January 31, 2013

Mainstream: Celtic Destinies @kissastarling #RLFblog

Clarissa: Celtic Destinies
Kissa Starling, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Clarissa: Book One in the Celtic Destinies Series.
Genre: Mainstream
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Cover artist: Shirley Burnett
Length: 31,676
Heat rating: Sensual
Tagline: Reuniting ghost lovers proves to be the easy task. How will she ever find her own true destiny?
Blurb:
Clarissa has traveled halfway around the world to Scotland hoping to escape her sordid past and begin anew. What she finds is two unruly children, a single father who travels, a elderly cook and a couple of ghosts who demand to be reunited. It's hard to figure out who plans to give her the most trouble- the children or the ghost of a kind long since passed. Will it all be worth it in the end and what must Clarissa do to obtain her own happiness?
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Clarissa Randolph is an ex-stripper turned nanny. She is in her late twenties.
William Kirkland is in his late thirties. He is a business man and lord of his castle. He has recently become Clarissa's boss since she is nanny to his two children, Gregory and Sally.

Interview


Tell us about your story's world. What is it like in this period or place?

Scotland is the setting and one I love oh so much. I am really into genealogy and a few years ago I went all the way back to the 1600's for both my family and my husband's. His family is from Scotland and part of mine from Ireland. We both love anything medieval. I can only imagine going there one day and seeing the castles, moors and hills where our ancestors loved, laughed and played.


Which character in your current book do you think readers will like the most? Why?

I believe it may be Daisy. She is the master's cook/housekeeper. She isn't a main character in this book, but she will appear in all of the series books. She's eccentric and different and she may possibly have a story of her own one day!

Why do you write?

It's the only way I've found to effectively get the voices out of my head. Ha, ha. I am partially kidding. The characters do talk to me once I begin their stories. I had one character invade my dreams for several nights until I understood she didn't want her sexual business out there for the whole world to see. She wasn't that type of girl! I rewrote a few scenes and the result worked perfectly. Now I'm more apt to listen when they talk.


When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?

I love to be outdoors. My dog loves it too so we do a lot of walking. Usually we let my husband come along too. I go to the movies a lot, drive-ins are my favorite. There's nothing like tailgating and then watching them slip the film onto those huge reels. (They let me come in and watch.) I love driving down roads when I don't know where they go. I find the best shortcuts that way. If my day includes reading, writing, spending time with the hubby and cuddling with my cat it's a good day.


What other jobs have you held besides writing?

I have to laugh at this question because answering what jobs I haven't held would be easier. Let's see how many I can remember- cashier at a children's clothing store, cashier at the mall, waitress, hostess, cook, dishwasher, worked at a truck stop, cashier at a convenient store, gas attendant, babysitter, telemarketer for carpet, magazines and donations, housekeeper at a motel, custodian, cafeteria worker, substitute teacher, afterschool teacher, tutor, maid, I pressed shirts and sewed on buttons at a drycleaner, I put together plastic car parts by the garbage bag full, assistant teacher, counselor, survey taker, house sitter, I transported people to doctor's appointments, I sold Mary Kay for a few years, and I remember several lemonade stands along the way!


What are you currently reading for fun? Anything for research?

I love research! Love it, love it. I often find myself researching above and beyond my topic when I should have already started writing. When I wrote PS - I Love You, I spent hours watching videos of Woodstock. Oh, the music back then.... Right now I am into zombies and I'm reading a lot of zombie books. I collect cookbooks and always have one on the bedside table to be read. My research library is what some might say is extensive.



What's the best gift you ever received?

This one is easy, a screen for my bedroom window. I enjoy leaving the windows open and sleeping with fresh air coming in, even in the winter. Alas my house has no screens on the windows. My husband went to Home Depot to buy me one and they told him they don't make them in that size. One day I came home from work to find one screen on my bedroom windows and a smiling husband with many cuts on his hands. He spent the entire day making me a custom screen to fit. It melted my heart.

If you could time travel what era would be your first stop?

I would go into the future to 3000. I know a lot about my ancestors and things they did in the past and while I'd love to meet them in person I'd like to meet some of my descendants even more. What happens to my great, great grand-daughter? Is she the first female president? What is she driving? Eating? Doing for fun? Does she wonder about me? And most importantly, does she need my help? I love being there for family.

I am continually working on learning to play the guitar. I have short arms so I use a child's size guitar to learn on. My father can play anything with strings and I am so jealous because I love music. He is teaching me. We've started over several times. I tend to quit when my fingers get sore. I'll get there. Banjos are so cool.

Experience the many sides of Kissa Starling

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with everything except anchovies (which I've never attempted to eat!) Onions and sausage are my favorite.
I'm always ready for a road trip.
When I'm alone, I wonder where everyone is.
You'd never be able to tell, but I was born up north. My deep southern accent masks it.
If I had a halo it would be sparkly with ribbons hanging down.
If I could speak Spanish fluently I'd go live in South America for a while.
I can never stop buying books because well, I'd die!

Previous Books

The Lifestyle Series:
Robert's Story
Chalan's Story
Rick's Story
Carl's Story
Aidan's Story
Swing Pointe
Goldi
All I Ever Wanted
Toy Box
The Untrained Housewife
Angel's Wish
Candy Kisses
Sweet Kisses & Lesbian Wishes
Profiling
Cracker Cowgirl
I have several short stories in print anthologies as well.

I also have a few books out by my alter ego K. Starling who only writes sweet romance.
Kismet
The Last Waltz
I Should Have Kissed You
Sweet Tea Maggie

Books Coming Soon

I have a short story, Pinky, coming in the Serving Him anthology from Cleis Press in March. http://amzn.com/1573449253/
Luciano's Story, book 6 in the Lifestyle Series, will be released this year at Red Rose Publishing- http://redrosepublishing.com/books/product_info.php?products_id=1296
Classical Rules has been contracted by Sapphire Publishing and is set to be released in the Uniforms Optional anthology sometime this spring. I don't have a link for that one yet.
I plan on submitting several more short stories this year and I'm working on a full length novel as well. (my first!!!)
Contest
I'd love to give away a pdf copy of Clarissa to one lucky reader.
Find Me Here

January 30, 2013

Fitness Model: John Quinlan @JohnJQuinlan #RLFblog

John Quinlan, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to have you here today. Thank you for taking time to talk to us. Let's jump right in with questions.
Please give us your professional bio.
I have been involved in athletics, professional wrestling, fitness and modeling over the years since the age of 19. I have been an image model for dozens of apparel brands over the years along with appearing in television documentaries, commercials, art gallery print work and having my likeness used on children’s literature book covers. I have been a spokesmodel for apparel brands as far away as Japan and Asia just to name a few. I am also a Physique model competitor and a current Romance Novel Cover model as well. I have been a supplement company image model who is currently signed as a sponsored athlete with Athletic Xtreme Supplement Co.
Now, tell us about you as a person.
To be honest I am happy-go lucky type guy that is ego and attitude free. Once you are my friend I will always do my best to be one of the good guys. People tell me I have a unique look that sets me apart from other models in the business. I love being unique and different as many have often told me, “hey, I remember you….you’re the model guy with the tattoos.” I have been referred to as the most tattooed male romance cover model in the world by people in passing which I think is very cool and I am truly humbled by all the kindness I have received from all the amazing people like you Kayelle.
You have many tattoos. Which one is the most significant to you and why?
Yeah, I have a bunch which includes 2 half sleeves, both wrists, stomach, back and fingers etc. I am told I wear them well so it’s all good as I try to keep myself in good physical condition so my ink compliments my body. The most significant is a tough one to answer as they all have deep meaning but one I will mention is on my left wrist which is the oriental Kanji “Family” symbol inside my left wrist that represents my children.
What part did your upbringing have in who you are today?
I was brought up to treat people the way they want to be treated and I think if you ask anybody that really knows me they would say I am the poster boy for this.
What do you wish was different about your past and why?
I believe everything happens for a reason. All the events that have taken place in my past have brought me to this point I am at right now so really wouldn’t change much. If I had to be honest the only topic I would like to see removed from my past would have to be all injuries I sustained throughout my years in the fitness world. There are too many to name but they were always preventing me from being 100%.
As a child, who was your best friend? Tell us about him/her.
My best friend was my dog London. He was a Golden Retriever and he lived to be 16 years old because he was loved so much. I had lots of great friends that I went to school with as a child but this dog was the best man! Still miss him as he represents my childhood.
Who is your childhood hero?
As a boy I was a huge baseball fan and being from Boston growing up in the 80’s Wade Boggs was my childhood hero. I remember the very first time I saw him at Fenway Park and he was God like. I collected all of his cards so when I saw him in person it was very memorable.
What's your favorite movie of all time?
Great question Kayelle, I would have to say ‘Wedding Crashers’ as it is one of those movies I can watch over and over again and it is still funny everytime.
Imagine you could spend as much money on your hobby as you liked and not worry about the cost or place to keep things. Describe your hobby and what the area would be like where you indulge in it.
I would collect everything from classic cars, trucks and motorcycles with a mega storage place to show them off where I and all my friends could enjoy them. Guys with tattoos are supposed to like this stuff! Ha ha ha!
Describe a place of perfect refuge.
Have you ever seen the Corona beer commercial of the guy sitting there in the chair and you see him from the back? He reaches over and takes a sip from the Corona bottle and skips a stone in the beautiful green/blue water while he just sits in the warm sun on the beach without a care in the world. That is my perfect refuge.
If you could time travel, what era would be your first stop?
The 1950’s! I loved all the old school sports from that time and I was also a big fan of the movie, ‘Back to The Future’ as a kid. It was a simple time and I would love to see just how sweet it was.
Is there something you've always wanted to do but haven't done yet?
Jump out of a plane would be really something. Hopefully the parachute would be nice to me and open up on time and not get jammed up!
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Dog baby! I have nothing against cats or people who have them as I am a true animal lover. Love em’ all BUT I did grow up with many canines in my house so I am a bit biased here.
Do you prefer light or dark chocolate or no chocolate at all?
Everybody has to love chocolate as I can eat pounds of the stuff in one sitting! I love all chocolate as I don’t discriminate but if I was to be picky and choose I would have to say light or milk as the dark taste is a bit stronger. But really just give me a wheelbarrow of it all mixed up and I will enjoy shoveling it down no problem!
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
I often get asked this question as a model, “Will you ever go all the way?” I am surprised you didn’t ask this but my answer to this is if the money is right and all the “stars in the sky align perfectly” baring all is never out of the question.

Fun Questions -- Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with extra cheese.
I'm always ready for a challenge.
When I'm alone, I wish I wasn’t alone.
You'd never be able to tell, but I have scars.
If I had a halo it would be because I was good to others and earned it.
If I could live everyday like it’s my last I'd die a happy man with no regrets.
I can never have an attitude towards great people in the Romance Model world like Kayelle Allen because it’s the people like her that make models like me, without people like her guys like me are nothing.

Upcoming Appearances

I have a few but the only one I can confirm right now is the 2013 RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City. I will be there all day Saturday May 4th.

Find Me Here

Web Gallery and Updates by Patric: http://johnquinlan.org/

January 29, 2013

Contemporary: Real Men Don't... @ColeenKwan #rlfblog


Real Men Don’t Break Hearts

Coleen Kwan, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Real Men Don’t Break Hearts.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Cover artist: Jessica Cantor
Length: 277 pages
Heat rating: sweet
Tagline: Enemy. Playboy. Landlord. The perfect fling?
Blurb:
Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy--the man she blames for getting her jilted at the altar six years ago. Plus, now her ex-fiancé is back in their hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride...for real this time. Everybody’s treating Ally with kid gloves, as though she’s still heartbroken, but she’s just fine, thank you very much.
Nate Hardy is tired of his high-flying city career and bachelor lifestyle and is looking for something more real. The last thing he needs is to find himself undeniably attracted to Ally, the woman with whom he never saw eye-to-eye. But is he even capable of what Ally wants and deserves?
As Ally tries to pull her life out of the rut it’s fallen in, she doesn't count on Nate stirring up her emotions. A short-term fling with the resident bad boy is practically irresistible, but only if she can guard her heart...
Buy links:
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/SWsoPn
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Ally Griffin, 25, gift store owner.
Nate Hardy, 29, former finance whizz, now landscaper.

Excerpt:

Cradling his beer, he headed for a corner of the bar counter. The music blaring from the sound system was a song he disliked, and the conversation around him was too raucous. A few people were dancing in the center of the room. He took a mouthful of beer, already regretting stopping here. He’d finish his drink and then head back home. At least there he wouldn’t have to put up with other people’s bad musical taste.
The music swapped over to a slow song, and the dancing changed. Great. Just what he needed, a crooning number and amorous couples feeling each other up. He downed another gulp of beer and almost choked as he spotted Ally dancing with some strange guy.
They were on the edge of the crowd, and to Nate everything about them shouted “first date.” He could tell just by the way they were holding each other: Ally stiff, her fingers tentative on the man’s shoulders, while the guy had his arm loose around her waist, a good few inches of space separating their bodies. Through the haze he didn’t have a good view of Ally’s expression, but the guy seemed eager. Nate narrowed his gaze on Ally. He could see why.
Ally looked incredible. She’d done something to her hair so it was all shiny and loose as it tumbled around her shoulders. Her soft, pale blue dress clung to her curves and floated over her thighs at least two inches above her knees, and the stilettos on her feet did amazing things to her legs. Damn, she had great legs. Lithe, toned, touchable. Why had he never noticed them before? In fact, why had he never noticed how outright sexy she was? The question rocked through his brain, altering all his thought patterns.
Ally spun around in her partner’s arms, and now her rear was toward Nate. Her swaying butt had him mesmerized. His fingers itched to touch the silky material, to glide over her soft skin and caress the little hollow at the back of her knees.
Who would have thought Ally Griffin would get his motor racing this hot? He’d never thought of her like this, never visually undressed her so blatantly. At first he’d just known her as Seth’s girlfriend who didn’t approve of him, and then he’d thought of her as Seth’s ex-fiancée who hated his guts. He’d never thought of her as a woman who might attract him. She wasn’t his type. Too rigid, too determined to keep Seth away from his bad influence. The kind of woman who would smother a man. Anathema to Nate.
But now? Now he couldn’t just dismiss her as a stuffy prude, not when his body was telling him the opposite. The spark had been struck in his mind, and it couldn’t be unstruck, no matter how he tried. The more he gazed at Ally, the more intrigued he became. He used to think he had her all sussed out, but he was wrong. He recalled the bars of soap she’d flung at him and, six years ago, the two stinging slaps she’d delivered across his face. Ally might seem like a pussycat, but back her into a corner and she could be quite the spitfire. She had spirit, he had to admit, and tonight she looked like dynamite.
He shifted his attention to Ally’s date. Roughly the same age as him, medium build, short brown hair, clean-cut looks, neat khaki trousers, nice shirt but nothing fancy. A dime a dozen. Mr. Average. Why was she out with him? What could she possibly see in a guy like that? Nate frowned into his beer. Crap, he couldn’t mistake the first stirrings of envy. Over Ally. Not good.

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
The most important thing I do is write on a regular basis. When I first started writing I’d wait for inspiration, and I’d give up as soon as I hit a rough patch. Now, I know how important it is to stick to my daily word count and to hang in there on the difficult days when the words won’t come, because persistence pays off.
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
Asher's Dilemma
I would make my heroine more proactive. I would also pay much more attention to editing my work and try to eliminate passive writing and over description.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love creating my characters and getting lost in their stories. I like it that my characters can say and do things I wouldn’t be able to!
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
That’s a tough question. I would most likely choose Jessica Page Morrell. She’s a writing teacher and coach, and I always find her inspiring.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would tell myself to make time for writing, even if it’s just a few hours on the weekend. I would tell myself to finish that book, then write another and another, and try to improve with each one.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
I’m a great believer in To Do lists. If I have all my chores written down, they seem more manageable, and there’s something very satisfying about ticking each task off as it’s done. I’m also a great believer in chocolate! Whether it’s a rejection, a looming deadline, or a story that won’t work, chocolate always eases the stress.
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?
I can’t go anywhere without my contact lenses, so that would be the first thing I pack. I’d take some T-shirts, shorts, and jeans, and I’d go on a luxury tour around China, taking in the Great Wall, Shangri-La, and Xian. Of course, I’d have to take my family along, too.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
I was near Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, and I watched the fireworks explode over Sydney Harbour.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I have to confess I watch a lot of TV! I enjoy shows like The Office, Doctor Who, The Mentalist, and Criminal Minds. My teenage daughter has also put me onto shows like Parks and Recreation, and Community.
Please underline 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."

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with BBQ chicken.
I'm always ready for a nap.
When I'm alone, I daydream.
You'd never be able to tell, but I daydream a lot!
If I had a halo it would be so cool.
If I could fly I'd trim the annoying climber growing on my house.
Short Soup
I can never wear lipstick because it always feels sticky and yucky.

Previous Books

Short Soup
Asher’s Dilemma
Asher’s Invention
When Harriet Came Home
Moonlit Encounters (anthology)
           

Books Coming Soon

Book 2 in the Real Men series.

Find Me Here

January 27, 2013

Character Interview: Meredith @emkayconnor #RLFblog

Willing to Learn
EmKay Connor, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Meredith McKenna from the book, Willing to Learn.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Cover artist: Kim Killion
Length: 50,000+ words
Heat rating: Spicy
Tagline: The fiancee of a prince visits the tropic paradise that is Trésorier du Coeur to learn how to make love, and instead she finds it.
Blurb:
Meredith McKenna is neither graceful nor a beauty, but that’s never stood in her way. She knows who she is and, more importantly, what she deserves. Not one to wish on a star or hang her hopes on a fairy tale like true love, her practical nature won her the hand of a prince. That’s how she ended up here: Trésorier du Coeur. An island paradise.
But becoming a princess is no simple matter. Regardless of the mysticisms mouthed by the island’s proprietress, the jungle waterfalls, and long, pristine beaches, the resort is first and foremost a school for seduction, an ancient tradition of her fiancé’s family, and she must select a man to be her “tutor.” Anders Collier is the most insubordinate and infuriating of the lot. But behind those cool gray eyes lurks a white-hot secret, and behind closed doors lies everything their hearts and bodies have yet to learn.
Willing to Learn is being published by Boroughs Publishing Group in February 2013. Prior to this book, EmKay Connor's manuscripts finaled in numerous contests, including Spring Into Romance, The Unpublished Beacon, and RWA's prestigious Golden Heart. Her freelance writing has been published in print and online media, as well as being featured in several issues of the Romance Writers Report.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Meredith McKenna, 27 years old, holds the title of Vice President, Foreign Philanthropy in her father’s billion-dollar corporation, McKenna Enterprises.
Anders Collier, 35, is an (ahem) undercover special agent with the FBI.

Interview with Meredith McKenna

Tell us about yourself.
I’m not typically one to grant interviews unless it’s related to the philanthropy work I do for my father’s corporation, McKenna Enterprises. I prefer to guard my privacy. After all, people tend to judgmental, especially when it comes to the wealthy or celebrities. Not that I consider myself a celebrity.
But, since you asked, I’ll give you the condensed version of my bio. I am the only child of a billionaire entrepreneur and an ambitious gold digger. My mother died when I was very young so essentially I was raised by my father. Let me correct that: I was raised by staff members who worked at my father’s Beverly Hills mansion. Our relationship improved after I completed my education and took at job in the family business. Now I see him regularly at our weekly business lunches.
My upbringing was typical for anyone born into money. Lots of lessons--riding, dance, foreign language, private schools, summer vacations in Europe, shopping sprees, parties. However, for as long as I can remember, I never fit in with the other richies. I have little tolerance for the back stabbing and air kisses and game playing that seem to come with the territory. Most of these socialites have their heads in the clouds; instead of building a career or doing something constructive with their lives, they seem content to wait for Prince Charming to show up.
My straight forward, practical attitude seems to have paid off though. I’m engaged to Darik Bhantarin, Crown Prince of Tano’air. That’s what brought me to Trésorier du Coeur. Before I can become Darik’s princess, I have to go through this Princess 101 so-called orientation. Darik failed to mention the training program includes the “bedroom arts.” Can you believe that kind of nonsense exists in today’s modern age? I’m expected to choose a mentor, one of Madame Duval’s gigolos, to instruct me on how to give a royal blow job.
Tell us about Anders Collier.
Argh! Just hearing that man’s name is enough to make me scream. He’s the rudest, most infuriating, disrespectful, boorish, insensitive, condescending person I’ve ever met. At the opening reception where I was introduced to the staff--a.k.a. Madame Duval’s lineup of professional lovers--he actually snubbed me. There were more than a dozen men competing for my attention. Any one of them would be thrilled to be chosen as my mentor. Not Anders Collier. As if he can afford to be choosy. Sure, he’s attractive if you have a thing for the clean-cut type: short blond hair, cool gray eyes, tall and lean. Other than that, he wasn’t very impressive. I have to say, he was the only guy at the formal reception who actually appeared comfortable in his tux. It could have been a pair of jeans and a polo shirt as relaxed as he looked.
What do you think is your strongest point?
My realistic outlook on life. I don’t delude myself with fairy tales like riding off into the sunset with a hero or myths like love at first sight. I don’t believe in playing games or lying or misrepresenting one’s self when it comes to relationships. That’s why Darik and I are such a good match. Our mix of qualities and skills is perfect for a mutually beneficial marriage.
What would Anders Collier say is your strongest point?
Gives an unladylike snort.) Anders Collier doesn’t know me well enough to speak to my personal traits. And even if he was acquainted with me, I doubt he’d have anything nice to say. He would probably point out the fact that my breasts are too small and my hips are too wide.
What do you wish was different about your life?
I don’t “wish “anything was different about my life. I don’t believe in wishing for things. You have to face facts and deal with what’s in front of you. With enough determination and hard work, you can achieve anything. Wishing for things to happen is nothing more than a convenient excuse for people too lazy to take accountability for their own success and happiness.
I have everything I want in life. I love my job and I’m engaged to a prince. Did you happen to notice my engagement ring? It’s a nine-carat, two-million-dollar diamond solitaire. Once Darik slides the platinum wedding band on my finger, I’ll have not only a man who shares my honesty and practicality toward marriage but a huge contract for McKenna Enterprises, as well. My father can’t stop telling me how impressed he is with his amazing daughter’s business acumen.
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
Again, I don’t believe in wishing for things to happen so I’ll tell you the most important question to be asked: What am I going to do about this ridiculous princess sex-ed training? I have no intention of sleeping with a stranger, not even to become a princess. The key is to find a mentor who wants to avoid an entanglement with me as much as I want to avoid one with him. If I can convince Anders I won’t rat him out and jeopardize his future as a gigolo, I’m pretty sure I can skate through this royal orientation without Madame Duval or Darik any the wiser. What do you think? Is there any possible way I can carry it off?
EmKay Connor

About the Author

EmKay Connor is a member of Romance Writers of America and several specialty chapters, including RWA-San Diego, Georgia Romance Writers, Yellow Rose Romance Writers, Outreach International RWA, and RWA Kiss of Death. A firm believer in paying it forward (and backward and sideways), she has served as president, vice president, secretary, newsletter editor, workshop presenter and committee chair at both the local and national level. She also contributes her time and experience by volunteering to judge numerous writing contests each year.

Find Me Here


January 26, 2013

Urban Fantasy: Natural Born Enemies @GemmaKMurray #RLFblog

Natural Born Enemies
Gemma K Murray, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Natural Born Enemies.
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Leap of Faith Publishing
Cover artist: Regina Paul
Length: 55,679 words
Heat rating: 4 flames
Blurb:
Cedar River, Michigan is a wonderful place to fall in love. Some people see change as a good thing, but there are a few others who can’t let go of the “old ways.” “Breeds should stay within their breeds,” they say.
Adam Thomas is the deputy sheriff in Cedar River. His black puma shifter side got him released from the military and sent back home. His demons followed, but they are nothing compared to the ones within his pride.
Luna McIntyre is the only daughter and shaman to the McIntyre pack. She is tired of being smothered and told what to do in regards to her life. She’s opened a sweet shop and moved forward with her life. However, the love of her teen years is back in town and her family is trying to rein her in again.
Someone in this small town is so set in their beliefs that they can’t see how love is sometimes simply love. Cats and canines may be natural born enemies, but love may be enough to get past the differences.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Adam Thomas is in his late twenties/early thirties. He is one of the deputies to the sheriff, Bowie Golden, in the Upper Peninsula town of Cedar River. Adam is a black puma shifter.
Luna McIntyre is the only daughter of the Alpha of the McIntyre pack in Cedar River. She is also in her late twenties/early thirties and owns Full Moon Sweets, a candy shop full of tempations.

Interview

Tell us about your story's world. What is it like in this period or place? Natural Born Enemies is the second book in the Cedar River Series. Cedar River is a small town of shifters in every shape and size. From the largest nest of dragons to phoenix, wolves, pumas, and otters, if you are looking for a shifter, you will probably be able to find it in this series. The town is set along the shores of Lake Superior, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Cedar trees scent the air along with the crisp smell of the lake. Residents are of different species, but they manage to pull together and help out as a community should.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I finished writing Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart, I thought I was done. However, Adam stepped forward and wanted his story told. The more I heard his story (in my mind) the more I knew I had to tell it. He carries inside of him so much sorrow and pain and because of that, he is so familiar to me.
Why do you write?
Honestly, I write because if I didn’t, I would lose my mind. I have always had voices in my mind and I thought I was crazy. Then, I began to sort them into groups or couples and I wrote. Once I began to write, the voices in my head would slow down and my head was able to clear. If I didn’t write, I don’t know what else I would do.
When you write, what things do you want close at hand? (Coffee, water, chocolate... pictures of gorgeous hunks for inspiration...?)
In the morning, I have French vanilla cappuccino, the afternoon, water. In my house, there is always a dog or two underfoot. My earbuds are always close by as well. With the view I have out my front window (where I write), that is all the inspiration I could possibly need.
When you're not writing, what would we find you doing?
At the age of 40, I decided returning to school seemed like a brilliant idea. Therefore, if I’m not writing, I’m studying. When I have time, I am a bookaholic. I love to read. I was a reader long before I was a writer and I can while away an entire day between the pages of a book.
What aspect of your life do you write into your books?
My real-life emotions really come out in my writing. I’ve been married for almost 20 years so love is a must have in my books. I don’t believe in the fairy tale, happily ever after love. I want my characters to have “real” love. You know, the love where not everything is perfect. Their relationships are organic and need to be tended. I love to laugh so humor is a big part of my writing. My husband says my female characters resemble me in many ways (stubborn, tough, strong).
What other jobs have you held besides writing?
I spent many years as a babysitter/daycare worker. I waited tables, did dishes, and cooked at a truck stop when I was in high school. I also worked in a vet clinic, which was so much hard work, yet very much worth it. My favorite job (besides writing) has been being a stay at home wife/canine mom for the last 20 years.
Which of your books was the hardest to write and why?
Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart was the hardest because I didn’t want to be a paranormal author. There are so many amazing paranormal/urban fantasy authors out there and I never imagined my imagination could compete with them. Once I shut off my inner critic and let the story flow, I found myself in awe of what I was writing. My imagination is really an awesome place to hang out.

Personal Info

What's the best gift you ever received?
My first canine kid, Kodiak. We had just found out we couldn’t have children when my husband brought her home. She healed two broken hearts.
What kind of music do you listen to while driving? Same question when writing?
When I’m driving, I usually have country music on. I love the harder hitting music like Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.
When I’m writing, it depends on the characters. For Natural Born Enemies, I listened to A LOT of Celtic Thunder. For Book 3 (which I’m working on now), I have a lot of Clapton, Heart, Bob Seeger, Santana, and Pink on my playlist.
What's your favorite movie?
Right now, I can’t get enough of Catch and Release. It’s such a funny, yet wonderfully romantic movie.

Please complete the sentence

I love pizza with pepperoni and green olives.
I'm always ready for Duck Dynasty (reality television show).
When I'm alone, I take time to be girly.
You'd never be able to tell, but I am a princess at heart.
If I had a halo it would be held up by a couple of horns and it would be more than a bit tarnished.
If I could live anywhere in the world, I'd stay here in the U.P.
I can never give up because my dad taught me to fight for the things that matter.

Previous Books

Keeper of the Golden Dragon’s Heart- Cedar River Series: Book 1

Contest

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January 24, 2013

Dark Fantasy: City of the Mirage @BookstoGoNow #RLFblog

Jerome Brook, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, The City of the Mirage.
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Dark Fantasy
The Divine Astarte is one of the last of her race. Her kind seeded many worlds with life. One of these realms was the planet of the Warrior.
Astarte is feared, not loved by her people - she is the Destroyer of Worlds. She is served by a legion of shield maidens. These cruel warriors inspire terror in all the lands of the empire of Astarte. The people of her empire are also terrorized by the Beast Men. They are the offspring of members of an alien race and the daughters of men. Astarte still rules in the City of the Mirage.
Buy links:

About the Author

Jerome Brooke lives in the Kingdom of Siam. He is the consort of Jira, a princess of the lost Kingdom of Nan and is a retired attorney. He has served as City Attorney for Ellettsville, Indiana. He has written The City of the Mirage (Books to Go Now) and many other books.

Find Me Here


January 22, 2013

Prelude to the Night @loveunleashed #RLFblog #LGBT

Prelude to the Night
Angela Plowman, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Prelude to the Night
Genre: Gay Romance, Victorian Vampires
Publisher: LooseID
Length: 34,000
Heat rating: Medium/Hot
Tagline: Victorian gentleman Christian Fitzgerald’s main passion is music - until he meets a mysterious older man. Once Christian is introduced to possibilities he never knew existed, he must decide if he is ready to enter into a dangerous duet.
Blurb:
Victorian England is a place of double standards and hidden mysteries. A chance meeting at the opera propels dutiful, innocent Christian into the seductive arms of an older man.
Valentine has come to England searching for a reason to live. He walks in the darkness listening for that siren's song which will recall him to life. He may have found it in beautiful young Christian but can he persuade Christian to give up the conventions of society and walk a more dangerous path?
Between the two there are perils in the London fog which could separate them forever.
The conflict of his comfortable life on one side and the dangers of loving Valentine on the other threaten to tear Christian apart. Whichever path he chooses, listening to the music of the night is likely to cost Christian his soul.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Christian “Kit” Fitzgerald - Gentleman 21
Count Valentine Basarab - traveling vampire - age unknown.

Interview

If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
I wish I could get it finished! Seriously, the first book I started writing is still incomplete after 4 years! My Muse Years resolution is to complete it.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the creative process; in particular creating characters. I admit I usually start with an actor’s pretty face and the character grows around that. With “Wolf in the Fold”, it was Paul Telfer who did a couple of guest spots in NCIS. Not the buffed up body but that pretty twink face. So Gabriel was born. As I worked more on the character, and he evolved as I wrote I fell totally in love with him. I am prouder of Gabriel than of any of my other characters. To think that I managed to create him - little devil that he is - in all his perfection; loyal, passionate, intelligent, devoted and an absolute little teasing rogue.
Then I got to do all sorts of naughty things with him. I actually made myself blush a couple of times and the mere mention of candles makes me come over all hot and bothered. I am not going to tell you what happened with the candle as that would be a spoiler. You’ve have to read “Wolf in the Fold” to find out. I can be a tease too…. I cannot believe I wrote that scene!
The character I most want to sweep me off my feet is Richard Rochefort, the Highwayman himself. He is totally Jeffrey Dean Morgan - that twinkling smile could only be his. And his boy is based on a young and skinny Ben Whishaw.
This time around, I have a dark and mysterious character in the form of Valentine. He is ancient, wise and yet vulnerable in his search for something to live for - some one to inspire passion in him again - some one to love.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor, who would it be?
Saki - his ability to create these sparkling, so alive characters and to paint a scene with just a few descriptive words. And his versatility - he can give you the creeps and having you laughing a moment later. The fact that he is firmly entrenched in my favorite period - gay Victorian England. Actually I would like one of his characters - the devilishly charming Reginald to be me mentor. He moves through any society with such grace and knowledge and cares not a jot what people think of him.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
Ha ha! Don’t make me laugh. I don’t have one. It is a total miracle anything ever gets written at all. Firstly, I can never come up with ideas. “Wolf in the Fold” came from an idea from a short story by Saki. “The Highwayman” is a retelling of Alfred Noyses poem of the same name - only with a lead character getting a sex change. “Prelude to the Night” was from an idea I had in a dream.
I make Douglas Adams look like a dedicated speed writer. Do you remember his quote about how he loved deadlines - the noise they make when they rush by? Well, thank all the gods of writing I don’t have deadlines or they would never be met. About once a year, I get a sudden rush of urgency and write solidly for two weeks. I’m driven, it flows, and I love it.
The rest of the year I think it would be great to do some writing, and so I tidy up my desk, and then start tidying the rest of the room. My house is really tidy - It’s why I can only ever write novellas. I have several Olympic medals in procrastination.
How do you cope with stress as an author?
Valium. No seriously - I cope very badly with stress of any kind. I fret and procrastinate so much I let it build up until it overwhelms me. That ought to be the competition. Leave a comment with or with out a stress busting tip for authors and I will pick one at random to win the title of their choice from my extensive catalogue of three books. Can we do that?
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Blimey! I hope not. I don’t have any friends like that.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
“Wolf in the Fold” from LooseID. It was my first published book and it has many faults I wish I could go back and clear up but it also has Gabriel in it and I love him so. I’m not sure many people got that it was meant to be a comedy too - or at least deeply tongue in cheek.
What do you wish I had asked you? Please ask and answer it now.
What other titles have you come up with for your books?
“Wolf in the Fold” will always be “Buggering heights” for me. Emily Bronte with gays.
“Prelude to the Night” had the most alternative titles. “There’s a Vamp in my Pants”, “Buggerers Opera”, and “Capre Antinouse” (Seize the gay).
I have hell coming up with titles. Comic ones - no problem.
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
When “Wolf in the Fold” came out with LooseID I was off on holiday with my dad. We decided to have one big posh holiday before his passport expired and it gets too expensive to get insurance for him. We went on a Nile cruise and it was amazing. A very small party of people on the tour - and I came up to breakfast to find my dad talking about me being a published author.
Okay - I also nearly died of embarrassment. Dad knew it was a romance but not what sort of romance…
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?
Love this question just because it makes me think. - That would be so liberating. No anxiety, just an hour to pack. Actually, can I have just ten minutes? I know where everything is.
Knickers - because I am a practical girl.
Nighty - am modest too.
Bedsocks - my feet get cold.
Pashmina - always take a pashmina. It’s like a HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy thing but more chic than a towel.
Toothbrush.
Spare contact lenses - because I hate wearing my glasses.
Glasses - because sometimes you have to do what you hate.
Moisturizer - because I am a lady of a certain age.
Shampoo - hotel ones always make my head itch.
Netty my trusty netbook which has all my extensive e book collection on it and my works in progress.
Credit card - because with only an hour to pack I will now have the excuse to buy lots of stuff while away.
Camera.
Destination? One of those places with the silver sand, blue sea and palm trees. I’m not sure where it is but I can just see Sean Connery stepping out of the waves in his blue swim trunks. Nowhere too crowded, and with stuff to explore - preferably historical.

Please complete the sentences

I love pizza with my partner.
I'm always ready for trouble.
When I'm alone, I feel sad.
You'd never be able to tell, but if you cut me open I would have “GEEK” written right though me.
If I had a halo, it would be slipping.
If I could, I would.

Find Me Here

January 20, 2013

Interview: Dangerous Velvet @xaviersaxel #RLFblog


Xavier Axelson, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book!
Title: Velvet
Publisher: Seventh Window
Genre: Historical, Gay Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
Cover artist: Ken Harrison
Length: 253 Pages
Heat rating: Scorching
Tagline: Nothing is more dangerous than Velvet.
Blurb:
The first novel from Xavier Axelson is set against a backdrop of decadence, privilege, and intrigue. Virago, the royal tailor, makes a discovery that will test the bonds of brotherhood, unravel the forbidden secrets of his heart, and threaten the very fabric of his existence.
In a land where cruelty is disguised as allegiance, loyalty is masked by obligation, and the laws of sumptuary govern the people, nothing is more dangerous than Velvet.
Buy links:

What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Virago/Tailor/22
Seton/Musician/22
Duir/King/21
Sylvain/Animal Trainer/20

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I now give my mind the permission to relax between books; this gives my imagination and spirit time to recharge and rest.
What websites do you visit daily?
Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
The title.
What do you enjoy most about life?
The ability to write and share my work is a gift. I truly find writing to be a great joy.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Write more.
What does "balance" mean to you as a writer?
It means finding time everyday to write but also reaching a place where you can shut your writer off and enjoy nature, family, friends and good food.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I love 1940's-!960's British literature.
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?
I'd take a pad, a fine tip pen and worry about the rest when I got there. I'd go directly to Stockholm, Sweden.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I really love St. Patty's Day. I love celebrating the Irish part of me, or maybe its because I love Guinness and corned beef.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Cary Grant
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Red
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."

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with everything on it.
I'm always ready for what's next.
When I'm alone, I listen to audiobooks.

Previous Books

Xavier Axelson
Lily
Cravings (Part of the First Time Dead 3 Anthology)
Menage (Print Collection)
Earthly Concerns
Dutch's Boy
The Incident
The Birches
A Valentine for Evrain (Part of the Never Say Never Anthology)
Christmas Eve at The Powers That Be Cafe
Books Coming Soon
Sons of Orion (Part of the Tricks of the Trade Anthology)

Find Me Here


January 19, 2013

Character Interview: Black Cat @katehillromance #RLFblog

Black Cat
Kate Hill, welcome back to Romance Lives Forever. We're excited to interview your character, Edmond Chancellor from the book, Black Cat.
Genre: Gay Romance Erotic Paranormal
Publisher: Changeling Press
Cover artist: Zuri
Length: Novella
Heat rating: Erotic
Tagline: Time is precious, even to men who are practically immortal.
Blurb:
Vampire Edmond Chancellor and cat shifter Tobias Crawford have had a not-so-secret affair for over three hundred years. Edmond wants to bond with Tobias permanently, but Tobias has reasons for keeping his distance.
On a chilly December night, both men turn to past memories for guidance, but it’s a present danger that makes them realize that time is precious, even to men who are practically immortal.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Edmond Chancellor, vampire, is over a thousand years old and is an antiques dealer.
Tobias Crawford, cat shifter, is over two thousand years old and earns his living through investments. He is also a hotel owner.

Interview with Edmond Chancellor

Tell us about yourself. What are you like?
Edmond: I’m what’s called a rogue vampire, one who has broken ties with my family. I dislike being told what to do and I dislike judging others based on their species or being judged on mine.
What do you think is your strongest point?
Edmond: My ability to break away from my vampire family. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Contrary to popular belief, vampires aren’t solitary and I’ve been quite lonely living as a rogue.
What would your author say is your biggest weakness?
Edmond: Tobias has been my biggest weakness since the moment we met. My author knows this.
What drives you to do the things you do? What makes you want to be the "good guy?"
Edmond: During the first few decades of my life, I was very much like my vampire family, infected by their violence and prejudices. In 1066, an event in my life changed everything. Since then, I’ve proved that vampires don’t need to kill.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
Edmond: For me money isn’t an object and I’ve chosen to live in what I believe is the best town in the world, Whisper. I founded it, so I might be a bit biased, of course.
If you were a tool, what would people use you to do?
Edmond: I hope they would use me to protect those who need it.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
Edmond: I’m an antiques dealer, so I actually have several stores. My favorite is here in Whisper and it specializes in antique weapons, in particular swords.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Edmond: I didn’t attend school like many children nowadays. I greatly enjoyed the study of swordsmanship.
Tell us a secret about your significant other.
Edmond: Tobias is the most beautiful, enticing, stubborn man I’ve ever met. He’s a cat shifter and doesn’t easily reveal his emotions to others, even to me. I know he might never pledge his heart solely to me, but I’m willing to wait and see.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Edmond: Contents under pressure.

Please complete the sentences as Edmond Chancellor

I love pizza with -- I can’t eat pizza. I’m on a liquid diet.
I'm always ready for defense against those who threaten Whisper.
When I'm alone, I wonder how long it will take before Tobias accepts my proposal.
You'd never be able to tell, but I want to be loved.
If I had a halo it would be frightening to think someone with my past could have a halo.
If I could choose one person to share my life I'd pick Tobias.
I can never return to my vampire family because they would demand I kill or be killed.

About the Author

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas, and novels.
When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets. She enjoys hearing from readers.

Find Me Here


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