Favorite Friday Guest – Robin D. Owens!

Welcome to Favorite Friday! I love Fridays. Today is by far my favorite day of the week. Since I also love reading and writing, its no wonder I choose to host awesome readers and writers here on Fridays! Speaking of awesome, let me introduce you to another favorite of mine, Robin D. Owens!

Robin writes exceptional paranormal romance and paranormal with romantic elements novels. One of the things I so enjoy about her work is how she goes about building a world that is totally believable and tangible enough to sink your teeth in to! So go grab yourself a cup of morning brew and scroll down to meet this amazing author.

Welcome Robin! Would you like to share with us a little history on your “Heart” series and tell us what you’re been up to lately?

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I’ve written the “Heart” series since 2001 and the publication of HeartMate. Heart Secret, which came out earlier this month, is the eleventh in the series set on Celta, where the Earth colonists have psychic powers that are more like magic, and Familiar animal companions with attitude.

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I love your “Heart” series, Robin! What is the order of the series, from the first book to the last?

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The first is HeartMate, followed by Heart Thief, Heart Duel, Heart Choice, Heart Quest, Heart Dance, Heart Fate, Heart Change, Heart Journey, Heart Search, and the latest, Heart Secret.

I’ve also written a five book series for Luna about average American women summoned to another dimension to fight hideous evil – not so much kick-ass heroines, though they have their moments. This was the “Summoning” series. The first is Guardian of Honor followed by Sorceress of Faith, Protector of the Flight, Keepers of the Flame, and finally Echoes in the Dark.

I’m working on the galleys of my “Mystic Circle” series for Luna – based in a magical cul-de-sac in Denver that houses such people as djinns (genies), brownies, half-humans. This series started with Enchanted No More, followed by Enchanted Again. In Enchanted Ever After (coming in January), completely human Kiri just moved in and has the chance to become magical “Lightfolk.”

But my fans love Celta the most…and for me, returning to that place, and romance, is challenging (how to make fated mates doubt their love and destiny), and comforting (yes!, I can certainly use what my cat just did as fiction fodder, and for comic relief).

The Luna books are focused on the heroine’s adventure and growth, and then the romantic subplot.

The “Heart” series is all romance.  It’s a pleasure trading off, and thinking of how my characters love and make love.  Heart Secret came out August, 8th, and, as an additional thing for Friday Favorites, it’s my second favorite cover in the “Heart” series (hard to beat Heart Change).

Yes, there’s my private investigator, Garrett Primross, a damaged hero, looking in on the secret sanctuary that accepts only the desperate, and though Garrett doesn’t think of himself as desperate, he has some moments – especially when he’s infected with the most virulent strain of virus that he was the only one to survive.

Oh, and here’s the blurb:

Heart Secret Blurb

When a virulent disease killed the woman he loved and her baby, Garrett Primross was left alive, a reluctant survivor. Now, as a private eye, he strives to banish the memories of his past and rebuild his life.  The Healers of Celta have something else in mind: Discover why he survived.

He is monitored by Healer Artemisia Panax—his HeartMate, a love he never pursued. Still mourning his loss, he refuses to acknowledge her.  Since her family was publicly disgraced, she’s used to such treatment.  She wants nothing more than to guard her livelihood and protect the secrets she’s sworn to keep.

Thrown together by duty, Garrett and Artemisia find the body of the last Black Magic Cultist who ruined her family. Suspicion flares, but they have little choice but to investigate the crime together. When their own lives are placed in danger, they realize that denying their HeartMates is only denying their own future.

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I would love if you joined me on Celta!  Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again,

Robin

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Thanks for updating us on what you’re doing, Robin, and also for the enticing blurb! You’ve got an amazing selection of books available for readers. BTW – I totally agree about the Heart Secret book cover! It’s pretty fantastic.  Thanks so much for stopping by today!

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Bio

RITA® Award Winning novelist Robin D. Owens credits the telepathic cat with attitude in selling her first futuristic/fantasy romance, HeartMate, published in December 2001. Since then she has written eleven books in the series. Her five book Luna series included average American women “Summoned” into another dimension to save a world. Her new “Mystic Circle” series is a mixture of contemporary urban and romantic fantasy set in Denver. She is profoundly thankful to be recipient of the 2004 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Writer of the Year award as well as the 2011 Writer of the Year Award, the Colorado Romance Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2010 Best Paranormal and Best of the Best Daphne Du Maurier Award.

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Learn more about Robin D. Owens at: www.robindowens.com
Keep up with the happenings on her blog: http://robindowens.blogspot.com/
Friend Robin at  http://www.facebook.com/robin.d.owens.73
Read Excerpts at: http://www.robindowens.com/reads/reads.htm

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – Holley Trent

Welcome to Wicked Writer Wednesday. I’m so pleased to introduce today’s showcase author guest, Holley Trent! Holley is the author of humorous contemporary romance with a “Quirky Kink” twist. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Reading one of her irresistible short works is truly a pleasure and a vacation from the ordinary! Read on and learn more about Holley and her latest novelette, All Shook Up! Welcome Holley!

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Thanks, Lori, for letting me visit today!

I’m Holley Trent, a Coloradan romance writer. I author stories set in rural North Carolina (where I’m from). They’re usually quirky and sort of bawdy. I want to tell folks about my new romantic comedy novelette All Shook Up and why I wrote it.

What’s a novelette? A novelette is basically a long short story not quite long enough to be a novella. You don’t have a lot of time for world-building or character development: you drop your characters into a situation and make them solve it as quickly as possible. Get in, get out, boom.

After I wrote my first rom-com The Spirit of Things, I felt my “boom” wasn’t boomy enough so I felt compelled to improve the “happily ever after.” That’s what All Shook Up spawned from. In it I do something a lot of writers would probably consider cheating: I dumped in a lot of new characters so I could make Nikki, my heroine, the anchor of a loose series. I knew I was done with her love story, but I wasn’t done with her community.

As soon as I turned All Shook Up in to Rebel Ink Press, I started Polished Slick: a novel being released next month. Two minor characters from All Shook Up take the lead roles. And in the next book, which I think I came up with a title for today, two more minor characters from Polished Slick grab the baton. Nikki shows up again to facilitate the story.

Novelettes are handy, huh?

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Well, they sure sound like a ton of fun to me! I know from experience that writing short is truly an art form. UIt’s not as easy as you would think. I love the way you described it – dropping your characters in a scene and letting them figure it out!

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Here’s a PG-13 excerpt (language) from All Shook Up where you can see the hero from Polished Slick’s stealthy introduction:

All Shook Up Excerpt

Mercedes opened the office door, looked out to see if anyone was lurking in the hall, and then pulled her head back in to close it. “The rumor is that she’s made one of those porno movies—and not even the good ones that you get in the mail in plain brown packages, but one of those shitty internet ones you have to download and then hope nobody finds while they’re on computer printing coupons and shit.”

The right side of my face twitched. I didn’t even know which part of the statement to address first. “Do you think it’s true?”

“Wouldn’t be hard to find out. You want me to find out?”

I imagined Luz stumbling onto the computer her mother had negligently left open on some scandalous link and shuddered.

“Um. No…um… Hey, you know what? I know a hacker-type guy who lives alone in a trailer and who would probably love to do me a favor. I’ll ask him.”

“You mean that guy who lives out on Yellowhammer who has all his windows painted black?”

I blinked mutely at Mercedes’ knowledge of the county crazies.

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That guy’s name is “Jerry” by the way. Right now I’m sketching out the characters in the next story, and I need some help naming one of the supporting cast members.

So this week I’m asking blog readers to tell me their favorite “old-fashioned” name. On Saturday, I’ll pick one at random and use that name on a secondary character in the next book—and you’ll get a mention in the acknowledgements for the suggestion.

I can’t promise it’ll be a likeable character, so keep that in mind!

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That sounds amazing, Holley! Readers, be sure to comment for a chance to name a character in Holley’s next novelette! Thanks so much for being with us today. BTW – where can we find your latest, All Shook Up?

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All Shook Up is available now at:

Amazon (Kindle)
All Romance
Barnes and Noble (Nook)
BookStrand

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Watch in September for my sensual romance novel Polished Slick and stay tuned for news for the next spin-off. I’ll announce it on my website—holleytrent.com/blog—or possibly blather about it on Twitter. Just follow @holleytrent.

Favorite Friday Guest – Shannan Albright!

Welcome to another installment of Favorite Friday. Today, I’d like to share a definite favorite of mine – Shannan Albright! This author offers up two completely different types of paranormal romance – both of which offer a refreshing look at the genre.  So whether you prefer weres or knights, read on to learn more about this fascinating author. Welcome, Shannan! Let’s start off with a few questions.

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~ How did you get started writing?
Hum…I think I started writing when I started drawing at the age of two. I had a story for every picture I drew and of course there always was a dashing knight coming to the aid of the princess. Even when the princess in question had a fish tail and lived in the ocean Lol!

~ What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?
I just finished the second book in the “Knights of Excalibur” series. I’m working on the third and final installment right now and hope to have it out by fall or early winter “fingers, toe and eyes crossed.” Gah, the eyes may have been a bit much. I’m a bit woozy now. Anyway, these novellas are read in order.

The first is Beloved Wizard and it’s all about Merlin. Not the Merlin that comes to mind though. Mine is a certified hunk. It’s followed by The Knights Druid and the central character revolves around reincarnated Knight Sir Kay…Sigh, I have a real thing for Irishmen. He is also a Shifter since one legend about him states he could change into any animal –and no, I’m so not going to go there. Lol! The third is called The Kings Lady and as the title suggests this story is all about Arthur and Gwenivere.

~ How did you come up with the story?
I had a friend who wanted short stories for her publishing house and she asked me for a short story. I had only three weeks to get it to her. I started it as a Frankenstein Monster theme called My Beloved Monster but when the project was trashed I thought, well now what? I looked it through and decided to toss it. For some reason instead of that I started thinking about Arthurian legends with the phrase “The Once and Future King.” I decided to do a modern day take on the legend and throwing in reincarnation into the mix. What I got was Beloved Wizard.

~ What is your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
I can always have my HEA or happily ever after. No matter how much I put my characters through, they are redeemed and grow in the end. So not reality, but what can you expect from a Pisces?

~ What is your favorite part of writing?
I love world building and snappy dialog. When things are clicking I can’t write fast enough. It surprises me what the characters come up with when I give them free reign. Eeeks! That can get me into trouble at times Lol!

~ What is your least favorite part of writing?
Editing, hands down. It has to be the most tedious, uninspiring thing there is to do. Who cares if there is a dangling participle as long as it flows, Right? Well wrong. It can kill your story in a heartbeat. So I guess it is a necessary evil.

What is your typical writing day like?
Work my day job, come home and do promo for an hour or two. Do dinner and write until I can’t see and my brain is mush. That seems to happen around ten at night. Then up at six to do it all over again. On the weekends I write when I can. I’m President of my RWA chapter so we meet twice a month and I’m also part of Hot Mojave Knights a reader event that is coming October 2013! That will be sweet and a great promo tool!  My goal is to be a full time writer so I have tons of work ahead of me.

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Ah, the typical double life of a writer! Your books sound fascinating, Shannan. I love the way you’ve taken the classic Arthurian tale and updated it to current times. Very clever! Can you tell us more about your latest book, The Knights Druid?

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The Knights Druid

What’s worse than a pissed off Knight? Colin Hennessy.

Shifter, Knight and quick tempered Irishman, Colin remembers vividly his past life as Sir Kay. Haunted by the woman he once loved and lost, he has spent his lives searching for his lost love to no avail. Now Arthur is back and his life once again is filled with purpose. Joined by a common goal, he lives only to protect Arthur and his fellow Knights from the twisted, black magic of Mordred.

Juliet Boyd moves among societies rich and pampered, but she holds within her a terrible secret. One Vance Hollister is determined to exploit. Mordred is back in a new skin, now as Vance Hollister and the old evil is alive and well.

Colin and Juliet are unprepared for the flare of attraction that ignites between them from across a moonlit parking lot. Dare she open herself and expose her cursed gift? Can he save Juliet from Vance’s twisted manipulations or will he lose his second chance at love? A showdown between good and evil is coming to a head with Colin and Juliet right in the middle.

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What a great blurb for The Knights Druid! I’ve always enjoyed reading and watching movies about the legend of King Arthur and his knights. Having them brought to life in such a modern and unique way really fascinates me. Where can I find this, and your other books?

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The Knights of Excalibur novels are available from Extasy Books:

The Knights Druid

Arthur and his Knights are back and ready to kick ass! Available in : Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

 

Beloved Wizard

Merci Tramaine is not happy to be called back into service by her old boss Arthur, especially when she is charged to find her missing ex-lover. Available in : Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, Microsoft Reader, Hiebook, HTML, Mobipocket, Rocket, Epub, Sony PDF, Sony LRF

 

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The Dark Breed novels are available from Evernight Publishing:

Dark Passion Rising - A Dark Breed Novel – Book 1

Passion’s Flight - A Dark Breed Novel – Book 2

 

 

 

 

 

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You can also purchase Shannan’s books from:

Amazon
Smashwords
All Romance eBooks

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Bio
Shannan Albright lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband, two dogs and one cat. She is President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the RWA and has been a member since 2008. When not writing she spends her time between oil painting and reading.

She loves writing paranormal romances because of the world building and rich characters she finds. She loves dark, edgy heroes and heroines overcoming impossible odds internal and external. I am a “hopeful” Romantic and believe healthy relationships and strong partnerships are key to a happy ever after.

 

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Thank you so much for coming to talk with us today, Shannan! You can visit Shannan’s website and blog by clicking the links below.

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Connect with Shannan Albright at: http://www.shannanalbright.com
Keep up with the happenings on her blog: http://www.shannanalbright.blogspot.com/

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – C.R. Moss!

Image of CR MossAre you ready for a Wicked Writer Wednesday one night stand? I hope so because today you all are in for a real treat. I’m featuring C.R. Moss – author of Sunset Seduction and Sunset Desires, two volumes in Decadent Publishing’s 1 Night Stand Series!

I met this wonderful author in June of this year at RomCon 2012. We really had a great time attending the events, eating, drinking and generally making merry. Authors are readers too, so it’s always great to meet a fresh new authors at these events. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this interview. Welcome Chis!

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Thank you, Lori, for having me on your blog today!

Hi everyone, my name is Chris, and I write under the names C.R. Moss for erotic and mainstream romance and Casey Moss for mainstream dark fiction (horror, suspense, urban fantasy).

My professional bio for C.R. Moss: An eccentric and eclectic writer, C.R. Moss pens stories for the mainstream and erotic romance markets, giving readers Worlds of Possibilities when it comes to love.

The bio for my other persona: Casey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…

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~ Do you write under a pen name? Why?
Yes, I do. The names C.R. Moss and Casey Moss are pen names. When I first started off writing and publishing erotic romance, I decided to use my initials. Seemed the easiest way to come up with a pen name at the time. For my mainstream stuff, I’m using a childhood nickname. As for the last name, my real last name isn’t too ‘general public friendly’ or ‘writer sounding’ so I used an English translation of it.

~ What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
For a very brief period of time, I had ideas of becoming a teacher or an astronaut. Both occurred before the age of ten. But for the most part, I knew I wanted to write at a young age, as early as I learned to read. I was always cooking up stories to entertain myself in the rural area I lived in. Had to since there were no other kids around to play with. My defining moment came when I received an A in English in grade school. I was just shy of being a teenager when I had my ‘calling.’ Ever since then, most of my choices in life have revolved around my goal of becoming a full-time fiction writer and being published.

~ When did you start writing toward publication?
Upon my ‘calling.’ I had written a story for a magazine. It’d been rejected, but that was my start. After that, I began studying the craft of writing. It started with working on the school newspaper in middle school to creative writing classes and Teens Art Festivals in high school. I received a BA in Communications, Information and Library Studies from Rutgers College with a strong concentration in English Lit/Writing and Interpersonal Communications/PR. Studying under the mentorship of Terri Valentine (author of ‘Sands of Time,’ a Zebra Historical Romance), I honed my novel writing skills. In the mid to late 2000s, I finally put my foot down, got over my nerves and took the plunge into submitting stories to publishers. I’ve been published since 2008, and as for the craft, I’m still learning things by taking the occasional online class, attending industry conferences, and devouring all the writing how-to books I can get my hands on.

~ Where do you get your inspiration?
I get ideas from everywhere…conversations, news headlines, television, songs. On occasion I’ve been known to pull from my old careers and the people I’ve known, drawing out tidbits of personalities for characters, places for settings and information to assist with subject matter—for example, using the basis and background knowledge of energy work that I learned in the massage field for paranormal stories I’ve worked on.

~ Has anything in your real life ever inspired scenes for your books?
Of course it has. I love using the places I’ve lived in and visited as the settings. There was one story I wrote (it’s not available at the moment) where I used a situation I’d been in one night on a beach. Granted, I elaborated on the situation and made it much more intense than it had been, but the foundation was there.

~ What are you currently working on?
Under my C.R. name, I’m in the process of finishing my parts of the next Wild West book that my writing partner and I are writing which will complete the first draft of that manuscript, then it’s onto the third Wild West story since I have some more scenes to do for that, too. I also have a WIP that I’m planning on submitting to & hopefully will be picked up by Evernight Publishing’s Naughty Fairy Tales line. That story will take up where an anthology story left off. I also have two more Sunset stories to finish for Decadent Publishing’s 1NightStand line.

For Casey, I have an urban fantasy series started, a horror series in the works and some editing and republishing of several other stories.

What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Today I’m talking about my erotic romance/chick-lit Sunset books. It’s a series I’m doing for Decadent Publishing’s 1NightStand line. Originally, I had some outlines for stories that I wanted to submit for a particular publisher’s ‘destination’ line. When I attended a conference and met the people from Decadent and heard about Decadent’s 1NS series, I was excited to rework and apply the story ideas to their line. I’m thrilled to be a part of their series now.
Sunset Desires, the first of my Sunset books, is available at Decadent Publishing. Inspiration for the story came from my love of sunsets and a trip to Grand Cayman. In the first book set on the Caribbean island, four women relatives are introduced, and the one woman, Gwen, has her date that her cousin, Heather, set her up on.

Sunset Seduction, the second Sunset book which takes place in a hotel room in Las Vegas, is also available at Decadent, and follows Heather and her date. The third and fourth stories, Sunset Temptation and Sunset Heat, are currently works-in-progress. Temptation will be a M/F/M to M/M/F erotic romance that centers around Ivy. Heat will be a M/F erotic romance that will follow Seana and her date. And, I’m proud to say, both Sunset Desires & Sunset Seduction are All Romance Ebook Best Sellers! :)

Sunset Desires

~ A blind date. A hot tropical evening. She’ll be someone he can’t forget. He’ll fulfill her ultimate fantasy.
~ Gwendolyn Tramonto is stunned to learn her cousin set her up with sex on the beach and it’s not the drink. But after a several year dry spell of no relationships, no dates…no sex, Gwen decides to take her cousin up on her offer and go out on the blind date. For once, she’d like to indulge in a fantasy, be wined and dined instead of the other way around, and if she and the man ended up in bed together, that would be a nice bonus.
~ Evan Cadell is looking forward to the date his uncle arranged for him through an exclusive matchmaking service and taking a one night break from work, life and all its demands. From Gwen’s profile, Evan knows what her fantasy is and believes he’s the man who can make it come true.
~ But will one night in paradise be enough to satisfy their desires?

Sunset Seduction

~ One evening. One date. Easy, right?
~ Heather Tramonto, a business woman with only her career and a quickie on her mind, is all set for her 1NS date and a bit of adult fun–no conditions, no commitment–when a surprise shows up at her door.
~ Lane Stanwyck is entering the dating world after years of an estranged marriage and the passing of his hostile wife. When Madame Eve schedules an anonymous tryst for him–no conditions, no commitment–he believes it to be the perfect arrangement for his first time out in the dating field in ages. That is until he sees the woman of his dreams.
~ One night. No strings. That might be a problem for this pair.

Excerpt for Sunset Desires

Gwen. The match up. A distraction for a night. A short break from the drudgery of life. Uncle Lane wanted him to start a relationship. He only wanted a fling. That’s all he’d promised his uncle, who seemed gung ho to have him settle down. Weird idea coming from a man who hadn’t had a happy marriage. Evan’s habits of living alone and immersing himself in work were ingrained. He had thirty-five years of bachelorhood to his credit. If it weren’t for Lane, he’d still be at the office poring over figures. Not much else to do when you lived so far away from friends and family, and on an island.

But Uncle Lane, a recent returnee to the dating pool, had decided all the single males in the family needed to dive in with him. He put Evan at the head of the matchmaking line. Lucky me. Shrugging, he downed the rest of his beer. The least I can do is make the best of it and show her a good time. Glancing down at Gwen’s profile, he focused on the main words of her fantasy—vacation, exotic location, handsome man, sensual rendezvous.

Handsome? Check. At least he’d been told he had above-average features. Exotic location? Check. He had the perfect spot to take her. Erotic tryst? Though friends and family called him charming and women praised his skills, he hoped he could give her what she wanted and make her dreams come true.

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Wow! It’s great to see the virtual buffet of books you have available for readers. Both of your Sunset books sound amazing, and that excerpt for Sunset Desires is very tempting.

Thank you so much for coming on today for Wicked Writer Wednesday! One last question, where can readers find your books?

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C.R. Moss

Casey Moss

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What a pleasure it is to have you on today, Chris! Readers, I’ve got a couple of her books and I’m really enjoying them. Visit her website and blog by clicking the links below.

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Connect with C.R. Moss at: http://www.crmoss.net
Connect with Casey Moss at: http://caseymossbooks.com
Keep up with the happening on her blog: http://crmoss.blogspot.com/

Favorite Friday Guest – Jennifer Morey

To continue a smokin’ hot week here on my baby blog, I have one of my favorites to share with you for Favorite Friday – Jennifer Morey! Jennifer is a multi-published author with 9 books published with Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Silhouette Romantic Suspense. In late July, Jennifer became an indie publisher and released This Time in Timberline, the story of a golf pro returning to her small town roots. What a treat! Read along and find out more about this suspenseful author! Welcome Jennifer!

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The Right Turn on my Yellow Brick Road

My writing journey began when I was a kid. My first stories were drawings of horses with bubbles of dialogue above their heads. That progressed into handwritten stories in notebooks. Those had a romantic flare. My trend toward romance began early. Next came computers and electronic files of bad grammar and storytelling. I wrote a million words before I was published. That’s roughly ten books.

I began writing seriously in 1997. That was the year I graduated with a BS in geology. I was having a hard time finding a job as a geologist. Interview after interview didn’t make the phone ring, and the volunteer work I did with the Bureau of Reclamation didn’t lead to a paying job. But it wasn’t my hard luck in a job search that changed my course. It was the death of my mother.

She was only sixty when she died. And she died suddenly. She was sick with bronchitis that eventually led to pneumonia, and the doctors didn’t catch it in time. She became septic and died within forty-eight hours. I spent the last day of her life with her in the hospital. It is a terrible memory still to this day. And I still get angry when I think about the hospital staff. It was as though all they cared to do was wait for the end of the day so they could go home. My mother was dying in a room down the hall and no one did anything to help her. By the time they figured out her condition was serious, it was too late.

It was a life-altering experience for me.

When you grow up with an invincible family, you don’t expect to lose anyone prematurely. We did. We lost a beautiful, warm, selfless woman who had a lot more life left in her than she was afforded at the hands of a lackadaisical medical staff. My anger over that pales in comparison to what my family and I lost. The loss of my mother is awful. Losing her taught me how fragile life is. That my family may have invincible aspirations and verve, but we are unavoidably human. And we can die.

Mom died two months after I graduated from college. By the end of that summer, I realized geology didn’t have my heart and decided to pursue a writing career. I got a job that would pay the bills and wouldn’t demand more than forty hours a week. Every spare moment I wrote. Ten years later, after spending the time to learn how to write. Grammar classes. Workshops on craft. Contest after contest. And most important of all, writing. Like anything else, practice is what makes you good at something. Lots of practice. I worked forty hours a week and consistently wrote another forty on top of that.

All the while, I submitted to agents and editors. But it wasn’t an agent who got me published and it wasn’t a submittal to an editor, either. Well, not really. It was a contest! The Finally a Bride contest. The manuscript I entered had been a finalist in six contests but never won. I won the Finally a Bride contest and the final round judge offered me a contract and a year later The Secret Soldier became a Harlequin book. It also became a two-time RITA nominee.

Four years and eleven books later, here I am. What’s next for me? Hopefully the word bestseller on one of my books.

Mom would be proud!

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Jennifer, your Mom would be VERY proud! You kept going and were rewarded for your tenacity! Congratulations on your foray into independent publishing as well as your 9 books published by Harlequin and Silhouette. That’s a definite success story! I’m figuring Bestseller just might be in your future!

Let’s learn a little bit more about you.

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What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?

This Time in Timberline.

After the death of her mother, golf pro Utah Pieper returns to her mountain hometown to more than all the gossip brewing at the Over Easy Cafe. An angry stepson may be after her over the terms of his father’s will, and first love Mason Briggs is on leave from the military. Even worse, he’s back in Timberline for the summer! Utah knows all too well what the end of summer means for Mason. Time to leave. She’s got a big “no thanks” in store for him when innocent reminiscing threatens to re-kindle young love.

But a terrible secret keeps Mason reaching out to her, and Utah is unwillingly drawn to what he won’t reveal. His tough exterior is impenetrable to everything except the strong attraction that keeps building. While her own past races to catch up to her, Utah must decide if the only man she’s ever loved is worth the risk of losing a second time. Will their passion be enough to make him stay, or will tragedy drive him away at summer’s end?

What is your favorite part of writing?
Polishing the finished draft. Getting the story down on the page is the hard part for me.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
Finding the time. Balancing a day job, family, and writing is not an easy task.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I love my cover.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?
I could wallpaper my office two or three times with the number of rejections I received as an unpublished author. The best one I received when I was thirteen. I submitted a story about a horse that was ten to fifteen typewritten pages full of penciled in corrections. The editor sent me a kind response, saying that Walter Farley began writing at thirteen and that I should never give up. I didn’t.

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I am, but they don’t help me as much as they did when I was unpublished. I learned how to write through organizations. I met lots of good friends. But now with deadlines and a day job, I don’t have as much time.

Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?
Stop fighting it. Keep your goal alive, but only write for the love of it. Don’t try too hard to write what you think will sell. Take responsibility for learning or honing your craft. Take responsibility for working hard to get published. But don’t let it take over. Was it Deepak Chopra who said that resistance creates more resistance? The more you fight the rejection, the more rejection you’ll get. I got published when I least expected it. I wasn’t fighting it.

What’s your secret to writing an action/fight scene?
I don’t rush writing them. I make sure the writing flows. If the writing flows, I have a better chance of making it believable and putting the right images into a reader’s head. If the writing is jarring and stops me, then the characters may as well be playing Twister.

Where is the wildest place your characters have had sex?
On the hood of a Mustang in the woods. This Time in Timberline.

Where can readers find your books?
Amazon is the best place. I’m giving away free books to anyone who writes a 4-star or above review on any of my books. See my website for that. www.jennifermorey.com

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Yowza! I once had a Mustang (loved it!) but never thought to use it quite that way! Thanks for coming by today to talk with us and introduce your latest book, This Time in Timberline, and also for sharing your publishing journey! Your advice is really inspiring! See what happens, readers, when you don’t give up?!?

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Buy This Time in Timberline at: http://www.amazon.com/This-Time-in-Timberline-ebook
Visit Jennifer at:  http://www.jennifermorey.com/
Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.morey

Wicked Writer Wednesday Guest – R.M. Sotera!

Welcome to a very “Sinful” session of Wicked Writer Wednesday! I’m pleased to introduce you all to R.M. Sotera, an awesome author I met this year at RomCon in Denver, Colorado. We really had a great time enjoying the events. R.M. lives and creates her amazing stories in none other than Sin City – Las Vegas! Isn’t that awesome? Welcome, R.M.!

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I would like to start by first saying thanks to Lori for having me on her blog. Lori and I met in June at Rom Con. We had a blast taking part in the convention and sitting after hours with other authors laughing, drinking and causing trouble!

So, let’s hit the questions.

How did you get started writing?
The biting bug bit me in high school. It started with the dreaded diary. I filled up many a diaries wishing for my heartthrob Donny Osmond to step from the pages of Tiger Beat magazine into my dream world. Yes, I’ve always been a die-hard romantic at heart always pretending to be the woman in the bodice ripper types of books. So, since I couldn’t actually be the woman, why not write the woman. And thus my love of writing romance began.

What book are you going to tell us about today? Is it part of a series? If so, what’s the order in which the books should be read?
The books I’d like to share with you today are from my Stiletto Series and are published through Siren Publishing. A few years ago, I watched this awesome documentary on real vampirism. Yep, you heard me right, real vampirism. I couldn’t believe that there were actually people out in the world who drank blood. So of course, the teacher in me (yes I teach high school English by day) had to find out what this belief and practice was about. The more I dove into the lifestyle for research the more I really loved getting to know these people. And the more I got to know them the more I started to think, who am I to say their beliefs are wrong? If drinking other peoples blood (and the people they drink from are donors and people that they trust and have a contract with) is what makes them feel right, and complete, who am I to say they’re wrong?

And the wheels started turning in my head. What if I wrote a book in which the heroine was a good Catholic girl and she met this guy who was a real vampire? How could she morally accept his lifestyle? And what if they were soul mates? And what if he was a player who believed himself beyond redemption? Could they both find a way to be together? Major conflict, baby! And thus Cassadaga Moon was born.

I truly had a ball writing Cassadaga Moon because although I hate to admit it, the heroine is a lot like me. I grew up in a very religious family and religious dogma was all around me. Hell, I thought into my late twenties that masturbation was going to send me to hell in a hand basket. So I did have personal experience to pull from when I designed the character that is Mia. And along with Mia, I designed Cindi Vera Cruz, Mia’s best friend after one of my dear friends. Their relationship was easy to write.

The next book in the series, Vegas Moon, released on July 22, 2012 and is about the relationship between Cindi Vera Cruz and Tristan Dane. These two characters get together in book one and have such a strong connection in the first book that I had to give them their own story. I won’t spill the beans but their scenes are pretty steamy and their not even the main characters. She’s ten years older then him and a firecracker in every sense of the world. This book is probably my most erotic to date. One that my mother will never read. And one of the books I’m giving away today.

What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is the worlds I can create. I also have the job of teaching writing everyday. My day job allows me to share the knowledge I have with others and I am so thankful for that gift.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
I would say when my muse decides to take a hiatus or wakes me in the middle of the night with a great idea. Actually, the waking me in the middle of the night is the one that happens to me most. So, I keep post-it notes and tablets on the nightstand just in case Styxx makes and appearance.

What is your next project and when will it be released?
I have two projects in the works. Both are a paranormal series, however, one is YA. And neither one is erotic, just steamy. I’m hoping to have the first books in each series finished and critiqued by the end of the year. I’d like to enter them in a few contests and see how it goes. Although I’m a bit gun-shy with contests, I figure what the hell; I’ll give it another try.

Do you have critique partners?
I do have critique partners. Actually through the years I’ve had several different ones. Can I say that it is much easier to have only a few critique partners at a time. I think when you have more than four including ones self the work load gets to heavy. One gets boggled down with so many crits, and so many different styles of crits that one’s own writing sometimes becomes non-existent. Of course this is my opinion, and only my opinion. More than four may work like a charm for others, I just haven’t had that experience.

What is your favorite dessert/food?
I LOVE York Peppermint Patties. They are my guilty pleasure!

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
It’s usually a given that at some point in my writing if you are a friend part of you will end up in one of my characters. LOL

Let’s talk about Mia and Jordan! – Book 1 – Cassadaga Moon
http://www.bookstrand.com/cassadaga-moon

What physical aspect does your heroine love most about your hero? Least? Details, please!
Jordan is a sexy man. He is over six-feet tall. He has long blond hair with a patch of black hair running down the side next to his cheek. His eyes are dark grey and his ears are triple pierced and he wears three sets of hoops. His tongue is pierced and his nose is pierced. He changes out the diamond in his nose with a ruby on occasion. He’s medium build and muscular but not burly. His voice is deep with a slight southern drawl, and he has a wicked sense of humor.

Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
Let’s see, Mia’s pretty but not beautiful. Her hair is light brown, long, and she has brown eyes. She’s 5”6 and curvaceous. Her body has always been a source of embarrassment for her so she covers it up, to the point that when she was a young girl she taped her breasts flat so that boys wouldn’t gawk at them. Most of what she does in her life is guided by a moral compass. It’s not until she meets Jordan that her thoughts begin to change. She has an inner strength that helps her in times of need. One of her weaknesses is that she is overly naïve, stemming mostly from her sheltered upbringing.

What does your heroine love most about your hero? Least? Details, please!
First, let’s get this out of the way – Mia loves what Jordan does to her in bed. How he brings out the woman in her that she desperately wants to be. He is her first real lover and a hand-full at that. Jordan’s darker desires peak Mia’s curiosity, and his desire for blood gains the interest of the teacher in her, too. Yes, she’s a drama teacher.

He is all consuming something that Mia isn’t prepared for, but craves the more time she spends with him. With Mia, he finds redemption but it isn’t an easy road for them.

There is a scene in the book where Mia stumbles across her best friend Cindi and her boy-toy Tristan taking part in a BDSM blood play scene, and Mia battles with her desire to have Jordan do the things that Tristan is doing to Cindi with her. Most of Mia’s conflict is internal, and it’s interesting to watch her character evolve into the woman she is at the end of the book. Okay that’s all you get. Read the book if you want to know more!

There are many firsts for Mia and Jordan, and a lot of humor accompanies their encounters. Actually, I think the humor is what drives the book, but I’ve yet to hear a yes or no on that.

How about now we talk about the second book in the Stiletto Series – Vegas Moon.
It’s about Cindi and her boy-toy Tristan. Check it out!
http://www.bookstrand.com/vegas-moon

Vegas Moon Blurb

Siren Allure: Erotic May-December Romance, with F/F and M/F/F elements, voyeurism, exhibitionism, consensual BDSM, whipping, food play, blood play, sex toys, HEA]
Psychic vampire Cindi Vera Cruz has no intention of falling in love with sanguine vampire Tristan Dane. She makes that fact perfectly clear to Tristan every chance she gets. He’s twenty-one years old, ten years her junior, and as she sees it, definitely not in her cards as a forever type of man, only a lover. But when Tristan decides he’s tired of her games and demands she admit her feelings for him, all hell breaks loose.

Situations heat up when Tristan walks into the yearly Stiletto Sanction coven party only to find Cindi feeding on his energy without his consent. His shock turns into anger. And then anger turns into a game of battle of the wills. Tristan calls her bluff by raising the stakes in the blood play room. She has always been a willing participant in bleeding for him in the name of pleasure, but will she bleed to feed his need for pranic energy?

Note: Hero involved in acts of vampirism.

Excerpt

They’d reached the Dessert Erotica house at noon. Cindi pulled the Mustang borrowed from Victoria into the small parking space and shut off the car. Tristan didn’t waste any time in jumping out of the car. When she emerged, he was standing a few feet from the front door of the establishment eyes fixated on the huge fiberglass sundae. In the center of the perfectly shaped and flavor-colored ice-cream scoops was a naked female mannequin.

“Check out the tits on her.” His eyes were glued on the big-busted doll.

Just like a man, eyes to tits and bypass everything between.

“I think they’re fake.” She chuckled.

He gave her an incredulous stare and headed for the front door.

“What is this place?” The way Tristan asked the question, he sounded like a kid in a candy store.

His excitement got the best of her, so she divulged just a tiny bit of information, enough to wet his appetite.

“Well, lover, this is a place where women and men enjoy a little dessert with sex. A little sploshing.”

“Sploshing? Mmm…sounds enticing.” He kissed her cheek. Then licked the tip of her nose. “Let’s go. I can’t wait to try this out.” Tristan pulled her hand into his and pulled her toward the front double doors.

Cindi stopped them halfway to the front doors. “Hey, do you know what sploshing is?”

“Nope. But sex and dessert sounds like a winner. I’m ready to find out. Let’s go.”

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Looks like we’ve come to the end of my post. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me and a little about my books. You can always find me at the links below. Once again, Lori, thanks for the opportunity to chat on your blog. Oh, and before I go, one more thing I have two books to give away. If you comment on the blog you could be the lucky winner of Cassadaga Moon or Vegas Moon. Your name will be picked randomly and you will be notified by Sunday, August 12th. And the books will be sent along with the notification.
All the best.

RM Sotera

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Great interview, R.M. and I loved the excerpt! Just enough to tempt. Thanks so much for visiting with us today! Readers remember to leave a comment for a chance to win either Cassadaga Moon or Vegas Moon!

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Connect with R.M. Sotera at: www.rmsotera.com
Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rmsotera
Follow her on Twitter: @rmsotera

Check out her books on her Author Pages -
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/RMSotera
Siren Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/rmsotera
Evernight Publishing: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/RMSotera
Extasy Books: http://www.extasybooks.com/rmsotera
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/RMSotera

And keep up with her happenings on her Double D Ranch Tales
Blogspot: http://doubledranchtales.blogspot.com/

Vice President – Las Vegas Romance Writers: http://lasvegasrwa.org/

Co-Vice President – Hot Mojave Knights – A Reader Event
Coming to Vegas October 2013 http://hotmojaveknights.weebly.com/

Favorite Friday Guest – Lizzie T. Leaf!

Welcome to a special Thursday edition of Favorite Friday! Today I’ve got a special treat for you. Meet Lizzie T. Leaf – a fabulous paranormal author with a truly wicked sense of humor! Lucky for her readers, that humor always winds up in her books! Read on to learn all about Lizzie and her latest set of projects. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her latest re-release, DEAD Awake. Welcome Lizzie!

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Thank you for having me, Lori. Your questions are interesting and some made me stop and think (ouch…have a headache now). I’m delighted to be here and here goes on the questions!

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What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Currently, I write spicy paranormal mostly with humor and some erotic contemporary. I love building worlds and mixing up various immortals with mortals. This gives me room to put a humorous spin or if the story calls it, get serious.

Tell us about your current series.

I actually have 2 series going now. The one focused in this blog tour is the DEAD series. Musa Publishing is re-releasing 4 books and I have contracted for a 5th one to come out in October, 2012. The DEAD series kicks off with socialite Deb Stein’s Halloween party. She ends up in bed with the hot guy in black and wakes up smelling pine. Much to her dismay, the dirty old man lurking outside the funeral home tells her life has changed…and oh, you’re a vampire. To add insult to injury, she has to get a job since there is no trust fund and she ends up a stripper biding her time until she can get her hands on the one who turned her.

Do you have critique partners?

I do and boy do I ever need a critique partner. We write different genres, but she has no problem holding my feet to the fire and I try to return the favor. In addition, I’m also blessed to have friends who will do fast reads and make suggestions when I’m in a time crunch on a deadline.

What is your favorite dessert/food?

Ice cream! The cold, sweet delight needs a required food group of its own. I’m thinking minimum servings of two per day? What do you think?

What genres are you drawn to as a reader?

I love to read! That translates into I read various genres, both fiction and non-fiction. Always have, probably always will.

How far do you plan ahead?

I try to work with a monthly short term goal, plan out for a year and the big picture goal for around five years. I go back and adjust/tweak as needed.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have they helped you with your writing? How?

I belong to RWA National and two local Romance Chapters, the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and Colorado Romance Writers. I am the 2012 President for Heart of Denver. As for helping with my writing…definitely yes. There are presentations each month by terrific speakers on a variety of topics, and I always come away with some new tip to apply to my work.

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?

The comments from readers who like my work. My heart goes pitter-pat when I get an email from someone who enjoyed one of my books, or when I’m doing book signings and a reader comes in with a book they’ve read and want it dedicated and signed.

What’s next for you?

A number of things. I just signed two contracts. One is for a new book in the DEAD series for October and the other is a re-release of one of my Christmas stories. In addition, I’m working on a third book in the Magic series. Also, have a YA in the works as well as a Fantasy Women’s fiction. Those two will be under different author names so my current readers aren’t confused.

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Sounds good to me! Lucky for your readers, you are one busy author! BTW, I personally adore Vanilla ice cream, and French Vanilla is a true treat.

I hope you all enjoyed meeting Lizzie. Be sure to leave her a comment to enter the drawing for a free .PDF copy of DEAD Awake, the first book in her DEAD series! Read on for a quick sneak peek into the world of Billie Joyce in DEAD Awake!

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Dead Awake

Waking up to discover you’re a vampire then fainting at the sight of your number one food source isn’t healthy.

Billie Joyce’s dream visit to New York City turned into a nightmare. Now not only is she one of the living dead, but she has to contend with a know-it-all vampire who wants to tell her how to talk. Not gonna happen!

Excerpt from DEAD Awake

Now you listen here, Mister Smarty Britches,” Dovey noticed Billie Joyce didn’t seem concerned about modesty when her temper flared. She leaned forward to glare at Daniel. “You can’t even get a girl’s name right.”

“If the girl would pick one name to use, that wouldn’t be an issue.” Daniel stepped closer to the bed. “Would it?”

“Enough, you two.” Dovey moved to position herself between them. “You can argue over who calls who what later. Right now, we need to come up with a plan to get sustenance into Billie Joyce. She’s going to weaken if she doesn’t feed and I don’t intend to lose my first creation because she’s anorexic.”

Daniel glared over Dovey’s shoulder. “Fine. Aaron and I will go get a couple of thick steaks. Rare meat will tide her over while we work on another plan.”

“I eat my meat well done, thank you.” Billie Joyce wrapped the sheet around her again and stuck her nose in the air.

“As in shoe leather. Maybe we should raid Dovey’s closet instead.”

Leave it to Daniel to be a smart ass. Maybe my foot up his behind would show him real shoe leather.

“Well, I never!” Billie Joyce swung her feet over the edge of the bed and stared at Dovey. “Sugar, are you going to let him talk to me like that?”

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Bravo! See what I mean about that wicked sense of humor? Thanks, Lizzie, for being here today. Readers, you can own your very own copies of the first two books in the DEAD series!  Click here to purchase DEAD Awake. directly from the MUSA Publishing website! Or, you can Click here to purchase DEAD Faint!

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DEAD Faint will also be available August 3rd for Kindle (Amazon), and at All Romance eBooks.

It will be available for Nook (Barnes & Noble) and at other 3rd party sites shortly after.

 

Connect with Lizzie at: www.lizzietleaf.com
Friend her on Facebook: lizzie.t.leaf
Follow her on Twitter: @lizzietleaf
And keep up with her happenings on her blog: http://lizzietleaf.blogspot.com/

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