Paranormal Romance Author

Hello and welcome. You'll find all sorts of happenings here. I have many interviews lined up this year with authors of various genres. I'll have contests, giveaways and much more. So keep popping back for some fantastic interviews, articles and new release information.

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Pick of the week

I am honoured that my new release Abigail Cottage has been named Pick of the week by thriller writer Lorrie Struiff

Check it out!!

Abigail Cottage

When Abigail falls in love with Justin she can’t begin to know the world of hurt she is heading into. Gorgeous, kind, rich – he’s the man we all dream to meet. BUT, all is not what it seems because Justin is a true demon from hell, disguised as a mortal being. He wants her and will do, kill or maim anyone who tries to stop him. Namely Shaun the real hero, who wants Abigail more! So what does a mortal man do against a demon? He enlists the help of a gypsy of course. But not any old gypsy. Rosa knows Justin very well and has the powers of the spirit world on her side to fight him. Using crystals as a powerful weapon, the light of the spirit world to lead them, they embark on a battle with the whole of the underworld. Many loved ones will lose their lives. This isn’t a book where everyone survives. In real life, bad things happen. In Abigail Cottage, terrible tragedies occur too. Believe... not every story can have a happy ending.

Got a kindle? Go here and download a FREE chapter of Abigail Cottage.



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Monday, 28 June 2010

Welcome to Paranormal Romance Novelist, Denice Verrico

Good Morning Denise. It is so nice to have you here today.







Grab a coffee and some choccy biscuits and let’s chat about you and your new release. Can you tell me what drew you to write in your current genre?

I write about vampires because to me they are a metaphor representing the darker side of human nature. I’ve always found it interesting that in real life seemingly normal people can do monstrous things under extreme circumstances. Like in Nazi Germany, where there are examples of doctors and nurses, even those in religious orders, who took the life of people with disabilities, because it was politically expedient, or out of fear for their own lives. The Human Behavior project showed that people given “permission” would cause pain or abuse other people. I do think we need to understand our darker impulses in order to confront them. My stories do have some “good vampires” and some bad mortals, but most of my vampires are old-school nasty. In their society the concepts of individual rights and equality haven’t yet caught on, as these are fairly recent developments in history. My heroine Mia has traveled a dark and tortured path.

It’s a strange old world we live in. Your book sounds intriguing. How many novels have you written to date and are they all in the same genre?

I’ve written three so far in this series. Cara Mia is the first to be published. Twilight of the Gods, book two will be out in the fall. And the third? Fearful Symmetry is book three and it is still going through critique with my writer’s group. I’m currently working on book four, Ratopia.


Goodness you are busy. I hate to plot. I’d much rather let the story be carried along on its own. Do you plot?

The first book evolved over time. The subsequent novels started with a basic outline.
My work is very character driven, so things change a lot. I started out with a few characters, Mia, Ethan and Brovik, and then Kurt came to me. I still didn’t really have a story. I had a couple of love triangles and that was it. Then I started reading about biotechnology and it occurred to me that some vampires might try to study what it is that gives them immortality. Think of the profit in immortality if the bloodlust and need to avoid the sun could be genetically altered. There could be rivals factions competing for this prize. It stood to reason that others would oppose this kind of research. This led to the creation of my vampire hierarchy and religion. Now I had a story with high stakes (that’s my first unintended pun). My vampires are biological beings, rather than magical ones. To suggest their immortality is a mere biological agent is heresy to the Chief Elder, who claims the goddess Kali gifted him immortality. Despite this, Mia’s house is deeply invested in this “forbidden science”. Her elder, Brovik, is bound and determined to find the causal agent before his rival elder, Gaius. Mia is thrust into the middle of all of this and exploited by Brovik, who uses her to seduce information from his enemies. At first, Mia is more concerned with the reward Brovik promises, which is to free her from her master Ethan that so she can be with Kurt. But when Brovik plays too many tricks on her, she rebels.
I’ve always been a rebel myself. As a little girl, I chafed at doing what girls are supposed to do. What was wrong with being different and liking things other girls might find icky? I grew up in the sixties and seventies when feminism was really gaining steam. When I was a little girl, I didn’t even have the opportunity to play sports. This thankfully changed when I was in secondary school. This rebellious attitude of mine bled over (pun number two) into Mia, I suppose. I have a little sign in my house that says, “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere”. No one ever makes a splash by doing what is expected of them.



Love the sign. I’m going to go everywhere lol. I have an office to write in, but when the sun shines you’ll find me in the park, on the beach or in the garden. Where do you do most of your writing?

On my living room sofa. I sit hunched over my laptop computer, looking pale and somewhat maniacal, like the character L from the anime and manga, Deathnote. I usually have two of my parrots for company and Queen, The Beatles, The Who or David Bowie playing on CD. My window there looks out on a small wooded area with lots of birds and small wildlife. I find nature soothing.


Your writing polayground sounds lovely. Now you’re going to blush lol be honest now!! Looking back, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever written? Mine was a full novel with no pov’s , no real plot and characters with no real point to them. A disaster on A4 paper!!

Poetry as a teenager. All those syrupy rhyming couplets, eek! I cringe with embarrassment when I think of them, like limericks of love. Thankfully, no one ever saw them. My first attempts at fiction were pretty awful as well. It took a lot of practice and reading books on writing to improve. I found it hard at first to write in third person, so I switched to first person. After I became more comfortable, I could write in third person and even present tense. I still find present tense very challenging. The prologue to Cara Mia is present tense, stream of consciousness.


This is my favorite part of the interview. Do you need more coffee? When you’re ready and sitting comfortably, tell me about your latest release.




Cara Mia is an urban fantasy with a strong science fiction component. My heroine and hero, Mia and Kurt are in a biotech lab in California, where they have apparently submitted themselves for study. The POV character is Dr. Joe Ansari, a neuroscientist assigned to work with Mia. Mia and Kurt are locked into separate cells. Needless to say, she’s upset at being kept apart from her lover and takes out her anger on some staff members. Joe isn’t happy with this assignment and Mia won’t cooperate at first, but she is crafty and strikes a bargain with him. If he agrees to carry letters between her and Kurt, she’ll talk. Joe agrees and she tells the of her fifty-year struggle to survive as a modern woman in a culture where she is regarded as chattel to her master. In Mia’s world, she is a slave and not able to come and go as she chooses, much less love the man she wants, Kurt.
Mia is nineteen, a young actress in 1950’s New York, when she meets Ethan. After a disastrous affair with a married man, she is easy prey for this apparently perfect, alpha male vampire. Ethan swears eternal love and all that jazz, but Mia figures out before long that he isn’t as wonderful as he appears to be and that she’s in fact his property. She becomes the pawn of Brovik, who exploits the growing affection between she and Kurt to further his intrigues. However, after decades of nursing her grudge, Mia gets Kurt and her chance at freedom and revenge against Brovik. I won’t give more away and spoil the ending.


I love a good vamp story and I’m sure a lot of to hers will too. How can your readers keep up with your news?

They can go to my website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog

I have two fabulous critique partners. One very new and one who I’ve had for over 5 years. Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Do you rely on anyone?

I belong to North Columbus, Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers. Everyone in the group brings a fresh perspective to the work. They give me feedback on character and story and catch inconsistencies and typos. The editing advice is priceless. When I get stuck I can bounce ideas off of them.

Do you have link so that other authors might visit them?

Not really. We used to have a Metetup.com site. We meet in person in Columbus, Ohio, twice a month and have a private Yahoo group. We’re pretty full at the moment. We like to keep around ten members, so that everyone can handle the reading load.



There is so much about writing that I love, THE END being the best part lol What’s your favorite part of writing?


Creating new characters. My background as an actor really helps me here. As an actor, one is taught to flesh out the clues a playwright gives to a character. Every character must have a back story, relationships, attitudes, likes and dislikes moral and philosophical beliefs. Even the way someone dresses and moves is indicative of character. I always kept a character notebook to help me. As a writer, I jot down ideas on each character and work very hard to give them dimension. You don’t want stock characters. Even vampires are unique individuals. I don’t care if a character is an android or a wood elf, he or she is a person with driving passions. A character in a novel or in a play has small objectives and a super objective. The super-objective can be stated in one sentence: Mia is a vampire that wants to walk again in the sun.


What do you like to read?

Historical fiction, sci fi, fantasy and thrillers. I like books that transport me to a new world, whether it is outer space, Middle Earth or ancient India. Some of my favorite authors are Ursula K. Le Guinn, J. R. R.Tolkien, Mary Renault, Robert Graves, Jane Austin, J. K. Rowling and Anne Rice. I love the vivid pictures, rich characterization and world-building in their novels. I set out in Cara Mia to create an entire history and culture for my vampires that would do for my readers what my favorite authors have done for me.

What actor/actress gets your pulses racing?

Gosh, there are so many. I really like Elijah Wood. It’s those eyes. I admit to borrowing them for Kurt. I’d love for him to play Kurt in a movie. The young British actor, Nicholas Hoult would make a wonderful Cedric MacKinnon, the POV character in fearful symmetry. He’s adorable.






Good choice, Denise. Thank you for visiting today. Denice is also giving a book away when her tour's concluded. Just leave her a comment to enter. She'll post the winner on my Facebook and Blog in July when her tour is over on the 15th.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Welcome to Susan Hanniford Crowley

Today I’d like to welcome Paranormal Romance Author Susan Hanniford Crowley








Thanks for having me, Margaret. I’m a cross over author from science fiction and fantasy where I mostly wrote medieval-based, heroine-strong fantasy short stories. I’m also an associate editor with a science fiction and fantasy magazine (not a romance venue). I live with my husband of 31 years and one of my grown daughters. The other married last year before Thanksgiving. When I went to Scotland I was told I have a distinct Yankee accent. I’m in love with eating haggis and walking in the highlands. I’m also in love with the Connecticut shoreline, walking on the beach with my husband, and eating clams.

I think you must have a dual personality to like such opposite country’s and foods lol Being a paranormal Romance author myself, I’m curious to know what drew you to write in your current genre?

I was at the Nebula Award Weekend (like the Oscars for Science Fiction and Fantasy) and a friend told me that she’d read my stuff and I was really a romance author. Because I respected this (friend) author’s opinion, I checked out the romance section of my nearest bookstore and found paranormal romance and haven’t looked back since. I am totally in love with the genre.

I’ve written four paranormal romances so far. I work so it’s hard to juggle the two careers. How many novels have you written to date and are they all in the same genre?

My debut novel is THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS, which is a supernatural/vampire romance. In the same series (Vampires in Manhattan series) I have three (the number is growing) additional novellas, which is WHEN LOVE SURVIVES (prequel), A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS (sequel), and coming soon VAMPIRE IN THE BASEMENT (sequel to WHEN LOVE SURVIVEs and a paranormal romance comedy).

WHEN LOVE SURVIVES
A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS


I don’t plot at all, but I know a lot of authors do. How much time do you spent on plotting?

I dream all my plots. I write my dreams down in journals and start writing the entire story there. At a certain point I feel I need to switch to the computer and then I finish the story on computer. I’m given the plot in my dreams and then fill in the empty or unclear places with research.

I have an office, but when the sun shines I am outside somewhere. Where do you do most of your writing?

That changes—on the sofa, at my desk, on the bed, in hotel rooms, at the beach, in waiting rooms, etc. I always have a journal in my purse or my netbook with me. So I always have the opportunity to write.

Now onto the good part. Tell us about your latest release.





THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS (which is part of the Vampires in Manhattan series) is about a woman who doesn’t realize she’s inherited Telkhine powers from her mother. Laura has a desperately horrible day which makes her question her existence. She ends up clinging to a railing on the Brooklyn Bridge. When she changes her mind, she falls into the river. Vampire David Hilliard has just asked God for mercy and to end his loneliness. He has a vision of her and plunges into the river to save her. Unfortunately, Laura is mortally injured and he has only one choice. David doesn’t know that to love a Telkhine brings doom upon them both and plunges them into a world of sorcery and voodoo. Will his love be enough to save them? Does Laura truly love him?


Available as an ebook
Also available in Kindle

I’m awaiting news of the print release date.

All of my romance ebooks are available at All Romance Books and other fine ebook stores.

Can you give us a tasty excerpt.

Of course. Here it is.

After dancing the hours away, lost in each other's embrace, they left for home.
When David arrived at his apartment, he handed her the keys. "I'm giving you my
apartment. Tomorrow I'll make sure, you're set up financially."
Laura shook her head. "You don't have to give me your apartment. Where will you stay?"
"Oh, it doesn't matter. With friends. Out at the cemetery." Then he left. David laughed as he walked down the street, realizing how ridiculous he was to give away his place, not a small gift in Manhattan.Then she mind talked again. David, come back. He returned and knocked on the door. She opened it immediately.
"You don't do that in New York City. Did you even look through the peephole?"
"No. I knew it was you." Then she took his hand. "I'm afraid to be here by myself. Can't you just stay?"
"Okay. You take the bedroom and I'll sleep on the couch."
Laura went into the bedroom to get him a pillow and blankets. Then she came
out with a sad expression on her face. "Um, David, there's only a coffin in there."
"Yes."
"I can't sleep in a box."
"Okay. I'll take the coffin, and you take the sofa."
She sat down next to him on the sofa looking all adorable wearing only his white
pin-stripe shirt with her pink panties. "Maybe we could both sleep on the sofa?"
"I guess. You stretch out here, and I'll be your blanket." As soon as he was in position, he knew that this would lead to something. Then he heard her soft voice in his head. I want you, David. I want you so much.His eyes snapped opened. "Laura, do you realize you're mind talking?"
"What's mind talking?"
"We have a blood connection because I'm your sire. You think things to me orabout me and I hear them."
"Oh." Her sweet face went from surprise to a shy smile, when she realized what he heard. "Well?"


How can your readers keep up with your news?

I have a lot coming out in the next few months. You can visit any of these sites and find out.
Website: Susan Hanniford Crowley.com
Blog: Nights of Passion
Twitter
Facebook
Tease Publishing


How do you deal with rejection letters?

I file them in the event I need them to demonstrate for tax purposes that I am actually living the life of an author. Then I forget about them and move on.


What's your advice about getting an agent?

As some of my author friends have told me, it’s important that the agent and the author be on the same page and be working together. Not every agent is the perfect agent for every author. It’s like building a business relationship. There are a lot factors to be considered. As an author be educated in those factors. Join writers’ groups. Visit Preditors and Editors website.

I do not have an agent. That hasn’t stopped me from being published.


Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who do you rely on and why?

I had joined Romance Critters http://www.romancecritters.com and met my critique partner a.c. Mason. Mason now has a critique partner closer to where she lives, and I’m running on my own right now, which I’m comfortable with. Mason and I will send each other things from time to time if we want comments and we’ll chat on the phone about upcoming stories.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I’m actually a great lover of solitude. I love quieting out the outside world and watching the world in my brain and writing it as fast as I can—usually repeats of the dreams from the night before.

How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

Belief. It all boils down to one thing. Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your book? Talk to your friends, because they love you no matter what. Get educated. Find a good writers group and make friends beyond critiquing. If you visit my romance blog, look at the names. I am personally connected to everyone there, except Toni. I connected to Mason and she’s connected to Toni. Go out and build connections. It takes time. Give yourself the time. I started Nights of Passion blog with just me for several months until I asked Mason to join me. It was and still is a great way to meet people albeit online.

My support system which includes my family has helped me past all the frustrations.


Although I write romance I love Historical romances. What do you like to read?

LOL Paranormal romance. Sometimes other genres of romance. Sometimes science fiction and fantasy.


What actor/actress gets your pulses racing?

Alexander Skarsgard.




Good, choice susan. Thanks for popping in.

It’s been fun being on your blog, Margaret. Thanks.


Before you go are there any upcoming signings or appearances you’d like to mention?

My next ebook release will be VAMPIRE IN THE BASEMENT.

I will be participating in the Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention in Secaucus, New Jersey, September 16-19. There's still time to register. There will be tons of fun events, panels, workshops, parties, a charity auction, and giveaways. Here's the link:
Authors After Dark.

For those that are attending Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention, come up to me and say “I saw you on Margaret West’s blog” and I will give you a small gift, while my supply lasts.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Welcome Vogue

Good morning. Today I’m so pleased to welcome Vogue to my blog. She is a 2007 graduate of Winthrop University, possessing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Diamonds in the Rough is her first published novel, which was released on June 1, 2010. She was named by Angelique The Novelist and BK Walker Books as June Author of the Month. She is also a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.



The sun is shining and I am on the patio with Vogue drinking a nice cup of tea whilst eating warmed croissants. So sit back and enjoy the interview.

Hello Vogue,




Can you tell me what drew you to write in your current genre?


I have always had a love for gangsters. It started when I read an article on Al Capone in The Source magazine. For some reason, I became attracted to that kind of lifestyle although I never delved in it. Reading about it and watching movies like New Jack City, Scarface, and Belly to name a few were some of the inspirations that I had to enter into the urban fiction genre.

Wow, you’ve just named all the films my husband loves. He might become one of your avid fans lol So, how many novels have you written to date and are they all in the same genre?

I have written about twenty-one books with the majority of them being in the urban fiction genre. Others can be considered as young adult. Most of these books I wrote in high school. In terms of books that are published, one is published, Diamonds in the Rough, which is available now, while the sequel, Diamonds are Forever is in editing.


Thats a lot of books to be hanging around lol I know authors who plot to death, don’t plot at all and then some, who do a little. How much time do you spent on plotting.

I may spend a week on plotting when I’m outlining the book, but it is just a quick sketch of what I want to happen. When I actually begin writing, I spend maybe months working on the plot. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I still want to provide at least one or two clues.

If your plotting you'd be giving away the ending to yourself lolI take it you'd rather let the story follow its own momentum with no ending in mind then. While the sun is out, I'm at the beach with my laptop. Where do you do most of your writing?

Most of my writing occurs in my living room. I have a notebook filled with ideas that I used as a basis when I am writing. It helps me to remember plot twists as well as the timeframe of the story.


We all have skeletons when it comes to writing. Looking back, what is the worst thing you have ever written?

I think that the original version of The Ace of Diamonds (Book Three) has to be the worst thus far. I think the overall concept is good, but I’m glad that someone told me what was wrong with it instead of it reaching the public. Now that people are reading my debut novel, I know what people want. For example, most people love Jay Santiago who is the main male character. Knowing that’s what my readers want, I know I have to give him a big presence in the series. In the original version of Ace of Diamonds, he really did not have a presence. Now, after completing the rewrite, I have something that my friends will be proud of. He has a very huge presence.

How fabulous that you got such great feed back. So onto the good stuff, tell me about your latest release.




Here’s a quick synopsis of Diamonds in the Rough: Carmen Davenport is living the American dream. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she has anything that a twenty-one year old college student would want. This includes one of the most lucrative clothing companies in New York. The only thing missing is love until she lays eyes on Jay Santiago, a Puerto Rican drug lord.
Almost instantly, Carmen begins to fall for him. After securing the rights to her inheritance, Carmen soon learns that Flame, Inc. is headed towards a downward spiral. Too ambitious to allow her dream to go down the drain, Carmen begins pulling at all lifelines to save her company. Putting aside everything she’s ever believed in, Carmen soon finds herself entangled in a web of lies, betrayal, and crime.

I think that’s going to draw a lot of readers. So how can they keep up with your news?

My readers can keep up with me by regularly visiting my website, www.simplyvogue.net and adding me a friend on Facebook: www.thefacebook.com/SimplyVogue. I update regularly and love to hear feedback and questions on my writing. I actually welcome it!

I’m sure you’ll get a few requests after this interview. Rejection letters can really affect some writers. How do you deal with them.

To be honest, only one of my novels was rejected. It was the third book, The Ace of Diamonds, Book Three in The Diamond Collection series. Although it was rejected, I already had two books accepted to be published. It was not a total letdown. I took it as a learning experience. I got feedback on my work, which I took into consideration. It showed me that my publisher does not accept anything. They are honestly looking for quality work. The experience also allowed me to go back to the drawing board and stretch my imagination. It was like a blessing in disguise.

What do you think about celebrities writing books?

I view celebrities writing a book as a way for them to increase their brand. Once they have mastered one thing, it is only natural for them to try their hands at another. For example, if you’re a singer, the next thing you probably might try is acting. Then, of course, most celebrities try modeling. It gives you more exposure and proves to people that you are versatile.


I know a lot of authors strive to find that perfect agent. Do you have any advice about getting one?

I really do not have any advice to give because I do not have an agent. To me, getting an agent is just another avenue that you can take to becoming published. You are more likely to be picked up a major publisher through an agent because they have contacts with some of the editors at these major publishing houses. However, having an agent does not guarantee you a publishing deal.

Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who rely on and why?

One of my sorority sisters is actually my critique partner. She reads everything before I submit it to the publisher. As of right now, she has The Ace of Diamonds. She actually wants to be book reviewer so I am in luck that I have her as a faithful reader. I trust her to give me an honest opinion of my work. However, I still remember that writing is subjective.


The industry seems to be crying out for reviewers, so I don’t think she’ll find it hard to get a job doing it. I love it when I come to the final paragraph of my MS. What’s your favorite part of writing?


My favorite part of writing is coming up with twists in the plot. I love to make my readers think that the storyline is going in one direction when it really is going in another.

How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

I sit back and remember the mindset I had before I was a published author. It is then that I realize how blessed I am. My main goal in life was to be a published author and I completed the goal at the age of twenty-five. Knowing that I achieved my goal makes all of the frustrations go away.

I write paranormal, but read mostly historical. Strange, but true lol so what do you like to read?

Urban fiction, commonly known as “street lit,” is my favorite genre to read. I became a fan of this genre after reading The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Souljah. The characters and plot twists of this genre have always appealed to me, more than others.

It’s been so nice having you here today, but before you go, what actor/actress gets your pulses racing? Well, my favorite actress is Gabrielle Union and my favorite actor is Will Smith. Just imagine how happy I was when they were paired together in Bad Boys II. I’ve seen that movie a million times and still watch some of it on YouTube!






Good choice. I LOVE Will Smith. Thanks again Vogue.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Welcome to Patti Hultstrand


It is so nice to have Patti with me today.





She's published everything from magazines and catalogs, to books and short stories. She's been a graphic designer for over 20 years and is a single mother.


Today she is talking about Romance. A word thats dear to my heart!!


TO SAVE OR TO BE SAVED – THAT IS THE QUESTION IN ROMANCE STORIES





One of my favorite questions ever asked of me:
You've successfully slain the dragon! How will you toast your marshmallows?
PJ Hultstrand, author of Time Conquers All:
On his dead and burning carcass as I drink and dance around the bonfire in victory.

The reason the answer to the question above is so important is it really does play into how I write my heroines and heroes in my romance stories. Many women now days want to be empowered and feel in control of their own destinies. However, even more women still hide behind the man in their lives or feel they must have a man to take care of them.
While I am attempting to save my home from the cruel clutches of the bank, my lawyer made the statement the other day that I could either win the lottery or marry a rich old man to take care of me. I know my mother would love that idea of having her daughter taken care of financially; I have not been that swooning damsel in distress for quite some time. There is nobody coming in on his white horse. Besides the fact that I live in a no-horse community, I have no dilutions that some great guy is going to come into my life and sweep me off my feet!
As young girls, didn’t most of us love Prince Charming and the fairy tales where the hero swooped in and saved the princess or the woman in the story? I am no different, I dreamt of being a ballerina, but even longer, I dreamt of being a princess. Even into high school I wore tiaras as a baton twirler and some guys in my life referred to me as their princess.
This could be embarrassing now that I am 47 and divorced, except that the princess I wanted to be all those years ago finally came out in the pages of my Chasing Time book series. But, this princess isn’t the one I had inside me when I was a young, naïve girl; this princess doesn’t expect to be saved by any man!
Instead, Princess Tamea does her fair share of doing the saving. She has saved King Parker from assassins several times, saved him from issues of his troubled mind on multiple occasions, and it is with this same must save the man mentality that I start book one with Tamea’s desire to do the saving.
Around the India region of the world in the late 1500’s, anyone else would have had to come in with sword swinging, riding a camel. It was only the upper class of citizens that could afford a great white horse. A smelly, brown camel that would rather spit at you, kind of takes away from the ROMANCE of the story. I guess it’s a good thing Tamea is a princess from a rich enough country to afford for her to come into the scene to save Parker on that proverbial WHITE HORSE to save his ass.
And believe me, she would slay that dragon and then roast marshmallows on his dead and burning carcass as she drinks and dances around the bonfire in victory!


Here's her cover and an excerpt to whet your appetitie.







Excerpt


Tamea scanned for the presence and instinctively knew it was stalking them. The dagger hilt rested in her left palm, ready if it was needed. Her intentions included getting him into the room and making love to him for the rest of the night. She did not appreciate whoever was interrupting her plan. She continued to glance behind them after they got off the bike and Parker retrieved his saddlebags.

The attack did not come from any hand-to-hand exchange. Multiple gunshots fired from an unseen assailant, out of reach for Tamea’s dagger. Even her throwing knives were useless at that distance.

Parker went down, his blood splattered onto the black leather jacket she wore. He tore at her body on his way to the ground, pulling her with him as she realized the utter uselessness of her metal weapons. If she had her crossbow, it may have been different. She was helpless in saving him from bleeding onto the ground.

“No!” she screamed at the hidden assailant. The question that followed came out in flawless Cantonese. “Who the hell are you to take his life this way?”

His assassin had heard Tamea’s question and had understood it, even in that foreign tongue, but was disinclined to show her what she was up against. The sniper had not been worried about her shooting him back, because her only weapons would be bladed and small, allowing them to remain concealed. He also knew her range with the throwing knives, so made certain not to be exposed. This time he planned to beat them both by succeeding in killing Parker. He left her a calling card and melted back into the denser forest.

Tamea put her backpack under Parker’s head and ran in the direction the shots had come from within the trees. Her years of military training compelled her to locate the assassin. She moved through the foliage in a desperate need to lash out at whoever robbed her of the precious moments she planned to savor with Parker. But this was not how she wanted to leave him. Tamea wanted him to live out his life, as it was meant to be.

You can see more of these excerpts here on the Monday 14th and here on Wednesday 16th June.


Thursday, 17 June 2010

Great News

Good afternoon everyone.

I’d like to chat today about Poetic Monthly. I’ve recently joined them as a staff writer.





It’s a Poetic Monthly Magazine who reviews books, offers advertising and radio shows for authors and publishers. If you write poetry there is an excellent opportunity to publish your work through them, link your forums to the magazine and each month you will get a full page to yourself to post a "Poem of the Month" and a side bar for your forum to post events etc. The site is extremely author friendly and offers great opportunities.

For more information you can email Martin White, the president, martin@microcfw.com. Just mention that I’ve sent you along. It’s as easy as that.

Make sure you follow my blog for regular updates and to let us know how you got on.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Welcome to Ami Blackwelder



Good Morning.The suns shining and it's warm for a change so Ami Blackwelder and I will be on the patio, drinking tea and eating fresh scones.










Before you read her interesting article, here is a bit about her.

Ami has a BA in English from UCF and was first published at her University for a Best Fiction with subsequent Semi-Finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest. She has written three spiritual books, an anthology of poetry, an anthology of short stories.


ENDANGERED WILDLIFE:

My novel The Hunted of 2060 is a science fiction romance, but at its core it tells a story of wildlife, and a foreign species growing to extinction, and how it feels to be hunted.






Some of the rarest animals in the world are still being hunted today. I live in Florida and some of the endangered animals in that state are: American Alligator, Swallowtail Butterfly, Whooping Crane, Key Deer, Bald Eagle, Puma, Green Sea Turtle, Monk Seal and many more.

In fact the list is 111 animals long in just my state alone. Astounding!

Sadly many of these endangered species are hunted for Asian delicacies and medicines. Tribal mentally dominates compassion and these poor creature are massacred in often violent ways.

It is not enough to have compassion and get angry. We must act now and protect our wildlife before there is no more beauty around us to protect.

Conserve Habitats
Make Space For Our Wildlife
Recycle, Reduce, And Reuse
Plant Native Plants That Are Local To The Area

Control Introduced Plants And Animals
Join An Organization

Make Your Voice Heard
Write Letters:
Addresses:
To a Representative: To a Senator:
The Honorable (name) The Honorable (name)
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 2051

Here is where you can find Ami
http://amiblackwelder.com
http://hotgossiphotreviews.blogspot.com




Welcome to Lorrie Struiff

Good Morning Lorrie.

Margaret, it’s so wonderful to be on your blog today. Thank you for inviting me.

You’re very welcome. Pull up an armchair, we’ll have a nice cup of tea and a scone, while you talk about what lead you to writing. I love your book cover by the way.





Thank you, I thinks its cool too! My whole writing career started with some nuts.

My Whacky Family

My writing career began when I decided I wanted to write for my family. Instead of the usual family tree, I wanted to write personality profiles of my kid’s great aunts and uncles, etc. I figured if my daughters and grandkid’s read about the time Uncle Nick hid on grandma’s garage roof to dump a bucket of water on Aunt Mitzie’s head for our annual Dunkin’ Day festivities, they would know them better other than dates of birth, death, marriage, etc. Well…I thought it was a great challenge.
I decided to take a creative writing course. After all, if my profiles were for prosperity sake, I needed to do them justice. Off I went to our Community College. I had fun and met some great people.
With my classmates, I’m afraid my whacky sense of humor took over. After all, I do have a lot of nuts on my family tree. The aunt that was married seven times, the uncle who was known as our town’s famous gigolo. Another uncle, when older, still loved his comic books and would put on his leather helmet with goggles, a blanket cape and run through the neighborhood playing Captain Midnight. And especially my dad who I still can’t figure out his weird rationale. He was the small town shoplifter. All the storekeeper knew he was sneaking the small items and kept a tab. Then they’d wait for me to stop in and pay for the items. Since he was such a fun, personable guy, they didn’t say a word to him. Besides, he did most of their accounting and-- without a calculator. He did it all in his head. Yep, we had or share of nuts.
When my classmates read my first submission, they laughed, and I took a deep dive into self-consciousness. I thought they were chuckling at me. I brooded for days. Then they read the story about my uncle who wanted his cremated ashes scattered over the Lithuanian Club grounds—he was so proud of her heritage-- and how I had climbed over their fence on a moonlit night to grant his last wish. Honest. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be standing downwind when opening the container. Yes. Most of uncle ended up on me. Ick!
Then I wrote the short piece about arguing on the phone with a priest when my other uncle died. I mean, for goodness sake, my uncle was sitting at the dining room table across from me, stone dead, and the priest was telling me my uncle’s preplanned burial plot was already in use by the same uncle who had died the previous day and was now the corpse sitting at the table. Say what?
The class howled with laughter. That’s when the professor told me I have a talent for writing quirky humor and the class looked forward to my submissions. Whew. Good to know.
However, I digress. When the course was over I decided to dig in and learn more. I read many “how to” books such as all of the “Elements of Fiction” series and more. I started a critique workshop at the local bookstore and led the Waterfront Writers Workshop for seven years before I passed the baton. Meanwhile I was also on an online writing critique site, Critique Circle, and made many wonderful friends.
Yes, I still have my whacky sense of humor. So here I am today, a published author of short stories and author of the novella “Gypsy Crystal.”
Oh, and I promised my kids I’d finish those profiles one day soon. I’m also beginning to think that this nut didn’t fall far from the nut tree.
Oh, how funny. What a lovely story. So would you like to give the readers a blurb of your new release?
Instead of a blurb, let me tell you what you will find interesting in the novella.
Rita Muldova, my homicide detective has pure Roma blood. She wears a mystical crystal amulet that gives her the power to see in a dead victim’s eyes the last image he/she saw. What a career boost. Now, with the task force, she is hunting for the “Ripper,” a serial killer loose in her town that is targeting prostitutes. But, oh, oh, for this murderer, the crystal has stopped working.
A yummy FBI agent, Matt Boulet, has been on the Ripper’s tail since the killings started in New Orleans. He has a yen for Rita and they have a weird connection. Plus, Rita would like to jump his bones.
Rita’s mother, Anna, is a great seer whom Rita turns to in time of troubles, but Anna can’t offer Rita an explanation of why the crystal has stopped working. Anna does tell Rita the lore of their clan. Rita is both shocked and horrified of the tale.
Filled with gypsy customs and lore, the novella takes you on a wild ride into the mystical world of the paranormal with thrills and chills.
Now here’s a short excerpt.LOL
Chief Lipinski rose to his feet. “Back off, people! I have my orders, too. We follow Boulet’s plan. Hank, you and Sully hand out these sketches to as many girls you see walking the streets before Della and Rita start their rounds.”
Della nudged Rita. “Guess we get our ‘Sluts R Us’ duds out of mothballs.”
Rita nodded. She would follow orders, but too many unanswered questions floated in her mind. She raised her voice. “Since he’s such a big, strong, badass, who lived to provide the sketch?”
“Me.”
The way Boulet uttered that one word made her teeth click together.
Boulet tugged down the ribbed collar of his sweater. A red scar marred the cords in his thick neck. “My partner and I were doubling him. We were too late to save the woman. He nicked me first. While I was trying to stop bleeding, he took out my partner.” He studied the floor, then his eyes hardened as he made eye contact with everyone in the room. “But now I know this bastard, and I’ll be ready for him.”
“Sounds more like a personal vendetta,” Rita said.
“Yeah, that too.” His lips pulled back with an ironic chuckle. “More than you can imagine.”
For more details and reviews, visit my website at http://struiff.wordpress.com/
Gypsy Crystal is available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.



Thanks for popping by Lorrie

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Welcome to Louise Wise

Today I’d like to welcome Louise Wise. So sit back, pour out a cup of tea and let’s talk about you and your books. What drew you to write in your current genre?


My “current” genre isn’t the book I have out now. That was science fiction cross over to romance. My current now is comedy romance. I’ve found my niche with this genre.

I think it’s good to try out different genres as writers, but eventually we all seem to find a niche. How many novels have you written?

I have written about nine novels. Five of them are utter dire, and I only read them to show myself how well I’ve come on since!

LOL I hear you there. I’ve written a few stinkers in my lifetime to!

My first novels were straight romance, then I went to science fiction because I have an interest in astronomy. My current book (not out yet) is a chicklit.

Wow, astronomy. Do you incorporate your knowledge into your books?

I did with Eden, and another novel that isn’t published. I’m only interested in it though, I’ve no concrete knowledge. Eden took a lot of research and false starts before the plot line began to take shape.

I try not to plot too much, so tell me, how much time do you spent on it?

I tend to think about the plot and characters in my head before I put down anything on paper, but only about a day or two. I then write and play about with the characters and expand on the plot.

I think a lot of writers do that. I like to be out when I can, and find a place to write with my faithful laptop. Where do you do most of your writing?

Does that work?

Oh yes. In the summer I am always at the beach with my handbag size laptop, or in the park. Anywhere but at home. lol

I had thought about taking off in my car and finding a nice place to sit and write. But we’ve converted the garage into an office and I tend to go in there. It’s quiet, but used to get really cold in the winter. I bought a little fire for it now, and it’s nice and cosy – sometimes I don’t want to leave! I’ve recently bought a laptop and tend to sit with that on my lap whilst watching Coronation Street (an English past time!), trouble is though the kids now think the old computer is theirs!

I have an office, but my husband calls it my winter ‘fallout’ shelter. I’m only there when its cold and wet. It's a shame you don't live near me. We could be writing buddies on the beach!! I happen to be a Corrie fan to. Don't you just hate Tony and his mad arsonist mind lol
I know we touched on some of our writing disasters, but looking back, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever written? You can tell me, I won’t tell a soul!


Oh my, is was called The Haunts of Hannington House, says it all, doesn’t it? I think it started: It was a sunny day and Lucy was strolling through the meadow, her hair was the colour of corn, her eyes as blue as bluebells... ahhhh

LOL Oh dear. There was quite a lot of H’s in that title!!! So moving on, tell me about your latest release.







Eden was an experimental novel; I enjoy writing romance but wanted to add something different to the mix. It’s about three astronauts who explore a newly discovered planet. Their shuttle malfunctions and allows one of them, Jenny, to become left behind. But she isn’t alone. An alien man is there also, and doesn’t take too kindly to Jenny. It’s a sort of Robinson Crusoe and Cast Away type of book, only on a extraterrestrial planet inside of a desert island.

Mmm, I like the sound of Eden. What a great experiment. Here's a snippet. I'm hooked already.

Jenny plodded along, stupefied. The fingers circling her nape were biting and painful, but she barely noticed. The echo of the wolves’ howling was still too strongly embedded in her mind. Part of her knew Fly was leading her to her rape, and that part of her was going to allow it to happen because the other side was lying dormant through fear and exhaustion.
The corridor was laden with dirt and grime. Animal excrement, electronic debris lay in her path, but she continued to walk where she was urged. His cabin door was open, and he nudged her towards the bed.
While she sat nervously on the edge, he heated a metal canteen over a crudely assembled grill, wired haphazardly to a small accumulator. She watched as he stirred in the same beverage that she had yesterday morning. When it was steaming, he filled a cup and gave it to her.
He sat on a chair opposite, and observed her with his usual disconcerting stare.
She stared back, confused, until her fingers began to burn from holding the cracked cup. She pressed it against her lips, and it was only then that she realised her teeth were chattering.
‘You are not going to survive,’ he said finally using one of the small computers he had taken from the shelf.
She gulped a mouthful of the liquid, and tried to disguise the unwelcome tears that pooled in her eyes. Already he thought her a weak, pathetic female and, for some strange reason, she didn’t want to give him further evidence to think any worse of her.
‘How do you stand it,’ she asked quietly, ‘the endless howling, night after night?’
‘There is a worse sound, and that is no sound at all.’
She fell silent, acknowledging this and feeling her own loneliness magnify. A lone wolf from outside, or even inside the ship, howled. She closed her eyes knowing she would never be able to forget how close she was to being eaten alive.
‘Th-the wolves,’ she said, shuddering, ‘what are they?’
‘Wolves?’ He looked at her in confusion when the translator offered no other information other than describing the canine creature that lived on Earth.
‘It’s what I call the howling creatures,’ she explained. ‘Their noise is similar to the animals back home.’
‘The wolves dominate over every animal here, and I regard them as the natives. To you they may seem savage, but they have shown me intelligence not normally found in animals.’

How can your readers keep up with your news?


My blog is: http://louisewise.blogspot.com/

I’m also on Twitter wisebird2009

I’ll be sure to check that out. So tell me, how do you deal with rejection letters?

I’ve no time for them anymore. If you want a publishing deal these days you have to be in the right place at the right time and have the right agent (if you can get an agent). It’s both a matter of luck and catching the imagination of an agent, which after they’ve looked at their thirtieth ms in a day is going to be rare, let’s face it.

I was once told that agents look for reasons to reject because it is so much work to take on a new writer and they’d rather concentrate on their current list of authors. I go it alone now, and I haven’t regretted it!


Oh right, maybe that’s why it’s so hard to snag one! What's your advice about getting an agent?

Be professional, treat your proposal as if you’re selling yourself rather than a book. Search inside the dedications of books for authors thanking their agents to names, compliment them (they love it), DON’T criticise other writers or agents, but most of all be prepared to be turned down.

Yes, that’s good advice. If you start criticising a publisher you run the risk of getting blackballed. Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye on when they are writing. Who rely on and why?

I use a fantastic review site called youwriteon.com (it’s where I published Eden). It’s full of writers like myself, but their criticism can be harsh and also very valuable. I also use Cornerstone Literary Consultancy.

Can anyone join these sites?

Here’s a link for YWO: http://youwriteon.com/
It’s free registration, and yes anyone can join. I whole heartedly recommend it.

Cornerstones Literary Consultancy is different, they chose you. They don’t take on anybody, which when you realise that, gives you a boost. Agents, who were frustrated in rejecting work that was almost there, set it up. They are editing my latest novel (wished I knew about them before Eden!) They contacted me sometime before Christmas when I was sending out A Proper Charlie and getting nowhere – you do have to pay though, but I like to call it an investment.


Thanks for those. It's nice that we can help each other out with all this sort of information. My favourite part of writing is when the editing is over. What’s yours?

When I’ve the house to myself, and I’ve the radio on and I’m tapping away and it’s all coming out through my fingers without me having to think – bliss. That and typing The End at the bottom!

How do you get past all the frustrations that come with trying to be a successful writer?

I was frustrated before YWO took on Eden. It was so demoralising getting rejection after rejection from every agency. Even if you get an agent, there is no guarantee that they will find a publisher! That’s what happened to Eden. An agent had faith in the book, but nobody would take it on.

So did you use that agent to publish it then?

No, the agent did say she’d be interested in something else but I had nothing else to offer at the time. I’ve contacted her since I wrote Proper Charlie, but she’s moved on. It’s a shame, but no use in grumbling. YWO as well as being a forum and a review site became a publisher two years ago. They published Eden, did the art work and put it on Amazon, B&N etc. I have to do my own marketing so I suppose it is a little like self-publishing.

So, forgetting writing for a minute, what do you like to read?

A mixture. From Dean Koontz, James Herbert, to anything chicklit.

And now to my favourite part, what actor/actress gets your pulses racing?

Jonny Depp as Captain Jack.




And Hugh Grant.
















Great choices there. I rather like Hugh myself. Thanks Louise for popping in. It was nice to virtually meet you.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Welcome to Lauren Harvey

Today I’m please to Introduce Lauren Harvey today.





Pull up and chair, sit back with a coffee and enjoy the chat.
Good morning Lauren. It's so nice to have you here today. I write Romance and paranormals. I tend not to stick to one genre. Tell me, what drew you to write in your current genre?


Good morning, Margaret. I think it’s just a reflection of who I am. I’ve seen and experienced much in my young age, and I feel that my writing really reflects that. Call it simple, but I write stories based on my life and reality.

I wouldn’t call life and reality simple lol That’s quite a challenge and I also hear that you’re a multi published author. Well done on that. So how many novels have you written? Are they all in the same genre?

I’ve written 3 novels: Loving Her; Unbreakable Hostage; Imperfect. A fourth, Impeccable, is in progress. Imperfect is due for release in July, and the current WIP (Impeccable) is its sequel.
I classify all my work as contemporary fiction. Even though the majority of my work emphasizes GLBT themes and issues, I have my suspense novel, Unbreakable Hostage. Even the GLBT books are really stories that anyone can relate to, so I think contemporary fiction is a good blanket term for all of my writing.

Plotting!!! So many authors have different views about this. I don’t really spend too much time on it as my stories seem to evolve on their own. How much time do you spent on plotting etc before you start writing?

Does it make me a horrible person to say not much? LOL.

No, it really doesn’t. You can join my club

I always go into a book with a general idea, but I let the story write itself. So many times I’ve surprised myself as I write, and I like the idea of my writing having that kind of novelty or uniqueness.

Ah, I hear you there. Too much plotting just distracts me. Now I used to tap away on my laptop in the lounge, but I’m more organised these days and have my own office at home. So where can we picture you when you write?

Unfortunately, I need to hole myself away as one of my cats love to create “art” out of my computer wires. I have the strangest computer wire protection system out there! Being in a closed room helps too. I hate to be away from the outside world, but Teddy Roosevelt (the cat) just won’t let me work any other way!

LOL Teddy Roosevelt! What a fabulous name. My two dogs, Odin and Chester, settle at my feet for the day, usually around my feet so I can hardly move! Looking back I’ve writtena few ‘stinkers’ that thankfully have never seen the light if day. So come on, don’t hold back, what’s the worst thing you’ve ever written?

This is actually a really funny question. One of the pieces I dislike the most has helped me the most! When I was fourteen, I wrote an historical essay on the various roles women had throughout the American civil war. It was very rushed and only sent out the day it was due to be received.
Not only did that piece make honourable mention, it was published in an educational database and TWO literary textbooks! I still think it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever written, but others seemed to disagree. LOL.

Wow. I can’t say that would have happened to me lol Obviously it wasn’t as bad as you thought. So now I'm going to tuck my feet up on the sofa, while you talk about your latest release.

Unbreakable Hostage is my first attempt at a suspense novel. My publisher really encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone and to try my hand at something new. So, I did.

Well done on that. It’s hard to step outside of what you know.

It’s the story of Lareina Oliveira, a Ph. D. student in algebra. Stunning as well as smart, she quickly becomes the object of one of her classmates’ obsession. Unable to take her constant rejections, he eventually kidnaps her and hides her in an abandoned cabin in the woods by Yosemite.

She is held hostage and tortured for over two weeks. Lareina uses her wit, determination and knowledge of algebra to help her roommate, her family, and the LAPD find her. Due to the physical and emotional tortures she endures, there is great uncertainty that she will be rescued in time.

A modern damsel-in-distress story, Unbreakable Hostage has a great twist at the end where she needs to be the rescuer instead of the rescued.

I look forward to adding that to my TBR pile. I love stories with a twist.

My next book, Imperfect, is due for release in July and it is very different from Unbreakable Hostage. Stay tuned for news on that one!

Come back and tell us all about that one when it’s released. But for now, how can your readers keep up with your news?

I’m all over the web. My website, www.leharvey.com is a great way to find out more about me, my work, my books, etc.
You can also find me on:
http://www.facebook.com/leharvey77
https://twitter.com/leharvey77
http://harveyle.blogspot.com/
I’m on more sites than that, but I think that’s a good start! LOL

Now we will all get a few in our life time and they really are pants! Tell me how you deal with rejection letters?

They’re a part of the industry. You can’t go into this business thinking that you’re going to get picked up right away. It just doesn’t happen. I know that it has nothing to do with me personally, and I just carry on. I have been so fortunate to have been working with the publisher I’m with now. We’ve been working together for a few years, and it has been fantastic. I am one of the luckiest writers I know.

It’s very hard to get a publisher nowadays and I think that’s what irks me about celebrities writing a book and it getting published, it seems to be based on who they are. What do you think about it?

That’s a really tough one for me to answer. Sometimes they have incredible stories to share and their books can have a tremendous impact. Other times, it seems as though they use their status just to put their name on a cover. I guess you could say I’m really quite split. I think there are some fantastic books out there written by celebrities, and then there are some celebrities who just seem to make a mockery out of the literary world. It all depends on the person and book, I guess.

I do agree with you about that, Lauren. Most authors rely on critique partners for an extra eye when they are writing, I know I do. Who do you rely on and why?

With my publisher, since we’re a small house, we have a familial feel to everything. I really trust the other writers in our house to be honest, to edit my work well, etc. They trust me to do the same. Again, I’m really lucky. It’s a very positive and supportive environment. Not many writers have what I have, and I am extremely grateful for what I do have!

Mmm, I think I’ll have to look into your publisher a bit more! They sound great. So do you read the same genre’s as you write in?

I read almost anything I can get my hands on. I love a good suspense or romance novel. I’m also quite the history and science nerd.

It’s been so great having you today Lauren and now the coffee cups are empty and I’ve got to say goodbye. BUT.... before you go, What actor/actress gets your pulses racing?

Am I allowed to say this in public? LOL.

You can say whatever you like. There’s only hundreds of eyes reading it!

I have a few celebrity crushes or celebrities that I would love to see play my characters should my books ever become movies. I’d have to say my top two are

Jason Statham




Salma Hayek.














Laurens books are a great read. Thanks for dropping by, Lauren

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Lorrie Struiff

Good Morning Lorrie.

Margaret, it’s so wonderful to be on your blog today. Thank you for inviting me.

You’re very welcome. Pull up an armchair, we’ll have a nice cup of tea and a scone, while you talk about what lead you to writing. I love your book cover by the way.





Thank you, I thinks its cool too! My whole writing career started with some nuts.

My Whacky Family

My writing career began when I decided I wanted to write for my family. Instead of the usual family tree, I wanted to write personality profiles of my kid’s great aunts and uncles, etc. I figured if my daughters and grandkid’s read about the time Uncle Nick hid on grandma’s garage roof to dump a bucket of water on Aunt Mitzie’s head for our annual Dunkin’ Day festivities, they would know them better other than dates of birth, death, marriage, etc. Well…I thought it was a great challenge.
I decided to take a creative writing course. After all, if my profiles were for prosperity sake, I needed to do them justice. Off I went to our Community College. I had fun and met some great people.
With my classmates, I’m afraid my whacky sense of humor took over. After all, I do have a lot of nuts on my family tree. The aunt that was married seven times, the uncle who was known as our town’s famous gigolo. Another uncle, when older, still loved his comic books and would put on his leather helmet with goggles, a blanket cape and run through the neighborhood playing Captain Midnight. And especially my dad who I still can’t figure out his weird rationale. He was the small town shoplifter. All the storekeeper knew he was sneaking the small items and kept a tab. Then they’d wait for me to stop in and pay for the items. Since he was such a fun, personable guy, they didn’t say a word to him. Besides, he did most of their accounting and-- without a calculator. He did it all in his head. Yep, we had or share of nuts.
When my classmates read my first submission, they laughed, and I took a deep dive into self-consciousness. I thought they were chuckling at me. I brooded for days. Then they read the story about my uncle who wanted his cremated ashes scattered over the Lithuanian Club grounds—he was so proud of her heritage-- and how I had climbed over their fence on a moonlit night to grant his last wish. Honest. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to be standing downwind when opening the container. Yes. Most of uncle ended up on me. Ick!
Then I wrote the short piece about arguing on the phone with a priest when my other uncle died. I mean, for goodness sake, my uncle was sitting at the dining room table across from me, stone dead, and the priest was telling me my uncle’s preplanned burial plot was already in use by the same uncle who had died the previous day and was now the corpse sitting at the table. Say what?
The class howled with laughter. That’s when the professor told me I have a talent for writing quirky humor and the class looked forward to my submissions. Whew. Good to know.
However, I digress. When the course was over I decided to dig in and learn more. I read many “how to” books such as all of the “Elements of Fiction” series and more. I started a critique workshop at the local bookstore and led the Waterfront Writers Workshop for seven years before I passed the baton. Meanwhile I was also on an online writing critique site, Critique Circle, and made many wonderful friends.
Yes, I still have my whacky sense of humor. So here I am today, a published author of short stories and author of the novella “Gypsy Crystal.”
Oh, and I promised my kids I’d finish those profiles one day soon. I’m also beginning to think that this nut didn’t fall far from the nut tree.
Oh, how funny. What a lovely story. So would you like to give the readers a blurb of your new release?
Instead of a blurb, let me tell you what you will find interesting in the novella.
Rita Muldova, my homicide detective has pure Roma blood. She wears a mystical crystal amulet that gives her the power to see in a dead victim’s eyes the last image he/she saw. What a career boost. Now, with the task force, she is hunting for the “Ripper,” a serial killer loose in her town that is targeting prostitutes. But, oh, oh, for this murderer, the crystal has stopped working.
A yummy FBI agent, Matt Boulet, has been on the Ripper’s tail since the killings started in New Orleans. He has a yen for Rita and they have a weird connection. Plus, Rita would like to jump his bones.
Rita’s mother, Anna, is a great seer whom Rita turns to in time of troubles, but Anna can’t offer Rita an explanation of why the crystal has stopped working. Anna does tell Rita the lore of their clan. Rita is both shocked and horrified of the tale.
Filled with gypsy customs and lore, the novella takes you on a wild ride into the mystical world of the paranormal with thrills and chills.
Now here’s a short excerpt.LOL
Chief Lipinski rose to his feet. “Back off, people! I have my orders, too. We follow Boulet’s plan. Hank, you and Sully hand out these sketches to as many girls you see walking the streets before Della and Rita start their rounds.”
Della nudged Rita. “Guess we get our ‘Sluts R Us’ duds out of mothballs.”
Rita nodded. She would follow orders, but too many unanswered questions floated in her mind. She raised her voice. “Since he’s such a big, strong, badass, who lived to provide the sketch?”
“Me.”
The way Boulet uttered that one word made her teeth click together.
Boulet tugged down the ribbed collar of his sweater. A red scar marred the cords in his thick neck. “My partner and I were doubling him. We were too late to save the woman. He nicked me first. While I was trying to stop bleeding, he took out my partner.” He studied the floor, then his eyes hardened as he made eye contact with everyone in the room. “But now I know this bastard, and I’ll be ready for him.”
“Sounds more like a personal vendetta,” Rita said.
“Yeah, that too.” His lips pulled back with an ironic chuckle. “More than you can imagine.”
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Thanks for popping by Lorrie

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Romance, what is it??

So in-between tour guests, I thought I’d take this opportunity to ramble on about romance. Even the authors, who don’t write about it, think about it. You do, don’t you! What exactly is this word that can make or break some relationships?

Firstly, look closer at the word. Right slap in the middle of it is ‘Man’!! That says it all really. But, do us women rely too much on our men to give us romance? What woman has strewn rose petals in the bedroom, taken her partner out of a meal by candlelight, whisked their partner away for a special weekend. Be honest, don’t we expect the man to do all this?

Little presents occasionally are lovely, but when did you actually give one to your partner? We expect flowers, choccy’s, but what do we give him. It’s all food for thought. I’m guilty of all the above, but I do try and fit the proverbial shoe on my foot, instead of it always being wedged on my husbands, occasionally. Even if he did complain, after I gave him a wonderful lavender massage by candlelight, that he smelt funny and the candles marked the ceiling with black soot.

Bless men!! You can’t live with them and expect romance all the time, yet you can’t live without them, or the romance that should be there.

What a conundrum. But that’s romance for you.