February 22, 2013

Romantic Thriller: Byzantine Gold @BookstoGoNow #RLFblog


Byzantine Gold
Chris Karlsen, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Byzantine Gold.
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Cover artist: Elaina Lee from For the Muse Design
Length: 72K words
Heat rating: 4
Tagline: A Turkish agent and an American archaeologist find themselves in the crosshairs of dangerous enemies in this undersea thriller.
Blurb:
A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.
Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal--seeing them both dead.
Buy links:
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Charlotte Dashiell, 30, nautical archaeologist
Atakan Vadim, 38, agent for the Turkish Ministry of Culture.
Maksym Tischenko, 40, contract killer.
Golden Chariot

Interview

What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
I allocate time for promotion work and I start asking for reviews as soon as I can.
What websites do you visit daily?
The Animal Rescue Site and the Rainforest Site, I click on the pages. For every click a bowl of food goes to a shelter animal and every click goes to purchase rainforest land at risk. It’s free to the person who clicks as corporate sponsors and/or private contributors take care of the costs.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
When a reader tells me they felt like they were there, in a scene, with one of my characters or when they say they felt part of the setting from the narrative description.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
Tough call but I think (if you mean another author) it would be either Bernard Cornwell or John Sandford. I have several favorite authors but they combine setting with action remarkably well.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Start writing now. Don’t wait.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
It’s pretty good. I do allocate time every day if I can to write, generally the afternoons. I don’t set page goals and don’t allow myself to not write because I’m “blocked.”
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
No.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
Before I became a writer I was car rental agent, a receptionist in a law firm, a switchboard operator, a grocery clerk and a police officer.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
I’d recommend Golden Chariot or Byzantine Gold. They are romantic thrillers and the romance is the subplot rather than the main plot. I think it’s a nice way to introduce someone to romance and the thriller aspect has wider appeal.
What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your own writing?
I read historical fiction, like Bernard Cornwell’s books, Mike Connelly, John Sandford and Joe Wambaugh’s cop books, Julia Quinn’s historical romances along with Julie Anne Long and Deanna Raybourn. I also like Stephen Coonts’ thrillers.
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?
A couple pair of shoes as I wear a 10 and can’t always find that size abroad. Toothbrush, toothpaste, some other toiletries and my makeup so I look halfway decent when I arrive. Kindle and/or Nook, tablet for emails, and my iPod with my music. A couple of changes of clothes.
I’d go to Bodrum, Turkey, where I can lounge by the Aegean Sea and enjoy the sidewalk cafes at night.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Driving around England and Scotland is a fave. I love it there. I love there’s so much history and castles, and picturesque villages, and nice people. I can never see all I want in a visit.
What good book have you read recently?
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell and I’m currently enjoying Mad River by John Sandford.
Where were you at midnight, on December 31st when the new century started?
Watching a Castle rerun. Dull I know.
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Stana Katic
If you were a color, what color would you be?
Bright Copper
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 pepperoni, sausage and onions.
I'm always ready for a glass of champagne.
When I'm alone, I listen to music and read.
You'd never be able to tell, but I’m not at all talkative at parties where I don’t know many people.
If I had a halo it would be ornate like Byzantine jewelry.
If I could get the courage I'd take a hot air balloon over part of Turkey.
I can never dive because I cannot manage to clear my mask properly.

Previous Books

Heroes Live Forever
Journey in Time
Chris Karlsen
Golden Chariot

Books Coming Soon

Knight Blindness

Contest

Commenters will have a chance to win an ebook copy of Golden Chariot.

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February 20, 2013

Romantic Suspense: Rescued from the Dark @lynda_kaye #RLFblog


Rescued from the Dark

Lynda Kaye Frazier, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, Rescued from the Dark.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Blurb:
She has no memory of their love...
Kidnapped by terrorists and sent into a drug-induced coma, FBI intern Mercedes Kingsley awakes with no memory of her ordeal--or the intimate interlude that left her pregnant. Convinced her child was fathered by her ex-fiancé, she walks away from the only man she has ever loved, determined to make things work with her ex, a man the FBI suspects is implicated in her abduction.
He knows the truth, but no one will listen...
FBI undercover agent Jason Michaels remembers what Mercy can’t and those memories are breaking his heart. Forced to keep his distance from his lover and their unborn child, Jason risks his life to protect Mercy from a cell of international terrorists who have vowed to get the secrets locked in her memory, no matter the cost. Can Jason convince Mercy to trust him until she remembers their past, or will he lose her to a man who will trap her in a nightmare world of darkness from which there is no escape?
Buy Links:

Tell us about your latest book.
Rescued from the Dark is about an FBI agent, Jason Michaels who goes undercover with the Irish Mob to get information on their gun smuggling ring. While on assignment he realizes they have joined forces with a known terrorist group manufacturing drugs. He searches for information to tie the two together when he finds out they have kidnapped a fellow agent and the only girl he has ever loved. Jason soon realizes their using Mercy to perfect their dosage and that his cover has been blown. He knows he has to save her so takes off a journey that will take him up against his enemies, peers and the Agency that he loves, but willing to give up to bring Mercy back to him.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Rescued from the Dark is the first book in my Guardian’s of Hope series. It is an eight book series made up of Special Ops, Navy Seals and FBI Agents who are sanctioned by the government to do rescues they can’t or are not able to do due to restrictions.
I am almost finished with the second book, Last Chance to Run and hope to have it published by the end of the year.
I also have a contemporary, Saving JT in the works and just finished outlining the remaining books in the Guardian’s series. So many more books in the future.
How many readers/fans contact you?
This is my first novel so not a big fan base. Just family and friends. But that’s a great place to start.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Mercy has a lot of my personality built into her character. She loves coffee, is always late, and is very protective of family and friends. The only thing we share on life experiences is how enclosed areas bother her. I hate it when the elevator closes. I swear I hold my breath until it opens again.
Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?
It takes two months for me to complete a rough draft. I am still new to the editing process so I’m slow at it. I think I edit it too much.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
My day job takes up a lot of my time so I have set aside my evenings from 8 to midnight for my e-mails, blog updates and writing. I usually wing it on the weekends but still try to get at least three hours in front of the computer each day.
What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Once I have my characters and plot my book basically writes itself. I keep a tape recorder on me and when I get an idea I record it and feed it into my story when I get home. I am always working on my story weather it’s in front of the computer or recording a thought.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
I do a short outline then build my characters. Looks, personality and quirks. Then the story builds around that.
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing - or are there constant interruptions?
My kids are grown and on their own and once my husband is fed he is happy so the only real interruption I have is when my cats feel like they need attention and lay across my keyboard.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
I read. I love to read, that’s what started this journey of mine. It’s my escape. I relax with a few chapters each night.
What are your thoughts on love scenes in romance novels? Do you find them difficult to write?
I only have one love scene in my book. There is a lot of sexual tension but writing that one scene was very difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read erotic and would love to write more but alas my Catholic school background will not let me. When I’m in the middle of attempting to write one I get a mental image of the Nuns and Priests telling me to get those evil thoughts out of my head. Someday I will learn how to kick them out of my head.
What kind of research do you do?
This book dealt with the Irish Mob and a Terrorist cell. I had many hours on the wide web searching for information so my plot sounded as real as it could be without hitting sites that would get me flagged by the US Government.
What does your husband/wife think of your writing?
My family is very supportive of my writing.
Do you ever ask him/her for advice?
No, can’t even get him to read my book. He’s only into westerns.
Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
I am Married with five children and three grandchildren. I love to garden and paint but the one thing you will always catch me doing is reading. My most favorite place to be is on the beach. I have been known to drive 10 hours for a day on the sand. I went to college for Respiratory Therapy back in 1979 and have been a registered ultrasound technician for the last 18 years. I work for a Cardiology group and can honestly say I love my day job. But I love writing more.
Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
I have always had a passion for reading, but the one author that influenced me into getting published was Cindy Gerard. When I finished writing my book I had questions so I e-mailed her and she was great. She gave me information that put me in the right direction. She was very kind and answered every one of my dumb questions.
Are you a member of any author groups - RWA, critique groups, etc.?
I am a member of RWA, Roses Critique group, Savvy Authors, BTS eMag reviewers, and Marketing for Romance Writers.
What do you think of critique groups in general?
I would be lost without my critique group. I love the different advice I get, and use it as just that, their opinion and advice. I don’t let them change my voice but their great at catching plot errors, story structures problems and flow.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
Cindy Gerard and Suzanne Brockman. Love their stories.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Don’t ever give up. You will get critiques that will make you cry and rejection letters. Make them building blocks for the career you are building.
What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
I put on my calendar the date of the next release from the authors I read. I want to know that someone loved my story and was left needing to know what happens next so they put my next release date on their calendar.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Never engage in activity until coffee has been consumed.
Choose any or all of the following.
Leather or lace? Lace
Black or red? Balck
Satin sheets or Egyptian cotton? Egyptian cotton
Ocean or mountains? Ocean
City life or country life? Country life
Hunky heroes or average Joe? Hunky Heroes
Party life or quiet dinner for two? Quiet dinner
Dogs or cats? Both

Fill in the blank with your favorites

Dessert ~ Peanut butter cookies
City ~ Houston
Season ~ Summer
Type of hero ~ Take charge and sexy
Type of heroine ~Confident, courageous, not whimpy
Lynda Kaye Frazier

About the Author

I’m an avid reader of romantic suspense and started writing about a year ago after a vivid dream. I know, sounds clichĂ©, but that’s how it started. I work full time at a Cardiology clinic, then at night you will find me in front of my computer writing. I grew up in Pennsylvania, but now live in Arkansas, surrounded by the Ozark Mountains where I get to enjoy the four seasons without a long, cold winter. Other than spending time with my wonderful family, my favorite things to do are writing, reading and listening to music, but my most favorite is going to the beach. Surf, sand and a good book, my stress relief. I enjoy Goodreads because I love to read and enjoy finding new authors and recommending great books to others. But I am also a Facebook junkie.

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February 17, 2013

Opposities Attract? @vickibatman #RLFblog

Opposites Attract?
I come from a family of four girly girls, and my other half comes from four rough and tumble boys. We have two boys. So yes, the testosterone gets thick at my house!
Running out and doing the football thing? Not so much.
Running to the antique mall? Yipee. My men would rather stick needles in their eyes. LOL
Sometimes, there are remarkable differences between the opposite sexes. Check these out (mostly generalities):
  



Man                                                                Woman
Action adventure movie                               Romantic comedy
Non-fiction books                                         Romance books
Duck Dynasty                                                HGTV
A fast sportscar, big truck                            A practical SUV
Thick burger and fries                                   Small one with ten fries
Chocolate shake                                           Water
Spit on small cut                                            Antiseptic with bandage
Large dog                                                      Small dog, cat
Ten oz ribeye                                                 4 oz filet
Loaded baked potato                                   Small salad
No bread                                                        Bread with butter
No dessert                                                     Anything sweet
Handwash car                                               Car wash with vacuum
Donuts                                                            Multi-grain cereal
Surfs through TV commercials                    Reads thru TV commercials
Loves to cook                                                Hates to cook

See? Just from this small list, we notice the big differences.
But isn't being different a good thing? Would we always want to like the same things?
What I notice is how the columns complement each other. Kinda like a balance. So no, we don't always like the same things. I don't always watch romantic comedies. I adore Indiana Jones and James Bond, but will never be a huge fan of Duck Dynasty! On occasion, I eat a donut and deny myself dessert, like bad bread pudding. And my other half loves HGTV. Go figure.
Our characters -- usually -- imitate real life. Can't you see a hunky guy chowing down on humongous steak, and the girl daintily eating a salad or smaller meal? (And all the while she is secretly thinking "I wish I could eat like that.")
Or our hero lounging on the couch with remote superglued to his hand while the heroine is about to blow her top because he won't land on the romantic comedy? She picks up her HGTV magazine.
Not all of these generalities are hard core true. See the cooking thingy, for example. My men would rather throw meat on the grill while I like to gather a couple of things together and "assemble" something to eat.
The truth is if we are identical, we'd bore each other. We want to be interesting to our other half. To balance and complement each other. And occasionally, bend our other half's way because that is what we do in a relationship. We grow, live, do.

Let's add to the list. What are some guy/girl things?

About the Author

Vicki Batman has three men in the house and often muses why God did that to her.

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