October 27, 2012

Talking About Animal Crackers @ElleDruskin #amreading


Animal Crackers

Elle Druskin, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Animal Crackers.
Genre: Contemporary romance, romantic comedy, small town romance (Book 1 of The Liberty Heights series)
Publisher: MuseItUpPublishing
Cover artist: Lex Valentine
Length: 309K, 169 pages, 57,175 words
Heat rating: Sweet to sensual.
Tagline: Was that lap or laptop dancer? Stressed out Hayley Weaver is out of work and out of luck. Stuck in Liberty Heights, stuck with baby-sitting an exotic menagerie and pretty soon, stuck on cutie veterinarian Jake Marx.
Blurb:
You’re fired. Karma really slammed Manhattan workaholic Hayley Weaver. Out of work, out of money and out of luck. In desperation, she grabs the first job offered, house-sitting a movie star’s home. How tough could it be? Water the plants, take in the mail. Oops! Nobody told Hayley the house is in New Jersey and loaded with more critters than the Beverly Hillbillies. Local cutie and veterinarian Jake Marx is dying to meet a woman he hasn’t known since kindergarten. With Jake on animal phobic Hayley’s speed dial, the whole town is in cohoots to give Jake and Hayley their happily ever after.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Life of the Party
Twenty eight year old Hayley Weaver (“Hayley’s Comet”) is a New York workaholic public relations expert. Make that former expert. She’s just been fired and evicted, all in one day.
Jake Marx is a thirty two year old small town veterinarian who desperately wants to meet a woman he hasn’t known since kindergarten.

Excerpt:

Hayley gritted her teeth. Darn that lady cop who had the build of a Sherman tank. How was she supposed to know the stupid rooster was hers? To top it off, that bulldozer of a woman was the Chief of Police, too. The way she carried on, it was pure luck the cop hadn’t shoved her in the local slammer.
After the police station fiasco, Hayley marched across the train tracks to Animal Crackers to confront the veterinarian who thought everything was so funny last night, because even if he was hot, she was hot, too. Burning up she was so livid.
Some old lady peered through bifocals at her and tsked. What a nerve. Who was she to be judging anyone? First that cop, now a woman who looked like Sophia on The Golden Girls making a sour puss.
“Where’s Jake?”
“Are you the house sitter?” the old lady asked.
Hayley nodded.
“You’ll pardon my saying so, but you could do with a visit to Andre.”
Andre. Maybe that was a goat. Or a horse. Wasn’t there a movie about a seal with that name? God knew what else was running around. The whole town was Animal Crackers as far as Hayley was concerned. As for Andre, with that French name, for all she knew, he could be a cousin of that foul-mouthed parrot, Antoine.
Just that second, Jake poked his head out of a room. A huge smile brightened his freshly shaved cheeks. Hayley staggered. Why did he have to be so cute? She didn’t like him; he’d laughed at her, and he thought she was a neurotic idiot after last night. Plus, she hadn't forgotten her sneaking suspicion he had something going on with that bimbo actress Paulette Stone.
He was dressed in worn jeans and a T-shirt that said, “Have You Kissed Your Vet Today?”
To Catch a Cop
No matter how she tried, Hayley couldn’t seem to avoid studying his lips. Kiss A Vet. In his dreams before she’d kiss him. Never mind that she’d dreamed about exactly that, and he’d been dynamite. She had more pressing problems, and the last thing she needed to do was kiss a veterinarian.
“Henry is loose. I don’t know how he got out of the yard. I got a ticket for him leaving, uh, deposits.”
Jake ducked his head to hide a smile.
“There must be a gap in the fence. I’ll ask Ed to have a look, but Henry wanders. He has a fairly regular routine and usually heads to the same place. He’s safe there. If Henry can’t get out, he might become distressed.”
“He’s right behind me.”
Hayley turned around and stared. No Henry. He was gone. The monster beast had been right behind her, dogging her steps like a lovesick teenager only two minutes ago.
“I lost him! I can’t wait to get out of here, and now I’ve lost him!”
Jake shot a glance at the older woman who kept staring at her. The vet had a funny look on his face, as if he was trying not to laugh. What the hell was so hilarious?
“Um, not that it looks bad, but your hair is different. Kind of shorter on one side.”
Hayley fumed. As much as she detested the mess she was in, she was doing her best to be responsible, warning him that a deaf dog was lost, and all he could talk about was her hair. Wise guy.
Her hair.
Shorter on one side. The nail scissors on the floor. Pansy. Please, please, not that!
Hayley let out a screech that would have rivaled Wilbur’s decibels and sunk down into a plastic chair. Her fingers threaded through her hair, and she began to hyperventilate, gasping for air.
Pansy had scalped her. No wonder the old lady was staring.
“Calm down, or you’re going to faint. Nice, slow deep breaths. I’ll get you some water.”
Jake handed her a plastic cup of cold water. Hayley gulped it down. “I guess you’d rather have another drink, but we don’t keep alcohol around the clinic.”
“A mirror.” She barely managed to rasp the words.
“You sure?”
Dread rose in her heart. It sounded as if he didn’t want her to see the damage. It must be awful, and she’d walked around town without even knowing. People had stared at her, but she thought it was because of Henry trailing her everywhere. That hardware guy, Ed, had offered her one of those dumb Lemur baseball caps, and she brushed it off like an annoying fly. His snickers made a lot more sense now.
God Almighty.
"Aunt Tilly, have you got a mirror for Ms. uh, what is your name?”
“Weaver. Hayley Weaver.”
Tilly handed Hayley a tiny mirror from her handbag. Despite its miniscule size, it was big enough to get an idea of the damage Pansy had inflicted. Hayley gasped and snapped the compact shut. She couldn’t bear to look at it again.
“My hair! That no good Pansy scalped me!”
No more. She couldn’t take anymore. She’d put up with a nasty French parrot, a deaf dog, and now a chimp who thought she was Phillippe, the snobby Manhattan stylist.
Hayley burst into tears. Yesterday had been the worst day of her life. Nothing could have been worse, and then today happened.
Jake crouched down in front of her and held her hands.
“Hey, it’s not so bad. Hair grows back.”
She sniffed and blinked at him.
“I paid a fortune to get it exactly right. I can’t go on job interviews like this!”
“It’s not terrible, just a little uneven with those ends sticking up like a Mohawk on one side. It’s asymmetric, but that could be trendy,” the old lady said as if that helped and handed her a tissue.
Asymmetric? Whole chunks were gone. It looked like a blind man had savaged her hair.

Interview

What websites do you visit daily?
Hmm. I have limited time but I do regularly get on Twitter, Facebook, my own website and blog (I don’t say I write something daily but I try to get there as often as I can), Books and Writers Community--a fabulous online hangout for anyone who loves books, reading, writing, etc. Anything and everything is discussed and I would recommend that site to anyone interested in writing. I try to check in on Amazon and Barnes and Noble to see what’s going on there too and occasionally get on Pininterest. I’m not really conversant with that site. I visit Savvy Authors and She Writes but not daily. I do trawl some other sites but certainly not with regularity or every day.
What do you enjoy most about life?
More and more, I’m grateful for the things I have rather than thinking about what I don’t have. I’m grateful for family, friends, my dog, my health. Money can’t buy those things and we need to really appreciate them. I’m also grateful I live near the beach—I love the beach! You’re either a beach person or you aren’t and I’m definitely a beach person.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Take notes! I’ve had a lot of adventures and traveled extensively. I do remember some of these things but not all of them.
Do you have a muse? Describe this person, please.
I don’t know if you could call her my muse, but certainly the writer I most admire is Diana Gabaldon. She’s a brilliant writer but also very accessible and generous in her support for other writers.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Not so much family and friends, but real incidents, yes. The incident with the Japanese flag signifying the town’s lake has frozen and safe for skating in Hanky Panky (Book 3 of The Liberty Heights series coming in December) is true. It really did happen in my hometown. (Yes, it was New Jersey, so it seemed kind of natural for Liberty Heights).
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I started out as a nurse and I’m still a nurse but my work is in academia so I’m a professor today. I also have a PhD in history. I’ve done a fair amount of publishing academic work; journal articles and book chapters. It all just kind of evolved. Writing fiction is a big leap from academic writing but it’s still writing and any writing helps strengthen ability.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
Going to the Dogs
It’s a good question and really depends on taste. Right now, I would recommend Animal Crackers. It’s a fun read and the start of a series. People that have been reading the books seem to fall in love with them. They love Liberty Heights and all the quirky characters, some of whom get their own stories as the series progresses. That’s fun because it enables all of us to get to know these characters with more depth. I know these books are fiction, readers know they’re fiction, but to us, they’re real. That’s the consistent message I get from readers--they totally accept this is fiction but believe it must be real at some level. They consistently laugh (that’s good, they’re supposed to!) and want to know more about the people, the town and the quirky things that happen. This is kind of funny; I had an email from a reader asking for driving directions to Liberty Heights. She was certain this must be a real place. I was kind of sorry to disappoint her but it was nice that the town seemed so real to her.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
Anything and everything. I’m a voracious reader. Normally, I read 4 books a week, depending on the type of book. I read non-fiction, especially history. Just love that! But I also read fiction in every genre. I’m a bookworm! I learned to read when I was about 3 and just kept reading. I was also fortunate to grow up in a home where reading and owning books was encouraged. The first step in being a writer is being a reader. You have to be a good reader to be a good writer. Whatever else you might have to give up to write, you can’t give up reading.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, because it’s a great opportunity to sit down and remember all the good things we have. Having lived outside the US for many years, I really appreciate the American-ness of the holiday that has nothing to do with religion, but a day to be grateful.
What good book have you read recently?
I read voraciously, everything and anything. In fiction, I enjoyed A Discovery of Witches. I didn’t think I would, but there you go. Not always a good idea to pre-judge. I especially enjoyed the scenes set in Oxford because I was a guest there a number of years ago and very familiar with the colleges and library.
In non-fiction, I just finished Rebecca Fraser’s A History of Britain. I love history and I’ve read a fair amount on this subject before but I still like re-acquainting myself with topics and possibly, learning something new or remembering things I might have forgotten.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
Honolulu.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
No idea. I’m never bored because I’m overloaded with things that have to be done and things I want to do.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Hah! We actually played this game at a high school reunion and the consensus was I should be played by a young, I stress young, Lauren Bacall. I was so flattered, I can’t tell you!
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Pink. Hot pink!

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with cheese, and lots of it. I’m a purist!
I'm always ready for dancing.
Elle Druskin
When I'm alone, I read, write, watch tv, walk my dog, surf the net, catch up with email.
You'd never be able to tell, but I try to be really organized. (Here’s the but) I don’t appear organized because I’m always looking for things that I’ve lost. So I end up most of the time looking for something else and finding the original lost item.
If I had a halo it would be I don’t really understand this question but I kind of doubt I’d be getting a halo anyway.
If I could master surfing (“I’m working on it!) I'd live at the beach.
I can never believe people think I’ve had a really interesting life because it just seems normal to me. I’ve traveled a lot and lived in other countries and I think this fascinates some people.

Previous Books

The Liberty Heights series:
Animal Crackers (Book 1)
The Life of the Party (Book 2)
To Catch series:
To Catch A Cop
To Catch A Crook
Outback Hero
Going To The Dogs

Books Coming Soon

Hanky Panky (Book 3, The Liberty Heights series) coming in December 2012 from MuseItUpPublishing

Find Me Here

October 24, 2012

Grab Eternity with @Tmoniquebooks #amreading


Eternity.

Tmonique Stephens, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Eternity
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Buy links:
Publisher: Soulmate Publishing
Cover artist: Steena Holmes at The Authors Red Room
Length: 271 pages
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: Only a cursed man would wait 2000 years for one woman
Blurb: Cursed for 2000 years, Roman Nicolis has tracked his lovers’ soul through each reincarnation only to lose her horribly every time. Reclaiming their love is his only salvation. He’s been her friend, her father, her neighbor, but never again her lover until now.
A late night walk home throws Stella Walker into the path of a killer. The last thing she remembers are the deep blue eyes of the man trying to kill her—and the first things she sees after a seven day coma are the same blue eyes in the handsome face of the man hired to protect her. Is he truly the owner of a security firm assigned to protect her or the man who wants to finish her off? Is it fears she feels when Roman touches her or the memory of something sweeter? She will have to push past her fears and reclaim a love that has lasted two millennia.
Past secrets haunt them. An angry demon stalks them.
Roman will do anything to recover what they had. Though Stella’s ruined childhood has made her close her heart and body to any man, he must get past the walls around her to gain her love and trust, for it will take their union to defeat an unexpected enemy sent from the Egyptian Gods. A man Romans respects, and Stella trusts.
Two hearts - one soul. For all eternity.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Roman Nicolis: 35ish, CEO of Nicolis Security/Mercenary
Stella Walker: 24, Waitress/Student

Excerpt:

Curled on his body in the middle of Central Park, Roman let Stella sleep. Holding her wasn’t a hardship as his mind wandered to the future, their future. Foolhardy, definitely, but what else could he do when he held the object of his obsession in his arms?
Remember your promise and let her go.
He stroked a wayward lock of hair behind her ear and slid his fingers down her silky cheek. She nuzzled him, turned her face into his palm and kissed him. Every noble intention evaporated like a bead of sizzling water in a hot skillet. Cock rock hard, he had to kiss her, feel her breath on his skin, in his body. In the deserted park, he needed her now.
The fine hairs on the back of his neck bristled. He froze. Battle instincts surged to the forefront, screaming for action, instead, he listened to the night surrounding him and waited. Though not a hub of wildlife, the creatures of Central Park were silent. They also waited. Somewhere, nearby, a predator stalked.
He nudged Stella. She stretched, making him aware of every curve and hollow she possessed, and purred, a sexy rumble deep in her throat. Before she could say a word, he cupped her head and pulled her into a quick kiss.
“Shhh, we’re in danger,” he whispered against her lips.
Her head popped up and she eased off him. In the gloom, her frightened eyes met his. “What?” She mouthed.
“We have to get out of here.”
Crouched low, he took her hand, together they crawled along next to the hedge. He looked over. His keen eyesight picked up nothing and no one. So why did the same excitement he used to get before a battle race through his veins? Stella squeezed his hand. Her wide eyes sent him a question he couldn’t answer.
He drew his gun from the small of his back and the silencer from his jacket pocket.
“Roman?” Her voice wavered.
He spared her a glance. “Whatever happens, do exactly as I say. Understand?”
Her head bobbed on her neck.
“Walk beside me, not in front or behind. Got it?”
Not far from the nearest road, they stuck to the trees and away from the open expanse of the Great Lawn.
Leaves crunched behind them. He’d never run from anything in his life. Even before the curse and his immortality, he stood his ground and killed everything in his path. Now, whatever stalked him, stalked her. His senses told him only one lurked in the darkness, but with Stella to protect, he couldn’t risk it.
The Delacorte amphitheater loomed ahead. He guided her into the shadows. Stationed behind a statue, he aimed and watched the route they had just taken. Stella clutched his jacket, her shivering body pressed close.
“Tell me.”
“There’s someone out there.”
“It could be anyone, ’kids maybe?”
“Maybe.” He agreed purely to reassure her. But as he spoke, one hundred yards away, something peeled away from the shadows of a large tree and charged.
“Stay.” He ordered. Through his jacket, her nails dug into his back. He pulled away, but she wouldn’t let go. He shrugged out of his jacket and advanced. She called to him, begging him to return, but the blood rushing in his ears drown out her voice. He rushed forward and focused on the attacking foe.
Wait. He skidded to a halt. He had a shot, but...something was wrong. The height was too short. Whoever ran toward him must be a child—or running on all fours. He squinted at the slice of darkness closing the distance between them. The tree coverage ended and speckled moonlight dotted the Great Lawn, uncovering the thing barreling forward. For a split second his mind tried to unravel the impossible nightmare quickly shrinking the distance, before he fired three shots between its widely spaced eyes. It roared and charged faster.
“Run, Stella!” He fired, running back to the theater. She hadn’t listened. Instead of running away, she met him. He grabbed her hand and ran, but she couldn’t keep up and the thing behind them closed the distance.
“Is it him, The Strangler?” she shouted breathless.
They ran past The Preserve, rounded a column and then stopped. Shrouded in gloom, the outline of the pond appeared in front of the Belvedere Castle. He didn’t want her to see what chased them, but before he could stop her, she turned. Her scream pierced the night. Yards away, a bellow replied. He jerked her around and shoved. She stumbled and fell into the water.
“Go!” This time, she didn’t fight. For a second, he watched her swim. Then turned in time for claws to dig into his side.
***
Stella slipped, fell face first in the shallow water and choked on a foul mouthful. She lunged to her feet, brushed the wet hair out of her face and waded on. Water rose from her hips to her neck quickly and then leveled off as she approached a small dock jutting out of tall grass. Arms trembling, she hoisted herself up. A spike of pain spread from the healing wounds on her abdomen. Her arms almost caved, but at the last second, she flipped a leg over the edge of the dock and rolled onto her back. In the silent night, smacks and grunts echoed, water splashed. Something gave a roar no human could make.
Roman.
She had to get help. The dock led to the castle. Stella jogged up the stairs, clutching her side and cut through the fake façade to reach the 79th street transverse. Waving her arms, a car wheezed bye, then another one.
Damn New Yorkers. Headlights split the darkness. She ran into the road.
“Stop! Please, stop!”
The car swerved, centimeters separated her and the bumper. It shimmied on the road, but straightened and kept on going. She had to escape the park. Call the cops. Save Roman. A scream lodged in her throat.
Wounds aching, she ran hard. The exit of the park and the traffic on Central Park West came into view. There were people up ahead. She had to get there. People meant help. Her steps faltered and her shoulder slammed into a lamppost. She started to fall.
An arm circled her waist and hauled her up. For a second, she tore at the limb until she glanced up. “Ro—”
Blood. Nearly everywhere she looked. Tattered pieces of his shirt flapped in the breeze exposing deep gashes across his pecs and down his ribs. Behind him, a tree splintered and toppled onto the roadway. Roman took her hand and together they ran the last yards to the exit.
They darted out of the park and onto the sidewalk, alongside the wall separating the park from the city. Still, she heard it, the beast, thing, whatever, over the wall, matching their pace.
A hand tipped with razor sharp claws scraped along the top of the wall. A scaly arm, a snout unhinged and rows of teeth and protruding eyes that rotated freely.
It. Saw. Her.

Interview

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
Tmonique Stephens: I always start with an idea. What if... Those two words takes my imagination down the Yellow Brick Road to my hero and heroine, my opening scene, plot, conflict and ultimately my story’s happily ever after.
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
Eternity is about a group of men who descend from the Egyptian gods. Their heritage has been hidden, but slowly come to light along with a multitude of consequences. Though Eternity is a paranormal romance, there are elements of suspense and mystery as the two lovers are hunted by an unknown enemy.
How do you come up with ideas?
Tmonique Stephens: My ideas usually come to me right before I fall asleep. My mind seems to be more open and relaxed. I get my best ideas that way. I just have to remember to record or write them down before I pass out.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
Tmonique Stephens: I learned technique, conflict and my writing style. I’m still working on trusting my instinct, but I believe that will come with time.
Would you consider self-publishing?
Tmonique Stephens: Yes, I’m working on a novella which will tie into my Egyptian series that I plan on self-publishing. I’m looking forward to getting my feet wet.
How many hours a day to you spend writing?
Tmonique Stephens: Since I work full-time during the week I usually write three hours per day after I get home from work and six to ten hours per day on the weekend.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Tmonique Stephens: I wrote consistently until I graduated from college in the late 1980’s. After graduation life and all its complexities interfered with my writing and I didn’t writing anything until I got serious in 2007. I would tell the younger me to not be afraid of rejection and to keep writing even when I didn’t feel like it.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Tmonique Stephens: My favorite authors are JR Ward and Stephen King. I will always pick them first to read. I also love Kresley Cole and Karen Marie Moning.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Tmonique Stephens: I would love a house in Atlanta, an apartment in Manhattan and a time share in St. Thomas USVI.
What song would best describe your life?
Tmonique Stephens: Different songs apply to me at different times in my life. Currently, the song that best categorizes me is Gym Class Heroes The Fighter and Phillip Phillips Home.
                                                        
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Tmonique Stephens: Walmart would be a good depiction of my current lifestyle, but at heart I’m a Neiman Marcus kinda girl.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Tmonique Stephens: I learned to love reading and writing in school. Books have always taken me to another place or world where my imagination could break free from the confines of reality.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Tmonique Stephens: Addictive reading hazard. Read at you own risk.
Tmonique Stephens

Please fill in the blanks

I love pizza with roma tomatoes, fresh basil and gouda cheese.
I'm always ready for a party.
When I'm alone, I write and plot.
You'd never be able to tell, but I love alternative music.
If I had a halo it would be slightly crooked.
If I could travel I'd never come home.

Books Coming Soon

I’m working on Everlasting, the sequel to Eternity. It’s the story of Reign, Roman’s brother and Alexis, a NYPD detective trying to recuse her career. Their wants are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but they will have to join together defy the gods, save each other, and defeat an enemy that just won’t die.

Find Me Here


October 22, 2012

Awakening the Fire with @ShieldsAlly #amreading



Awakening the Fire.

Ally Shields, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Awakening the Fire (Guardian Witch Book One).
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romantic Paranormal
Buy links: Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/Nr8jko
Amazon (UK): http://amzn.to/Rt0zkb
Barnes and Nobel: http://bit.ly/RPrJ45
All Romance Ebooks: http://bit.ly/U25Q0G
Publisher: Etopia Press
Cover artist: Annie Melton
Length: 83,000 words, 245 pages (approx.)
Heat rating: Sexual tension, PG-13, M/F
Tagline:
While fire witch cop Ari Calin races to stop the violence triggered by an exotic drug, a werewolf pack is intent on starting a supernatural war.
Blurb:
Ari Calin has sworn to keep the peace in the Olde Town district of Riverdale, and most of the time the Otherworlders cooperate. The vampires, werewolves and other magical creatures go about their own business, living side by side with humans, until the foreign werewolves arrive and an virtual reality drug hits the streets. When violence erupts, Ari needs more than her witch fire, weapons and potions to stop the madness.
Teaming with a human police lieutenant and a way-too-sexy vampire singer, Ari hunts for the enemy—from the vampire strip clubs to the caverns under the city. Every step draws Ari and her companions deeper into an old feud and closer to the brink of a supernatural war.

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Arianna Calin, 23, is a fire witch and a cop for the Magic Council, the ruling authority for Otherworlders.
Andreas De Luca is a vampire who sings in a vampire supper club—and so much more. Andreas was born in 1786 but he was 29 when he became a vampire and will look 29 and yummy forever.
Lt. Ryan Foster, 34, is Ari's partner among the human cops. They work joint cases for the Magic Council and the Riverdale Police Department.

Excerpt:

On evening patrol, Ari has just defeated a werewolf who had attacked two children in the park.
Ari retrieved her knife from the forest floor. The woods were quiet again. Still, she lingered, reluctant to leave. An ominous prickle persisted at the back of her neck, keeping her rooted to the clearing. She scanned the trees, opening her mind to the smells and energy in the wind.
A sharp round of applause shattered the silence.
A shadowy figure stepped from the shelter of the trees. The stranger stopped, silhouetted against the light of the moon. “Very nice, if a little overdone. I do not think he will return soon.”
A rich, masculine voice, softly accented, rolled over her. Ari’s pulse leaped. Her witch blood surged in response to the unmistakable vampiric energy, and she snapped into defensive mode.
The vampire stayed in the moonlight. An easy target for witch fire, Ari thought. Maybe he wasn’t hostile. More likely, he didn’t think she was any kind of threat. Either way, her advantage. She’d been underestimated before.
“You need not be concerned,” he said. “I intend no mischief.”
The distinctive cadence of Italy in his words trailed a feathery caress along her skin. The sound wrapped itself around her in lazy curls. A quiver swept up her arms, and she shivered. Ari quickly blocked the intrusion. She needed to keep her wits about her.
“No magical probing,” she snapped. “Your tricks don’t work on me. I’m stronger than that.” Yet even as she spoke, she felt the pull, smooth as silk and slightly wicked. Her blood hummed in response, as if her magic recognized his.
And liked it.
He chuckled. Audacious. Bold. Sexy? Ugh, contrary to popular fiction, seduction wasn’t something Ari associated with vampires. Federal civil rights laws, new treaties, and citizen status didn’t make them any less dangerous. They were predators—useful in the military, but not exactly her idea of boyfriend material.
“I heard there was a new guardian, but not that she was a fire witch.” The vampire moved closer, his feet skimming soundlessly over the layers of fallen leaves and pine needles. When he came to a halt, the moonlight illuminated his face, revealing dark eyes and strong, lean features. A lock of black hair had fallen across his forehead. He was dressed casually in black jeans and a crew neck T-shirt. “Our meeting is fortunate. Always good to know the local authorities.” He cocked his head. “You are not what I expected."
Not again. Ari was sick of comparisons to her mentor. “Sorry to disappoint. Who are you? What do you want?”
“Did I say I was disappointed? On the contrary.” His gaze swept the length of her. “You are much younger, prettier, than your predecessor. But then Yana served a hundred years or more. Disappointed? Not in the least. I find you and your talents…most interesting.”
“Is that meant to be a compliment? Never mind. I don’t care.” Ari raised her chin and looked him straight in the eyes. “If you think I’m a pushover because I’m young, you can think again. I’m good at what I do. I’ve trained my entire life.”
His eyes narrowed at her bold stare. She thought she’d made her point, until he laughed. Ari bit her lower lip. Had she been too quick on the uptake? Again. Or was she reacting to vampiric magic? She nudged up the strength of her magical defenses.
“Your entire life,” he murmured. “As long as that. Impressive.”
Ari snorted but didn’t take the bait this time. She waited to see what he’d do next. Unfortunately, he had the same idea, and they stood staring at each other.
The vampire acted unbothered by the silence. He stood at ease, his body relaxed but waiting. The breeze ruffled the unruly, black hair that curled over his ears. He looked thirty or less in human years. Yet, despite his present efforts to hide it, she felt an underlying hint of power that said he was older. Much older. Awareness of him filled all the available space.
Whoever he was—she hadn’t forgotten he didn’t answer the question—his continued watchfulness made Ari uneasy. She moved her hand closer to her dagger. Although blood hunting was strictly forbidden, with a penalty of immediate execution, she didn’t trust any vampire to play by the rules.
His lips curved under her scrutiny, a hint of amusement reaching his dark eyes. Humor? That surprised her. As their humanity fell away, vampires usually took on a distinctive look: cold, predatory, reptilian. Except for the newborns, and this guy didn’t feel that newly minted.
In a rare flash of vanity, she wondered what he thought of her. The long, dark blonde hair wasn’t very witchy. And her five-five frame was more boyish than curvy. But the long-lashed green eyes? All witch, and her best asset. Great-Gran’s eyes. Her mother’s eyes. Ari jerked herself back from this weird train of thought. What was the matter with her? This wasn’t a hot-looking date.
Whatever was going on behind the vampire’s hooded eyes, he kept it to himself. He made no overt aggressive moves, simply stood there. Wasn’t that typical predator behavior? Lure the unwary into a sense of safety? Well, he could forget it. Wrong prey, bloodsucker.
She took the initiative. “I know what you are, but I’ll ask again, who are you? What are you doing here?”
He moved then, gliding forward. She was startled when he bowed with all the grace of an old world aristocrat. It didn’t quite fit the jeans and T-shirt. “Andreas De Luca, at your service, madam witch. And you are…?”
“Arianna Calin. Guardian for Olde Town.” She hesitated, then stuck out her hand. She really didn’t want him touching her, but getting along with both the human and magic communities was part of the job.
He accepted the gesture, grasping her hand in long, cool fingers. Ari felt a spark of energy, but its relative neutrality told her how good he was at controlling his magic.
“Arianna.” With his eyes never leaving her face, he repeated the word, his voice rolling it around. “Not exactly a Romani name.”
“No, should it be?” Her gut clenched at his unexpected remark. How much did this vampire know about the Calin family of witches? About her?
As if she’d spoken aloud, he said, “Your great-grandmother was the witch Talaitha. The last great fire witch in this region.” His smile said he knew he’d surprised her. “Talaitha is a Romani name.”
How did he know that? What right did he have to use her name so freely? Ari was tempted to confront him, but it would have confirmed what might be a guess on his part. Talaitha was one of Ari’s given names. An ancient name. Since the old names held power in her world, she was reluctant to share it. Especially with a vampire.
Andreas De Luca examined the hand he continued to hold. His fingers were inches away from Ari’s silver bracelet. Although he didn’t make direct contact with the trinket, he didn’t act bothered by the sight or presence of the charms, most of which were considered dangerous or at least harmful to vampires. The miniature silver cross, the vial of holy water, the protection stones. Ari lifted a brow. Interesting reaction.
“These slim fingers have inherited Talaitha’s gift for fire,” he said, using her great-grandmother’s name again, as if he knew it bothered her. “A rare and coveted talent.” His smile broadened, bringing charm to his attractive face, and he lifted Ari’s fingers to his lips in a brief kiss. Before she had a chance to react to this unexpected gallantry, he turned her hand over and nipped the palm with wickedly sharp teeth.
“Ouch!” She snatched it back, leaped away, and glared at him. Her witch senses flared with a rush of hot energy that ran to her fingertips. Ari clenched them into fists.
His rich laughter rang out. The real thing, no magic this time. Grinning, he threw up his hands as if to ward off retaliation. It defused the moment.
“It’s not funny,” she snapped, getting herself under control. Unclenching her fingers, she stared at the small drop of blood that welled from the broken skin. Her brain warred between anger and a strong desire to get the hell out of there.

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I network. When I began writing full time four years ago, my friends and family didn't understand why I was doing this. I felt rather lost until I discovered other writers. Now I network for support and promotion, knowing there are many out there sharing the same triumphs and frustrations.
What do you enjoy most about life?
Almost everything. Seriously! I've always been curious and enjoy seeing and experiencing new things, from climbing the pyramids to horseback-riding through the Arizona desert. I suppose that's why writing, reading and traveling top my list of things I love to do. It's a way to experience many new worlds. But sometimes it's the little things that really catch you off guard. The butterfly in the garden, a particularly good wine, a sailboat on the lake at sunset.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Get serious about your writing much earlier in life. I wrote my first book when I was nine—all about a palomino horse. Imagine how many books I could have written if life hadn't distracted me along the way! It takes time to learn the craft. Write, rewrite, and then do it all over again.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
OMG, yes, but they don't know it! Mannerisms mostly, and sometimes parts of funny conversations. I try to disguise them so they won't guess. :) But I even use people on the street. No one is safe.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I began full-time employment as an English teacher, then a practicing lawyer and finally a Juvenile Court Officer. The most fascinating years were spent as a member of C.A.T.T, the Child Abuse Trauma Team that investigated severe child abuse cases.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I can't read urban fantasy while I'm working on a new book, so I usually turn to mysteries like those of J.D. Robb, thrillers like Vince Flynn, or a light romance. If I need cheering up, I re-read Georgette Heyer to laugh at her witty dialogue.
In between manuscripts, I catch up with new paranormal releases from Laurell K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and anyone else that catches my eye. I tend to like vampires!
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
My laptop, so I could write and check-in by email and Twitter. My kindle for obvious reasons. Lightweight clothing and my camera. I would return to Egypt for the fourth time, do the Nile trip again and see Luxor and Karnak. I love that place!
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving. Everyone comes home for Thanksgiving just to enjoy the good food and conversation. No pre-holiday shopping, fighting through the malls, wrapping packages, or holiday programs to detract from family time. And I rather like the pumpkin pie, too.
Which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
I'm definitely the ten day tour, and I've been on several! If something needs to be done, I want it done now. I'll stay up all night to finish. And I have no patience whatsoever with delayed gratification. Now, now, now. As soon as this task is done, I can move on to the next challenge, the next fascinating riddle to solve.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms.
I'm always ready for chocolate!
When I'm alone, I read or play tug-a-war with my miniature pinscher, Ranger.
You'd never be able to tell, but I have an earring collection in the hundreds!
If I had a halo it would be tarnished. :-D
If I could be an astronaut, I'd go to the moon or mars.
I can never watch a movie where the hero or heroine dies, because I cry too much. It's embarrassing!

Books Coming Soon

Fire Within (Guardian Witch Book Two) is scheduled for release on Dec. 14, 2012.
Burning Both Ends (Guardian Witch Book Three) will be released in the first half of 2013.

Contest

If you email me (allyshields@q.com) the correct answer to the question below, I will enter you in a drawing to win a free ebook of Awakening the Fire (kindle, nook or pdf). The answer is available on my blog (Hint: check out the Character Posts). Contest ends at midnight Oct. 25, 2012 CDT. Good luck!
Contest Question: What is the first name of Ari's best girlfriend forever?

Find Me Here

October 21, 2012

Why Keta Wrote Holding on to Heaven @ketadiablo #amwriting


Holding on to Heaven.

Please welcome Keta Diablo as she takes over Romance Lives Forever for the day.

 - - -

Hi everyone, and thank you so much for stopping by Romance Lives Forever.

Some readers have asked me why I wrote Holding on to Heaven so I thought I’d speak to that here. I’ve always loved history about the Civil War – the battles, the thousands of lives lost and the boundaries that were often crossed when family members choose sides. It wasn’t uncommon to find cousin fighting against cousin or neighbor against neighbor. The Civil War was a deeply personal war for many, and yet in the end, many didn’t know why they were fighting. I can’t think of anything more horrible than to have our country divided over ideals, beliefs, or principles to the point we take up arms against our brethren.
Dark Night of the Moon

Imagine drawing a line across the United States – the top half of the states fight for one side and the bottom for the other. And suppose you had family down in Texas when you live in Wisconsin? I’m sure you can see what the Civil War was one of our darkest times in history.
Holding on two Heaven is, in essence, about a woman named Lauren McCain who was raised in the deep South and moves to the North just before the war broke out. Her loyalties are divided. She’s fallen in love with a Northerner, carries his child, and yet her father and family hail from North Carolina. Now, toss in the Dakota Sioux uprising in Minnesota at the same time and the entire country is ablaze with fire and terror.

Holding on to Heaven is an emotional story about betrayal, grief, fate, and abiding passion. If you like reading about the Civil War, I think you’ll love the story of brothers who love the same woman and yet, love each other too (note: this is not a ménage and not a gay fiction). Oh, yes, and there are a few twists and turns in the story. There is a happily-for-now ending, but here’s the good news: Dark Night of the Moon, the sequel to Holding on to Heaven was released January 2012. I promise there is a happy resolution to the continuing saga.

"Comanche Ghost"
Namaste, Keta



About the Author

Keta Diablo lives in the Midwest part of the country on six acres of woodland. When she isn't writing or gardening she loves to commune with nature.
Keta is a multi-published author in both erotic romance and gay fiction. Her latest paranormal novel, Where The Rain Is Made, has been nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark in the Best e-novel category. Keta's books have also received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from the top professional review sites.
You can find her on the net at the following places:
The Stuff of Myth and Men, http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com

October 20, 2012

Character Interview: Patrick @andrewgreybooks #amreading



Love Comes Silently.

Andrew Grey, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Love Comes Silently.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover artist: L. C. Chase
Length: 61,000 words
Heat rating: Three Flames
Buy links:
Tagline: How do you say “I Love You” when you can’t say the words?
Blurb:
Caring for a loved one with cancer is tough. Doing it alone is overwhelming—especially when that loved one is a child. But ever since Ken Brighton’s partner left him, Ken has spent his days at the hospital with his daughter, Hanna, hoping for a miracle. Maybe the mysterious care packages that appear for Hanna don’t qualify, but they bring a spark of hope into his and Hanna’s tired life—and so does Ken’s neighbor, former singer Patrick Flaherty.
For two years Patrick hasn’t been able to focus on anything but the life he should have had. An injury robbed him of his voice, and the idea of introducing himself to new people intimidates him. But over the past months, he’s watched as his neighbor nursed his sick child, and once he meets Ken, Patrick starts to crave a life with him—a life he isn't sure he can have.
Ken doesn’t realize he’s fallen in love until the doctors send Hanna home, saying there’s nothing more they can do: Hanna will either recover or succumb. Ken’s heart is set on a new beginning—with both Patrick and Hanna. But Patrick's silence leaves Ken wondering what Patrick wants.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Patrick is in his late twenties and makes furniture. He used to be an opera singer until an accident robbed him of his ability to speak.
Ken is an artist, about thirty and he’s taking care of his five year old daughter with Leukemia.

Excerpt:

Strengthened by Fire
Patrick Flaherty had seen the little bald girl’s reaction to the box of hats he’d placed outside the front door of the house she shared with her father. Patrick had found out the man with the beatific smile and eyes so deep it looked like the worries of the entire world would fit inside them was named Ken, and that he was some sort of artist. He hadn’t heard much else about him, other than he was new in town and that his daughter had been very sick. Patrick did know from watching him that the other man who’d lived in the house had been Ken’s boyfriend, but he appeared to have moved out, and now it was just Ken and his daughter. That was fine with Patrick. He’d noticed the other man the very first day he’d moved in two houses down the street from the small house Patrick had inherited from his mother. Not that he had any illusions that Ken had noticed him, other than to see him outside working.
People in town had been talking about Ken and his daughter for months, their tongues flapping like a flag in the wind off Lake Superior. Apparently, Ken Brighton was some really famous artist, with his paintings hanging in museums and selling for big bucks all over the country. That was one thing Patrick had found out very quickly after the accident that left him nearly completely silent—people figured that since he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t hear, either, or think. Patrick clenched the handle of the snow shovel as his anger and hurt welled inside. He was the same person he’d been before the accident, and he wished he could make others see that.
After watching the front of the house for a few seconds more, Patrick let the squeal of joy he’d heard drifting on the wind bring a smile to his face as he returned to his chores. He had to get these done before the snow that had begun to melt hardened into ice he’d never get off the sidewalk.
Patrick worked for nearly an hour, and he was about to put his shovel away when he saw Ken and his daughter come out of the house. He couldn’t suppress a grin when he saw the little girl was wearing the poofy pink hat he’d given her. She held her father’s hand, and Patrick walked closer, waving at both of them. He saw the little girl wave back at him before she pulled her hand from her dad’s and walked down the sidewalk toward him.
“Hello,” she said with a smile. “Thank you for the mac-cheese, it was really good.” Patrick nodded and smiled, watching as the girl cocked her head curiously. Patrick touched his throat and shook his head. “Can’t you talk?” she asked, and he shook his head.
“Hanna, don’t bother the nice man,” Ken said as he came up behind his daughter.
“Daddy, he can’t talk,” Hanna said to him. Patrick was used to the pitying looks or even tsking sounds when people found out, but Ken smiled at him and extended his hand.
“I’m Ken Brighton, and this is Hanna,” he said as he firmly shook Patrick’s hand. Once Patrick let go, Patrick pointed to the embroidered name on his coat. One thing he’d begun doing after the accident was have his name added to his jackets and coats. It was the best way he could figure out to easily tell people his name. “It’s nice to meet you, Patrick,” Ken said with an ease that Patrick rarely saw in others. Most people didn’t quite know how to react to him. “We both wanted to thank you for the macaroni and cheese. It was fabulous,” Ken said, and Patrick began to shift slightly under the other man’s piercingly perceptive gaze.
Patrick smiled once again and nodded, placing his hand over his heart in a gesture that meant their thanks was appreciated.
“We’re going to the store, and then Daddy and I are going to paint,” Hanna told him excitedly.
“We need to get going,” Ken said. “You shouldn’t be out in the cold for very long.” Ken might have been talking to Hanna, but he continued looking at him, almost studying him. “Thanks again for the food. I’ll return the dish later today,” Ken added with a slight smile, and Patrick felt his insides jump a little. Patrick waved as the two of them walked back to the car, and after getting inside, Patrick saw Hanna wave as they drove away.
The Good Fight
He’d been attracted to Ken since the first time he saw him. But he quickly found out that he had a boyfriend, so Patrick did what he usually did—pushed his interest aside and went on with life. Granted, he wasn’t sure if the boyfriend was really gone, and if the relationship had just ended, then his handsome neighbor probably wasn’t looking for someone else right away. Not that he’d be particularly interested in Patrick, but he could dream. He watched until the deep green car disappeared from sight before putting his shovel away in the garage and then opening the door to the attached workshop.
Patrick turned on the lights, looking over his woodworking shop and the chest of drawers that he’d been working on. He made his living making fine handcrafted furniture, and he had an order he had to get completed, so he put the way his neighbor moved beneath his clothes and the depth of Ken’s eyes out of his mind and got to work.

Interview With Patrick

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
I used to be outgoing. Now I spend most of my days working in my wood shop or taking care of my yard. Julianne, my cousin says I morose and a pain in the ass, but that’s because she loves me. Now I stay away from most people and try to live my life as quietly as possible.
What do you think is your strongest point?
I lost my strongest point. I used to be an opera singer. I performed all over the country and my career was just beginning to take off when I was in an accident. I regained consciousness and was told I was lucky to be alive, but I would never talk again.
Do you have a weakness? (If so, what do you think it is? What does your lover think it is? What does your enemy think it is?)
Yes. I suppose you could say I’m a stubborn mule. But a weakness, it has to be the little bald girl across the street. She’s been sick for a while and I want her to be happy. See unlike most other people in town, she talks to me like I’m a regular person.
What drives you to do the things you do? What makes you want to be the "good guy?"
I wish I knew. I’m just myself. The little girl across the street was so sad and I wanted to cheer her up so I brought her things to make her happy. I also liked the way her daddy smiles when she’s happy.
What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
Probably chocolate. Although if I were truthful, then… Ken is probably my guilty pleasure. Winks naughtily.
If you didn't know how old you were how old would you be?
Fifty two. I feel like I’ve lived a long time already.
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Foreign Range
Learning to Speak Without Words.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Tahiti. I’d take Ken and Hanna there and we’d lay on the beach. Ken could paint like Gauguin, Hanna could play in the warm water to her heart’s content and at night, Ken and I would make love to the sound of the ocean.
What song would best describe your life?
I really try not to think of music. But if I had to pick one I’d say The Humming Chorus form Madame Butterfly. It’s the only song I can still sing if I concentrate.
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Julianne would say people would use my head to pound nails.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
It’s not a store but I’d be a library. It’s introspective and quiet.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Music class. I lived for music and band. Given what I do now, I probably should have taken shop.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Silent but deadly. -- No, still waters run deep.

Please Fill in the Blanks as Patrick

I love pizza with lots of meat.
I'm always ready for a quiet evening with Ken and Hanna. I know I’m totally boring o=in the wild and crazy department.
When I'm alone, I build beautiful furniture.
You'd never be able to tell, but I always wished I could fly.
If I had a halo it would be silver.
If I could sing again just once I'd sing Hanna to sleep.
I never learned to sign because I’m too damned stubborn.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation. Andrew's hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Previous Books

I have written many books. Recent releases include The Good Fight, Unconditional Love, A Foreign Range, Redemption by Fire, and Strengthened by Fire.

Books Coming Soon

Andrew Grey
Burnished by Fire releases October 24. A Slice of Love releases November 9. An Isolated Range releases in December. Please see the Coming Soon page of my web site for additional information.

Contest

I will give a e-copy of Love Comes Silently to a randomly chosen commenter.

Find Me Here

October 18, 2012

All Female Planet? AR Norris Says Yes #scifichat


End of Eternity.

Welcome AR Norris to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, End of Eternity (The Telomere Trilogy, #3). Your heroine is from an all female planet. Tell us abou that!
Genre: Science Fiction Romance


Buy links:
Books on Board: http://is.gd/2M7AM4
Barnes and Noble http://is.gd/bPY1HL
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing


Cover artist: Jenifer Ranieri
Length: Novel-length
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline:
Can a woman raised on an all female planet learn to trust and open her heart to a man? Can a man living alone with only his duty step into the galaxy and acknowledge his feelings for an untrusting woman?

Blurb:

Luna thought her journey away from her people's world was over. Now, she's forced to join the lost daughter in her journey with Captain Noah Bonney's crew to learn why these women coexist with men. Something unbelievable to the all woman race. Adding to the confusing change in Dokkaebi directive and teachings, is the presence of the gold-eyed man that stirred something in her heart. A forbidden attraction that goes against all her teachings and her people's ways.
Damani Wassack isn't happy with the situation either. Telomere Watchers lead secluded and separate lives. Yet now, he and the other watchers must come to the surface, show all their secrets and work with outsiders. If that weren't enough, he can't get that sneer from the man-hating warrior woman out of his mind. Or her fierce dedication, strong spirit, and sense of duty and honor. The package is appealing, and completely impossible.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
The Dokkaebi, Luna, is in her early 20s and a fierce warrior trained from childhood to defend her planet, her people and the all-encompassing Essence.
Damani Wassack is in his mid-thirties and a Watcher, a secret society who silently watch the remaining Telomere's. The moment the Telomere loses their soul it is the duty of the watcher to kill the Telomere and see them off to the new plan of existence.

Excerpt:

Luna was sunk, she knew later as they lay in the cot. He'd passed out against her as soon as she finished with the healing. Exhausted herself, she'd called for lowlights and let herself drop against the wall, cradling him so his head lay on her lower stomach. The braided Mohawk was a mess. She hesitated long enough to feel nervous before reaching out and working the binding off.
"Oh, it's like silk," she murmured on a purr, running her fingers through the mane of dark auburn hair to unravel the braiding. It draped forward in thick locks, partially concealing his face.
The low lights from the vessel reflected off the silver tattoo etched, right up by the shoulder blade. In an absent way, she traced it with her finger and sighed.
She knew the mechanics of being with a man. It'd been taught in preparation for her Procreation Journey. What she hadn't expected was that need, as the Essence called it. So new and uncommon. Similar, yet different from the affection she had for her Dokkaebi, and more than what the elders describe of attraction. She slid her fingers from his tattoo to his face, brushed the hair off it to trace his brow and nose, ending at the red tattoos on his hairline.
Echoes of Regret
The wonder of man, the Essence echoed inside her. What wonders they bring to women. This is different from the first of those who landed. Very interesting.
Luna frowned and wondered if it was the Essence intrigued by this man, or her. Could she separate those feelings? Were they manipulating her?
I am intrigued by all and yet none in particular, Child. Unlike you.
Was this what Namid felt for the Scott McCree? Frustrated, she tried to figure out how to approach the situation. Obviously, she could do little to resist him much longer. But she would not give her life and soul to him. Not even for a child in her belly. Not even cast out in this world would she change. Yet if she loved him, she feared she might end up spilling all and more at his feet. At his mercy. At his will.
He stirred in his sleep, reached out and snuggled into her, resting his head in between her pelvic bones. His warm hand kneaded her thigh before settling again into deep sleep.
Everything changes, daughter.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my start with short and flash stories contributions in ezines and anthologies back in 2009. It wasn't until 2010 that my first novel was accepted by a small independent press of ebooks.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I outline against a plot arch. When I first started, I just blurted out the story in a big blob and it took twice as long to organize and revise the story into some semblance of logic. It also left me cutting out huge sections of content that by that time I'd become attached to, even though it made no sense for the story. By learning how to follow a sound plot arch and outline I can get the story in my head out on paper with little pain and more success.
What do you enjoy most about life?
Oh, lots of things. I had a brain tumor in 2011 and it put everything in perspective. Mostly I enjoy being able to wake up in the morning and have another day of the chaos that is life. My crazy teenagers and their constant woes and victories towards becoming adults. My even crazier little boys who are learning the ways of kid-dome. Then, of course, there's the two stupid canine babies and the sadistically evil cat. Through all of it is Hubby at my side, my constant partner.
Do you have a muse? Describe this person, please.
Yes, her name is Anthor and she's the scary demon that is my subconscious. On good days, she's flirting with me and connecting the research dots of documentaries and reports my ideas sparked from.
On bad days - which are more often than I'd like - she's glaring at me with her purple glowing eyes and fury-wielding whip. She's beating the crap out of me, pushing me along with no reason or end result in sight. If I get off track, she gives me this icy silent treatment that often brings me to tears and leaves me begging her to speak to me.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read SF mostly, but love murder mysteries, horror, and contemporary paranormal/speculative romance. I have a passion for older works, like stories from late 1800s all the way through 1950s. I just love watching the evolution of words and story structures.
Revelations of
Tomorrow
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
Will print go extinct? No, but I'm practical about the trend. Literature needs to follow the reader's preferred medium to stay alive. Most people use the electronic medium now more than print. Letters have evolved to email. Phone chatter has evolved to text/instant messaging. Newspaper distribution is evolving to internet. Magazines are evolving to ezines. In line with this trend, print runs are evolving to epublishing.
None of those original things - letters, phones, magazines and newspapers - are going away any time soon but they are becoming less important in today's society.
Imagine you get to go on a dream vacation, but you have only one hour to pack and leave, and it starts as soon as you finish this interview. What will you take with you and where will you go?
Definitely head to a beach along the Mexico coast. I'd hollar at hubby and the kids to pack and then grab my Kindle, swimsuits, shorts, t-shirts, and my hygiene stuff. The rest of the time would be spent ensuring the family has everything they need and making a list of things to buy on the way or when we get there.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, without a doubt. It's always been my favorite because it's the holiday where the only expectation is to gather your family and friends to eat and hang out. There's no stress of gift giving, dressing up to the nines, or fulfilling childhood dreams.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I have time to get bored? LOL, in the rare moments I have nothing to do and nowhere to go, I usually pick up a book and dive in.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with pepperoni.
I'm always ready for a Bruce Lee movie or a trip to the beach.
When I'm alone, I know the kids are up to something.
You'd never be able to tell, but love scenes embarrass me.
If I had a halo it would be very, very crooked and slightly smudged.
If I could do anything I'd take a long nap.
I can never go on an international trip because I'm too picky of an eater.

Previous Books

Revelations of Tomorrow (The Telomere Trilogy #1)
After a load capsule careens into Captain Noah Bonney's vessel during an interstellar voyage, she must face her inner demons and the sins of her people if she's to open her heart to the love of both her daughter and her lover.
Echoes of Regret (The Telomere Trilogy #2)
Lieutenant Fredrica Casales went undercover and behind Captain Noah Bonney's back to help the Imperial Excellencies stop a terrorist plot. Now her Imperial contact, Jace McCree, is coming along in the next leg of the mission, and working with him in person is a bit more challenging.

Books Coming Soon

Case of the Senshi Pearl (Interstellar Intelligence Agency, #1) - December 2012
AR Norris
After years of training, Quantum Agent Raina Tanuki is assigned her first case as primary agent, but of course, it couldn't be a simple murder, could it? Now the very planet is in peril unless she can find and return the Senshi Pearl to the Sirenian people.

Contest

*Rubs hands* Yay, my favorite part! One lucky commenter will win the first book of The Telomere Trilogy, Revelations of Tomorrow. PLUS, one lucky person liking my Facebook fan page (link below) will win the whole Trilogy set.

Find Me Here

Twitter: not if my life depended on it

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