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

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/

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

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/

Favorite Friday Guest – Romance Author Helen Hardt!

Welcome to Favorite Friday! Today I’m featuring one of my favorite authors and Colorado Romance Writers sister, Helen Hardt! Helen writes award-winning contemporary, historical, paranormal and erotic romance. Welcome, Helen!

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Lori, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog! I’m excited about the re-release of my Daughters of the Prairie series. These are American western historical novellas, and they follow the lives of two sisters on the Dakota prairie, and the daughter of the older sister in the Black Hills.

Today I’m showcasing the third book in the series, Song of the Raven. One commenter will receive an ecopy.

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About ten years ago, we took a family trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota. We saw Mt. Rushmore, of course, and it’s as awe-inspiring as anyone can imagine. Equally awe-inspiring is the regal, though still unfinished, monument to Crazy Horse carved into another mountain in the Black Hills. Funding is sparse for this project, so it’s being carved in stages. When we visited a few years later, further work had been done on the sculpture, yet it was still incomplete.

This journey inspired me to begin writing what would become Song of the Raven. I researched as I wrote. In the meantime, I completed the first two novellas in the series, The Outlaw’s Angel and Lessons of the Heart. Oddly, though I started Song first, I actually completed it last, partially because so much research was required to make sure the Lakota Sioux traditions were historically accurate.

I began my research with Crazy Horse and his life and times. As I wrote, I named the father of my hero Black Elk, until I found through my research that Black Elk was a famous Lakota Medicine Man during this time period. I didn’t want to confuse any readers who might know this, so I changed the father of my hero to Standing Elk. My hero, Silver Raven, got his name from a non-pigmented streak that appeared in his hair at birth. Though his infant hair fell out and the new hair grew in onyx black, he kept the name Raven due to the bird’s significance to practical joking in the Lakota tradition. My hero likes to joke a bit.

Native American lore fascinates me, and researching this story was both exciting and humbling. The Lakota were and are a noble people and much can be learned from their ways of life. My stepfather shared my interest in all things Native American, and when he passed away in 2002 I inherited his complete set of the Time Life Books American Indians series. Although these books are dated, they’re an excellent resource on Native American history. If you want to really get the feel for the Lakota Sioux, though, visit the Black Hills. As the sun sets on the silhouette of Crazy Horse carved into the silver rock, you just may feel the Great Spirit guiding you.

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Wow! That sounds like an amazing trip, Helen. I’ve always wanted to visit the Black Hills and the Lakota absolutely fascinate me. Your Daughters of the Prairie series sounds awesome. I can’t wait to read Song of the Raven! Here is the book’s blurb and an excerpt for your enjoyment! Be sure to comment for a chance at a free copy!

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Song of the Raven

Ella Morgan loves her mother and father, but she’s grown weary of their overbearing protectiveness. She longs for excitement, adventure, and most of all, love. When she finds an injured Lakota warrior hiding in her barn, she’s intrigued by the brave and handsome man.

Silver Raven has found his soul mate in the woman with eyes the color of violets at first bloom. Can he convince her to leave her home and family and take her rightful place as his woman? Or will Ella’s father and the prejudices of society keep them apart?

Excerpt

Ella’s mouth dropped open as she stared into Raven’s smoldering gaze. When he lowered his head and took her lips with his, she didn’t resist.

The sensation of his tongue in her mouth was new and different. But not unpleasant. Oh, no, not at all. It was hot, so hot, and she tasted him. Raven. Slightly sweet, like cinnamon sprinkled over a tart apple. He explored her mouth, touching every crevice. When she tried to speak, to ask what to do, only wordless sounds, muffled by his mouth over hers, emerged.

If only she knew how to please him. She wanted to kiss him back, to tangle her tongue with his. To grasp his strong shoulders and pull him ever closer until nothing could separate them.

Such impure thoughts! But she didn’t chide herself, because only seconds later she couldn’t think at all. She only felt. Felt with all her body, all her heart, all her soul, that she wanted Raven. Wanted to be with him. In every way a woman could be with a man. She boldly forced her tongue into his mouth. He groaned and tightened his arms around her. Instinctively, she knew her actions pleased him. And she wanted to please him. In all her life, she had never wanted anything more.

She let her tongue wander over his teeth, caress the inside of his cheeks. When he pulled back, panting, she traced his full lips, first the upper, then the lower, and she reveled in his moans. She smiled against his mouth.

“Do I please you?” she whispered.

“Always, tehila.” His breath caressed her cheek. “Always.”

She sighed and turned her head to draw a much needed breath. To no avail, however. When Raven pressed a trail of wet kisses down the side of her neck, she lost her air once more.

“Will you let me show you,” he whispered, “some of the wonders that exist between a man and a woman?”

“I-Isn’t that what you’re doing?” Ella barely recognized her own voice. It seemed lower, earthier.

“Yes, but there is more than kissing. I can take you to the stars and back. If you will allow me.” He rained kisses over both her cheeks, then found a place below her ear and nibbled. Ella’s skin heated, yet she shivered. Such sweet contradiction.

“I don’t understand.”

“Surely, you know what occurs in the marriage bed?” Raven untied the string binding her braid and slowly tunneled his fingers through her thick locks. The gentle tugging of her hair, the warmth of his hands on her scalp—all good, all touched her soul.

“Y-yes. Of course.” She knew of the physical act. She inhaled deep. What a warm night!

Raven’s chuckle tickled her neck. “Would you enjoy soaring into the sky with me, tehila? I could lead you to places you have never dreamed of, all without taking your maidenhead. Just say the word, and I will.”

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Whew! That was quite a spicy proposition! Thanks so much for this sneak peek into Ella and Raven’s world! Click here to purchase your own copy of Song of the Raven!

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Helen Hardt Bio

Helen Hardt is an attorney and stay-at-home mom turned award-winning romance author and freelance fiction editor. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and erotic romance from her home in Colorado. Her contemporary western romance, Ivy League Cowboy, just won the 2012 RomCon Readers’ Crown award. Visit Helen at  www.helenhardt.comwww.helenhardt.blogspot.com, and www.fiction-editor.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenhardt.

Favorite Friday Guest – Lisa Fender!

Hi Everyone! I’ve got a special treat for you today. Meet pre-published paranormal romance author Lisa Fender! Lisa writes fantasy with a nice inter-world twist. Read on to get the answers to some questions I asked Lisa, and hear about one of her favorite things.

Welcome Lisa!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Lori! This is exciting for me, especially since I am not published yet. My novel will be out soon. The name of the series is The Lorn Prophecies and the title of the first book is Fable- The first book in the Djen Legacy. I will let you know once it is launched and I hope you give it a try. My blog site is www.lisafender.com. I am also on Facebook, twitter, goodreads, linkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. I would love anyone to follow me and join in on my musings and of course, my announcements about the book.

 

How did you get started writing? 

I have always wanted to write. As a child, I wrote little stories and later poetry. I talked about writing a book for years, but at first I planned to write non-fiction. My plans quickly changed when I saw the topics I wanted to write about already had been written 20 times over. So, I put it to the side. Once my kids were grown I began to think about writing again. I tried to write a mystery novel first, that didn’t work out to good, I couldn’t get into the mind of a killer, so again, by the wayside. A few months later I was laid off from my job and now had all this extra time so I thought, what is it that you like to watch on TV and at the movies? The answer came to me, Fantasy! I sat down and came up with a new world and the details of the people and my novel was born! Even though I am not finished with it yet, I am very close and this book is one of a series about the Djenrye world.

 

Tell us about your current series.

My story takes you into a teenage girl’s world and new found discoveries about herself. Her name is Stevie Barrett and she is just graduating high school when strange things start to happen to her. A being with beacon like eyes is watching her from the mountain behind her house. Her mother is attacked by men with the same glowing eyes and the birthmark she was born with was now becoming a tattoo, with color. She finds out she is from another world, one parallel to ours and not only is she from there, she is a Guardian in this world. Her new found life leads her on a quest, one that will either save both worlds, or doom them.

 

Do you have critique partners?

OMG, do I have critique partners! I have 5, and they are from two different groups. One, HODRW, the other, through my writing coach on the Meetup site. The amazing thing is, if one doesn’t catch something, another will. I have been in re-write for the past year and I am at the last few chapters. Once I begin the revisions, it should go quick with all the critiques I have received. I plan to have my manuscript to an editor before the end of the year. My critique partners are invaluable! I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have today without them. Their encouragement keeps me writing. Plus, each and everyone has a wonderful story themselves and I love reading them and can’t wait to get to read more.

 

What advice do you have for author’s planning to self-publish?

I say, you’re going about it the best way. Anymore, trying to get a publisher to notice you, especially if you are a new writer, is like trying to win the lottery…good luck with that! I decided to self-publish after I weighed both sides of the issue and found the only thing good about having a publisher is getting to put that on your book. Either way, you still have to do all the marketing, social media, and any signings you can drum up. I figure if I still have to do all the work, why do I want to dole out most of my profits from any sales to the publisher, agent (if you have one), and the site that your book is on. Oh, one other advantage of a publisher, your book could be in a book store. And, actually I know self-pubs who have managed to do just that on their own. There are several sites out there that can help you do it all, Book Baby, Smashwords, Createspace, just to name a few. They will even do the cover for you and print books. No, the best way for me is to self-publish.

 

Thank you for your answers, Lisa! I know in the new realm of self-publishing, there are a lot of opportunities that maybe weren’t available before. Good luck to you on your pending release and congratulations on taking control of your writing career!  : )

Would you like to share with us one of your favorite things?

 

A Favorite Thing. Wow, what a loaded question for me, there are so many. I guess other than my book, it would have to be going to Buena Vista with my husband for a few days and lazing around in the wonderful lithium based hot springs at Cottonwood Inn. This is an amazing place. It’s quiet, relaxing and healing. There are no radios or TV’s to distract from this beautiful and recovering place. There are 5 pools, each with a difference in temperature. So, whether you like is really hot, or just bath water temp., it has it all. You are surrounded by mountains and in the early morning, you can watch deer or even mountain goats up on the hill in front of you.

In the ‘off’ season, October 15th till May 15th, you can even go naked in the pools at night. It is an amazing place. They also have massage, facials and body treatments. Plus they make coffee each morning for everyone and they have a poolside deli for lunch. One more thing, a gift shop too, I bought a wonderful choker there a few years back. When we go, we usually go into town after a brief soak in the morning and have breakfast at Jan’s and then hit the road to discover all kinds of places to visit here in this awesome state of Colorado. One time we drove to Black Canyon, another, to Crested Butte. We have a marvelous time there and we will be going again the end of September.

Well, I guess in closing, thanks again Lori, this has been fun. Even though I don’t have a book to give away for your contest, I will be sending a Starbucks gift card and a little gift along with it. I hope I hear from your fans and that all of you have a wonderful weekend.

Lisa Fender

 

Thank you, Lisa! Remember to leave Lisa a comment to win some goodies!

Check back with me next week on Wicked Writer Wednesday to hear from aspiring author and blogger extraordinaire Summer Mahan, and on Favorite Friday to hear some great new release news from historical romance author Helen Hardt!

Favorite Friday – Paranormalize!!!

Happy Friday to everyone!

I’m really happy this Friday for a lot of reasons. I mean for one – it’s Friday, my favorite day of the week. Two – the 1,400 brave men and women that are here to fight the High Park wildfire are making progress in containment! Now if Mother Nature would lend her hand and drop some much needed rain, they could get good handle on it.

image for Destiny's AwakeningAnd there’s even more good new added to that! I’ve just heard from my publisher, 5 Prince Publishing, that they’ve set a June 28th release date for my paranormal romance, “Destiny’s Awakening!” I’m really excited for this, the first book in the “Tales of The Fey” trilogy. Isn’t the cover amazing? My friend and CRW chapter-mate, the amazingly talented Viola Estrella designed the artwork.

The story may be a bit familiar for many of you. It’s a rewrite — let’s call it a “Author’s Cut” (ala Director’s Cut in movies) of my novella, “Evelyn” which was published last fall in the “Finding Ms. Wright” anthology from 5 Prince Publishing. I’ve added almost 15,000 words and expanded the story to include some new content and characters. It’s the book I wanted to write, but couldn’t because of time and word count restraints. I hope you consider checking it out! Stay tuned for purchasing details!

Also, RomCon is in a week, Friday, June 22nd through Sunday, June 24th. I went last year as a reader and had A BLAST!!! See – good things happen on Fridays! I’m telling you all – if you’re in Denver next week – buy a ticket and get there! It’s a great time with some amazing authors including fabulous local authors Karen Docter, Helen Hardt, Bernadette Marie, Marie Sexton, Jenn LeBlanc, Melissa Mayhue, Jessica Aspen, M.L. Guida, Elizabeth Haysmont, Hillary Seidl, Jeanne Stein, Lizzie T. Leaf, Cynthia Woolf, Donnell Ann Bell, and Rebecca Grace! Also attending are best selling and award winning authors Holly Jacobs,  Kat Martin, Jade Lee, Alexandra Ivy, Heather Snow, Deeanne Gist, Tiffany A. SnowKimberly Killion, and Delilah Marvelle. Click here for a complete listing! You can’t go wrong with that many amazing authors…and more!

This will be my first conference as an AUTHOR! I can’t tell you how exciting that is for me. I’ve gathered up a bunch of swag and am creating neat-o bundles to give away to readers.

If I survive all the excesses of fun and lack of sleep, be looking for me to kick off my Destiny’s Awakening blog tour the following week on June 25th. I’ll be visiting new paranormal author Elizabeth Haysmont to chat about DA, (my pet name for Destiny’s Awakening!) On the 26th, I’ll be blogging at the ever fabulous Lia Slater’s website. Check back here on the 27th where I’ll be talking about all the wicked-good things Destiny’s Awakening on my revamped Wicked Writer Wednesday!

The first week of July, I’ll be visiting a bevy of fabulous authors including paranormal author M.L. Guida. I’ll be visiting them to talk about DA, RomCon, writing, and what’s coming next for me.

I’ll be giving away some swag here, including free eBook and print copies of DA. So be sure to follow me on my blog hop and comment for your chance to win!

OK – time to get busy. You all have a wonderful Friday and we’ll see you back here soon!

Ciao!

Lori

 

Favorite Friday – CRW Blog Hop Special Guest – M.L. Guida!

Hello! I’d like to welcome paranormal romance author M.L. Guida! Welcome M.L., it’s a real pleasure to have you here today talking about the mystical month of May. You tell a great story about springtime – and wildlife – in the Colorado mountains.

For all my visitors, be sure to leave a comment for M.L. She’s giving away a copy of “Dark Promise,” book 1 of her Underworld Series! Check out her website  HERE  and look for the trailer for this exciting story set in Dillon, Colorado…and the Underword.

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MLGuida imageI’d like to thank Lori Corsentino for hosting me on her website.

The month of May is the time for new beginnings – school ends, summer begins, flowers bloom and hot days. Summer is one of my favorite times, because my family opens our cabin in Frisco, Colorado. Frisco has always been a magical place for me with Lake Dillon, aspen and pine trees and fresh mountain air. Frisco appears as a setting in many of my books, “Dark Promise” and “Tortured Soul,” especially in the Underworld Series. In my Angel of Death series, I mention a mountain cabin, but do not specify the location. In fact over Memorial Day, I plan a trip up there to rejuvenate and relax.

I’ve always wanted to see the wildlife up there, but only saw a deer once. I’ve been going up there since I was born. Maybe my family and I make too much noise. However, this is not true for one of my friends, Susan. She is an avid jogger and fiercely independent – a collision for disaster in Frisco.

On Mount Royal, there used to be a town called Mason, but it is long deserted. An avalanche destroyed the little mining town and there are only ruins. Tourists and locals like to hike up to the site, but not during dusk, but not true for Susan!

She decided to go jogging around 5:00 pm. Do you see the problem yet? As she was jogging up the trail, people were coming down the trail and she was the only one on it. Her tingling warning signal should have gone off, but sometimes I think she turns it off or ignores it. She arrives at the ghost town and takes a deep breath. A rustling in the bushes overhead grabs her attention. Does she run, no. She investigates. She is expecting to see a deer and waits in anticipation.

Through the bushes, a huge brown bear stares down at her. Susan freezes. She tries to remember what to do if you see a bear – grab a stick, act like your taller, climb a tree. But she does neither.

The bear remains still and watches. His head was the size of a Toyota engine. She backs up and bolts down the trail, never looking back. Her heart threatens to burst through her chest, but she does not stop running until she hits the main street of Frisco. What did Susan forget? The bear did not follow her. But there’s another predator who resides up in Mountain Royal who would not hesitate to chase her. Mountain lions.

Lucky for Susan, neither the bear nor the mountain lion found her particularly appetizing. She now goes by the name Bear Bait. So, when you hike in the mountains do not follow Susan’s example and become a main dish for a hungry bear or mountain lion.

Thanks Lori for allowing me to stop by.

Speaking of new beginnings, this summer, Five Prince Publishing is releasing two of my books – “Dark Promise” and “Tortured Soul” – which are both set in Frisco, Colorado. Passion in Print is releasing my other book, “Betrayal,” in August.

Dark Promise cover art image  Ravaged Soul cover art image    Betrayal cover art image

M.L. Guida writes paranormal romance. She loves the Rocky Mountains where she loves to ski, hike and mountain bike. She is currently pursuing her Master of Art in Creative Writing through Regis University.

Favorite Friday – Guest Karen Docter!

Here’s a special treat for your Friday! I’ve got the witty musings of first-time author Karen Docter. Dive right in and enjoy Karen’s talents for telling a tale! I can just see her now, slaving away over a hot computer monitor…  ; )

If you’d like to see more of Karen’s prose, be sure to check out her initial contemporary romance release, Satin Pleasures, available from Amazon. Be sure to leave a comment here to win a copy!

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Favorite Things to Inspire My Muse

  by Karen Docter

It’s funny but, when Lori asked me to stop in and talk about my favorite things, I really didn’t have a clue what I’d talk about.  Me, the writer who’s not supposed to run out of words!  There I sat, like the proverbial bump on a log, without a lick of inspiration.  I had one of those cartoonish moments thinking of me, the good little writer hunched over the blank computer screen, sweat literally pouring from my forehead as I tried to force a light bulb to go on over my head. Lori looming over me with a waggling finger and dialogue clouds filled with gibberish like that ominous-sounding teacher from the Charlie Brown, Peanuts, comic.

Bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa!

Anyone who knows Lori knows she would never loom over anyone and waggle a finger at them. She’s more likely to sit beside you with a bright smile, coherent dialogue clouds filled with creative suggestions, helping to find inspiration. Then, it hit me why the image popped into my head in the first place. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a couple of Charlie Brown comics I’d taped on my filing cabinet.  The teacher was “talking” to Charlie Brown in one.  The other showed Snoopy sitting on top of his dog house slaving away at his typewriter, his ever-present editor belittling his work. I can so relate to that sometimes. My own internal editor can be so nasty!

After a brief giggle at Lori’s expense – sorry, Lori! – I realized I was surrounded by all of my favorite things.  For the first time in my adult life, I actually have a place that is uniquely mine.  Anyone who’s raised children knows it can be difficult to maintain any sense of individuality.  We’re focused on the family interests and, often, individual needs are set aside. You know the saying if you’re a nerd like me…the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

There’s nothing wrong with that.  We compromise where we must to ensure our family is safe, healthy and happy. The point I wanted to make is that now, for the first time, I’m actually looking at what makes me happy.  I’ve surrounded myself with my favorite things.  Everything in this room feeds my soul, my creativity, without considering anyone else.

I love my bright, new office.  It’s become one of my favorite rooms in the house. That may not sound all that “inspiring” but if you’d spent as many years as I have jamming office space into a spare hole in the house, you’d understand. Once, I spent more than a year in the dark hole of a windowless garage with a car and hot tub at my back. There was enough room for a desk and chair, one overhead light on a pull chain, and no heat or air conditioning.  Hot summer days would chase me into the house, but the frigid winters were worse. Typing with a coat and gloves on is no fun at all!  My writing career nearly ground to a halt that year.

When the last of my children left home a year ago, I finally realized my dream. A large office of my own, with lots of windows and sunlight. I’m currently painting the walls a rich Emperor Gold that will provide a beautiful backdrop to the oriental paintings and panels I plan to hang.  I haven’t had a place to display the beautiful and unusual Asian pieces I received recently from a family estate.  They aren’t expensive pieces, mind you, but they speak to my soul in ways I can’t begin to quantify.

Maybe it’s the Asian appeal but I also love dragons.  I’ve filled one long window ledge with my dragon collection.  Some pewter. Some intricately carved. All inspirational.  They fill me with joy every time I glance up from my work and look at them.

The only other thing I collect is music. I do my best work with music filling my head. I have favorite genres and artists for each task, and it’s an eclectic mix.

For instance, story ideas often come to me when I’m listening to country as I conduct business, answer emails, talk on Twitter and Facebook, etc.  Recently, I heard a song on the radio that inspired a scene for one of the later books in my Thorne’s Thorns romantic suspense series.  I’m not nearly ready to write Killing Promise, but I did take the time to write that scene so I didn’t lose it. That hero is now a living, breathing character in my head waiting patiently – okay, not so patiently – for his story.

When I’m writing, I can’t have music with lyrics. Singing in a foreign language isn’t a problem though so I have a number of Josh Groban CDs.  I throw Shakira into the speakers when I want to shake up <g> my mood.  The only English singers that don’t seem to drag me out of my zone are Enya or the lead singer for Nickleback.

My absolute favorite musician – and he has been my “go to” artist for some time – is Roni Benise.  He’s a Spanish flamenco guitarist with some of the most romantic, inspiring music I’ve ever heard.  I have all of his CDs copied to my iTunes so the moment I sit down to write, I click the top of the list and allow him to pour out of my stereo speakers and into my heart for the next few hours.  I love writing to Benise.  He’s filling my head right now. Wish I could share him with you!

I have a number of other favorites: Angela Dubeau (violinist), Nicholas Gunn, Rob Dougan, Santana, Secret Garden (New Age), Suzanne Ciani (pianist), and Yanni (New Age), and Rachmaninoff (classical).  I recently discovered Apocalyptica, a group of “metal” cellists. They are my music of choice now when I write an action or dangerous scene. Their music is so rich and primal.
You’re probably wondering how I can ever leave my office since all of my favorite things are here. To tell the truth, I do have a hard time turning me down and rejoining the real world. I’ve been known to spend 14-16 hours a day here when my schedule demands are heavy or when I’m really cooking on my current project. But it’s not nearly as bad as that sounds. All I have to do is refocus on my surrounding, take a few moments to drink in the sights and sounds of my favorite things, and I’m golden.

Thanks, Lori, for inviting me to your blog. Sharing my favorite things with you and your readers has been a pleasure! I’m inspired now to turn on some Shakira and shimmy my way to the paint can to finish painting my walls…just as soon as Benise stops moving my fingers over this keyboard.

Before I go though, I’d love to share one more favorite thing with your readers. I published my favorite contemporary romance, SATIN PLEASURES, on Valentine’s Day. It’s a tender, funny, and spicy (not erotic) story about Tess Emory, a woman determined to make her life a success and right the wrongs of her past, no matter the costs. Dan McDonald knows from experience that the price is too high. Can love balance the spreadsheet? One lucky commenter will receive a free digital (PDF) copy of the book and find out. Happy reading!

Favorite Friday – Guest Cynthia Woolf!

Cynthia Woolf imageWelcome back to Favorite Friday! Today I’ve got Cynthia Woolf, author of the Centauri futuristic romance series (Centauri Dawn, Centauri Twilight, and Centauri Midnight). For those of you that like your romance out of this world, check out this new series!

Cynthia was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Look toward the end of the article where she’s shared one of her favorite things.

She has also provided an excerpt of her latest, Centauri Midnight, and she plans to give away an eBook copy to one lucky commentator.

Cynthia – take it away!

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How did you get started writing? 

I wrote my first story when I was about ten.  It was a romance about me and a little boy I liked.  I also wrote some very depressing poetry.  I decided that poetry was not for me and stuck to romance.

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

I have a historical western romance and a sci-fi romance out now.  The sci-fi is the first in a series.  I write in these genre’s because they are the ones whose stories reached out to me.  The western was the first book I wrote and was inspired by my parents love story.  It’s set on the same ranch that they met on in 1941.  My book is set in 1885, so it’s not their love story.  My dad was a cowboy and trapper but to the best of my knowledge was never a bounty hunter.

The sci-fi series was done because of dreams I had when I was a teenager.  I knew I was a princess from Alpha Centauri.  There was no way I could belong to the crazy family I had.  Of course, I adore that crazy family now.

What inspired your latest book? 

Centauri Twilight is the second book in the Centauri Series.  I used to dream that I was a princess from Alpha Centauri, that was the basis for Centauri Dawn, book 1 in the series.

Book 2 is much darker.  Lara is the twin sister of Audra in book 1.  Lara has been a sex slave since she was a child.  Having escaped, she’s now an outlaw and working to free the rest of the slaves who are now her people.

What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part is what I call the ‘puking’ phase.  Just getting it all down on paper for the first time.  You just let if flow out of you, not caring, for the moment, if it is good or bad.

What is your least favorite part of writing? 

Editing is my least favorite.  I’m constantly questioning myself and my work.  Changing it, correcting it, putting it back to what it was and starting it all again.  It’s never good enough for me.

What is your next project and when will it be released? 

My newest book is called CENTAURI MIDNIGHT and is the third book in the Centauri Series.  It was released in January 2012.

How much time do you spend promoting your books? 

What works best for you?  I spend a lot of time promoting my books.  A minimum of two hours per day.  Usually more but it is in 15 or 20 minute increments throughout the day, not in one big chunk.  Between Facebook, Twitter, blogging, putting announcements on loops, etc, I spend a lot of time doing it.  So far, blogging seems to get me the biggest bump in  my sales.

How has your experience with self-publishing been? 

My experience has been wonderful.  I highly recommend it for everyone out there who doesn’t want to be constrained by the “big” traditional publisher.  For everyone who wants to write from their heart and not according to the industry rules and constraints, self publishing is the only way to go.

Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

I have ideas from everywhere.  My sci-fi series is from my dreams as a teenager.  My western was inspired by my parents own meeting and love story.  I place Tame A Wild Heart about 60 years earlier than when my parents met but the setting on a ranch is the same.  My dad was a real cowboy and my mom was what we would call a nanny now.  They were called nursemaids then.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish? 

Go for it.  It’s a wild ride but totally worth it.

What is one of your favorite things? 

One of my favorite things is to be able to just sit and read, without feeling guilty for not doing something else.  I work harder now that I’m writing full time than I ever did when I was “working”.  I want this endeavor to succeed so much that I’m putting every waking moment into it.  My husband is afraid I’m going to get burnt out because I work so hard, usually 16 to 18 hours a day.  So this past Sunday, I didn’t do any writing.  I just read.  I didn’t even get out of my P. J.’s.  I just read in bed, at my desk, in the living room.  He would watch TV and I read, but I finished my book, Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones.  Very good book, by the way.  It felt like such a luxury.

Tame a Wild Heart from Amazon
Centauri Dawn from Amazon
Centauri Twilight from Amazon
Centauri Midnight from Amazon

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Excerpt from Centauri Midnight

Centauri Midnight bookcover“Damn it, Audra.”  Kiti was up and pacing the room again.  Her long black hair was tied in a high pony tail and swung back and forth with each step she took.  The thick, plush carpet kept her boots from clicking on the floor.  “I’m begging you to let me go with Garrick Marcus.  It’s not just revenge I need.  I need closure.  I’m the one who should deliver Tybold to the authorities.  Garrick Marcus is the best captain in the fleet and I know Darius is sending him after Tybold.  Joridan needs us both to avenge his death.  To bring his murderer back to Centauri for justice to be served.”

“Kiti, are you combat trained?  We don’t know what to expect from the Proconians.  By this time, Tybold could have convinced them we are conquerors and he’s their only salvation.  We don’t know.  It could be a suicide mission.  I don’t want to lose my best friend.”  She went on.  “I know you’re grieving.  Joridan’s loss and Lara’s return has been very hard on you.”

“Stop.”  Kiti jumped up and started to pace again.  “I know what my life has been like.  I mourn the loss of Joridan life and Anton’s capture and torture by Slavarien.  Joridan was my little brother.  Even though he was a head taller than me he will always be my little brother.  I still smell Joridan’s scent in his room.  Sometimes it’s so fresh it’s like he just passed by.”  Her eyes filled with tears, “I miss the closeness that Anton and I once shared but I do not bemoan him finding Lara.  I’m very happy he found his lifemate.  It was something he never thought to be able to do.  After the torture that both Anton and Lara suffered at the hands of the Slavariens, it’s amazing that they found each other.  I wish I had a lifemate out there somewhere.

Favorite Friday – Guest Amy Denim!

I have such a treat for you all today! To celebrate my first ever Favorite Friday blog, I’ve invited Amy Denim – romance author, blogger, and internet hunter of all things awesome! Read on and you’ll find she’s got the dirt for us today on some prime sites for free eBooks. Welcome, Amy and take it away!

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My Favorite Resources for Free e-books

  by Amy Denim

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… No, no, no. Stop, wait.
Damp flowers aren’t number one on my favorite things list and I’m not actually a fan of cats, so Julie Andrews infamous song doesn’t really do it for me. Although I do like schnitzel with noodles.

I like my version of the song better-

Free books on Kindles and authors with contests,
The Gutenberg project, some lady called Princess
Libraries well stocked with e-books and more
These things all make me feel l’m not so poor

For being a monetarily challenged starving artist, I have quite the coveted collection of somewhere around 6000 e-books, maybe ten or so that I paid for.

Ow, ow, ouch. Put away your DRM broadsword and your author’s rights musket. Before you accuse me of being a pirate and make me walk the SOPA plank let me share my free e-book booty with you.

 

Free books on Kindles (or Nooks or Sony PRS, I have all three- Yay, Christmas!)

Amazon, B&N, AllRomanceEbooks, BoB (Books on Board, not your uncle) Smashwords and more all have tons of free e-books available for legal download every day. They aren’t all classics either. A lot of them are Indie authors, which can be good or bad. 2012, along with dire Mayan predictions, is being touted the year of the indie author. The publishing world is being taken for a wild ride and readers are getting the benefit.  Authors no longer have to wait to get THE CALL from the fancy pants Big Six acquiring editor if they don’t want to. They can publish and sell their books right now on a variety of platforms. Amazon being the biggest one. Indie writers who put in the time (and money) to get a great cover, well written blurb, good pre-sale reviews, and most importantly a professionally critiqued, edited and well written book are putting out literature just as good, and sometimes even better than NY Times best-selling authors. Admittedly you do have to wade through some slag to find them, but the gems are there, and thanks to Amazon’s KDP program are promoting their books with get-it-for-FREE days.

But it’s not only Indie authors who take advantage of the Free sales rollercoaster; traditional publishers are doing it too. I had a fantastic bloggy conversation with the entrepreneur behind Sourcebooks last month. I asked her why Sourcebooks Casablanca (their Romance imprint) was offering two of their successful and well-known authors’ books for free. (Which I immediately one-clicked) Even big publishers see a spike in sales of other books in the line during the promotion as well as an increase in paid for sales once the free promo is finished.

Keep an eagle eye out and you’ll get some great reads for free.

Don’t want to spend hours searching Amazon for free reads? My crack-dealer source sends me an email everyday (often several times a day) with the new books Amazon is offering for free. No, she’s not a secret sneaky spy, her name is Princess. Well, that’s the handle she uses on the Amazon Discussion boards. She’s set up a doozy of a program that searches Amazon for all their new free kindle books then sends out an email with a link to a site where you can peruse only those titles. I love her.

Just go to http://us.kinlib.com/ and click subscribe to start getting your crack daily email.

 

Authors with Contests
Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Book Blogs and Blog Hops are great places to get free books. I once won an entire box of Clan of the Cave Bear paperbacks by Jean M. Auel in a contest I found on twitter. Just by following book bloggers and authors on social media I’ve won books by Courtney Milan, Ann Aguirre, Jenn LeBlanc, LeeAnn Sontheimer Murphy and Dan Dewitt. Some print and some e-books.

Goodreads has a whole section of their website dedicated to giveaways. You can enter to win books to your heart’s content at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

Authors love to promote their books through the blogosphere. Book bloggers often have a copy of new releases or even ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) available when they do interviews or reviews. But how do you find all these book blogs?

I’m a Reader, Not a Writer has blog hops every week, where hundreds of bloggers (including me) sign up, promise to giveaway a book related prize and get put on her linky. It’s a great way to discover book bloggers (and win some swag.) Readers hop from blog to blog checking them out and entering their contests. I won some children’s software for writing books on the Christmas blog hop. I gave away copies of The Rake and the Recluse on my blog during the Reader Love Blog Hop. A lot of bloggers offer gift certs for Amazon or The Book Depository.

Hop on over to her website to check out her latest linky list, she has one pretty much every week. http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/  

 

Project Gutenberg –
A smarty smart pants named Michael Hart invented the first E-book when he typed the Declaration of Independence and transmitted it to others in his own format in 1971. From there he started the brilliant Project Gutenberg, the longest standing online literary project. Zillions (okay, like 12) volunteers scan, edit and make available for free over 38,000 e-books. They are mostly classics, but any book whose copyright has expired is eligible to be included in the Project. You can download them or read them online at http://www.gutenberg.org/. I recommend starting with their top 100 which includes fun like the Kama Sutra, an 1811 dictionary of vulgar words, Pride and Prejudice, and Peter Pan.

Obviously I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet. But if you’re into reality not cyberspace, try my all-time favorite resource for free e-books…

 

Your local library -
“But I don’t want clunky hard covers, I want free E-books,” you whine.

Yeah, the library has those too, I swear. It’s all available online so you don’t even have to go there if you don’t want to (well, you might just to get the library card. Come on, crawl out of your cave, get a little sunshine and go socialize with the hot librarians.)

A majority of libraries in America today have gotten their budgets cut for like the eleventeenth year in a row. That’s what grants are for. And a lot of the money out there floating around in Grantland is for technology. So your local library probably snagged some of that cash along the way and has a whole library universe you didn’t even know existed of e-books.

My awesome library is called Anythink, and they are one of the most progressive and talked about library systems in the world. They don’t shhh you, they have a café, a Wii, and they have Overdrive (<- the library e-book nirvana.) You can check out e-books of the latest and greatest best sellers and not pay a single penny. You don’t even have to worry about overdue charges (Anythink doesn’t even have fines) because after 3 weeks or however long you opted to check the book out for it expires and becomes available for the next person to check out.

You may have to wait for the latest Stephen King book (I’m currently 49th in line for 11/22/63) ‘cause these Carnegian institutions don’t have unlimited copies of these books. Often they just have one or two. Publishers charge libraries a buttload more for their digital books than the average Jane, so they probably can’t afford a thousand copies of bestsellers like The Help. But hey, I’m gonna get to read it for free and my To Be Read pile is like the size of Mount St. Helens, so I’m content to wait.

Also you don’t get to keep it forever and ever (but with DRM rules and Amazon’s sticky fingers you won’t likely get to keep any of your other e-books much beyond ten years anyway).

Get on down to the library, or hit the library’s website to get all kinds of free e-books.
If you live in the Denver Metro Area you can belong to Anythink Library system. Here’s their website.

http://www.anythinklibraries.org/

Explore their awesomeness then click on 24/7 library to peruse Overdrive.

I’ve got a few other tricks up my sleeve for getting free e-books, like how to get free ARCs from the publisher and other blogs to follow for free e-book recommendations.

Check out my blog Amy Denim’s 365 days, 365 Free E-books at http://amydenim.blogspot.com for my picks of the week in free books and other resources.

Free Stuff!

To celebrate being Lori’s first Favorite Things guest blogger I’m giving away some FREE books. Remember that box of Clan of the Cave Bear books I told you I won? I still have twenty left, so anyone who comments on today’s blog will get a paperback copy. (Open to US residents only)  It won’t fit on your e-book reader, but it is free!

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