Monday, September 28, 2009

Anida Adler - The Ancient - You Gotta Read It!

Meet author Anida Adler! Her book The Ancient came out September 15th from Loose ID. Sound interesting? Then read on! You won't want to miss this fabulous writer!

In keeping with the Irish theme to her story, Anida will be giving away a Shannon O'Shamrock bear to one randomly drawn commenter from the tour, so be sure to comment early and often!

Here's a great interview with Anida Adler.

1. Describe your writing environment.

Until we moved house in September, the desktop computer stood next to the television in our sitting room, and I wore headphones, listening to loud music, when I needed to write and either the kids or my husband wanted to watch TV. I got the netbook I'm working on, sitting in a cafe in town, at the moment. The reason for that was because I work pretty much all the time, and with the netbook, I could sit beside my man while he watched the box. That way I could be close to him without having to stop working.

We moved house recently, and I now have a wonderful workspace in front of a window that overlooks the Cooley Mountains. More space, yippee! It also helps my eyes to be able to look out of the window every now and then. I'm so far too poor to afford a nice flat screen, so when I work at the desktop I have to wear glasses, and I have to watch out for eye strain.

2. Where do you get your ideas for your work?

That's almost impossible to tell. Out of probably about twelve novels I've written, I can only remember the seeds that gave birth to two of those. The rest I couldn't tell you if I tried.

With my very first one, I created a fantasy world that was a translation of the isolation I felt as a brainy girl growing up in a very working class environment. I'm sure many people feel that they are alone inside their heads, looking out at the world, no matter how close they may be to other people. I don't make friends easily, and when I tried earlier this year to make a deliberate effort to socialise more and maintain more friendships than I had before, I became desperately unhappy. I've now made peace with the fact that I prefer having a few close friends instead of a plethora of superficial friendships.

The other novel whose birth I can remember vividly is The Pebble, my novel published through Amira Press under author name Nadia Williams. I was cycling towards Warrenpoint along the shore of Carlingford Lough when I became aware... let me stop here. I know the difference between fantasy and reality, but for me, fantasy is so vivid that I prefer leaving out the 'I imagined' or 'I thought'. So just bear with me here. I became aware of my bicycle's spirit forming an elated bubble around me, gaining life from my enjoyment of the cycling. This got me brooding out a scenario where a woman bought a bicycle which was possessed by a spirit from someone who lived long ago - of course, it would be a sexy hunk. But how would his spirit have got into the bicycle? I pondered the possibility of the ore which made the frame having contained a stone to which his spirit had been banished by a witch. If you read The Pebble, you can see how far the eventual plot strayed from that initial story idea, but it might also be interesting to see the remnants of the first imaginings still embedded in its foundation.

3. Which authors do you admire and why?

There are a few authors I really love, because their books leave me silent, stunned and withdrawn when I finish. I am, however, really pathetic with remembering author names. Even so, I have a few favourites: Terry Pratchett, James Morrow (though I've only read 'The Last Witchfinder' so far), Tricia Sullivan (who is also a cyber-friend of mine), David Gemmel, Diana Wynne-Jones. I'm bound to think of a few more as soon as I've sent you the answers to these questions and can't add more!

4. Any tips or suggestions for new writers?

This is not the first time I've been asked this question since starting my mini-tour for The Ancient, and in truth, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I feel as if I'm a beginner myself, as I never stop trying to learn more, trying to write better. My good friend Mike Stone, also an author, was the first to gently chide me for still calling myself a beginner, and I know few other writers consider me to be one.

What I told a new group of teens at the Apple Tree Foundation, where I lead a writers' workshop on a voluntary basis, was this:
a. Cut out adverbs. It forces the rest of your writing to be stronger.
b. Read 'The Turkey City Lexicon'
c. Read 'Holt's Ten Mistakes'
d. Read 'Everything you need to know about writing successfully in ten minutes' by Stephen King

I gave a different answer to this question every time I answered it, I think, but there is just so much you need to know if you want to write stories other people will want to read, and enjoy reading. I would also wager each author you speak to would give you a different answer to that, though there might be similarities. Listen to all of them, and try their advice before discarding it. Take the adverbs thing, for instance: when I was first told this by my dear first writing mentor, Pat Jacobs, I thought it was stupid, but I trusted her, so I just did it. I couldn't believe the amazing effect it had on my writing. You have to give something that might not sound right, a shot before you decide it doesn't work for you. Unless it threatens your voice... urgh, there is just so, so much to say, all the lessons I learned over about six years of working at writing the way other people work at a fulltime job, and this answer is getting too long.

5. What's your best childhood memory?

This (Thank God, a short answer, I can hear you think. Well, wait until you follow the link :P)

6. Are you a people-watcher? If so, tell us a funny or interesting story about someone you saw.

I love watching people, but the story that comes to mind is one I heard from someone else. I'm in fact not sure if it's true. A very abusive woman walked into a Tesco (big supermarket chain in Ireland and the UK) with her two children. She was truly horrible to staff and other customers alike, loud and rude. When she got to the checkout, the youngster at the till asked: "Are your kids twins?"
"No, you moron. How can you think they're twins? Are you blind or just stupid? They're not the same age and they don't even look alike."
"Oh," he replied calmly. "I just thought they were twins, 'cause I couldn't imagine anyone shagging you twice."

Want to know more about The Ancient? Here's the blurb and a fun excerpt:


What would you do if you fell in love with the goddess of death?

June 1945 - Tadhg Daniels sees a woman clad in strange clothes and a feathered cloak, but she’s invisible to everyone else. He’s convinced his mind has been unhinged by the horrors of the D-day landings four days before, but when she appears to him again, the woman proves she is real. She is Morrigan, goddess of death, come to warn him his life is about to end.

Morrigan is disturbed by the man she meets. He looks in her eyes unflinching, while all others avoid her gaze. She’s never found such a strong will to survive in any of her charges before. He refuses to accept he’s going to die.

There is a way for Tadhg to cheat death, a secret Morrigan has guarded for millennia. Morrigan can save him if she takes him as her lover, but sex with the goddess of death will change him. He needs time to decide if he’s prepared to give up his humanity in order to be with her forever.

But Tadhg is not the only one who knows Morrigan’s secret. Someone else wants to take by force the gift she can bestow. And he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Excerpt 2:

“Look above you.” He searched the ceiling. “No, I mean at the bedstead.”

Tadhg shuffled his elbow under him and studied the ornate wrought-iron metalwork. For a moment, he didn’t know what she meant, then he saw the chains and blanched. He turned to Morrigán. “No. The shackles in that poem were a metaphor, Morrigán. I don’t do that sort of thing.” Except in his fantasies, but he’d die if she discovered that.

“I’m not asking you to. The shackles are not to bring pleasure to either of us, it is for my protection.”

He frowned and sat up. “Your protection? What the hell kind of man do you think I am?”

“I’m sure you’re very honourable. I told you, the change you’ll go through will be difficult. Just because I’m immortal doesn’t mean I can’t hurt and bleed.”

Tadhg felt cold dread trickle from his scalp down his neck and over his shoulders. What was he letting himself in for? He remembered the panicked feeling of his lungs filling with blood, the horror of his airway blocked. He lay back, stretched out his arms. Then he closed his eyes and slipped his wrists into the old-fashioned shackles hanging from chains on the bedstead. Every muscle in his body was tense as a bowstring.

He heard the rustle of fabric as she came closer, felt the dip of the mattress as she knelt beside him, making the sheet slide over his skin with a tantalising brush. For a moment, he wanted to snatch his arms from the shackles, but he forced himself to keep still as Morrigán closed first one, then the other bond, slipping the pins that held them fast.

The sound sent a rush of blood to his cock.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

First Lines

Okay, you have to start somewhere. When you write a short, long, or mid length story, you have to have that first line.

Something I learned along the way: You cannot just start a story with First name Last name did something.



Does this really sound interesting: Polly Anna rounded the corner and plopped into her favorite chair.

Not to me.

Why not try this: "The world's full of Dicks, but not the one I want." Polly Anna plopped into her favorite chair. Her ex-boyfriend, Dick Tremain stared at her from across the room. "You're here and the man of my dreams roams the streets."

I like the second. Why? Because it sounds more interesting. The line draws you into the story.

A good friend of mine who happens to be a famous writer told me, "You gotta hook the reader from sentence one. If you start off boring, then you won't keep the reader's attention and you won't have the reader for the rest of the book."

She's right.

There's nothing wrong with starting a story with the person's name and what they did, but that should be in the first draft version. For a final, make the opening interesting.

And would you believe, you don't HAVE to put the first and last name in the first line? Yep, you don't have to do that. For example, here's the lines from above with a little more:

"The world's full of Dicks, but not the one I want." Polly Anna plopped into her favorite chair. Her ex-boyfriend, Dick Tremain stared at her from across the room. "You're here and the man of my dreams roams the streets."

"I tried to fulfill your desires, but I can't compete with a ghost, Ms. White."

She crooked a brow. "It's not desire when it's over in a moment, Mr. Tremain."

See? You find out that her last name is White, but I didn't put it in the first line.

The key is to draw in the reader. Make them want more.

So now, as I try to finish my farmer (oh BTW, he's up to the 64k word count!), I'll close. But tell me... is there a novel in which the first line just grabbed you? Which one was it? Was there one that really stunk? Without embarrassing the guilty, which one was that? I'd love to know, as long as it's not one of mine (Nah, let me know if it's one of mine so I can fix it).


Friday, September 25, 2009

Cooperation - That's the Name of the Game

Okay, I wanted to have some great long post today telling of how I managed to get my MS done. Yeah, right. Didn't happen.

Why is it, when you want the characters to cooperate, that's when they decide to do the OPPOSITE? Why?

I want to just say it's because they are men and men don't cooperate when you want them to, but that's too easy. I could say it's because they are human and who cooperates 100% of the time? Sorry, not I. (Shocker to find that out, huh?).

Well, I'm not sure why and I'm giving up worrying about it for now. I had two wise people tell me not to force the story, to let it write itself... okay, okay... I'm doing that. Maybe I've been hitting it way too hard lately... maybe not hard enough... I don't know.

I'm going back to my bat cave to stew about next week's Law and Order and to try to write something...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In the Mood...

I may have mentioned him before now, but I'm working hard on my farmer story, entitled A Matter of Trust. Now, I have a key scene and a wrap up scene yet to write.

Am I worried?


I'm I a bit stuck?

You bet. I love to write a love scene. It's a beautiful way to express the devotion and passion between two people BUT I believe you must be in the right mind frame or, shall we say, in the mood. Really.

Think about it. When you feel arduous, its a mood. Anger sometimes brings it out, other times its the vision of a particularly yummy person of the opposite (or not so opposite) sex. But it's still a mood.

The same goes for writing about it. You can't write about sex if you aren't in the right mood. If not, it becomes a shuck and f**k and, really, is that sexy? Maybe, but not all the time. I like it to be beautiful and passionate, but that's me. Don't think I'm all sweetness and flowers. Roses do have thorns. Tee Hee.

So what do you do to get in the mood to write a love scene? I listen to a couple of favorite tunes and try to imagine in my head exactly what's going on between the two (or three or four) people. Dierks Bentley's "I Want to Make You Close Your Eyes" is a good one. So is "Putting My Misery on Display". I also use "Relentless" by Jason Aldean, "Come a Little Closer" also by Dierks, "The One" another by Gary, "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams, and "See If I Care" yet another Gary Allan tune.

Now I ask again (Since I shared one of my iPod playlists), what's your song to get in the mood?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thank a Librarian

If you haven't guessed by now, I love books. Did it show? I hope so. But I also love my libraries. Yep, I'm lucky to have 4 within a 30 mile radius. There's just something about going into a building and being surrounded by all those stories and the knowledge.

Plus, I think it's essential to get to know your librarians. Yep, get to know them because if you need help or happen to publish that book, they are the ones who can help get your book onto the shelves. They are also the ones who can help you with a bit of free promo too.

I went on Saturday, and there was one counter attendant and a line of 20 people, but she never lost her smile. There's a lady who my DS adores and he begs to go when she's there so he can say hi. You gotta give props to a person who can smile when it seems like the world is crushing down on them.

But then I have many librarian friends and one close pal who has a FAB romance presentation each February -- Love and Chocolates [that's you L : )]. Heck, I wrote a character that is a Romance Coordinator for her local library. (You can read about Abby in my upcoming release Learning How to Bend from Total-E-Bound in April.)

Before I got my first contract and was still an amateur writer, I strolled the aisles and dreamed MY BOOK would be among the many one day. Well, that dream will be true come June, but I still wander the library. You never know who's book you'll find AND what book that may not look interesting might be a favorite in the future.

I love to read the titles without looking at the covers (and yes, I'm a cover-holic. If he's buff and not hairy, then I'll read the back blurb, but if he's too hairy or she looks trashy, I will probably walk on by.). If you just go by the titles, you'll find some hilarious ones. And if you read the back without looking at the cover, you just might find that one you'll love (although there is NOTHING wrong with a great cover... just sayin').

So my long winded point is that you should thank those hard working folks down at the library. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, September 21, 2009

That Bugs Me!

Okay, I know I haven't been in the romance game for that long. I read romance in middle school and high school, but stuck primarily to the contemporary stuff. I've never been big on historicals, but I don't dislike them. I'm finding I like vampire stories (and sorry, but not because of Twilight - I own a copy, but I've never cracked it), and I'm still on the fence about wolf-shifters.

But this blog is about what bugs me. (And thank you to Catherine who made me think about this when I read her blog.)

Recently, I had a conversation with a couple friends of mine, both avid romance readers, and we discussed zombies, angels, and demons. I know, I know... what a combo. Not really. But these characters are cropping up in romance as heroes. I say, to each his or her own, but still there are a couple of things I'm questioning.

I have an opinion that many may argue (why not argue - it's a free country). How can a demon who is, by definition an evil entity, have a conscience? How can the demon in question decide to do good things? Now there are writers who have demons who change their stripes. More power to them. But I still wonder, how can evil be good? Maybe it's the idea that little white lies aren't always bad. But still...

And how can a zombie be a sexy hero? Again, by definition, zombies are walking dead who feast on the brains of the living. They are half decomposed. (IE Michael Jackson's Thriller video). So really, how can a zombie (without a brain) be a positive character and HOW CAN HE BE SEXY??? He's half there! Okay, there are those who get into more Gothic novels. I'll let this one go, but it still perplexes me.

And lastly (for now) how can an angel be bad? Now I've read the Bible and I've been to church. When I went to Sunday school, Angels were positive entities that did good in the world. Yes, I know there are such things as fallen angels (those who were angels, but decided to act more like humans or those who decided to partake of the pleasures of the flesh). Still, unless the writer tells the reader that the angel is a fallen angel or it's a fantasy where he's an angel in service of another Deity, then the angel can't topple to temptation. Yes, this drives me nuts!

Okay, so it might sound like I'm knocking fellow writers. I'm not. I'm voicing my opinion and everyone has a right to challenge it, Heck, you might make me change my mind. So what do you think?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Now What?

Waiting on the paperwork and the edits to begin. I know its coming.

What do I do in the mean time? Well, I went to school to be an art teacher. Yep, I thought I could deal with high school students and impart them with fabulous art techniques and the thrilling world of art history. Um..... it didn't happen.

One word - Jaded.

But that's not the point...

When I gave up teaching but took up crafting, well I actually never really quit crafting, but this time I decided to try the arts/crafts show circuit. Yep, I paint ceramics and trinkets. I love doing it because while I'm painting, I can work out the sticky issues in my plots and make the novels better. Oh and there's nothing like taking time away from a pesky character and working on a painting of a prized pup or kitten. Yep, I paint animal portraits for patrons.

Do I get to do it often? Well, no, but it's all bad. It's a great balance and that's what I think everyone needs -- a little balance in their lives and careers.

Well, enough random thoughts for now.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Sandy Lender - Author of Choices Meant for Kings

Today I bring you the fabulous writer, Sandy Lender. Her current work, Choices Meant for Kings is out now. Grab yourself a copy today. Here's her interview. Enjoy and please stop by her other stops on her Virtual Tour. You can win prizes and have lots of fun visiting new sites. As always, leave comments, we'd love to hear from you! You can find her other stops here:

What’s your favorite part of the book? Why?
Sandy Lender: OMG, Wendi, you’ve asked the world’s hardest question! Kudos to you… I kinda had to address this question when I had to pick a scene to put on the inside front cover flap as a teaser. So I was trying to figure out what my favorite scene was. It’s sort of a toss-up among a few: this scene where Chariss blasts the crap out of this obnoxious king’s castle on the island south of Onweald; this scene where Jake Taiman has to rescue Tiatha; this scene where Chariss tries to kill a sorcerer by flinging herself (and him) over a cliff; and this horrible scene where Chariss is “supposed” to marry Nigel Taiman. The destruction of the castle won out for the cover flap, but I think the wedding scene is my fave because it’s so reminiscent of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

When you create your novels, do you know right away who will be the protagonist, or is it a process of letting the characters develop into their parts of the story?
Sandy Lender: Yep, always know who the good guy is. Now, there are some extras who surprise me with their roles or how they develop, but the main characters reveal themselves to me before I start writing. You’ll see in a few of the reviews I’ve already got on Amazon that characters aren’t always who they seem to be…and the readers are loving that.

Where’s your favorite place to write and why? Did that place affect your current work?
Sandy Lender: I can write anywhere at any time, but I prefer my den with all my little “writing goodies” around me. I like having my reference books and candles, dragon paintings and favorite music…that sort of stuff. I think setting a mood influences some of the characters’ thoughts and actions, but it’s not essential to me. I can float into the world on Onweald and pick up where Chariss and Nigel are at the drop of a hat, whether I’m stuck in traffic or sitting on a plane or standing in the shower wishing I had a pen…

Thank you for the insightful questions. Maybe your visitors today will have more. I’ll be checkin’ in!
“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
Here's the blurb for Choices Meant for Kings:
Chariss is in danger. Her geasa is hampered by the effects of a friend’s marriage. The dashing Nigel Taiman hides something from her, yet demands she stay at his family’s estate where he and her wizard guardian intend to keep her safe. But the sorcerer Lord Drake and Julette The Betrayer know she’s there, and their monstrous army marches that way. When prophecies stack up to threaten an arrogant deity, Chariss must choose between the dragon that courts her and the ostracized kings of the Southlands for help. Evil stalks her at every turn and madness creeps over the goddess who guides her. Can an orphan-turned-Protector resist the dark side of her heritage? Or will she sacrifice all to keep her god-charge safe?

A Tense Little Excerpt From Choices Meant for Kings
By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
You won’t find this excerpt anywhere except Sandy’s current online book tour…

As the soldier stepped toward him, Nigel reached out his arm and caught him by the neck. He slammed the captain against the far wall. He pinned him there with his body, leaning against the man as if he could crush the wind from him with his presence.

He brought his face close to the soldier’s ear and spoke lowly, fiercely, so that no one could have overheard him. The menace and intent behind the words was as surprising to the captain as the words themselves.

“I asked you to accompany [Chariss] on this journey tomorrow because I have faith in your sword, and until this moment I trusted you to keep your distance from her. Now, I find her down here at your side with a look upon your face that suggests more than you realize. So help me, Naegling, the only thing that stays my hand is how displeased she would be if she learned that I sliced you open.”

“The look you see is merely my concern for her honor. Nothing more.”

“I’m not a fool. And I’ll use every last piece of Arcana’s treasury to pay the prophets to justify my reasons for marrying that woman, so you can unconcern yourself with her honor.”

Hrazon stepped off the staircase then and saw Nigel pressed against his guard.

“I still believe you’re one of the best soldiers Arcana’s ever seen,” Nigel continued, “and I want you at her side for this journey, but, so help me, Naegling, she comes back alive and well and not confused in the least about her affections for me, or I will string you up from a tree in the orchard and attach your intestines to your horse’s saddle before I send it—”

Hrazon cleared his throat. “Excuse me. Is there an issue here I should address?”

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Interview with Debbie Alferio - Author of A Forever Kind of Love and Waiting for Tomorrow

Today I wanted to feature another friend and fellow writer, Debbie Alferio. She's the author of A Forever Kind of Love and Waiting For Tomorrow. She's decided to sit down for a quick interview and to share a bit about her books.

Welcome Debbie!

1. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing for almost five years.

2. Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Absolutely! In fact, I have suffered so much that I actually had a t-shirt made that says, "Writer's Block: What happens when your imaginary friends stop talking to you!" LOL Seriously, I think this is something every writer faces at one point or another. The best strategy that I have found to overcome the problem is to take a break from my work and engage in anything that isn't related to writing. This gives my brain a chance to rest. When I am not forcing myself to think about it, my muse generally returns stronger than ever, and I am able to move on.

3. What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Can I say both? To clarify: With my first novel, A Forever Kind of Love, the dream that inspired it was about Mitch, my hero. So, in that case, it was the characters. The plot unfolded as I wrote, and new characters were added as I went along. Since I am a series writer, obviously the characters were already in place when I began to write Waiting for Tomorrow; therefore, the plot came before my newest character, Casey, (the villianess) was introduced.

4. What are you reading now?

I'm currently engrossed in a wonderful book by a good friend of mine, Sandra Valencia, entitled Song of Turand. The books I have found most intriguing over the past few years are those written by authors I either know personally or have met during various events we have done together. There is a lot of wonderful, undiscovered talent out there, and I feel that people need to give these authors more of the credit they deserve.

5. How do you come up with the titles for your books?

Since I don't work with any sort of outline, nothing is really premeditated, so to speak. A Forever Kind of Love was taken from a phrase of dialogue toward the end of the book. I just liked the way it sounded and thought, "Why not?" As for Waiting for Tomorrow, I wanted something that depicted the theme of the story itself, and after much thought, this title is what came to mind. It seemed to fit very well.

6. What inspired you to write your first book?
First, let me say that I have no formal training in writing and never aspired to be an author as I was growing up. I also had little interest in writing after I hit about age 13. In September, 2004, I had a dream one night in which I was sitting on a couch in what appeared to be an office, talking to a man that I didn't recognize. I don't recall what the conversation was about, but I turned to him and said, "Okay, Mitch," just before waking up. The strange part of all that is, I have never known anyone named Mitch or Mitchell, so I have no idea why I addressed him that way! A story began to form in my head from this remnant of a dream, and I felt a strong need to get it on paper. When I sat down at the computer, it flowed from me as though it had always been there. Five-and-a-half months later, A Forever Kind of Love was born, and Mitch became Mitch Tarrington, my hero. I chalk the whole experience up to "Divine Intervention" and now view writing as my passion.

Debbie Alferio is a native of northern Ohio and the author of the Forever Love series of moral and tasteful fictional romance. Inspired by an actual dream, her debut novel, A Forever Kind of Love, was a ForeWord Magazine ‘Book of the Year’ Award Finalist and an Authorhouse Publishing bestseller. The sequel, Waiting for Tomorrow, is a ForeWord Magazine ‘Book of the Year’ Silver Award Winner and a Long and Short Reviews ‘Best Book’. Her refreshing and realistic approach to writing has earned her a multitude of prestigious speaking appearances, rave reviews, and the title of Ohio Representative for Authors Across America. She is listed in the online editions of both Empire’s and Biltmore’s Who’s Who Among American Business and Professional Women and is a member of the International Writer’s Association and Sauna Friends Literary Group. You can visit her at her website:

Another Author You Should Know - Sandy Lender

Choices Meant for Kings is the second book in the Choices trilogy by Sandy Lender.

Chariss is in danger. The dashing Nigel Taiman hides something from her, yet demands she stay at his family’s estate where he and her wizard guardian intend to keep her safe. But the sorcerer Lord Drake and Julette The Betrayer know she’s there, and their monstrous army marches that way. When prophecies stack up to threaten Master Rothahn, Chariss must choose between the dragon that courts her and the ostracized kings of the Southlands for help. Evil stalks her at every turn and madness creeps over the goddess who guides her. Can an orphan-turned-Protector resist the dark side of her heritage? Or will she sacrifice all to keep her god-charge safe?

Long and Short Reviews said, "She did it again! Sandy Lender is a treasure for fantasy readers and all other readers who like intriguing, well-told tales. The world she creates, inhabited by mortals, gods, goddesses, wizards, sorcerers, dragons, and monsters, lures the reader into a total spectrum of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual upheavals."

Sandy will be giving away a first edition, autographed, hard copy edition of the first book in the trilogy Choices Meant for Gods to one lucky commenter at the end of the tour, and the blog host with the most comments, excluding duplicates or Sandy's comments, will also win.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And So It Goes...

Just heard that song "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel. Yes, I like Billy Joel's music. "Summer, Highland Falls" is my favorite song. But listening to it made me think... time flies. When Storm Front came out, I was still in elementary school. Yup, I was. I'm watching a selection of Weezer videos... sheesh... they hit it big when I was in high school. Crazy.

So I spent a bit of time thinking about how fast time seems to pass. Seems like yesterday I was in high school trying to figure out how to fit in and what the heck I wanted to do with my life. Seems like a few hours ago when I was in college and trying to decide if I was old enough to get married and to teach other students. Oy! Seems like just a moment ago when I was pregnant and wondering how the heck I was ready to have a child when I felt like little more than a child myself.

No, I don't feel much older now, but I feel a bit wiser. I gave teaching a shot and found it wasn't for me. I'm a parent and maybe I'm not so bad at that as I figured. I still refuse to grow up and I don't confuse growing up with maturity. You can turn the volume button to the left and still rock out. There's nothing wrong with admitting you still like Hall & Oats when the rest of the world like Nirvana. Oh and about maturity, you can be mature without losing that childlike wonder and humor. (And yes, I'm still the one who laughs 'til I cry when I watch slapstick comedy. Falling down is hysterical... just sayin'.)

Tomorrow my friend Debbie Alferio will be here with an interview about her writing and her books. Check back for that.

Well, I'm still in the consideration pile (as far as I know) with the editors. No word from one, but word is I may find something out come Monday. I didn't publicise this before, but I do believe in coincidence and things happening for a reason. When I wrote Right, I took some inspiration from Gary Allan's songwriting. (Like you couldn't tell...) But I put my own spin on it. While waiting for the answer on the submission, I got to see Gary in concert. Cool. And then the word came that it was contracted. As for my two under consideration, one deals with the Air Force and the other with the Air National Guard. One story has a dragonfly in it. A keyring with a dragon recently came into my possession (spooky, huh?) and then last weekend I went to the Air Show. It's an air show, so yeah, the military planes were there, but still... the C5 and C130 were there. Coincidence? Probably... but I'm going with the divine sign theory.

If I'm wrong, I'll admit my folly. 'Til then, I'm riding on faith and hope (and crossed fingers).


Friday, September 11, 2009

In Rememberance

In favor of a long blog post, I thought I'd just ask for a moment to pause and think about those who lost their lives eight years ago and those who are giving their lives to keep up free.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Interview with Kiss Carson!!!!

One of my close friends and critique partners is Kiss Carson. She's got two fabulous releases from the Wild Rose Press: Illusions of Destiny and Jewels of the Sun. Both are red hot and fun to read.

Welcome Kiss! Thanks for stopping by. Just a few questions so we all get to know you a bit better.

1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was 13. I started writing stories about my favourite music stars eg Duran Duran (I was Mrs Simon Le Bon for years!!!! Hehehe). At about 15, I started writing paranormal and fantasy romances. I guess it’s in my blood.

Very cool. I thought I'd be the next Mrs. Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block... ah such is life.

2. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Writer’s block. Ewwww! I can’t say I’ve ever suffered badly from it. I usually say I’m on holidays. I read lots of books and watch all my favourite movies to try to get my mind working again. Other than that, I kill everyone in my current manuscript in a furious rage and go back and rewrite later.

Isn't it nice to know you can't get into trouble for it! : )

3. What comes first: the plot or the characters?

My characters always come first. For me, the characters shape the plot. I’m a panster so I never really know what’s going to happen when I start typing.

4. What are you reading now?

The Idiots Guide to Writing Erotic Fiction. Hot and steamy has never been my forte!!! I’m also reading The Bride and the Beast by Teresa Medeiros.

5. How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I usually take something from the story. Illusions of Destiny came to me when the heroine believed her destiny was nothing but an illusion. Jewels of the Sun is named after the diamond pillars in the book. For the most part, I name my books after the heroine until something strikes me. I don’t stress over the names of my books.

6. What inspired you to write your first book?

Illusions of Destiny. I’ve been asked this before, and honestly, I don’t know. The book started out as a time travel. Then, the hero grew wings and the heroine turned into a sceptic divorcee. I had been watching lots of Barbie shows with my daughter, so I don’t know whether something crept into my subconscious from those.

Thanks for the great interview. You can get your own copies of her books by going to or to

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kiss Carson stops by my blog tomorrow!

Tomorrow's the big day! My pal and CP Kiss Carson stops by. Make sure you check out her fabulous interview.

Kiss Carson has always loved stories that whisk her away from the real world and dump her right in the middle of a once in a lifetime adventure. Danger and love always seem to go hand in hand, along with a little bit of fantasy or paranormal. Her collection of dragons and knights give her inspiration, as does the ghost that lives in her bathroom. She lives in Queensland, Australia, with her very own dashing hero, two budding heroines and a hero in training(and Fred the Phantom Flusher).

She's the author of Jewels of the Sun and Illusions of Destiny!

Visit her at
Books by Kiss Carson

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Gotta Love the Princess

I recently went camping and am willing to admit my Princess tendencies. Yes, I am not a camp aficionado. Sleeping on the ground, with critters and bugs around does not do it for me. No computer... I'm lost. Thankfully we have a travel trailer, but still. I'd rather be sitting in it piddling away on my latest WIP rather than being 'ate up by them bugs' as my DS called it. (Does that make us sound like hicks? Ah, well, you can't hide what you are I suppose...)

But I found out that I have an ally in the Camp Wars. (The DH and DS LOVE camping....) My basset/beagle, Darlington, is just as much of a princess. (And yes, I'm the masochist who put the bow on her at Christmas. I think she wanted to bite my leg off for it.) Her idea of camping is barking at anyone who goes past the campsite. She'd prefer to park her doggy self on the couch in the TT and sleep.

Are we spoiled? Maybe. The whole point of camping is to commune with the outdoors. I'm just prefer my outdoors to be behind glass or at least a screen.

So the next time we go camping, I will bring the computer and you'll most likely find Darlington and me in the TT.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Third Free Read is Up on Whipped Cream!

I got the idea to write the third installment of my short story series for Whipped Cream when I saw pictures from a wedding I went to with my DH. It reminded me how long we've been together and how sometimes being an "old married couple" can be a drag on a relationship. This is Kellen's story and I hope it answers the questions the reader might have had from Saturday Night Special and Best I've Ever Had.

I titled the story Amazed, as a throwback to one of the songs played when we married. Yep, we're old married people.
Here's the cover. I love it.

I hope you enjoy the story. If it's as fun to read as it was to write, then you should love it too.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Green Stone of Healing Series by C.L. Talmadge!

Today I have guest blogger C.L. Talmadge her to give her perspective on the compelling heroine. Who hasn't tried to write a heroine and ended up with someone who's a bit too perfect? Want to make that heroine more of an independant thinker and someone you'd want to know in life? Then read on.

Make sure to leave a comment. We'd love to hear from you. Plus you just may win a prize! Be sure to stop by her other blog stops and leave comments. You can follow her tour at:

Crafting a compelling heroine

By C.L. Talmadge

She can keep her legs shut, but not her lips.

Helen Andros, the first-generation heroine of the Green Stone of Healing® speculative epic, always has an opinion. And she usually cannot refrain from expressing it loudly and emphatically.

Ooops. This little character quirk continually lands Helen in hot water in her world, the lost island nation of Azgard. Women are strictly second class in this male-dominated, theocratic oligarchy. A woman like Helen, orphaned, impoverished, illegitimate, and of mixed racial heritage, is lower than a snake’s belly in the social order.

Crafting a compelling heroine is no different than developing a convincing hero. Readers want and deserve characters of either gender who stay on their minds and intrigue them long after they put down the book. Characters who test their intellects and tug at their hearts. Characters who at once seem very real yet somehow a bit larger than life.

The first step to crafting such a heroine is to know her thoroughly. Not just how she looks, but who she is, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This process entails taking a lot of time to think about her.

In imagining the Green Stone of Healing® series, I focused attention on Helen and her descendents for more than three decades before finally starting to write about any of them. These characters captivated me, marching into my conscious awareness and introducing themselves, telling me their names and showing me a lot about who they are and what transpires in their lives. I didn’t need movies with these folks crowding my thoughts.

Once I began putting their story into words, I realized that all compelling heroines have character attributes that, shall we say, enhance their personal challenges. Some might call them character flaws, but no matter what the label, they make life a lot less smooth for the character and thus more interesting for the reader.

Had Helen, for example, been able to express her opinions a little more diplomatically, her negligible social standing would not have been nearly so painful for her. Because she annoyed or belittled or insulted them, those who did not like her used her lack of status to wound her in return.

Regardless of her social standing, Helen personally seems to have so much going for her that she might be hard for many readers to identify with or like. She’s extremely intelligent, has a beautiful face, and a gorgeous, 6-foot plus figure. She’s also independent, tough-minded, and determined enough to have earned a medical degree and credentials on a scholarship.

If she seems too perfect to be true, she’s not. There’s her foot-in-mouth disorder, for starters. Next there is her near total lack of self esteem and her deep fears. She uses her intellect like to shield her from the pain in her heart over the loss of her mother at age eleven and her never knowing her father’s identity until she was thirty-one years old. She meets the definition for clinical depression and is close to being anorexic.

In other words, Helen is vulnerable in many ways. And it is a heroine’s vulnerabilities and mistakes that endear her to readers while helping to advance the plot. Few want to read about Little Ms. Perfect. There are enough irritating people in this world without going to the trouble of finding them in books, too.

Helen also has positive attributes to balance her flaws. She is kind-hearted and generous with her love, especially for those she perceives as vulnerable, like her patients or children. She’s got an earthy sense of humor and a playful streak, although she is a workaholic.

One of my major frustrations as a young reader was that most books four decades ago did not have of female protagonists. Males were generally the main characters, except for domestic fiction like Jane Austen’s novels. Even contemporary fiction primarily confines female characters to shopping, having sex, or fighting with their mothers for goodness knows what reason.

In sharp contrast, Helen and the other heroines of my series are people of consequence, whose actions, while not always successful, make a difference in their world. They are heroines in every sense of the word.

C.L. Talmadge is the author of the Green Stone of Healing® speculative epic. The fourth in the series, Outcast, will be published Oct. 1. Vote for the first book, The Vision, by Sept. 25 and get a free e-book on healing, love, and spirituality. Details at her blog:

The series features four generations of strong-willed female characters who inherit a mysterious green gem ultimately revealed to mend broken bones and broken hearts, protect against missiles, and render its wearers undetectable.
For more information about each book, please visit

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Get to Know C.L. Talmadge!

Another author you gotta know: C.L. Talmadge, author of the Green Stone of Healing Series!

Under the byline Candace Talmadge, the author of the Green Stone of Healing(tm) fantasy series is a columnist syndicated weekly by NorthStar Writers Group. Her career as a professional writer began in 1976, when she became associate editor of The Suffolk County News. She has been a fulltime staff writer at or freelanced for numerous media that include Adweek, Business Week, the Dallas Times Herald, Forbes, the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, and Reuters America. Talmadge is also familiar with the intimate link between spirituality, energy, and healing. In 1999, she published non-fiction about emotional and spiritual healing resolution based on the Sunan method of working in the energy of human consciousness. This book, Hope is in the Garden: Healing Resolution Through Unconditional Love, provides an expanded definition of energy that demonstrates the connection between matter, spirit, heart, and mind. To write her multigenerational novel, the author delved into her own past lives and those of her family, friends, clients, and acquaintances. The fictionalized result is the Green Stone of Healing(tm) series. She resides in Texas with her partner and editor.

The series features four generations of strong-willed female characters who inherit a mysterious green gem ultimately revealed to mend broken bones and broken hearts, protect against missiles, and render its wearers undetectable.
For more information about each book, please visit

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Guest Blogger Lorhainne Eckhart!

I asked Lorhainne to join me today on the blog. Welcome, Lorhainne! Please be sure to stop by her other blog stops and do comment! We'd love to hear from you! Plus, you can win prizes. You can find her other blog stops at:
To get to know her a bit better, I asked her what colors her writing?

Well that would be life experience. I draw from those times of joy, sorrow, pain or anguish, many that I have witnessed first hand with family and friends.

I don’t write light and fluffy. I draw from situations that test each one of us. You those times in your life, when you’re thrown that curve ball that rocks your world. You stumble for a bit until you figure out how to regain your balance. It’s also those controversial situations, where a friend, family member or even myself is tested in a way we wish we weren’t.

In my writing I see out of those negative situations a way to overcome that obstacle. My stories depict many of these setbacks which I build into the characters I develop.

I find people fascinating, the way they tick. I’ve witnessed situations where someone has behaved dishonourably, dishonest, including behaviour that is morally reprehensible, especially where an innocent person is taken advantage of. And I wonder how such an injustice can be allowed.

But on the other hand I have also witnessed friends overcome great obstacles. What amazed me was how they handled that bump in the road with absolute grace and dignity.

The story and details I research in depth, but life experience around me is what I build into each story and characters I create.

Here's an excerpt of The Captain's Lady:

“We have no reports of a ship in distress in the area, Captain.”
“What about fishing boats?”
“No, sir, no reports.”
Looking once more at his first officer, Eric issued curt orders, the harshness grating in his voice. “Send a rescue team to check it out.”
Handing the binoculars off to one of the crew members, he strode with determination off the bridge, heading directly to the ship’s launch. His well-trained crew scurried about. Joe appeared at his side and they watched from the rail as the small rigid hull sped off in the direction of the dinghy. His pulse rose and the dampness on his back soaked through his short-sleeved shirt.
“So what do you think?” Joe leaned on the rail, uncertainty clear in the crinkle of his brows.
“Don’t know, dammit.” Eric focused on the scene unfolding in the distance. Again he commandeered the binoculars from Joe and scrutinized the three-man team approaching, then securing the boat to the dinghy.
His senses were keen; over the years, he’d learned to trust them. The uneasiness that crept its way into his gut, the hairs now standing up on the back of his neck and the racing of his heart; this unshakable feeling was telling him that things were about to change—drastically. Puzzled, he felt the mounting frustration build inside, along with something else he could not quite put his finger on. Shaking his head, he realized it was not a feeling of dread.
The crackle of the radio interrupted his speculation. A voice from the rescue team came over the line. “There’s someone in here, a woman, and she’s in bad shape.”