Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween & Contest

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Happy Halloween everyone! Hope you have a truly fun and safe day. Enjoy! I know I am. Spooky movies anyone? That’s what I’m planning for Halloween.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by today for the last contest this year in the Chill Me Thrill Me event. I almost didn’t get this blog up…I messed up the video and had to take some time tinkering. To take a chance at winning an Amazon gift card/certificate, please send an email to my contact email on this website with the answer to the following. Can you find everything “Halloween” on this website? And I mean absolutely everything. The first person to answer correctly is the winner. I’ll announce the winner later this evening on Halloween. Until then, enjoy my blog. Bwahahahahahahahah!!!


Guest Author: Christine Price

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Hello everyone! Halloween is almost here. Can you feel the spine-tingling experience happening? I can. Anyhoo, I’d like to introduce Christine Price to my blog. Take it away, Christine!

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

Definitely for pleasure!! I think I was in second grade and penned the memorable half page epic “My Mother is a Werewolf.” I’ve been writing ever since. My first published work (Soul Bond) just came out in April, so I’m just beginning to appreciate how wonderful it is to write and know that people are actually reading it.

I still do a lot of “for pleasure” writing between my serious projects. I find it’s a fantastic creative outlet, and it’s important to keep the momentum going when you’re writing. It’s way too easy to fall out of the habit of writing 1000-1500 words a day and then lose motivation.

How do you maintain your creativity?

I pull on inspiration from a lot of different places. Music especially is a huge one for me. I feel like I haven’t entirely fleshed a character out until I hear a song that strongly reminds me of them. I have a huge playlist that I listen to while brainstorming. It ranges everywhere from Rammstein (nope, not kidding) to Sigur Ros to Maria Mena.

If I’m stuck at any point during the writing process, I’ll sit down with my MP3 player and ask myself “what if” – two words I consider to be among the most important in a writer’s vocabulary.

Is there a particular subgenre in that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I love urban fantasy/paranormal. It appeals to me because of the diversity available in the subject matter and how amazing it is to be able to pull on fantasy elements while still having your characters drive sports cars. One particularly memorable character I wrote about drove an Aston Martin Vanquish and yet fought with two kukris. Huh. I’d forgotten about him. I should find a way to bring him back…

Other than that, I like reading high fantasy, but haven’t written it in ages. A new subgenre that I’ve really started gravitating towards recently is mystery, which has started influencing a lot of my new projects. (Starting with In Darkness Bound).

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

I know that saying “both” is a cop out answer, but I do think you need a certain amount of inborn inclination and passion towards writing. (If you just write because you’re in it for the money or fame, it shows). But structure and stylistic elements can definitely be learned. If you have the passion, you’ll look for ways to develop any areas of opportunity you have.

Take myself for example. Beyond that memorable classic from the second grade, a lot of my early-early stuff (like, school age early) had nothing in the way of paragraph breaks. Everything pretty much exemplified the “text block of doom”. But as you continue growing and developing as a writer, you begin to understand how important silly things like grammar and punctuation are. It’s that inborn talent that keeps you writing and motivates you to get better and succeed.

Are their subgenres you don’t read?

Hmmm… I’ll read pretty much anything as long as its well-written. That being said, it takes some doing to get me in front of a sci-fi (which is funny, considering my first published novella was sci-fi). And westerns have to be really memorable for me to want to pick up and keep reading them. (I’m addicted to JL Langley’s “Ranch” series).

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

Nice. *laughs* Not really. I just feel that people who ask me get cheated since I can never give a definitive answer.

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

Just a smidgen? Well…if you insist…

Imprisoned by a scientists with unknown motivations, Chris Kincaid finds himself isolated in an underground lab. Subjected to a myriad of torturous experiments, Chris’s only solace comes from Vance—one of his fellow inmates—and the surprising compassion of Simon, one of his captor’s minions. As that solace turns to something deeper, the machinations of his captor slowly threaten everything Chris has come to love.

In Darkness Bound is available for purchase at Carina Press. (Warning. Hot excerpt ahead.)

***

Chapter 1…

“Last night I dreamt you finally got laid.”

Chris blinked and his hand froze halfway toward the fruit bowl. “Glad I’m getting sex somewhere.” He grabbed the last pear and took a bite. “Was it someone devilishly handsome or a girl?” His face twisted in disgust. “It wasn’t you, was it?”

Caris looked down at her biology textbook. “I doubt it, since I didn’t wake up with the lingering taste of vomit in my mouth.” Chris tossed the pear at her, and she just barely managed to dodge. “If I had a dream about you and me having sex, I wouldn’t tell you.”

“I wouldn’t want you to tell me.”

“Thus we are agreed.” She stabbed at his hand with her fork when it strayed too close to her pancakes, but he managed to avoid it and snag a stray piece. “I have a final tomorrow, by the way, so on the off chance that you do find someone willing to offer you a mercy fuck, go to their place so I won’t be inconvenienced by the need to castrate you.”

“Noted.”

“And since my chances are much better, I’ll do the same during your finals next week so you can study.”

Chris shrugged nonchalantly.

Caris sighed. “They’re going to accuse you of cheating again.”

“I am cheating.”

“No, you’re picking the answers out of the profs’ brains using telepathy.”

Chris regarded her with a raised eyebrow.

“Huh. When I say it that way, it does sound a lot like cheating, doesn’t it?”

He nodded and stole another pancake.

“Why don’t you just quit? You don’t want to be a vet. I haven’t seen you within five feet of an animal without you getting that look on your face.”

“What look?”

“Imagine me naked. Thatlook. Vaguely terrified, not sure if you should be amused or disgusted. You get the same look around kids.” She rolled up the last pancake and shoved the entire thing into her mouth before he could make a play for it. She continued with a cough, “I don’t think that’s going to go over very well when poor Fluffy is bleeding out on the operating table.”

Recognizing the beginning of an old argument, Chris stood and crossed the kitchen.

“Chris, as your self-appointed best friend, I feel uniquely qualified to tell you that even though you thinkyou’re doing what Brennan would want you to do, you’re not. He’d just want you to be happy.”

Chris slumped against the counter. “I know. But I need to do this for him.” They had a longstanding agreement that he wouldn’t deliberately read her mind, but he couldn’t help the projections she shot his way. Worry. Warmth. Love. Frustration. Hope. It was a jumbled kaleidoscope of emotions that always threw him off, and her earnest concern was just enough to unnerve him.

They had stumbled into their friendship during freshman year when their roommates started dating. Caris had shown up at his door one night, grumbling about oversexed jocks and inconsiderate bimbos, and dumped her stuff in the spare bedroom. Since then, it had been her bed, her room and her rules. Chris hadn’t heard from the oversexed jock in question since the idiot had come whining at the door for his bed back and been frightened away by Caris’s pre-coffee face.

**

Thanks Christine for stopping by today!

Guest Author: Adele Dubois

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Today I’d like to welcome Adele Dubois to CHILL ME THRILL ME. Adele is offering A Halloween themed purse-sized notebook for THREE commenters. Take it away Adele!

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

As a child I wrote purely for pleasure, but by age nineteen I free-lanced for a regional newspaper and published on a regular basis. Later, I wrote for a newspaper full-time as a reporter and columnist. Ironically, I didn’t major in journalism or creative writing in college. I earned a degree in a field where I could get a “real job.” I freelanced on the side until I wrote my first novel. These days I write full-time.

How do you maintain your creativity?

I write every day, seven days a week. Creativity comes from keeping the imagination stimulated. Hard work and perseverance are the keys to success.

Is there a particular subgenre in that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I write in the subgenres I like most, which are contemporary and paranormal.

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

The craft of writing can be learned, but talent is a gift. The best writers are both talented and skilled.

Are their subgenres you don’t read?

I read every subgenre except Inspirational romances.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

No, I totally get why people ask that question. What readers really want to know is what’s inside an author’s head. Where does our imagination come from? We creative types use our imaginations in our work every day.  That’s exciting stuff!

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

REV ME TWICE is a contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave Publishing and the sequel to my popular novel REV ME UP. If you like hot hunks and babes on Harley’s, this book is for you. REV ME TWICE is coming soon!

Since we’re celebrating Halloween, I’ve attached the cover and an excerpt from my ghost story INTIMATE ART. This book is very romantic and one of my favorite tales.

Adele Dubois website: www.adeledubois.com/

Summary: Intimate Art by Adele Dubois

When Jack Harris strides into the Special T café each morning, wearing jeans hot enough to melt glass, the erotic fuel between him and waitress Legs Anderson almost ignites the room.  That’s why Legs’ willingness to keep Jack at bay is Hartsville’s most bemusing mystery.

That and the fact that Jack Harris is the only person in town who doesn’t believe the Anderson house is haunted.

But Legs believes. And as long as her aunt’s ghost haunts the master bedroom of the house she inherits, Jack can’t spend the night. Ada had an ironclad rule she enforces from the grave:  No men allowed.

Especially Harris men.

Jack forms a plan involving paint, body stencils, and exotic ingenuity to chase Ada’s ghost from the house. Will intimate art help him claim the woman he loves? Or will Ada conjure new surprises?

*****

“Adele Dubois brings finesse and grace to the page.
Captivating characters and tightly woven
plots give readers a fabulously robust story.”
~ L.A. Banks, NY Times Best-selling Author

Grade A: Outstanding Read! “Ms. Dubois casts a spell that ensnares you before you’re done with the first page.” ~ Simply Romance Reviews

Excerpt:  INTIMATE ART by Adele Dubois

“Move in with me, dammit. You’re the most stubborn woman I ever knew.”

“No more stubborn than you, since you keep askin’ the same old question. I have my own place.”

Jack frowned and stabbed his egg yolks, making them run. “Then let me live with you.”

“In my aunt’s house?” Legs asked like he was crazy.

“It’s your house now.”

“I’m trying to fix it up. I have to patch and paint. There’s no room for your stuff.”

“I’ll help you, and then you’ll have plenty of space for me. And my junk.”

“Ada won’t like it. She’ll think it’s immoral.”

“You talk about her like she’s still with us. She’s been gone over a year, sweetheart.” His voice dropped an octave and his brows creased. “Don’t you think she’d give in after all this time?”

Legs wrinkled her nose. “No. She thinks you’re a wanderer.”

Jack tossed down his fork. “I own a sporting goods store for crissake! I go fishing!” He touched her hand when she got close enough and drew little circles around her wrist bone with a fingertip. The preschool teachers from Let’s Explore stifled sighs at the next table. “It’s time to let go, hon. His expression turned earnest. She raised you, I know. But I want to be with you now. It’s time to let me in.”

“Not if that means letting her go. I’m sorry, Jack. I just can’t.”

Jack sighed and returned to his breakfast. “We’ll talk about this again tomorrow.”

* *

It seemed like Jack was the only person in town who didn’t believe the Anderson place was haunted. Or maybe he pretended not to know. Ada had died but still stood like a sentry in the two-story white Victorian where she had raised her niece. And it was clear Legs liked it that way. After her parents died in that car crash, she and her aunt had become almost inseparable. Legs still slept in the spare room she used as a child. The master bedroom belonged to her aunt as far as she was concerned.

Legs couldn’t bring herself to move into Ada’s old room, though she’d hauled out much of the furniture and torn down the old-fashioned curtains. Most of the bigger, fussier antiques in the house had been sold to pay land and inheritance taxes. The rest Legs rearranged to her liking and hoped Ada would approve. But a man moving in? Ada would pitch a fit.

How do I know all this? My name is Cloris. I own the Special T café. Ada was my best friend and I’ve known Legs since before she was born. Her given name is Linda, but I’ve always called her Legs, ‘cause she reminds me of a sleek, long-legged colt. The nickname stuck with customers after her first shift at the café.

I hired Legs as my runner around the time Ada got sick. My knees throb and my feet ache with arthritis, though I still manage the restaurant and take orders at the counter. Legs had just graduated college when she came home to nurse Ada. It was nice of her to help me around the café, too, and then stay on after her aunt died. I’m a realist, though– I know our arrangement can’t last much longer. The girl has a business degree to use.

Back at Jack’s table Legs shook her head as if further talk would make no difference. Her ponytail swished between her slim shoulder blades. “I’ll be painting all weekend. You can help if you want, but I make no promises about you moving in. Ever.”

A satisfied smile curved Jack’s lips. He held Legs’s large brown eyes with his deep cobalt blues. “I’ll bring coffee and biscuits. I’ll be there by eight.”

Legs nodded once. “Okay. Guess I could use an extra pair of hands.”

Every other woman in Hartsville would have passed Jack a paintbrush with her teeth if he brought those rugged, strong looking hands to her house. Yet, there was an unspoken, but palatable admiration for Legs the other women seemed to share. They liked that she could handle him–probably better than they could. Legs had an unshakable confidence that earned other women’s respect.

I think Jack liked that about her, too.

*****

Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-5509-316-intimate-art.aspx

Adele Dubois website: www.adeledubois.com/

Friend Adele on FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/adele.dubois?ref=name

Follow Adele on Twitter! http://twitter.com/AdeleDubois

Guest Author: Terri Schaefer

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Welcome to Terri Schaefer. Terri and I have known each other for a long time. She even helped me with some research for my firefighter novel, COMBUSTION. Be sure to read all the way through…Terri has a contest you don’t want to miss. Take it away, Terri.

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

I actually wrote my first book back in high school.  It was, of course, horrendous, and I hid it in a place that shall never be named.  After that, I went on with life in general until my early thirties, when an idea kinda hit me out of the blue.  I decided to see if I could actually write another book, and The Summerland was born.  I shopped it around a smidge, then decided to go with the newly emerging e-pub market (this was back in 2000) and haven’t looked back since!

How do you maintain your creativity?

Sometimes it’s a tough row to hoe.  For example, I’m in one of those phases where I’m not writing a ton, even though I’ve got three stories in flux, and I can actually picture myself finishing them…planting my ass in the chair seems to be the problem lately.  When it comes to creativity as a whole, I use news stories and human interest items to keep my brain reasonably sharp and shiny.  I also MUST have a soundtrack to work to.  I’ve gotten to the point where unless I have the soundtrack reasonably down, the story will stall.  It may seem silly, but it just seems to jumpstart my brain (and my fingers).  Being around hunky heroes all day doesn’t hurt either…LOL!  My hubby is a retired Air Force medic and I work for the Air Force at a student pilot training base…wanna talk about inspiration??  It’s a hard, hard life I lead.  Horrible, I tell you!

Is there a particular subgenre in that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I tend to write romantic suspense and paranormals (sometimes intermixed), regardless of whether they’re of the steamy variety or not.  Even the post-apocalyptic story I’m working right now has those elements…I just can’t seem to get away *G*.

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

I believe anyone can learn to write and be technically proficient, but having the passion and true creativity to sustain an ongoing career is something ingrained.  I’m often asked “How do you do it?  I can’t imagine writing a whole book!”  I usually ask the person if they’re really good at math.  In most cases, the answer is yes.  I’ve yet to meet many writers who are of the analytical bent (as opposed to creative), and vice versa.

Are their subgenres you don’t read?

I just can’t get into inspirationals, and the sweeter variety of contemporaries.  No problem with mysteries and stories with little or no sexorating, but when it’s a romance, I don’t want the action to stop at the bedroom door.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

LOL!!  Actually, not at all.  The one that never fails to slay me is when folks ask me if I do all the “research” for my erotic novels myself.  Of course I nod and smile, then dig an elbow in my husband’s ribs (if he happens to be with me) so he can give the wink and leer…

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

First, thanks for letting me play with y’all, Denise…I HUGELY appreciate it!

Second, for anyone who’s actually made it to this point in my ramblings *G*, post a note in the blog telling me about your funniest Halloween moment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win your choice of my backlist! (see www.tlschaefer.com for the list).  Contest ends 3 November.

My latest book, Behind Blue Eyes, is available at Samhain in “e” now (http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/behind-blue-eyes-p-6032.html) and will be released in print in 2011.  It’s the start to a new paranormal romantic suspense series.  Here’s a bit of blurbage and the intro for your reading pleasure.

Behind Blue Eyes by TL Schaefer

When all eyes are on you, there’s nowhere to run…except TOWARD the truth.

Crime-scene photographer Sara Covington hides behind her camera from the otherworldly ability that’s caused her nothing but grief her whole life. Yet denial doesn’t protect her when she runs across a serial killer with an aural signature she’s never encountered.

Suddenly she’s without a job and with nowhere to turn…except to an enigmatic, sexy-as-hell detective with a disquieting talent for seeing right through her defenses.

Brian Roney’s fascination with Sara compels him to bring her in on the case that ultimately gets her fired. Even though he senses her mutual attraction, something holds her back from stepping into his arms. He’s as determined to find out why she’s pushing him away as he is to keep her safe.

When the killer strikes again, Sara realizes the only way to stop the madman is come clean about her painful past—and embrace the gift she has so long denied. Before the grisly trail of bodies leads right to her doorstep.

Prologue

Now—Dallas, Texas, Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.

If I’d known when I woke up this morning that my life was going to change in a major way—again—I probably would have pulled the covers over my head and hidden like the coward I am.

Instead, I was actually pretty chipper as I took Xena for her morning walk, both of us enjoying the springtime morning sun. Guess that should have been an indicator of things to come.

Around us, the residents of Deep Ellum were going about their business, strolling into the weirdly trendy shops, grabbing cappuccinos, letting their dogs run free in the pocket park. I’d bet if I tipped my glasses down most of their auras would be relaxed and happy. But even as carefree as I felt this morning, opening myself up to strangers’ auras and emotions wasn’t in the cards on any day. At least when I wasn’t on the job, that is.

I slipped Xena off her leash and she scampered through the grass, her tail waving like a flag. Yeah, a shih tzu is such a girly dog, but hey, what can I say? I’m a girl, and the pooch gives me unconditional love. These days I take all the simple joys I can get.

I rescued her from an animal shelter only a few hours before she was to be put down. Don’t ask me what drew me to the SPCA; it’s not like I was looking for a companion, but I found one, nonetheless. Maybe it was two lost souls calling to one another. I’m just glad we found each other in time.

At the thought, a shiver of foreboding rippled through me, making me glance left, then right. There was nothing different about the people surrounding me, or the day in general that seemed out of place. But even as normal as it seemed, I’d learned to trust my intuition a long time ago. I whistled for Xena and boogied back to the loft. With each step I took toward home, my spine became stiffer and my heart heavier.

As I climbed the stairs to my haven, certainty hit me like a punch. There’d be another murder tonight, in my division, and I’d be called in to shoot it. Not that there was any shortage of violent crimes in Dallas on any given night, but the cloud-blotting-the-sun feeling I’d had in the park told me this one would be different. Time to suit up and put my game face on.

Shit. Sometimes being “gifted” with the Sight was a good thing. Most of the time it was a bitch.

Guest Author: Rebecca York

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Today I’m happy to introduce an author I know you’ve all heard of, the prolific and popular author Rebecca York. Welcome to my blog Rebecca.

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

I always wanted to write for publication. Since I’m a pragmatist, I began writing newspaper articles for my local paper, then slid into novels.  Should I confuse you and say I’ve also written fifteen cookbooks, which grew out of the food articles I wrot

How do you maintain your creativity?

I don’t know!  I think I can’t turn it off.  Things occur to me, and I act on them.  It can be writing a novel or a short story.  It can be converting a plastic cat litter bucket into a decorative container for bird seed.  Or redesigning part of my garden.  Or making an old kitchen cabinet into a bench for the front hall.  Or sewing fabric onto a slipcover to change the color and make a chair fit into my new bedroom decor.

Is there a particular subgenre that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I read fantasy and science fiction as a kid.  My first novel was a kids’ science fiction story.  Then when I learned about the romance market, I started writing romances.  But they were kind of tame for me.  I wanted more action, so I got into romantic suspense (just when it was starting up).  Way back then, I was already adding the paranormal elements I’ve always loved.  Given my choice, I write paranormal romantic suspense.

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

Write a great novel?  What’s a great novel?  If you mean something that lasts through the ages, I’m not sure many people can.  If you’re not born a Dostoevsky, you’re probably not going to be one.  Just like if you’re not born a Michelangelo.  But I think that if you have some talent as a writer, you can improve your skills enormously.  I also think that people who are born to write notice how writing works.  I mean, you can’t help analyzing what you read.  When I wrote my first feature article, I knew what I was trying to achieve.  Same with my first novel.

Are their subgenres you don’t read?

I’m not really into inspirational.  I don’t seek out gory/violent books.  Recently, for a workshop assignment at a conference, I read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and was turned off by some of the violence.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

Of course, that’s the perennial joke for writers.  Recently I went in to get a mole burned off my arm.  The dermatologist said, “I see you’re a writer.  Where do you get your ideas?”  I said, “If you’re a writer, they bombard you.”  That’s my standard answer.

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

DAY OF THE DRAGON is coming out in December and should be EVERYWHERE!  I hope it’s the start of a new series.  I introduced Ramsay, the dragon-shifter hero, as a secondary character in DRAGON MOON and fell in love with him.  He’s lost a lot of his powers as a result of a battle to the death, and his anger and frustration play a big role in the story.  But he meets a woman, Dr. Madison Dartmoor, an archaeologist who may be able to help him figure out his heritage.  Her current dig in Italy has put her in mortal danger, and when Ramsay saves her from thugs bent on stealing a copy of a startling artifact, the two of them team up to unearth the secrets of an ancient civilization.  Of course, I put them through all kinds of hell before they get their HEA.  I love doing that–making the reward sweet because of what’s come before.  And in this case, part of the agony is his wondering how she’s going to react when she finds out he’s not human.

You can find the first chapter of DAY OF THE DRAGON here: http://www.rebeccayork.com/index.php?p=1_81

***

Guest Author: NJ Walters

Monday, October 25th, 2010

A hug and a hello to NJ Walters. I’ve known NJ for quite some time, and I’ve had the honor of reading quite a few of her books. 🙂 Let’s find out some more about NJ and read a great excerpt from her novel, OUT OF SHADOWS. NJ will be giving away an ebook copy of OUT OF SHADOWS at the end of the day.

**

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

Like many angst-ridden teenagers, I wrote poetry. In my twenties I tried my hand at some children’s stories. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I wrote my first book. I was, and continue to be, an avid romance reader so that was what I wrote. I actually wrote two books, hoping to publish them with Harlequin romance, but that didn’t happen. I put aside writing for several years and took it up again when I saw a call for a contest. I didn’t place in the contest but finished the book. Annabelle Lee became my first published book with Ellora’s Cave one month before my fortieth birthday.

How do you maintain your creativity?

By being interested in the world and curious about things. I read books and magazines. I watch movies and television. I have hobbies and friends. The world is filled with inspiration and things to make the imagination take flight.

Is there a particular subgenre in that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I’ve always written what appeals to me at the moment. (That’s something else that has helped me maintain my creativity.) I like all genres of romance from contemporary to paranormal and everything in between. And I’ve written most of them. lol

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

I think that anyone can learn to write as long as they love the subject they are writing about. Passion for your subject is the most important thing. The mechanics of grammar and such can be learned over time with hard work and effort, but you can’t fake your love for a particular subject. If you don’t love reading romance books, don’t write one. It will show. Most writers start out as readers and the books or genres they love influence them.

Are their subgenres you don’t read?

Not really. I’ll try just about anything. Although I do have favorites: contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal and historical.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

That’s a question people ask a lot. I’m sure you get it a lot as well. *g* Ideas come from everywhere—an overheard snippet of conversation, an interesting person in the crowd, a magazine article, a television program, a books, a documentary… The list is endless. I always tell people if you want inspiration to strike do something mundane like the dishes or go for a walk. The repetition of the task allows your mind to take flight. If that doesn’t work, go out to a coffee shop, sit and people watch. Lots of inspiration there.

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

My latest Ellora’s Cave book is Out of Shadows. It’s part of my “Shadow Ryders” series about a group of immortal warriors who are all but lost in shadows and time. It’s also a twist on the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” which is a story I love.

BLURB:

Companion to “Shadows Stir” from Dreams of the Oasis IV anthology and Beyond Shadows

Dovina Horne has arrived in Sleepy Hollow to study the legend of the horseman. She believes it’s only a myth until she’s threatened by a horse and rider while walking on a deserted trail in the woods. Only the sudden appearance of a warrior saves her from the horseman’s sword. She feels an instant connection, both sexual and emotional, to this protective stranger.

An immortal warrior of the Shadow Realm, Hadeon’s mission is to protect Dovina at all costs. He knows the horseman is not what he seems, but something more powerful and sinister in disguise. The longer Hadeon spends with Dovina, the more he wants her. He finds his way into her bed and her heart, but their relationship is doomed. He is an immortal from the shadows and she is a human filled with light. But when the final battle comes, they must use all that is between them if they hope to survive.

EXCERPT: Out of Shadows

A feeling of dread crept over her. For the first time in her life, Dovina was afraid of the dark. She, who’d visited cemeteries around the world, who’d tromped through the Black Forest in Germany in search of a local legend, who’d even visited Bran Castle—what most folks thought of as Dracula’s Castle—for heaven’s sake, was afraid in a small stretch of woods in upstate New York.

A sound trickled into the air around her. It sounded like someone breathing heavily. Impossible. Even if she wasn’t alone, she wouldn’t be able to hear a person breathe unless they were right beside her. That thought unfroze her feet and she spun in a circle. This was no longer fun.

She hurried down the path, retracing her steps. “One foot in front of the other.” She’d be back on the main road in no time. From there, it was a short walk back to her car.

A twig cracked, the sounds echoing through the air. She froze and listened. Nothing but the mournful sound of the wind whistling through the trees. She felt it in the soles of her feet first, a vibration that grew stronger with each passing second. Then she heard it, the hard clop of a horse’s hooves on dirt. Living on the family ranch for several years, she was very familiar with the sound.

She looked behind her, pointing her flashlight into the impenetrable gloom. The horse trumpeted as the sound of his hooves got closer. She caught a glimpse of movement in the distance. Then her flashlight went dead.

“Oh shit.” Stuffing her keys in her coat pocket, she whirled and started to run. No pretext at being anything other than terrified. If this was local kids trying to scare a solitary female tourist, they were doing a hell of a job. And what if it wasn’t a kid? What if it was some crazy person? Or worse?

Heart pounding, legs and lungs pumping, she raced through the trees, branches slapping at her arms and face. The sound of her labored breathing drowned out the pounding of hooves, but she could still feel the vibration in the ground.

Something flew past her in the woods. She didn’t stop, didn’t pause. Dovina was running for her life. A dark mass appeared on the path ahead of her. She stumbled to a stop. Tripping over a rock, she fell to her knees, barely catching herself on her hands. Gravel tore at her palms and she cried out.

She jerked her head up, unable to believe what was before her. A large black horse with reddish eyes and steam coming from its nose rose up on its hind legs. The rider, a huge black shadow, raised one arm. The moon caught a glint of metal. A sword? He was holding a sword. She blinked twice to be certain.

The horse came back down and the clouds moved away, letting the full light of the partial moon illuminate the specter before her. She shook her head in disbelief. It couldn’t be. She’d seen him clearly for a brief second and he had no head.

Impossible. It couldn’t be. Yet it was. She’d talked to people all around the world in person and via email, many of whom claimed to see vampires, ghosts, werewolves and other creatures of myth and lore. But never had she seen anything resembling the paranormal herself. Until now.

Her logical mind was scrambling to find a rational explanation, while her survival instincts were screaming at her to run. She ignored her brain, jumped to her feet and ran. She’s figure it out later, right now getting out of here alive was paramount.

Dovina whirled around and raced back toward the bridge. It was believed that the horseman couldn’t cross water, so if she could get over the bridge she should be okay. At least she hoped she’d be okay. She really didn’t have a choice, not with him blocking the path back to civilization.

Sweat coated her body as she ran faster than she’d ever run in her life. For once, she wished she were less of a bookworm and more of an athlete. The bridge got closer as pounding of the horse’s hooves got louder. A maniacal laugh cut through the dark. She heard the swish of his blade as he brandished it through the air.

She was going to die.

Damned if she would. Dovina dug deep and pushed harder. The muscles in her legs cramped, her lungs screamed as she managed to quicken her pace. Her heart was pounding at a furious rate as she scrambled toward the bridge. She jumped onto the wooden structure, not stopping until she was on the other side.

Only then did she glance behind her.

As if he’d been waiting for her, the horseman appeared on the far side of the bridge. Again, laughter filled the air. “You cannot escape me. I will have you.” His deep booming voice echoed through the woods, coming from nowhere, yet everywhere at the same time. The horse reared again and she took a step back.

The horseman reined in the horse and urged the great beast forward. It’s foreleg stepped on the wooden structure. Oh god, the water and the bridge wasn’t going to stop it. Real or ghost, it didn’t matter. It was after her.

The horse had placed only one hoof on the bridge when a massive shadow appeared in front of her, blocking her view of the horse and rider. Dovina blinked and the shadow coalesced into the body of a man. She shrieked, certain the horseman had dismounted and was almost upon her.

It was then she saw his head. Whoever this man was, he at least had a head. “Run. He has a sword.” For some reason, she felt compelled to warn this stranger who’d put himself between her and the deadly horseman.

“So do I,” came his gruff reply.

You can buy Out of Shadows from Ellora’s Cave at :

http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-8561-172-out-of-shadows.aspx

Website: http://www.njwalters.com

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

Newsletter Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/awakeningdesires/

Thank you for being with us today NJ!

First Video: Halloween Contest Clues

Sunday, October 24th, 2010


Welcome to my first ever video blog. Please watch until the end because I give you a clue about the October 31 contest that you don’t want to miss! Pardon my dust, this is my first attempt at a video blog. 🙂

Guest Author: Paige Tyler

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Hey everyone! Good to see you back again. Please welcome Paige Tyler to the blog today. Paige is into the paranormal and she has a Halloween themed story coming out, too.

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

I started writing in middle school, so back then I did it purely for pleasure.  It wasn’t until my creative writing teacher in high school suggested I think about making it a career that I started to think about getting published.  Although I wrote every day and came up with story after story, I still didn’t pursue it seriously.  One of the problems was trying to figure out how to get anyone to look at my stories.  I tried cold submissions and even sending my stuff to literary agencies, but those avenues never worked for me and I started to get a little disheartened.  Luckily, that was about the time epubs were becoming popular, so I when I ran across a website asking for submissions, I decided to give it a shot. The publisher loved my stuff, and I’ve been writing every since.  And while writing is my job now, I’ve never lost that love for it, so it’s still a pleasure!

How do you maintain your creativity?

For me, it’s all about being open to any idea that pops up, and just letting the storyline take me whereever it wants.  I don’t try to write what someone else is calling “hot” at the moment, I write what calls to me.  I’ve also found that jumping from genre to genre helps me from getting bored with a particular type of story.  If I have a sci-fi story that just seems to be stuck, I go write on a comtemporary for a while, or a paranormal, or whatever.  I’ve always found that when I do that, the storyline that was stuck or running a little drab before just pops off the page at me when I go back to it.

Is there a particular subgenre in that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I love writing paranormals and contemporaries the most, but sometimes I’ll get an idea for a sci-fi or a western, or most recently, a fantasy romance, and I’ll run with it.

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

I really think that when anyone has a knack for something, then they’re born with it, and that includes writers.  That being said, I also think that the mechanics of writing can be taught and learned – all stories have the same basic elements.  And a person gets better at writing the more they do it.  I know that I’m constantly learning and improving the craft of writing with each and every book I write. I look back now at some of the earlier stuff I wrote and I marvel out how much better I am at having my characters express their personalities, or in telling a complex storyline.  So, I know from experience that a person can learn to improve their writing.

Are there subgenres you don’t read?

I like to read mostly the same genres that I write.  I don’t usually go for horror or mystery, though.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

LOL!  No, not at all!  In fact, when I come out with a new book, that’s usually what I blog about.  I’m always fascinated with how authors come up with an idea for a particular story, and I’ve found that my readers are, too.  I just blogged the other day about an upcoming release I have with Ellora’s Cave called DEAD SEXY, and one of the readers who commented told me that she wanted to reader the book when she saw the cover and read the blurb, but that after hearing how the story came about, she’s just itching to get her hands on it!

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

Well, I have a new release out with a Halloween theme.  It’s a contemporary erotic romance called UNMASKED, and it’s available from Ellora’s Cave. I think there’s just something inherently sexy about costume parties – you know, no one knows who you are underneath the mask, so you can do anything you want, so I ran with the idea about a girl going to a costume party and hooking up with a hot masked man. I had a pretty good storyline going if I do say so myself, but I wanted to make it even more intriguing, so I thought, what if the heroine goes to the costume party looking for this hot, hunky coworker she’s been lusting after? Of course, she’d have to know what he’s going to be dressed up as for it to work, so I settled on the phantom of Venice. Just sounds mysterious, doesn’t it? To make it more fun, though, I decided to have more than one guy dressed up in the same costume, so the heroine would have to come up with some ingenious way to figure out which guy was the one she was looking for. Admittedly, that was a good idea. Really good. But I didn’t stop there. I wanted the heroine to have even more fun, so instead of making the costume party a regular old Halloween party, I made it a spanking party! For some reason, that always seems to be a big theme in my books! LOL! So, what does the heroine do, you’re wondering? Let every phantom of Venice she comes across spank her until she find the right one? I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but trust me when I say that the heroine has a LOT of fun trying to figure out which guy is the one she’s looking for!

You can read an excerpt here!

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/ExcerptUnmasked.html

You can watch the trailer here! 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lbfgXqvfY4

You can buy it at Ellora’s Cave here! 
http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8827-unmasked.aspx

Since we’re talking “chill me, thrill me” today, I should probably mention that I also have an upcoming paranormal erotic romance release from Ellora’s Cave called DEAD SEXY in which the hero is a zombie!  Yes, you read that right!  He’s a zombie.  But a very sexy one! I mean, just look at that cover!  Isn’t it too hot for words?!  When the art department sent it to me, I probably gazed at it for a good ten minutes in mouth-drooling appreciation before I could email them back telling the artist it not only rocked, but totally fit the book.  The hero is “Dead Sexy,” after all!

Okay, back to the story and how I came up with it.  First, to set the stage, I need to share a little something with you about myself.  Well, about my hubby and me, actually.  We love zombie movies, from the George Romero gems to Shaun of the Dead and everything in between.  You just can’t go wrong with a movie full of walking dead people, can you?  Well, if you’ve ever seen a zombie movie (or even you haven’t), then you know the creatures aren’t the heroes of the film.  I mean, how can they be, right?  They’re all dead and decayed and downright unattractive, not to mention pretty damn scary.  Which was why you can imagine my surprise when my hubby suggested I write an erotic romance about a zombie hero.  I was like, you’re kidding, right?  What woman in her right mind would fall in love with a dead guy?  No way could that possibly work, or so I thought.

Turns out, my hubby wasn’t kidding.  In fact, he started working up ideas for the story.

“The hero didn’t have to be a zombie all the time,” he told me. “Think outside the box – take a little literary license, for goodness sakes!”

Okay, I thought. I suppose I could be open minded.

My hubby told me that in his out-of-the-box world, the hunky hero got cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess and only turns into a zombie sometimes.

“I’m listening,” I said.

“And when he does go zombie, he doesn’t have to be like the kind in the movies,” my hubby added.  Well, he has to look like one, you know all dead and stuff, but he doesn’t have to be a mindless creature or attack humans or eat anything gross.”

So, brains are completely out, thanks goodness!

“Think Jensen Ackles or Jared Padelecki, with a really, really, really dark tan – (yes, my hubby knows I’ve got a thing for the Supernatural hunks!) – well, maybe more gray and black than tan, but you get the idea.”

I thought about that for a minute.  “So, the hero’s dead, but he’s still sexy, is that what you’re saying?”

“Exactly,” he said, giving me a grin as my eyes lit up with understanding.

By that point, my hubby had pretty much sold me on the idea.  Of course, I knew if I ran with it, I was going to have to sell it to a publisher, and I knew that could be tough since the hero is a zombie.

But I ran with it anyway and ended up with a full-length novel.  And it came out pretty damn good, if I do say so myself!  I still had to find a publisher for it, though.

About this same time, It just so happens that several of my other books were in the process of being picked up by Ellora’s Cave and I thought what the heck?  Why not pitch it to editor there and see what she thinks?  So I did, and she told me to send it to her.  She was interested to see how I handled the whole zombie-thing.  Well, long story, short, she liked it.  A lot!  My zombie romance with it’s dead-sexy hero had a home!  I was thrilled and my hubby walked around for a week with a smug, “I-told-you-so” look on his face.

I’ve been getting the word out there about DEAD SEXY and I’m thrilled with the interest from readers who can’t wait to get their hands on it!  I can’t wait for them to read it, too!  It’s in final edits with my editor, so it should be hitting the digital streets really soon.

You can get a sneak peek and read an excerpt on my website here!

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/ExcerptDeadSexy.html

If you want to be the first to get a copy, check my website or blog for the release date.  You can also join my email newsletter at paigetyler@paigetylertheauthor.com (put newsletter in the subject line)

or my Facebook newsletter at  http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28772293974

You can also Become a Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paige-Tyler-Author-of-Sexy-Romantic-Fiction/138725096160587?v=page_getting_started#!/pages/Paige-Tyler-Author-of-Sexy-Romantic-Fiction/138725096160587?v=wall

I also have a Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PaigeTyler/

For more of my sexy erotic fiction and a sneak peek at my other upcoming releases, check out my website!

http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com

And if you decide to pick up any of my books, let me know how you like them!

Thanks so much for interviewing me, Denise!

Guest Author: Lise Fuller

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Welcome to Lise Fuller. Lise and I have known each other quite a long time. Plus, we’ve spent a lot of time chatting about military stuff. Here’s Lise to give us some background on her writing life and what’s coming up next for her.

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

Definitely both, but I knew going in that I would have to do a LOT of writing before I could pub, both to increase my skill and just to get exposure.

How do you maintain your creativity?

Good question! Often when I finish a book, I’m still so into it that I need a break of some kind. I crochet and have even been known to paint murals on the walls of the bedrooms. I read as well, but try to stay away from those books that are similar to what genre I’m writing as I don’t want to accidentally pick someone else’s stuff up. Also, I love hiking, so I’ll do that as well to free my mind. Sometimes I even take a notebook with me and jot down things about the trail or any other idea that comes into my head.

Is there a particular subgenre in that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

Whatever I write, I like the romantic action/adventure in the story, so I guess you can say that’s what I write, whether it be contemporary, futuristic or historical (which I haven’t written yet but have some great ideas about).

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

I definitely think the skill sets are learned—how we write, syntax and all that. Now, the creativity part, that’s inherent in the person I think. And I really believe that if someone has the desire burning bad enough, they’ll find a way to express themselves. They will.

Are their subgenres you don’t read?

About the only thing I don’t read is out and out horror. I just don’t like it. I’ve read Poe to King. Great writers! Engaging prose! But I just can’t get into it. Perhaps because I’ve had enough struggle in my life, I really don’t want to see it on the pages.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

LOL! Naw, not really. Besides my answer is always the same. I really have no idea. My mind just starts making associations and I wake up one morning with this driving idea for a story. Seriously. That’s what happens.

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

The last one out is Claimed by my nom de plume, Elle Amour. It’s an erotic futuristic that’s set in the ‘now’ timeframe. The heroine is this one is a woman who’s just turned 50. Here’s the blurb:

Mate Seekers, Book One

Trista is living every middle-aged woman’s fantasy—she wakes to find her body is pre-kids, pre-stretch marks and pre-gravity. Oh yeah! What’s more, the lover sharing her fantasy—blond hair, piercing turquoise eyes and a sculpted body to drool over—makes her feel like the sexy teen she was back when he first visited her dreams. Except this is no fantasy, and Rurik the Conqueror is no dream lover. He’s real, he’s not from Earth, and this time he’s come to claim her.

Rurik had known Trista of Earth was his by the Svendian way—her scent. A war and fears for her safety were all that kept him from staking his claim years ago, but no longer. He needs her like he needs his next breath. But unknown forces intrude on his plans and Rurik finds she’s in greater danger than ever. This time he’s not giving up, and he’ll die to protect the woman who completes his soul in a way he never imagined.

It’s published by Ellora’s Cave and is the first of three books. Here’s the link for it and yes, you can buy it there or on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc: http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-8214-50-claimed.aspx.

Thanks for having me Denise!

Guest Author: Amanda Vyne

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

A fine welcome to Amanda Vyne. Amanda has a way with words that is sure to draw you in. I think I like the way this girl thinks! Enjoy! Amanda’s prize today is a $10 gift certificate from either Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

When you first started writing, did you write purely for pleasure or with the goal of publication?

Oh it was definitely for pleasure. Even before I started reading romance, I was writing fantasy. Once I actually started reading romance – at an appalling young age I might add – it was game on.

How do you maintain your creativity?

Creativity really has two faces when it comes to writing.  The first face is all dimples and twinkling eyes. It’s creating storylines, kick ass characters and engaging scenes. That face of creativity I have in spades. I get inspired by movies, books, magazines, music, off comments random people say, that strange dude standing uncomfortably close to the entrance of the women’s restroom… just about anything. I’m easy. Then there is this other face. It’s all uni-brow, bad hair and no makeup. This side of creativity takes persistence, determination and paying attention to such inconsequential things as passive voice, commas and overused words. It’s the part that requires you to sit in your chair for four hours twitching like a two year old so you can squeeze out those 500 words that gets you over a particularly dry spot. It’s still part of the creative process but it’s not as fun. To maintain that I need just the right song, my fav Skull Candy headphones and my children to behave for 30 straight minutes.

Is there a particular subgenre in romance that you specialize in and like the most, or do you write in whatever subgenre appeals to you at the moment?

I always thought I would be a historical romance writer. When I was younger it was the subgenre that I read the most. It was what I cut my teeth on when I first started writing romance. But when I finally put some serious pen to paper – or hands to keyboard, as it were – what came out was totally Paranormal with a very distinct Urban Fantasy bend. If my chicks wear frilly dresses they are totally rocking the combat boots underneath.

Do you believe a writer is born with talent or can learn to write a great novel regardless of inborn talent?

This goes back to the two faces of creativity. You can be born with the talent to create these terrific story lines with awesome characters and great hooks but if you can’t learn to keep it focused and flowing then talent won’t get you too far…a crap load of really great first chapters. Yet if you have persistence and determination without too much inborn talent…well, I’m a firm believer that everybody has the ability to learn. It truly is amazing what can be accomplished if you never accept defeat.

Are there subgenres of romance you don’t read?

Let me think…let me think…ahhhh…NO. I’m a total romance hussy.  I’m not ashamed to wear that particular scarlet letter. If the writer has an engaging voice and a good story…I’m indiscriminate.

Where do you get your ideas? Just kidding. Okay, here’s the question. Do you ever get tired of people asking where you get your ideas?

Never begrudge the easy questions. Especially the ones the ones you already have the answers for.

Tell us a smidgen about your latest novel and where we can buy it.

Ah yes, my latest…well, More Than Blood is about this smart mouthed, fringe of society crossbreed who discovers her bloodmate is a straight-laced, letter of the law fullblood.  And she’s none too happy about it, especially when she has to work with him on a case involving missing girls that lead them back to a past she would rather never remember.  It’s an ebook from Loose Id and can be bought from just about any online book seller, including Loose Id’s website.

Amanda Vyne
www.amandavyne.com
www.twitter.com/Amanda_Vyne

MORE THAN BLOOD – Available NOW from Loose Id
http://www.loose-id.com/More-than-Blood.aspx