in 1984. It should be…I’ve had over thirty more years of life and experiences to help make it so. 
Written this 30th day of April, 2012 by the author Kathryn Meyer Griffith




***


BLURB of Evil Stalks the Night-Revised Author’s Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith:

Twenty years ago psychic Sarah Summers fled from the evil that lurked in the woods behind her childhood home after it killed most of her family, but a nasty divorce and financial hardships forces her back when nothing else could.
With her son, Jeremy, she returns to her grandmother’s dilapidated house and tries to begin a new life. She meets a man, police detective, Ben, who falls for her, and she prays her fresh visions of bloodshed and death deep among the dark trees are not true.
Then the murders begin again and Sarah is hurtled back into the familiar nightmare that has haunted her her whole life. The evil in the woods is awake again…and this time it wants her last remaining brother, her son…and her.
With Ben and Jim’s help can she defeat it this time…and live? ***

EXCERPT:
Chapter Five
Suncrest 1984
I stood in the doorway with Jeremy’s small hand in mine and together, we murmured our final goodbyes to the apartment that had been our home for the last eight years. It was the only home my son had ever known.
“Don’t cry now, Mom. You’re doing real well.” His voice was gentle. The pressure on my hand increased. I glanced down at his thin, freckled face and thoughtful blue eyes and offered a faint smile.
“Don’t worry, son. If I cry now, who’s going to drive? We’ve got a long way to go today and I’m afraid, for you, nine is still a little too young to be fighting the morning rush.” I threw in a tiny laugh and tousled his long blond hair. As usual it fell across his eyes and with an exaggerated gesture he pushed it away from his face.
“Ah, Mom, give me a chance. I’ll show you who can drive a car,” he replied stubbornly.
“Sure you will—over my dead body.” I bantered with him while my eyes kept sweeping the bare walls and stacks of neatly labeled boxes in the room around me. All that was left after ten years of marriage was an empty apartment and an empty heart. The boxes looked like giant children’s scattered blocks, forgotten and unwanted. I didn’t want to leave, but I had no choice.
On impulse, I knelt down on the familiar threshold and ran my fingers lovingly through the rug’s deep peach colored pile. Jonathan and I had picked the carpeting out last year. Was it only last year? As I laid my hand on the wall for support to stand I could see my reflection in the gold-veined mirror tiles on the opposite wall. Yellow sunbeams danced over their glossy surface and made the woman in them look golden, even beautiful with her long light brown hair and slim gracefulness. But looking back into her green eyes I could see the sadness, see the drawn face and the lips which had forgotten how to curve into a genuine smile anymore.
I’d lost twenty pounds since my divorce and still had no appetite. What I hungered for couldn’t be found in a shopping cart.
I’d again lost something precious and not known why. I could help so many other people, strangers really, but not myself. My psychic gift applied to everyone but me. It was as if receiving the gift sometimes forced me to shoulder the ill luck I saved others from. Someone else might take the lashes but I felt the pain in one way or another.
I smiled at the lady in the mirrors and took one last look at the apartment. I was flooded with memories as elusive as mist. Jeremy as a baby, romping from one room to the next. Jonathan reading the paper in his favorite chair by the fireplace as I sketched my pictures at the drawing table in the corner…it seemed so long ago. I put out my hand as if I could see and touch him now, as if there was a magic door into our past waiting for me to enter and undo all that had occurred in the last six months.
I was such a fool.
Quietly, I pulled the door closed and locked it. Inside I could hear the ghosts whispering. Snickering. But I couldn’t stay. I had to make a new life for us now the old one was dead. I couldn’t live in the past any longer. I couldn’t remain bitter, I had to nurture and cherish the good memories.
I slipped the key under the door in the exact place I’d told Jimmy he could find it. He was coming by in a few days to pick up the heavier furniture I’d had to leave behind. He’d fit most of it into his pick-up truck or rent a trailer.
“Are we going now?” Jeremy asked.
“Yes. It’s time to go.” The sun was a huge bright ball overhead. “Here, you can take these.” I handed him two carry-all bags and we walked out to the car together. Jeremy didn’t glance behind once. Originally we’d planned to start out at dawn, but it was already after ten o’clock. A beautiful last day of March, even if it was as cold as January.
I slid into the front seat of my red Pinto and closed the door. Jeremy thumped down in the passenger seat and for a few seconds we busied ourselves arranging the extra bags. I adjusted my seat and waited for the car to warm up.
At least it wasn’t snowing. The winter had been horrendous. I’d never seen so much snow.
Whenever I remember that winter, I remember grayish-purple skies and storms. Then endless snow. Night after night lying alone in our queen-sized bed, contemplating the white darkness with a heavy heart. The sky had been so white with flakes, it’d been like daylight. It was the worst time, the days and weeks right after Jonathan had walked out on me for another woman. For the first time in my life I was totally alone.
For weeks, a terrible apathy held me in its grip and I’d go to bed early to muffle my tears in my pillow and watch the snow fall outside my window. I lived in my own sad world of make-believe and memories, purposely shutting the real world away. Over and over I kept asking myself what had I done wrong? How could someone I had loved so long and so much do what he’d done to me…to all of us? How could he not love me anymore?
How could he have stopped the love and more importantly, how was I going to stop loving him? It’d been a painful rebirth for me, these past few weeks. I worked in an ad agency as a commercial artist in St. Louis and had taken a couple weeks off. I couldn’t face the world, I couldn’t face myself.
Who was I now? I slept, I read, I dreamed about the past, carefully wrapping it in the gossamer tissue of my bewildered tears, a priceless jewel, to be tucked away forever. I sifted through my life up until then and tried to make some meaning out of it. All the work, the love, and the loss. With every tear I mended myself, with every day I drew closer to the first light in a dark tunnel and made my way back to the world of the living.
Jonathan was gone. It was simple. I had to start my life over again. In the space of a few months I’d lost a husband, a home, and a job. Before I could return to work I got a telephone call to tell me not to bother. The agency was folding. We’d lost two of our largest clients and there wasn’t any work; what had been started so hopefully three years ago was no more. Blame the economy, God, or human fickleness, the result was the same. No work, no money, no agency. I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’d expected it long before, but the timing couldn’t have been worse. I had no tears left when I went in to empty my desk and say my goodbyes. I’d miss my friends more than the job.
Then there was the house.
The house my grandmother had left me when she’d died all those years ago. The old house on Suncrest. It was mine free and clear. It had been for some time and I’d run out of excuses to claim my inheritance.
There was nothing to hold me here anymore. I’d be a fool to stay. I had no job, no husband, and no way to pay the fancy rent on the overly big, plush apartment.
Yet, God, I’d fought going back to Suncrest where the horror had begun. It was bitterly ironic that after so many years of trying to run away from the past I was now literally trapped into returning. Heaven knows, I’d tried to sell the old place for years, but, for some reason, it wouldn’t sell. It’d sat there patiently waiting for me. Waiting until I was forced by unavoidable circumstances to reclaim it when I’d never dreamed I would.
I told myself as I had so many times before we wouldn’t stay there long. We were only going to fix the old place up enough to sell it, or rent it out, that’s all. We’d use it as a pit stop to someplace else.
         If only. 

***





About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.
I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have two quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and live cat Cleo, and the four of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die.
                         
Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith:
Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, June 2012) 
The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722327  
Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)  
Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2010) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615722075 
Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2011) 
The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) Damnation Books Buy Link: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615723201 
The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011) 
Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)
All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)
Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  Eternal Press buy link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724437  My self-made
Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) Eternal Press Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615724604)
You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg
The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)
Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)
BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010) 
Damnation Books buy link: httphttp://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615721313
You Tube self-made Book trailer with original song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo  
The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010) 
You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) 

My Websites:
http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486
http://www.jacketflap.com/K.Griffith
http://www.shoutlife.com/kathrynmeyergriffith
http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith
E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net  I love to hear from my readers. 


***********************************************************************
My books (most revised and out again from Damnation Books and Eternal Press): Evil Stalks the Night; The Heart of the Rose; Blood Forge; Vampire Blood; The Last Vampire; Witches; The Nameless One short story; The Calling; Scraps of Paper; All Things Slip Away; Egyptian Heart; Winter's Journey; The Ice Bridge; Don't Look Back, Agnes novella; In This House short story; The Nameless One, erotic short story; Always & Forever, erotic contemporary novella; BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons; The Woman in Crimson; The Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction) *** 






Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tina Gayle, The Unwilling Widow




AUTHOR: Tina Gayle
BOOK TITLE: The Unwilling Widow
PUBLISHER: Kindle and Smashword


Please tell us about yourself?
I was born in Texas, the place of my heart and where most of my family still lives. I’m the youngest of four daughters and grew up a dreamer.

For years, I worked in the business world doing a variety of accounting jobs. Then after my two sons were born I decided to go back to school to get a degree in MIS. I did programming for a few years. Then after moving to California, I quit to start writing full time. Today, I used my skills to maintain my web sites.

Most days you will find me at my computer, writing, surfing the internet, blogging, twitter, google+, facebook, I’m all over the net.

Tell us your latest news? The main news is I’m working hard on finishing up the Executive Wives’ Club series.

When and why did you begin writing? Year 2000, I decided to give my passion a chance. First, I challenged myself to finish a book. I figured if I could sit in a chair for hours at a time, creating a story. Then I just might have a chance at becoming an author. My first book “Pregnancy Plan” was my first book published and still holds a very dear place in my heart.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Women need women. It is easy for us to forget about the women in our lives with family taking up so much of our time. But only another woman can truly relate to what you are going through. Don’t forget to cultivated relationships with other women.

What books have most influenced your life most? Writing books because that help me learn to be a better writer.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Cheryl St.John. She is a part of the HWG chapter in Omaha I belong to and offered great advice.

What are your current projects? The Executive Wives’ Club Series,  four women who have lost their husband in a car wreck.  Each woman has her own book. With the reader learning more about each woman in each book.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’m a dreamer for years I have written stories in my head. Long detail stories that took weeks to develop. I drew pictures in my mind and had conversations in my mind. Oh, but that is so much fun. Still do it.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Rewriting is my greatest challenge. I tend like most writers to read what I believed I have written. I use a number of different ways to break it down and create a better story.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it? Only really after the death of my father, I really didn’t want to do much of anything. This happen around the same time as I had moved to a new state and my youngest son had gone off to college. Talk about down. I gave myself a break and relaxed, played with the dog. In time, things turned around and I could write again. Sometimes we just need to step back, adjust and then recall the path forward.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? I’m a creative person. I like to redecorate my house, paint, put up wallpaper, build a closet organizer, garden, read of course, and cook.

Do you have any advice for other writers? It’s been said a thousand time but write and take classes.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? I’ve had a number of publishers; Amira Press and Wild Rose Press. Both were exceptional, but after being with them both for a number of years I decide to try self-publishing my work. So far I enjoy it more because I have more control over what happens with my book.

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

Home - www.tinagayle.net
Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Goodread - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle
Google + - https://plus.google.com
Linkedin - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759



Blurb-
Jennifer Larson, having lost her husband, friends and the perfect life she’d had plan, now faces the biggest challenge of her life, moving into an unplanned future. While the rest of the Executives Wives’ Club is still wallowing in the past, Jen is tempted into the future by a sexy chiropractor, Hagan Chaney.

But does he really love her or is he only after her money?

Excerpt -
Jen gathered her strength and followed Hagan through the house. The easy flow of his long limbs showed incredible grace for a big man. So tempting, yet, she couldn’t pursue him. Not now, not with everyone watching her, they expected her to act like a grieving widow. If she didn’t, they’d forever brand her as an unloving wife.
She hated the farce, but she had no choice. No one knew her marriage had turned into a sham long before Craig died.
A few minutes later, she walked outside and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, with the showing done, she could return Hagan to his office. She locked the front door and stored the key in the lockbox. Spinning on her heels, she faced Hagan.
At the end of the porch, one foot already positioned on the first step with a hand out to assist her, he waited. “So, Jen, since we’re done for today, why don’t we meet tomorrow night for dinner?”
Jen edged backward and her butt hit the closed door. The urge to run away from his undeniable magnetism, and the problems he’d cause, sent her mind into a tail spin.
What in the hell should I do now?





Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Killarney Sheffield, Inventing Love




AUTHOR: Killarney Sheffield
BOOK TITLE: Inventing Love
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: Releases June 30th.  Pre-order discount at MuseItUp Bookstore!

1) Tell me a little about your book. Inventing Love is my first attempt at a steampunk and is still along the same lines as my usual historical romances.

2) What gave you the idea for this particular story? I had this unfinished WIP about a female inventor in the early 1800's. I was in the Muse Authors forum one day and the head cover artist mentioned how much she wanted to do a steampunk cover. I Wikied 'steampunk' and realized I could easily tweek the story into a steampunk and so it became one. Incidentally, tooting my own horn here, it was the first steampunk accepted by MuseItUp Publishing.

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?I suppose I am a part time writer, though I juggle many occasional jobs such as horse trainer, farrier, riding coach and recently newspaper reporter and columnist.

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?I started writing in high school but was told in grade 12 that I was dyslexic. My dreams of being a horse vet were over but with the invention of spell checkers my dreams of writing were kept alive.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?  I hope they escape into an earlier time to get away from their everyday stresses like the phone ringing and the kids fighting. I also hope they end up with the hope of finding love in any situation. That is the Libra in me I suppose, always a hopeless romantic.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why? Mostly historical romance. Why? Well, because I would have loved to live back in those days, the gallantry and pageantry back then just makes me sigh.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it? The days when I just want to play on the internet and not write! I currently have 11 WIPs going between 2 and 15 chapters.

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it. Not a thing! LOL!

9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different? Alexandra or Alex as everyone calls her is one of those spunky, don't care what anyone thinks kind of gals but deep down inside, like me she really cares.

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story? I had to learn about steampunks and steam powered machines.

11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not? I love the action scenes! Give me a high speed horse chase, a duel or a damsel in distress and I am hooked! A plain romance just bores me, I need more to chew on.

12) What about your book makes it special? It is my first ever steampunk. LOL!

13) Where can people learn more about you and your work? Http://author-killarney-sheffield.spruz.com

14) What’s in the future for you? My dream is to someday write a novel for Avon or Zebra, meet Lawrence Gowan in person to thank him for the music and make the NYT Best Sellers list. Big goals I know, but so was getting a piece of Gowan's music and I accomplished that.



Alexandra Evans is a female inventor. Unusual, unconventional,
assertive, and definitely not a lady. Lord Weston Grendal is your
typical London gentleman. Dependable, stiff, stuffy and out of place
in America. When they are thrown together to build a killing machine
they must decide if the price of the innocent is worth their own
freedom. Together they can re-invent love, but apart? Does love stand
a chance?

Excerpt:

He strolled by her and picked up another crate. “The name is Weston. I
am a military strategist.”

“Really?” Alexandra observed him through new eyes.

“Really.” He headed for the door with his load and stacked it neatly
on top of the first one.

“I never figured you for the intelligent type,” Alex smirked. He
certainly didn't seem the type, though if truth be told he didn't seem
any type, just plain, boring and unassuming.

He glanced at her and frowned, the look in his eyes frosty and
guarded. “Strange, I never figured you for the intelligent type
either.”

Maybe he wasn't as dull as she first thought. “That is typical of your
gender I suppose. Men always underestimate a lady. Rest assured, my
lord, we are not all swooning, confections of lace and ruffles, you
know. Some of us actually have intellect.” She bit her lip, not
meaning it to come across quite as sarcastic as it sounded.

With a shrug he crossed the room and picked up another crate. Alex
finished sorting the pile then tossed the parts she wanted to take in
another one. After nailing the lid in place she began to scoop the
undesirable pieces into a pile. She glanced at Weston as he walked
back and forth carrying the heavy wooden boxes. “Everyone calls me
Alex.”

He paused, lifting an eyebrow. “Everyone?”

“My father.” She hated to admit she really didn't know anyone on a
personal level.

“I see.” He continued with his job. “And your friends?”

“I don't have any...that is to say most people don't appreciate a
woman who is confident and speaks her mind.”

“I see.” He grinned “In other words people see you as an oddball of sorts.”
Arms akimbo she scowled at him. “You would work faster if you
refrained from making ill-informed observations.” Again he grinned and
headed for another box. The man is an arrogant rake. Imagine having
the gall to...she sniffed...point out the obvious. She sighed and
headed for the shelf of uncompleted and non-working inventions.
Lovingly she touched each of her father's projects she had not the
heart to toss out or try to get working on her own. Her fingers came
away coated in dust and grime. She would crate them up and take them
with her, rather than part with the reminder of him, she decided.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Past Undone, Viviane Brentanos

Today is a returning guest, Viviane Bretanos, here to talk about herself and share an excerpt from latest release, Past Undone.





Author name: Viviane Brentanos
Book Title: Past Undone
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Buy link:
Facebook:
  

Please tell us about yourself with the following favorites:

First off, a huge thank you to Penny for inviting me back. It is always a pleasure to guest on her blog and I love the fun questions. I think it is nice to take a break from wearing our author hats. Anyway, no more rambling and on to the first question

Food?
Oh dear, why did you do this to me, penny? I am a foodie. My mother is French and both she and my grandmother were the most amazing cooks in the world and they made sure their children learned the art. Food is very important to the French, as it is to most from Mediterranean countries. Contrary to what people believe, this doesn’t mean they walk around all day with a copy of the Larousse Gastronomique tucked under their arms. No – it is all in the ingredients, using the best, the freshest available. It is about being able to put together a wonderful meal with the most basic of ingredients. I remember watching my grandmother preparing a classic French dressing: olive oil, vinegar, fresh parsley, a clove of garlic and a smattering of Dijon mustard. She spent half an hour slowly stirring until the dressing resembled a fine cream. So, how can I answer this question? What do I love best? Too many to choose from. I love spicy food but I am going to go with the simplest, most guilty pleasure. Greek pitas {but from Greece – not the British pretend one}

Drink (non-alcoholic)?
I suppose I would have to say coffee – as long as it is a good strong cup of filter. I am not too enamoured with these designer coffees which tend to be tasteless and wildly expensive. I only drink one cup of coffee a day, otherwise I cannot sleep but then I switch to tea – and more often than not decaf. Glasgow tea is amazing. It’s all in the water.

Flower?
Now here is something I have never had to think about. Mmm – so many beautiful ones. Lilies, Orchids. I adore the wild flowers that burst in to life on Corfu in spring time. Blossom – I adore tree blossom of any form. Mimosa, now there is a stunning tree.

Day of the week?
Friday. I don’t know why. I think it stems from my schooldays, when you knew that you didn’t have to get out of bed for the next two mornings. I carried on my love of Friday to when my 
children were at school. I hated getting up early. I still do.

Time of day to write?
Afternoon. I cannot function in the morning. Well, I can for blogging and promoting and such but when it comes to creating then I am better after lunch

Place to write?
At work, behind reception desk. The quiet time between 2pm  - 5pm. Great stuff. I quite like writing by a pool side. There is something about the quiet hush of the wind whispering the trees, the gentle rays of an aftyernoon sun warming me that inspires me.

Season?
Each season, for me, has something to offer but let me answer that from a Corfu perspective.
Spring – it has to be; when the island is awakening from a rainy winter, the skies are a clear, cerulean blue, without the oft oppressive heat haze of high summer, the heady scent of awakening blossom is carried on a gentle breeze, the azure ocean laps gently against the sands that are still rippled but the winter rough seas. The house-martins are everywhere, setting up home, the fire flies light up the still fresh nighttime sky. Clean Monday – the start of Lent. Flying kites, picnicking on hillsides under the olive trees, the scent of pine and eucalyptus mingling with the aroma of Corfiot fresh foods. And then Easter – surely the most amazing time of all but I would need a separate blog for that.

Holiday?
Christmas. There is still nothing to beat it, even though I am so anal about decorating the tree. I drive myself crazy trying to get it perfect.   Christmas is the time when I bake. 150 melomacaronas {Greek Honey biscuits} last Christmas. I love the way the house smells; of cinnamon, roast pork and mulled wine. Everything is all red and gold. It is a time when friends and family get together for one long food and drink fest. Presents? Don’t care about them. That’s not what it is about. Without being controversial, there is Christ in the word Christmas for a reason.

Color?
Blue. I don’t why but I have always been a fan of blue. I think this may have something to do with my childhood. I was a tomboy and my mother was forever trying to dress me in pink frilly frocks and buckle shoes. Blue was my rebellion.

Animal?
I adore all animals. I am a staunch advocate of animal rights. I have always been a doggy person and I have had dogs all my life. Before I left the UK for Greece, my ex husband I  showed and bred Afghan Hounds. To this day, they are my favourite breed. Beneath that stunning catwalk exterior lies a champion of dogs,: strong, fast, a cunning hunter with an aloof personality. {Ah, I hear you all say. That explains the Afghan on the cover of Written in Stone}

Hobby?
Hobbies? Do writers have time for hobbies? Well, I love to swim – preferably in the sea. I love watching tennis – especially Nadal and I adore music – Darren Hayes, Enrique…I love all genres. Reading, naturally and especially in the bath.

Sport?
I used to play squash and I was quite good at it but, other than swimming, I don’t so much but, as mentioned above, I am an avid tennis fan. Soccer -I hate it. Too many over-paid prima donas

Song?
Oh my – how can I possibly answer this? I love so may. Anything by Darren Hayes, anything Heavy Metal but I adore Wasp’s The Idol. Fleetwood Mac -Sara {Stevie Nicks is my secret lesbian crush}Run – Snow Patrol. MJ – God rest his troubles soul – everything. Whitney – probably the greatest female vocalist ever. Freddie Mercury – Somebody to Love. Really-too many for me to mention

TV show?
Oh Please ,Penny, dear,  stop making my life difficult. Where to begin. Ok – Big Bang Theory. Sheldon Cooper is…is just Sheldon Cooper. Glee – love it. Supernatural – I am Team Dean but the ultimate in TV experience has to be Game of Thrones

Movie?
Lord of the Rings – no contest. Gladiator comes in a close second, followed by anything Spielberg, Star Wars. Ok – so I am a geek.

Book?
Oh dear, my head… Ok. Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara – I adore her. Generally speaking, I prefer thrillers and suspense but I will read anything that captures my attention. Romance  -mm – difficult. Anyway, all stories are romance. Life is romance.

Author?
Me – no – just kidding. Gosh, that’s a hard one. Jilly Cooper for Brit romantic humour, Tolkien because – well, he’s Tolkien, Ian Rankin for detective, Patricia Cornwell for thriller, forensic yucky stuff and for horror – the master himself, Stephen king

Word?
No sure what my favourite word is. I can tell you my pet peeve. The over use of Actually. Favourite word. I suppose I tend say bloody at the beginning of every sentence.

Quote?
Oh this is so easy….. My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next. So many good quotes in this movie.


 

Now some easy one-word answers:
Oh Penny, have you ever known me to stick to one word? I will try
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Veggies or fruit? Veggies
Cat or dog?  Dog {although I love cats too}
Plot or not? Depends
Desktop or laptop? Desktop – without a doubt
Pencil or pen?  Pen {but takes me forever to find the right one}
Rain or sun? Sun
Mountains or ocean? ocean
Plane or train? train
Car or motorcycle? motorcycle
Run or walk? walk
Casual or dressy?  Casual { verging on slob}
Indoors or outdoors? outdoors
Reading: EBook or paperback? Can I take the fifth? Ok – paperback for the bath, ebook for the train and plane
Reading: Short story or novels? novels
Theater or rental?  Depends. If it is a mega movie i.e Lord of the Rings, definitely theatre
Vampire or shifter? Do I have to? Ok - vampires
Horror or romance? Horror {yes, I know I write romance}


Tell us about your new/latest release:

I begun Past Undone back in the summer of 2010. Although it is the shortest novel I have penned, it proved to be the most difficult to complete. It was something of a new venture for me and it has elevated my opinion of the suspense writers to awe. I don’t know why but, for some reason, I suffered a serious bout of writers block on this one. My pad lay open on the coffee table while I stared at it for two months. I knew what I wanted to write, I knew where the story was going but it just wouldn’t come. In the end, I forced myself to pick up my pen and once I wrote that first, tough page, all my doubts slipped away. The ending made me cry. Silly maybe but if I can’t make myself cry, how do I expect my readers to share the emotion.




Title: Past Undone
Genre: Contemporary Romance with a touch of suspense and something else but I can’t say or it will give the plot away

Blurb:
At nearly twenty-one, Sofie Jameson is a little tired of paying the price for her director father’s caped crusader routine. She wouldn’t mind so much but the bodyguards he periodically hires to protect her possess as much charm and wit as gulag guard.
Nik Lloyd is no exception.  Mr. Lloyd has one simple set of rules: do as I say and don’t speak unless spoken to. Sofie wants to hate him on sight but it’s a little difficult when every time she looks at him, her feet leave the ground and she spins on an emotional roller coaster. Hidden away together in his beautiful Greek island home, Sofie soon realizes Mr. Lloyd is an ‘international man of mystery,’ and a man, if his housekeeper is to be believed, who is hiding dark secrets. The housekeeper claims he is a tortured soul. The livid scar on his back convinces Sofie she may be right. Who does he cry for at night? And just who is the mysterious young girl, Bella, who turns up out of nowhere, latching on to Sofie with all the tenacity of a limpet?

Short Excerpt:
He watched her, waiting for her come back, no doubt, but she didn’t feel ready to oblige. She’d vented her rage last night. Mentally, she was exhausted.
                  “Miss Jamison,” he put down his fork, “while I realize we may have gotten off on the wrong foot, and at the risk of making it two feet, we need to talk. I must clarify the situation, and perhaps, you will understand the necessity of my rules.”
                  “All I understand is I have been plucked out of college, flown halfway across Europe, missing out on a holiday I was so looking forward to, and then you tell me I cannot keep my phone?”
                  “It’s too risky.” Bridging fingers together, he studied her, as if debating whether to elaborate. “While I understand your pique, I am afraid it is not my concern. I have a job to do, and that is to protect you at all costs. Your father is taking these threats very seriously, and after reading the files on this group, I do not blame him. These people do not joke around.”
                  “Oh piffle.” Sofie crammed more bread into an already full mouth. “They’re just a bunch of ignorant Bible thumpers.”
                  He curved his lips into an indulgent smile. “Ignorance is dangerous, Miss Jamison. These people are fanatics. They have killed before.”
                  Sofie scowled; he seemed determined to chip away at her bravado. “I thought you were supposed to reassure me.”
                  “I deal in realities. It’s the only way to do my job. I want you to be aware of the stakes, here. Your full cooperation is the key to your safety. So…” He raised his glass to his lips, gaze trained on her, expression and tone unemotional. “The rules. No phones, no Internet. Any contact with family and friends will be with my supervision. You will not leave the grounds unless I accompany you. Are we clear?”
                  Too stunned to reply, Sofie stopped chewing.
                  “Are we clear, Miss Jamison?” His eyes grew cold, while his mouth formed a resolute line.
                  “Yes.” She swallowed. “What do you want me to say? It’s not like I have a choice.”
                  “No, you do not.” The lines on his forehead smoothed out.
                  Sofie itched to reach over and empty the contents of her glass in his face.
                  “It won’t be forever, Miss Jamison.” He lowered his gaze, tone placating, as if she were five years old. “I believe the FBI and Scotland Yard are working together on this. Once they find the source of the threats against you, you will be free to return to your life.”
                  “Oh for goodness sake.” Sofie couldn’t hold back. “My name is Sofie. S. O. F. I. E. At least do me the courtesy of using my name.”
                   “I’m sorry.” Unriled by her outburst, he folded his napkin, before placing it next to his half-eaten food. “I thought you understood. We cannot be friends. Don’t try and make us so. It’s the only way this undesirable situation will work. I must remain one hundred percent emotionally detached.”
                  “Emotionally detached?” Sofie let rip with a harsh laugh. “You are severed from the neck up. I bet you can’t even spell emotion. Where did you learn people skills training? The Robot Academy?”
                  “Your opinion is of no relevance. One more thing. Last night I lost control. I apologize. It will not happen again. While you are under my care, you will not see me drink.”
                  “Hey.” She waved a hand, flustered by his act of contrition. A Benedictine monk had nothing on this guy. “Don’t sweat it. It’s not as if you were falling on the floor.”
                  “Nevertheless, it was unprofessional.”
                  “Oh.” She nodded. “I get it. You’re afraid I’ll report back to my dad.”
                  His blank stare told her what he thought of her petty response. “It was a joke.” She affected a pained eye roll. “God, life with you must be so much fun. I pity your wife. You are married, I take it.”
                  “Should I be?” His stance relaxed.
                  “Well…” She sat back, studying him with one eye closed. “I thought—”
                  “You thought you’d be clever and try to goad personal information from me. No, I am not married.”
                  “Girlfriend?” She leaned forward again, elbows on the table, chin resting in bridged fingers. She attacked him with her number one flirt smile. No harm in trying, she reasoned.
                  “No girlfriend.”
                  “Oh, I don’t believe that, Mr.… What did you say your name was?”
                  “I didn’t.” He wasn’t playing. He stood. “But if it will satisfy your ill-mannered curiosity, my name is Nicholas Lloyd. I am thirty-two and single and will probably remain so for a long time. Most important, I am very, very good at my job. That is all that need concern you. I am going for a swim, and then I will sleep for a couple of hours. I suggest you do the same.”
                  Buffeted by his admonishing tone, Sofie squirmed. Her cheeks burned. Talk about making her feel small? He’d crushed her as if she were an insignificant bug.
                  “I just woke up.” Her reply came out too sullen, but that’s how he made her feel: a sulky little girl.
                  “Suit yourself.”
                  With a disinterested raising of an eyebrow, he made for the pool area—only to turn back. “Oh, Miss Jamison, don’t try to leave. The gates are locked, and the security alarms are in full working order. If you wish to go anywhere, I will accompany you, but you do not leave the premises. There is a small cove beyond those trees.” He waved in the direction of a line of cypresses. “You may swim there. It is inaccessible by road, and the local coast guard has been ordered to keep all craft from within three kilometers of the property.”
                  “Aye aye, Captain.”  Sofie saluted. Once again, her sarcasm bounced off his back. His shoulder wasn’t cold; it was sculpted in ice.