Monday, February 28, 2011

Chatting with Lizzie T. Leaf

Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Making up stories in my head is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember.  In school, when the English teacher said, “time to write a short story,” most of the class groaned but I celebrated.  It usually meant an A.  I did attempt to seriously write at numerous times over the years and I won’t bore anyone with details, but it’s safe to say, life got in the way.
After I became widowed, pouring out grief in a diary eventually led to attempting a short story.  When I gathered the courage to show the story to the new man in my life and he asked why was I wasting my time on other things instead of writing, he pushed me off the fence where I’d been teetering for so long.
I joined a writing group, met three aspiring writers new to the group, and we bonded together as critique partners.  All three of us are now published.

Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer?
I’ve always loved to read and as I stated earlier, make up stories in my head.  The buried dream became reality through the encouragement of my now husband.  He’s my rock and when things aren’t going well with a book, he’s there to listen to me grumble and the prod me to keep at it.

Your work is very popular with readers and reviewers; how does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
I love it when a reader emails or comes up to me to say how much they enjoyed a book of mine.  The comments I get most are on the characters and the humor.  I love humor!

What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Theme or the central idea, setting to give the reader enough information to visualize where the story takes place, enough conflict to keep the story moving forward, a plot that relates to conflict and characters that a reader can like, hate (antagonist) or identify with. 

Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write?  The most challenging?
I have a mental picture of what the character will look like and then write their story—their likes, dislikes, fears, family relationships, career, etc. 
The one I’ve enjoyed the most so far is Emma in Beyond Magic.  Her tourism background brought back memories that made me laugh. 
The most challenging, Amber in Call Me in trying ded to figure out the type of personality that could succeed in the world of phone sex.

Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Another release in the Magical Love series is currently in the works.  This one will feature Cori, Emma’s roommate. 
I’m also working on a Mainstream with a possible YA crossover to it.  Or at least my librarian friend, whom I shared the idea with, thinks that’s the case.  Time will tell.

Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
And my email is lizzietleaf@comcast.net    I enjoy email from readers!


Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I attempt one, but am not always successful.  Things come up that divert me onto a path not planned.  On good days, I pop into email and the social sites for an hour and then close them out.  Sometimes to avoid temptation I’ll move to a laptop that has no internet in order to really focus on writing.
The balancing act can challenge this writer for sure.  Family is important to me and at times I put their wants first and then get annoyed with myself because it was something that could have waited.


Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?
I enjoy a lot of authors.  Right now I’m caught up in Melissa Mayhue’s series, but have to put reading the new release on hold…dang!  Enjoy Robert McCammon, Dianna Gabaldon, Marie Treanor, Sam Cheever, Raine Delight, and have several books of my fellow Passion in Print authors waiting to be read.  When someone mentioned my work reminded them of Mary Janice Davidson, I had to get one of her books.  After reading it, I felt honored by the comparison and of course had to read more.  You see, my list goes on and on…LOL

 Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Probably character driven, but there has to be a plot, otherwise there would be nothing happening.  Even strong characters need conflict and a plot to create a story!

 Sneak Peek into Beyond Magic, Book 1 in The Magical Love Series
Available at Passion in Print
More information can be found at Lizzie's website HERE

Following the Powers directive to unite soul mates, a Scottish Cailleach's magic will have repercussions in several realms.

Mixed-blood Ian McCabe, grandson of Fae and gods tries to deny his powers.When he discovers mortal, Emma Grant unconscious at the bottom of the steps to his castle, his world starts to change.

Tour director Emma Grant's bus breaks down and her effort to find help results in a fall that knocks her unconscious.She awakens to find the man of her dreams staring into her eyes.

But will his secrets and her distrust of men tear them apart?

Excerpt:

Prologue


"Powers that be,
I ask of thee,
Show me the good,
Show me the bad,
Show me the ones,
I am to make glad."


Hands, gnarled and wrinkled, old as time itself, waved back and forth over the crystal ball. Fog obscured what moments earlier had been clear glass. As the mist dissipated, the blurred image of a man appeared.
The Cailleach gasped and her eyes widened with surprise. "Nae, it canna be."
The face came into focus and she had no doubt about one of the lovers. She knew of no one else on any realm with hair that shade of gold, streaked with fire.
He ran a hand through the top of his unruly mop. Eyes, blue as the sapphire DooNell wore around her neck, stared directly at her for a moment, before turning to the computer screen on his desk.
Still unsure of what to make of the vision, the old hag started another chant and waved her hands across the glass orb once more.


"Powers that be,
Show more to me,
Show me the one fair,
Who needs to be there."


Once again, the fog in the ball swirled, then lifted. The hag stared at the face of a female. Not the young girl she expected, but a woman seasoned by life. The Cailleach watched as the female swept a heavy mane of rich auburn hair from her neck, and stared as if she viewed the hag. A puzzled frown puckered her brow, and her sherry colored eyes darkened. The crone's heart beat a rapid tattoo until she remembered she could not be seen by the mortal.
A woman's voice called from another room, "Emma, where are you?"
"In here, Cori. How was your day?" The one DooNell now knew to be Emma pulled a piece of chocolate out of the bag by her hand and popped it in her mouth before she turned toward the door behind her. "Sure hope it was better than mine."
Through no request from the old crone, the crystal ball clouded over and the image and voices were gone. The mist cleared again and two faces, side by side, now stared from the glass, each pair of eyes reflecting their longing for something unseen.
"So be it." The Cailleach bowed her head in surrender to what the Powers required. She pulled in a deep breath before summoning the energy she needed for the task ahead.
Eyes opened wide, arms outstretched, she set the magic in motion to bring two beings together.


"Winds of the earth,
Currents of the sea,
Let these two,
Find the love,
They need to be."


Slumping back in her chair, the Cailleach sighed. She had done her part to set their discovery of love for each other into play. Now it was up to the universe to carry it forth.
Far harder would be explaining to Oberon why she had interfered in the life of his only grandchild. Neither the Faerie King, nor the entities involved from the other realms, would be happy with her over this potential new love she'd just set into motion.
"Ah, DooNell, lass. May be it, you be getting too old for this business of magical love?"
She sighed and forced her weary bones from the chair. There was much to do if the will of the Powers could succeed, and she had been given the task to make sure it did. Too many worlds were involved to leave the uniting of Emma and Ian to chance.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Review for Love Means...No Fear by Andrew Grey

I have got admit....Andrew Grey is one of my favorite M/M Authors. His books are emotional, character rich stories that steal your heart. With his Love Means... series the reader is introduced to a wonderful set of characters that leave you breathless and more than once, teary eyed.

Love Means...No Fear is the fifth book in the series and we finally get Raine's story. I love this character and he always made me smile with his quips as a secondary character in past books. Now we get to see how Raine falls for Jonah, all bets are lost when love gets in the mix.

My review of Love Means...No Fear:

Raine Baumer is the consummate party guy in Chicago and indulging in relationships that were big on sex and less on the emotional aspects, Raine feels his life is fine just the way it is until danger strikes and he is attacked in an apparent hate crime. Taken to the farm by his friend Geoff to heal, Raine finds himself longing for what his friends have-a committed relationship with someone who loves you, warts and all. When he meets Eli’s brother Jonah, he finds a young man who stirs things inside him and as they get close, the sparks fly between them but both have to face what they fear the most in order to get their heart’s desires.

Love Means...No Fear is about beginnings, love and acceptance. Mr. Grey is a consummate storyteller who delivers stories that leave the reader with a big ole' smile on their face. I love the rich world this author creates within each book where we meet characters from past books and some new ones as well. The characters alone are worth it in my opinion. They are well written, multifaceted and show their hidden vulnerabilities that literally leaves me breathless. I can not say enough over this series and this author's writing itself. With each page, I am drawn into his stories and find myself rooting for Raine and Jonah to get their HEA. 


Love Means...No Fear delivers a heartfelt story about two people who need to overcome their own doubts and vulnerabilities. Who hasn’t ever been afraid of something-be it a new job, moving, or taking that risk in a new relationship? Raine and Jonah are no exception. It was lovely to see the familiar characters from past books pop in and help keep the story moving along and the sparks flared softly into a romance that had me rooting for both these wonderful people to get what they desired-namely one another. There were a few new secondary characters that were introduced that had me wondering if they will pop up in future farm books.

Mr. Grey has another winner in his Farm series and I highly recommend you run, don’t walk, to grab the newest book from this marvelous author and settle in for an afternoon of being swept away to a magical place where love flourishes and grows. Kudos to Andrew Grey for creating fresh tales to tell in his series that has his readers salivating for the next book; I just hope he doesn’t leave us hanging too long for the next tale in this wonderful series.

Guest Author Day with Penny Brandon

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?

I live in NSW Australia, close to the beautiful Blue Mountains. Born and raised in England, I moved to Ireland and lived there for four years before pulling up roots and moving to Australia in my early twenties. I love to travel, and I go back to England and Ireland for visits but intend to see more of Australia and bring those travel experiences into my books.

I write m/m erotic romance which I absolutely love. To me there is nothing more inspiring than writing about two people falling in love, and when both of them happen to be male, it just makes it more interesting.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?

My first book was Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, which are crime/adventure books for children. I read the whole series of twenty one books when I was about ten years old. Then somewhere in my teens I found horror -- which I became addicted to. I still read it. The gorier the better.

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.

Blind Passion is about Adam, who believes no one would be interested in a relationship with him because of his lack of sight, and Luke, who’s hiding something in his past he doesn’t want Adam to find out. A special link binds them together, but it takes patience, gentleness and trust to make them fall in love.

I love characters that work to overcome their fears and are prepared to face challenges life throws at them. What inspired me to write this story was my own challenge of writing scenes where a main character couldn’t see. It made it interesting because he had to use his other senses to “see” things. A lot of fun when thinking up the sex scenes.

Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?

Blind Passion did require more research than normal because I had to study ways a blind person interacts with the world around him. I wanted to be accurate on how acute his other senses would be and how he could train himself to use them better. It took me about three months to write the story, then another three months to edit it. From start to finish that seems to be the average length of time for me to get an idea out of my head and on to paper.

If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be?

I’d eat more chocolate.

If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?

I would never want to be a servant to anyone, but let’s just say I wouldn’t have minded bringing cups of tea to Mary Shelley while she was writing Frankenstein or to Bram Stoker while he was penning Dracula.

What do you see for the future of publishing and e-books?

E-publishers are going to become the leaders of the industry. There are so many medium devices with which to download e-books to and there are so many genres in which readers may not want to go to a bookshop for, so the idea of being able to download a book instantly and remain anonymous is a distinct advantage.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

I actually pitied Luke in Blind Passion because he was so scared of loving Adam and being rejected, but it was only because he was hiding something from his past. What I felt for Adam was nothing short of admiration. Despite his lack of sight he lives his life to the full.

I fell in love with Kyle from Bringing Him Home because though he put himself in a bad situation he tries everything he can to redeem himself to Jared.

I could never hate or fear any of my characters because they just wouldn’t be mine otherwise.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her/it/him when she/it/he refuses to inspire you?

If I have a muse I’d love to meet him. It would have to be a man because of what goes on in my head. Where are you my man of inspiration? Maybe chocolate is my muse…

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?

I have several books bouncing around in my head (must be the chocolate). The characters are set, the plots are ready, I’ve just got to get my fingers onto a keyboard. I’ve just had Bringing Him Home accepted by Loose-Id, a m/m contemporary which has both protagonists agonizing about living together in a rural town. I’ve also got a series I’m working on about a mirror that shows you your one true love. Kind of clique I know, but there are twists. I also have a proposal, Murphy’s Law, with Loose-Id for a “December Holiday” collection they are doing. If it all works out well I could have at two to three more books out this year. I keep up to date postings on what I’m doing on my blogpage www.pennybrandon.blogspot.com if readers would like to follow.

Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?

Please see above re the chocolate. I’ve eaten two HUGE bars in one sitting while on a writing spree. Why is chocolate good for the creative process but bad for my hips?

Which do you prefer:
Denim or Leather on a man/woman/significant other?
Denim. The softer the better.
Irish or Italian accent in a man?
My husband is Irish. Does that answer your question?

Front seat or Back seat to make out in?               
Only a teenager would make out in the front. I once was a teenager…

Dark eyes or Light eyes?
Actually I like hazel because they change color in moments of passion.

Sleeping bag or Bed?
Bed. Softer and more room. Though you can really snuggle in a sleeping bag.

Dinner or Movie for a first date?
I would prefer a dinner as a first date, but my husband took me to see Bambi. I cried. Seriously, who would take a woman to see a film about a deer that dies?

Coffee or Tea?
Neither, can’t stand the stuff. Give me a plain glass of ice cold milk. Isn’t chocolate made of milk?

Chiseled jaw line or Chiseled abs?
I’d go for the abs though I’d know they’d never last but at least the guy went to a lot of effort to get them.

If you got three wishes from a genie, what would they be? (They can be silly, serious or in between).
Wish one. To become a character in one of my books, but then I’d have to write a m/f/m ménage.
Wish two. Go back to my mid twenties but have the knowledge I have now.
Wish three. Yeah, you guessed it, a never ending bar of chocolate – without putting on weight.

If you could spend a day with one actor/actress, who would it be and what would you do together?
I would love to spend the day with Sandra Bullock and try to persuade her to turn one of books into a movie. Failing that I wouldn’t mind taking a trip to the Grand Canyon and some of the Old West ghost towns.

What is on your bucket list to do before you pass from this earthly plain?
Jump out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute that works.
Swim with some sharks.
Travel to the most northern/southern/western/eastern tip of Australia.
Go on an African Safari.

 Sneak Peek into Blind Passion
Available at Loose Id Publishing
MM Contemporary Paranormal

 
Attraction for Adam was not a handsome face, a striking smile, or beautiful eyes, but a scent that would drive him to distraction or a voice that could make his heart beat faster. When the combination of the two walked into his life in Luke, Adam couldn’t help but want him. But how was he supposed to know if Luke felt the same attraction? He had no prior experience, no past encounters, nothing to help him. Not even his sight.
One look at Adam and Luke wanted him. Sensual, gorgeous, kind, with a strength that Luke was drawn to, Adam was everything Luke desired. Being in Adam’s arms, showing him the pleasure of a man’s body, being touched, held, and desired in return, had Luke wanting more, had him wanting what he knew he couldn’t have.
It didn’t matter to him that Adam was blind, but Adam deserved more than someone like him. Luke was a man with a broken past and falling in love with Adam was a foolish thing to do, especially because Adam would never love him back if he found out what Luke was hiding.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, voyeurism.

Excerpt:

Adam groaned, releasing the banked-up tension and frustration that threatened to overwhelm him. He’d never felt this way before, never been turned on like this. Being gay wasn’t a problem; it was just another circumstance he lived with, like his blindness. It was just that his blindness made being gay hard, if not impossible to act on or even appreciate. He could never tell if another man was interested in him. He didn’t know what signals to pick up on or what signals to give. Until now that hadn’t really been an issue, because he’d never felt an attraction for anyone. But he was undeniably attracted to Luke, and he honestly didn’t know what to do about it. Getting hard in front of Luke was definitely not something he should do, but it wasn’t something he could control either.
The instant Luke had walked into his home four days ago, Adam had been intensely aware of him. Luke smelled like a hot summer’s day just after the grass had been cut and before a rainstorm was about to break; he sounded like a soft breeze whispering across a pebbled beach—soothing yet edgy. Combined, they triggered something deeply primal in Adam. He needed Luke, needed to hear his voice, to smell him…touch him.

And God help him—if there was one thing he desperately wanted to do, it was to taste him.

Adam rubbed his hands over his face and winced. He was an idiot for thinking about Luke that way. He was an idiot for thinking about
any man that way. He sighed, resigned, acknowledging what he knew to be an unending fact—his blindness would make sure it was never going to happen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Author Day with Sherry Gloag

Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
Multi-published author Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England.  She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs "thinking time" and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel.  While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully adnits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office.  She also finds crystal craft work theraputic.

Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
One after the other I picked up every childhood illness going, so yes I had plenty of time to read.  I read David Attenborough, Gerald Durrell, Georgette Heyer, Doreen Tovey, and when I discovered them, as many romance novels I could lay my hands on.

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Duty Calls is about consequences arising from past actions.  The hero, Rafe Hawk, has built up a successful career and is happy with his independence and financial status.  But the past has a way of catching up with you at the most unexpected times.
A stormy night, an escape from a potential killer, and help from ‘the enemy within’ come back to haunt Rafe over a decade later.
For the heroine, Trudi Delaney, the consequences of her own past actions has her fleeing, with the perceived enemy, when an unexpected opportunity presents itself one stormy night.  Against the odds she survived that night and has a living memory to remind her every minute of the day.
When Duty Calls, both have to balance duty with family loyalty.

Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
No, I deliberately chose a theme, plot, conflict and goals that could work without doing too much research.  If I remember correctly the first four chapters ‘arrived’ quickly, then the book stalled, so I went off and did other things.  After a few months everything came together again and it took another month to complete the first draft.  The rest took several weeks over an extended period to complete.

If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be?
This is difficult :-) Every cause has an effect. LOL  But I think travelling the world would be my choice here.

If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
Jane Austen.  I love her writing and she travelled quite extensively for a woman of her times.

What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
With the sales of e-books increasing at 80% the future of publishing is in a major ‘flux’.  The major houses no longer control the market in the same way they used to.  And authors are no longer prepared to tie themselves to a publishing format that too long held on to their old ways.
The combination of the internet, entrepreneurs willing to start up their own e-publishing business, and extremely talented authors previously unable to crack into the publishing market the world of publishing and e-books can only flourish.
Yes many of the new e-publishers collapse without trace fairly quickly, but there are plenty of strong vibrant companies out their with a large portfolio of authors who are creating or have brought substantial reader following to ensure a steady future for both author and publisher.
In a market moving, changing, reshaping itself as fast as the current publishing and e-book market is now, those who fail to keep up will fall by the wayside.
Will paper books disappear?  I don’t think that’s possible for a long time yet.  To do that every reader in the world will have to have access to a computer, and that’s not likely right now.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I love Trudy Delaney, from Duty Calls, because against the odds, she looks life in the eye and defies it to defeat her.
I pity Bella in Duty Calls because she faces the inevitable with dignity and serenity and yet can do nothing to change her destiny.
There is a character in Duty Calls that some characters fear but I’m not saying more about them here.
There is not character in Duty Calls that I hate.

Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her/it/him when she/it.he refuses to inspire you?
There are times when there is major fallings out with my muse.  No we don’t go at it ‘hammer-and-tongs’ because she just ups and ‘hoofs-it’.  That is so frustrating!
When she goes awol, I play around with short, short stories, until she gets over her snit.

Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
I have two more wip’s, one is a Regency that I began during NaNo 2009, and the other is another ‘Hawk’ story.

Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?
Not so much ‘weird’ as unfortunate.  When I get stuck with a project – whatever it is – I tend to hit the biscuit (cookie) box.

Which do you prefer:
Denim or Leather on a man/woman/significant other?
Denim.

Irish or Italian accent in a man?
Irish  - I have to say that I had two Irish ‘In-Laws’

Dark eyes or Light eyes?
Dark – or green of any shade.

Sleeping bag or Bed?
A bed, every time :-)

Dinner or Movie for a first date?
Dinner, I’m not a movie fan.

Coffee or Tea?
Tea.

If you got three wishes from a genie, what would they be? (They can be silly, serious or in between).
The ability to learn easily.
The ability to dance.
The ability to eat whatever I want, without the inevitable consequences :-) LOL


Sneak peek into DUTY CALLS
Available at Black Opal Bookstores

Blurb:

She’d saved his life…
Rafe Hawk refuses to accept the inheritance, of a large English estate, and the title that goes with it, after his birth father’s death because the man chose duty over the woman he loved and their son.
So when he finds himself temporarily living at Kinsale Hall, he’s not prepared to trust anyone associated with the place, including Trudi Delaney and her daughter.
So why, when he looks into their eyes, does he suddenly remember a woman who vanished without a trace after saving his life one stormy night ten years earlier?
Now he could destroy hers…
Instinct warns Trudi Delaney the arrival of the contemptuous American architect at Kinsale Hall will change her life forever. Especially when she discovers he spends so much of his time in areas of Kinsale Hall off-limits to visitors.
Eleven years after escaping from her psychotic husband with a stranger, she’s still plagued by nightmares of events she can’t remember. Events such as, who fathered her beautiful daughter?
Now, more than a decade later, she is confronted by another stranger. Will this one destroy everything she holds dear?
~ ~ ~ ~

Excerpt:
“Only Daniel Kinsale and his solicitors knew I’d arranged to meet him. No one knew I changed my schedule and arrived in England a week earlier than expected, and yet Denny Cadmore somehow discovered both my plans and identity.”
Rafe glared at his parent. “Given those facts, tell me why I should stake a claim on a god-forsaken English estate, when everything and everyone who means anything to me is here in Boston?”
The drone of the old-fashioned overhead fan broke the ensuing silence. The oppressive heat stalked through the room sapping the energy from anyone or anything in its path.
“Rafe you’re making me dizzy, sit down and stop prowling round the room.” His mother patted the cushions beside her. “How many times do I have to tell you, you were born from love, not lust? Whether you like it or not, you are the legitimate heir to your father’s estates.”
A shaft of sunlight caught a few silvery streaks in her blonde hair.
“But born out of wedlock,” Rafe snapped, before realising the words queued up for release.
“Yes, out of wedlock,” she sighed. “I’ve never denied it, nor have I stolen your entitlement to your birth name. Your birth father…” she paused for a few seconds, “…Daniel, loved me.”
She continued on a wistful note, “…I’ve explained why he felt duty bound to uphold his family’s expectations. Nor that you were unintended. Having you gave me reason to survive without Daniel. You are from the man of my heart.”
Rafe’s free hand crashed down on the table sending the letter floating to the floor. “If he loved you so much, how come another of his bastards crawled out of the woodwork? One whose birth certificate proves he’s ten days younger than me? How come that same bastard damn near sent me to my grave?
Explain that if you can!”

* * * *

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004NBZL10 in e-book and kindle.
* * * *
Also Available:- The Wrong Target, a short Valentine story that is both stand alone and part of the Cupid Gone Wild Anthology, is available at eTreasures Publishing http://tinyurl.com/6dyen5a in e-book and kindle
* * * *
My Debut novel, The Brat, is available at The Wild Rose press http://tinyurl.com/6g8pomj in print and e-book as well as Amazon.com And in kindle at Amazon.co.uk

 Sherry’s website: www.sherrygloag.com

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guest Author Day with Rachel Leigh/Adult Excerpt

Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Explicitly English is my debut erotic romance novella – published by The Wild Rose Press. It is set in the English countryside and starts with the heroine’s inbound train journey. This naughty girl can’t even take a train without getting herself into mischief!
What inspired me? Well, I was becoming anxious about a solo train journey I had to take…and starting thinking what a girl could do to make it something a bit more exciting to look forward to! 
If you could have any vice without repercussions, what would it be?
Wine, wine and more wine!! Hmm, that doesn’t make me sound too good, does it??
If you could have been the servant to any famous person in history, who would that be and why?
Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana – both completely fascinating women who’d I would love to see behind closed doors. They seemed so confused and vulnerable at times, and at the same time beguilingly sexy, yet I suspect both were extremely intelligent, strong and ferociously ambitious.
Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I love the hero from Explicitly English – Stephen Cambridge is intelligent, fair, hard-working and deliciously horny!
Do you get along with your muse? What do you do to placate her/it/him when she refuses to inspire you?
So far my muse and I have gotten along famously. We have been working together for five years now (I write mainstream romance under a different name) and she has never failed to deliver an idea or writing solution when I need one.
I keep her in chocolate, jam donuts and wine so she’s quite happy – and surprisingly slim!
Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
My second novella is under consideration as we speak so I am very much hoping to hear some good news soon. Here’s the blurb, enjoy…
Kelly Hampton loved and lost him – for the last two years she’s looked for him in other men but now she refuses to emotionally cripple herself any longer. No more sex until she knows for sure she is in love.

And then the love of her life walks back into her bar claiming to still love her. Her heart hitches and her body heats – no-one has ever come close to understanding her, or satisfying her like him.

When Sean McKenzie left Jessop Hill with his mother to protect her from his father’s fists, he should’ve known he would never love again after his explosively erotic relationship with Kelly. But now his father is dead and Sean is back for the only woman he ever wanted. Their reunion is full of fire, pain and passion – and once they touch, the sexual connection is too much for either of them to resist…

What are the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of writing?
Most challenging for me is the plotting. I have loads of ideas but making sure they are plausible and I keep all the loose ends in place is a challenge every time I write a new story.
The most rewarding? Seeing the wonderful covers the artists’ create with my name on the front for the first time. Nothing beats that feeling, ever!
What are your top 3 favorite paranormal books and movies?
 Ooh, I’m not a huge paranormal fan, to be honest.
I do enjoy the Twilight books and films and I intend to buy the rest of J R Ward’s Black Dagger series after loving the first one which I only read recently.
I can’t see myself writing paranormal but never say never!
What character (s) in any of your books is most like you?
As I have only written one novella so far, I will have to say Laura Markham, my heroine. Although I promise I am not quite as wanton as she is…well, not often anyway. 
What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?
I really can’t think of anything! Um…let me come back to that!
How do you keep track of your world building?
I write quite a detailed character sketch over the course of writing a novel, adding bits and pieces to it as I go along knowing that I need to keep the continuity of their physicality, their likes and dislikes, their loves and fears etc.
Other than that, the main thing I rely on to keep track is the working synopsis that I write BEFORE I start writing the book. This keeps me focused and is my referral point if I feel myself going off course.
What do you feel are the benefits of the new electronic readers such as Kindle 2 or Sony Digital Book Reader to the environment?
The lack of paper, less energy being used to physically make books, less waste…  
Have you ever experience weird cravings while you write? If so, what kind?
Hmm, not really – if I write in the morning, I love my cup of coffee, if I write in the evening, a glass of wine is kind of nice! 
Where can readers find you on the ‘net?

Sneak peek into Explicitly English
Available at The Wilder Rose Press

Laura Markham needs to forget. Just for awhile. Be someone else. Live as her parents would have wanted. And for Laura, that means escaping the city for the English countryside and leaving her inhibitions behind.

British stockbroker, Stephen Cambridge knows that by going home to his country retreat two days early, he's likely to startle the new interior designer. And when he discovers she's the woman who masturbated for him on the train, Stephen will do anything to convince her to stay with him forever…

Excerpt:

Laura’s portfolio thudded to the hardwood floor when his lips crushed hers.  She had no idea if what she was doing was good or bad, but knew this was the freest, the happiest she had felt in a very long time.  And she knew in that moment, nothing would stop her from taking what she could of this man for as long as possible.
As though reading her mind, they tumbled to the floor as one.  Laura’s body burned, her breasts ached.
They clawed and ripped, grasped and tore.  Laura cupped his stubbled jaw in her hands, scoring her fingers into his hair.  She wanted to possess him, own him, have him.  She felt fabulously petite in the span of his huge hands.  She felt alive, vibrant and sexy as hell.
She writhed across the floor, and he crawled over her.  Then her breath caught when he yanked open her blouse and drew her breasts from within the confines of her bra.  He closed his mouth over first one nipple, then the other.  The soft yet masculine scent of his shampoo wafted to her nostrils and Laura inhaled deeply.  She clasped her hand to the back of his head, holding him to her as he sucked and nipped, bit and caressed the heavy weight of her breasts.  The high-voltage shock of pain versus pleasure soared through her bloodstream, sensitizing every inch of her flesh.  All too soon, he moved away and kneeled above her.




WRITER'S WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD



Last week we talked about balance in a partnership, particularly our own. This week we want to share a short story whose theme is all about equality.

YOUR TURN
By
Angelica Hart and Zi

"You know you have to do it." He shared that look he learned from his mother.

"I can't." She wanted to channel the Paris Hilton spoiled debutante persona.

"But we've agreed on taking turns."

Jillian hunched her shoulders, the tension gathering in her chest and radiating to her back, wishing she never proposed such a consistently equal balance in all things. It was originally her idea to make certain they each did their share of chores and responsibilities. "I'll take the next two turns." She tried to negotiate.

"We promised to never do that." Brice handed her the bottle of poison. "I took care of Mandy, now you have to take care of Charlie." He canted his head in that way to say a deal’s a deal.

Sunlight announced itself, streaming into the already bright and cheery kitchen, all contrasting against the stark horror of her words. "It’s murder."

"You're exaggerating.”

“No, it is murder.”

“It's self-defense." He eyed her bandaged hand. "He did that to you, you can't escape that fact. Take your apt revenge."

She stared at the floor, not quite resigned. "Please... I just can't."

He touched her hair, floated his mouth over hers in the most gentle of kisses. They had been together for so long, yet there was always this wonder and awe when they touched. "I'd give in this one time, darling, I would, but I don't have the time, I have a flight to catch.”

As if a staged play, a knock sounded at the door.

Brice glanced over his shoulder. "The shuttle's here." He pulled her against him, squeezed, and gave her a bye-got-to-go kiss. "Be brave."

"You'll never look at me again in the same way."

"Do you think less of me for getting rid of Mandy?"

She shook her head, not speaking and understanding.

"We do what has to be done. Besides, in all truth, it is...."

"I know," she interrupted and sighed, "My turn."

Another kiss and he was gone, leaving Jillian alone with the gruesome task. She stared at the bottle of poison, found the skull and crossbones overkill, and nearly laughed aloud at her thought. Taking a deep breath, she ignored any sentimental thought attached to the task ahead. She tried not to remember the fun times with Mandy and Charlie, those times before they betrayed Brice and her, the times when it was all fun and all play. She probably should have never talked Brice into allowing this peculiar couple into their home. In the end, it was her own fault, and now she had to do the right thing, that which was right in a very loose connotation of the word.

After gathering up the items she needed, she added the poison last, squeezing her eyes shut against a sudden prick of tears.

About to call for Charlie, he surprised her by entering the room.

"Would you like something to eat?" she asked feigning a smile.

He stared and she could see the manic look which had taken hold of him of late.
Knowing she had no choice, Jillian placed the trap on the kitchen floor and waited for the second of their once pet rats, who had escaped and turned feral, to take the poisoned bait.

The end

Reiterating last week's quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson on the point of balance, “Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats.”


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at angeliahartandzi@yahoo.com and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~ CHASING YESTERDAY
Champagne Books can be purchased at http://www.champagnebooks.com

THE FABLE OF SIN-SIN-CINDERELLA SERIES
Books can be purchased at angelicahartandzi.com






Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's Eye Candy Tuesday-NWS!!!!










Yee Haw...let's get ready to save a horse and ride a cowboy......or two today as I try to heat up the day here in my neck of the woods with some hot cowboys.
So what do you think......care to test ride these cowboys?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Talking with Debut Author AJ Best


I am chatting with a soon to be author named AJ Best. AJas a bit nervous to sit down with me (I have no idea why???) and chat about how the publishing business is to a new author and more. So without further adieu, welcome soon to be published, AJ Best.

1)     1) Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve been told it’s rude to talk about yourself; but I’ve never seen it. So, let’s talk about me. I’m really a transplanted southerner living in the frigid arctic North Country of upstate NY. I never saw myself coming up here and living a life of down coats, mittens, hats and scarves. But it’s amazing what a bald man will make you do. I have two wonderful biological children who I am very proud of, though I do wish they would stop growing up. I have 3 near stepchildren that will be mine someday, just haven’t nailed down the date. And in the may lay I have 4 cats, 2 dogs, 20 fish, 1 bird and a fiancé.

2) What got you interested in writing?

Wow, I’ve been writing since my teachers forced me to in elementary school. I wasn’t very good at it, but I kept on trying. Schools seem to force the 3 Rs on us:

                   Reading
                   wRiting
                   aRithmatic

I mean seriously what kind of illiterate monkey came up with that? But then again, I am not one to judge, much. Now that I am an author, because I write, I make up my own words.

But I digress. I didn’t start writing anything with meaning until I was in 7th or 8th grade. My mother decided to get me a typewriter. And for you young folks, this was a manual typewriter where you put the corrective paper into the spot and had to line everything up JUST SO. Never mind….another generation spoiled. 

It was then that I wrote my first poem; I have it memorized if you care to hear it. Oh of course you care to hear it. **clears throat**


Lazily we walk along the beach
You and I hand in hand
Nature has its things to teach
We listen and learn
But never turn
To see what we left behind.


**takes a bow** Thank you very much – please throw dollar bills instead of coins, they hurt less.

Again, I digress. I turned into a budding writer a little later in life. Twelfth grade brought on another writing challenge. I still remember the first line of that as well; though I can’t remember my children’s names sometimes.

December spreads its snow-filled wings and covers our world in cold despair.

Ingenious right? Wrong. I got a B on the final paper and never wrote again until I was 29. I started a story, which is still not finished, and everyone loved it. I was told to keep trying and finish. But when my husband died, I lost all desire to write. I didn’t pick up a ‘pen’ again until 2008.

And now, in early 2011 I have a story sitting in the stacks at Ravenous Romance awaiting a final yea or neigh. **still biting fingernails**


3) As a first time author, do you find the publishing process a little daunting?

Daunting? It’s scary as heck? I am an impatient little twit, and I want everything done right now. I’ve unfortunately realized that I can’t have it that way. Impatient twits don’t get writing contracts. They get thrown in file 13 and then they cry themselves to sleep. I just want things to make sense, and the time frames don’t yet. I guess I will have to patiently learn how to be patient, and how to deal with the publishing process.

4) Do you have a crit group or a select group of friends you bounce ideas off of or read over your manuscripts?

I have two friends who read things for me, and I read the manuscripts out loud to my loving fiancé. He’s great and gives me the male point of view and makes my writing a whole lot more realistic. I’d like to thank Kissa Starling (www.kissastarling.com) for helping me read over things and not being too Simon Cowell on me.

5) What do you like to read? Any authors you love to enjoy?

I’m an avid reader. I read about 600 words per minute and manage to read about 3 books a week. I love ALL things vampire, so I read the Vampire Academy series, Mortal Instrument series, and House of Night series to only mention a few. I also adore Nora Roberts, and Piers Anthony. I own about ½ of the books that he has written. I’m working on getting all of them, but he keeps writing.

6) What is your favorite genre to read/write?

My favorite genre to read is paranormal. I have a dream to write paranormal right now, but I keep getting all these sweet romance and women’s romance and erotica in my brain. So I will have to get them out so I can work on some paranormal. I actually am fleshing out a vamp book right now. I had a great dream several nights in a row and finally got up and typed some things on my iPhone and went back to sleep.

7) What feature do you start with when writing a description of your hero/ine? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?

I have to work on my hero and heroine’s personality first. If I can’t see who they are, then their appearance doesn’t mean a thing to me. I don’t care what their hair is like. If my hero is a bad ass guy who cares about nothing, then I will probably have him have dark messy hair, maybe greasy or something. I would make him someone I wouldn’t want in my life.

8)Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?

If I were a store, I would have candles, incense, books, and things that sparkle. I would make bookmarks, necklaces, and all kinds of bobbles. I would have all kinds of comfy clothing that would enable me to just kick back and write. I would make sure that I sell Mac laptop computers. Finally I would make sure that there were all kinds of baked goods around so no one goes hungry.

9) If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

DON’T PISS ME OFF, I HOLD A GRUDGE. WANT A BROWNIE?

10) What do you enjoy doing for fun and relaxation?

Fun and relaxation? Hmm, I love to paint, crochet, knit, watch TV, and READ, READ, READ.

11) February...the month of love and romance. What was the worst/best/funniest valentine gift you ever got from a significant other?

Don’t tell my fiancé this, but last year he got me a stuffed anatomically correct heart that beats (once I learned the meaning – him giving me his heart I liked it), bacon lip balm, and an I LOVE MY GEEK t-shirt.

12) Where can we find you on the web?

I would love for you to come by and pick on me any time at www.ajbestwrites.com or email me at ajbestwrites@gmail.com . Thanks for having me Dawn.


WRITERS WRITE... WRITING PARTNERS FEUD - CHEESECAKE?

Z:  So whatja writing? A:  (Flattens herself against the computer screen) Nada. Z:  (Wily, wooly brow lift to the ceiling)  This is ...