May 31, 2011

Author Interview: Toni Noel


My guest today is author Toni Noel, author of Temp to Permanent, and also Lawbreakers and Love Makers. Interesting titles, Toni!

Tell us about your latest book.
In Temp to Permanent the harried owner of an advertising agency calls for help on the busiest day of her career and the agency send a male temp with no apparent business skills on his resume. His looks are a different story entirely, and as he puts his excellent office skills to work, Carina Carrington can think of only one thing, Getting Greg Lawless into her bed.   

It's not until later, when strange things start happening at work, like the petty cash disappearing, and Carina suspecting Greg that his true skills come into play and he saves Carina's life.
 
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Writing about two characters who both want the same thing, but the governing sexual harassment in the work place prevent either of them from acting on their desires was fun. Finding new ways to put them together and turn up the heat made my writing day.

A temp I had the privilege of interviewing and hiring for the accounting department's busy time of the year inspired this novel. He had a degree and the experience needed, besides good looks and such a likeable personality even the married women hung out of their cubicles every time he walked by. ,  

Do you live in the mountains, desert, forest, lakeshore, city, or _____?
I live in the city, not far from a five acre recreational reservoir. I take my two mile daily walk there at least once a week, where I can watch white swans, ibis and blue herons ply the shoreline where fishermen line the banks.

What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
I like mysteries, so John Grisham and Lisa Gardner top my list. Nicholas Sparks is another favorite, and I'm a sucker for a happy ending, so romances by Debbie Macomber, Elizabeth Lowell, Sharon Sala and Judith Ivory never disappoint me.

When writing your description of your hero/ine what feature do you start with? Eyes, age, hair color, personality, name, etc?  
I have a fascination with eyes, the color, the sparkle, their ever-changing depths, but find these the hardest physical characteristic to describe well. I'm very observant, and when I see eyes that interest me I store the image in the back of my mind to use at some future time. The eyes of a five-year-old boy inspired the temp's eyes in Temp To Permanent, scheduled for release by Desert Breeze on June first, That boy will be a lady-killer when he grows up.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
I'd recommend Law Breakers and Love Makers, because it was the most fun to write. I've heard that when your characters take over the writing the novel is usually first rate. I don't know about that, but my book is certainly a fun read, and a reviewer at The Romance Store gave it five hearts..

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
I write novels about finding safe havens for the heart and hope my readers enjoy the satisfying resolution to their conflict my characters achieve.

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be (in six words or less)?
Why Not Me? Actually that's the title of the memoir I wrote for my daughters, telling them about my life through age 18.

What song would best describe your life?
You Are My Sunshine, I guess. I try to always stay upbeat, and not let things get me down.
 
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Friends describe me as a tactful southern lady, always looking for ways to smooth out the bumps in other people's lives, so I'd be a power sander handled with a gentle touch.

You can erase one experience from your past. What will it be?
That's a difficult question to answer. I have very few regrets. A car accident I had in Las Vegas years ago, I guess.

If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
"Caution..Do not inflame." I have my father's temper. His coworkers nicknamed him Fire Ball. I'm slow to anger, but when really riled I get hopping mad, which leaves me sick for days.

Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
A true romantic, I'd be a Victoria's Secret store, surround myself with smooth satin and fine lace, and when there were no customers, I'd simply stand around and touch.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
To whom do you give the credit for your writing success? That of course would be my husband Jim, who has never lost faith in me.

Here's a link to a five heart review of Law Breakers and Love Makers

Here's the buy link for both books:

Email Toni from  http://www.toninoelauthor.com/contact.html  and be entered in a drawing a free download of Temp To Permanent and an "I need my reading time" t-shirt. Winner will be announced on June 30th.

Be sure to contact Toni to enter. It's worth clicking the link just to see the adorable little punkin on her contact page!

May 7, 2011

Author Interview: Joyee Flynn


My guest today is author Joyee Flynn, author of the Resistant Omegas series. Omegas and Alphas are both favorites with me. Let's get started! (Thank you Dawn Roberto for helping put this together)

Joyee, why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself?
 
I'm a born and raised Chicago girl. I graduated from University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign with Finance and Political Science degrees. I'm currently in the process of finding a place in CO and working to move there. I traveled there recently and really liked the area. I'm actually kinda boring, lol. I work 80-90 hr work weeks, I'm pretty much attached to my laptop. My pup Marius and I live alone, no kids, not currently dating. We like calm & quiet. I rarely get it, but it's a goal in life!

You write solo and with Stormy Glenn. How did you meet Stormy and decide to write together?

I emailed her with an outline of idea for the Delta Wolf series, some of my own works in progress, and pretty much just begged she give me a chance. Luckily she liked the idea.

Who has been the most delightful character to write about? The most challenging to write about?

That's hard to answer… it's kinda like picking a favorite family member. All of my main characters, have at least a little bit of me in their personalities in some form or another. Riley from the Marius Brothers is one that's a LOT like me I think because if I could do college over again in an alternative universe I would have gone to medical school so he's my vicarious living. Reed in Lust & Vamp was challenging because it was a way for me to work some things. The way he dances, what it means to him is how writing is for me. So it was very challenging to get it just right for my perfectionist personality.

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

Isaac Dragos: Beyond the Marius Brothers #1 was actually a demand from Stormy Glenn's & my own Yahoo Group. Isaac plays a vital role in Remus: Marius Brothers #2 and after #3 came out, they started talking because I said I was going to work on Victor #4 that was released last month and holy crap did everyone just jump in and beg for his story. Which was a trip for me because I'd never thought to give him one. I promised I'd think about it… and when I did I sat down and just cranked out 17k words the first day I worked on it. It was CRAZY and just took a life of its own. It's chronologically after Victor #4, but since he's not a Marius Brother I gave him a spin off series name in case I come along other characters in that world that need a story as well.

How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?

Both. I have my books in a loose outline, most times I stick to it, adding some developments that pop up as the story progresses.


Did your book require a lot of research?


There was a lot of back story to retell, not so much research beyond re-reading and getting back into the books I wrote months and months ago. And while that might sound like an easy write, it's not. There's already established timelines, and plot advances that I ended up spending so much time trying to fit Isaac's story and side of things into the timeline. There was a lot of notes, a lot, lol.


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


Besides chocolate… Alana, the brat, got me addicted to Cheryl's frosted sugar cookies.


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

I have a HUGE project coming up that's super secret but there will be an announcement/unveiling of it around September. I'm really excited about it because I know it's like nothing anyone's done before, at least that I've ever seen or heard of. And one was just announced as a joint project with Stormy & Gabrielle Evans. We're doing something very different and unique. We've been having a blast working on it and we think everyone's really going to love it. http://www.midnightmatings.com


Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?


I normally work on one writing project in a day. But I'm always involved with other projects at the same time. Right now I'm holding a fundraiser in my Yahoo Group for the Braille Institute that helps blind kids learn to read and gets them access to books. I'm also working on a bar crawl for the Gay Romance Lit Retreat in New Orleans in October.
Which authors works do you enjoy reading and do you have any other authors that you bounce ideas of?
I'm a very eclectic reader, I read a little of everything. I bounce ideas off Stormy Glenn and Gabrielle Evans when I need to work through the plot monkeys. Working with them have made us become very close and they are great friends

What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?


My dreams or nightmares, believe it or not. A lot of times I have some crazy dream that develops into something I can use in a story and I just run with it after I mull it over.
If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?
I would say Micah: Marius Brothers #1. It's one of my first books that had two spin off series come of it and over all I've gotten the most positive feedback on.


Which of your characters would you most likely fall for if they were real?


That's hard to answer… it's kinda like picking a favorite family member. All of my main characters, I have at least a little bit of a crush on since they are my type of man in one way or another.


Where can we find you on the net?
http://www.joyeeflynn.com; Facebook, & I have a Yahoo Group
---------------
Excerpt from Carson, Resistant Omegas 2

Joyee Flynn © 2011



Available now at Siren Publishing!




Blurb:

When Carson's old inner circle is challenged and overthrown he knows that he will become the Omega for the new Alpha and his Betas. After all he barely survived the abuse dished out by his last circle and he knows that, as defective as he is, he can only hope to keep the punishments at bay for so long.



Declan, Ian, and Taylor have never wanted to run a pack, but after seeing Carson and realizing how he was being treated at the hands of certain members of the pack, they couldn't stand by and let him suffer. But while they may have won their dreamed of Omega they quickly find it becoming a nightmare.



Can they help their Omega realize his worth or will he forever be an Omega without hope?

Available now at Siren Publishing!
http://www.bookstrand.com/carson

May 3, 2011

Author Interview: Jannine Corti Petska

My guest today is Jannine Corti Petska.

Q: Tell us about your latest book.
CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY is book 2 of my medieval psychic sisters trilogy. It’s about 3 sisters separated at birth, and now they are searching for each other. This book takes place in a Gypsy camp in Andalusia. The last several chapters take place during their travel to England where Char finds one of her sisters.
Q: What is the genre, and does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
This historical romance is a medieval, set in the 15th century. I’ve had readers who don’t read romance read my books and enjoyed them. I tend to add history of the era & setting in my romances. They are definitely not history books, but I use the history to flavor the story or create the conflict.
Q: What did you enjoy most about writing your first book?
The first book I wrote was in 1980, or there about. Back then, I was so new to writing that I approached it like a mouse who can’t find his way out of a maze. It was such a learning experience. At the time, I didn’t belong to RWA, which I joined in the mid-90s.
I enjoyed the research. I still do. I used to get so excited to hang around the libraries in my area, spending hours scouring the shelves. Now, I seldom go into a library. Between the internet and the more than 2000 research books in my home office, I don’t have to leave the house to research. I do miss the smell of all those books. I don’t go to used book stores, library sales or swap meets to find books anymore. What I need is usually too specific. However, I do order online from B&N, Amazon or Abe Books if I’m looking for something in particular.
Q: Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
A basic idea is what gets me going. For instance, in my 4-book Italian Medieval Series (not released yet), the first book is centered around the Medici and set in Florence. I had seen a documentary on them and became fascinated by the power of that family. Book 2 came as an idea about the beginning of the Mafia, about which I had written an article for a national magazine. This story is set in Palermo. All the books are set in the 15th century, which has become my favorite era to research and write.
REBEL HEART, a historical western romance (released in 2006 & still available), was based on two songs Jon Bon Jovi recorded for the Young Guns cd: Santa Fe and Miracle. So I set this book in Santa Fe in the 1870s.
Once I have the setting down and the idea for the book, the hero and heroine come in next. Sometimes, I will write before the entire plot is thought through. Yes, I’m a pantser!
Q: What genres and authors would we find you reading when taking a break from your own writing?
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read. But on my bookshelves you’ll find mostly historical romances and romantic suspense. I’d say in present day, Theresa Medeiros is my favorite author of historical romances. I also read Connie Mason. I don’t have a favorite in romantic suspense.
Q: If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why?
REBEL HEART. There is something about this book and the hero, Beau Hamilton, that has been my favorite ever since I wrote it in the 80s. He’s irascible, gruff, but underneath it all, there is a man with a soft heart for the heroine and others who are important to him. But she drags him kicking and screaming all the way to the end before he finally admits he loves her. You’ll see his transformation in small degrees, and you’ll understand why when you learn his backstory.
Q: What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I hope they see that love does conquer all, that it can be quick, it can be with an unlikely person. I think you have to believe in the power of love, and I hope my stories convey that.
Q: A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
I can think of several, but I can’t write them here, lol. I posed this question to my family, and they agreed on: Proud, Passionate…and Italian
Q: If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
In the U.S., probably Oregon…anywhere there is a lot of dreary, rainy days, although I don’t want to live where it snows or has tornadoes. Outside the U.S., Italy. Italian is my heritage, and I know I’d feel comfortable living there. I’m not sure what city, but more than likely anywhere from Rome to Milan.
Q: What song would best describe your life?
Viva la Mamma, sung by Edoardo Bennato.  He sings praises about mothers, their devotion to their children, their strong will and love. The reason this would best describe my life is because there is no one and nothing more important than my family. I’m an Italian mother; we’re a different breed, and only another Italian mother would understand. The song translates to “Long Live Mamma.”
(Just a note: I am not saying only Italian mothers believe their families are the most important things in their life. It has more to do with how an Italian woman feels toward her family. Most mother would do anything for their children, and that’s how it should be.)
Q: If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
If a computer is considered a tool, that’s what I’d be, and I’d write the next bestseller.
Q: Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Books, music, Italian and soccer related things, anything for dogs…and I’d have a cafĂ© in my store that served Italian drinks and pastries. I suppose it would be called a variety store!
Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
“Open carefully. Contents under pressure.” (I had to ask my husband to help me with this question, lol.) Admittedly, I have a temper, and it doesn’t take much to set me off, especially if I see an injustice being done. But I’m working on it. Beau Hamilton in REBEL HEART counts when he gets to the end of his rope. So I took his advice and tried it. It really works.
Q: What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Actually, I doubt there is a question an interviewer hasn’t already asked me. I’ve covered one end of my life to the other, my family, my writing, my Italian heritage. However, if it didn’t pertain to writing, I would like to be asked what I would do to keep dogs (and other animals) from being abandoned, abused, or destroyed because of overpopulation in shelters. You’ve probably guessed it, I’m a dog lover. I’m passionate about the subject, although I don’t know if what I want and hope for can ever be accomplished in my lifetime.
==================
Booklist
REBEL HEART (historical western)  http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Rebel-Heart/Jannine-Corti Petska/e/9780974624983
KNIGHT’S DESIRE (medieval short story)
http://www.thedarkcastlelords.com/knight's-desire.htm
CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN (book 1, Medieval psychic sisters trilogy)
http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781926640594
CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY (book 2, Medieval psychic sisters trilogy)
http://www.thedarkcastlelords.com/CharlotteandtheGypsy.htm

Coming Soon
LOVE’S SWEET WAGER, The Wild Rose Press, July 2011
THE LILY AND THE FALCON (book 1, Italian Medieval Series)
The Wild Rose Press, September 2011
SURRENDER TO HONOR (book 2, Italian Medieval Series)
The Wild Rose Press, TBA
Contests
I will give away an e-book copy of CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY to one commenter, whose name I will draw from a basket.
Contacts
Website: www.jcortipetska.com


CHARLOTTE AND THE GYPSY,  Blurb
Charlotte Nikolos was raised in a Gypsy camp, her pale hair and light skin in stark contrast from the darkness of her family. After she learns she has two sisters somewhere who share her looks and psychic powers, she's determined to search for them and learn why her birth mother sent her away. But where does she begin?
 
After three years of roaming, Rafael Cazares returns to his Andalusian Gypsy camp to pursue the woman he left behind in disgrace. He must win back Char's trust and recapture her heart. He insists on helping her find her true family but soon realizes someone is determined to keep them apart.  When Rafael's deep, dark secret is revealed, he will do everything in his power to protect the only woman he has ever loved. Even if it costs him his life.

Excerpt:
“Unless you have an apology, I’ve naught to say to you,” she said.
     Her stiff posture and taut features made clear her lingering unhappiness over his impulsive kiss. “I’ll not apologize for our mutual transgression.”
     “Mutual? I think not.” Venom coated her tongue.
     “Why did you run off?”
     “Because you—” she broke off and retuned her gaze to the deserted road ahead.
     “Could it be that you feared your desire for me?”
     She glared at him. “I desired not the kiss but to be left alone to finish my bath.”
     He longed to kiss away that temperamental pucker on her lips.
     “And do not speak of your rights,” she added scathingly. “My lips belong to me, and I’ll share them with the man I truly desire.”
     “Then I shall make you desire me once we are wed.”
     “How dare you continue to taunt me with a wedding I refuse? You would deal better with a woman who will shower her affection upon you.”
      Rafael smiled slyly. What she had conveyed in that exquisite kiss was a desire most women wouldn’t deny.
 
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