Paranormal/Fantasy Romance Author

Author Interviews

Interview – Santa’s Helpers: Zarakion’s Tip by Ayla Ruse

Changeling Press has started their Christmas celebrations with the release of the multi-author Santa’s Helpers series and the chance for reader to get on the Naughty List to win free ebooks for a year.

Learn about the books of the Santa’s Helpers series and their authors in the Naughty List Blog Hop.

Previous Stop: Wolf Run by B.J. McCall at Ayla Ruse’s Blog

Next Stop: Mistletoe Mistakes by Jocelyn Michel at Changeling Press’ Blog with B.J. McCall hosting

Today’s post is about Ayla Ruse and her very interesting take on Christmas deliveries to Hell. Yup, you read that right. Someone in Hell made Santa’s Nice List. I’m not sure who, but I know it couldn’t have been Zarakion. *eg* So I asked Ayla.

Me:
I’m curious who in Hell would be getting presents? Or is that a secret for another time?

Ayla:
That is an excellent question, and the answer is one I’m holding close right now. I have a few ideas for future revelations regarding what kinds of things the creatures in Hell could possibly want.

Me:
You tease! Fine. I respect that. How did you come up with this plot?

Ayla:
When Changeling announced it was gathering proposals for this year’s Christmas stories, I jumped. I’d never written demons before. I think at the time there was a bit of talk about demons on the loops, so demons were at the forefront of my mind. The only problem then became, how would I incorporate a demon with Christmas in a fun and loving way? With the theme being Santa’s Helpers, a delivery service popped up next. From there, I created the scenario of a substitute receiving demon and a newbie delivery elf. They each don’t know the “rules,” so everything’s fair game for them.

Me:
This sounds like the process I used last year for my White Hot Christmas title. In other words, the Changeling Press plot bunnies at work, as usual. Will you be revisiting this world and these characters? (the answer better be yes, or else)

Ayla:
Hahaha. I’ve let the idea tumble around, and it’s come to my attention that delivery services often operate throughout the year. Nothing concrete yet, but yes, there will be something more from Taryn and Zarakion in the future. As for revisiting this world, that’s a definite yes. I’m writing a story now for the upcoming Soul Debt series with Changeling, and a portion of the tale takes place through one of the Gates of Hell.

Me:
Ohhhh. I’m going to enjoy reading that one. I will definitely keep an eye out for that. So, what do Taryn and Zarakion do in the off season… besides each other?

Ayla:
Is there anything better to do? *g* Seriously, they develop their relationship just like any other. They talk, hang out, and I’ve recently discovered that Taryn is a great cook and loves to sneak treats to Zarakion.

Me:
I love when characters reveal more about themselves to the author so she can share with the rest of the class, as it were. I look forward to seeing more of those two. They were great together. What can readers expect from you next and when?

Ayla:
I’ll have a story for the Soul Debt series out in spring of 2013. After that will be a Contemporary Menage with Total-e-Bound. My plate is lining up from there. It’s just a matter of what story screams the loudest to be written first. I will admit, with the flash fictions Changeling does every Friday, my cup of story lines runneth over.

Me:
I completely sympathize. Changeling’s Flash Fiction challenges have spawned enough plot bunnies that I’m planning for 2014 already. Great interview, Ayla, and thanks for sharing insight into the story and the below excerpt. For those who want to experience a non-traditional Christmas, HOT as… well Hell Erotic Romance, check out Zarakion’s Tip.

Zarakion’s Tip
Santa’s Helpers (multi-author series)
by Ayla Ruse

Genre: Erotic Dark Fantasy Demon Elf Christmas Romance (MF)
Publisher: Changeling Press
Out Now!
Buy Link: https://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1950

The SPDS — Santa’s Package Delivery System — is in full swing this Christmas. This special co-op of the North Pole delivers packages to the Otherworlders, including demons.

Taryn is a new delivery elf this year, and she draws the short straw — having to deliver packages to Hell.

Zarakion, a Cha’horz demon — the guardians of the dividing line between Earth and Hell — has to work the unstable drop point. He has to play at receiving; not his favorite job.

When Taryn steps through the Gate, she’s intimidated at first by the huge demon, but Zarakion gives her a delivery tip that’ll have her scrambling to return to the drop point again and again.

Read the first full chapter online:
http://www.drb1stchp.com/2012/12/zarakions-tip-by-ayla-ruse.html

Enjoy this Steamy Excerpt… Click Here to Read More >>>

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Author Interview: Skhye Moncrief

The Basics
Skhye Moncrief
Brand: Fall in love beyond this reality…
Genre(s): Paranormal (Light & Dark, Fantasy Romance)
Publisher(s): The Wild Rose Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Never give up.
  • 2. Decode the writing lingo you hear like stilted, contrived, etc.
  • 3. Never look a gift horse in the mouth. I, personally, found something of value in everyone’s criticism. You just have to look for the gems. Or I studied geology way too long!

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • It’s too expensive—RT magazine. So, I go with elbow grease on the internet—contests, excerpts, blog features, etc. Even if you’re shy, you can do this. Lurk on writer/reader loops and jump on promo opportunities.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • To be patient. LOL. I so am NOT. I do everything half-arse backward.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THEM by Uwen Akpan. The writing is amazing. And it’s an incredible glimpse into African life. Or I studied anthropology longer than I studied geology! This happens to be the first book I saw on Oprah’s Reading List and read the excerpt… I ran to the store to buy a copy!

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I love keeping my print books forever. You know. Up on my shelves where I can take them down and pet them. (Renee Note: I’m the same way.) But owning my e-reader is like being gifted an unfathomable amount of freedom to the one creature on this planet that despises change, stubborn humans. I have carpal tunnel and tinnitus in my wrists, fibromyalgia in my upper back and neck, and a 4 year old. Let’s just say one little gizmo in my purse is the only way I get to read anything anymore. I wouldn’t trade my e-Reader for anything. So, I’m reading all sorts of shorts I couldn’t read before e-Reader… Anyone listening, think William Wallace being disemboweled screaming “FREEDOM!” That was me fighting the change from paper to pixels. But then life was so pleasant thereafter.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Bet you won’t guess these: MM Kaye’s THE FAR PAVILLIONS, Jennifer Roberson’s LADY OF THE GLEN, and James Axler’s DEATHLANDS. I know. A series is more than one. But I only read the first half dozen in the series and said the “f” word so much that I had to walk away from his books. 🙁 It just kept popping out like I was possessed. Isn’t it amazing how something so simple can become ingrained in one’s subconscious so easily?

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • Laugh. I can’t think of a thing. I ran like heck the opposite direction from the literature table during registration in college. In grad school, I still lurked elsewhere. I finally took to lit classes for research… My Druids and Time Guardians time travel. I thought since the Druids are renowned as bards/orators, I’d best get my facts straight. Anyway, world-building gives me a high. I get to use both my specialties, geology and bioarchaeology, when writing. (Renee Note: I LOVE world-building. It’s so fun to question why our society does things a certain way in order to create why a fictional society would do it different.)

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I try to walk away like Stephen King advises. But I usually switch to synopsis mode and analyze the story’s plot. (Renee Note: Gotta write that synopsis while it’s still fresh… and then I walk away.)

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I curse at the computer. Honestly, I’ve studied human nature too long to blame my insufficient preparation (pantsing a tale) on things I’ve created and can modify to my liking. I enjoy being in control of my own little world where I can punish and reward characters. And I’ve never had a muse. I probably should have one after writing a romance for the Greek muse of writing, ANCIENT MUSINGS. LOL. But writing is all about control. And when I hit a point where I haven’t thought beyond where the madness dumps me, I just climb onto the elliptical. All that pumping blood and oxygen during a 50-minute session usually produces the next phase of a story. So, no discussions with characters or muse here…

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

My most recent release is a Time Guardian anthology, SACRILEGIOUS SEDUCTIONS, available only in print. It contains both the novel FORBIDDEN ETERNITY & the novella THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON

Moon magic is so strong that sometimes the forbidden proves the only cure. Into a Native-American shape-shifting shaman? Cochise just might prove your cup of good medicine. If you’re more into were-wolf assassins, you won’t want to miss THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON. Two soul mates are about to crash and burn in medieval northern England because one must die so the other can live…

ISBN: 1601546351

Blurb:
FORBIDDEN ETERNITY
: A woman Cochise despises is his only hope for a future. He must swallow his pride and protect Druidess Mairi from a man blackmailing her into breaking time-travel Code by kidnapping her sister. But Cochise’s presence tempts Mairi into risking her sister’s life by falling in love. A fairy hairball and a pack of Hell Hounds force the duo to hide on an astral plane where there is no resolution beyond facing their FORBIDDEN ETERNITY.

THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON: Druid Elspeth is a were-assassin sent to medieval Cumberland to kill a renegade time guardian. She never expected to find him her soul mate. All she knows is she must stop Aidan Gordon from changing history. The sexy powerful knight proves too tempting to refuse. If his noble actions convince her he was wrongly accused, she will be forced to haunt the frenzied wood under THE SPELL OF THE KILLING MOON.

Review:The Spell of the Killing Moon offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect… Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages… a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller. 5 books” ~Snapdragon, LASR, voted LASR Best Book of the Week

~ Coming Soon ~

My next release is my most traditional romance of the Time-Guardian lot. Yes, I am guilty of straying outside the box. I hear that leaves the reader with a completely unpredictable adventure to experience. As for SWORDSONG, it’s most reminiscent of Karen Moning’s earlier series. I used to joke that my stories were Beauty & the Beast meets The Spiderwick Chronicles. SWORDSONG is neither of those… He’s arrived to help her create the perfect bride.

Blurb:
The most valiant Time Guardian is stuck in present-day Scotland with a bent time-travel key only she can repair. Duty requires he return to his time. His ticket home relies on a lonely woman haunted by more than apparitions. Her track record with men keeps her at a distance. And ghostly events keep pushing them closer together. Earning her trust will require the kind of patience only a valiant time guardian learns during his twenty years of apprenticeship. If time-travel duty, romance, and a bit of magic don’t help them realize their destiny resonates in mysterious fairy SWORDSONG, all known history could change.

SWORDSONG will be available July 6, 2010.

Learn More
– Website http://skhyemoncrief.com or http://timeguardians.com
– Blog/Newsletter http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com
– Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skhyemoncrief

Thanks, Skhye!!!

Author Interview: Samantha Sommersby

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, ALL!!

Here’s this week’s interview:

The Basics
SAMANTHA SOMMERSBY
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing, Ltd., Phaze Books, Red Rose Publishing

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Writing can be very isolating. Network with other authors. They can be of great support.
  • 2. The World Wide Web is not a private place. How you present to the public can leave a lasting impression. Strive to be gracious and professional at all times.
  • 3. Write because you have to, because you love it, but never forget this is a business.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I have the most fun doing interviews and putting my newsletter together every month. I spend the vast majority of my advertising budget on Internet-based advertising. I do advertise in print and invest in paper materials like bookmarks, postcards, bookplates, etc. But I also invest in on-line banner ads, video trailers, and social networking.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Like many authors, I was surprised to find out how hard authors have to work to promote themselves and their books. In addition to maintaining a website and newsletter, I have a presence on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger. It can be a challenge to maintain. You have to stay really organized and make sure that you’re dedicating time to answer emails and promote releases.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Kiss Me Deadly, a Silhouette Nocturne by Michele Hauf
  • It’s a free 60th Anniversary Read released by Harlequin that I downloaded from the All Romance website prior to hopping on the plane to attend Authors After Dark last week.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I prefer reading eBooks. I read on my iPhone, which I carry with me all the time. When I fly I normally have an “emergency” print book cover that time period during which you have to turn off the electrical devices.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Tough question, there aren’t many books that I re-read over and over. I have a stack of Buffy Comics by my bed that I dip back into before bedtime when I’m between books (I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan). I have a copy of Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning that I’ve read countless times. I bought it for myself back in high school—a long time ago. I have a beautiful copy of Twas the Night Before Christmas that I bought the year my son was born. We read it together every Christmas eve before heading off to bed.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I’ve always loved reading and writing, but for a long time they were put aside in favor of academic and professional pursuits. At forty I found I was living and breathing work. And, although my work was rewarding, it was also very stressful. It was then that I rediscovered my love of writing. I began working on a fictional story purely for my own pleasure. Once I had about ten chapters written I managed to gather up enough courage to post them on the Internet for critique. The feedback was fast and favorable. I was hooked. I quickly fell into a routine of writing every day. For three years I’d go to bed every night around 9:30 pm, then get up at 2:30 am so that I could write for four hours before going to work my “real life” job. After two years of that grueling routine I got my first publishing contract. Two years after that, in 2007, I left that “real life” job to pursue writing full time.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I revise along the way, so by the time I write “the end” the book has already been through a number of rewrites. At that point I like to put the manuscript aside and give myself a break for a couple days. I’ll schedule a massage and binge on bubble baths, other books, and movies. I try to rejuvenate myself so that I can come back to the work with a fresh perspective. Then I spend a few days reading the manuscript over one last time from start to finish before turning it in to my editor.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I would say that my characters speak to me. I primarily write in the first person point of view. It’s a very intense and intimate experience. That character voice is in my head all of the time.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Forbidden: The Revolution
Forbidden, Book 3

Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1-60504-808-6

Experience the magic…

Twenty-five years ago Dell Renfield’s father started a revolution, and Dell plans to finish it. Sorcerer, vampire, secret weapon, he’s spent a lifetime training for his fate. The one distraction he isn’t equipped for? Special Agent Alexandria Sanchez. A woman he desires above all others—and a woman he dare not get close to.

Alex’s love life is already cursed. She doesn’t need the added complication of a sexy new partner. Especially one who’s touch is literally magic. Posing as his lover for the sake of their investigation is pure hell—and pure heaven. Now if she can just get him to quit casting spells long enough to prove she’s capable. And keep her hands to herself in the process.

As they infiltrate a dangerous culture, temptation becomes too much to resist. And their torrid affair triggers an epic battle for power that could forever alter the future for them…and their kind.

Warning: This book contains spectacular magical ass-kickings, copious amounts of blistering sex, one super-sexy, gun-toting heroine, and a very delicious, very powerful sorcerer…who sometimes sports fangs.


~ NEW RELEASE ~

Under Fire
Red Rose Publishing

Release: November 26, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60435-466-9

It’s 1917 and Lieutenant Jackson Crawford is in Arabia on an important mission. A seasoned soldier sent to ensure a victory that will secure British interests in the Suez Canal, Crawford was prepared for resistance from the prince; he was prepared for the crude weapons, the hellish sun, and the never-ending sand. What he wasn’t prepared for was Harvard bred archeologist turned spy Lillian Barton Drake.

Weeks after Lilly’s arrival in the desert she found herself in the center of a bloody massacre. Rescued by the prince she travels as part of his entourage, doing her utmost to gain his trust while avoiding becoming a part of his harem. Then into the camp rides an exhausted Jackson.

In a twist of fate Jack fights for Lilly’s honor risking life and limb to claim her as his own. Casting aside common sense the couple begin a passionate affair that sets the desert on fire and is guaranteed to melt your heart. Will their love be strong enough to survive the ravages of war, the duty they’ve sworn to their country, and the secrets of Jackson’s past?

Learn More
– Website: http://samanthasommersby.com/
– MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/samanthasommersby
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/samanthasommersby
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/samsommersby
– Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/immortalitybites/
– Blogspot: http://immortalitybites.blogspot.com/
– Newsletter Sign-up: https://app.e2ma.net/app/view:Join/signupId:56104

Thanks, Samantha!!!

Author Interview: Sapphire Phelan

The Basics
Sapphire Phelan
Genre(s): erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy and scifi romance, urban fantasy, erotic horror. Even did a sweet historical romance short story once.
Publisher(s): Phaze Books, Under the Moon and LoveYouDivine

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Write, write and write-then submit, also join a writer’s group, and get a website, even before you are published!

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Twitter and Goodreads.com. My blog, too.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • That you must have a tough skin as you will get rejections.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters—for review for a zine.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I enjoy both.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Something Wicked This way Comes by Ray Bradbury, and Wuthering Heights.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I always wanted to be since I was eight-years-old. Guess I read books and wanted to make stories like those.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Completely-after editing too? Kick back and relax. Then go on to next writing project.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • More like, they talk to me. Demand their stories be told

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Being Familiar With a Witch
Phaze Books
ISBN: 978-1-60659-118-5

BLURB:
Warning: This title contains hot, graphic demonic sex that goes beyond magic.

Tina doesn’t know she’s a witch. It will take Charun, her demon Familiar, to convince her to make love with him and let loose her witch powers.

For if she doesn’t, then with the demon army about to bring Armageddon to the Mortal Realm on Halloween, she won’t stand a chance in Hell.

~ Coming Soon ~

Next release will be an erotic paranormal short, Ain’t Nothin’ Like Succubus Lovin’ coming sometime in 2010 from Phaze Books.
No cover yet.

BLURB:
Finding a date was never more hellish. When Jordan Hudson borrowed his friend’s A Dummy’s Guide to Demon Summoning and called up a succubus, he found that dating and making love to a minion of Hell proves to be more than a one night stand.

Learn More
– Website: http://FantasticDreams.50megs.com
– MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/SapphirePhelan
– Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/sapphirephelan
– Blog: http://SapphirePhelansPassionCorner.blogspot.com
– Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SapphirePhelansParanormalNewsletter

Thanks, Sapphire!!

Author Interview: Pamela K. Kinney

The Basics
Pamela K. Kinney
Genre(s): horror, scifi, poetry, nonfiction and fantasy
Publisher(s): Schiffer Publishing, Under the Moon, Shroud Publishing (I also published short stories and poems in other anthologies and magazine, online and print.)

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Write, write and write-then submit, also join a writer’s group, and get a website, even before you are published!

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Twitter and Goodreads.com. My blog, too.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • That you must have a tough skin as you will get rejections.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters—for review for a zine.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I enjoy both.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Something Wicked This way Comes by Ray Bradbury, and Wuthering Heights.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I always wanted to be since I was eight-years-old. Guess I read books and wanted to make stories like those.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Completely-after editing too? Kick back and relax. Then go on to next writing project.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • More like, they talk to me. Demand their stories be told

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~
Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales
Schiffer Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-7643-3281-4

Virginia is unique with haunting myths, legends, and yes, even true stories that may sound like legends.

Take a ghostly tour of this historic state to learn about the Bunnyman urban legend and what happens to mortals at his Bunnyman Bridge in Clifton at midnight on Halloween. Discover the myths that surround Edgar Allan Poe and other famous Virginians.

See why Natural Bridge is actually a haunted tourist attraction; and what makes the Great Dismal Swamp so creepy: Is it the ghosts or Bigfoot? Meet the Witch of Pungo in Virginia Beach.

Find out that Mothman and the Jersey Devil weren’t just seen in their own states, but actually visited Virginia at one time.

Read about witches, demons, monsters, ghosts, pirates, strange animals, and Civil War legends. Visit an amazing, frightening, and even intriguing Virginia that you never knew existed.

~ Coming Soon ~

I have a collection of fictional short stories and one poem, Spectre Nightmares and Visitations accepted by Under the Moon—no date when published, etc.. Working on next ghost book set in Williamsburg, Charles City, Yorktown and James City County, Virginia at the moment, too.

Learn More
– Website: http://fantasticdreams.50megs.com/
– MySpace: www.myspace.com/PamelaKKinney
– Twitter: http://twitter.com/PamelaKKinney
– Blog/Newsletter: http://pamelakkinney.blogspot.com/

Thanks Pamela!!

Join me next week for her alter ego, Sapphire Phelan.

Author Interview: Kissa Starling

The Basics
Kissa Starling / K. Starling
Genre(s): Romance — BDSM, GLBT (Lesbian), Paranormal, Sweet
Publisher(s): Alyson Books, Rene Books, Red Rose Publishing, Freya’s Bower, Cleis Press, Whiskey Creek Press, Lyrical Press, Inc., Love You Divine Publishing, Atria Books

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Never give up, write every day and live life- it gives you something to write about!

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Word of mouth

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Don’t keep all of those eggs in one basket. Publishers close every day. It’s always good to spread your work around.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris. I love the True Blood shows on HBO so much I decided to read the series and I’m on the second one. Readers can always find out what I’m reading at GoodReads.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • It depends on my mood. I love the convenience of ebooks but there’s nothing like laying by the pool with a paperbook either.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Gone With the Wind, The Pinballs and Bread and Jam for Francis. I have a huge collection of children’s books and still have all of my books from when I was young.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I’ve always loved writing but the moment I decided to try writing for publication was a few years ago when I saw an ad for a Christmas contest.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Begin writing another one.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • My characters sometimes talk to me but only if they want something changed. My muse stays silently in the background but I always know when she’s there and when she’s ready to work!

Promo Section

~ Most Recent Release ~


My most recent published story was Kismet written under the K. Starling name. Kismet is a sweet novella about Bea and Harold. Two elderly people who met and fell in love in high school. Life and miscommunications got in the way and they drifted apart during WWII. Fortunately for them a high school reunion brings them back together and back to one another. This story was published in September by Red Rose Publishing.

~ Coming Soon ~

I have a short story being released by Cleis Press on November 1st. The title is Busted and it is part of the Peep Show print anthology all about voyeurs. I haven’t gotten my copies yet but I can’t wait to read all of the stories. So many people are interested in watching others. I people watch every day. Most of these stories take it a step further and involve people watching other’s most intimate moments. It will be available in all major online bookstores.

Learn More
– Website: www.kissastarling.com
– MySpace: www.myspace.com/kissastarling
– Blog: www.kissastarling.com/blog
– Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kissaskarmakorner/join

Thanks, Kissa!!

Author Interview: Yvonne Eve Walus

The Basics
Yvonne Eve Walus
Brand: Plum With Brains
Genre(s): Murder Mystery
Publisher(s): Echelon Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Write
  • 2. Listen to constructive feedback
  • 3. Submit

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Online: blogs, chats, Facebook
  • Offline: fridge magnets, postcards

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Your first novel will probably be rubbish. It’s still important to write it, because your second novel will be better, and your third one has a good chance of being published.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Harlan Coben
  • Jeffrey Deaver
  • Joshilyn Jackson

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?
Definitely print. After a whole day at the computer, I like to rest my eyes.
Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • 1. “Good Omens” (Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman)
  • 2. “ods in Alabama” (Joshilyn Jackson)
  • 3. “Sleeping Arrangements” (Madeleine Wickham)

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • The flexible hours, lol? Seriously, there were many catalysts, but writing is not something that I actually planned to do with my life – it just happened. I believe I wanted to be a hairdresser at 4, a teacher at 8, a scientist at 12, a computer programmer at 18….
  • But now I want to be a best-selling writer. With all my heart!

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • After a short period of feeling lost without the manuscript that formed such a large part of my life for the last number of months, I submit it and get on with a new project.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I try not to. Talking stands in the way of writing. I see it as just another excuse not to sit down and get on with the story. (It is FUN though, isn’t it?) 🙂

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Murder @ Play
Echelon Press
ISBN: 978-1-59080-637-1

Blurb:

EVERY MARRIAGE NEEDS A TOUCH OF MYSTERY. OR DOES IT?

In the new free South Africa of 1994, men are still boss, women carry handguns for self-protection, and some mistakes can change your life forever.

When a body is found during their weekend away with friends, Christine Chamberlain must use her brilliant mathematical mind to prove her husband’s innocence…
… whether he’s innocent or not.

When it comes to your loved ones, is it possible to know too much?

Learn More
– Website: http://yewalus.kiwiwebhost.net.nz/

– MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/yvonnewalus

– Blog: http://yewalus.blogspot.com/

– Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/yewalus/

Thanks, Yvonne!

Join me next week for Eilis Flynn.

Author Interview: Cheryel Hutton

The Basics
Cheryel Hutton
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Publisher(s): Samhain Publishing, The Wild Rose Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed, enjoy the ride. 2. Never stop learning your craft. 3. Keep writing the next book. Always

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Going to events where I can meet and talk to readers.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Don’t let the crazy business of publishing suck out the joy of writing!

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I’m reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (I’m at #11). I had heard over and over that the books were awesome, and they really are. I can’t put the dang things down.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I prefer print. I love the feel and texture of paper. On the other hand, the new e-readers are wonderful. They’re light, pretty, and much easier to carry than print books (and I take books where ever I go). In my opinion, books are magical things, no matter what form they take.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov, Dance Upon The Air by Nora Roberts, and Waiting for the Wolf Moon by Evelyn Vaughn.

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • A lot of things. The two biggest reasons are probably that my grandmother used to tell me stories about a family of bunnies. I enjoyed them so much I made up my own, very different, stories. And books. I really, really, really love books, and writing them just seemed a natural extension of that.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Celebrate, then collapse on the couch, try to relax and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment, go into a funk, and not feel happy until I’m knee deep in another manuscript. I know, I need a 12 step program.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • Actually, it’s more like my characters talk to me. For instance, Kia, the heroine of Shadows of Evil, was supposed to drive a Kia car. No, she said, her name was Kia. I argued. I tried very hard to convince her, but she is a very stubborn character (I guess you’d have to be to move into a haunted house alone (except for your dog)). Eventually I gave up and let her have her way.

Promo Section

~ Most Recent Release ~

Shadows of Evil by Cheryel Hutton

Electronic ISBN: 1-59998-949-2
Print ISBN: 978-1605041537
Length: Novel
Price: $5.50
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Kia must learn to trust—before the evil in her house destroys them all.

For Kia Wolfe, moving to an isolated mountaintop is an act of independence from her demanding family and ex-fiancé. She’s literally dreamed about the regal old house for years, and for the first time in her life she feels at home. She’s here to stay, even though the house’s history of violent deaths is enough to scare off most people.

Garrett McKnight, owner of the contracting firm Kia has hired to renovate her house, is wary of the new resident. Emotionally bruised and battered by a self-centered ex-wife, he can’t get around the fact that there’s something about Kia that both attracts him and sets him on edge. And when Kia dabbles in a bit of Wicca, accidentally unleashing a hidden evil, it’s tempting to walk away and leave her to her to her fate.

But he can’t. Not when four people have died in that house.

Warning, this title contains the following: a bit of explicit sex, a touch of graphic language, some graphic violence, and a scare or two.

I also have a dragon novella out in ebook format from www.thewildrosepress.com


~ Coming Soon ~

I don’t have a release upcoming at the moment. I took some time off to take care of some family and personal stuff—and to polish my craft. I’m back to writing and should have something on the way very soon 🙂

Learn More
Website: www.cheryelhutton.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/cheryelhutton
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cheryelhutton
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cheryelhutton

Thanks, Cheryel!

Join me next week for Yvonne Eve Walus.

Author Interview: Toni V. Sweeney

The Basics
Toni V. Sweeney (awa Icy Snow Blackstone)
Genre(s): horror, sci-fi adventure (Toni); contemporary, paranormal, futuristic romance (Icy Snow)
Publisher(s): Leucrota Press, Double Dragon Publishing, Lyrical Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Develop a thick skin. There are many editors/publishers out there who like to dole out the insults just because they can—and they will. Let it roll off. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and send that manuscript somewhere else. (Later, when you’re a famous writer, you can thumb your nose at them!)
  • 2. Nothing comes without hard work. Think of how long it took George Herbert to get Dune published, or Barbara Taylor Bradford.

  • 3. To thine own self be true; thou cannot then be false to any publisher. It doesn’t hurt to accept suggestions and edits, if they help the story, but one does have to maintain one’s own integrity and know when “to fold and when to hold ’em.”

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • I do a lot of blogging and interviews. I have my own website, my space, facebook accounts, and my pseudonyms will soon, also, so the latest novels, trailers, etc., go on there. I also have a newsletter. Whenever I go to conventions, I print up post-size cards with book cover, brief blurb, and review excerpts, to put on the “free” table, as well as my business cards, and these I hand out everywhere. There’s a comic store in Tustin, California, which puts a flyer about my novels in the sack with each purchase, and I’m looking for one here in Lincoln to do the same. I post trailers on YouTube. I tell as many people as possible. It’s surprising how I manage to introduce, “Oh by the way, I have a new book coming out,” into a conversation! (How many times have I used the word “I” in this paragraph?)

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • One of the very first manuscripts I sent out was rejected by a well-known, New York publishing house, which was also just starting out at the time. The manuscript was sent back with a personal letter listing its faults and what to do about it. I, in my infinite ignorance, “filed” the letter, and set that manuscript aside. Had I But Known…! Later, I learned that editors don’t send back personal letters unless they’re interested! So, when Leucrota Press editor Danielle Kaheaku called me to explain why she was rejecting Blood Sin, I asked her to speak slowly because I was taking notes. I went to work as soon as the call was finished, resubmitted the story, and she accepted it.


For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I just finished Night of Demons by Tony Richards. I had previous read his horror novel, Dark Rain, and wrote a review of it which was posted on amazon.com. Tony e-mailed me and asked me to do a pre-review of its sequel which I was delighted to do. It’s a great story. In my review, I liken it to Law and Order meets the X-Files. I enjoyed the first book immensely and the second one is just as well-written.
  • Next, I’m starting on The Unscratchables. It’s a hard-boiled, crime story but all the characters are cats and dogs! So far, it’s hilarious and very entertaining. The author is very adept at transposing human attitudes onto animals and there are so many plays on words that I can’t keep track of all of them.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Personally, I like print books. I like to be able to look back at the cover while I read or flip through pages. I find it difficult to see the covers on a “reader” or to scroll backward and forward. That’s just my own idiosyncrasy, however. Conversely, I take my Palm OS with me whenever I go anywhere I’m going to have to sit and wait a while—doctor’s offices, etc. It’s much easier to slip that into my purse than hanging onto a big, bulky book. I’ve heard that some schools are going toward e-books as their textbooks and I can see than would be cheaper and take up less room, and I admit that I can see how this would be convenient space-wise and financially. In a couple of my futuristic stories, the characters mention that a person owns “real” paper books, so I expect some day it may come to that—actual books becoming rare–but in the meantime, I’ll continue to lean toward preferring the tangible item.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Wow, that’s a difficult one. I’ve read so many books, some of them several times. I suppose I’d have to say Bram Stoker’s Dracula, for starters. I have about five editions of that. I just ordered the sequel written by the author’s grandnephew, also. Only three, huh? Hmm. Let’s see. Vice Avenged, by Lolah Burford. This is a book I’ve had for probably thirty years. The original thing that drew me to it was that it was issued with two covers and I bought both because I couldn’t decide which I liked best. It’s a Regency romance about a young wastrel who dishonors a young woman on a bet, and the ramifications of that act on himself, her, his friends, and their families. It’s an entertaining story where there are no real villains or heroes but everyone is a pleasant mixture of both. And the third book? It’s a toss-up there. I’d have to say either one of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series about Chicago’s only practicing wizard, or Charlaine Harris’ tales of Sookie Stackhouse and the vampires of Bon Temps, Louisiana. I’m a faithful follower of True Blood, although I was tremendously disappointed by the way the Dresden series was handled on the Sci-fi Channel.


Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • That’s a difficult question. As long as I can remember, I’ve been writing. I have a memory of being around five-year-old and writing the two words “cat” and “rat” on a piece of paper and showing it to my parents and feeling proud. I also remember wanting to write more words and feeling frustrated because I didn’t know how. My mother loved the movies and we went to the theater several times a week. My father was a comic book fan and he used to buy me DC comics filled with the adventures of Superman, Batman, etc., so he aided and abetted my imagination. My parents had a friend who was an x-ray tech and she would give me the 18″ x 2′ sheets of paper which were placed between the films. I would draw my own comics on them. When I was seven, I received a toy typewriter, and later a small portable and I started writing in earnest. So—out of this long and rambling explanation—the answer is that my family and my own imagination were my inspiration.
  • Jumping forward several decades, I owe my being published to a fellow co-worker. Pam Woods. Everyone at the clinic where I worked was a reader. They always had a paperback handy during breaks. I would bring my manuscripts and they would pass them around. Once day, Pam asked me if I had ever submitted one anywhere. (She knew I hadn’t.) She dared me to send one out, actually said, “I know you won’t do it.” How could I ignore such a dare? I did. It was rejected but the publisher was interested in another story (anyone who knows me knows this tale). I told them I had just what they were asking for. They requested it. I wrote it, sent it in, and it was accepted. A little belatedly—thank you, Pam!

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Lean back, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, “Okay. Finished. Now, what story do I do next?” (Renee note: sounds like me.)

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • If I ever start talking to either one, the boys in the white coats will probably be lurking outside the door! No, I don’t talk to my characters, but I do sound out the advice of others about what I’m planning to have them say or do to get their reaction to whether it’s feasible or realistic or not. Sometimes I even listen to their advice!


Promo Section

~ Most Recent Release ~

While my alter egos have been very busy recently, I’ve only had one novel released under my own name this year, although I do have the third book in the Adventures of Sinbad series –Sinbad’s Pride—coming from Double Dragon Press in early 2010. I suppose I should let the pseudonyms take a vacation and do some work for myself for a change.

My most recent book is Blood Sin, which is the first in the series The kan Ingan Archives. I created my own galaxy for this set, so whatever happens there doesn’t have to adhere to any of our rules. The kan Ingans are the ruling family of the Emeraunt Galaxy and have done so for nearly three millennia. Everything that happens to them is recorded in the Royal Archives, and supposedly, this series can be found there, if one cares to delve far enough.

In the distant past, the kan Ingans sent an exploration team to a newly-discovered planet in another galaxy. Most of the team was slaughtered by the inhabitants and the ruler of Arcanis—the Margrave—decreed that the planet would be under quarantine from then on. The name of that planet? Need you ask? Terra (or Earth, as we know it.) Two thousand years later, another margrave decides to try again. This time, they are greeted with peace, the margrave himself travels to Earth, and falls in love with a young woman he meets, Elizabeth Sheffield. He marries her, makes her his margravine, and the trouble starts. The Margrave already has an heir, his twenty-year-old nephew Aric, who was taken from his mother when he was twelve and raised to be the next ruler. Now, Aric has lost his place as Crown Prince and he isn’t happy about that. Others in the kingdom are also displeased that an alien now shares the throne with their leader. They question the Terrans’ odd customs and their warlike characteristics. They worry that the child Elizabeth gives birth to is part-alien, its loyalty to Arcanis questionable. (That’s a theme I carry over into a good many of my books: the outsider, the “different” one because of age, sex, race, or species, who has to fight to be accepted.) Elizabeth and Aric hate each other and make no pretense of trying to keep it hidden, and then, the unexpected happens…through a set of circumstances they themselves don’t understand, Aric and Elizabeth fall in love, and in doing so, they seal the fate of both the Empire and the kan Ingans who rule it.

Blood Sin was released as an e-book and in print by Leucrota Press in August, 2009. Another series, the Chronicles of Riven the Heretic, details the early years of the kan Ingans, though one doesn’t necessarily have to read that series in order to enjoy the other one. The Chronicles is published by Double Dragon Press. Mention is also made of the kan Ingans in the Adventures of Sinbad, as well as Three Moon Station, tying all these novels together in the same universe and time frame.

~ Coming Soon ~

My next book is a departure from my other novels. It’s called Serpent’s Tooth, and is a contemporary horror story about “sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll…and demon worship.” Part of it is set in Hollywood and part in the sandhills of western Nebraska. The first part is Faust-like in its story of an ambitious Midwestern college student who goes to California, is “discovered,” makes it big as a heavy metal rock star, and gets involved with a devil cult. When he wants out, he has to disappear, leaving his career and life in the spotlight behind. So, he goes back to his roots in Nebraska, hiding out in the Sand Hills. Twenty-five years later, he meets a former fan and marries her…and the horror he thought he had eluded begins again.

I think the story has an interesting format because part of it is told in flashback—juxtaposing what is happening to the hero in the current world with some corresponding event that happened in his former life until both come together in the second half of the book. This novel also has a link to one of my other novels, by the way. The hero, Travis Brandt, is the great-grandson of Will Brandt, the protagonist of one of my Westerns, Walk the Shadow Trail. This fact is mentioned in the novel, when Travis tells his new wife that he’s part Pawnee.

Learn More
– Website: www.tonivsweeney.com
– MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tvsweeney
– Facebook: www.facebook.com/tvsweeney
– You Tube: www.youtube.com/tvsweeney
– Blog/Newsletter: Mailed out monthly; anyone wanting to be on the mailing list should write to me through “Contact Me” on my website.
– Yahoo Group: http://pinkfuzzyslipperwriters.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Toni!!

Join me next week for Cheryel Hutton.

Author Interview: Samantha Gail

The Basics
Samantha Gail
Genre(s): Contemporary, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Paranormal and Time travel romantic fiction
Publisher(s): eXtasy Books

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1) Besides, never giving on the prospect of being published someday? I would say it is extremely important to learn the marketing industry. Take the time to research. Learn how to promote yourself and be realistic. It’s a fact that very few writers are able to support themselves with their writing alone.
  • 2) Continued growth – Take writing classes, join critique groups, read and expand your abilities. My writing today is very different than it was even a couple of years ago. I am constantly evolving, incorporating new ideas and techniques into my writing.
  • 3) A great editor can be your best asset…a divine gift. Find one, hire one, befriend one. They can help your creation become the masterpiece you envision. I know a few freelance editors. If you need a name, let me know.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Internet marketing on a wide variety of romance sites, author groups and search engines! I live on an island in rural Alaska and the internet has really been my lifeline. Conventions are informative and can be great fun. They help get your name out in the public eye. Just don’t expect an immediate return in sales. Everything takes time. I have a friend who took five years out of her writing career to do nothing but marketing – book signings, conventions and assorted guest appearances. That’s much more of a commitment than I’m willing to make, but she now has the fan following to support herself and is back to her first love of writing stories!

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • The publishing world is myopic. A manuscript is judged by the internal standards of the individual reading it, so…DON’T GIVE UP! Write your story the way you want then revise it until you’re satisfied. My personal opinion is that the reading public is smarter than they are given credit for by the big NY publishing houses. Those same publishers have been hit hard in the pocketbook by escalating electronic book sales.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • I met Meg Gardiner at the 2009 RT Convention in Orlando. We sat next to each other at the book fair. She’s from Sacramento but lives in London with her husband and writes the most edge-of-your-seat suspenseful mysteries I’ve read in decades. The Dirty Secrets Club kept me up all night. The Memory Collector was equally fabulous. I’m making my way through her Evan Delaney series now.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • E-books. The ability to hold an entire library of books in my hand is simply exhilarating. I’m dedicated to my Kindle and don’t go anywhere without it. My only regret is that grandpa isn’t alive to see it!

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • WOW! Tough question 🙂

Okay, here goes:
1) The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
2) The Lover by Robin Schone
3) Odd Thomas (series) by Dean Koontz

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I got the “writing bug” during an English class in college. I had so much fun doing my homework assignments that I couldn’t stop once the class was finished. My little short stories eventually grew into full-blown novels and novellas.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • Take a deep breath, stretch my arms, call my husband, and tell him it’s time to pop the champagne cork.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • My characters, mostly. I play their conversations over and over in my head. What would they do? Say? How would these characters respond to the myriad ways I can torture them by seriously “stuffing up” their lives? Tension powers a story. If it’s not there, the reader loses interest.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

She Who Dares, Wins was released by eXtasy Books in June. It’s a spy thriller, action/adventure romance and the prequel to Guarding the Coast.

ISBN#978-1-55487-ARC
Buy link – www.tinyurl.com/mnsm4h

She Who Dares, Wins

When the NSA picks up intelligence that the world’s premiere genetic researchers have been flocking to a small island in southeast Asia, they send their most productive field agent undercover to find answers.

It doesn’t take Isabelle Archer long to sniff out trouble.

The Sultan of the small, oil-rich country of Muldahar has been squandering his billions for decades. But oil reserves are dwindling and the desperate Sultan has a new plan to keep his coffers filled. For Isabelle, getting evidence of this experimental project gone horribly wrong will take a miracle – specifically, a miracle in the form of a burly blonde with the low, rumbling voice of purest sin.

A sexy bodyguard on temporary VIP protection detail with Australia’s Special Air Service, has been assigned to protect the Sultan’s ten-year-old nephew. Despite her better judgment, Isabelle’s attraction to Captain Quinton Herriman is irresistible. She can’t keep her hands off him. But to get his help when her mission turns deadly? She’ll have to trust more than just her body to his safekeeping.


~ Coming Soon ~

Amanda’s Glory is the last story in my erotic sci-fi FORESTAL series. I’m putting the final touches on it in time to be released this fall through eXtasy Books.

Learn More
– Website – www.samanthagail.com
– Facebook – www.tinyurl.com/nh89tc
– Blog – www.tinyurl.com/lt9u9w

Join me next week for Toni V. Sweeney’s interview!

Author Interview: ND Hansen-Hill

The Basics
N.D. Hansen-Hill (awa Melody Knight)
Genre(s): SciFi, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, plus Romances in every sub-genre
Publisher(s): Red Rose Publishing, Carnal Passions, Five Star, Cerridwen Press, Linden Bay Romance, Double Dragon eBooks, Books In Motion, The Wild Rose Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Persevere
  • Do your research
  • Believe in yourself

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Ads, though I also like to post excerpts

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • If you cannot “see” your scenes on your inner viewing screen—if they’re not “real” to you—it means you don’t believe what you’re writing. Convince yourself, then you can convince your reader.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Archaeology research papers

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I prefer print, but tend to read more ebooks for convenience.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • The Sea Hunters by Clive Cussler
  • Masters of Deception by Al Seckel
  • Readers Digest Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I checked 11 books out of the library and couldn’t “get into” any of them, so I decided to write what I wanted to read.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I’m usually working on up to 5 at a time, so I put that one aside for a month and work on several others.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • My characters do the talking, but I tend to be right there in the action with them! Many times, I’ll end up laughing or tense from encountering a ghost, climbing a cliff, etc. There are moments in my horror writing when I even scare myself!

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

Relic

978-1-55404-694-2

Zack Logan’s origins are far from “local”. His family ties extend back five thousand years, to a time when Egyptians revered their Pharaohs as gods.

And his ties to god-status are much closer than anyone would suspect.

His life is disrupted by a few hours of unconstrained freedom, which unleash a craving for action he never anticipated. However much he may want to act on this inspiration, he is not a free agent. Whether he likes it or not, his destiny, and his life, are subject to scrutiny. There are designs upon his existence, which are about to come into conflict with Zack’s ideas…

…because he has a few designs of his own.

~ Coming Soon ~

Art & Soul

Red Rose Publishing

When Penelope Mallory murders Rollyn Rys’ painting, he has no choice but to track her down. After all, Rollie is a spy, frequently out of town while saving the world. He can’t have people like Pen running around, devaluing art, particularly when his family maintains several of the most prestigious galleries in town. Things go terribly wrong, and instead of warning her away, Rollie somehow ends up instilling her in the Rys Gallery, where she can be nothing but trouble. He vanishes to parts unknown after giving her the best job of her life, but without arranging for her paycheck. Pen is near destitute when she decides she must take steps.

Challenges arise when one of the Gallery’s newest acquisitions takes on an evil cast, and Pen realizes it needs only her touch to set it loose to wreak havoc. Demon or not, havoc abounds as Rollie determines that whatever Pen’s effect on pieces of art, her touch is something he can’t live without.

Learn More
– Website www.NDHansen-Hill.com | www.MelodyKnight.com
– MySpace/Bebo/Facebook/Grouply/Shelfari et al www.MySpace.com/ndmanuscripts | www.Facebook.com/nd.hansen.hill

Thanks, N.D. !!

Join me next week for Samantha Gail!

Author Interview: Leanna Renee Hieber

The Basics
Leanna Renee Hieber
Genre(s): Historical Fantasy / Paranormal / Fantasy
Publisher(s): Leisure Books / Dorchester, Crescent Moon Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Persist in submitting your work, be willing to work respectfully and graciously with your editor and keep writing no matter what.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Talking to people in person

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • After about a 9 year journey to get the ‘book of my heart’ to publication, I learned that you just have to keep believing in your work as the rejection pile starts growing and you think you’re out of options. Especially for me, with a cross-genre book that is, in truth, a Historical-Fantasy-Paranormal-Romance with YA and Horror elements. I knew the story I had written, I had to stay true to it but be flexible with it. My editor asked for a revise and resubmit. If you’re asked for this, do it. You’ll learn something. An editor and you might not have the exact same vision, but you and your work need to be adaptable for an editor to work well with you. Thankfully my characters, like talented actors, are really good at taking direction, and I, as an actor myself, am pretty good at taking direction from an editor. That’s a familiar dynamic to me. I think getting your book published is a mixture of flexibility and tenacity, having a really good book and some luck along the way.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Non-fiction research books about Victorian era Cairo and about World War I, research for upcoming Strangely Beautiful books, four in all.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • Print

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • The Harry Potter series, Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet (because I’m always inspired by something different every time I read his words) and then it would be a tie between Sense and Sensibility and Lord of the Rings – That might give you a clue as to why I write Historical Fantasy. 🙂

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • One of my most vivid childhood memories was telling a ghost story to a group of enrapt friends. I was always a storyteller, so theatre and writing were natural pursuits for me. As soon as I figured out how to complete a sentence with a pencil, I started writing stories so I really can’t remember not writing. I was first compelled to write stories when I was struck by characters in other literary works who were alone and needed friends. So I would write them friends, like the Phantom of the Opera or Edward Scissorhands. Writing was my favourite, consistent pastime and this gave me the discipline needed to write regularly and as my confidence grew, rather than just expanding other writers’ worlds for my own enjoyment, I began creating my own worlds.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I have a good cry. Then I’ll treat myself to something, a celebratory dinner or trip out on the town with my boyfriend or my best friend, nothing terribly fancy but something fun.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • My characters talk to me. Loudly.

Promo Section

~ Most Recent Release ~

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy ParkerThe Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
Leisure Books (Dorchester Publishing) Historical Fantasy
ISBN 13: 0-978-08439-6296-3

Blurb:
What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death….

“Tender. Poignant. Exquisitely written. A gem of a book.” – New York Times Bestselling Author C.L. Wilson

“A strangely beautiful tale indeed! An ethereal, lyrical story that combines myth, spiritualism and the gothic in lush prose and sweeping passion.” – USA Today Bestselling Author Kathryn Smith

“A compelling, engaging novel that drew me in from page one. Bravo!” M.J. Rose, bestselling author of The Reincarnationist and The Memorist.


~ Coming Soon ~

– The sequel in the Strangely Beautiful series: The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker From Leisure Books / Dorchester Publishing on Feb. 24th 2010! Details forthcoming on my website.

Learn More
– Website – www.leannareneehieber.com
– MySpace/Bebo/Facebook/Grouply/Shelfari et al – www.tinyurl.com/sbfbfan , www.myspace.com/leannarenee, www.twitter.com/leannarenee
– Blog/Newsletter – www.leannareneebooks.blogspot.com, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/L_R_Hieber_News/

Thanks, Leanna Renee!! Join me next week for N.D. Hansen-Hill.

Author Interview: Michelle M. Pillow

The Basics
Michelle M. Pillow
Brand: Author of All Things Romance
Genre(s): futuristic, paranormal, dark paranormal, fantasy, historical, contemporary romances
Publisher(s): Virgin Books/Random House, Pocket Books, Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, NCP

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1. Research. Research EVERYTHING – your book, your craft, the market and industry. There is no magic pill. You just have to get out there and do it.
  • 2. Market. It’s a tough business. When I started, like most newbie authors I had the impression that I wrote the book and could now sit back and let the publisher do the rest. Not so. As an author, I have to be proactive in what I do (not that I mind, a lot of it is fun now that I know how to do it). I have a radio show, I do my own website, blogs, promotions and marketing, signings, workshops, designing promo items, panels, ect. But I had to learn most of it from scratch.
  • 3. Take advice with a grain of salt. Listen to what others have to say, but don’t take all the advice you get as fact. There’s a lot of misinformation, and what works for some, won’t work for all.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Internet. There are a lot of great ways to interact on the net for FREE! Everyone loves free. If you were going to invest in only one thing to advertise yourself, make it a website. Do the best one you can afford, or learn to do it yourself. Whenever you do other advertising, it can all point back to one place—your website. And keep it current with all the latest information.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • I wouldn’t necessarily call it a hard-knock lesson, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of marketing and advertising required to make it as an author.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Edits. I have a pretty tight schedule right now, so fiction wise, it has been edits. I’m also reading a non-fiction book on Art History from the Prehistoric period to the Middle Ages.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I like curling up with a print book, but I also love the speed of ebook purchases. Really, it doesn’t matter to me how the book comes, so long as it’s good.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austin
  • Mandy Roth’s Immortal Ops series
  • Ah, man this is really hard…

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I love being creative and telling stories, whether it’s with words or pictures. I love research, learning new things and going new places, museums, photography, history, films, books and the paranormal. Being a writer lets me feed my desire to learn. I absolutely love my job. I get paid to make up stories and create my own worlds and rules. I adore large world and character building, creating myths and legends, all of it. And I’m very honored to have readers who enjoy what I do.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • This is going to sound so boring, but I generally start a new one. My writing schedule right now doesn’t leave much room for breaks. (Renee Note: I know how that is. You get a two-second breather and then have to jump into the next one.)

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I talk to myself, curse at my muse, and have pacing conversations in my character’s POVs when working out a scene or idea. To writers this is sane, to everyone else… lol. (Renee Note: Don’t I know it.)

Promo Section

~ Most Recent Release ~

Lilith Enraptured
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419959493
BUY NOW

Lilith Enraptured by Michelle M. Pillow
Book one of the Divinity Warriors Series

Sorin of Firewall lives in a land forever at war. In fact, the Starian men are so busy fighting, their marriage ceremony has been reduced to a “will of the gods” event where they simply pick a woman out of a lineup and claim her as a wife. With women becoming scarce, it’s necessary to trade with the off world Divinity Corporation for brides. Duty-bound to attend the ceremony, Sorin has no intention of picking a bride, let alone one from another dimension. That is, until he sees Lilith, the bewitching woman sent by the gods to reward—or punish?—him.

Lilith, a data analyst for Divinity, is betrayed by the Corporation and wakes up in a primitive, uncharted dimension filled with warriors who know only war and duty. Her fear of becoming a sex slave to a big, beefy knight becomes all too real when a warrior of god-like proportions claims she’s his new woman. As Lilith discovers, there are worse fates than being the focus of Sorin’s skillful and earthy seduction.

~ Coming Soon ~

Prisoner of Love
Anthology with Jaid Black and Tawny Taylor
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1439131534
BUY NOW

JAID BLACK
Warlord
When a business trip to Scotland unexpectedly takes her back in time, Janet is enslaved by a fierce Scottish warrior whose uncontrollable urge to possess her ignites a steamy passion and unveils a sweet surprise.

TAWNY TAYLOR
Dragons and Dungeons
Kaya tries to tempt the flirtatious hunk who outbids her at an auction into selling his prize, but instead he charms her back to his palatial estate and convinces her to accept him as her master so he can satisfy all her desires.

MICHELLE M. PILLOW
Taming Him
A hard-bodied stud kidnaps Maggie to his alien spaceship, where he showers her with enticing pleasures and unrequited passion until she’s ready to believe — and do — almost anything to be his.

Learn More
Website – www.michellepillow.com
Blog – www.michellepillow.com/blog
Twitter – http://twitter.com/michellepillow
Newsletter – http://www.michellepillow.com/newsletter/?p=subscribe
Free Story – www.ravenhappyhour.com
Myspace- http://www.myspace.com/michellepillow

Thanks, Michelle! Join me next week for Leanna Renee Heiber’s interview!!

Author Interview: Bess McBride

The Basics
Bess McBride
Genre(s): Light paranormal/fantasy, contemporary, vintage, time travel, romantic suspense
Publisher(s): The Wild Rose Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • Use elements of your life in your writing…it helps lend your story authenticity. In other words, write what you know…and then make up the rest!
  • Don’t quit. Just like jogging or exercising, don’t quit…because you may never go back.
  • Diversify. Like an investment portfolio, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep submitting to new publishers.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Well, my favorite way would be to have a publicist, but I’m not in that league… I love the use of the Internet, and I’ve found most of my readers through online groups.

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • As I mentioned before, diversify. Just because one is completely happy with a publisher doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t always keep an eye out for other opportunities to publish their work.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Lots and lots of training manuals for my new job. I haven’t had a chance to read anything for pleasure in a while.

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I’ll admit to enjoying print books, but if I want an immediate read, I’ll order an e-book.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • “A Knight in Shining Armor,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Ivy Tree”

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I wanted to write ever since I was a troubled 14 yo, and a counselor suggested I write my life history…no doubt as a way to get me to talk. After reading it, she said I should write. Although I’m sure it was a way to focus a lost teenager, I hung on her words.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I write up the query and e-mail it off to the publisher.

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • I really don’t have a muse per se. And I don’t talk to my characters. But I listen in as they talk to each other… 🙂

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

My most recent release is “Caribbean Dreams of Love,” available at all online bookstores.

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
ISBN: 1-60154-374-3

Blurb:
Daisy and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Lily, are embarking on a Caribbean cruise. She isn’t looking for anything special on the cruise other than a pleasant break from her humdrum existence as long-time divorced single mother to a busy teenage girl. She certainly isn’t prepared for an enigmatic man named Peter whose idiosyncrasies in dress and speech mark him as an eccentric person to avoid. But Daisy can’t avoid him. In fact, she begins to obsess about him from the first moment she catches him staring at her in the cruise ship terminal. Peter remains elusive and mysterious throughout the cruise. She catches sight of him occasionally, never often enough to please her, and they connect one wonderful night as he sweeps her into his arms for a waltz. A waltz? On a Caribbean cruise ship? While Daisy’s dinner companions share nightly tales of the legends of cursed pirates, Daisy dreams of the mysterious man who has captured her heart.

~ Coming Soon ~

My upcoming release is “On a Warm Sea of Love,” from The Wild Rose Press
ISBN 1-60154-584-3

Blurb:
Hailey Saunders accompanies her beloved matchmaking sister, Megan, on a cruise to the beautiful and exotic Caribbean…something she’s avoided for a long time…ever since her young husband, Zach, was lost off a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea during a storm. At first, Hailey cried daily for months, then weekly for a year, but now she doesn’t cry at all. Why? Because Zach returned to her…or at least, his ghost did. His voice remains her constant companion, allowing her to avoid the pain of real life…of falling in love with someone else. A flirtatious but ineligible Scots ship’s officer, Alan Campbell, has his eye on Hailey as does the handsome and mysterious European, Karl de Groot. Megan is ready to make a match for her sister, but Zach finds it hard to let his wife go…or is it Hailey who refuses to say goodbye? Three men want her…only one can have her!

Buy Link, available September 25, 2009

Learn More
– Website: http://www.bessmcbride.com
– Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bessmcbride
– Blog/Newsletter: http://www.willtravelforromance.blogspot.com

Thanks Bess!

Join me next week for Michelle M. Pillow.

Author Interview: Marie Rochelle

(Renee Note: This interview is posted a little late due to real life wackiness for me and the interviewee. Sorry about that.)

The Basics
Marie Rochelle
Genre(s): Interracial and Contemporary Romances
Publisher(s): Red Rose Publishing, Phaze Books, Cobblestone Press

To Other Authors

What are the three MOST important pieces of advice you would give to a brand new author?

  • 1) Never give up when you get a reject because the first ‘yes’ is right around the corner.
  • 2) Research is your friend.
  • 3) After you sign your first contract promo, promo and promo some more.

What’s your favorite way to advertise?

  • Bookmarks or postcards and of course the internet. 🙂

What hard-knock lesson did the publishing world teach you (can be your own experience or someone else’s that you learned from)?

  • Everyone isn’t going to like your book(s) so don’t let a bad review get you down.

For the Readers

What are you reading, if anything, at the moment?

  • Right now, I’m not reading anything, but I’m hoping to start reading a new book soon. Just have to pick one off of my bookshelf. (Renee Note – Lord, I know that feeling. I so want to read but I barely have time to watch TV… which is sad.)

Do you prefer ebooks or print for your reading pleasure?

  • I love print books, but my ebook collection is growing each and every day.

Name three of your all-time-favorite, read-them-over-and-over books.

  • *Simply Wicked by Lisa G. Riley
  • *Anything by Kimberly Kaye Terry
  • * Marilyn Lee books

Idle Curiosity Compels Me to Ask

– What inspired you to be a writer?

  • I have always wanted to be a writer and I finally decided to do it.

– What do you do immediately after finishing a manuscript?

  • I set it to the side for a couple of days and then go back over it. (Renee Note: It’s funny how many people do this. But I guess it’s the plan that works best.)

– Do you talk to your characters or your muse or both?

  • Sometimes, it is a little of both.

Promo Section


~ Most Recent Release ~

My latest release is Three Cheers. It was released on August 6th from Red Rose Publishing.

Blurb:
Brock Garret has been lusting after the sexy mocha-skinned beauty Jamina Madison ever since he called her to become his daughter’s cheerleading coach. He knew that he should keep his distance, but its hard when she looks so damn good in those tight, white ass-hugging shorts….there is only so much a man can take.

Out of all of the coaching jobs in the world, why did she end up working for Brock Garrett? It wasn’t fair for one man to be that damn fine without even trying. Just one look from his dark blue eyes could make her forget everything going on around her, but Jamina Madison was trying her best to keep her distance.

Because if he could get her hot just from a look, what would happen once she gave in and let his hands touch her body?

ISBN: 978-1-60435-390-7

~ Coming Soon ~

My upcoming release is Desire. It will be released from Phaze Books in September.

Blurb:
Desire is when you can close your eyes, think of what you want…then you can smell it, taste it, and feel it stroking your skin. It’s almost better than sex….Almost.

Communication Specialist Nick Lavery never thought he would be the recipient of a Dear John letter. But that is what happened when his girlfriend ran off with another man….the worst part was that she left it taped to the refrigerator door. He wasn’t thinking about meeting anyone new when he decided to stop for a cup of coffee to drown his sorrows.

Tasha Kelly was taking a much needed break from her job as a supply store chain manager at the local coffee shop when she noticed him at the counter ordering something to drink. It was then that she started craving more than caffeine…

Learn More
– Website: www.freewebs.com/irwriter/
– Blog/Newsletter: http://shopdiva28.blogspot.com/
– Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marie_rochelle/ and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarieRochelle2/

Thanks, Marie!!

Join me next week for Bess McBride’s interview.

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