Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Please welcome author, Charisma Knight. Charisma's newewst release is Just an Average Vampire, which was recently released by Amira Press. Other books written by Charisma are Soul Seduction and Her Dark Desires.
In honor of April 15th being tax day, we’re asking 15 questions this month...so, let's get started:
GRACEN: Speaking of taxes, are you’re taxes finished, or do you procrastinate with them? Do you do them yourself or do you have a taxman do them for you?
CHARISMA: My taxes are completed. My uncle does them for me, I don’t play around with Uncle Sam. I’m eager to receive money. ; )
GRACEN: As it says, “April showers bring May flowers”. What flowers do you hope to see the first thing in spring?
CHARISMA: Oh, it doesn’t matter. Anything in bloom makes me happy.
GRACEN: Do you plant your own garden? Why or why not and where is it (are they) located? What type(s) will it (they) be and where is it (are they) located on your property?
CHARISMA: No, I don’t have a green thumb.
GRACEN: If you could have a garden, what kind of garden would it be, how big would it be and what would you plant in it?
CHARISMA: I would have a beautiful large rose garden. I’m partial to roses of all colors.
GRACEN: Have you ever considered getting involved with a local community garden? Why or why not?
CHARISMA: No, I haven’t. I’m not a natural at gardening. I don’t have a green thumb.
GRACEN: For your produce, is the local grocery store just fine, or do you like to hit your local farmer’s market? What is your favorite fruit or vegetable that you like to get?
CHARISMA: There is a local stand around the Hanover area where my grandmother lives. It is next to the Peach Orchard. They grow beautiful plants, vegetables, and fruit. My favorite fruit is watermelon, and I love fresh green beans and corn.
GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, Charisma…What is your main genre (erotica, erotic romance, romantic suspense, etc.)? What was the draw for you?
CHARISMA: Main genre is erotic romance. There are no drawbacks.
GRACEN: Besides your main genre we just discussed, what elements do you prefer to use in a story and why those elements over others?
CHARISMA: I enjoy writing interracial erotica; erotic romance. I enjoy writing about vampires, ghosts, and werewolves. As you can see, vampires are my first love. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired with writing them.
I write about interracial romances because I’m an African American woman who has always been involved in an interracial relationship, so that is what appeals to me. I use these elements from my point of view.
GRACEN: Do you prefer red roses or black roses? If so, does that show in your writing? If so, how? If roses aren’t your style, what flowers are? Do they influence your writing? If so, how?
CHARISMA: I love them both. Actually, I don’t include flowers in my writing, but I should start. Actually, in one of my stories, the hero gives my heroine a bouquet of blood red roses. Does that count? Honestly, flowers don’t influence my writing.
GRACEN: The jury’s still out on this question, so we’re still asking it! - Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one planting the seeds? How do you cultivate those seeds regardless of who plants them?
CHARISMA: I must say, it is 50/50 sometimes. Other times, I follow my muse wherever she leads me. There are times when my muse plants the seeds and leaves. I cultivate the seeds by sitting down and creating a rough outline of this story. I do this with the characters, because it sometimes helps me set the stage for everything. It is rare when I do this. Other stories have just flowed to me thanks to my muse, and I didn’t have to do anything, just write.
GRACEN: In your opinion, what author had the most influence on your writing? What about their writing did you find so influential and why?
CHARISMA: I have to say, Celeste Anwar, and Dahlia Rose inspired me to launch my writing career in March, 2009. Other authors such as J. Hali Steele and Eve Vaughn are my most recent influences.
Their writings are so influential because they stay with you long after you’ve completed the book. These ladies have written memorable stories that tingles the senses and warms the heart. There is a melancholy feeling when the story has ended. I strive to invoke those feelings within readers.
GRACEN: While authors can definitely influence us, inspiration can be everywhere for a writer, but specific people, places and events can inspire certain characters, personality traits or things that happen in our stories. In your current story that we’re promoting here today, Just An Average Vampire, did any one particular person, place or event inspire you? If so who/what was it (were they), how did it/they inspire you and how is this inspiration reflected in your story?
CHARISMA: A very good friend who suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her ex inspired me to write this story. I dedicated this story to her because she was strong enough to gain her freedom. When a woman is trapped within an abusive relationship, her mind and body are sadly no longer her own. Horribly enough, she feels there is no way out of the relationship.
GRACEN: Without giving away anything pertinent to the story, tell us about the hero and heroine (s) of your story. What do they look like? How do they meet (or “did” if this is a second book with these same characters)? What are their personalities – Are they comical cut-ups, are they serious or are they a mix of the two? Please give us a little bit of dialogue from the story that can illustrate this. (Not much, but just a few lines and from a different section than the main excerpt – Thanks!)
CHARISMA: There is no dialogue of how Trina and Cecil met, just Cecil’s thoughts while watching her sleep.
Cecil remembered the first day they met. It had been October 2008 when their paths crossed at Burt’s Café, a coffee lounge. He’d stood in line behind her, waiting for her to place her order. When it came time to pay, Trina searched for the money she thought she’d had in a small pocketbook. Cecil stepped in, paying for her purchase.
In awe of his kindness, Trina had given him a huge hug, and the two bonded. A lone, silver tear slid down Cecil’s cheek while recalling the moment she’d told him how Rick treated her. She’d had money in her wallet, but Rick used to steal from her. With these thoughts, Cecil lay down beside Trina, remaining awake until dawn approached.
Vampire, Cecil McKagan is English, tall handsome, and good looking. He is six feet tall, has shoulder length black hair, charming, and quite the gentleman. He lives in Edison, New Jersey, lives in an average apartment, and holds an average job in a pub. He’s friends with my heroine, Trina Jones. Well, Cecil wishes to be more than just friends, however, he fears he may be a little overbearing for Trina, especially since she is the victim of an abusive relationship. Cecil fears as a vampire he may harm her emotionally, perhaps even physically.
Trina Jones is a beautiful African American woman who discovered the courage to escape an abusive husband. Unfortunately, after her divorce she suffers a few financial struggles. Once learning she is being evicted from her apartment, she relies upon Cecil for a place to stay. Trina has shoulder length black hair, smooth dark brown skin, a voluptuous build. She is funny, witty, and a handful. She’s very independent and stubborn.
GRACEN: The main characters are usually great, but sometimes, secondary and tertiary characters are known to steal the scenes. Who are the secondary/tertiary characters in your story and what do they look like? What’s unique about them? What is their relationship to the hero/heroine? Have any of these gone on to become scene-stealers? If so, who and how did they do it? (Again, please give us a small bit of dialogue to illustrate this – thanks!)
CHARISMA: My other characters, Izzy and Ivanna may steal the scenes a little. Izzy is my Spanish vampire, a long time friend of Cecil’s. Izzy is a show off, down to earth, wise cracking and very charming. His mate, Ivanna is a petite blond who chastises Izzy every so often because of his child-like nature. They are close friends to Cecil and Trina. In one of the scenes, Izzy shows off his vampire speed while they help Trina move her belongings out of her apartment.
After discovering the courage to divorce her abusive husband, Trina Jones rises from her ashes like the legendary Phoenix. Strong-willed and determined, she rebuilds her independence. After her divorce, a string of bad luck sets her back tremendously. Faced with eviction and repossession, Trina becomes frustrated. To make matters worse, she is laid off from her job.
Vampire Cecil McKagan graciously accepts Trina into his home once he discovers her hardship. The bond between them ultimately strengthens, and the pair become lovers. However, past negativities threaten to tear the couple apart...
Across the alley, on top of the abandoned building, an ancient being peered through Cecil's bedroom window. Witnessing the affection between Trina and Cecil, venomous curses escaped its lips. Consumed by hatred, and unaffected by the bitter wind whipping it's long raven locks against flawless ebony skin, the creature dug it's talons into the brick ledge on which it perched. Another opportunity would arise to drive a wedge between them, it decided as it expanded black wings and leapt off the top of the building. Enraged, it released a blood-curdling scream and soared high into the starlit sky.
* * * *
The screech jarred Cecil and Trina from their embrace. Cecil sat up and dashed to the window. His keen senses had alerted him to something seconds before hearing the blood-curdling scream. Now, he sensed nothing.
"Was that a cat, or something?"
"It was a vampire."
"Maybe it was Izzy or Ivanna."
"No, the presence I felt was over there. And the scream, well, we vampires make those noises when enraged. This presence seemed familiar, but I can't bloody place it." Cecil was puzzled, and then an eerie thought crept into his head.
"Cecil, you're scaring me. Stop looking like that. Are you sure everything is all right?"
"Yes." He returned to the bed and slipped beneath the bedcovers.
"Oh, Trina." Cecil shook his head. He looked at her, sighed, and fell against the large, goose down pillow. Trina turned on her side to face him, running her fingers through the silky soft hair dusking his broad chest.
"Do we have more secrets, Cecil? That sound, whatever it was, caused my damn skin to crawl. I would bet my life you know what, or who, it was, and this time I would appreciate an honest answer."
"Along with living many lifetimes comes the threat of many enemies. I was a knight in England. This scar came from a werewolf attack, as I was returning from the Crusades. I fought with honor for King Richard, no questions asked."
"When were you made a vampire?"
"Almost a week after my attack. Once I returned, I learned my wife and child had been murdered by the hands of someone I thought to be a comrade. After a day of mourning, my sire introduced herself to me, taking my life as though I'd accept the monster I'd become afterward. I wished for death, but not like this. Nydia was my sire. She was a cold, ruthless vampire who hunted for the thrill of the chase. She is an enemy."
"Why would she be an enemy?"
"Oh, I'm getting to that. Trust me."
"I'm sorry for the loss of your family. Do you regret becoming a vampire?"
"For centuries, yes. Then I met you. Fate has a way of making things happen. If I weren't a vampire, I would never have met you," he said and kissed Trina on the head as she snuggled close, allowing him to continue his story.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Buy Link: http://www.the-wild-horse-press.com/fantasyscifibooks.htm
Alyson is abducted and taken to Shar, a parallel world where she finds herself caged and about to be sold as a slave. Shar is where the demons hell doesn’t want reside, along with fallen angels and vampires. Adam, a fallen angel, purchases her, and takes her home with him, where she learns to love and trust a man who already owns her. But Adam is full of his own insecurities, fearing that while he’s falling for her, she’s more interested in his friend, Luke, who is also a fallen angel. Just as Alyson is starting to feel safe with Adam, she’s abducted by Lars, a vicious vampire that has become infatuated with her. But, of course, Adam saves her—I wouldn’t want it any other way!—and they return to his cottage to recognize their love and devotion for one another.
This is a short, smoldering read of 71 pages, so if you want something fast and hot, this is for you…and the sex scenes will almost melt the hardwire in your computer. The story isn’t complicated and it’s not hard to follow, so again, another great reason why it’s a fabulous short read if you want a quickie without any in-depth detailed reading.
My main problem with A Slave to Her Passions was that I never felt any fear from Alyson when she was abducted. Even when the story picks up two weeks after her abduction and she’s in Shar, I still don’t feel any fear from her even though she says she’s come to think of the place as hell. With a vicious vampire like Lars interested in her, you’d think she’d be worried about going up on the auction block.
Other than her lack of fear, I immensely enjoyed A Slave to Her Passions and was entertained from beginning to end. The dialogue was believable, the story itself was well written, and was fast paced, never bogging down anywhere. The setting is medieval, with horses as the mode of transportation and I had the sense of a small town atmosphere. A Slave to Her Passions is an overall great read and I would definitely pick up more books by Jessica Coulter Smith!
I give this book 4 Moons of overall satisfaction and enjoyment!
Disclosure pursuant to FTC Rules: This book was received complimentary of the publisher, author or publicist. In most cases at Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem, whoever reviews the book gets to keep the book unless another arrangement has been made between reviewer, publisher, author and/or publicist. Just because a publisher, author and/or publicist provides a free book for review does not guarantee a flattering review. All reviews are the opinions of the reviewer and are never based upon receiving a free copy of the author’s work.
~Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem~
Friday, April 2, 2010
Today we have a special guest author with us, Linda Nightingale. I had the pleasure of reviewing her book, Black Swan, and posted it here last Saturday.
After 15 years of writing and submitting, I contracted a short story with The Wild Rose Press, so writers hang in there. I have since been asked for rewrites on two erotic pieces. My latest effort I, Lucifer took third in the Launch a Star Contest and finalled in the SARA Merritt Contest, and since it is rather controversial, I’m delighted!
I had been published in on-line magazines and, once when I bred and showed Andalusian horses, the national magazine Equus bought an article on my stallion Bonito.
A snippet about me: I’m a Legal Assistant at a world-famous cancer hospital. I love sports cars, pianos (I own a self-player baby grand but can’t play a note myself), travel and reading. I have two wonderful sons, one of whom lives in Jolly Old England. I tend to be a pantster when it comes to writing, letting my characters introduce themselves and tell me the story. I admit I do sometimes throw away a lot of pages spent in getting to know the characters.
Since the erotic stories are just that—erotic—I’d like to introduce you to the hero in Black Swan.
Black Swan is a story about mortals who willingly submit to the vampire in order to experience the euphoria and sexual ecstasy of the Kiss.
The fact that the man she loved was in bed with another woman ceased to be important when Holly saw the blood.
Her heart, which had been running on empty until she met Tristan, stuttered and stalled. Horror freeze-framed time—the shutter snaps of images flooding her brain almost audible. She couldn’t breathe or move, knew she hadn’t made a sound, but Tristan's head snapped up. Wild red eyes honed in on her. Blood smeared his mouth, drizzled from two wounds on his partner's throat. The woman he'd been screwing was deathly pale and deadly still.
She should run before he shouted, "What the hell are you doing here?" but fear had turned her to ice. Holly hadn't blinked but Tristan stood on his feet. Her heart tripped over a beat. No one could move that fast. He shook back his mane of black hair and, holding her prisoner in his gaze, and glided toward her. The last rays of the dying sun bronzed his body. How incredibly beautiful he was. How she loved him. How dare he do this to her?
She wanted to scream, “You SOB! Saturday you said you loved me. Monday you're banging another woman!"
Humiliation, jealousy and grief burned like fire beneath her skin. She tried, but failed to tear her gaze from his. Tristan's eyes were luminous azure not scarlet. The blood on his mouth had somehow disappeared, or, please, God maybe she’d imagined it.. His naked body blocked Holly's view of the bed but she knew the woman still lay there. Why hadn't she said something, jumped up or grabbed her clothes and slammed the door? Blood.
Her heard gave a dizzy spin. Maybe the woman was dead. Fear broke Holly’s paralysis.
Black Swan is available from The Wild Rose Press. http://thewildrosepress.com/
Please visit my web site for a continuing story, Vampire Hunt. http://www.lindanightingale.com/
Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a Black Swan coffee mug!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
My Self-Publishing Journey
I was thrilled when Gracen Miller said she’d let me do a guest post on Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem. After all, I love the blog, and I love the comments, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy “virtually” conversing with the readers. But I hadn’t reckoned with my major failings in that interesting area of deadlines. So here I am, almost up to April 1st, suddenly realizing I’ve ignored five calendar reminders to send something in. I’m really sorry Gracen.
Still, a quick search through emails answers the most important question: What on earth did I say I’d write about? And the fact that I’m frantically trying to meet a self-publishing deadline makes self-publishing seem a suitably timely topic.
I guess I should mention, though I’m “only” self-published, I’d dearly like to be professionally published one day. I started self-publishing because I went to a Willamette Writers’ Conference (my one and only) and learned
1) If you want to get an agent or publisher you need to have a platform—i.e. internet presence.
2) If you want to be published you have to prove you can sell. And
3) It’s a really bad idea to try to get published in more than one genre.
Putting 1) 2) and 3) together, I decided to self-publish in one genre (my “Bible stuff”) and keep sending my novels and short stories out to publishers and agents. That was around Christmas 2008. I’ve still had no luck with the publishers and agents, but I do have six books and four free downloads on my Lulu website, and three new books coming soon. And it is kind of fun…
So, in case anyone out there is interested in learning how I got from there to here, I’ll offer a brief description of my self-publishing journey, and hope it’s not too long or too boring for a lacily moonlit slice of mayhem.
Every journey starts with preparation, in this case writing, which I’ve been doing since I learned to hold a pen.
Motivation is what was missing from age 7 to… well, never mind. (Seven’s when I learned to hold that pen.) Creating an internet presence and proving I can sell were my biggest motivating factors in getting self-published. Plus there was a local Christmas Fair coming up, which gave me a deadline to work to. Did I mention—I’m deadline-challenged?
The next step was to find an internet publisher, since I wanted an internet presence. I Googled “self-publishing” and picked Lulu because:
1) There’s no set-up fee: Lots of publishers charge an up-front fee then help with editing, formatting etc. and probably give you some “free” copies. If you time it right and your requirements are fairly basic you can get a great deal. I wanted pretty gift books in time for Christmas, which didn’t fit either requirement.
2) They have lots of options: Some publishers only do black-and-white printing, or only certain shapes and sizes of books. Lulu has tons of options—great for self-publishing picture-books, story-books, books of paintings, poetry, photographs, whatever you can think of.
3) You get a free web-site: Lulu gives you an internet “store-front” which became my first ever blog—you can personalize it, advertise your books, post pictures etc. I migrated the blog part to blogger after a while, and got a “real” website with a much more memorable address, but it’s still nice to have my Lulu storefront tied in to my site. I’ve even tried to make the banner-heads match.
4) International sales: Lulu sells abroad. That felt important to me since most of my family’s in England.
5) Free distribution: This one was really a distraction rather than a plus. I thought it would be nice to get my books onto Amazon and into bookstores, but I’d have to price them out of the market because of Lulu’s wholesale pricing calculation (‘retail price’ must be at least 2 x ‘wholesale,’ and ‘wholesale’ is something like ‘print cost’ minus three dollars). I might get distribution for my storybooks (lower ‘print cost’) one day, but seriously, Amazon’s a pretty huge haystack and my books are very small needles; I’m not convinced anyone would find them even if I put them there.
Next I had to format and upload my books. There are lots of places where you can download Word document templates for different sizes of paper, including pre-designed measurements for margins and gutters. I just had to cut and paste from my original doc to get the right shape. But my books had pictures, and nothing ever converts as precisely as you’d like, so I had to go through the upload, convert, download, edit and re-upload cycle a few times before my PDF files looked right. Once I found the lists of approved fonts, and got used to the idea that “PDF conversion failed” might just mean “timed out, please try again,” it all went okay.
Then I had to design a cover. If formatting and uploading took lots of time, this took even longer, drawing pictures with precisely the right number of pixels in Microsoft Paint, adding text, removing text, trying to match text in shades of blue to write on the spine and back… Lulu’s new cover creator’s pretty good though, and even adds barcodes for you.
Proofs were another of this month’s deadlines—Lulu offered free proofs for a few weeks (plus postage and packing—their mail charges aren’t cheap but they do a good job with prompt and well-wrapped shipping). Lulu strongly recommends you buy proofs before making orders, so you can see how those glorious colors in the PDF file work on paper, but I’ve never had any problems. And that smooth printed cover in your hands does wonders for your self-esteem, until your best friend points out you mis-spelled “man” on page fifteen. It’s amazing how much easier it is to spot paper mistakes than ones you read on the screen.
Lulu helpfully lets you fill in copyright dates on your work, but there’s a nice bit of small-print on the government copyright site that says as soon as something’s published (i.e. offered for sale or rent) you have to send two copies to the Library of Congress. I’m still trying to work out what that would mean if you self-publish short stories on Kindle—I can’t imagine they really want tons of identical CDs of Kindle miniatures. But the thought of having a real copyright for just $35 more (after paying for the books I had to mail) was pretty tempting. I wish I’d known how long it can take though; I’m still waiting for the copyright on one of those first three books.
Luckily you don’t have to wait for the copyright to sell books. Lulu gives deals on bulk purchases (5 or more black and white, 25 or more if your book’s in color), so I invested slightly more than I could afford and set out eagerly to the Christmas Bazaar, where lots of people said lots of nice things and left “to get their purses.” Yes, and never returned.
At this point I had to remind myself of my motivation: get an internet presence and prove I can sell books; nothing to do with making money. If I price the books to make a profit, I’ll price them out of the market. If I put them on Amazon, I’ll price them out of the market. But if I take a minimal online profit, and accept a loss off-line, I’ll gain experience and maybe (maybe, maybe) look like a good risk to an editor or agent.
So now I now have one publisher telling me I’m just the author he wants “if only you’d write a mystery.” Another says he hopes to publish me “soon” but I’ll believe it when it happens. And the internet’s addictive. I have three blogs, one website, several squidoo lenses and numerous ning pages in addition to my Lulu storefront. You can visit me, virtually, at http://www.sheiladeeth.com but I’ll probably try to sell you a book.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Never Say Never
I was just getting to know Aleksandr Voinov when he casually mentioned a couple of sci-fi anthologies he was putting together for Noble Romance, one M/M and the other M/F. Now I don’t know about you, but there’s always been one genre I’d sworn never to write, and for me that genre was sci-fi.
Why? I’m not sure. Sci-fi was something I read and watched in my childhood and teens. A steady diet of Doctor Who and The Tripods gave way to Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Dune series by Frank Herbert, and various manga and anime series, but after that I abandoned the genre. For whatever reason, I told myself I’d never write sci-fi. After all, I’m a historian, not a scientist; my brain can barely comprehend simple mathematics, so the thought of grappling with the laws of quantum physics made me want to run screaming for the hills.
So when I read Alex’s email, I should have said, “Thanks, but no thanks”, right?
Right. But I didn’t. I decided this was an opportunity to challenge myself to come up with a sci-fi story. Even if it turned out to be a load of old bilge, at least I’d tried it. I believe no story written is ever wasted--you learn something from everything you write, even if you’re the only person ever to see it--so I figured I had nothing to lose.
That decision made, I then flailed madly over the many sub-genres of sci-fi. I didn’t want to write about space ships or alien tentacle monsters or robots because I don’t think I have the world-building skills to pull that off. So with hard sci-fi out, I turned to soft sci-fi, and remembering how I used to love Masamune Shirow’s manga (Appleseed, Dominion: Tank Police, Ghost in the Shell), I thought I’d try my hand at soft cyberpunk.
The first draft was rubbish. I had my characters--Toki, a half Japanese, half Chinese genetic upgrade and his ex-husband Ismail, half Scots, half Arab--and I’d picked a futuristic Edinburgh as the setting. The first version was too dark and cynical, and I had to remind myself that there was supposed to be a romance in the story! So I scrapped it and started again.
This time, it just flowed. The story unfolded so cleanly in front of me, I knew this was the one. I don’t regret losing that first draft--I’d been trying so hard to write what I perceived of as a ‘sci-fi story’ that I’d lost sight of the goal. Working outside of my comfort zone had made me blunder, but taking that wrong turning helped me, as the second version of Conduit turned out much stronger for it.
The story was accepted, and it joins three others (including stories about robots, space ships, and aliens, if not alien tentacle monsters) in Noble Romance’s M/M anthology Echoes of the Future. I’m really glad I took the chance to try something different--and never again will I say “I can’t write X” until I’ve tried it.
So what about you? Have you got a genre you absolutely won’t write? Have you ever gone out of your comfort zone and tried a completely different genre? How was the experience for you? I’d love to know!
Echoes of the Future
Edited by Aleksandr Voinov
Burn by Aleksandr Voinov
Flight Lieutenant Chris Waters is the pilot of a cutting-edge unmanned SAD fighter drone that is used for secret government missions. Chris is cutting-edge technology himself: his neural network is upgraded with cyber-technology and software that makes him the interface of his combat drone.
Then, something goes wrong as he connects to his drone. Haunted by strange, disorientating impressions, a so-called 'ghost', he hooks up on leave with fellow pilot Cyril for a night. But Cyril is not the man Chris thought he is, and Chris soon finds out what the 'ghost' in his body really is, as well as the truth about his missions.
Conduit by Kate Cotoner
Ismail and his ex-husband Toki are divided by class and circumstance. Toki is a cybernetic upgrade human and part of the city elite, while Ismail is a baseline human and a cop. Their brief marriage failed when Toki walked out, but now he's back, asking for Ismail's help against Hanuman, a malicious cyber-intelligence who plans to poison the water supply of all baseline humans in the city. Now Ismail and Toki must find the underground reservoir targeted by Hanuman before time runs out for them both.
Rescue Me by Jude Mason
Assigned to guard Leetchi Ambassador Dar and his family, Lieutenant Thomas Patch finds himself inexplicably drawn to Jad, the diplomat's son. The tall, slender Leetchi turns out to be as gay as Patch and steals his heart. When Jad is kidnapped, Patch goes undercover to find and rescue him. The rescue takes him to the underbelly of the space port city and a whore house where slaves are bought and sold at will. Finding Jad proves easier than he'd hoped, but the rescue takes an insane twist when their escape attempt is thwarted by the one person they knew was on their side.
Will Jad's enslavement tear the lovers apart? Will Patch be torn from the love of his life? Find out, in Rescue Me.
Reversal by A. B. Gayle
Sebastian is bored. He has another five years of lone duty supervising his family's robots on their space station. The last thing he wants to do is the housework. For Christmas, his mother sends him a Domestic Darling cyborg. True to form, she purchases a factory second and sends one that doesn't quite fit the bill. Instead of being a pert blond with big tits and a cute ass like in the advertisement, this one is six foot tall and built like a Greek god, a very virile Greek God. In an attempt to improve its functioning, Sebastian uses some of his brilliant programming skills. The resulting changes ensure Sebastian will never be bored again.
Read an excerpt of ‘Conduit’ here
Monday, March 29, 2010
Does that describe author Cathie Linz?
I don't know her well enough to say one way or the other! However, it does happen to be the title of her latest release!
Released for sale on March 2 of this year, it's just beginning to crop up on library shelves and it will no doubt be awhile before I can get my hands on a copy!
Anyway, the first time we here at Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem first heard of this book and it's hero, Caine Hunter, was last June when Cathie spent some time with us to talk about her then current release, Smart Girls Think Twice. I loved that story, and I am equally sure that Mad, Bad and Blonde will be an equally rewarding read!
In Mad, Bad and Blonde, Cathie leaves the town of Rock Creek for Chicago. But the journey doesn't stop there because the main character, Faith West, is mad that she's been dumped and left at the altar because she wasn't "fun enough." Well, in a very Under the Tuscan Sun moment [I so love that movie!], Faith opts to go on her Italian honeymoon, alone! Hey, I think I'd do the same thing if I was her!
Cathie's novels are fun to read not only because of the page-turning excitement that you'll find between the covers, but because the dialogue is fast-paced. There is never a dull moment in her stories and the dialogue keeps the story movie ahead! I guess Cathie writes by the adage, "a rolling stone gathers no moss." Well, it's not a bad adage to write by. I guarantee you that if you pick up a Cathie Linz novel, you'll laugh, you'll get mad, and you might even cry just a little if the situation calls for it, but in the end, you will enjoy the ride she takes you on!
Now that you know a little bit about Cathie's new book, let's learn a little bit about her and see how she answers our Mystic March Questions!
CATHIE: St.Patrick’s Day, but I do some spring decorations too –see the photos
CATHIE: In Chicago they dye the Chicago River green, which is pretty cool. And the beer commercial said we are all Chi-rish on St. Patricks Day.
CATHIE: I didn’t decorate this year but do sometimes.
ME: Ireland is steeped in myth, legends and lore. Do you have any favorites? Please briefly share them with us (include links to other information for interested readers).
CATHIE: One of my fave things is the music and dance – I am a huge fan of “Riverdance” and highly recommend everyone go see that!
CATHIE: Flowers are nice but the cats insist oN either eating them or knocking the vase over
CATHIE: I think the Celts have a magical history that is unique to them. Saw some great shows on PBS about that culture including “Irish Music”
CATHIE: Hmmm a princess?
CATHIE: I’m sorry I can’t think of any at the moment.
Time to switch gears and focus on your writing:
CATHIE: Because I love to read contemporary romances. I love writing them.
CATHIE: I write a fast-paced story that has both heart and humor. My books also involve families and community
CATHIE: Human. In the past I did do a trilogy of bumbling fairy godmothers for Love and Laughter – TOO SEXY FOR MARRIAGE, TOO SMART FOR MARRIAGE, TOO STUBBORN TO MARRY.
CATHIE: I am definitely a pantster. I have a general idea of the book and where it’s going but then things happen along the way that I have no idea would be occurring.
CATHIE: Too many to list! I did love the Swedish grandmother and the grumpy PI in MAD, BAD AND BLONDE. Of course I love the main characters as well – Faith is a librarian who is jilted at the altar and Caine is a former Force Recon Marine trying to clear his father’s name.
CATHIE: I’d like to meet all my heroine’s and heroes and consider them all to be friends. Feels like I know them.
CATHIE: I would never want to meet Aunt Lorraine from MAD, BAD AND BLONDE
CATHIE: Usually the story I’m writing at the moment because it’s still fresh in my mind.
CATHIE: I overheard a children’s librarian at a library conference talking about how she won a shooting event that the library in Las Vegas participated in as part of the corporate events. I love writing about librarians, being a former librarian myself. I also love writing about Marines so MAD, BAD AND BLONDE was a natural.
Curious yet? Well, hang on because we've got an excerpt of Mad, Bad and Blonde coming up now!
Got your attention now, doesn't she? For more information on this book please see her website, www.cathielinz.com, or her facebook page.
Here's all the info you need to buy the book:
Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz ISBN 978-0425233405 -- Berkley
Sunday, March 28, 2010
For the characters in Second Species, I wanted a difference--they, I decided weren't going to be the usual types of vampires, not Undead creatures brought back to life in their attacker's image, to continue to ravage the night only to be dispatched by a stake wielded by peasants with torches and pitchforks or a well-educated professor and his group of vigilante vampire-hunters. Yes, they would live longer than humans, not through supernatural means but simply because of their heredity. And it would be their heredity which would get them into this mess in the first place. My aventurieri--Transylvanian for vampire--would simply be a second species of Mankind, evolving on a different path at the time Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon vied for domination of the Earth. Becoming nocturnal hunters, they develop a sensitivity to the sun, a condition scientists in our time would diagnose by the names PMLE or XP, a genetic disturbanace in which an individual's DNA can't repair the damage done by ultraviolet rays and the victim must forever shun the daylight. They would also be allergic to certain herbs and spices such as garlic and sea salt. They can’t change into bats, don’t dissolve into mists, a stab wound or the infection from a lead bullet will kill them just as swifly as a stake through the heart. But here the difference begins. Though they eat food like their human half-brothers, they must consume blood, to supply the deficiencies in their bodies because of their avoidance of sunshine, and--they develop wings.
Can you imagine a cave man—or someone in the year 1100 or even the Fifteenth Century—coming across such a creature? Feared by superstitious early Man, persecuted and hated by those who can't understand, they take refuge in the mist-enshrouded cliffs of the Carpathians, raising their children, organizing their government, living out their lives with as little communication with Humans. Those who dare leave the mountains continue to live a masquerade, in continuous fear of discovery.
Though the majority of the aventurieri faithfully follow their kind’s strigent laws, there are rogues among them who are dangerously like the fabled vampire, They are dealt with by their Prince in a singularly cold-blooded fashion, and it is one of these rapitors who becomes the catalyst for my story when the Domnitor orders his assassin to punish an aventurieri who has broken the Law...and that single act begins a series of events which will send the assassin's eldest son on a journey of revenge and self-discovery...eventually changing the lives of every living aventurieri forever.
The Second Species is the story of Marek Strigoi and his family, their quest for revenge and how it affects not only them but the humans they meet on their journey from the Transylvania of 1794 to the wrought-iron balconies of post-Katrina New Orleans in 2010.
As the blurb states: “When both the hunter and the hunted are vampires, neither Love nor Hell can stand in the way.”
The Shadow Lord, first novel of The Second Species, is now under contract to Red Rose Press.
Buy Link: http://redrosepublishing.com/bookstore
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Suffering from a broken marriage, Carol Langston meets Tristan McLaghlan at a Black Swan party. Black Swans are mortals who willingly barter blood for the sensual ecstasy and euphoria vampires give in return. To Carol, this looks like the real thing until her handsome vampire runs away from her and his true nature. Separated by miles, divided across two species, can their love survive?
Buy link: http://www.thewildrosepress.com/black-swan-p-1164.html?zenid=5cffb4917b9e1fd46fe1bffb7b370810
Black Swan begins after Carol and Tristan have met and he’s already run away from her. Tristan has moved to America and is in a relationship with Holly, a woman he’s met that resides in the same building. They’ve had a whirlwind month long relationship and then Holly walks in on Tristan having sex with another woman, while draining her blood. Holly can’t believe what she’s seeing and Tristan uses vampiric powers to freeze time and confuse Holly’s perception of the encounter. But, Tristan has realized he’s left the one woman he loves, so he returns to her to make it right.
I felt like this was Tristan’s story even though the majority of this story wasn’t written in his POV. I believe this because Carol and Holly love him already, so there was no conflict from either of them emotionally. Tristan was the one that had to come to grips with his emotions and he was the one that needed the separation from Carol to realize he loves her and needs her in his life.
All the characters were likeable and enjoyable. The Black Swan parties fascinated me and I would have enjoyed seeing more of them. The writing is excellent, it never bogged down and it kept my interest from beginning to end. The sex scenes were spicy and tasteful, but I wouldn’t say they were erotic. Black Swan weaved together the right amount of romance and sensuality. Black Swan is unique in so many ways, Linda's vampire world is creative, the parties are awesome, the characters are lifelike, and all of that combined makes it such a great read! Overall, this was a fun, quick read and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up more books by Linda Nightingale.
~Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem~
Friday, March 26, 2010
Anyone ever notice that heroine (the lead female in a book) and heroin (the addictive illegal drug) are pronounced the same way? And, of course, the spelling is almost identical. Hmmm….Do you think someone somewhere is trying to tell us something? Like maybe we’re a man’s drug of choice or we’re as addictive as narcotics? LOL Because we know no one is suggesting we’re big trouble! *cheeky grin*
I’m in the middle of writing and the hero’s name jumped out at me from a billboard. Phoenix—Nix to his friends. Everywhere I look now, I see the name Phoenix. So, I know it’s the right name for my hero. But the heroine, we’re struggling over her name. Nothing seems to fit correctly. She’s been Grace, but that was too close to my name and I kept writing Gracen. So she had a name change to Samantha, but she doesn’t feel like a Samantha. That probably sounds crazy, but I have to “feel” the name before it sits well with me. Next, she became Alexis and then Katherine and that’s where we still are. But, once again, she doesn’t feel like an Alexis and Katherine is okay, but I’m not jumping for joy over it. I do like that I can shorten Katherine to Kat, which would fit with Nix’s character, but there’s still something holding me back for loving Katherine/Kat.
So, here’s where you step in. I want you to pick the heroine’s name. From now until next Thursday, April 1, 2010 (no joking!), you get to suggest names. Then on April 2nd I’ll allow random.org to pick 3 of the suggested names from the list and then you’ll vote your favorite name from those 3 names. The winning name will become the heroine’s new and final name.
To help you suggest a name, here’s a small bio for her: She’s twenty-five, has a five year old son named Avery. Was romanced into an early marriage to a man of means with political and financial connections, but he left her without a word when Avery was two. So, she’s a single mother, with a strong sense of protective mother instincts. But things aren’t as they seem. Overnight, Avery turns homicidal, kills the family cat, then moves on to gutting the family dog, before starting on wildlife animals and the neighborhood pets. A phone call to a psychic tells her a demon is to blame and that she’ll send reinforcements. That’s when Nix enters the scene.
My heroine will face many obstacles, all related to her son. She’ll grow from being a woman with unsure footing in this world, into a woman of conviction and determination to save her son from the evil forces that threaten his livelihood, while learning nothing about her life is as it appeared.
So, she’ll need a solid name and I’m thinking something old-fashioned. But please don’t give me names like Beth, Lisa, Marie, Bridgette or Jane. I have nothing against those names, but they’re a little more commonplace than I’d prefer. But I don’t want names like Ethel and Mildred, either. They’re too old fashioned! Give me something classy and practical.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment with your name suggestion!!
One Rule: You cannot suggest a name that’s already been suggested. If you do, you will not be entered into the contest unless you suggest an alternate name. The person that suggests the winning name will win the following items:
1. A 2010 Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem desk calendar:
2. A Gracen Miller Mouse Pad:
3. And if the winner wants, I'll throw in a PDF e-book of Elfin Blood.
To help you get a better feel for the issue, here’s the first two chapters …they’re unedited and very rough draft, so please pardon any errors or snafus.
“What?” Katherine said with a mixture of disbelief and irritation. She looked at her son, Avery, and felt adamant denial surge in the form of a pounding headache. She’d come to the doctor for answers and this screwed up diagnosis was what she got?
“Ms. Wescott, all the tests came back normal.” The doctor scratched his chin as if intrigued. The thought of him being ‘intrigued’ over her son’s dilemma pissed her off. She forced aside the urge to whack him with her purse. “Everything except the anomaly with his blood,” he made a face, scrunching his features as if that anomaly still perplexed him. “Fascin—” The word fell incomplete when his glance landed on her hands twisting into tight fists in her lap. His gaze shot to her face. There was a flash of wariness in his ordinary brown eyes, like he expected her to give him a shiner any moment. She wanted to. She sure as hell wanted to pop him in the eye, but she had to settle for hoping the murder she felt at the despicable word ‘fascinating’ showed brightly on her face. He cleared his throat, his Adam’s apple bobbed nervously, and he failed to meet her gaze as he continued, “Otherwise, I can assure you there is nothing physically wrong with him.”
“Just psychologically?” she drawled with enough sarcasm to frighten a heavy-weight boxer.
“With the right psychiatrist and medication…Um…”
She would not drug her child into a zombie state so everyone could cope with his condition. Hell, he was already a zombie without medication.
“We think” —so refreshing that the doctor only thought and didn’t have a damn solid answer— “he can live a relatively normal life with medication.”
“Relatively?” she echoed, baffled why the doctor felt that should make her feel better about his diagnosis.
“Dissociative Identity Disorders are not the end of the world, Ms. Wescott.”
Dissociative Identity Disorder her ass! That was the new feel-good medical terminology for multiple personalities. Something her child did not have. Putting a nice, neat medical nametag on the disorder didn’t alter the diagnosis or make her feel any freaking better.
Although….she looked at her son. He sat on the table, his legs swishing back and forth like that of any high-energy child. Avery stared at the doctor with enough malice blazing from his baby-blue eyes that it sent shivers of dread up her spine. Yeah, she couldn’t deny something was amiss with him. But she trusted her gut and it said the problem was much more than multiple personality disorder.
Two months ago, he’d been a happy, healthy, normal child, one that giggled often and adored his feline and canine companions. The next day, he’d been mute and homicidal.
He’d snapped the cat’s neck the first week of the change, receiving multiple cat scratches before he managed feline murder. Five years old and he displayed a marked increase in strength. Explaining away that incident in the emergency room would have been difficult in the best scenarios. The hostile, blaming glances from the medical personal had made her feel worse than a slug. Easily read in those gazes was that if it happened again, Social Services would be called. She didn’t want or need a repeat performance of that event ever again. And if she thought Social Services would help, she’d call them herself.
The dog had been next. Avery had sliced and diced her with a kitchen carving knife. He’d gone into the fenced-in backyard to play and she’d left him alone long enough to pour a glass of iced tea...not more than five minutes at most. When she returned, she’d found him and the dog on the back porch. Blood everywhere like there’d been a struggle. His blonde hair had been speckled with the stuff, his pale face splotched red, his hands coated to his elbows like the hemoglobin had been used as lotion, and the clothes on his chest blossomed with the substance, as if he’d wallowed in the sanguine fluid. The smile on his face…her hands trembled at the memory. She’d choked on a scream and retched over the side of the railing until she could do nothing more than dry heave.
Avery had caught a fly and she’d been amazed at his quick reflexes. And then he tortured it, holding it steady with his fingers while he pulled off its legs before moving on to those fragile wings. Those incidences heralded the beginning of his atrocities.
Twice he’d tried to stab her, slicing her upper thigh the last time. She’d stitched the wound herself, worried about infection when the slash turned an angry shade of red. Religiously, she’d slathered the wound with antibiotic ointment, added warm salty compresses and luckily, the cut healed. It still ached and she’d forever wear the ragged scar of her son’s attack, but she refused to give up on him, or allow anyone to know the total truth of his ferocity. The protective instincts of motherhood had kicked in. Nothing on earth could force her to betray him.
He’d kicked, scratched and bitten her more times than she could count. When the violent episode ceased—sometimes he snapped out of it in the middle of the rage—he would collapse in her arms and sob until exhausted sleep claimed him. His heartbreak broke her heart.
The doctor didn’t seem to notice her distress—just as well—and continued in his patronizing tone, “This disorder always involves some sort of trauma, Ms. Wescott. Your frank honesty can help us determine the trauma and proceed accordingly.”
She ground her teeth hard, amazed they didn’t crack. “Nothing has changed in his life.” Not a damn thing since her husband walked out the door three years ago.
“I’m sure if you would consider—”
“Enough!” Katherine came to her feet with a snap. The doctor flinched in surprise, his words cut off midstream. She sent him a hostile glare, snatched up her purse, held her hand out to Avery and said, “Let’s go, baby.”
Avery plopped off the diagnosis table, while the doctor’s mouth opened and closed like a fish. Avery sent the doctor a smile that reeked of evil intent. It creeped her out when her baby wore that expression and she couldn’t even explain the expression. It was as docile a look as the one he always wore, but something about his eyes screeched not just evil, but malevolence. There was a difference.
She sniffed. What was that smell? It rather reminded her of rotten eggs. She put a finger to her nose, but nothing helped obliterate the stench. It’d become stronger lately. God-awful described the scent perfectly.
Katherine looked at the doctor. “Do you smell that?”
“Sulphur,” he whispered, face as pale as rice paper, gawking at her son like he was the prophesized anti-Christ. The doctor tossed the chart aside, jumped to his feet, knees popping, and exclaimed, “Ms. Wescott, I don’t think you should walk out that door.” He stared at Avery, not sparing her a single glance through the diatribe.
Wondering at the doctor’s sudden fear, she looked down at Avery. There it was again…that fiery orange glow surrounding the outer perimeter of his blue eyes. The child blinked and the color dissipated.
“We really must put him somewhere we can watch him around the clock, run tests and such.”
Her gaze snapped to him, eyes narrowing. As long as she breathed her son would never become a damn lab rat. “He does not leave me. Ever.”
Anyone that tried to take him was a dead man.
Katherine chewed on her fingernail. Through her window, she watched her neighbor staple up a “missing pet” poster across the street. The eighth missing animal this month. Would her nightmare ever end?
She released the curtain, turned with the sound of the curtain swishing behind her and walked to the liquor cabinet. Jack Daniels really, really wanted to be her friend or at least her amnesiac friend. Drinking to oblivion was stupid. Drunkenness would resolve nothing. On the morrow, she’d awake with a hangover and the reality that her ‘reality’ hadn’t changed at all. Or, she’d wake to a new horror Avery had committed while she’d been passed out.
Eight missing animals on one street, she thought rubbing her eyes and all of them dead by Avery’s hand. It’d been a month since her doctor visit and things were decidedly worse. Avery’s deeds now included sneaking out of the house at night, stealing the animals somehow from their neighbor’s homes, bringing them back to her house and butchering them in her backyard, or God help her, in her living room on more than one occasion. After committing animal murder, he’d climb back into bed bloody.
She relocated him to her bedroom, hoping she’d wake when he climbed out of bed. For the first time in her life, she became a dead sleeper rather than a light sleeper. She lived in a state of panic of Avery never getting better, her neighbors discovering his nightly jaunts and them learning the lengths she would go to cover up his nightly murderous jaunts. Worse, she feared, his victims would turn to the two legged variety.
Using an alias and going against her belief—or rather non-belief—she’d gone to the Church. They performed an exorcism. Nothing changed.
She visited an herbalist. They administered herbs and performed an incantation, with incense clogging up her sinuses. Again, nothing changed.
In desperation she’d turned to a witch doctor. He’d done his thing and still nothing changed.
A week ago she’d located her umpteenth psychic that claimed to have all the answers. Georgie lived in Kansas, talked a good game, but being jaded came with a lot of trust issues. A nervous giggle jerked through Katherine.
We’re not in Kansas anymore.
Katherine ran a hand down her face. She was starting to doubt her sanity. Then she’d doubted Georgie’s sanity when she cautioned Avery was the cause for her heavier sleep pattern so he could go about his nightly jaunts unhampered. That wasn’t even possible. Was it?
Georgie also warned that evil lurked near, an evil she couldn’t contain and one that would devour her soul. That sounded a bit hellfire and brimstone to her.
She shook her head. Evil? She wasn’t even sure she believed in evil. Her deceased Christian parents would think her blasphemous, but even if evil did exist, her parents couldn’t help Katherine with this dilemma. They were dead. Seven years in the grave now.
Regardless of religious beliefs, Georgie refused to explain, just promised help. Katherine had yet to see any assistance. With each passing day, hope grew further and further out of reach, a smoky mist she couldn’t wrap her fingers around.
Defeat was her constant companion, a weight bearing heavily on her shoulders. But now wasn’t the time for giving up. She shut the liquor cabinet, turned and walked up the stairs to check on Avery. She found him in his bedroom sitting on the floor at the foot of his bed. The tip of a knife rested in the palm of his hand, the handle horizontal, and rotating in a circle unaided by touch.
Katherine closed her eyes, counted to ten and prayed she hallucinated.
She opened her eyes and felt her heart lurch into her lungs. Nothing had changed!
Blackness narrowed her vision, she struggled to maintain consciousness. Avery turned his head toward her, his eyes shining with that strange orange glow and his wide-eyed expression articulated without words, “Look what I can do!”
He came at her so fast she barely had time to release a half-scream before he kicked her feet out from underneath her. She hit the floor hard, the breath whooshing from her lungs and her teeth jarring. He jumped on her before she had a chance to gasp a breath. Instinct took over, thank God. The blade glinted—it was serrated, odd that she noticed that at a time like this or that she wondered where he’d gotten it from—as he slashed it toward her neck.
She caught his wrist an inch from her throat.
Copyright 2010 Gracen Miller ~ No part of this may be copy, pasted, uploaded, or used in anyway whatsoever without the express written consent of Gracen Miller.
(Please note: This contest will also run at Wicked, Thorn & Roses where I blog every Saturday. All names suggested at Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem and Wicked, Thorn & Roses will be combined together to create one contest.)
Thursday, March 25, 2010
FRANNY: I celebrate St. Patrick’s day for two reasons, a bit of Irish ancestry, and I LOVE THE COLOR GREEN!
The First Day Of Spring is like awakening from a long sleep and I practically hold my breath, waiting to see that first glimpse of green on the tree buds and crocuses. It makes me feel so alive.
GRACEN: Because of it’s Irish heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a big party day in Wisconsin (and many other areas) in which everyone gets in on the action from free pub crawl busses to breweries making green beer/spirits and some stores selling green colored/decorated food and sweets. Does anything similar occur in your area? Even if you do not participate, please tell us what activities are going on around you. Anything you feel is unique or especially interesting?
FRANNY: In Ontario, Canada, nearly every bar, pub, and Canadian Legion celebrate whether they’re Irish or not. Green beer is uppermost on the list and some people even paint their faces with shamrocks or completely green.
GRACEN: Do you like to decorate for spring/St. Pat’s Day or is this the time of the year where your house has a break from special décor?
FRANNY: I spent way too much time on the computer writing and promoting to do much decorating since my kids left home. However, with a grandchild coming in April, perhaps I’ll be decorating once again. Hmmm…time to go shopping!
GRACEN: Ireland is steeped in myth, legends and lore. Do you have any favorites? Please briefly share them with us (include links to other information for interested readers).
FRANNY: Though I love the devilish little leprechauns, I adore fellow author Angel Martinez’ Pooka, Finn. Legend has it that naughty Irish fairies called Pookas roam about at night in various shape-shifting forms scaring cows so they won’t milk, chickens so they won’t lay eggs, trample crops and so on. Though Angel’s pooka is a hotty so he makes them a whole lot more interesting to me.
GRACEN: Spring is considered a time of renewal, a time of rebirth. Do you do anything “special” to commemorate this idea such as planting flowers or cleaning out your house? Please share with us your way of celebrating this time of rebirth.
FRANNY: I love to walk in the woods and smell the fresh spring air as the snow dissolves and earth’s fragrance fills my senses. I’ll touch the tender buds on branches and commune with the trees telling them to hurry and awaken so I can revel in the magic of life renewed—Okay, so I’m an author. Cleaning house is just way too boring!
GRACEN: Magic is often tied into Celtic myths and legends, or at least we like to think it is. Why do you think that is? Why, in your opinion, does Ireland carry so much mystery and magic for the rest of us?
FRANNY: Magic has been thought to exist since the beginning of time, though many would say this isn’t so. To me, love is magic, holding a newborn in my arms is magic, watching a tiny seed grow into the most glorious flower with petals as soft as silk is definitely magic, and when you look up into the sky at night and see the billions upon billions of stars in the universe, how can you not believe that magic exists?
GRACEN: If you could be any mythical or legendary Celtic creature or character, what/who would it be and why?
FRANNY: I would definitely want to be the PHOENIX BIRD. This mythical creature is born in the embers, hatches the egg, flies up from the flames to begin the cycle of life then crashes back down to begin the cycle over and over again. Immortal, indestructible, and never surrendering to life’s obstacles, this wondrous bird doesn’t know the meaning of the words, ‘GIVE UP!’.
GRACEN: Now, let’s get to your writing, Franny…What genre is your writing considered to be? Why this genre? What was the draw for you?
FRANNY: I write paranormal romantic suspense and paranormal romantic comedy as well as simply romance. With a heart that sings with love, I grew up in a supportive family that I adore and had my own, with three children and husband who I can’t imagine living without. My sister, mother, children and I tend to know what each other is thinking, know when the phone is about to ring and who is on the other line (without cheating with call display) and can never throw a surprise party without the other one figuring it out.
I also get prophet dreams and ‘gut’ instincts that tell me when something is about to happen, so psychic phenomena is the norm for my family. Also, I think that cops and private investigators are hot! Not like Columbo or Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther, but in a rough, rugged, masculine (or tough female) kind of way. Watching shows on TV like Medium, Ghost Whisperer and so on also open my mind to the possibilities of psychic gifts. Anything is possible.
GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
FRANNY: I live by the mottos, “Never Surrender! Never Give Up!” as well as “A Published Author Is An Unpublished Author Who NEVER QUIT!” These I keep taped to the wall in front of my computer to see every day. They’ve helped keep me going, no matter what the obstacles of life throw at me.
In each of my stories is a message I want to convey. Not always visible to the naked eye, the main one is this: “No matter how bumpy life’s roads get, life is worth living every minute!”
GRACEN: Do you prefer magical or human ingenuity for problem solutions? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
FRANNY: Hee hee, if you mean in REAL life, I end up using human ingenuity, however, in my books, I always utilize both. After all, what’s the point in having magical gifts if you can’t use them? Just as Superman!
GRACEN: Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one strumming the harp?
FRANNY: Funny you should say ‘harp’ since that’s one of my favorite instruments to meditate to (on tape since I don’t play nor have one) I have two muses, the negative one, ‘DOUBTING MATILDA’ who tries to block me at every turn and ‘ADAMN AMUSING’ who kicks her butt and pushes me forward. I seldom need them to strum for me as my wonky mind takes over, keeping me up at all hours of the night and bursting forth with stories and characters. Before I even get half way through a tale, another one pops into my head and I have to write out the details quick before they disappear. It never ends.
GRACEN: What was the character or creature that you had the most fun creating and why?
FRANNY: Though I haven’t created any ‘creatures’ as yet, I do have a TON of fun making up my heroines. From my Extrasensory Elements Series Book 5, I created Maylin Mitchell, a petite, smart-mouthed, tell–it–like–it–is cop who is running for her life as her psychotic ex–husband stalks her. She meets Misu McCoy, an Ojibwa Canadian native who is a foot taller and fears hurting her in any way. She’s a tough one though and shows him a thing or two about who’s on top! She’s awesome and so much fun.
GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your character/creature creations in real life, who would it be and why?
FRANNY: Oh, gosh, I’d love to meet any of the McCoy brothers from the Extrasensory Elements series. They are steeped in tradition yet modern day men who not only use their protective tough exteriors towards their women, including their sisters and mother, but have a gentle, loving side you seldom see in a man. Well, put it this way: I personally don’t get to see this side of a man.
GRACEN: Which of your character/creature creations would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
FRANNY: Personally, the villains I create are nothing like anyone I’d ever want to meet. They are deadly, evil, and have psychotic tendencies for killing without feelings that I find difficult to believe yet it happens in life every day. I suppose I’ve led a sheltered life since there is no violence in mine.
GRACEN: Of all the stories you wrote, which was the storyline that you had the most fun fleshing out? Why?
FRANNY: I’ve written a book called ‘AMAZON KLUTZ’ which made me laugh and guffaw all the way through while at the same time I loved the intrigue and antics of the heroine as she sets out to bring down a Brazillian drug lord right under his nose as a klutzy administrative assistant. She uses her persona as a klutz to keep the men at arms (or rather yards) length so she can work undercover and find the evidence to have him incarcerated. The tale is filled with twists, turns, and surprises that will make your head spin, leaving a good feeling behind when she saves the day with her heroic partner, a burnt out undercover agent. It spans two continents and even has the duo rescuing the Prime Minister of Canada! Don’t worry though, you’ll shed tears too, so you’ll need a couple of boxes of tissue available.
GRACEN: As writers, inspiration comes from everywhere. What, specifically, inspired your latest story, the one we’re promoting here today?
FRANNY: Being an author who writes scenes of death and destruction by a psychotic killer, I imagined one day what it would be like if an author had to pay for their works with their lives when the murders they wrote about became their own demise. Author’s Demise takes you there and makes you think, ‘What if someone read this and decided to kill another person this way?’ A sobering thought, but the hero and heroine always win in my stories! It’s the Happily Ever After we all know and love.
Death stalks telekinetic Lana Anderson, CEO of Brinkman-Bonnet Publishing. Forced to live in terror, Lana soon finds she’s shadowed by more than a killer when her boss and good friend hires a cop to protect her.
Kissing a perfect stranger, Brett Colton soon finds himself head over heels in love with the woman he’s hired to protect, even though he has no interest in having a serious relationship. When she’s captured by the stalker he races against time to save her from her selfless act of bravery.
Brett had a tail. He had been trying to shake the guy for a few blocks but the man was persistent. Entering the lobby of Belleview towers, he looked around and saw an attractive woman waiting for the elevators near the back wall. She stood out from the others around her, drawing him toward her like a magnet. He had an idea of how to elude his tail and hoped she would go along with it.
She’s really hot! Looks like a fun–loving girl, I hope she’s game.
Taking another look outside, he saw the man coming up to the revolving doors. Moving quickly over to where the woman stood he gave his plan a shot.
Nodding politely to her, he stripped off his jacket, rolled it into a ball and threw it on the floor beside the potted fern.
“Excuse me, ma’am, but I’m in trouble and I was wondering if you could help me out?” He pulled his baseball hat from his back pocket and put it on backwards.
Curiosity filled her gaze before she nodded. “Well, sure. If I can—”
Before she could finish her reply, he swept her up in his arms and kissed her passionately. The woman was so stunned that she didn’t react to his audacity, melting into his arms instead. Her hands rested on his chest, fingers tangled in his shirt
Distracted by the sexy woman in his arms, Brett found it hard to keep a close eye on his stalker. He was amazed at the passion the woman returned, nearly knocking him off his feet. Boy, she can light my fire anytime! Minutes may have ticked by but he lost count, losing himself in her sensual mouth.
After the tail finally gave up and left, Brett continued the kiss, unable to stop. His pants were uncomfortably tight. Pulling her closer into his embrace, he nearly groaned as her body brushed up against him. She’d turned to liquid in his arms, sending shivers of desire up his spine.
Finally, slowly, he lifted his head and stared into her eyes. Her expression was dazed, her emerald green eyes met his with a bemused expression.
The elevator doors opened with a loud ‘ding’. Regretfully he let her go.
“Thank you, ma’am. You were very helpful.” His voice was low and husky. Bending down, he picked up his jacket.
“Well, goodbye…” He started to say his farewell but looking at her swollen, damp lips, he changed his mind.
“Ah, what the hell,” he said, and kissed her again. It was a short, lip–smacking kiss. Then, nodding, he stepped into the elevator and the doors closed on his grinning face.
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