May 11 2012

Writing With The Stars with Lisa Kessler!

Today, our star of honor is Lisa Kessler. It’s so nice to have you here and shining! I’m sure you’re ready to share with us your success and many fun endeavors. So, let’s get on with the party!

 

Lisa’s short stories have been featured in print anthologies, and her vampire story “Immortal Beloved” was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. She was also a finalist in RT Book Review magazine’s “Writing with the Stars” contest.

Night Walker, book 1 in her Night Series, has been released from Entangled Publishing.

When she’s not writing, Lisa is also a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in southern California. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two teens.  

Let’s get to know you a little better. Why don’t you step over here under the spotlight and shine a little.

First questions: (I’ll go easy on you.)

What made you decide to become a writer?

I’m an only child, so I spent most of my childhood making up tons of stories to keep myself occupied.  Then when my kids were little I started writing every night just to decompress and escape for a while.  I got addicted! LOL

Then during a trip to New Orleans, I visited a palm reader.  Sitting across from her with my outstretched hand, I watched her study the lines and gave me a shockingly accurate reading.

She jotted down notes for me on a 3” X 5” card and started to walk me out. When I got to the door, I turned to thank her and she said, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“Are you a writer?”

“Not really.” My brow furrowed and I finally nodded with a shrug. “I do write every night, but it’s just for fun.”

She smiled and I swear her eyes sparkled. “You’re going to be a famous writer one day.”

I walked back to the hotel in a daze. I couldn’t process how I would ever write a book or get published, but she’d planted the seed that night. I wrote the plot idea for Night Walker on cocktail napkins at the airport! LOL

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

I wish I knew! LOL  Sometimes I get the piece of an idea and start researching.  Usually while I’m researching the rest of the pieces fall into place.

 

Do you beat your muse? I mean…Wait! Do you have a muse? Does he/she have a name?

You know I don’t have a muse, at least I don’t think I do! LOL  I’m very goal-oriented, so if I set a goal to finish a book, then I plant my butt in the chair and pound the keys until it’s done… :)  If I had to wait on a muse to inspire me I’d probably go nuts! LOL

 

Let’s talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantser? Are there any weird things that you do before you start to sit down to write? (Like stretch those fingers…? Scream at the computer…?)

I’m a pantser!  And I usually have to start writing with a playlist that inspires me for the book I’m writing or editing.  I make one for every book I write.  And if I’m really pushing for more words, I chomp gum… Lots of gum….  Scary amounts of gum…

 

What is your call story

When I got the call from Heather Howland at Entangled Publishing, my heart raced like crazy. I tried so hard to stay calm, but I’m pretty sure my nervous giggles gave me away. Her enthusiasm for my book made me giddy, and her favorite scene in the book turned out to be my favorite as well. How cool is that? :)

 

Have you always envisioned yourself a writer? What were you doing before you started writing? Has your earlier career influence your current one?

Until I met the palm reader, it had never occurred to me to try to get my work published.  Once she gave me a nudge, I started publishing horror short stories, and my vampire story, Immortal Beloved, became a finalist for a Bram Stoker award!  That definitely influenced me and gave me the confidence to keep facing rejections…

 

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now with your writing career?

I’ll be writing full time.  Definitely.  Hopefully I’ll have the Night Series completed and my Moon Series (werewolf and jaguar shifters) will be well underway! :)

 

What is the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome in your writing career so far?

Hard question!  I think the most difficult thing for me has been that my books tend to not “fit” into the paranormal romance box.  Night Walker took a long time to find a home because it blended contemporary paranormal with historical, so while editors liked the story, I got many rejections with “we’re not sure how to market it so we’re going to have to pass.”

 

Now let’s talk more about you. If you could pick to live the life of a movie star, who would it be and why? Does this person show up in your stories?

Hmmm…  I think it would be a tough life to be a movie star with the paparazzi chasing you around!  If I had to choose one, I’d probably have to say Catherine Zeta-Jones because she also gets to sing in Broadway shows…  I would love to perform on Broadway!

 

Through research, what is the most silly thing you’ve ever done? 

Okay, this was really dumb, but here it goes…  I was researching the Mayans for my Night Series and went on a trip with my kids to Cancun so that I could tour Mayan ruins.  We went to 4 different sites, and in Chichen Itza, I hiked the pyramid.

I should probably mention now that I’m terrified of heights.  The steps were so steep that I crawled up them with my kids.  It didn’t seem like we were that high until we got to the top.  I could see over the jungle for miles.

I glanced down and started to hyperventilate, mention needing a helicopter, and my eyes brimmed with panicky tears.  The steep stone steps were also narrow and there was no railing.  I could almost see my broken bloody body lying in a heap at the bottom! LOL

Thankfully my son, Reno, grabbed my hand and said, “Mama sit on the steps and we’ll scoot down.”

My sweet boy talked about his favorite Dexter’s Lab cartoons the entire way while we scooted down one step at a time on our butts…  I swear I almost kissed the ground when we got down! LOL  So yikes!!!  I have to be more careful while researching! J

 

What genres do you read? Do you read what you write?

I love Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.  I also enjoy horror!  Have you read Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box?  Such a fun, scary ghost story!  I loved it!

 

What’s the last book you’ve read for fun? Did you read it on an e-Reader or are you still a paperback-kind-of-person?

I read everything on my Kindle now.  Right now I’m reading Kelley Armstrong newest YA, The Calling.  Love it!  So much action and intrigue mixed in with the paranormal.

 

What did you wish you had known back then when you began writing?

I’m glad I didn’t know how much rejection I would face! LOL I guess I wish I knew about RWA sooner.  I have a great local chapter in San Diego and I spent way too many years writing all alone.

 

Is there anything else you’d want your readers and friends to know about you? I’m also a classically trained singer, so music often finds its way into my books.  I also grew up on a horse ranch.  My stepdad trained Morgan Horses, so you guessed it, lots of horses show up in my books too! LOL

 

And lastly, where can we find you?

I’m all over online and I love meeting readers and other writers, so please visit and say Hello! J

 

Email: LdyDisney@aol.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LdyDisney

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/LisaKesslerWriter

Website: http://Lisa-Kessler.com

Other:  Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/LisaKessler

Thank you so much for being a star!  

 Thanks for saving a spot for me in the “spotlight”!  I’ve got a signed paperback copy of Night Walker up for grabs to a lucky commenter…

 

Blurb:

He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…

Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.

They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.

Excerpt:

“Santa Maria!” Father Tomas gasped and jammed a knife into Calisto’s abdomen, stabbing up underneath his ribcage.

Calisto’s eyes widened as pain seared through his chest. Blood spilled from the gaping wound, but his body tingled, healing from the inside out. He let go of the monk with one hand and plucked the knife from his torso, wrenching it free from the fanatic’s clutched hand.

Father Tomas struggled like a wild animal in the presence of a predator. Calisto dropped the knife to the floor of the car and clutched the monk with both hands. He drew Father Tomas closer. His fangs grazed the monk’s skin just below his ear. The priest fought to break away, but Calisto’s grip was inescapable. The more the monk struggled, the stronger his pulse became. The scent of blood combined with fear intoxicated Calisto. His thirst clawed to the surface, threatening to seize control.

“Let me go! In the name of God, let me go!”

Calisto’s voice was no more than a cold whisper. “I have no God. Not anymore.”

He sank his fangs into the monk’s neck and drank. The man’s life flashed through his mind, visions of Spain and the monastery where he trained centuries ago. He lost himself in the images, so modern and yet still the home he remembered.

His lips pulled at the monk’s throat, drawing more blood. But then one of the visions made his heart stutter, an image he never expected, and one that changed everything. Calisto jerked back, but the monk’s eyes were vacant.

“No!”

It was too late. Father Tomas was dead.

Calisto released him, growling in disgust at his lack of control. He was left with more questions than answers.

Kate’s face loomed in Father Tomas’ mind. The Fraternidad knew she lived again.

And they watched her, too.

 

 


Apr 20 2012

Writing With the Stars: Nina Croft

 

Today, our star of honor is Nina Croft. It’s so nice to have you here and shining! I’m sure you’re ready to share with us your success and many fun endeavors. So, let’s get on with the party!

 

BIO:

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Let’s get to know you a little better. Why don’t you step over here under the spotlight and shine a little.

First questions: (I’ll go easy on you.)

What made you decide to become a writer? In my twenties, I worked as a volunteer for a few years in Africa. I found myself living in a remote village with no electricity, no internet, no TV, and very few books. The last was particularly hard. When the books ran out, I started writing as a means of entertaining myself, and I never really stopped.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas? All over—books, newspaper articles, TV, music. Sometimes, I’ll be riding my horse or walking the dogs, and something will just occur to me and I’ll have to rush back and write it down.

Do you beat your muse? I mean…Wait! Do you have a muse? Does he/she have a name? I don’t have a muse—honest—I hear other authors talking about their muses and I’m madly jealous. I want one. Where do I get one?

Let’s talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantser? Are there any weird things that you do before you start to sit down to write? (Like stretch those fingers…? Scream at the computer…?)

I’m a total plotter. I always wanted to be a pantser, but I get stuck in the middle if I try. And if I know what’s going to happen, I don’t need to stop and think about it, and the writing flows much better. I also find that the process of plotting gives me time to really get to know my characters before I start the actual writing.

I don’t have any weird rituals before I start—I actually hate routines so I try to vary how I write.

What is your call story?

I’ve never had a call—how sad is that? Only emails—which were still very nice. My favourite was for my science-fiction/paranormal novella, Break Out. I’d had one book accepted by Entangled publishing and then I saw that they were specifically looking for space operas. I’d been wondering what to do with Break Out as it’s a bit of an unusual mix, but I thought it could definitely be described as a space opera. I sent it in on my birthday last year, and Liz my editor got back to me within the day saying she absolutely loved it and wanted to contract the ‘series’. It was the best birthday present ever.

Have you always envisioned yourself a writer? What were you doing before you started writing? Has your earlier career influence your current one?

I’ve always been a voracious reader, but didn’t start writing until I was in my twenties. Before that, I used to be a chartered accountant. I pretty much hated it, not so much the actual work—I like working with numbers—but I hated having to go to an office every day. So after a few years, I decided I needed something a little more exciting. I ended up volunteering (with my husband) to work in Africa. And that’s how I ended up running out of books and having to write my own. So you could say being an accountant influenced my current career.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now with your writing career?

Hopefully, still loving writing, improving my craft, writing regularly, being published regularly, increasing my reader base…

Long term, I’d love to write a huge fantasy trilogy like LOTRs—I have a few ideas roaming around in my mind just waiting to come to fruition.

What is the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome in your writing career so far?

I think accepting that not everyone is going to love my writing. While I’m actually getting much better, I still find my heart pounding when I open up a review of one of my books. But the fact is that you can’t write to please everybody, and if you try chances are, you’ll end up pleasing nobody. So just write what you love.

Now let’s talk more about you. If you could pick to live the life of a movie star, who would it be and why? Does this person show up in your stories? I really don’t want to be a movie star; I find the whole idea of being in the spotlight terrifying. But I did want to be Clint Eastwood when I was little. I always wanted to be a cowboy and ride a horse all day. I’ve never written a western yet—I might have to just so Clint can show up.

What genres do you read? Do you read what you write?

I’m a big believer in writing the sorts of things you love to read. Which doesn’t narrow things down very much for me because I read just about everything. Favorites at the moment are paranormal and science fiction, but they vary.

What’s the last book you’ve read for fun? Did you read it on an e-Reader or are you still a paperback-kind-of-person?

I love reading both, but because I live in such a remote area and the nearest English bookshop is a long way away, I find myself reading mainly ebooks these days. The last thing I read was the 50 Shades trilogy by E. L. James. I read it on my kindle and enjoyed it lots—very entertaining.

What did you wish you had known back then when you began writing?

It took me a while to learn that you should really write what you love, and not be hampered by specific submission guidelines or publisher requirements. I wasted time trying to fit my voice into what I thought was needed to get published. Probably a liberating moment for me, was writing my science-fiction/ paranormal romance, Break Out, where I just let myself write anything I wanted and my imagination run wild. It was a joy to produce, and I promised myself after that, that I would be true to what I really wanted to write.

Is there anything else you’d want your readers and friends to know about you?

Just that I love to hear from readers, so thanks for joining me here today.

And lastly, where can we find you?

Email: ninacroft@hotmail.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Nina_Croft

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000273215409

Website: https://www.ninacroft.com

Thank you so much for being a star!

I’m giving away a FREE copy of Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire to one lucky winner who comments! 

 Blurb: Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire.

 

Seduction by any means necessary…

Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the imminent loss of her home forces her to embark on a search for her estranged father. Catapulted into a world of criminals and totally out of her depth, Olivia is rescued by the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino.

Luc has never considered himself a knight in shining armor, and if he had been, then Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person he would choose to rescue. But Olivia is the key to finding her father, and Luc is willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and finally put the past behind him.

And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…

 

 

Excerpt:

 

“So, Lia…” Luc said, his tone dangerously gentle. “Tell me, why did you really go and see Harley Watson?”

Lia’s gaze shot to his face. “What?”

“You didn’t want to work at the club.”

It was a statement, not a question, and Lia swallowed. She’d always been a horrific liar, but at least Luc Severino wouldn’t know the telltale signs. He wouldn’t know that beneath the fall of her carefully straightened hair, the tips of her ears were bright red, a dead giveaway to anyone who knew her that she was about to tell a whopper.

“Oh yes, I did.”

He quirked an eyebrow in disbelief. “Why?”

“I wanted to get away from home. I live with my family in a small village outside London, and it’s so boring.” And if she ever got back there in one piece, she would never leave again. “I wanted a little excitement and I needed a job. I remembered Mr. Watson from when we stayed in London. It seemed such a glamorous idea.” She sighed, deciding it was time to inject a little much needed honesty. “But once I got there, it didn’t seem quite so glamorous anymore.” She shuddered at the understatement. “And I…well, I just didn’t seem to have the right…” she cast a surreptitious glance at her chest, “…qualifications for the job.”

Luc intercepted the look. “Not all men are obsessed with enormous breasts,” he said.

She risked a quick glance at his face and found his eyes lingering on the long length of her legs beneath the hem of her dress. Lia resisted the urge to tug it down—she was beginning to hate that dress. It was going straight back to Kelly when she got home.

“Anyway, thank you for getting me out of there. You were right—I was out of my depth.”

Luc examined her curiously for a moment. “Just what is it you thought might happen?”

“White slave trade,” she mumbled under her breath.

To her surprise Luc didn’t laugh. Instead, he inspected her from head to toe as if trying to decide whether the price would be worth the trouble.

“Not Harley’s specialty,” he said after an uncomfortable minute.

Did that mean he knew someone whose specialty it was? After all, what did she really know about this man?

 


Apr 6 2012

Writing With the Stars: Jennifer Probst!

 

Today, our star of honor is Jennifer Probst. It’s so nice to have you here and shining! I’m sure you’re ready to share with us your success and many fun endeavors. So, let’s get on with the party!

 

BIO: Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons, one 4 and one 6, keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

Her publications with Red Sage include “Masquerade” Secrets Volume 11,  The Tantric Principle, and Sex, Lies and Contracts. Her 1NightStand series include Catch Me and Play Me in The Steele Brothers series with Decadent, and her USA Today and #1 Barnes and Noble bestseller, The Marriage Bargain, from the Indulgence line at Entangled. She has also written a children’s book, Buffy and the Carrot, co-written with her twelve year old niece, along with a short story about a shelter dog, “A Life Worth Living.” All of her books are available at her website or Amazon.

Let’s get to know you a little better. Why don’t you step over here under the spotlight and shine a little. 

First questions: (I’ll go easy on you.)

What made you decide to become a writer?

As Lady GaGa sings: “Baby I was born this way!”

Oops, sorry, forgot I was tone deaf as my husband likes to call it. No more singing!

As far back as I remember I just always knew I would be a writer. I adored books, and wrote my first young adult romance at twelve years old. I read it to the kids in school and passed it around –lol!

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

Everything inspires me, you just have to look hard enough. People’s conversations and their dreams and stories. My awesome family which includes enough chaos and humor to keep me busy. Every new place I visit whispers a story to me, whether it’s Italy, Newport, my hometown or Sesame Place! The problem is picking one of the many ideas clamoring for attention and deciding if there’s enough to base a whole novel on.

Do you beat your muse? I mean…Wait! Do you have a muse? Does he/she have a name?

Man, I always wanted a muse with a name! So jealous of the writers who name him or her and tell me funny stories. Sigh. No muse, and no beating. Just a lot of sitting and waiting when I’m blocked and pushing through.

Let’s talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or pantser? Are there any weird things that you do before you start to sit down to write? (Like stretch those fingers…? Scream at the computer…?)

I am such a pantser! I hate outlines and synopsis. I love showing up and letting my characters tell me what they want, but that’s not a good way to sell a three book contract! So, I learned to do a little of both – plot a basic outline and character sketch, then let them guide me through side paths along the way. If it works, my editor is fine with it! The great Susan Elizabeth Phillips once said in her workshop she describes herself as an “organic” writer rather than a pantser. So, I am stealing her word – yeah, that’s me too!

What is your call story?

My first call story happened when I was in my twenties and the editor let me know she wanted to purchase my book, Heart of Steel. I was still living with my parents (back and forth a million times) and they didn’t believe me! I kept telling them I sold it and they kept doubting me! Too funny. I sat outside on the steps for over an hour, just staring and trying to believe I was finally going to see my story in print. What a day!

The other call happened with my publisher and editor from Entangled. They called me and told me to sit down. That’s when I found out The Marriage Bargain debuted at #56 on the USA Today Bestseller list. I screamed and danced around my kitchen with my husband, and then my two boys got in the happy dance and the dogs started barking and then I realized I had achieved my dream.

Have you always envisioned yourself a writer? What were you doing before you started writing? Has your earlier career influence your current one?

I’ve always been a writer and never stopped. The problem was supporting myself on this type of career, so I needed a day job. I found my day jobs inspiring and a great opportunity for growth. I met tons of people, learned how to multi-task, got a degree, and kept writing on the side. I have worked in insurance, passed the travel agent test, worked at a college as Assistant to the Dean, taught yoga and got close to teacher certification, taught online courses, and sell Lia Sophia jewelry! I have even waitressed a few times, but consider myself literally the worst waitress in the world. Writing a book is so much easier!

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now with your writing career?

Such a great question. I want to be doing what I’m doing now. Writing steadily. Selling. Making a list or two. Receiving wonderful fan mail. I want to get up in the morning and get to write for my paycheck, and actually receive a decent paycheck! That, honestly, is good enough for me!

Oh, wait, I would love to be nominated for a Rita award one day so let’s throw that in there too, lol!!!

What is the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome in your writing career so far?

Rejection. People telling me it will never happen because the odds are incredible. People saying they admire me for my dream but to be realistic. After a while, when you take so much time crafting manuscripts and receiving multiple rejections, it gets hard to keep pushing through. Because there are no guarantees of what’s around the corner. The good news? You don’t know what’s around the corner. It could finally be the call or the sale you waited for. Here I go with a dazzling quote from a deep source.

“You gotta be in it to win it.”

Sorry, guys, it’s just from the Lotto commercial but it works for me.

Now let’s talk more about you. If you could pick to live the life of a movie star, who would it be and why? Does this person show up in your stories?

Oh, goodness, I don’t like movie stars because the press follow them everywhere, and they have to look good all the time, and they can’t get fat, so can I skip being a movie star, please? I like being the little person behind the curtain! And I have never been inspired by any movie stars – I enjoy them, but they don’t resonate with me into my novels.

BUT, if you forced me, I’d say Meryl Streep. Why? She’s classy, one of the best actresses of all time, humble, and just likes to do her job well and go home. I’m always amazed by the depth of her work, and remember her.

Through research, what is the most silly thing you’ve ever done?

Called up a local winery and scheduled a tour with the owner. I promised him I’d dedicate the book to him. Unfortunately, it’s still a book under the bed – one of my learning manuscripts – but one day I’m going to make good on my promise and edit this sucker! Oh, and then I did a wine tasting with a bunch of my girlfriends there and got drunk on research. Literally.

What genres do you read? Do you read what you write?

I love all of it. Erotic, sexy contemporary, mainstream fiction, horror, suspense, and self help. I read as much as possible, in every genre possible, because so much fascinates me.

What’s the last book you’ve read for fun? Did you read it on an e-Reader or are you still a paperback-kind-of-person?

Right now, I finished reading Rules of Engagement by Inara Scott from Indulgence, just opened up The Nurses Not So Secret Scandal by Wendy S Marcus, and have three other titles waiting for me. Most are on e-reader, but I still buy plenty of paperbacks and use the library. I love both ways but buy mostly through my e-reader because I only have to hit that little button that says BUY!

What did you wish you had known back then when you began writing?

That I would finally get here. Because I wouldn’t have worried and stressed so much, I would have enjoyed the journey a heck of a lot more!

Is there anything else you’d want your readers and friends to know about you?

I love hearing from my readers. I dreamed for so long about people reading my books and loving them, and every time I receive fan mail I’m completely humbled and overwhelmed.

And lastly, where can we find you?

Email: romancewriter121@yahoo.com

Twitter: @jenniferprobst

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/jenniferprobst.authorpage

Website: http://www.jenniferprobst.com


Thank you so much for being a star! 

I’m giving away a FREE copy of The Marriage Bargain to one lucky winner who comments! 

 

Blurb:

 

A marriage in name only…

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend’s older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he’s offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: Avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…

 

Excerpt:

Many to choose from but how about a taste of some of that crazy sexual tension The Marriage Bargain is known for?

Nick walked toward her with a steady slowness that made

her back away for every footstep forward. Her back slammed

against the wall when he reached her. Slowly, he splayed his

palms flat against the wall on either side of her head. His

body caged hers. His wide stance trapped her between his

legs.

He bent over and directed his words right against her lips.

“If you want sex so bad, all you have to do is ask.”

 


Dec 24 2011

Adrien-Luc Sanders – Entangled Publishing

Meet Adrien-Luc Sanders!

Senior Editor at Entangled Publishing!

Adrien-Luc Sanders is the Senior Editor for the Flirt and Ever After lines at Entangled Publishing, and the author of From the Ashes (Entangled, 2012). He occasionally posts useful things on Twitter under the #editortips hashtag, but can more likely be found telling horribly unfunny jokes and exchanging recipes for liquor-based desserts. He loves snow, hates when people call him Adrienne, and thinks 31 is never too old to still chase fireflies.

First question:

Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?

Eggnog. I hope I’m old enough to drink. Do I look old enough to drink? Wait. Don’t answer that. I still get carded all the time. It’s so silly half the time I give up and just stay sober. Designated driver’s the life of the party, right?

We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)

I’ve got a few copies of our new releases, the first books to launch on our Flirt and Ever After lines, Ros Clarke’s All I Want For Christmas and Faye Robertson’s Holly’s First Noel. They’re both sweet, adorable holiday romances, great quick reads, and–hey wait. I thought Santa was supposed to bring me gifts. I’m totally not sitting in his lap. No way.

Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.

Last time I took a drink from a short guy with pointy ears, I woke up  three states away with my underwear in my back pocket, no memory of the last seventy-two hours, and a goat in the back seat of my car. I think I’ll stay over by the refreshment table.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

Chinese New Year. I have a lot of good memories wrapped up in that holiday, plus there’s just so much culture and tradition inherent in it, and this subtle sense of hope that comes with bringing in the lunar new year during the early budding days of spring. It’s like a breath of fresh air reminding you to refresh and restart. A very noisy breath of fresh air, but still.

That, and I just love the parades, costumes, music, and fireworks. It’s all so delightfully gaudy.

Did you ask Santa for anything good?

Hm…a new graphics tablet, Final Fantasy XIII-2, a real release date for Final Fantasy Versus XIII, books, more books, even more books, a stable 1TB laptop hard drive, the new Asus Eee Transformer Prime tablet, an autograph from Diane Duane, maybe a solid night’s sleep…

What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?

Anywhere my mother-in-law isn’t. You think I’m joking? I’m not.

I don’t really travel much for the holidays, but I think the time I had the most fun was when my husband and I spent New Year’s in Niagara Falls. It was a total impulse trip and I can’t believe we just hopped up and drove over the border just for the hell of it, but we had a great time and I’d love to go back some day. And our tour bus driver made sure we understood the proper way to pronounce “kilometer.” Repeatedly.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Learning my grandmother’s recipe for the holiday stuffing she’d serve with the ham every year. Of course, once I knew what was in it I’d never eat it again, but it was never Christmas if my grandmother wasn’t in the kitchen cooking the food that even to this day, permeates my impressions of what makes Christmas. Most of the time the kids were in the way, but sometimes she’d let us hover while she showed us how she made the stuffing, the gumbo, the cornbread that always had that sweet aftertaste we could never figure out until we watched her pour the bourbon in the batter. I think it’s impossible for any family to have a holiday gathering without some kind of conflict, but it always just seemed to vanish when my grandmother was in the kitchen working her magic.

Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?

Um…finally get ahead on my work schedule? (Stop laughing.) Be a little more consistent eating healthy and exercising? (Seriously, stop laughing.) Really, my only goals for the next year involve working my butt off to build the Flirt and Ever After lines. I’m not sure what Liz slipped into my punch, but she’s got me addicted to this company and caught up in all these crazy awesome ideas.

Wait, there is one thing. I’m going to learn to crochet something more complicated than a double chain. Really. I am. What? You’ve never met a guy who crochets before?

…probably because we suck at it.

What do you do and how did you get into this industry?

Well, like my bio said, I’m the Senior Editor for Entangled’s Flirts and Ever Afters, which are two lines of novellas and novelettes that recently launched. I’m really not quite sure how I got into this, honestly. It just happened on its own. I used to be an animator, and then I ended up writing about animation for About.com / The New York times. Writing led to editing, editing led to clients, client success led to more clients…and suddenly years later I ended up working for a few digital publishers before joining Entangled. It just kind of grew on itself. I never meant for my career to turn out this way, but I’m glad it did. It’s more satisfying than animation ever was.

What do you love about your job?

Definitely the author’s reaction on launch day. I mean, it’s fun when we get through galley proofs and they’re so relieved and so happy that it’s off for those last few touches before releasing into the wild. But something about the way authors light up when they see their book up for sale, when they see the end result of what they’ve been slaving over for months to polish it into something truly amazing…I love it. It makes me grin like an absolute fool, to see how happy they are.

What type of stories do you love best?

Antiheroes, without a doubt. Any genre, any time period, any heat level, give me antiheroes–male or female, I don’t care–and I’m in heaven. I love stories that explore the character development inherent in writing an antihero, especially when it involves themes of redemption or even the danger of further damnation.

That said, though, I’m kind of an omnivore as far as books are concerned, so even though I love antiheroes I could easily say “everything” is a close second. I don’t care about a book’s label. I just care that it’s amazing, and the characters and storyline grip me to the end. Make me fall in love with the characters and the world, make me catch my breath and clutch on to the book the first time our h/h’s hands touch, and I’ll read a story about anything.

Like fly fishing. Yeah. If you can make me sit through a book about fly fishing, you’re a damned good writer.

I’ll find a submission about fly fishing in my inbox next week. I know it. I know it, and in that moment I’ll regret this.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Diane Duane, C.S. Friedman, Victor Milan, Lisa Mantchev, Ally Condie, Richard Adams, Brian Green, Joe Hill, C.J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, Julian May, Kelley York, Robin McKinley, Nora Roberts, Heather Graham, Clive Barker, Jane Austen, Guy Gavriel Kay, Byron, Charles de Lint, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Orson Scott Card…um, tell me when to stop any time now, ’cause I can keep going for days.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Read widely. Read everything. Every book has something to teach you, whether you’re learning from the author’s style and structure or absorbing the information presented on the pages. Some will show you how to do things right. Others will show you how to do things wrong. But they’ll still show you the English language in action, and teach you about writing in a way that’s as instinctive and natural as breathing. That’s not something you can force. When it’s forced, it shows.

Read, and then write. Write even when you screw it up. Write when you don’t know what you’re doing. Write when you do know what you’re doing. Write until you hate the words, and keep writing until you love them again. Make a mess. Do stupid things, stumble, fall on your face, and get right the hell back up and keep writing. Close your eyes and just hit the keys. F*** it all up, then go back and do it again, right this time, and keep doing it until you know the inner workings of your craft like an unlit hallway you’ve walked so many times you can slip through unerringly in the dead of night.

You can take as many classes as you want on plotting, pacing, character development, voice…it’s all just pointers, things to mark off on a checklist. It’s useful, but it’ll never substitute for the ingrained inner knowledge that comes from reading, writing, and taking what you know in your gut to craft a book that will not only make you happy, but sell.

Are you working on anything fun right now?

Right now we’ve got sub calls out for a Valentine’s and Anti-Valentine’s collection, and I’ve been getting a few cool stories that make for a really fun opposition when positioned against each other. There’s also our geek sub call, which a lot of people seem really excited about. I’m just about bouncing in anticipation on that one, as I just adore geek-centric stories.

Links:

http://www.entangledinromance.com/2011/12/03/call-for-submissions-valentines-day/

http://www.entangledinromance.com/2011/12/03/call-for-submissions-geeks/

Any big projects for 2011?

~laughs~ I just signed on a few weeks ago, so not quite yet–but I am plotting. Oh yes indeed, I am plotting. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

What news would you like to share with your readers?

Keep an eye out on the Entangled Flirt and Ever After lines; we’ve got more special sub calls coming soon, and I’m looking to sign a few really great titles very soon. Don’t shelve that novella; send it to me, and maybe my next big announcement will be your new contract. ;)

Where can readers find you?

    1. Twitter: @smoulderingsea
    2. Facebook:
    3. Website: http://www.kowloonbynight.com
    4. Others:

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!

Prize: Free copies of the launch books from our Flirt and Ever After Lines, Ros Clarke’s All I Want For Christmas and Faye Robertson’s Holly’s First Noel

 


Dec 24 2011

Clarissa Yip

Meet Clarissa Yip!

Contemporary romance author, Clarissa Yip, leads a life of adventure and mischief. Constantly on the run, she’s always hanging out with her muse, plotting the next best story, and looking for anything that will fuel her imagination. Besides being an avid reader and writer, Clarissa enjoys scrapbooking, video games, immersing herself in addictive TV shows, and engaging in anything that will challenge her mind. A lover of food and languages, she also loves to try new things. Her dreams involve finding the ultimate way of sharing her world with yours. From the Hawaiian island of Oahu to the beautiful season-changing New York, you never know where she’ll be. Find Clarissa on Facebook and Twitter or drop her a note at http://www.clarissayip.com.

First question:

Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?

I don’t like this question. If I’m not old enough to drink, are you going to not let me come in? * glares * Okay, fine. Mimosas!

We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)

Blurb:

Stubborn and proud cowgirl, Lily McCormick, is finally coming to terms with her quiet life on her parent’s ranch, until her older brother, as payback, signs her up for 1NightStand. Kidnapped and forced onto a plane to a foreign location, she faces the dreaded cold and an unwanted tryst, until her ex-husband appears before her…as her date.

New York City District Attorney, Rafe Martinez, would do anything to get his ex-wife back, even if it meant taking drastic measures to pretend he was there for another woman. When jealousy and rage surfaces and Lily’s tough demeanor wanes, desire and lust sparks their once powerful connection as truths unfold. Will Rafe convince her to return to him or push her further away from giving their love a second chance?

Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.

What if I don’t want a drink from an elf?

Too bad. What’s your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is actually Christmas! I love the sparkling lights, prettily wrapped presents, and a hot hunk under the tree…Oh wait, that was a dream.

Did you ask Santa for anything good?

I asked Santa for a lot of things, but each year I swear, I get coal….

What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?

My favorite place to spend holidays would have to be New York. I love white Christmases and the first snow fall. But any snow after that, I think I can do without. Although, I’ve always wanted to be a snow bunny…

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Hmm…Waking up and believing that I would catch Santa in the act, only to find my sister tearing up my Santa letters. I know. It’s traumatizing, but it shows how much my family loves me and would do anything to make me believe that there was Santa aka my sister. (My parents are old-fashioned and very Buddhist. They never believed in Santa.) Which explained why the wrapping paper was always the same. (I’m going to have to get her new paper!)

Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?

Oh my! I have so many I don’t think I can list it all here. 1. Write more. 2. Lose 10 pounds. 3. Write more. 4. Lose 15 pounds. 5. Write more. 6. Lose 20 pounds…Get the drift? lol

Why do you write romance?

I love seeing relationships blossom from beginning to end. Love seeing couples find each other and have a happily ever after. But most of all, I find the psychological aspects of relationships interesting since no two stories are the same. I love the whole concept of falling in love. I’m still looking for my Prince Charming. If you find him, please send him my way.

How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey?

I’ve been writing for years. I have a draw full of rejection letters that I can show you…but let’s not. I haven’t had the easiest journey in publication, but I can remember when I got the “email,” it was the most exciting moment of my life. I thought I was seeing things, then I wondered if the publisher was nuts. Lol. Ooops, I think my publisher is actually hanging out here today. Shhhhhhh!

Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?

I’m a mix of both. I’ll spend three days plotting, then start writing and end up pantsing everything because my muse is mean and she likes to harass my characters into doing something totally uncalled for!

What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories?

My heroes tend to be total alphas, my heroines more spunky. They’re both righteous and charming. But I’m really big on second chance stories, so knowing that they both share past history make me love them more because I have so much fun designing that.

What writing resources do you abide by as a writer?

Too many to list here! One of my favorite books is James Scott Bell’s The Art of War For Writers. It’s a great book and a great pick-me-upper when I’m having doubts in writing. Also, I can’t live without my dictionary and my Chicago Manual of Style…okay, now I’m just getting into other things. LOL. I love resource books. I love learning and knowing that I’m growing each day I write, and being able to utilize my sources to help cultivate my skills.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Do not give up! Keep writing. Be persistent, have faith, and believe in yourself. Success only comes when you keep momentum and continue to persevere. Rejection letters are badges of honor and there’s no such thing as failure. It’s what you do with that failure that really counts.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m working on a million things, but mainly my third book for the 1Night Stand Series called Tempting a Rogue. Tempting a Prince just came out Dec. 23rd from Decadent Publishing.

What news would you like to share with your readers?

I’m also working on few projects for my loving publisher, Entangled—that, you’re going to have to wait to hear. But I did find out my story, True Connections, will be part of Entangled’s awesome Valentine’s anthology. How exciting is that? I’m still patiently waiting for good news from my editor. *cough * Libby *cough * No pressure. LOL.

Where can readers find you?

  1. a.     Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/clarissayip
  2. b.     Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ClarissaYipAuthor
  3. c.     Website: http://clarissayip.com
  4. d.     Others: http://clarissayipblog.com

List other books you have out:

Check it out here:

http://clarissayip.com/my-books/

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!

Prize: 1 print copy of Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand Holiday Anthology (for US only), 1 print copy of A Passionate Christmas (for US only) (if non-US commenter is chosen, then they can pick two copies from my backlist at Decadent publishing), one e-book of commenter’s choice from my back list from Decadent Publishing to two other commenters. That’s four chances to win! 

 


Dec 24 2011

Entangled Publishing

Meet Liz Pelletier!

Publisher/Senior Editor at Entangled Publishing!

Liz Pelletier is co-founder and managing partner of Savvy Media Services, which owns Savvy Authors, Savvy Readers, and Entangled Publishing. In addition to running a successful online writing community, Liz teaches courses on editing, query writing, and contract negotiations. She has also held board positions for various writing associations, managed and organized several writing conferences, and hosted a variety of free educational workshops for aspiring and established authors. Although she served part-time for twenty years as the editor for a broadly-circulated, weekly industry newspaper, she ran her own successful freelance consulting business for more than twenty years, often hired to leverage technological advances and more efficient workflow designs to increase profit margins. She uses these same skills to oversee all aspects of book production and distribution at Entangled.

First question:

Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink? Mimosas unless the eggnog is spiked.

We’re also taking pictures with Santa. Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.

What’s your favorite holiday and why? Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because we always spend the day playing games with the kids while the turkey is basting. And there’s pie.

Did you ask Santa for anything good? A vacation. He said it was on back-order.

What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays? We always travel for the holidays, so I’ve spent Christmas in a chalet in Aspen, on the beach in Florida, at the inn in Vermont where The Newhart Show was filmed, in a private villa overlooking the ocean in Mexico. Sadly, this year my kids are in Hawaii for Xmas while I stayed home to work. But next year it’s Greece!

What is your favorite Christmas memory? My kids 4th Christmas. It’s the first time they really “got” Santa Clause and could open their own presents. It took about fifteen minutes total. LOL

Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting? For the last two years, I’ve worked some pretty brutal hours. First, getting Savvy Authors up and running and then this last year working to establish Entangled Publishing. I’ve promised myself next year I’ll spend more time with my kids, who’ve been so understanding that Mom’s laptop is permanently attached at the wrists. I’ve schedule surgery in 2012.

Why do you publish romance? Who doesn’t love to read a fun story that ends in happily ever after?

What do you love in running a pub? My favorite part of this business is helping authors’ dreams of one day holding their book in their hands come true.

What advice would you give aspiring authors? Treat your writing like a business. Always act professionally, be on time and prepared, and write the most saleable product you can.

Who are some of your favorite authors? Well, all of my authors are my favorites, of course! Some of the authors I personally edit who have recent releases… Kelley York has such a devastating voice, she can slay me with a single phrase. Jane Kindred weaves words together like poetry, constructing the most intricate and delicate worlds I’ve ever seen. Nina Croft makes me forget I’m editing every time I’m working on one of her manuscripts, they’re so exciting and fun to read. Jennifer L. Armentrout dishes out sexual tension like pie—and you know how I love pie, plus she can make me laugh out loud even though I may have read a scene five times already. Jus Accardo has some of the snarkiest characters ever who say and do the craziest things. Man, I love snark. Natalie J. Damschroder writes the yummiest heroes that you just can’t help but root for. And Natalie Anderson can make me laugh and cry at the same time.

What goals do you have for the new upcoming year? Sleep more.

What news would you like to share with your readers? We have a really huge announcement going out the first week in January, so stay tuned for some exciting news!

Where can readers find you?

  1. a.     Twitter: @Liz_Pelletier
  2. b.     Facebook: www.facebook.com/lizpelletier
  3. c.     Website: www.entangledpublishing.com
  4. d.     Others:

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot! 


Dec 24 2011

Laura Kaye

Meet Laura Kaye!

A multi-published author of paranormal, contemporary and erotic romance, Laura Kaye’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura is the author of the bestselling contemporary romance and award-nominated HEARTS IN DARKNESS and the bestselling and award-winning paranormal romance FOREVER FREED (NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011), as well as an erotic romance novella, JUST GOTTA SAY. Her fourth book, contemporary fantasy romance NORTH OF NEED, is the first in the 4-book Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

First question:

Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?

Ha! I’m nearly old enough for two people to drink…which, geez, on that note, pass me a mimosa!!

We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)

Oh, look, I did! He’s too embarrassed to tell you himself, but Santa totally posed for Owen’s image on the cover of my recent release, North of Need! Wasn’t that nice of him, and when he’s already so busy! And this book is right up Santa’s alley, filled with sweet holiday magic, hot paranormal romance, and a unique mythology full of Greek Gods—awesome!

Blurb:

Her tears called a powerful snow god to life, but only her love can grant the humanity he craves…

While attempting to escape the agonizing memories she associates with Christmas, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband–and collapses in tears against the snowman at the sight of what she’ll never have.

Called to life by the power of Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.

Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things, and her heart opens enough to believe he’s a Christmas miracle. But this miracle comes with an expiration–before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.”

Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.

Ooh, elves with drinks. I love this place!

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I’ve always loved Christmas best because of the lights and the festivities and the togetherness and the incredible spirit of generosity everyone seems to have.

Did you ask Santa for anything good?

I just wrote my first letter to Santa in many years! And I asked him for three things: a new laptop (mine is at the making-weird-noises stage), a visit from my mom (who has been gone for nearly 7 years, but I figured at the North Pole he must be closer to her wherever she is than I am…), and the ability to quit my job and write full-time. Those might be too tall of an order for Santa, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.

What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?

At home, especially now that I have little kids (ages 5 and 7). I like to wake up to our tree and our presents and let the kids have the whole day opening and playing with their new presents. I always love to see people, but Christmas day at home is such a nice treat!

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

So many to pick from! My favorite might be the year my mom gave me a plane ticket to Italy to visit my then boyfriend (now husband of 15 years) who was away on a study-abroad program. We were poor when I was growing up and this was my first trip out of the country, so it was huge on so many levels.

Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?

Some goals for 2012 include continuing to build my career, landing an agent, going to the Romantic Times convention for the first time, and getting/staying healthy(er). I need to fit more time in for exercising. In general, I don’t really make resolutions, because somehow that always makes it feel like more pressure, but I do like to set goals—it seems different to me! LOL

Why do you write romance?

Because I love to read them, and because to me romance tells the story of people finding the things they most need in life to be happy—and what could be more fulfilling than that?

How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey?

I’ve been writing for a little over three years. I have four books out from three presses, and was very fortunate to have my first manuscript ultimately accepted for publication as my first book (Forever Freed)—that took about 16 months from beginning the book to the sale, and then there was another 15 months from contract to release. Since then, I’ve had the great fortune to have three more books release and it’s just been a wild ride, one I wouldn’t trade for the world!

Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?

OMG, a total pantser. And, really, I have no routine. As long as I have my laptop, I can write anywhere, any time. I prefer longer chunks in which to write, but honestly, #1k1hr on Twitter has really helped me maximize my productivity during shorter windows of writing time, too. Other than writing out pretty detailed character sketches, I hardly write anything down about the plot itself. The story just comes to me, often going in directions about which I had no idea.

What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories?

Hmm…this is interesting. Maybe that, on some level, they’re all lonely and yearning. They don’t always know for who or what, but finding a place or a person to call home, that gives them a safe, soft place to land, tends to be a goal all my characters share.

What writing resources do you abide by as a writer?

This is an area where I want to develop myself, because I use very little in the way of writing resources. I like to take online and in-person workshops, and I belong to a local RWA chapter that offers a lot of good classes and speakers, but I don’t read very many craft books at all. With so many deadlines approaching, it’s just been hard to make the time.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

1) Butt in chair, fingers in keyboard. When you finish the first story, start the second. You can’t edit or sell what you haven’t written. 2) Find other professionally oriented writers to serve as critique partners. Other writers are best positioned to give you the most useful advice on how to improve your writing. 3) Join professional organizations in your genre—they will give you contacts, support, and workshops to support your professional development as a writer. 4) Have patience! Writing itself takes time, revising takes even longer, and making a sale takes longest of all. So just keep writing during those down times of waiting, it makes it easier to be patient when you can feel yourself making forward progress in other ways. And have fun!

What are you working on right now?

I have two current works in progress. The second novella in my Vampire Warrior Kings series for Harlequin. That one’s set in Russia and it’s just the coolest thing! And the third novel in my Hearts of the Anemoi series called South of Surrender, which features the South Wind/Summer god, Chrysander Notos.

What news would you like to share with your readers?

I’d love to share the following:

~ North of Need was picked as THE romance for holiday gift-giving by Paperback Dolls!

~ North of Need is up for Sizzling Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Book Reviews and I’d love it if you would consider voting!

~ In the Service of the King, the first dark paranormal novella in my Vampire Warrior Kings series releases 2/1/12!

Where can readers find you?

Buy Laura’s Books

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

List other books you have out:

Forever Freed, paranormal romance

Hearts in Darkness, contemporary romance

Just Gotta Say, contemporary erotic romance

North of Need, contemporary fantasy romance

In the Service of the King, paranormal romance, releases 2/1/12

West of Want, contemporary fantasy romance, releases April 2012

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!

Thank YOU so much for hosting me! It was great fun!

PRIZE: 1 signed 11”x17” North of Need poster (U.S.), 1 set of glitter snowflake ornaments(U.S), $5 Amazon Gift Certificate (International) So, 3 winners!

 


Dec 24 2011

Libby Murphy – Entangled Publishing

Meet Libby Murphy!

Associate Editor at Entangled Publishing!

Although she holds a BS in public health, Libby’s true love has always been books. She writes urban fantasy for adults and young adults, has a minor in writing, and has worked as a freelance writer and editor. Find her on Twitter at @Libby_Murphy.

Libby would like to see submissions for adults and young adults written with a killer voice, and she especially loves quirky characters and plots. She loves sci-fi with aliens, robots, and high tech; urban fantasy and time travel; contemporary romance; women’s fiction with a strong romantic element; and suspense and mysteries. She craves humor, anti-heroes, and underdogs, and strong, capable heroines are a must.

First question:

Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?

Definitely eggnog. But I’ll take a mimosa in a pinch ;)

We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)

I have some lovely goodies to share! Check out these gorgeous covers for a few of our new releases:

Holly’s First Noel – Contemporary Novella

Music teacher Holly Jones is in a festive predicament. Her boyfriend just dumped her the week before Christmas, so why is she only depressed he made off with the mince pies?  When the charming science teacher next door overhears the dreaded call and suggests she accompany him on his Scottish holiday retreat, she accepts, eager to spend a quiet week rediscovering herself.

Noel Coward‘s wife died on Christmas Eve three years ago. To bury the memories of that day, he spends the holidays getting drunk and watching action movies—which makes him perfect company for a fellow teacher in need of solitude. Except, instead of wallowing in his grief, Noel finds himself comforted by Holly’s presence, fascinated by her mind, and after one innocent kiss, on fire for her touch. As the snow piles up outside, the temperature inside soars, while together, they discover the human heart’s amazing capacity to heal…and love.

Queen of Swords – Sci-Fi Romance

When the cards tell Ophelia Leoni she’s supposed to marry the Prince of Hansarda, the gunrunner grits her teeth and boards the starship that comes for her. It doesn’t matter if the ship’s commander is the gorgeous stranger whose bed she just spent a wild, drunken night with. As a Diviner, she’s painfully aware the cards don’t lie. Ever.

Boone O’Keirna knows Ophelia is trouble the second he sees the way she moves. Not about to let the deadly little hellcat marry his sadistic half-brother, Boone pretends to be the Prince’s emissary and kidnaps Ophelia. Too bad they can’t be in the same room without him wanting to throw her out an airlock–or into bed.

Even as they fight each other–and their explosive attraction–Ophelia and Boone sense something is wrong. Too much is going their way. Soon, they realize while the cards may never lie, the truth is sometimes hidden between them…and the future king of Hansarda is not one to take defeat lying down.

Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.

Woo hoo!

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

I’ve always loved Halloween. The costumes are such a blast for one, and two, I go all out for the big day—crafts, baking, makeup…that type of thing. This year I took my family to a downtown zombie crawl, and we’re definitely excited to go again next year. I’ll be upping my special effects makeup game, for sure.

Did you ask Santa for anything good?

Just lots and lots of awesome books! OK, and maybe a goodie or two from Sephora.

What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?

My parents’ home. We’re really laidback, and just have lots of fun together. Last year my hubs, kids, and my brother and his girlfriend, turned on the Wii and played Just Dance—I think my dad ruptured his spleen laughing at all of us.

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

When I was 10, my grandpa, who was a veterinarian, found an injured duck in his field. He took my brother and I out there to rescue it, then he set up a little duck hospital in his shed, where we nursed it back to health for several weeks (oh, and we named this poor thing John Deere, after Grandpa’s tractor). Despite his unfortunate name, John Deere made it through his injury like a champ, and when he was healed my grandpa took us to a game reserve, where we got to set the duck free. I miss Grandpa so much, but we have so many awesome memories of him doing things like that with us!

Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?

Next year I am going to run a 10K race. I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years, and I’ve decided 2012 is the year it’s going to happen. It’s actually kind of terrifying just typing it, but there you have it!

What do you do and how did you get into this industry?

The funny thing is, I went back to in 2005 school wanting to be a nurse! I ended up switching to public health with an emphasis in wellness education, and became certified as a stress management instructor. My minor was writing, which is my passion, but I was so far into the health major I couldn’t switch to an English major at that stage. After graduating in 2009 I did a lot of freelance health writing assignments, but really wanted to focus more on the writing side of things. Last February I heard of Entangled Publishing, and saw that they were accepting applications for interns. I did that for a few months before applying to become an editor, and here I am! I still have to pinch myself—I love this job and really don’t feel like I’ve worked a day since I came on.

What do you love about your job?

The authors I’ve been so fortunate to work with, as well as the amazing books I get to read. I also get to work with some amazing editors and publicists, and it’s really a great group of people to be involved with.

What type of stories do you love best?

This is like asking me which of my children I love the most! I think I go through phases, actually. But you could probably toss me into any world, and as long as the characters are compelling, the story holds up you’ve got me. Especially if you can make me laugh. I am a huge sucker for humor!

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Karen Marie Moning, Pamela Clare, Becca Fitzpatrick, Melissa Marr, Jim Butcher, Katie MacAlister, Tess Gerritsen…OK this could go on forever! I am a reading fanatic :)

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Don’t ever stop learning your craft. Read books, take classes, get yourself a kickass critique group…whatever it takes to keep filling your writer’s brain. Read in and out of the genre you write, stretch yourself, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Invest in yourself!

Are you working on anything fun right now?

Heck yeah! December has been an awesome month. I’ve been having a blast editing some excellent books for Lori Wilde’s…Indulgence line. Jennifer Probst’s The Marriage Bargain is a beautiful story— and I laughed and cried and fell in love. I have two more books I’m editing right now for the Indulgence line, and they are just fantastic. I would love to see more submissions for this line, so definitely check out the submissions guidelines here: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/submission-information/lori-wildes-indulgence-submissions/

And here’s my Indulgence wish list:

Best friends, best friend’s younger sister, millionaire playboy, athletes, relationship because of a bet, arranged marriages, bad boys, revenge plots, reunions, adventure (Indiana Jones meets Bridget Jones!), romantic comedy, forbidden love, geeks (hero or heroine), and military heroes. I’m not likely to request sheiks or royalty, but if the royalty is the heroine, that’s definitely more likely. I’m a huge sucker for snarky heroines, funny heroes, and heroes who are the strong, silent type.

Let’s see…for our main Entangled line, I have been working on a fantastic new contemporary series by Brooke Moss coming out this summer. It’s one of those books I have to stop and remind myself to actually edit, because the story is so amazing. Patricia Eimer’s sequel to Luck of the Devil, Devil May Care, is coming out this summer as well, and I nearly had an aneurysm laughing so hard! Misa Ramirez’s Bare-Naked Lola, the third installment in her Lola Cruz Mystery series is coming in April, and it’s going to be a *ahem* killer of a story.

For the main Entangled line, as well as our Ever Afters and Flirts lines, here’s a list of things I’d love to see: Scientists or inventor-types who walk the line between good and bad (like Batman); paranormals with a villain hero/heroine who is redeemed by the end; disaster or apocalyptic events in which people find love, despite everything falling apart around them (can be sci-fi, fantasy, or contemporary featuring a natural disaster, for example); quirky contemporaries or paranormals—humor is a must!; sci-fi, especially if it has a Tron, I, Robot, or a Terminator type setting; thrillers set in a small town; zombie hunters; romantic comedy (would love to see a trilogy about a group of girlfriends finding love).

Have I mentioned how much I love my job? :)

Any big projects for 2012?

The conclusion to Rosalie Lario’s Demons of Infernum series is going to come out later this summer, and I am so excited (and sad to see it end). I’ve had a blast editing this series, and working with Rosalie, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures she cooks up! I just began editing my first historical, a Highlander paranormal romance, and I really hope to find more gems like this. Oh, and a few other projects I can’t tell you about just yet, but trust me when I say they’re going to be worth the wait!

Where can readers find you?

    1. Twitter: @libby_murphy
    2. Website: http://entangledinromance.com

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!

I really appreciate you having me! I’m here all week, so if you have questions about Entangled, our submissions guidelines, questions about editing…anything…feel free to ask!

PRIZE:

  1. One digital copy of each of the following books—winners will be drawn at random:
    1. Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh
    2. Touch of the Angel by Rosalie Lario
    3. Luck of the Devil by Patricia Eimer
    4. Holly’s First Noel by Faye Robertson (donated by the lovely Heather Howland, managing editor extraordinaire!)
    5. Queen of Swords by Katee Robert (another goodie donated by Heather!)
  2. Three authors will win a partial critique. These can be for a novella or a novel, including the first three chapters (no more than 50 pages) of an adult or young adult romance. If you don’t have anything for me to critique, just let me know and I’ll give you an ARC of one of the books listed above.

 


Dec 24 2011

Nina Croft

Meet Nina Croft!

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

First question:

Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?

Mimosas please – we call it a Bucks Fizz over here – I love them!  And yeah, I’m old enough to drink.

We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)

I’ve bought him a copy of my latest release, Deadly Pursuit. And I’m hoping he’ll give me a really, really nice review for Christmas

Blurb:

Breaking assassin Jonathon Decker out of a maximum security prison on Trakis One seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, pursued across space by the two most powerful factions in the universe, the crew of El Cazador are having second thoughts. They’d like to give him back. Unfortunately, that no longer seems an option.

Jon is used to working alone. Now, he’s stuck on the space cruiser El Cazador until he can work out just what he’s supposed to know that puts him on everybody’s most-wanted-dead list. He’s not happy that the crew includes a runaway priestess with designs on his virtue—such as it is. Jon likes women, but he gave up the role of protector a long time ago, and Alexia, High Priestess of the Church of Everlasting Life, is an accident waiting to happen.
After twenty-four excruciatingly boring years of doing her duty, Alex is finally having some fun. She never meant to run away—it was a rash impulse—and she means to go back—eventually. But first, she’s going to squeeze enough excitement out of the situation to last her a lifetime. And what could be more exciting than a stunningly gorgeous werewolf?

Meanwhile, the Church are chasing their missing priestess, and the Collective are pursuing their escaped assassin. Being hunted has never been more deadly…or more fun.

Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.

What’s your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas, of course. I think because it’s in the middle of winter. I’m a sun-lover, and I sometimes find winter a little depressing (though I do love snow). So Christmas is something to look forward to.

Did you ask Santa for anything good?

Actually, the only thing I asked for this year was a copy of, WordPress for Dummies. So I’ll be spending Christmas day playing with my website! (But I am hoping that my other half won’t think that’s all I want!)

What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays?

At home. We spent a lot of years living abroad, and then a number of years travelling, so we have experienced Christmas in a lot of different places. It was fun, but I still think home is the best place to be. Which is just as well as we don’t really get to go away anymore—we have too many animals!

Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting?

 I’m going to hit all my deadlines—honest!

Why do you write romance?

Because I love a happy ending.

How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey?

I first started writing when I worked as a volunteer in Africa around twenty years ago. I lived in a remote village on the shores of Lake Kariba in Zambia. We had no TV, no internet, and very few books, so I started writing a romance as a means to entertain myself. That book became my very first rejection.

After we left Africa, I put aside writing for a number of years and only took it up again when we moved to Spain, where once again I found myself without TV and Internet (luckily this has changed now.) It took me a few years before I was published, basically not only learning and improving my craft, but also understanding what I wanted to write and what best suited my style.

Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?

I’m a total plotter. I’ve tried both methods and if I try and pants it, I get lost in the middle and end up having to go back and do massive rewrites. So now, I plot. I outline and I do a scene by scene breakdown. Then I write a fast first draft. I’ve found it works best for me; I can concentrate on what the characters are doing in a given scene, without worrying about the bigger picture. It also gives me time to get to know the characters before I actually start writing.

What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories?

I don’t think there’s one characteristic for my heroines—they really do vary a lot, though I do like a good, kick-ass heroine. But my heroes all tend to be very alpha and very gorgeous.

What writing resources do you abide by as a writer?

I wouldn’t say I abide by any particular resources, but I do love ‘how to write’ books. I tend to turn to them if I get stuck, and they usually get my brain moving again. My favorite is, Techniques of a Selling Writer, by Dwight V. Swain.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Don’t give up.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on the follow up to Deadly Pursuit. It’s book 3 in the Blood Hunter series, which follows the adventures—romantic and otherwise—of the crew of the space ship, El Cazador. Book 3 will be the story of Captain Tannis, and how she falls for the most powerful man in the known Universe!

Where can readers find you?

    1. Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/Nina_Croft
    2. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=name&id=100000273215409
    3. Website: www.ninacroft.com

List other books you have out:

The Prophecy

The Darkness

Bound to Night

Bound to Moonlight

Chosen

The Calling

Tiger of Talmare

Mid-Winter Magic

Break Out

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!

PRIZE: e-copies of Break Out and Deadly Pursuit


Jul 25 2011

Entangled Publishing

  Meet Liz Pelletier!

Publisher and Senior Editor at Entangled Publishing and Co-Founder of SavvyAuthors, Liz has served as on the Boards of the FF&P & Colorado Romance Writers chapters of RWA. A freelance editor and author, she teaches workshops on self-editing, deep POV and GMC.

First question:

Beach or camping? Umm. Neither? My idea of camping is a Motel 6 and I hate it when sand gets in all my… toes. ; )  I grew up in Florida on the beach and I hiked the Appalachian Trail with only a tarp for a tent. To say I’m over both experiences would be an understatement. Now, a trendy spa with Sven the masseuse… I’m all over that.

Bathing suit or mountain gear? Why?  Bathing suit. I love the water. I could spend all day in the water and never tire.

Margaritas or Spritzers? (If you answer club soda, we’re gonna have to talk.) Spritzer? What’s a spritzer? Margaritas all the way.

Please enter. Cabana boys are under that umbrella. We’ll even let you pick one to hold your shade…and your pen. 

Why do you publish romance? Because I love reading romance. Publish what you know and love.

Where is one place you would love to spend the Summer? Why? Venice. I love the water, so how cool to live surrounded by it? Plus those boats look like awesomely lazy fun.

What’s your favorite part of your workday as a publisher? Oh this is hard! I love a lot about my job, but I especially love holding a printed proof in my hands and knowing that one day soon this book is going to be on the bookshelves for readers to ooh and ahh over. That months with an author immersed in their own weird little private world of their imagination has been transformed into something tangible is a pretty exciting thing. Makes me believe anything you dream is possible.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?  Don’t follow all the “rules” of writing and instead focus on writing a great story. Write a story that readers can’t stop reading until they find out what happens next… all the way until The End.

What goals do you have for the new upcoming year? Hit a best-seller list? :P

If you’re going on vacation, what items would I find in your bag? And why? Clean underwear, razor, and toothbrush. Oh and my iphone, kindle, and air mac. Everything else is superfluous.

What is one thing you cannot live without during Summer? Okay, you can list two things… My blue tooth headset. I try to take at least 2 or 3 of my phone meetings every day while walking in the sunshine. Helps me not feel like a shut-in.

What big secret can Entangled Publishing share? Any big projects?  Well, it wouldn’t be a secret if I shared it, now would it? LOL I will say we have a really big announcement coming at the end of September, but I’m not allowed to breathe a word yet.

Where can readers find you?

  1. Twitter: Liz_Pelletier
  2. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lizpelletier
  3. Website: www.entangledpublishing.com
  4. Others: www.savvyauthors.com

Will you be willing to answer questions in regards to writing and publication today?  Of course. Always happy to answer questions.

Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!