Jan 20 2012

Rebecca J. Clark is here!

Today, our guest of honor is Rebecca J. Clark. It’s so nice to have you here, and I’m sure you’re ready for a good time! Let the party begin!

First Questions:

Wine or beer? (If you want club soda, I’ll have to send you to the corner.)

Beer? Ick. But I’d love a glass of Cavignon.

Cake or chips? Are you a sugar or salt person?

May I please have both? I promise to work a bit harder on my treadmill tomorrow.

Are you old enough to drink? LOL.

Oh, please. Of course I am. I just don’t LOOK old enough. (cough, cough)

Tell us about your new release.

Blurb:

Her One-Night Prince is a Cinderella story about a woman’s dream to be something she’s not for just one night at her class reunion.

As all fairy tales go, however, happy endings don’t come easily.

Shy and sheltered Lydia St. Clair is uncomfortable around men, so she advertises for a gay man to be her date and revamp her style. Mitch Gannon answers Lydia’s ad and he’s perfect for the job–he’s handsome and, even more important, he’s charming.

Unbeknownst to Lydia, Mitch is straight and answered the ad as the unwitting victim of a practical joke. Before he can reveal the truth, Lydia is convinced he’s her fairy godmother, ready to transform her into the belle of the ball. And Mitch, prince that he is, doesn’t have the heart to set her straight.

 

 

I originally submitted it (years ago) to a Harlequin line that folded during my submission process. Talk about a bummer, because back then, there were really no other options for short, romantic comedies. Hooray for small presses!

What makes your character and story so special?

My heroine, Lydia St. Clair, could be a good friend. She’s genuinely nice, honest and fun to be around. And a bit insecure—because who wants a friend who thinks she’s perfect, eh? What makes my story special? Because I wrote it. No? Well, then… I’ve been told by reviewers and readers that it’s a feel-good story, that it reminds them of the old-fashioned sweet Harlequin Romances. Yes, those romances with plenty of sexual tension but no sex. If you’ve read my first book, Borrowed Stilettos, you’ll know I’m usually all about the sex. LOL. But not this time.

All right, I guess you can come in. Now off to the roast….

What do you like doing besides writing and reading? Is it dangerous?

In my day job (ie: the one that pays the bills LOL) I work as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor. So, obviously, I like to workout when not writing and reading. I teach Zumba, Pilates and yoga—it’s so awesome to get paid to exercise. That shouldn’t be dangerous, but in the past couple of years I’ve had several injuries. I think I keep forgetting I’m 46, not 26. Dammit.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

The first draft. They’re a complete mess. I think my dog could write a more coherent, intelligent one. Seriously.  I recently realized, though, that my first drafts are complete crap whether I write them really fast or really slow by agonizing over every scene/paragraph/word. So I’ve started writing really fast, just to get them over with.

What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?

I once streaked through a graveyard. Yes, buck naked. In the snow. At midnight. Sober. I have no idea what that says about me, but if you met me in person, you’d probably never guess that about me. But really, would you guess that about anyone?

Who is your favorite author and why? Do you write what you read?

My favorite kind of book to read is straight contemporary, which is what I write. I also LOVE romantic suspense, and have plans to try this genre in the future. However, while in drafting mode, I can’t read the same genre I’m writing in. During those times, I’ll read anything and everything. Right now I’m reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

 My favorite author? That is WAY too hard a question—I have too many to list. But I will give a shout out to two of them. Avon author Candis Terry (www.CandisTerry.com) was the first romance writer I met (about 15 years ago) and is now a CP and one of my BFFs. What I love about her stories is she always makes me laugh and cry—sometimes at the same time. Her stories are incredibly sexy and romantic. The other is HQN author Laurie London (www.LaurieLondon.com). I don’t just love her books because she is my sister. Laurie has an amazing way with description and setting. When I read her books, I am there. I can really see what her characters feel, see what they see. She does this so well, I really hate her sometimes.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I am a pantser trying desperately to become a plotter, because I think it would make the process less frustrating. I’ve tried using outlines before, but it just takes the fun out of writing for me. Plus, I never know my characters enough before writing to have a clue what they’ll be doing halfway into the story let alone at the end. What works for me is writing those really horrendous first drafts which are more like a glorified and pitifully ugly outline. By the time I reach the end of draft one, I usually know who my characters are. Then, and only then, do I plot. I’ll use a big piece of paper and a bunch of sticky notes. I’m trying to move this process to WriteWayPro, to save paper, desk space, and my husband’s sanity, but…

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers?

The old clichés are so true: Write what you love to read. Write every day. Never give up.

What else are you working on right now?

I tend to work on a few projects at once (I’m a Gemini—I get bored easily). I’m currently in drafting mode of a sweet romance (short story) that I’ll be submitting to The Wild Rose Press in the next few weeks. I’m also revising a long, steamy contemporary that I hope to self-publish this summer. And a fitness ebook that I’d like to self-publish by the end of the year. And a follow-up to my first book, Borrowed Stilettos.

Thank you so much for coming!

Comment and enter to win a copy of Her One-Night Prince

 

 


Jan 18 2012

Tawny Weber is back! Talking about Going Home

Tawny Weber is back! Grab a drink! Pull up a chair…okay put on your dancing shoes! Let’s party! 

Going Home

I love homecoming stories.  There’s something powerful in reading a return to roots, to the place of childhood memories.   Home is where most of those firsts happen.  First steps.  First day of school.  First time driving.  First date.  First grown up decision.  And sometimes first love.  I’m a big fan!  So much so that I based the entire UNDERCOVER OPERATIVES trilogy around the idea of three siblings who’d left their hometown, each vowing to never return.  And their wily father, determined to reclaim family unity.

Needless to say, that means there are a few emotional issues these characters have to deal with.  Issues they’ve been able to bury and ignore in the years they’ve been away.  But now that they’re forced to return?  Yep, all those issues come bubbling to the surface.  Throw in a nice, juicy FBI case, the intense drama of falling in love with someone they’re sure is all wrong for them, and their father’s machinations, and there you have it.  A whole lot of fun drama for the Black siblings; Caleb, Maya and Gabriel.  Luckily, each of them had a lovely distraction to make the homecoming a little easier.  At least, until the distraction became a major problem of its own (aka, that intense drama of falling in love *g*)

 

Here’s an excerpt from SEX, LIES AND MIDNIGHT showing Maya’s first visit home in 6 years.

 

Maya glanced at Cassiopeia’s driveway, noting the Harley, a classic Chevelle and a late model Honda. 

            “It looks like almost everyone’s here,” she mused.  “Pandora, that’s Caleb’s fiancé, she said it’d just be family.  Her and her mom, my brother and, um, our father.  Again, the goal being less awkwardness.”

She was stalling.  She knew it, and a glance at Simon’s sympathetic face said he knew it too.  But her stomach was doing summersaults and her insides were shaking.  Her love life wasn’t top of her priorities right now but she was pretty sure throwing up on Eros’ feet would doom it forever. 

            “Wanna leave a note on the door and run away?” he teased.

            At the same time, he reached out and took her hand.  Her heart melted a little at the move.  She knew she should pull away.  Pretend she was strong and could handle this, no problem.  But his touch calmed some of the nerves.  Made her feel safe at the same time it made her feel special.  And just a little excited.  So instead, Maya sighed, then curled her fingers into his.  This was going to suck, unquestionably.  So she’d take any comfort she could get.

            “Running away never works,” she said with a sad smile.  “At least, not for long.”

            She’d filled him in on the bare bones of the family dynamics, that she and her father were estranged and her brother had been travelling for his career for the last half-dozen years.  But she’d skipped over the finer details, figuring nobody else was going to bring up her arrest record and her father’s betrayal over dinner. 

            “Then shall we?” he gestured with their entwined hands toward the door.  “If things get too stressful, we can sneak off for a makeout session.”

            That shocked a laugh out of Maya.  She turned toward him, her stiletto boots hitting a patch of ice on the sidewalk.  With his free hand, Simon grabbed her shoulder to steady her.  Her breath a fog between them as she puffed out a relieved sigh at the near miss, Maya looked up to thank him.

            And got lost in the green depths of Simon’s eyes.  They were mesmerizing.  Gorgeous and hypnotic, she could stare for hours.  There was something in the depths, something that made her feel safe.  To want to trust him with all of her secret hopes and dreams. 

            He stepped closer, so their bodies brushed together.  They were both wrapped in heavy winter coats.  Hers fleece lined denim, his a snow-worthy parka.  But she swore, she could feel the heat of his body through the layers.  It warmed her.  It tempted her.  It made her insides melt. 

            “Maybe this will take your mind off of being nervous,” he said, sliding his hands under her hair to curve over the back of her neck.  His fingers were chilly, a vivid contrast to the warmth of his body as he pulled her close. 

            “This is…” 

            His lips brushed over hers, making her swallow the word crazy.  But she didn’t stop thinking it. 

            Crazy wild.

            His lips were so sweet.  So soft as they rubbed over hers.  His tongue slipped, so gently, along the edge of her lips.  She gasped, opening her mouth to his.  Taking that as a welcome, Simon’s tongue moved in to dance with hers.   

            Crazy hot.

            Their mouths sipped and slid.  Hot and wet.  She gasped when his teeth nipped at her lower lip.  He soothed the tiny hurt with his tongue, then sucked her lip into his mouth.  Desire took on a sharp edge.  Maya’s fingers dug into the thick cushion of Simon’s parka. 

            Crazy intense. 

            His hands shifted, smoothing down the sides of her throat, along the edge of her collar.  Warming her skin and leaving a sizzling trail of heat behind.  Heat that made her want to strip off her jacket and bury his hands inside her blouse.  To feel his fingers on her.  To find out if they were as talented as his mouth promised.              

            Finally, just as she was wondering if her knees would hold up long enough for her to throw him in the back of her truck and strip him naked, he pulled away.

So, at least for Maya, going home paid off.  What do you think?  Do you enjoy homecoming stories?  If you were to go home now, what’s the first thing you’d want to do?  Or if you grew up like I did, moving every year or so, what’s the thing you regret most about not having a ‘hometown’? 

Hangout! Comment! And enter to win a copy of Sex, Lies and Midnight!

Tawny Weber has been writing sassy, sexy stories for Harlequin Blaze since her first book hit the shelves in 2007.  When not obsessing over deadlines, she’s shopping for cute shoes, scrapbooking or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.  Come by and visit her on the web at www.tawnyweber.com

In December of 2011 Tawny launched her Undercover Ops series with SEX, LIES AND MISTLETOE.  The second book in the series, SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT is on shelves in January 2012, quickly followed in February by SEX, LIES & VALENTINES.  Be sure to follow Tawny on her Holiday Survival Tour as she celebrates these three books with contests, giveaways and lots of fun.  You can read the first chapter of SEX, LIES & MIDNIGHT on her website, too – all you have to do is join the Reader LoveFest! 


Jan 10 2012

I Am Hypocrite

Welcome P. Kirby! Tagline: If it ain’t broke, hit it with a hammer. Trust me, you’ll get a kick out of this. 

And now P. Kirby:

I am Hypocrite

I’m not fond of novels that feature writers as protagonists.

My aversion to the writer protagonist came about, oddly enough, soon after I finished penning my first novel.  This might seem an odd bias.  What would be more relatable to me–sad slave to the voices in my head–than a fictional writer?

Anything, really. A superhero.  A banker. A werewolf.  An accountant. Why? Maybe because I’ve never been any of those things. Perhaps it’s because familiarity breeds contempt. I know too much about being a writer. Rather like how I know too much about horses, and when an author makes the slightest mistake regarding equines, I’m bounced right out of the story. (Seriously folks. Enough with the “shake to reins to signal forward” crap. Riding horses aren’t trained that way.)

Or maybe because writers in stories are either whining about how hard it is to be a writer, or they are fabulously wealthy, living large off of movie options and royalties.

Or maybe because the very act of writing about a writer feels like a form of, uh, masturbation.  “Here I am, a writer, and I’m writing about myself.” Wank, wank, wankity, wank.

It’s worth noting that I’m not slamming books or authors that feature a writer protagonist. I’m just laying bare my admittedly peculiar bias.

I don’t, however, have a bias against writing (or reading) about artists. The problem? I am an artist. In fact, my art has bought me a lot more Happy Meals than my writing ever has.

And yet, my latest release, The Canvas Thief, is about an artist. How do I reconcile my hypocrisy?  I don’t.  I admit it makes no flipping sense.

I blame the nature of the writerly brain: once an idea settles into my head like a tick in a dog’s ear, dislodging it requires poison or pain. Me no likey either.

Also, like a lot of people, I’m not immediately aware of my hypocrisy. By the time I realized that my premise–an artist accidentally brings her comic book characters to life–was just another variant of “writer writing about a writer,” it was too late. Benjamin Black and Maya Stephenson, my hero and heroine, had staked out a huge swath of creative geography in my brain.  Maya and Benjamin were already falling in love and Adam, Benjamin’s nemesis, was plotting to pull them apart. Roland, Maya’s best friend, was providing emotional support and his partner Eric, was cooking up a pot of green chile stew–because nothing soothes a broken heart like comfort food.

In no time, I, an artist, had written a novel about an artist. Then, as I wrote this, I realized something else. Maya Stephenson’s comics books are a form of narrative. Maya is a writer.

I’ve written a story about a writer. Oh, the hypocrisy, it burns.

What character types do you love? Or hate?

 Comment and enter to win a copy of either The Canvas Thief or debut novel, The Music of Chaos!
 BLURB:Maya saw her first demon when she was seven. She learned to hide what she saw, ignore the paranormal beings around her and build an ordinary life. But she had to tell her secrets somehow, so she began drawing, creating her own world, her own characters.

Twenty years after that first demon entered her life, her normal existence is shattered when she’s faced with two of her comic book characters come to life. Living in our world for years, each has his own agenda.

Benjamin Black, sexy thief with a cause, wants to get back to his own world. The world Maya thought she created. Only now he says she’s his reason to stay in this one.

Adam Richards, once a cop, now a ruthless crime lord, wants to be immortal and he’ll do anything, including hurting Maya’s loved ones, to get what he wants.

The problem is, the men are inextricably linked through Maya’s drawings. Ridding the world of Adam means Benjamin disappears from Maya’s life forever…


Jan 8 2012

Be Seduced by Darkness!

Today, our guest of honor is Cher Green. It’s so nice to have you here, and I’m sure you’re ready for a good time! Let the party begin!

First Questions:

Wine or beer? (If you want club soda, I’ll have to send you to the corner.) I’m not much of a drinker, but a beer and a slice of pizza is a wonderful combination.

Cake or chips? Are you a sugar or salt person? I go both ways, but my muse craves Peanut M&Ms.

Are you old enough to drink? LOL. Yes.

Tell us about your new release. 

Blurb:

Geneva Chilton, warned against human contact, betrays her family in order to be close to the world she longs to join. Intrigued by an artist’s work and his ability to capture life on canvas, Geneva steps too close to the boundaries and discovers love, but what price will she have to pay?

Lewis Hunt, intrigued by Geneva’s beauty and determined to capture it on canvas, discovers he needs more. Lewis needs the real woman behind the beauty. His course leads him to her, but also to danger. How hard is he willing to fight for a woman of darkness, a vampire?

What makes your character and story so special? Geneva is unique because she’s a half breed vampire. Her story is special because she seeks the light at the end of a long tunnel of darkness and finds it closer than she’d ever thought she would.

 

All right, I guess you can come in. Now off to the roast….

So, what do you write? And why?

I’m a little scattered in my writing. I write short stories, novellas, and am attempting to break the barriers of novel writing. My genre ranges from horror, romance and even an upcoming children’s book. I guess you could say I’m testing the waters, but the ultimate goal is paranormal suspense. I want to scare the reader and give them something to think about on those cold, lonely nights.

Why did you want to become an author?

Eager in my childhood to get away from my life, I threw myself into the world of other writers. I want to provide the same escape to others.

What would your characters say about you? They would probably tell me to relax. I tend to overthink the process and procrastinate. This takes a big toll on my production, but I’m working to overcome the problem. Slightly obsessed with learning to plot, I’ve lost some time in the writing process. With my two novellas, I’ve learned my best process is to go with the pantser way and worry about structure and plotting during the revisions and edits.

What was your first sale as an author? Anything special about it?

My first sale belongs to a paranormal horror short story entitled Friends Forever. A little girl, confused and lonely after her parents’ recent divorce, finds a friend. I don’t want to give away the ending, but this is a light horror story, with a paranormal twist.

The story is special because it was my first short story, written with thoughts of publication. After many rejections and a few revisions, the story found a home at Untied Shoelaces of the Mind in February of this year.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story makes you care about the characters, makes you eager to follow the journey, and leaves you thinking long after you reach the end.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

Mostly, Pantser. I discover the story as I go along. I start with a small idea, sometimes knowing the desired ending. With Escape to Love, I started with a portal, not sure of how it would be created or where it would lead.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers?

Don’t give up on your writing because it gets rejected, keep submitting, and keep writing. The journey is long, but with enough work you will open the right door.

Last Question: Where can our partygoers find you and your work?

www.chergreen.com, www.chergreen.blogspot.com

Thank you so much for coming! 

Prize: One lucky commenter will receive an ebook copy of Seduced by Darkness!



Jan 6 2012

Not Your Average Love Story

Welcome back everyone! Today, we’re hanging out with Ruth J. Hartman!

Not Your Average Love Story

 

Write what you know. We’ve all heard that, right? So what do you know? The answer to that is as unique as every writer who sits at her keyboard. For me, I know dentistry (I’m a dental hygienist) and romance (been married 29 years!) and cats. Yes, cats! That’s a weird combination.

But it morphed into “Grin and Barrett”.

It’s a story about two dentists, Remmie Grin and Victor Barrett, who start out not liking each other. Their dental offices are right next door to each other, and they go to ridiculous lengths to steal each other patients away.

Along the ride, they realize they have the hots for each other. Still, they try not to give in to the feelings. They can’t be in love with someone who’s trying to ruin their business. Or can they?

She adores cats. He hates them. The first time he goes to her house, one of her cats decides Victor’s lap is a good napping pillow. He freaks. She laughs. Things aren’t going smoothly for them. At all.

It’s goofy, quirky, and laugh-out-loud. At least, that’s what readers have told me. One woman even said she almost wet her pants she laughed so hard. Sorry hun, didn’t mean for you to have to change your clothes after reading my book J.

So, see? Write what you know actually works. Who knows, there may be a writer out there who does phlebotomy, is a member of the toothpaste flavor of the month club, and practices unicorn hairdressing. Hmmm. Sounds interesting. I’d like to read that. :)

Hang out and win a copy of Grin and Barrett!

Blurb:

Remmie Grin is a self-sufficient dentist who has her life right where she wants it. That is, until handsome, flirty Dr. Victor Barrett moves in next door. He constantly bugs her about selling her practice to him—but she’s not budging. How can she convince him to leave her alone when all she really wants him to do is kiss her again?