Category Archives: Author Interview

Author Spotlight – Natasza Waters

 

Best Selling Author Natasza Waters
After majoring in English in her early years, Natasza altered course. A lifelong working relationship with the marine industry began when she became an officer with the Coast Guard.
Crafting stories with pieces snipped from real life and the sea—particularly the West Coast, find its way into plots puddled in action and suspense with unsung heroes and heroines aplenty. Her bestselling series, A Warrior’s Challenge beginning with Code Name: Ghost has won two R.O.N.E. awards and honors the service members who keep our countries safe, and the strength it takes to love a warrior.
A twenty-four hour day finds Natasza drafting her next novel, networking, and thinking about doing her laundry, but instead, she just buys a new pair of socks. Sleep you say? Not so much!
Natasza sends out quarterly newsletter and every new newsletter subscriber is enter into a $25 Amazon Giftcard giveaway.
What got you interested in writing novels?
I wrote when I was much younger. Majored in English the same way a lot of authors throw some literary seeds into the ground to grow. It wasn’t until 2010 when a friend brought a gal she knew over to my place one afternoon that life changed for me. This woman was an artist. Her journey started out in Poland. She’d been sold by her family into prostitution, but eventually, she escaped with a young man and found her way to North America and my backyard. She pointedly asked why I wasn’t writing anymore. I didn’t have a good answer and the next day I released the hounds!!!
What sparked the idea for A Warrior’s Challenge Series?
Commander Thane Austen, the hero and leader of alpha squad, came thundering into my head one day at work. I’m an officer with the Coast Guard and spent my adult life with some very interesting people.
Kayla, the heroine of the story, is based on a woman I worked with. She was a survivor of spousal abuse and suffered with PTSD. It had been a long haul for her. I watched her fall and get back on her knees as she struggled to find trust in the world again.
I wondered what kind of man could heal the harm that had been done and Thane grew in my imagination. A warrior who wouldn’t give up on her. Walk through her smoke and mirrors. She’d drive him near insane. He’d have to be splintered from serving his country. Apart, they were haunted by their pasts, but together they’d be whole. The rest of the series came as the secondary characters introduced themselves and more stories were born.
Do you have a specific writing style?
If you mean chaotic, well then, yes!
But seriously, I outline as well as write by the seat of my pants. At times, when I’m working on one project, another keeps banging at my door. Sometimes, I have to give in and open the door, write it out of my system and then go back to my current project. I outline the basics: who, age, plot, challenges, what will catapult the characters through the first door in the story where they have to investigate further and then the final doorway, where there’s no turning back. The rest is up to the characters. When they stand there like stickmen in my head, that’s when I drink a lot of coffee.
Which usually comes first for you, the character(s) story or the idea for the novel?
Usually it’s a combination. What I mean to say is I get a specific scene in my head. It will repeat itself enough times that I extrapolate the scene, try to push it forward and see if an overall plot will divulge itself. If so, away we go! For Twila’s Tempest, my newest release, I was in Florida visiting my brother-in-law. Sitting by the pool in his trailer park, I watched the seniors. Twila was born and Drake came soon after.
Is there any differences and/or similarities between Steven from “Too Grand For Words” and Cain from “His Perfect Imperfection?”
No, Steven is more like Commander Thane Austen. In fact, they meet up in Code Name: Luminous. I like to cross pollinate. It’s fun for the readers to bump into a character they may have loved from a previous book.
Is it fun to write from two different viewpoints?
Only a psychotic mind can do that. Lucky that’s me. When my husband read over a couple scenes, he was astounded at how different I could make two characters while having a conversation. Think it worried him a little. LOL. I tapped my head and said, “There’s a lot of nonsense going on up here.” Smartass that he is, said, “Don’t I know it.” (Yes, we’re still married)
Out of all of the secondary characters within A Warrior’s Challenge Series, do you have one or two favorites so far? If so, who are they and can you tell us why?
I can’t help but be a little proud of this series. It’s been a bestseller and it’s won two R.O.N.E awards. As for secondary characters, I’d have to say Lieutenant Cobbs (Thane’s swim buddy and best friend) and Mace (the sniper on the team) They both have their own books. Captain Cobbs is the combination of a lot of men I’ve met in the Coast Guard. The strong silent type with unwavering loyalty to his working family and his own family. Mace is the sweet guy. Everyone’s best friend. Handsome. A tease. A manwhore until he falls hard for Nina and her daughter Gabbs. My favorite book in the series is the last one which will be published this year called Code Name: War of Stones. It takes place twenty years in the future and the heroine is somebody very, very special.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in a novel and why?
There’s been so many, but I think the end of Code Name: Luminous was the toughest to write but also the most important. I don’t want to give it away, but they say as a writer if you don’t feel the scene than neither will your readers. I went through so many tissues, I had to go to Costco to restock.
What is the weirdest/craziest thing one of your characters said or did? Please let us know who and from which novel.
Drawing a blank on this one. I got nothin’. LOL.
If you could write “Twila’s Tempest” all over again, would you change anything about it?
(Laughing) Haven’t seen the one star reviews yet. You usually have your head stuck so far up the story’s butt you can’t see the forest from the trees until reviews start rolling in. I read them all. Good and bad. Aside from personal preference, for example readers who only love a strong female lead so therefore wouldn’t like a particular character, I look for plot holes. Reviewers catch things like that. I’ll evaluate and learn.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?
Ten books published. A couple books written that will never see the light of day and a couple shorts for anthologies. My favorite is coming out this year. It’s the last book in the Warrior’s Challenge series. I love the plot and the characters. It will be called Code Name: War of Stones. Why do I like it? It fell together so nicely, I couldn’t help but love the little devil. It’s a great wrap to a good series.
Do you have any projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?
Most definitely. After Twila’s Tempest is released on June 19th, I have a book called “Committed to Chase” in the Field Stripped anthology releasing at the end of June. Readers will get all warm and squishy over Jesse. In August, I’m joining Desiree Holt’s Omega Team in Kindle World and “SEALed with a Weekend” will come out. The final three books in the Warrior’s Challenge series will be out this year. “Code Name: Forever & Ever”, “Code Name: Redemption”, “Code Name: War of Stones”. Then in the fall I’m changing gears. I’ve hung onto a series for the last five years, waiting for the right time to release it. It’s an action-packed ride on the edge of your seat paranormal series. If you think Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code meets the most intense romantic suspense you’ve ever read, that’s what the Elemental Prophecy series will be like. Six books in total, the final being an international apocalyptic race to the finish.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Similar to what will probably be on my gravestone. “She came. She wrote…To be continued!”
A Warrior’s Challenge Series (4 Book Series)
Too Grand For WordsHis Perfect ImperfectionTwila’s Tempest
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Promo Tour – Paramour for the Devil – Savannah Hill

PARAMOUR FOR THE DEVIL
AUTHOR: Savannah Hill
GENRE: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Darkly erotic. Supremely powerful.
Haley Hawthorne is a witch. She shuns her paranormal gifts, instead escaping into a mundane, reclusive life as an accountant for her Uncle Eli’s firm. Five years earlier, Haley was kidnapped by Raden, brother of Lucifer, and held captive as his personal sex slave. She escaped but still bears the scars, both physical and emotional. Now she’s turned away from both magic and sex, and she’s certain nothing will ever bring those lost things back into her life…
Damian, son to Lucifer, has renounced his right to the throne of Hell and has become a soldier for Adversus, hunting evil supernatural creatures on Earth. Unfortunately, he’s powerless to witches, and this witch can read his mind. He can’t decide what is more dangerous—the irresistible attraction he feels for her, or the intoxicating peace she gives him. One thing is certain, they both share a tortured past.
After Damian rescues her from an attack by monstrous djinn, Haley discovers the dangerously seductive soldier has secrets of his own. One of them is the collection of whips, ropes, handcuffs, and a leather riding crop he keeps locked away, though he refuses to show her his “Master” side. But when her trust in him grows, she finds herself increasingly intrigued by all the kinky things he’s hiding. But Damian has been given a new mission to kill a monster. A monster that turns out to be her uncle…
Damian abruptly woke on the couch in the darkened living room with the sense he was being watched. He furrowed his brows at the dangerous witch in front of him, scarcely able to make out her hourglass figure in the sliver of sunlight from a gap in the curtain.
“What are you doing?” Lowering his arm to his side, he sat upright.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Haley’s gaze darted downward. “I was…” He tried to probe her mind, and she promptly pushed him out, forming an invisible shield around her thoughts. “I was looking for Adam.” She cleared her throat lightly.
Panicked by her unknown intentions as his eyes adjusted to the low light in the room, he pinpointed his gaze on her. A blur of white and black polka dotted silk, awkwardly standing with her face turned away from him. Her neckline plunged deeply, brought up to tie in a silky bow behind her slender neck, accentuating her bare shoulders.
“He’s in the library.” Surprised at how soft his own voice sounded, Damian suddenly felt an intense urge to pull at the ribbon until it slid down her perky breasts.
“Oh, alright, thank you.” Her eyes wandered nervously. “I wasn’t…um…watching you.”
He raised an eyebrow as her creamy complexion turned pink.
“Adam, I mean, Aimee said Adam was in here, so…” The girl could barely breathe.
Shameful self-loathing tore through him as he recalled her tear-filled eyes, their bright blue depths staring up at him from Raden’s table.
She rushed to the doorway, a black tulle slip under the hem of her dress swaying at her sexy thighs. With a sudden ache in his groin, he caught a peek at the red soles on her black high heels. Her ponytail bounced as she hurried away from him. He imagined how she would look perched on his lap without any clothes on.
Forcefully eliminating that thought from his mind, he stood, cracking his neck back and forth, and headed into the sun-soaked hallway. She’s a goddamn witch, what are you thinking? He happened to be oddly vulnerable to their magic, rendered completely powerless, and tended to harbor an automatic hatred for them. If this beautiful witch was, in fact, planning any kind of vengeance toward him, he’d be royally fucked. Not to mention, she’s Adam and Stephen’s little sister. That’s gotta be some kind of guy code violation.
Walking into an empty bathroom, he undressed to take a shower and found his cock standing firmly at attention. He rolled his eyes. Even if you did want her, I’m sure she fucking hates you. You let her get tortured while you sat inches away. Leave her the fuck alone.
He scrubbed himself hard in the shower, trying to rid his mind of her, but was still achingly swollen between his legs. His thoughts drifted to what she’d looked like sleeping next to him the day before, perfect pink nipples barely showing through her lacy white top in just the right light, those sexy fuck-me heels with the red soles as she walked away. He’d never experienced such a strong attraction to anyone before, and it was insanely distracting, especially since she was entirely off-limits to him.
Lowering his head in frustration, he let the water wash over him for a moment. Just thinking about her couldn’t hurt anything. He moved his hand to his pulsing cock and began to stroke it.
Savannah Hill is an erotic romance novelist diligently working to create a world that readers can truly experience and enjoy along with her. Captivated by romance at a very young age, she began writing love stories in grade school, always imagining new scenarios and characters. Addicted to her passion, her first novel, Paramour for the Devil, is the story that invaded her dreams until the final chapter was written. She is currently writing the sequel to Paramour, Seducing the Devil.
She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her man, the love of her life, and spends her days chasing their toddler boy who loves to giggle.

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

First, who are your favorite authors? What do you like about them?

I really love River Savage’s men. They’re total alphas, and they have really dirty mouths. She’s great at tossing you right into the story. My favorite erotica author is Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquelaure, the Claiming of Sleeping Beauty quartet. Those books are wild and dirty. I also really enjoyed the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

Are you reading a book now? Which one?

I’m reading two ARC’s right now, Shadows by Amber Lacie and Degrees of Control by Eve Dangerfield, both are fun and sexy. I read them whenever I need to take a break from writing, and they are both really great so far.

What are you passionate about?

I love to write. When I’m in the writing zone, I feel like a complete person. Lately, I’ve taken an interest in cooking for my family (my man and our toddler boy). At least one home-cooked meal per day. I’m having a lot of fun with that. Our little boy eats up the meals I make a mistake with and doesn’t like the ones that I think come out like perfection.

What does a perfect day look like for you?

If it’s a writing day, complete solitude and dark, rainy weather. I live in WA, and I love that weather. For just a regular day, I love preparing for a big event, whether it’s a fun party with our friends, or a vacation. I like getting up early when I have something to look forward to that day and marking things off the to-do list.

Is Paramour for the Devil a standalone story? What can your readers look forward to next?

It is actually the first book in the Hawthorne Witches series. I’m working on the sequel, Seducing the Devil, right now. The third and fourth books are about Haley’s cousins, Emily and Cassie. They both fall in love with very dark supernatural men. I also have plans for novellas (or possibly full-length novels) for Haley’s brothers, Adam and Stephen. And I just completed a novella called Unchained Love that should release by Christmas 2016. That one is about a wealthy girl whose father is running an underground fighting ring, and she comes across his newest prize fighter chained in the wine cellar. It’s an erotic, violent holiday-themed story.

How do you feel about your characters in Paramour for the Devil? Do you think you’d get along with them? Would Damian be able to steal your heart?

Haley has a lot of respect for other females. She’s passive by nature, but can be a total badass when she has to be, and she has two really fun best friends. I’d love to hang out with them. As for Damian, oh yes, I think he’s so dreamy. He’s definitely a bad boy, but he’s got a vulnerable side underneath. He’s also really kinky, I love that.

What inspired you to write this story?

I dreamed up the Damian character after watching many hours of Supernatural in my early twenties. Originally, I planned to write a sweet romantic comedy, and then I decided to tap into this fantasy I had for years about Damian, the son of Satan, joining the good guys and hunting evil creatures. I threw out my embarrassment about my friends/family knowing I was writing an erotic novel and chose to just go for it.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book? Why does it spark your interest?

I really love the BDSM scene toward the end of the book. Damian shows his “Master” side, and I think it’s hot as hell. He uses his supernatural powers in combination with a riding crop. I’m excited to explore more of his Dominant side in the sequel and venture a little deeper into BDSM for Haley and Damian’s sex life.

What type of scenes do you consider the most fun to write?

I love them all. I attempted to write many novels before this one (beginning in sixth grade) and I got bored easily, abandoning the book if I hit a boring scene. Then I decided that if the story bored me to write it, it would bore the readers too. I wanted this book to be a wild ride. That’s my goal for all of my upcoming projects as well.

If Paramour for the Devil is adapted to film, which actress/actor would you envision for Haley and Damian?

I’d picture Danneel Ackles with bright blue eyes for Haley. For Damian, that is tough. I don’t think I’ve seen an actor that looks just like him. Maybe the guy from Avatar if he had iridescent green eyes. Even then, I don’t think he looks quite like him.

Is your own personality reflected in any of your characters?

Yes, a lot of the dialogue between Haley and her girlfriends, and between Haley and Damian (minus most of the dirty talk) are from actual conversations I’ve had with friends or with my man.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

If I had any advice to give, it would be to write what you genuinely love and power through your fears. Hard work and perseverance will always produce great results.

Is there anything specific you want to say to your readers?

THANK YOU for reading. 🙂

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Author Interview – JC Clarke

AUTHOR INTERVIEW – MAGIC OF BOOKS PROMOTIONS

 JC Clarke

An author? Yeah, well I’m getting there, hopefully. 

I’m not really one for blabbing about myself, but I can give you a few starters, if you’re interested.
I’m a mum of four kids, two girls and two boys and I’m married to a wonderful man who puts up with my crap.
We live in an area near Southampton (UK) called the New Forest, which is very beautiful. There’s ponies, donkeys and wild deer and cattle all over the place, so it makes it very interesting living here at times.
I design for a living, but I am self taught, so I have a long way to go.
I’m a very down to earth thirty something year old and yeah, I dabble with writing.
Looking for ways to stalk me…hehe…

 

Tell the readers a little about you.
I’m a rather sarcastic and slightly insane woman of thirty (ish) and I totally blame my four kids (and hubby) for my mentality lol. I live in the south of England in a place called The New Forest and I’m not too far from where the Titanic was built. I used to be a stay at home mum, but now I’m a stay at home mum who runs her own graphics design and swag business.
What genre you mostly write in and why?
I’m happy to write any genre that appeals to me. The only genre I can’t write (or read for that matter) is horror/gore. Oh, and I won’t write anything involving dino or tentacle porn. lol
Tell us your latest news?
With the kids going back to school soon (does a happy dance) I will really be focusing my time in pushing my business forward and taking on a lot more work. I’ll hopefully be writing more, too.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Self confidence. I have zero amounts of it. Not just in my writing, but in my designs, too. I always find when writing, that I write for myself, so maybe people won’t like what I put onto paper. Will they hate it, is it too fast paced etc . . ?
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
Fleshing out the storyline, adding descriptions etc . . . I love writing dialogue, but really struggle at descriptions. It’s all in my head, but getting it down on paper can be tough.
Describe your writing style in ten words or less.
Ooo, that’s hard! I cover so many genres . . . Eclectic, sarcastic, random . . .
Is there a message in any of your novels that you want readers to grasp?
With ‘Pain’, the content is pretty self explanatory. It’s all about a girl who’s fed up with the crap in romance novels these days. With The Northern Gate, although I don’t see it as a religious story, at it’s core, it’s about who mankind has twisted religion to suit their own needs, wants and desires.
What are your current projects?
I have The Eastern Shore ready for editing and I’m writing Carpe Diem (the second part to Pain) at the moment. Those are my big ones. I have a few smaller novella stories to tweak before they go into editing, too.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have a few on the go, like always. The Eastern Shore is book 2 to The Northern Gate. It follows Tabitha now that she’s with Nathan and they’re not on Earth any more. It’s fun filled, but has some very serious points to it.
Carpe Diem is book 2 to Pain. This story picks up where Pain left off. It centres around Princess and her Prick-a-Doodle-Doo as they find a balance to work, they relationship and other things . . . as well as the blog posts that readers have loved so much.
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?  If so, explain.
The Edelyn Legacy (The northern Gate etc . . . ) is built on misconceptions. Man’s idea of religion, twisting it to suit his way of thinking, to suit his way of life etc . . . Religion, at its core, is nothing like how it was first intended. I’ve always debated several aspects of religion, especially with my mother and although I’ve been baptized into the Mormon faith (still Christian), I’ve always questioned everything about any faith. Some things make perfect sense to me, others really, really, don’t.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really. Pain was very blunt and too the point. The second book should be out soon, hopefully, and then book three. After I’ve written them all, then maybe I’ll end up kicking myself about leaving things out etc . . .

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Review – Black Rose – Kris Thompson

Summary:

Lillian Locke had the perfect life in Boulder, Colorado. She had the boyfriend of her dreams, a wonderful family, awesome friends, and a spot on the track team at a great college. There wasn’t anything life could throw at her that she couldn’t get through . . . until he found her.

Lillian never could have imagined being abducted and chained up in the dark. Worse yet, being just one of many girls kidnapped and held captive by a madman. All she can do now is hope that she survives the brutality of their captor long enough to find a way to free herself and her new captive friends.

When Richard Haines’ girlfriend goes missing, he makes it his personal mission to find the woman he loves and bring her home to the safety of their loved ones. Seeking the help of friends and family, Richard abandons everything except for his pursuit of Lillian. But when someone else close to Richard goes missing, and the bodies of the abducted girls start showing up in the hills outside Boulder, the only thing he can do is hope that he finds her before it is too late.

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Review:

I finished this book a couple of days ago, yet waited to formulate my review. I read this book a long time ago in it’s fanfiction form, and couldn’t wait to see what changes the author made to it.

As soon as I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. Whilst the story was familiar,   I wasn’t at all prevented from wanting/needing to carry on, so I could find out what happened. I read a lot of mystery/thriller books, and Black Rose could certainly hold it’s own in the genre.

Although there are a lot of characters for the reader to get to know, they are all well rounded and individual, preventing them to get confused in the reader’s minds. None of them feel surpluss or just added for the sake of it; each and every one adds something to the story.

When we are with the girls, my heart was in my mouth much of the time, which is a testament to Thompson’s ability to keep us guessing. Parts of the story are not an easy read, but these are done for mere shock value or gratuitously. These events which will have you shocked and stunned, yet are essential to the movemnt of the plot.

Highly recoemmended for lovers of suspense thrillers. Whilst there is a romance element, it’s not central to the plot. Fast paced and well worth the read!

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Second Chances Anthology – Q&A

A good friend of mine took one step towards reaching her goal of having her writing published when one of her stories was published as part of an anthology.  I am so proud of her for taking this first step.

I have bought a copy of Second Chances yet I haven’t had the time to manage to read it yet (I’m a fail, I know) so rather than post a review, I thought I’d do a mini Q&A with each author who’s work is featured in the book.

Firstly, here’s the blurb and a little info about the book and where you can buy it (ebook only):

We all know what it’s like to lose out in love … but what if you get a second chance at happiness? Will you grab it, or run?

The Stories and their Authors:

Non-Negotiable by T. D. Green
Jacob Kerns, the advertising director for a small national greeting card company, is due for a promotion. His ambitions for advancement are jeopardized when he learns his next big contract will be handled by none other than Alexander Cory, his ex-lover from college.
Seeing Alex again opens the old wounds of that long ago betrayal, but Jake endeavors to put personal feelings aside to do his job. If only Alex would let him! When Jake’s boss falls ill, secrets come out. Will Jake find love again or is the whole thing non-negotiable?

1) What was the inspiration behind your story within the anthology?

The theme itself, Second Chances, was the inspiration. I wanted to explore how a bad breakup could cause long term emotional damage and what it would take to re-earn someone’s trust after years of hurt.

2) Why did you decide to submit to a M/M anthology?

I’ve been writing M/M stories for a long time now–about a decade–so submitting to an M/M anthology was a no-brainer. 🙂

3) What is your guilty pleasure when reading?

I can hardly get enough of fluffy M/M romances. I find writing fluff difficult,  so it’s like brain candy for me.

4) How do you visualise when planning (if you do any)?

I’m what you call a pantser, so I only start off with a vague idea or a bit of dialogue. I let the story shape itself around the characters as they come to life one interaction at a time. Most of any visualizations come in mental character conversations while I’m doing the dishes or folding laundry.

5) Tell me about any projects you are working on or have in the pipeline.

Currently, I’m working on the companion novel to my five star rated dark, gay novel, Fragile Bones. Another M/M romance short is nearly completed, and I’m also editing book two and starting on book three of my YA series under another name.

Heart of Glass By L. J. Harris
Days after arriving in Australia for a working holiday, Zack Doherty is blindsided by the connection he instantly feels to Heath Connors, but circumstances don’t work in their favour.  Zack is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath to accept a date when fate gives him a second opportunity.
Heath has only recently had the courage to admit his true self, walking away from his marriage and a good job when he could no longer lie to himself. The attraction he feels for a stranger that fleetingly crossed his path confirms he made the right choice.
Will Zack be the one to mend Heath’s heart of glass?

1) What was the inspiration behind your story within the anthology?

The story was actually inspired by a man I’d often seen cleaning windows at the set of lights  I used to pass each day. I wondered what his story was, and how he came to be there.  Not long after I decided to write a story for submission to the anthology and I already had two rough outlines done, and was undecided as to which one I’d work on (I still have the first chapter of the other story written). A few days later, on the drive to work, a left-hand drive Mustang sped past, and as I’d already decided to include that particular vehicle in one of the stories, my decision was made.

2) Why did you decide to submit to a M/M anthology?

That’s where the ideas that have been popping into my head seem to be leading of late, and when I saw the opportunity to submit a story, a couple of ideas immediately came to me. That’s not to say I’m going to write exclusively M/M, as I’ve written several het stories as well.

3) What is your guilty pleasure when reading?

Coffee (or perhaps a nice red at night), chocolate, total peace and quiet (as in rare but much appreciated alone time), and reading a story that I can totally absorb myself in. I’ve not had much time to read of late, but do you ever read a story where you get near the end and dread that it will be over soon, and that there aren’t more pages left to go? That’s the best thing of all, in my opinion.

4) How do you visualise when planning (if you do any)?

I always have a general idea of where I want the characters to go, then I create a mental picture of my characters…their looks, personalities, etc. I usually have a few pivotal moments planned before I begin as well, but I’ve come to discover that as I write, scenarios and plot twists sometimes pop into my head quite unexpectedly. It generally doesn’t impact on the outcome of the story, but having said that, if something I originally intended doesn’t seem to work (and that’s when the dreaded writer’s block often hits) I will find a way to make the necessary changes so that whatever the characters do remains true to how I pictured them.

5) Tell me about any projects you are working on or have in the pipeline.

I’ve begun the rather daunting task of editing my novel (which is a het. supernatural romance and is over halfway done) as I originally began writing it three years back when I was still very raw. I’d only written poetry for family and friends up until then (yes, nothing like plunging headlong into it by writing a full-length novel) and wish to not only thoroughly tweak it, but finally finish it to submit for publication. I’m also working on another M/M short story.

Better Together By DaNay Smith
Greyson Welles moved to Baltimore so that his long-time partner, Dominic Nash, could fulfill his dream of an internship at John Hopkins Hospital. It’s been four years though, and Greyson is becoming increasingly unhappy. He never gets to see Dominic and his own promising art career is on hold, instead he paints family portraits for a living.
Dominic can see that Greyson is unhappy with the long hours he puts in, but when his solution is to propose to the love of his life, he is surprised that not only does Greyson turn him down but leaves to pursue his own career dreams in New York.
Five years later Greyson can only think of one man able to sooth his wounded pride when there’s a less than stellar response to his latest collection—what will he do?

1) What was the inspiration behind your story within the anthology?

I love the idea of insurmountable obstacles being overcome. In most of my writing there’s something, usually the characters themselves, standing in the way of their happiness. With Greyson’s character in Better Together, I used his location and career hopes to pit the happiness of fulfillment against the happiness of being with the person you love. Since Greyson’s partner Dominic’s career was in a different location from where Greyson’s career could thrive, the insurmountable issue in the story became Greyson having his cake and eating it too. Once that idea was rooted in my head, I just wrote until the problem worked itself out.

2) Why did you decide to submit to a M/M anthology?

I started writing M/M stories in my spare time almost two years ago. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I think that stories that expose something real and true about love whether it be romantic, familial, or even just physical need to be told regardless of the character’s sex. When the opportunity to publish arose, M/M is what I happened to be writing so that’s what I submitted.

3) What is your guilty pleasure when reading?

I have a ton of them. One of my favorites though would be would be secret affairs. I love stories about people dating their teachers, bosses, their best friend’s brother or anything of that nature. It’s icing on the cake if there’s an age gap added to the mix!

4) How do you visualise when planning (if you do any)?

I have to have a clear visual of some pretty random things before I can settle into writing. A lot of the time it’s my character’s homes. I will actually log onto real estate sites and house hunt for them before I write. There are other times though when I see something I think is beautiful or quirky like the glittery ground under Buckingham fountain in Chicago or a girl with a candy pink hair and then I’ll create a whole story just so that I can include that particular imagery.

5) Tell me about any projects you are working on or have in the pipeline.

I have two stories I’m working on at the moment. One is another M/M story in which the plot surrounds one my guilty pleasures. Without giving too much away, I can say that the story is about a man dating his deceased best friend’s son. The other story I’m working on has been rolling around in my head for quite some time and finally starting to come together sentence by sentence. It’s, in part, about a young girl trying to create a world for herself that is far better than what her parents have to offer, and her only friend who has his own fair share of issues but is determined to help her as she stumbles along toward her goals. Both stories are pretty ambitious for me, but I’m excited about them.

Dirty Martini By Bette Browne
Daniel Fletcher knocks back his third vodka of the night after running into his ex out with the same lover he had found him with in their bed two months before. He’d ended their relationship that night but coming face to face with them still together makes the pain of the breakup still very real.
Nathan Smith has seen more men than he can count drowning their sorrows in a bottle at his bar. He understands—he’s been there himself. One night a handsome brunette with sad blue eyes makes Nate want to assure him that everything will be okay. The connection he feels from a fleeting touch, as he walks the man out of the bar, shakes and stirs him in ways that he never expected.
What starts out as a means to forget might just be what they both need.

1) What was the inspiration behind your story within the anthology?

To be honest I can’t remember. I was actually writing a different story to submit to the Second Chances anthology and it was getting too long. When I realized that it would make a better novel than a short, I opened a new word document. All I remember now is the word “Bartender!” hitting me hard and then writing it down.
The rest of the story came from that.

2) Why did you decide to submit to a M/M anthology?

An anthology is an achievable start as a new author. It is certainly not as daunting as writing a full novel and then readying it for submission to a publisher. I also enjoy reading anthologies myself. You can dedicate the time in short spurts and feel satisfied when you finish a story, and the temptation to keep reading is less—mostly.
Why male/male? Mostly because I am a bit obsessed. It is the genre I read, and write, 95% of the time. I love it.

3) What is your guilty pleasure when reading?

Apart from the gorgeous men I may be reading about, it is the time I steal to read when I should be doing something else. I am reading the “Cut & Run” series by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux right now, and it is amazing. Even now the characters (Ty and Zane—God, they are hot) are calling me to come back to them. It’s a bit of an addiction if I’m honest.

4) How do you visualise when planning (if you do any)?

I am a bad planner. I always have a beginning and end in mind, sometimes a middle, but I tend to allow the story to develop itself. That has caused problems in the past, but more often than not has allowed me a certain freedom to let the characters lead me. It generally works. And if it turns out that that’s not happening, I change direction. Easy.

5) Tell me about any projects you are working on or have in the pipeline.

I have quite a few projects ‘happening’ right now, i.e., half-started manuscripts. The short story I originally started for Second Chances will hopefully turn into a series. I am well on my way to finishing and submitting book one, and have the sequel (which is based around a secondary character from book one) started. A third is in planning stage, whatever that means for me: giving it lots of headspace I suppose. In the first book, the MC is a pastry chef. I loved him and his “world” a great deal. While writing that story, I created a friend of his who is a chef, and he is a lot of fun. My attraction to him as a character prompted me to create his own story, and of course, it relates to
the food industry as well… a series was born. 

I also had a great idea pop into my head recently: A male/female story that excites me a lot. I even wrote down an outline so as not to forget. When I might start on it I have no idea, but I’d really like to give this story a go. Even though I said I read/write male/male 95% of the time, I’m not adverse to a great het love story. A “great het love story” is what got me into writing in the first place.

But the story that I am giving most thought time to right now is a male/male crime thriller that I need to have ready by March. I think I have a great story there, if I can get it written. It’s started but nowhere near complete. With work and the holidays around the corner, it may prove difficult, but I am up for the challenge.

Busy days ahead.

Notice to Appear By C. C. Lorenz
Josh Campbell has had the date from hell—the food was mediocre, as was the company, and to top it all off, he finds himself in strife with the law. When he thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, he comes face to face in the courtroom with his schoolboy crush, Carter Sullivan. Now, not only has he got to pay a hefty fine, he has been humiliated in front of the one man he’s never forgotten.
Could the date from hell suddenly turn into the start of something new with Carter, now that their age difference is not the issue it was back in high school?

1) What was the inspiration behind your story within the anthology?

Initially, I had a completely different story planned out, but when I actually started writing, it wasn’t working for me at all. I thought I was going to scrap submitting anything entirely, but then started brainstorming about interesting ways people could connect and ended up drawing on a personal experience (side note: take out your driver’s license and make sure it isn’t expired. Trust me!) My story starts off in a courthouse where one of the main characters has to deal with a notice to appear he received for driving with an expired driver’s license. This happened to me and while I was waiting for my turn to face the judge, I spotted an acquaintance from high school in the same room. Personally, I sunk down in my seat and hid, but the experience
inspired this story – I wondered, what if you ran into your old high school crush and they finally noticed you. Would the years that have passed make you a little more confident, or would you still be completely intimidated by them? That’s where I started.

2) Why did you decide to submit to a M/M anthology?

If one man is good, two can only be better, right. 😉 Joking aside, I adore M/M romance and have been writing fan fiction for a few years. After basing so many characters on ones that already exist, I wanted to find out if I could create my own with enough depth to keep readers interested in their story.

3) What is your guilty pleasure when reading?

I feel like 75% of my reading falls under the heading of “guilty pleasure.” Take
your pic – graphic M/M romance? Yes, please. Fan fiction? Always. Re-reading the Twilight or True Blood series? Yup. It’s amazing any literature sneaks in there! God forbid my Kindle ever get stolen, or fall into my mother-in-law’s hands.

4) How do you visualise when planning (if you do any)?

I like to have a concrete starting and end point when I begin writing, but really tend to let the story take whatever twists and turns it wants to get there. If I get stuck along the way, which invariably happens, I work on creating an outline to corral my ideas and try to figure out what makes the most sense for the characters. Also, I commute to work and spend an hour and a half a day in my car, so I’ll usually let my mind wander to work out any issues I’m encountering. When I come up with something, I just have to hope that I still remember it by the time I get to the office and can write it down!

5) Tell me about any projects you are working on or have in the pipeline.

I’m always writing, whether it’s fan fiction or new original fiction. Hopefully you’ll see something from me in the new year!

For more information on all of these authors, head over to Bottom Drawer’s website where you can also buy the book.

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Filed under Author Interview, Blog Tour, Compilation, contemporary, M/M, Novella, Romance

Author Interview – S.L. Scott

I recently read, enjoyed and reviewed ‘Naturally, Charlie‘ and was asked by the author’s publishers, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, if I’d like to interview the author as part of her blog tour.

Here it is:

What inspired you to write the book?
 I had this image of two people running into each other in a park – a serendipitous moment. The real question I kept asking myself: can they build a relationship that starts off during bad times in their individual lives.
Pepsi or Coke?
Coke, but Pepsi intrigues me and I’ll drink just to feel rebellious.
Why did you decide to give the main characters the same name?
From the beginning they were always the same name. Charlie came to me immediately and that was it, a done deal. The name fit the characters personalities and yet I could see them as so easily accepting of the other having that same name. I also thought it would be an interesting concept if everyone else made a bigger deal of them sharing a name than they did. This felt like the story I wanted to explore and tell.
If you auditioned for X Factor, what would you sing?
I’m a Little Teapot – simply because no one would want to hear me sing, so I would have to mock myself.
What was the hardest part to write in the book?
 **SPOILER** The scene after the Adams family dinner was emotionally hard to write. As much as I love the swoon and the goodness,  I like realism in my stories and I think in extreme situations we don’t always act perfect. I think humans can be irrational and not be thinking clearly, yet focused on how they see things – a tunnel vision of sorts. 
What is your guilty pleasure music wise?Angsty, heartbreaking music. I love to write heart hurt and that feeds that pleasure. Music helps to shape my stories through my moods, so I am picky about what I listen to when writing. If I’m working on happy and light, I don’t listen to Agnes Obel. Love her music, but it’s heartwrenching, but so achingly beautiful.
What do you wish was different about the book?
Maybe have Charlie Girl struggle with her weight more since she feeds her emotions with cupcakes for months in the story. haha.
Which Disney Prince would you want to fall in love with? (I personally like Flynn from Tangled)
I agree with you on Flynn. Not only does he have a cool name and one I’ll probably use in the future, but he’s modern and flawed, but flawed in a swoony way. He’s charming and supportive. He’s dreamy. lol (I like when people agree with me )
How personal is your writing?
It’s my heart and soul. I feel every emotion that my characters feel. They are a part of me and I carry a little of each of them and the experiences I shared with them with me long after I finish writing their journey.  I don’t even like to call them characters because they are so much more to me – they are people. But I’d sound crazy if I always referred to them as people. 
Who is your favourite fictional character?
Elizabeth Bennet and Bridget Jones. They are actually very similar just in two different centuries. They are smart, independent, and have their own personal struggles to fight against society. But they also want love, true love that comes from someone that loves them for being exactly who they are meant to be and support them for it.


Thank you so much for having me here and for the fun interview. 
Thanks for giving me the opportunity.

Once again, I highly recommend people to read this book.

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Filed under Author Interview, Blog Tour, Chick Lit, contemporary, Romance

20 Questions with T. M. Franklin

I recently reviewed Franklin’s novel “More” (which you can read here) and afterwards I was contacted by the publishers asking if I’d like to take part in the author’s blog tour promoting the book.  Here  are her answers to my questions, some of which are a little silly!

1 – Where did the idea for MORE come from?

The original idea actually came from the references to the Nephilim in the book of Genesis. Nobody knows exactly who or what the Nephilim were, but the Bible refers to the “sons of God” who went to the “daughters of men” and had children with them. This was apparently wicked, and part of what led God to flood the earth. That forbidden relationship is what led to the concept of The Race, and the idea that they would not be allowed to be intimate with humans. The rest came from there.

2 – Would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands?

I don’t think I’d want feet that close to my face, so I’d have to choose hands for feet. Plus, I could pick stuff up off the floor without bending over!

3 – Is there a particular event in history that caused The Race to go in search of Half Breeds?

Well, I think the Great Flood would be the main launching point. After that, the members of the Race set out to really crack down on any relationships with humans. But there are also instances throughout history where Half Breeds have caused trouble and had to be taken down. Who knows? Maybe Attila the Hun was a Half Breed. 

4 – Would you rather be attacked by 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

Little horses would totally freak me out. Much easier to dodge one giant duck. They’re not that agile, you know? Unless they’re in the water… Great. Now I’m going to have nightmares. – Sorry!

5 – Is MORE the first in a series? (please say yes, there were so many questions left unanswered)

Yes! It’s going to be a trilogy.

6 – How many bears could Bear Grylls grill if Bear Grylls could?

Bear Grylls could pretty much do anything, so he’d only be limited by the size of his grill…and the amount of available propane.

7 – What is the one novel you wish you had written?

None. If I’d written any of my favorite novels, I wouldn’t have been able to read and enjoy them!

8 – If you could create a planet, what would it be like there?

It would be warm but not too hot, because I hate to sweat. With lots of beaches, but sand that doesn’t stick to your skin or end up in uncomfortable places. Oh, and the fruits and vegetables would taste like chocolate and crème brûlée, and because of the unusual gravity or atmosphere, fat would actually be good for you, so French fries would be considered health food.

9 – Who is your favourite fictional character?

Hmmm… Duckie from Pretty in Pink. I still think he should have gotten the girl.

10 – Which cartoon character is most like you?

Hmmm… I’ll go with Snoopy. He lives in a fantasy world, flying around on top of his doghouse and fighting the Red Baron. I often find myself daydreaming, although usually about less violent things. He has a tendency to spontaneously break out in dance, as do I, although I generally keep it inside the house. Oh, and he’s also a writer. 

11 – Do you outline or plan your writing or do you just write blind?

Oh, I definitely outline. I would be COMPLETELY stressed out if I tried to write a story blind. I actually start now with a synopsis. From that, I create a general outline, then flesh it out with individual scenes. The outline changes a lot through the writing process, but at least I know where I’m going!

12 – If you saw a shooting star, what would you wish for?

For my kids to be healthy and happy.

13 – Do you base your characters on people you know or are they completely your own?

A little of both. Obviously in fan fiction, they are based at least in part on the original characters. In MORE, most of the characters are straight out of my head. I have, in the past, based characters on people I know. Usually they’re secondary characters, and I wouldn’t tell the people because they might be less than flattered! 

14 – If you could spend an hour in the company of any one celeb, who would it be, why and what would you do? (I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours)

I’d love to hang out with Ellen Degeneres. I find her hilarious and think I’d be laughing no matter what we were doing. I’d just like to go with her to some red carpet event and listen to her make fun of everyone! – Ellen’s a great one, I’m not going to go with the obvious choice for me which may shock some people.  I would say P!nk as she absolutely fascinates (and if I’m honest, scares) me.  I saw her live a couple of years ago and was completely blown away.  I would like to know if she’s mellowed a little since becoming a mum.

15 – What advice would you give anyone who wished to write for publication?

Keep writing, and try to get better. Listen to advice from people you trust, but balance that with staying true to your vision. And don’t give up. If you love to write, write!

Word association:
1 – Doctor – Carlisle
2 – Computer – Lifeline
3 – Music – Smile
4 – Blood – Pain
5 – Sponge – Housework

Don’t forget to visit www.TMFranklin.com all week for a chance to win one of THREE prize packages. Each includes a Gimme MORE tote bag, pen, bookmark, and a signed copy of MORE. New chances to win every day, so don’t miss out!

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Filed under Author Interview, Blog Tour, Mystery, Paranormal, SciFi

Harvest Treats Review & Author Interview – Elizabeth Lawrence

I was given the opportunity to read the third in the Candy Collection Series, Harvest Treats, which are a collection of novellas by the in house authors of Renaissance Romance Publishing.

The Book Cover

This compilation of 4 stories was captivating and unput downable.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the 4 stories and my thoughts on each one.

The  Journey Home

by Lisa Bilbury

The Sharks’ star quarterback, Travis McCoy has it all, until an injury ends his season early. When he receives an invitation to attend the big homecoming game from his alma mater, Travis decides it’s time to face his past. The journey home sends Travis down a path that he never expects. Will he be able to come to grips when everything around him is spiraling out of control? 

I was so drawn into this story.  The characters, especially Max, felt so real it was as if I was watching a movie unfold rather than reading words.  It deals with mistakes, hope and ties them all together brilliantly.

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Love Something Fierce

by S.A. Jones

Claire Beausejour is a single mother working two jobs, and putting up with the daily antics of her three roommates, as she tries to better the life she leads for herself and her daughter, Hope. That is until she meets Dawson Williams, best friend to Hope’s father. Despite the circumstances, a friendship begins to develop between Claire and Dawson, leading to events neither could have ever expected.

I have to admit, I wasn’t as drawn into this story as much.  It has nothing to do with how it was written as it was written very well, I simply couldn’t connect with the main character of Claire.  The story was a lovely mix of angst, sadness and eventful happiness.

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10 Days to Love

by Michele Richard

Richie Graham and Danielle ‘Dani’ MacDonald have been best friends for four years. Now that the time has come to leave Old Orchard Beach for college, the countdown begins to say goodbye. The race to close down her family’s motel for the season and for their hearts begins. With ten days left, will they see what’s always been right in front of them? Or is there too much left unsaid?

This slow burn of a story about missed chances and hidden glances really struck a chord with me.  After all, who hasn’t assumed their feelings are unrequited.  Throughout the story I was almost yelling at the main characters to just kiss or something.  Very sweet and beautifully written.

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My Apple Tree

Elizabeth M. Lawrence

David Cleary and Katie O’Connell had the perfect love. When they are separated by tragedy, David is devastated and refuses to move on — until he meets Emily “Mel” Wallace. Gun-shy Mel understands how a heart can break in the aftermath of violence. Although neither of them want to love again, the attraction between them is difficult to resist. David wants to keep Mel safe, but first he will need to risk his heart.

I loved the simplicity and honesty of this story.  Also, one of the best lines out of all four is “He was surprised to discover he wanted to kiss his best friend a bit more than he ever wanted to go fishing.” I went through an entire repertoire of emotions whilst reading this story and commend the author on managing this.

Speaking of commending the author… I was granted an interview with Elizabeth M. Lawrence, so here it is…

Firstly, tell me a little about yourself…

I was born (obviously) in a university town in Kansas, which is where much of my extended family still lives. After moving around a bit, my parents and I ended up in Cleveland, Ohio. I got married soon after college and brought my husband back with me. We now have two sons, three cats, one mortgage, two coffee makers, and enough dust bunnies to repopulate a planet.

1) How did you start writing?

I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I remember hiding under my bed and drawing the stories in my head since I didn’t know the alphabet yet. In college, I majored in English literature, but every adult around me insisted that there was no way I was going to be able to pursue a career as a professor or writer if I wanted to eat regularly. Eventually, I became a paralegal specializing in Intellectual Property law, but I left to stay at home shortly after my oldest child was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, which is on the Autism spectrum. While I was still working, I continued to write, but it wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom that I dared to consider pursuing writing as a career.

2) I know you also work with RenRom as editor in chief, how do you juggle this and being a freelance writer?

As with any job, there are times of frantic activity and periods of calm between the storms. I don’t know a single working mother who doesn’t struggle with balance to begin with, so I’ve become somewhat accustomed to being pulled in several different directions at once. I do try to avoid working on my own writing while in the middle of editing someone else’s manuscript. It’s important not to let the line between editing and rewriting get blurred. If I’m in “writing mode,” I will want to change someone else’s writing to match mine, and that’s not what I’m there to do. I do have plenty of support from RenRom itself – we have a wonderful team of people who are willing to jump in and help if things need to be juggled. I also disappear for the month of November to participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which involves a worldwide challenge to write 50,000 words in thirty days. My longer works in progress came out of past years’ projects, and it certainly is my most prolific writing period. In a nutshell, if I’m not editing, I’m writing – but I’m always doing one or the other.

3) Where did the inspiration for My Apple Tree

My Apple Tree is a story I began several years ago, and it has evolved a lot since the original draft, much like an old house that has had wings and extensions added to it as the years pass. The story of young lovers torn apart is the earliest portion and was inspired by Sinead O’Connor’s version of the Celtic ballad “I am Stretched on Your Grave,” which appeared on her album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. It is a beautiful and haunting song, and it’s hard not to listen to it and not see the young lovers in your mind’s eye. At first, I had no plans to develop my story beyond that, but some other influences gradually mixed themselves in. Hope began to emerge, and what was once a story of heartbreak and despair became something more as the characters took on a mind of their own and sought out love and healing. When I went to visit family last May in Joplin, Missouri, and saw the damage from the tornado that had torn apart that community one year earlier, the last piece fell into place. Hopefully, the end product is an honest and faithful portrait of grief, healing, and the importance of the life-affirming influence of love in our lives.

4) Do you have any projects in the pipeline that you can speak about?

I have two novels currently at different stages of completion, which is a nice way of saying that I will be monkeying with them until someone from RenRom comes and forcibly drags the manuscripts away from me. One is an historical romance titled The Truth Seekers, which takes place at the turn of the century and deals with the friendship that springs up between a society daughter and a misanthropic, cynical gothic novelist. Because of its historical nature, working on it is a more delicate process, so I have a hard time anticipating when I’ll feel like it is fit for public consumption. Another novel, The Irrepressibles, is a contemporary mystery-romance with elements of the paranormal and comedy mixed in. It is more typical of my normal writing style, with wise-cracking lead characters and hilarity mixed in with the more serious feelings and dilemmas. At the moment, it’s in the stage known by professional writers as “a hot mess,” but I hope to finish work on it sometime in 2013.

5) Will you ever incorporate your love of Doctor Who with your writing?

Ooh, good question! Unfortunately, my answer has to be “yes and no.” Like the hopeless fangirl I am, I already know what is involved in writing an actual Doctor Who novel, and I’m not prepared to run that particular gauntlet. However, I have gotten flashes of inspiration from watching the show that exist now as random snippets and notes somewhere in the bowels of my laptop. David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston’s portrayals of the Doctor, in particular, are almost impossible NOT to be inspired by. In these days, it’s supremely important to avoid even a whisper of copyright infringement, so while I might get an idea that is triggered by a bit of one episode or another, you won’t be seeing any time-traveling aliens from me any time soon. I would love to write a novel that is good enough to get a film version starring David Tennant, but I’m not going to hold my breath for that one!

6) What’s your least and most favourite aspects of the writing process?

I think my least favorite part of writing is the inner editor. The voice in the back of my mind that constantly pushes me to find better phrasing or improve characterizations won’t ever shut up long enough for me to just sit and relax and write. If my muse is the angel sitting on my shoulder, my inner editor is the devil perched on the other side. I think that’s why I tend to do my first-draft writing late at night or early in the morning when I’m not completely awake. When I’m totally alert, I’m second-guessing myself too much to get anything done.

My favorite part would have to be what goes on in my mind’s eye as I get a new idea. I love seeing a scene play out unexpectedly in my head. It’s by far the best part of being a creative person – that vivid imagination that lets you really see the world you’re trying to recreate for your audience. It’s like magic.

A HUGE thank you to Elizabeth for her time in answering these questions…  and for also reigniting my love for the wonderful David Tenant!

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Filed under Author Interview, Blog Tour, Compilation, contemporary, Novella

Author Interview – Lisa Bilbrey

As part of her blog tour, I was granted an interview with Lisa Bilbrey to promote her first novel Angel’s Heart: The Keeper.

The Blurb:

An age old prophecy, secret societies, and an enemy she
never even knew she had, Sophie Crenshaw always thought
of herself as just being average. Along with her two best
friends, Deva and Tabitha, Sophie sets off on what she thinks
is a normal vacation. What she doesn’t know is that
everything she thought she knew about who she is, and what
she can do, is about to change. With the help of people who
she’s never met, but know everything about her, will she be
able to get control of the feelings steering up inside of her?
Or will it be too much for her to handle?Henry Chang grew up hearing the stories about the legendary
Keeper of the Angel’s Heart. In a divine moment, he’s tied to her heart forever. Will their growing love
give Sophie the strength and courage to face the greatest challenge of her young life?

The Interview:

1 – Firstly, tell me a little about yourself and how you got into writing.
Well, my name is Lisa, and I am a mom to three brats . . . errr . . . I mean lovely children. Seriously, they are good kids, and I feel blessed that I get to call them mine. I started writing about five years ago when I discovered fanfiction. The stories would haunt me, literally keeping me up every night. Finally after ignoring them for weeks, I succumbed and started writing my first one. I wish I could tell you that it was a masterpiece, but it was not. In fact, it’s a hot mess, but it’s my start and I look back to it as being a marking of how much I’ve improved as a storyteller.

2 – Do you write full time or is it still “As and when” whilst you work and deal with everyday things?
I am a full time writer. It’s not unusual for me to spend the better part of ten to twelve hours writing. It’s who I am, and how I survive. Obviously, there are times when I find myself just trying to get a few lines written between running one errand and another, but for the most part, I write all day.

3 – Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from several people and places. Music, my children, dreams, they all influence who I am writing and what I am writing.

4 – You’ve written romance in different genres, do you have a preference at all?
I don’t really. I love them all. It’s very difficult for me to write fluff—true fluff. My characters almost all have an underlying pain that they keep hidden from everyone, and it’s my job to get it out of them.

5 – How do you decide on locations for your writing? Is it usually a place you know or somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and have researched?
Well, I am a big believer in writing what you know. So, with Angel’s Heart, I went completely against that and made up an island just off the Hawaiian Islands. But, in order to write how they got to Hawaii, I had to do a lot of research on the islands, and such. For my other books, I used areas I knew, the camp in A Season of Change for example is based on a summer camp I went to as a child. The Journey Home is set in my home town, just like Life’s Unexpected Gifts is. For me, I know small towns, how they work, the mindset of the people, but I think it’s important for authors not to pigeon hold themselves, too. So, I’ve tried to branch out and explore everywhere. If only I could get my husband to pay for that trip!

6 – Do you plan or outline your writing or do you write as you go?
I used to be a fly-by-the-seat-of –my-pants kind of writer, but I’ve found with my Original Fiction, that I need the basic idea of what each chapter will be bringing. Sometimes, my notes are vague, just a line that says “Mom and Dad chat” but it gives me something to go by.

7 – Tell me about how Angel’s Heart: The Keeper came to fruition. What’s your writing process when you have a deadline?
Angel’s Heart: The Keeper came from a single picture in my head: a young girl standing on the beach, the waves were washing up over her feet, and her hair was swirling around her. She had tears pouring down her face, and the sky was lit up as lightning flashed around her. The heavier her tears fell, the harder the rain came. From there, this whole new world was created.
I write best on a deadline. I spend all day writing, focusing on just getting the next chapter written.

8 – I see Angel’s Heart: The Keeper has some fab reviews on Goodreads. How does it feel knowing someone has not only bought your book, but has actually enjoyed it and takes the time to post such a review?
It’s the most amazing feeling. Readers don’t have to take the time to leave a few kind words, or even a few that have constructive criticism, so when they do leave them, I cherish them. For me, as an author, connecting with my readers is one of the highlights to the process and I am thankful for each and every one of them.

9 – What projects do you have in the pipeline?
I have a few. The first in line is the third book of the Candy Collection, Harvest Treats. My book is called The Journey Home. It’s the story of a professional football player facing the end of his career. He comes home and finds that everything has changed. Then, after that, I have another book coming out in December. It will be the fourth book of the Candy Collection. This time, my book will be called Broken Hearts & Dusty Dreams. I’m still working on it, but it’s proving to be a heart wrenching tale of a man who is struggling to move on with his life when he finds the girl that he’d fallen in love with as a boy. It’s already been an emotional struggle. Of course, I have the sequel to The Keeper, Angel’s Heart: The True Enemy. It picks up about six months after The Keeper ends.

10 – What advice would you give people who want to write and be published?
The biggest advice I can give is not to give up. Write every day, and when you get a rejection letter, grieve it and then file it away and move on. But don’t ever give up on your dreams, because when you find yourself finally achieving your dreams, the feeling is indescribable.

Where to find Lisa:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5623998.Lisa_Bilbrey

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Lisa-Bilbrey-Author/246940905370393

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LisaBilbrey

Blog: http://lisabilbrey.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0073U40XI

Twilah: http://ow.ly/aCs8G

Excerpt from the book:

Once they arrived in Honolulu, Henry insisted on carrying Sophie’s bag for her. She blushed, stammered

out a thank you, and followed him through the tunnel into Honolulu International Airport. Deva andTabitha let out matching squeals before hooking their arms with hers and pulling her after the boys. Sophie didn’t need to be a mind reader to know her friends were crushing on the men walking in front of them. Henry looked back at Sophie, a wide smile spreading over his lips. She knew just how herfriends felt.

“So we’ve been wondering if maybe you girls would like to ride over to Sayar Island with us.” Tanner smiled. “We’re going there anyway, so it kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?”

“Perfect sense,” Deva murmured, before she turned to Tabitha and Sophie. “Right, girls?”

“Definitely.” Having agreed right away with Deva, Tabitha looked over at Sophie, giving her a look thatdemanded she do this or else. Sophie sighed, knowing she didn’t have much choice in the matter. “Fine.”

They pulled their luggage off the conveyor belt and followed the boys outside the airport. Sophie’s breath caught in her chest when a woman wearing a blue and pink floral bikini top and a grass skirt stepped up in front of her, slipping a lavender lei around her neck. She leaned forward, kissed both her cheeks, and greeted her by saying, “Welcome to the islands.”

Sophie whispered her thanks and followed Henry over to the row of taxis. Before she could climb into one, however, someone grabbed her arm, spinning her around with an alarming amount of force. She found herself face to face with an old woman, who gaped at her. Her eyes were wild, a crazed smile
tugged on her lips, her dark hair was matted with dirt and grime, and her skin was covered in soot and bruises. The woman’s ratty appearance made it clear that she had lived a rough life on the streets.

Before Sophie could do as much as take a breath, the woman started speaking, her voice grainy and rough. “When the tides fall with the rising moon, protect the Heart.” The old woman shifted her eyes over to Henry. Her free hand came up, grabbing onto the front of his white shirt. “Keep close to your heart’s desire, or lose yourself completely.”

Before Sophie or Henry could respond, the woman released her hold on them and hurried away, muttering under her breath about prophecies coming to life. Sophie could only stare after her, wondering what that old woman had been talking about and why she felt the need to actually heed her warning.

Giveaway:

Go to the Renaissance Romance Blog for a chance to win a copy of the book, signed by Lisa. http://renaissanceromancepublishing.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/blog-tour-angels-heart-keeper-by-lisa.html

The Book Cover:

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