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-fiancĂ© 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-fiancĂ©e 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