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Category Archives: On Writing

Attention all reviewers and bloggers…

Are you interested in receiving an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of my upcoming release SECRET LOVE? This is a sweet, nostalgic romance set in 1955.

What’s the catch? All I ask is that you please post your honest review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble within 24 hours of the link going live on June 9th…release day 🙂

If interested please sign up here : SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE ARC OF SECRET LOVE

OR…

Would you like to help me spread the word on release day by having me on your blog for a RELEASE DAY BLAST of Secret Love? I would send you the book cover along with the blurb, excerpt, buy links as well as my author info, pic, and links. It would arrive in an easy format for you to copy and paste on your blog on June 9th.

If interested please sign up here : SIGN UP FOR RELEASE DAY BLAST OF SECRET LOVE

I hope you’ll consider signing up for one or both.

Oh, and if you want to see what I’m all excited about…because, yes, I’m excited about this story…here’s the blurb:

Lizzie Tarleton has always done things her own way—including the time at the tender age of thirteen when she confessed to her brother’s best friend she loved him. But now she’s a new teacher at the local high school, and independent enough to know that you can’t force love. She’ll find love when the time is right—even though her parents are adamant the time is now. The only downfall to her idyllic life is the fact that her childhood crush—who broke her heart—is now her boss. If only she could stop daydreaming about him.

Wayne Whitmore grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and worked hard to get where he’s at in life. Even though he enjoys being principal at the small town high school, he dreams of coaching baseball. When his best friend asks him to watch over his little sister at her new job at Wayne’s school, he agrees. What he doesn’t count on is how she’s grown from the pig tailed kid who told him she loved him, to the woman who breaks his concentration with her beauty and smile. Unable to get over his fascination, and afraid he’ll ruin his friend’s trust, Wayne applies for his dream job—one that will take him far away.

One night while decorating the school gymnasium for an upcoming sock hop, Lizzie and Wayne find themselves alone. They share a kiss and Lizzie realizes her childhood crush for Wayne has never died. Wayne decides he doesn’t want to let Lizzie get away.

Can they come to terms with their secret love and then overcome the other secrets they are hiding in order to get what they each want? Or is their timing for love still off?

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What to Read Wednesday

Welcome to What to Read Wednesday! It’s already the 11th of July, can you believe that? Last week we took a break from What to Read Wednesday because of the 4th of July 🙂 but today we are back in full force with author RG Porter. She’s here to share some info about herself and her latest release KEEPERS OF WATER (Guardians of Nature Book 1)

So let’s dive in! I’m so glad you’re here RG 🙂  Tell us 5 things about you the person, not the author. 🙂

I love animals, though I’m a cat person mostly. I love supernatural horror movies. I swear I was born in the wrong country and should be living in England. I think I died by drowning in a past life. And I love playing MMORPGs (they are great for inspiration).

Your five fascinate me! Nicely done 🙂 What’s your favorite comfort food?

I don’t have anything I like as comfort food, but I love proper home cooking.

Tell us one thing you fear, one thing you hate, and one thing you love?

I fear losing those I care about too soon. I hate what we are doing to this planet, how fast we are destroying it. I love watching thunderstorms and mother nature’s true power.

I love mother nature’s true power too…and thunderstorms are a wonderful way for her to express herself 🙂 What genre (s) do you write?

I tend to scan a few genres. Anywhere from Fantasy (epic, dark, light) to paranormal romance to supernatural horror. I’m even trying my hand at a new 1st person supernatural murder mystery after I finish my current wip.

I’ve toyed with trying to write a story in 1st person as well…still haven’t given it a shot yet though. How did you get started writing?

Well, I wrote some back in High School for my English class, but never expounded on it. Then a few years back, I was writing as a way to escape the chaos of life and found I really enjoyed it. A few friends read what I had written and told me to try and get it out there for everyone to enjoy. Thus, here I am. 🙂

Love that! Share a blurb from KEEPERS OF WATER.

A promise to save her brother’s soul unearths a conspiracy she was not prepared for…

Arieana’s brother has been murdered by her own people in a world not their own. Forced into breaking ancient law, she ventures into the human realm in search of her brother’s soul. Once she steps through the Veil, she realizes the renegades are up to more than just punishing a few humans. They want to destroy the race itself.

Forced to forge an unlikely alliance with the very race responsible for the storms tearing her world apart, she finds out more of her past than the elders want. With the war started, each clue they uncover leads them closer to the first of the elemental relics, and a chance to save mankind.

Together they must work side by side to stop the renegades…

Before time runs out for both worlds.

Powerful blurb and amazing cover! What’s your writing space look like?

It’s quite basic. I have a desk, laptop and chair. Nice thing about a laptop is I can move around if need be. Plus, when I’m out and about I tend to write on my iPad if I have time. Biggest thing is getting my cat, Desari, to leave me be for the time I’m writing. Not always easy.

LOL..I have 2 cats and 2 dogs, so I know exactly what you are saying.  Love them, but at times they can be more demanding than my kids.  What’s one of your favorite sentences from your book?

“You’ve only seen a taste of it. Hope fills you, hate consumes me.”

Nice sentence! What’s the best part of the writing process for you?

Allowing the story to unfold as I write and having it take me places I hadn’t planned.

Do you prefer to write male POV or female POV and why?

I prefer the female as it is more natural. Though, it can be fun doing the male once in awhile. Still, it is harder to get right.

What inspired you to write this story?

I’m a very big believer in the fact that we are quickly destroying this world. But I wondered, what if our actions here had bigger consequences that reached much farther than just this world. What would those people think of us? That is was allowed this novel, and series, to spring to life.

Please share an excerpt:

Rydan took a deep breath and sighed. The dry air of the desert felt good in his lungs. He had missed this place. Scanning the area, he found familiar buildings and colors in front of him. The human world was so different from his home back in Baile, from the dry mounds of sand and scarce vegetation to the simplistic life the people led. Nothing about this place drew even an ounce of similarity to the world he had left behind.

“Mama, where are you?”

He stilled at the sound of a child. He turned to seek her out her out and saw a little brown head bopping about one of the walkways. Kneeling down at the edge of the rooftop, he readied himself to take out anyone that might jump from the shadows and attack.

“Jesmine, come inside right now.” A tall woman reached out of a door and grabbed the child’s hand. “What have I told you about going outside at night?”

The door shut behind them. Rydan breathed a sigh of relief. The child was inside and safe. One less person he had to worry about. Now that just left the rest of the town.

He still had one question at the back of his mind. What had led them here? Was it their own research, or did they know he had a history here? He found it hard to believe it had to do with him but that didn’t quell his fears. His secret was here. Could they have found what he had tried to keep hidden for the last eight years?

“No!” A loud piercing scream rose from the east. Rydan turned to the incoming breeze; the scent of death was heavy in the air as was Ricor’s wound.

 “Damn it.” He swore under his breath.

“Help me!” Fear laced the woman’s words.

Rydan breathed in and clenched his fists tightly. “Enough is enough,” he whispered. “Not tonight, not again.”  He gripped the handle of his sword as he stood up. He bolted into the night and saw a flash of the desert landscape and a memory of his sister’s flickered through his mind.

It’s amazing, Rydan. The desert spans further than you can ever believe. It’s so beautiful, but just as deadly. Water is nearly non-existent but there is something, a pull that calls out to me. I can’t explain it, but it’s there. But you must be weary of the sands; they are full of death and blood. Do not allow yours to be spilled there, for the earth will absorb it too quickly and you will be lost to me. The story had fascinated him, but looking around he wondered, and not for the first time, how much she really saw.

“No…Stop it! Get away from me!” The scream punched deep into his heart. Without pausing to think, he raced forward. He could sense something was different about this night, the tension felt thicker the closer he got, but he couldn’t stop. The woman had sounded terrified and he felt compelled to help. Rydan rounded a corner at full speed and came face to face with a dark mist slowly descending over the town.

Don’t go there. It’s not safe.

Arieana’s voice filled his mind, their connection strong. He knew his sister could feel the same concern he had, but he didn’t stop to listen. The woman was still alive and this time he would save her. Too many had died in the past when he had arrived too late to help. He wasn’t going to let it happen again.

Please stop Rydan. It’s not what you think. Her words echoed in his mind, but the adrenalin had taken over, and he pushed himself forward, determined not to lose another.

What type of scene is your favorite to write?

I adore fight scenes. Especially those that involve swords. There is something intimate, beautiful and graceful about fight scenes with swords, daggers, as well as just hand to hand.

Would you like to share a hint as to what your current WIP is? 🙂

Sure! I’m nearing the completion of a new supernatural horror novel. This is my second dab into the genre and completely loved writing this book. It is kind of a cross between 28 Weeks Later meets Doom with a bit of Resident Evil tossed into the mix. The title is Deadly Descent and I’m hoping to have it ready to be released by October of this year.

Oooh…those are some good movies…sounds like an interesting mix. And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?

I can always be found at my website www.rgporter.net, my blog (which I’m terrible at updating but I do try) www.rgporter.blogspot.com as well as twitter (@AuthorRGPorter) and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorRGPorter

 
 

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What to Read Wednesday

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for What to Read Wednesday!  Today we have author Jessica Lauryn in the hot seat and she’ll be telling us about her book DANGEROUS ALLY The Pinnacles of Power. 

Thank you for joining us Jessica.  I’m so glad that you’re here and am excited to learn more about you and your book.  Please tell us about yourself in 5 sentences.

‘Passionate’ is definitely the word that comes to mind when I am asked to describe who I am.  I am passionate about all things that I do, whether I am working, playing, or spending time with family and friends.  Driven strongly by my imagination, I feel that I can be the most creative when I am writing.  As a romance novelist as well as a romantic at heart, I am most drawn to heroes who require a bit of soul-searching before they can win the hearts of their heroines.  I have a great love for romance, and I feel I can best express that love by writing a great romantic story.

Love that answer!  What’s your favorite breakfast food?

My favorite breakfast entrée is a good old-fashioned bagel and cream cheese with a bit of strawberry jelly, complimented by a glass of cold milk.

You can’t go wrong with a bagel 🙂 Share the oddest place you’ve ever pulled out a book and started reading.

There’s an odd place to be reading a book?  I thought once you’d purchased it, any ground was fair game 🙂  But I guess if I had to pick one place, I’d say under the desk at work.  The book was in my lap that was.  I was in my chair 😉

Nice…you almost had me…lol!  What genre (s) do you write?

Contemporary Romantic Suspense.  This will certainly not be the last genre I’ll write in but it’s definitely the one I want to stick with for the time being.  My first two releases, Dangerous Ally and Dangerous Proposal, are both a part of the Pinnacles of Power Series and are centered around a diamond smuggling operation called Project Gemstone.  Both stories are mystery/suspense driven, and include edge-of-your-seat cliffhangers and suspenseful moments.

I like that…it’s always fun to read suspense and try to figure out all the twists and turns.  Where do you get your story ideas?

I tend to draw inspiration from everything around me, but it usually works best when something really grabs my attention.  An unusual person I meet or an intriguing series of events will definitely make me pick up a pen.  Sometimes, even a character or story crafted by another author can get my juices flowing, particularly when that character or story triggers a strong emotional reaction.  Emotion inspires writing, so anything I can do to draw out my emotion is good.

I agree.  Emotion definitely can get the creative juices flowing.  Share a blurb from your book.

This is a blurb from my steamy debut release, Dangerous Ally:

For five lonely years, diamond smuggling kingpin Lucas Ramone has hidden himself from the world. With a father who has baited him all his life, made a game of trying to trip him up at every turn, Lucas will do whatever is necessary to protect what is rightfully his. What he isn’t prepared for is Lilah Benson…

Upon accepting a job in the home of her sister’s maniacal ex-fiancé, reporter Lilah Benson believes she has finally found the perfect way to make her mark on the world. Exposing the criminal endeavors of Lucas Ramone won’t soon be forgotten. But as she comes to know the man who was supposed to be her adversary, Lilah is tempted by a passion far stronger than the desire to see her name in print…

Power and control are tools of survival, critical in a world of thievery and deception. Lilah, an innocent in a land of criminals, may be the one person capable of bringing Lucas to his knees. But Lucas will stop at nothing to keep his empire secure.

He will have it all: His Fortune, His Legacy, and Lilah Benson in his bed…

I love that last line!  Nice 🙂  Tell us three traits about your hero that you love. 

Hero Lucas Ramone is cunning, suave, and mysterious—key ingredients of a powerful seducer, who Lilah describes as being “like a dark prince from a fairytale, who she can swear is secretly contemplating the best way to go about locking her in his castle.”

Now your heroine.

Heroine Lilah Benson is quick-witted, smart, and bold, which makes her not only an excellent journalist, but also the perfect person to take on the likes of the Ramone men, and unlock the dangerous secrets that father and son alike have been hiding from the world.

Please share an excerpt from your book!  

Senses returning with a bang, Lilah held up two hands in protest. “Are you trying to get me drunk?” she snapped, not entirely sure whether it was him she was angrier at or herself.

“Am I that obvious?” Lucas laughed as if the whole thing was funny, setting the glass back down.

She enjoyed being in the company of a monster—there was nothing lighthearted about it!

“I’m guessing you’ve probably been down this road too many times, hmm?” Lucas replaced his hand on her shoulder.

“What road would that be, exactly?”

His gray eyes looked deeply into hers. “I’m sure I’m not the first man who’s tried to get you into a relaxed state, Lilah.”

“Actually—” She hesitated, not wanting to get so personal yet feeling she could probably tell him anything and he’d somehow understand. “It’s been a long time, longer than you’d imagine. After I finished college, I had every intention of becoming a journalist. Meaning I’d be out most of the time chasing a story despite whatever danger came with it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted, for as long as I can remember.”
He nodded, coming closer. “You must have been very persistent. It takes a good deal of perseverance and sacrifice to become a success at such a young age.”

Lilah sure knew that. While her friends had been enjoying their last semester of college, she’d been frantically gathering writing samples, sending them out to every newspaper who would give her the time of day. But had her father noticed? Even when she became one of the youngest reporters at the New York Times, he’d barely raised a brow.
Deep down, she knew this was why she’d accepted Raphael’s offer, even in spite of the danger that came with it. A story about Raphael Ramone’s family laundry wasn’t going to impress Blake Benson. But exposing Lucas’s diamond smuggling operation would be a print-worthy unearthing that would win her father’s admiration as well as her first Pulitzer.

She lowered her gaze. “I haven’t given up anything so wonderful.”

Lucas lifted her chin. “But if it came to that, do you think you’d be willing to make that sacrifice? Give up something you want—maybe something you want more than anything—to attain some ultimate level of self-victory?”

A chill came over her at his words. Lilah came back a step, unsure of what had just happened but wanting desperately to pretend it hadn’t.

Lucas cleared his throat. “Let’s get some air, shall we?”

Something she needed desperately. She followed him to the balcony, welcoming the cool night breeze as it caressed her hot skin.

“It’s beautiful here,” she said, hoping very much to steer the conversation in a new direction.

“It is.” He nodded and came beside her, bracing the rail with one hand. He slipped an arm around her back.

His body was warm—like a furnace—and he felt strong, as if he spent his days loading lumber instead of dabbling away at a computer.

Lilah shivered, goose bumps forming along her bare arms. It felt so nice being close to Lucas. Too nice. Maybe she’d just stay there with him a few minutes longer. They weren’t exactly hurting anyone by being in each other’s company.

He leaned into her, speaking in a tone she could only describe as husky. “Those men you never met,” he said, “that was their loss.”

She blinked, keeping her eyes on the night sky. “Please. A man’s the last thing I need in my life.”

“Are you sure about that?” Lucas asked, his warm breath coming against her ear. “Or is it possible you’ve been hiding behind your work for so long, you don’t even know how things could be?” His palm brushed her bare shoulder as he turned her to face him. “No one knows what it’s like to be hidden from the world more than I do, Lilah. You can trust me on this. I think we’re more alike than you realize. And it’s possible we’re both missing out on something incredible.”

She didn’t push his hand away as it cupped her cheek. Or his arm as it encompassed her waist. No, she let him do what he wanted. She wanted him to touch her…

Excellent excerpt 🙂  What’s your favorite part about writing?

The answer to that question is complicated, because I love so many things about writing!  I love the feeling of escape I get when I write, and I love thinking about and plotting stories, the romantic parts especially.  There’s also a great feeling of control that comes with writing, because you, the writer have control of everything, the characters’ actions and feelings, even the outcome.  So I guess I would say that my favorite part of writing is that I get to do it, at least a little bit, every day.

Tell us your favorite sentence in this book.

“From my perspective, he’s a dangerous ally to you at best.”

This line is delivered to Lilah by Raphael Ramone, Lucas’s father and villain in Dangerous Ally.  I love the sentence, not only because it incorporates the title of the book into the story, but also because it comes at such a suspenseful moment, when things are getting intense, Lilah’s feelings for Lucas are growing deeper, and she is beginning to realize that he is essentially her dangerous ally. 

Do you prefer to write dialogue, emotion or description and why?

I definitely prefer to write dialogue.  It comes more naturally for me, and as a result, I tend to weave everything else–action and narrative–around the dialogue.  As an author, I feel I can learn the most about my characters by letting them talk and seeing what they say.  Then I can fill in the blanks, their thoughts included.

What’s your current WIP? 🙂

As the second edition of the Pinnacles of Power Series, Dangerous Proposal, will be released in June, (woo-hoo!) I am currently working on the third story, Dangerous Proposition.  In this story, Julia Dyson (Lena Benson’s roommate in Dangerous Proposal) learns that her father has been abducted, and believes her teenage crush, Colin Westwood, may be responsible.  Colin, determined to keep Julia from learning his true involvement in her father’s abduction, makes the red-headed temptress an offer.  In exchange for helping her retrieve her missing father, he wants Julia to be his mistress.

Can you share one piece of advice for any new writer’s out there just starting out?

Write what you love.  It sounds cliché, but the best way to break into publication is by being a great writer.  And great writing comes with practice.  You’re much more likely to put in the hours when you’re writing about what you love, a setting that inspires you, a time period that draws you in, and a hero who tickles your libido senseless.  Just as its hard to put down a great book that you’re reading, it’s even harder to put down a great book that you’re writing. Write what you love and you WILL write your way to publication!

Fabulous advice Jessica 🙂  And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)?

Dangerous Ally is currently available both in paperback and as an e-book.  You can find all of the links on my website:  www.jessicalauryn.com

Thank you so much for joining me today…I had a great time getting to know about you and your books!  I’m so glad you visited!

Thank you for having me, Christine!  I had a great time!

 

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What to Read Wednesday

YAY…it’s time another What to Read Wednesday!  Today we have multi-pubbed author JENNA JAXON here!  Jenna is an awesome person and author and we’re going to learn more about her and her latest release ALMOST PERFECT from Decadant Publishing.  I have to tell you that this book has been on my tbr pile for a bit now and I can’t wait to dive it and read it.  You’ll see why after you read the blurb & excerpt.

And after our interview please read an extra special message from Jenna regarding her book, a good cause and her publisher!

Now let’s get started.  Thank you so much Jenna for joining us on What to Read Wednesday.  Tell us about yourself using 5 words 🙂

perfectionist, loyal, workaholic, inventive, shy

What’s your favorite word?

Onomatopoeia! I have always loved how that word sounds.

At work I always like to say Ischemic Cardiomyopathy.  LOL…I have no clue why but love that diagnosis (not that it’s a good one to have.) What’s one talent you wish you had but don’t?

I wish I could learn to speak foreign languages fluently.

I think we both just spoke some type of foreign language with our words…lol  If you were asked to star in your own Reality Television show, what would it be called? 

Confessions of a Romance Junkie

Nice!  What genre (s) do you write?

I write historical romance, which is my true love, and erotic contemporary which came as quite a surprise. 🙂

What’s the first sentence of your book?

“Happy birthday to me.”

The last?

“That would be perfect.”

Hmm, both are good hooks 🙂  Share a blurb from ALMOST PERFECT.

Pamela Kimball’s birthday present, a 1Night Stand adventure, promises to jump-start her life, put a new man in her bed, and help her forget her past.  Unfortunately, movie-buff Pam’s Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy takes an alarming wrong turn when she’s abandoned on a not quite deserted island—with ex-husband Roger Ware.

Forced by hunger to accept Roger’s offer of dinner,  Pam realizes the geek she married has transformed into one of the most charming, sexiest men she’s ever met. His newfound confidence—and hot body—re-kindle old fires.  A simple kiss leads Roger to challenges her to discover how much his lovemaking skills have improved, leaving Pam torn between self-preservation and burning desire.

With time running out before they’re rescued, Pam must decide if her heart can survive the consequences of becoming Roger’s “almost” perfect 1Night Stand.

 

Love it!  Describe your hero through your heroine’s eyes…and feel free to quote her 🙂

Pam hasn’t seen Roger in two years, and they parted on less than good terms, but she notices he’s looking good.  “He stood, arms crossed over his muscled chest, better looking than she remembered.”

Please share an excerpt!

She inched into the lapping surf, searching for movement. Reflection off the water made this task harder than expected. Wasn’t the Caribbean supposed to be teeming with fish?  Now that’s something she’d had a lot of instruction in. Almost every marooned-on-an-island movie had a scene where the heroine learned to catch fish. Six Days, Father Goose, Blue Lagoon. All you needed was your hands and patience. She could do this.

Pam waded out further then stopped just before the water hit her now dry shorts. “Not gonna to have a damp crotch all night.” The words reminded her of exactly what she had hoped for tonight. “But not from wet shorts!” She headed back to shore to remove and drape them next to her shirt. The bandeau was a different story. Still damp, even after several hours, and uncomfortable. Might dry better if not next to her skin anyway. “Screw it!  Live dangerously.”

Standing as good as naked on the deserted beach, Pam smiled as the warm breeze caressed her bare body. The sense of being slightly naughty added to her delight in the sensual feel of the air as it dried her breasts. Her nipples peaked as the wind cooled them. She strutted down to the water’s edge to sink her toes in the sand, the salty tang in the air adding to the perfect moment.

“If you’re skinny dipping, you forgot to remove one very important piece of clothing.”

Pam whirled around. Roger stood on the beach behind her, a green bottle of Perrier in one hand. His gaze played up and down her naked torso and his salacious grin widened. “Mind if I join you?”

What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you?

Putting in description.  I write the basic draft, then go back and layer on description, fleshing it out as I go.  That’s hardest, because I don’t like to read description.

The easiest? 

Plotting!  That’s the bones of the book and to me the easiest and most fun part.  I love to fit the story together, figuring out how things go together, how to affect the reader and draw the response I want from them.

What time of the day are you most productive in your writing?

Any time I’m not disturbed by my family!  Which usually means late at night or early in the morning.

What’s the easiest part of a book to write for you…the beginning, middle or end? 

Well, since I love to plot, I really find all of them easy.  But probably the beginning and especially the inciting incident, what kick starts the story, is the easiest for me.

What are you working on now? 🙂

Right now I’m finishing up another erotic contemporary, 7 Days of Seduction and starting revisions on the second in my Georgian historical series, Only Marriage Will Do.  And I’m very excited to start re-working my medieval, Time Enough to Love. That will end up as a trilogy by the end of the summer.

Wow, you’re busy at the keyboard!  Do you have one piece of advice you’d like to share with a newbie author?

Keep writing no matter what.

And finally, where can we find you and your book(s)? 

Almost Perfect can be found at the following sites:

Decadent Publishing: http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?cPath=75_105&products_id=416&osCsid=68ti48u914jdkbaebhb4bh54j2

Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Almost-Perfect-Night-Series-ebook/dp/B006JE4WS2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1335581630&sr=8-4

Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/almost-perfect-jenna-jaxon/1107903481?ean=2940032911098

All Romance E-Books:http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-almostperfect-653805-149.html

Author Links:

Blog:  http://jennajaxon.wordpress.com/

FB:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenna-Jaxon/146857578723570

Twitter:  @Jenna_Jaxon

And all of my other books can be found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Thank you for the links.  And now for that additional message I mentioned.  Take it away Jenna 🙂

I also wanted to let you and your readers know Almost Perfect is Decadent Publishing’s Read For A Cure book for the month of May.  All publisher proceeds from sales of the book from any vendor during the month will go to benefit Relay for Life. And a portion of the author’s proceeds will be donated as well.  That means whoever purchases the book during the month of May is making a wonderful contribution to cancer research.   Please Read For A Cure and help us close the book on cancer.

A great incentive to grab a copy of this terrific read today!  Thank you Jenna for coming by and thanks to everyone who comes by each week!

Thank you, Christine, for having me!

 

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What to Read Wednesday & review

Happy Wednesday and thank you for taking the time to join me for another What To Read Wednesday.  I have a huge HUGE treat for you today.  I have a wonderful friend of mine joining us with her debut release…and she’s also doing a giveaway!  All you have to do to win a copy of Teresa Blue’s debut novella from THE WILD ROSE PRESS is comment and leave your email address.  Yep, that easy.

Before we get started I wanted to share my short review of Teresa’s novella NIGHT BIRD…then we’ll get on with the interview:

My review

I highly recommend this novella.  I don’t like to give away too much in any review I write, and I won’t make an exception here, but I can tell you that you will not be disappointed with this read!

From the very first paragraph I was invested in this story.  I was drawn into the mood and the characters.  Emma is the perfect heroine for this story and Travis is not only sexy and manly as the hero, but tender and vulnerable at the same time.

Teresa Blue has a wonderful way of weaving her words together to bring her characters to life and put the reader right into the scene.  Each word she used to describe what was happening was so well chosen, it made everything so crisp and easy to visualize.  Top it off with Emma’s emotion and caring attitude to her past, her present and her future and I was a goner.  I didn’t put this story down until I reached the end.

Beautifully written with twists and turns I didn’t expect, I loved following along with Emma and Travis as they revealed themselves to each other…and the story was revealed to the reader.  There were several times I was caught by surprise and that’s a real treat when reading a story.

I’m not a professional reviewer, but if I were, I’d give this 2 thumbs up, 5 stars and lots of satisfied sighs!

Now, on with our interview 🙂

Hi Teresa, thank you for joining us!  Please share a little bit about yourself and your writing journey.

I’m thrilled to be here, Christine and will start right off with telling you how I started writing early in the 90’s with mostly poems and children’s stories. Then in 1999 I joined RWA and by early 2000 had completed my first novel. I returned home from a writer’s conference to a yard full of people and several fire trucks. My house was a pile of ash and everything I had ever written along with it. That set me back a year or two while I put a home together.

Oh Teresa, that’s scary.  I’m glad nobody was hurt.  I’m one of those people that deals with stress (and that would be a stressful situation) by indulging in good eats.  Naughty me.  So, tell us what’s in your fridge right now. lol

Right now, homemade cocoanut cream pie, leftover rotisserie chicken and marinating venison steaks.

YUM…now that all sounds good.  But I know you are one awesome cook!  Tell us one thing you hate, one thing you fear and one thing you love.

One thing I hate is how quick the morning hours fly by. I’m barely settled into a scene then glance and the clock and realize I need to get dressed. What’s my biggest fear? To loose my sight or the use of my fingers. My totally passion is reading those wonderful old bodice rippers. I absolutely love anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss or Johanna Lindsey.

I have a secret addiction to those old bodice rippers too…can’t explain it, but I just love to read them.  What genre or genres do you write?

My first novel was a historical but the second one I started more a light hearted contemporary that I wrote in long hand while living in the camper. I was naïve in thinking contemp. wouldn’t require any research. At the moment I’m writing contemporary, but I like to write paranormal and romantic suspense, too.

Tantalize us with a blurb from NIGHT BIRD.

Travis Howland washes up on the shores of Lost Isle and into the arms of an angel. Known as the Night Bird, Emma Samson dedicates her afterlife to a solitary existence on Lost Isle, easing the passage of the dying. When she finds Travis weak and desperate, she gives him the only gift she has—a few more days to settle his affairs before his death. Sorely lacking in faith, Travis lives life with no thought for the future. When his lovely rescuer claims he has died, he can’t believe it. He must warn his father that their ship was plundered by a greedy business partner, but only a leap of faith can save him. Together, Emma and Travis use his last few hours to avenge the traitorous deeds that torment him, and along the way discover that love can be found in any stage of life…even after death.

I truly loved this story!  Share with us your favorite sentence from your book.

Hard to chose just one. 🙂  “Tell me, exactly what has transpired these past few days to change me from a man to a…monster?”

Very intriguing sentence!  Love it.  What’s the most exciting part of writing?

The most exciting thing to me about writing is the opportunity to be anywhere in the world with people I adore. After all, I give them the physical as well as characteristic traits that please me, even my villains. And when they begin talking to me, it’s a writer’s rush.

How did you come up with the title NIGHT BIRD?

The title actually came from the song, Night Bird, by Eva Cassidy. A haunting melody, filled with beautiful lyrics about a woman who found a man down on his luck in New Orleans and she took him in and taught him how to fly.    http://youtu.be/EU4OKZTlPI0

Love that Teresa!  Share an excerpt with us please 🙂

A crashing wave knocked Emma off her feet and plunged her beneath the water, grains of sand biting her skin as the gushing tide tossed her upon the shore. She struggled to break the ocean’s grip, her sodden skirt throttling her ankles as she tried to stand. Another rushing wave pushed her to her knees. A heavy object slammed against her side and drove them both aground.

     A man.

     Foamy bubbles gathered in a small pool of water where his body lay indented in the sand. Her heart roared in her ears, drowning out the pounding surf. In the past, she’d witnessed countless felons jump ship rather than face the adversity of chains, starvation, and brutal prison beatings. Many saw the island’s wide cove as a passage to freedom and often died trying to swim across.

The dark shape lay unmoving beside her. After only a brief glance she knew he was different. He had strong, classic feature and a think robust body. She couldn’t squelch her curiosity. Who was this man? A ship’s captain, perhaps? Or a meager fisherman with a run of bad luck? Maybe he’d ignored the dangerous winds and threatening clouds, driven by the greed she’d seen in eyes of other men. Fishing boats of all sizes had been destroyed upon the deceptive coral reefs, led on by the tempestuous sea witch that lured them beyond the next horizon.

      Emma pushed aside the drenched charcoal locks covering the man’s eyes and revealed thick brows and a strong forehead. His cheeks bore stubbles of whiskers.

The white tailored shirt, although frayed and worn, was that of a whaleman sailor, its hem floating up to expose heavy, coarse trousers. Suddenly, his fingers caught the fabric of her bodice and gave the slightest tug to draw her near.

      “Help me,” he pleaded, his voice barely more than a whisper as his arm dropped to his side.

       Moisture blurred her vision at the helplessness she’d heard, the desperation that filled his eyes. She blinked back tears. How much longer must she witness death? Emma was unable to actually save life, but could offer a brief reprieve for the tormented lost one. Usually the men she encountered were the blackest of the lot: convicts, murderers, and thieves were among those needing her most.

         But this man’s appearance didn’t seem to be that of a weak or starved convict. Instead, his body looked firm, reasonably fit. Perhaps the made his living on the water. Lately, she’d witnessed many Yankee whalers drawn to the Pacific, all eager to fill their casks with valuable sperm oil.

     His breath came out weak and unsure as his chest labored and fell. A strong will to survive etched deep across his face and the vulnerable expression played on her heart. He was someone’s son, perhaps a father, but clearly a man unable to let go. With each painful gasp, his eyes pleaded, asking the impossible.

    But she knew…death was inescapable. It was the after life she hoped to change.  Already the icy water had stiffened his body, his breathing faltered. Emma measure each one his last. Even if she did manage to warm him, he would die of fever, the life-taking chill never leaving his body.

      He’d asked for her help…but was his need to survive strong enough to carry the burden to eternity?

    Precious seconds passed. The uneven rise and fall of his chest warned her it was nearly too late. Is she didn’t decide soon, he’d be left to face the judgment he’d earned in life without having the chance to reconcile whatever desperate burdens were holding him back.

     Emma lowered her head. No breath came from his lips, his eyes faded as death stole over him. Swiftly, she pressed her lips against his neck; a metallic taste filled her mouth when she pierced his skin. It took only seconds to exchange his blood with the substance flowing in her veins. The wind howled in protest and sprayed them with a mist of salt-drenched water while the waves crashed around them.

     It seemed forever and then…he moved.

     “My crewman. Where is my crew?” he whispered.

    Although his eyes shone with gratitude, would he still be grateful after learning the conditions of his survival?

Your excerpt was awesome…puts the reader right there!  Using only 5 words, describe Travis, your hero.

Travis is handsome, strong, loyal, courageous and persistent.

Now your heroine Emma.

Emma is a nurturer, tender-hearted, faithful, sincere and obstinate.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part is getting into a new story. It takes me awhile to convince myself I’m not wasting my time and ignore that pesky gremlin whispering in my ear. My first drafts tend to be kind of skimpy.

The easiest?

I find the easiest part of writing to be dialogue, once my characters come together they never stop talking. Which is pure joy.

I like dialogue too!  I think it flows smooth when you really know your characters.  When is your favorite time to write, morning, afternoon, or nights?

In the morning, sitting down at the computer with my coffee and still in my pajamas. Once I get dressed it’s official I’ve got ‘other’ things to do and usually can’t switch back to the creative mode as easily.

I feel the same way.  What’s your current WIP?

I’m working on a contemporary romance, the second in a series that’s kind of been put on the back burner while I promote Night Bird. It’s proving to be a fun story and I’m anxious to get back to it.

Please share some writerly wisdom with any new authors out there or anyone just beginning their writing journey.

Take all the so-called rules you hear with a grain of salt. For everyone who says not to do it this way, they’ll be another who proves them wrong. Don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail; originality sells. And don’t sweat the small stuff. Cliché’ for a reason.

Great advice and so true.  When you first start out it’s so hard to know what to believe and what to go against the grain with.  Teresa, where can we find you and your debut release?  

Teresa Blue: author The Wild Rose Press  here’s the link to NIGHT BIRD on The Wild Rose Press Site & AMAZON

Visit me at my blog: http://tereasa-thingfinder.blogspot.com/

Friend me on Facebook: Tereasa Bellew, twitter: @teab123Blue, Goodreads

I’m so glad you took the time to visit!  And everyone, please remember, one lucky commenter is going to receive a copy of Teresa’s novella NIGHT BIRD!

Thank you so much for having me Christine! I love What To Read Wednesdays and it’s so exciting to be a guest.

 

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10 – 4 Tuesday

Welcome to 10 – 4 Tuesday!  This is a forum where I’ll feature either an author or someone in a position related to publishing, promoting or a service that is author related.  I will only be offering this forum on occasion, and if anyone wants to participate, email me to set up a date  🙂

For 10 – 4 Tuesday I will ask our guest 10 questions about themselves and their service or book and then 4 questions for fun 🙂  So let’s get started.

Today I’d like to introduce you to Ally Broadfield.  Ally is an author as well as a proofreader.

Hi Ally, Thanks for joining us for 10 – 4  Tuesday 🙂

Hi Christine! Thanks so much for having me here today.

First the 10:

To start out, tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve worked in marketing, recruiting, and as a librarian. I’ve always been an avid reader and started writing with an eye toward publication about four years ago. I currently live in Texas with my husband, three children and a menagerie of animals. When I say menagerie, I really mean it. We have five dogs, a cat, a rabbit, a parrot, a hedgehog, four lizards, two snakes, and several fish. I also have a horse, but he doesn’t live with us.

Wow, you’re a busy lady.  As well as being the owner of a proofreading business, you stated you’re an author.  What types of books do you write?

I write historical romance set in Regency England and in Imperial Russia during the early 19th century. I have several things on submission and hope to have some good news to share soon.

I always enjoy the tidbits you share about Russia and history in general on your blog.  Share with us what exactly your proofreading services consist of.

First I’d like to share a secret. When writers proofread their own work, it’s not unusual for them to overlook errors because their mind knows how the text should read and automatically corrects it. Whether you’re polishing your manuscript for a contest, preparing to submit to an agent or editor, or planning to self-publish, having another set of eyes to help catch grammatical and typographical errors can prove invaluable. I always have someone else proofread my work for me, because I even have difficulty detecting errors in my work.

Proofreading is limited to checking for correctness and focuses on grammar, punctuation, syntax, and typographical and spelling errors. I proofread manuscripts specifically for errors in grammar like capitalization, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, typographical errors, verb tense and subject-verb agreement. I also read for correct comma usage, misplaced modifiers, homonym errors, correct use of plural and possessive forms, punctuation of dialogue, run-on sentences, and correct use of question marks and exclamation points.

Do you offer any other services geared toward authors?  Such as teaching classes on grammar or editing?

This year I’m teaching a craft class on Incorporating Humor into Writing, and I’m also teaching a class about How to the Make the Most of Online Research. I do have a class in the works on Tips & Techniques for More Effective Proofreading and should have some dates posted on my website soon.

How did you become interested in proofreading?

I’ve always been a stickler for correct grammar. When my children say something incorrectly, I tell them they’re hurting my ears, because to me, an incorrect word sounds like someone playing the wrong musical note.  Back in the dark ages when I took the SAT, there was a section called “Test of Standard Written English.” I received a perfect score on that section of the test, which came with the added bonus of exempting me from having to take any English requirements in college (although I took English classes anyway because I liked them so much!). I started proofreading essays for my friends during college and things continued from there.

What was the deciding factor in offering your services to others?

I was laid-off from my job as a school librarian about a year and a half ago, and since I’m still pursuing traditional publication, I started thinking about things I could do to bring in some income while still having time to write. Offering low-cost proofreading services to fellow writers seemed like a natural choice.

Do you proof complete manuscripts, chapters?  Do you also proofread for others besides authors?

My services start with reading as few as 3,500 words, and go all the way up to full manuscripts. I am open to proofreading for non-author clients, but I haven’t had any yet.

Do you have a website, or how can we get a hold of you to use your proofreading skills?

My website is http://allybroadfield.com/, and this direct link to the page for my Proofreading Services.

What is the price range for what you offer?

Short Contest Entry/Query Submission (up to 3,500 words): $25
Contest Entry (up to 12,000 words): $50
Short Story (up to 20,000 words): $75
Novella (up to 40,000 words): $125
Novel (up to 80,000 words): $200
Novel (up to 110,000 words): $250

I also offer a free proofread of the first three pages for interested clients, and I offer discounts for pre-published authors and returning clients.

For those who can’t afford to have a full manuscript read, I highly recommend trying a partial read. Though you won’t get your entire manuscript corrected, a partial read of at least 3,500 words will help you identify recurring errors such as comma splices, misplaced modifiers, and incorrect punctuation of dialogue, just to name a few.

Do you have a typical time frame that a writer can expect to receive their copy back?

Whenever possible, I work with my clients to return their copy according to their timeframe. I once proofed a 115,000 word manuscript in a week, but the longest I’ve ever taken was three weeks for a submission of that length.

That’s a quick turn-around Ally 🙂  Now the 4:

If you ruled your own country, what would be the first law you’d put into effect?

Too…much…pressure. Okay. Putting aside noble ideas like peace and prosperity for all, I would add two hours to each day so everyone would have time to read for pleasure.

Now I love that.  I could use two hours extra in each day for reading 🙂  Share your favorite quote (or if you don’t have one…feel free to make one up)

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”  -Ambrose Redmoon

Using these 5 words, spin us a sentence:  Bikini Kiss Chocolate Moon Caress

With my bikini briefs and cellulite safely hidden under my jeans, I stuffed my face with chocolate under the light of a full moon while pretending I was being kissed and caressed by David Beckham.

LOL…great sentence Ally 🙂  What are the top 3 items on your bucket list?

Have a book published with one of the Big Six.

See all three of my kids happily married (far, far into the future!).

Visit every continent.

Thanks again for visiting with us Ally!  And for being a good sport 🙂  So excited you joined me for 10 – 4 Tuesday!  Before we wave good-bye, let us know if there are any other links you’d like to share so that we can find you online 🙂

Just in case you missed it, my website is: http://allybroadfield.com/

I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks so much for having me today, Christine! It’s always a pleasure to visit your blog, and it’s even more exciting to be featured. 🙂

 
61 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2012 in 10 - 4 Tuesday, On Writing

 

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What to Read Wednesday

Welcome to What to Read Wednesday!  Thanks to everyone who keeps coming back…you’re all awesome!  And if you’re here for the first time…glad you found us!

Today I’m excited because we have author Sarah Grimm visiting!  Like me, Sarah is a Wild Rose Press author as well as a Michigander, and is going to share a bit about herself and her newest release AFTER MIDNIGHT  So sit back, grab your favorite snack and beverage and enjoy

Hi Sarah, thank you for joining us.  Please share a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you.

Sure. I’m a romantic—a die hard romantic. I believe in love, not just as a fundamental part of human relationships, but as a force that can heal emotional scars. I truly believe there is someone for everyone—the person they are meant to find. Their other half, a soul mate.

I live in West Michigan, along the shore of Lake Michigan, with my husband of 19 years, two teenage sons, three orphaned deer mice, one guinea pig, and three mini schnauzers.

It’s always a treat to meet another author close by.  Name four things you never leave your house without.

Purse, cell phone, paper, and pen.

What’s your favorite time of the day and why?

I love mornings, early mornings when I’m the only one awake. The house is dark, silent, and it’s just me and my three schnauzers, bundled together on the couch while I write.

I enjoy that time of the day too.  Seems I get my best work done.  What genre(s) do you write?

Contemporary romance, and romantic suspense.

Do you find that your words flow easier in the morning, afternoon or night?

Morning. Any other time of day the chance of interruption is too great. When family is talking either directly to me or around me, it’s impossible to hear what the voices in my head are saying. (Yes, writers are a bit crazy. lol)

LOL…that’s the rumor.  Describe your writing space.

I actually don’t have one right now. I used to write on a desktop computer that sat on my kitchen table, but about a month ago that computer died. Until I get a replacement, I sit in my recliner in the living room and write using my son’s laptop.

I hope you get a new computer soon.  It’s nice to have your own space for sure 🙂  Tease us with a blurb!!

Thirteen years—that’s how long Isabeau Montgomery has been living a lie. After an automobile accident took her mother’s life, Izzy hid herself away, surviving the only way she knew how. Now she is happy in her carefully reconstructed life. That is until he walks through the door of her bar…

Black Phoenix singer/front man Noah Clark came to Long Island City with a goal—one that doesn’t include an instant, electric attraction to the dark-haired beauty behind the bar. Coaxing her into his bed won’t be easy, but he can’t get her pale, haunted eyes nor her skill on the piano out of his head.

Can Noah help Isabeau overcome the past? Or will her need to protect her secret force her back into hiding and destroy their chance at happiness?

First off, that cover is awesome and I love your blurb 🙂  If you could live the life of one of your characters, who would it be and why?

The life my character lives when the book starts, or after its completion? Because it definitely makes a difference. I wouldn’t want to live the life any of my characters live at the beginning of my books. I’m cruel to my characters. Downright mean to them. The things I put them through before they get their happily-ever-after—the heartache and loss, the physical suffering—I wouldn’t switch places with any of them.

If I can choose the life a character lives after the stories completion, then it would be Isabeau Montgomery. Why? Who hasn’t dreamt of marrying a rock star? Especially one who’s sexy, patient, and totally committed to you?

I admit it, I’ve had a few dreams about a life like that…lol  Describe your hero using five words.

Noah is: English, blond, sensual, talented, song-writer

Now your heroine.

Isabeau is: A virtuoso, resourceful, wounded, scarred, resilient

Please share an excerpt of your book.

He leaned into her. “If you still want me to stay away from you, you’d better tell me now.”

“Noah?”

“Yeah?”

“Kiss me.”

She didn’t have to ask twice. He dipped his head, settled his lips on hers and plundered. He dragged her against him, and drank in the hot, potent taste of her as he fed on her mouth like a starving man.

She softened, a tiny sound of passion slipping up her throat—an urgent invitation. His pulse leaped. So did other parts of his anatomy. Her fingers burrowed through his hair.

He deepened the kiss, stroking his hands down the sides of her body to settle on her hips. He used them to guide her as he stepped forward once, twice, until her back settled against the trunk of the maple. Awash in the smell of her, the feel of her, he pressed closer, until no space existed between them. Her breasts flattened against his chest, her hips arched into him. Heat from her body flowed into his, sparking a fire. His heartbeat echoed in his head.

I love a good kissing scene…and you got it right with that scene Sarah 🙂  How did you come up with the idea for your story?  The title?

After Midnight is Isabeau’s story. Usually my heroes ‘talk’ to me first, but in this instance I heard Izzy. She just showed up in my head one day, sat down and started a conversation. At first she was all I had – a woman sitting alone in a darkened bar, playing the piano. Then came Noah, the one person who could throw a monkey wrench into her carefully reconstructed life.

After Midnight had a different title when I started it, but it didn’t fit the tone of the story, so I began brainstorming a new one. The light bulb moment happened when I realized that most of the key moments in the book occur late at night. Night… Darkness… Midnight…aha!  There it was.

Sometimes the moment that changes everything comes After Midnight.

I believe we draw from our own personal experiences when writing.  If that’s true, how likely would it be that someone you know, or have met, might be a character, or at least an inspiration for a character in one of your books?

I have a sweatshirt my mother gifted me that reads ‘Careful or you’ll end up in my novel’. It’s funny, and starts a lot of conversations with strangers, but the chances of people actually ending up in my next book are slim to none. I may use character traits of people I know or quirks of people I meet, but that’s as far as it goes.

I want one of those sweatshirts…🙂  What was the hardest part of writing this book? 

Isabeau’s childhood was so tragic all the scenes that dealt with it were extremely hard to write. But the most difficult was the scene where her step-father (for lack of a better name) sits Noah down and tells him about losing Izzy’s mother in the car accident, followed by immediately losing Izzy in a court battle, and how these events shaped Isabeau into the woman she is today.

Emotional scenes take a lot out of you when you’re writing them.  What was the easiest part?

The easiest part of writing the book was the relationship between Noah and his best friend and band mate, Dominic Price. Having had mostly male friends in my lifetime, along with the fact that I live with two teenaged sons and my husband, gives me insight into male friendships and male ‘speak’.

What are you working on now?

While writing After Midnight, one of the secondary characters kept telling me he needed his own story, so I’m writing that one now. Midnight Heat is a reunion romance, and although I had no plans to give Dominic his own book, about half-way through writing After Midnight, I fell so in love with his character I had to make sure he got his own happily-ever-after.

Where do you hope to see your writing career in the next three years?

My goal is to get the next three books in the Midnight Series released: Midnight Heat, Chasing Midnight, and Midnight Shadow. And if one of them helped me make my other goal – the one where I become a ‘NYT Best-Selling Author’ – well, that would be amazing. 🙂

Fingers crossed for you Sarah 🙂  That you again for joining us.  It’s been fun getting to know you and learn about your work.  Before we sign off, where can we find you and your books?

Website:  http://www.sarahgrimm.com

Blog:  http://www.authorsarahgrimm.blogspot.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SGrimmAuthor

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

 

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