August 20, 2012

HALF: Interview with Elise VanCise

Elise, welcome to Romance Lives Forever! Let's jump in and learn details about your book, Half.
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Buy links (you may list several):
Cover artist: Elise VanCise
Length (words): 39,570
Heat rating (as for movies, R, PG13, etc.): R
Tagline: Which HALF will win?
Blurb: Guarding CEO Alex Blazen during a charity gala was an easy job for Valeska Gorstef...until all hell breaks loose...literally. Forced to face her own darkness, Valeska may lose her only chance to live a human life. Two sides of her soul will be at war. Which HALF will win?
What are your main characters' names?
Valeska Gorstef, Alex Blazen
Valeska owns Black Knight Securities and works as personal security for clients. Alex is CEO of Blazen Enterprises. A conglomerate of different industries and businesses including medical research.
Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they?
HALF is a paranormal thriller, with dashes of action, horror, and of course romance. HALF centers around Valeska Gorstef. When she takes a job as personal security for CEO Alex Blazen, Valeska is forced to look at the dark half of her soul she’s tried to keep buried. She may be forced to make choices that will lead herself those she cares about most deep into that darkness. Her fear is not being able to come back into the light. Which HALF will win?
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the process of creation. Seeing the world in my head unfold and grow as it falls onto the paper. Falling in love or hate with the characters as they become three dimensional.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t let others instill doubt, be confident in who you are. Be the square peg in the round hole.
Is your muse demanding?
She can be very demanding at times. To the point of being in a shop and having to stop in the middle of it, pull out pen and notebook to write down the idea pouring out.
Are your stories driven by plot or character?
I believe both, I think of it as planting a garden. The characters are the seeds and the plot the soil, water, and sun. You see and feel the characters grow with the foundation of the plot goal and the events that surrounds it guiding the growth until they finally bloom.
What are some jobs you've done that would end up in a book?
I’ve had a couple of interesting jobs. The ones that might make it into a story in one variation or another would be administrative secretary for a school, medical records researcher, clerk for supervisor of elections office.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I hope they were able to feel like they were part of the story.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Elmore Leonard, JD Robb
A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?
Yes, She Did.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
If money were no object I would have a huge luxury house boat. I could dock anywhere I wanted for as long as I like, then try some place new.
Picture yourself as a store. Considering your personality and lifestyle, what type of products would be sold there?
I’m a casual kind of person. I can dress up and be fancy when the occasion calls for it but mostly comfy jeans and a soft tee, other products would be DVDs I keep a stack handy on my desk to pop in while I’m working. Mugs, I have an addiction to mugs and coffee cups, and peanut butter Oreos.
Do you play any online, board, or role-playing games? Which ones?
I’ve not been playing a lot of games as of late. On Facebook I play The Ville, Family Farm, You Don’t Know Jack. And on G+ I love Gangs of Boomtown.

Please Fill in the Blanks

I love pizza with extra pepperoni.
I'm always ready for an adventure    
When I'm alone, I read, write, or plot J     
You'd never be able to tell, but I am near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other. It really messes with my perception sometimes.
If I had a halo it would be crooked.
If I could win the lottery I'd travel to all the places on my list.
I can never change a light bulb because I’m so scared of heights I won’t get on a step ladder.

Find Me Here

August 14, 2012

Interview with Synithia Williams

You Can't Plan Love

Synithia, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let’s talk about your new book. Tell us about You Can’t Plan Love.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Length: 78,000 words
Heat rating: R
Buy link: Coming soon
Tagline: Love doesn’t always go according to plan.
After several bad relationships, Kenyatta Copeland decides to control her love life with the same discernment she uses in her professional life.
Knowing firsthand the heartbreak that comes when desire and emotion rule a relationship, Kenyatta assumes marrying Brad Johnson will lead to a stable life. But as much as she believes she can plan her future, it’s hard to ignore the way her boss, Malcolm Patterson, ignites her passions with just one look. After Malcolm learns of her engagement, he makes a play for her heart and reminds her that passion between a man and a woman has its perks … but also its costs. When Brad suspects there’s more than work between Kenyatta and Malcolm, he works harder to keep Kenyatta by his side. Torn between her promise to marry Brad and her irrepressible longing for Malcolm, Kenyatta must decide if she can live her life in a passionless marriage of convenience or once again trust her heart. Yet Brad isn’t as perfect as he seems, and by the time Kenyatta realizes this it may be too late.
What are your main characters' names?
Kenyatta Copeland
Malcolm Patterson
Kenyatta 28
Malcolm 33
They both work for H20 Environmental-An environmental consulting firm with offices throughout the Southeast United States.


How did you get your start in the industry?
I am a newbie to the publishing industry. I’ve written for years, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I decided to pursue publishing. I made a goal to finish one of the many novels I started by the end of 2010, and then made another goal in 2011 to revise and perfect my novel. The goal for 2012 was to query and see what type of feedback I got. I still can’t believe my dream came true relatively quickly.
What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I continue to research ways to improve my writing. I’ve joined Romance Writers of America and have plans to start attending my first writing conferences this year. I’ve purchased several books on character development, plotting and even writing steamier sex scenes. It’s important to me to get more books out there that are even better than my first one.
What websites do you visit daily?
Outside of Facebook and Twitter, I regularly visit my publisher’s site, PubRants and The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.
What do you enjoy most about life?
That wonderful--yet fleeting--moment when my boys are being sweet and my husband and I look at each other and smile.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Take some creative writing classes while in undergrad. My major was biology, so I took some fun electives (sociology of sex, history of jazz, and public speaking for example) but I didn’t take a creative writing course.
What does "balance" mean to you as a writer?
Balancing my day job, family and writing. When I made up my mind to try and publish my first novel I thought the hardest part would be finding time to write. Luckily, that wasn’t hard to do. My kids go to bed at 8:00 every night, except on weekends. So it was easy to wait until they went to bed then write after 9. But, when you add in the social media aspect, it can impact your life throughout the day. The need to check Facebook, Twitter and your blog. If I push that to 9 p.m. then I’m not writing until 10 or 11. I’m still learning to balance this so at the moment I refuse to sign up for Tribbr, Pintrest or Google +.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
Ha! That’s a loaded question! Indirectly, yes things my family or friends do ends up in a book. Conversations I’ve had may spark an idea, or interests of people I know may become interests of my characters.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
My day job is the Environmental Coordinator for my county. Although working in public service has its difficult days, I really enjoy my job. I help develop air quality programs and water quality regulations that have a direct impact on the quality of life where I live. When the bureaucracy gets me down, I get to do fun projects with other “greenies” that promote green business practices and personal sustainable behavior change. In 2010 our areas largest paper listed me as one of the areas Green Queens, and although the title means every time someone throws away a plastic bottle their calling my name, I love the fact that my efforts are appreciated.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I only have one book right now, so of course I recommend it. If someone hasn’t read a romance within the last ten years then I would say give this book a try. Romances aren’t full of weak damsels in distress waiting on a strong man to save them. That idea makes me want to gag. I wrote about the struggle for a professional woman who’s been hurt in the past trying to pick a man based on reason instead of romance. Kenyatta is also struggling between choosing her career over the wishes of the man she thinks is perfect for her. These are real decisions that women face daily that I think many can relate to.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read romance. Historicals are my favorite, but after decided to pursue publishing I started reading more contemporary romances. Everyone once and awhile I’ll try something outside of the genre if it’s recommended. But if I need to just relax and waste an afternoon, I’ll pick up a romance.
What do you think is the future of epublishing?
I think it’s here to stay. I was one of those people who once refused to buy an e-reader because I loved “real” books, bookstores, and libraries. I still do, but I also love the convenience of e-books. For others like me who’ve embraced ebooks and the convenience they provide, I can’t see epublishing as a fad that will go away. Just like we evolved from VCRs, to DVD players to Netflix I think it’ll be the same with books. The only difference is that some books will still be worth having in a hard copy on a shelf.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving, because you have all of the eating and family togetherness of Christmas without the hassle of buying gifts.
What good book have you read recently?
Two, the Rebound Guy by Farrah Rochon and Temptation Rising by A.C. Arthur.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Angela Bassett, because I love her.
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 artichoke hearts and mushrooms.
I'm always ready for a get together with friends involving wine.
When I'm alone, I read and watch television all day long.
You'd never be able to tell, but I’m shy. It’s difficult for me to come up with “small talk,” but I’ve had to learn because I do a lot of networking in my day job. Now I just ask a bunch of questions and try to get people to talk about themselves.
If I had a halo it would be bronze, dented, and tarnished.
Synithia Williams
If I could only win the lottery I'd have vacation houses in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and London.
I can never skydive because I’m afraid of heights and just thinking about it makes my palms sweat.
My Current Books
You Can’t Plan Love from Crimson Romance
To celebrate my first novel, I’m giving away a Reusable Bag filled with Swag! Details coming soon on my website.
Find Me Here

August 1, 2012

RLF Gems - Blog Stats for July 2012

RLF Gems.
I'm proud to present the top bloggers (by page load) for the month ofJuly 2012. There were two ties with the exact number of hits. I checked that twice - and it's correct.

We had huge hits this month for the articles on MFRW Summer Camp, and readers were enthralled by new releases from Gemma K Murray, Starla Kaye, Kendall McKenna, Elizabeth J Kolodziej, Maggie Brooke, and others. Here are the top five by page hit:

1. MFRW Summer Camp (Kayelle Allen)
2. Gemma K Murray
3. Terri Molina
4. Starla Kaye (TIE)
4. Elizabeth J Kolodziej (TIE)
5. W Lynn Chantale (TIE)
5. Maggie Brooke (TIE)

Participants this month in alphabetical order by first name are:  Casey Crow, Elizabeth J Kolodziej, Gemma K Murray, Jannine Corti-Petska, Kendall McKenna, Lisabet Sarai, Liz Borino, Maggie Brooke, MS Spencer, Ruby Duvall, Starla Kaye, Teri Molina, and W Lynn Chantale.