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Buy: Sloane Wolf by Margay; Nora's Soul by Margay; Pandora's Box by Gracen; Hell's Phoenix by Gracen

Video of the Day

We Are Young - Fun

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Little Mayhem with Toni Andrews, author of Cry Mercy

Hello, today I am pleased to welcome Toni Andrews into the Moonlight, to spread a little Mayhem about her new book, Cry Mercy. In a twist to the question and answer interview, Toni has vlogged her answers. Here they are:

You can also check out Toni's first post in her tour at:

Cry Mercy is available on

Thank you, Toni, for spreading a little Mayhem with us here today! ~ The Moonlighters

The Ritual


They danced around her, chanting in some ancient foreign tongue. Or, maybe they weren’t even words. She couldn’t tell.

The light from the bon fire glinted off their semi-naked sweating bodies. Behind them the acrid smell of the blue and red flames crackled into the sky and disappearing into the blackness of the night.

Her chin drooped against her chest. She was tired, so very tired. She was thirsty, so terribly thirsty. They’d been at this for hours.

The ropes wrapped tightly around her wrists burned into her skin. Her arms were numb and her shoulders ached. She was naked from the waist up. No shirt, no bra. Both had been stripped from her before she’d been bound. Embarrassingly her nipples were puckered from the cool night air.

She’d thought the men’s intention was rape, until she’d been bound to a wooden cross. The hard path of the cross down her spine chafed, burrowing into her back, splinters pricking her skin.

Oh, God! she cried. What were they planning? Why had they chosen her?

Hot tears were streaming down her cheeks. Her nose was clogged, making her gasp for breath.

Their chanting elevated a higher octave, speeding up in its beat, in its intensity. The rapid pounding of their feet ramped up, creating hollow thuds against the desert foundation, as the beats and stomps echoed through her heart. Each heartbeat pulsated with the cadence of the dance.

“Shut up! Shut up!” she screamed at them.

They ignored her. Continued their performance without so much as glancing in her direction. Maybe they couldn’t hear over their chanting.

She retched. Immoveable as she was, it trickled down her chin and neck.

Her head lolled against the wooden frame. The song and dance was really getting on her nerves. If only she could cover her ears. If only she could close her eyes and blot out the reality too. There were too many ‘if onlys’. They served no purpose and she wouldn’t allow herself to contemplate them further.

Suddenly they stopped. The crickets silenced. All slithery things ceased to move. The rustle of wildlife stilled. The sudden dead quiet was suffocating to her ramping fear.

Each one turned toward her. Suddenly she was wishing they’d start dancing and singing again.

One man threw back his head—his ornamental headpiece quivering—and screamed into the thick, muggy night air, “Father! A sacrifice!”

“NO!” she screeched, the one word echoing back off rock and stone.

Panting and crying hysterically now, she pulled and yanked at her bonds, slicking wrists and rope with blood.

This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. This can’t be happening. She chanted, muttering to herself. This is the United States. Things like this do not happen here. It is illegal here.

Happy thoughts…happy thoughts, she chimed, the voice in her head reaching a new level of hysterical.

The man with the headdress—he wasn’t a Native American, but blonde headed, muscled and very attractive—sliced his palm, allowing his red-black blood to pool in an ornate wooden bowl. When he was finished, he slowly twined cloth about his hand. He dipped the thumb of his other hand into the bowl and smeared an inverted cross on her forehead.

Now she was sobbing, gagging and begging them not to sacrifice her. She’d do anything—anything she told them—if they’d let her go. She promised not to tell anyone either. Her word had always been good.

They didn’t listen.

The ache in her shoulders was obliterated by the fear of death. The song and dance number was desirable to the death hum they were now making.

“Give us your strength, Father!” the blonde man intoned, meeting her gaze dead-on.

The blade he slid from his waist was jeweled, pretty to her untrained eyes. The glint of the blade was starkly red from the flames.

“Please…no…” she whimpered. “Please,” she tried again as he approached her.

She gasped when he carved an inverted cross over her heart.

“In honor of you, Father,” the man said and slowly sawed the blade, back and forth, inch by slow inch, into her skin for maximum torture, directly over the inverted cross.

She screamed. The sound of animals scuttling was distant to her ears, her heart pounding there all too noisy.

He pressed his palm to the hilt of the knife and shoved it forward, cracking a rib and sinking it deep into her heart.

She screamed again. Their humming escalated, becoming louder as the sound of her heartbeat receded.

“In honor of you, Father,” the man said again, his eyes sinister black, staring her straight in the eyes as he watched her die, a lusty gleam in his black eyes.

She whimpered as a skeletal image imprinted over the blonde man’s features. A demon clothed as a human.

Her heartbeat silenced. A final breath rattled from her lungs as a whoop echoed on the night breeze.


© Gracen Miller ~ This story may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Please Welcome Author...Crystal Jordan!!

It's Raining Men by Crystal Jordan

She loves them too much to change them. Until they turn the tables on her…

Every one of Candy’s werewolf instincts tells her that Michael is her mate. He’s a lawyer—smart, sophisticated, and handsome. The catch? He’s gay. There is no way she’s going to try to change who he is. Then she meets his lover Stephen, a seductive Fae-siren jazz singer, and she’s positive she’s got a screw loose somewhere. Mates with not one, but two gay men?
She’s definitely doomed to be single forever.

Michael and Stephen know that their unexpectedly flirtatious advances have thrown Candy for a loop. But there’s method to their madness—they’re both serious about her. And they plan to make sure she never spends another birthday alone. Warning: Nekked men doing dirty, dirty things to each other and a very lucky woman, sexy biting of mates, seductive siren singing and a naughty masturbation in a public restroom. Hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

Buy it here!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Your Three Wishes are Granted!

Genies! Other names for Genies are Jinn and Djinn. They date back to Islam and pre-Islamic Arabian folklore and they were thought to be either good or evil. According to Wikipedia, Genies are mentioned in the Qur’an and in Islam Satan was the iconic genie that refused to bow to Adam when ordered by to do so by Allah.

Okay, enough of the history lesson. When I say Genies I think of the show I Dream of Jeannie—a classic, right?—and Charmed, the episode where Phoebe was tricked into trading places with an evil Genie. Brought to mind is even the Supernatural episode where Dean Winchester is trapped by an evil Djinn (genie), the Genie creating an alternate life in his mind, while the Genie slowly drinks his victim’s blood.

So, I got to thinking…what if I found a Genie bottle? What would I ask for? The classic of course, made popular by beauty queens is the world peace response, but I wanted to go further, be a little more shallow and self-serving. :D

Imagine for a moment…

Sea salt is pungent on the air, the moon full and bright, emitting beams of light. Hand-in-hand with my love, sandals dangling from my fingers, the cool surf rolling in and washing over our feet, before receding back out, I look at the man beside me and smile as the wind whips my hair into my face. Pushing it out of my face, I stumble over something, my love catching me. We retrace our steps and find a bottle. Intrigued we hurry back to our condo to get a better look.

In the fluorescent light, the bottle is a smoky shade, swirling a rainbow of colors within its murky tint. The stopper appears seamless against the rainbow glass.

“Beautiful,” I mutter, thinking it’s nothing at all like the pink I Dream of Jeannie bottle I’d watched growing up. Unsure what I had expected, but this wasn’t it. Fascinated, I can’t take my eyes off the shiny texture of the bottle, transfixed by the coalescing rainbow that seemed to expand and move about the bottle, as if it were alive.

And that’s when it happens. Feeling compelled, I reach out and caress it. The stopper pops like a champagne cork wrenching gasps from us both as we stumble away from it. A male djinn appears in a smoky mist, better looking than any man has a right to be. Eyes as blue as the ocean, he peers at me, a sly smile toying with his sexy lips, “I will grant you three wishes. Make them count.” And then he asks the first of three million dollar questions, “What is your first wish?”

1. Happiness and Health — For my family (me included of course). Those are my first thoughts. But is that one wish or two? And does each person count as a wish? If so, I’m screwed because I’ve used up all, plus some, of my three wishes. LOL

2. Financial security — That would be so nice not having to worry about how to spread the income between the bills. And in this economy who doesn’t fantasize about financial security? It might not make me happy, but I think it would certainly make me less worrisome or stressed.

3. Best sellers! I’m making a huge assumption here, but I’m guessing mostly all writers would want their books to be published and become best sellers instantly! Right? LOL ;-)

Okay, so those were my first three wishes I came up with. If I had time to think about it, I might alter some of these, but I answered off the top of my head.

I challenge you to come up with your perfect three wishes? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Have some fun! What would you ask for?

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

In the Moonlight with Sherrie Hansen

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us! Sherrie Hansen’s newest release is Night and Day. Her full length romance novel became available in paperback / e-book in March, 2009!
Coming Soon!

When/how did you know you wanted to write?

I’ve been writing stories and plays since I was a little girl. I started writing novels about 10 years ago, after a reading blitz that occurred shortly after I’d taken a long hiatus from reading.

(I used to write plays with my older sister when I was a girl! Nice to know someone else did, too.)

How long did it take you to become published?

I’ve been submitting for about 8 years. In retrospect, I’m glad none of my earlier books / versions were published. I’ve learned much in that time. It happens when the time is right, and when a book is ready.

How long does it usually take for you to research a book? Write the book?

I research as I go, checking out facts and places as needed. But since I write contemporary novels about things I know and places I’ve been, research is minimal. It takes me 6 months to a year to finish a first draft. In some cases, rewrites have taken years. It’s usually about a year from start to finish.

Is there any character in your books that you can really relate to?

In one very real aspect or another, I am Jensen, Rae, Sherry, Janie, Allianna, Hope, and Rose. Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?

Be persistent. Keep writing. Keep submitting. Learn all that you can from other authors. Don’t just talk about it, do it.

Where do your story ideas come from? Do you use people you know as characters sometimes or even sometimes a certain event from real life happenings?

Story ideas usually come to me from an incident I’ve experienced myself or hear about. Many of the events that occur in my book have actually happened to me in some form or another. Anders is based on a very dear friend I met online.

You just recently were published. How does it make you feel?
It’s been absolutely thrilling, and a little terrifying, too.

(I know the feeling! Isn't it wonderful?)

Getting back to your books coming out soon. Tell us a little about what to expect from them.

Night and Day is already available – expect old-fashioned romance and modern-day dilemmas, hard choices, trouble, trouble and more trouble, mystery, poignant revelations, a great twist at the end.

When and where can we purchase your books?

Night and Day is available at,, and at several shops – The Book Loft in Solvang, CA, Pottery Place Art Co. in Red Wing, MN, Hy-Vee Stores in Austin, MN and Mason City, IA, Sweeney’s on Main in Osage, IA, several shops in St. Ansgar, IA, and by mail from the Blue Belle Inn B&B, also in St. Ansgar.

What are you reading right now?

I just finished reading Julie Garwood’s Shadow Music.

Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?

Maud Hart Lovelace, who wrote my favorites, the Betsy / Tacy books. Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie fame. I attended a conference led by Madelaine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time and many others) and she was wonderful. I’ve heard LaVyrle Spencer, Jennifer Crusie, Julie Garwood, Jill Marie Landis, Debbie Macomber, Dorothy Garlock and Susan Elizabeth Phillips speak, and each inspired me greatly.

What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?

Several of LaVyrle Spencer’s books – The Gamble, Years, November of the Heart – touched me on a very deep level. I knew this was the kind of book I wanted to write – characters that touched you so deeply you felt like you knew them.

If you had a book club, what would it be reading — and why?

Night and Day, of course! I love to hear what people think of it, how it could be better, what works and what doesn’t. Anything I learn at this point can only make the next book better.

What are your favorite books to give — and get — as gifts?

I like to give and get anything that’s written by one of my favorite authors.

Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details that would enliven your page.

I’m married to a pastor, and hail from a very conservative, Baptist background, so I am conscious of the fact that my books should be just steamy enough without crossing that always ambiguous line. I’ve lived in Austin, Minnesota, Chicago, Illinois, Bar Harbor, Maine, Augsburg, Germany, Lawton, Oklahoma, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and St. Ansgar, Iowa. While in Germany (1977 – 1980), I learned to disco dance with the best of them.

(Wow, that's an eclectic background!)

What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests and hobbies, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind.

I love to travel, and love spending time in Canada, Wales, England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria… I love to quilt, play the piano, walk, bicycle, travel, and spend time with my little nieces and nephew.

What are your experiences with publishers and agents?

Everyone at Second Wind Publishing has been simply wonderful to work with. I’ve met or submitted to several agents and editors at conferences who have all been helpful, but ultimately weren’t a good match for me.

What will the role of the Internet play in the future of publishing?

A huge one, I suspect.

What's your next project?

I’m in the process of rewriting a trilogy about Rae, Sherry and Janie Jones… three sisters who are very different from one another. I’m also working on a series set in Scotland. Blue Belle of Scotland is almost done, and Wild Rose of Scotland is in progress.

Why did you choose your genre?

I write what I like to read.

Have you ever gotten to a point where a story wouldn't come? If so, how did you get back on track?

For me, there’s always a story waiting to be written – the problem is finding the time to get it out of my head and on to paper.

What do you think is the most important characteristic of a prolific writer?

Determination (stubbornness?) and discipline.

If you could choose one thing to be remembered by, what would it be?

That I made my family proud and did right by them, and all the other people I love.

How do you come up with original story lines?

No clue – they just kind of come to me.

(Hm, I know that feeling, too. And usually at the most inconvenient times, too.)

Some authors start out with a plot in mind, others with characters whom they’ll follow to reveal the theme. What works best for you and why?

I start with a character to whom something life altering has happened, which essentially gives me both plot and secondary characters.

Do you use a pseudonym? More than one? Why?

Sherrie Hansen is my maiden name. I eventually hope to be published in the Christian Inspirational Romance genre and plan to publish any Christian Inspirationals as Sherrie Decker, which is my married name. (My husband is a pastor.)

Many writers have had success writing in different genres. Do you think it is difficult to switch over to another genre?

I anticipate a few problems, since some of my books will be steamy and some chaste. The reason I plan to publish under a different name is to avoid confusion over which books are appropriate for the church library and which are not.

When did you start writing?

I started writing 10 or 11 years ago.

Where did you receive your most valuable lessons in becoming a writer?

I belong to an online critique group, jCW, or just Cherry Writers. The things I’ve learned there have been invaluable.

You mentioned that you belong to a critique group. So you also have a specific critique partner? Which do you prefer?

I am active in my critique group and have no formal critique partner. Several friends (some readers, some writers, a school teacher) have helped me with critiques over the years, but no one consistent person.

Would you recommend critique groups to other writers? If so, what elements, in your opinion, make a successful writer’s group?

I have found them to be very helpful. My critique group is very structured and has specific rules for posting and critiquing. I think it is important to be honest, and to share both the good things as well as the things that need work.

Do you ever look back and think, "I wish I had written this differently?"
I suspect when my book has been out a few years, I may think this. Right now, I’m very happy with it. (Except for the night before it was released when I had a full-blown panic attack and thought it all needed to be changed!)

Is writing your full time job or do you have another job also?

I own and manage a Victorian bed and breakfast and tea house called the Blue Belle Inn in St. Ansgar, Iowa.

(Sounds wonderful. I love Victorian houses/architecture.)

How long does it take you to complete a book, from the time the idea for the book is conceived, to when you submit it to your editor?

We’ll soon find out!

How important is it to attend writing conferences?

I have attended several, have met some wonderful people and heard some very inspirational speakers. It’s a great way to network and make new friends.

Do you write more than one kind of book? Do you have a preference? Is one type of book easier to write than another?

I only write contemporary, romantic, single titles in one form or another.

What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

I read primarily romance - single titles. I read some suspense. I like to read anything by LaVyrle Spencer, Jennifer Crusie, Julie Garwood, Jill Marie Landis, Debbie Macomber, Dorothy Garlock, Pamela Morsi or Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown are right up there. I’m also a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.

What do you do to unwind in your free time?

I don’t have a lot of free time, but my two favorite times of the week are Wednesdays, when I take my two little nieces (7 and 5) on an adventure. I’ve been doing this since the oldest one was born. I also love Sundays, at the 11 a.m. contemporary worship service, when I get to play the piano with our great worship team. When I play the intro to “We Are An Offering”, the drums come in and everyone starts to sing… what can I say? I love it!

Thank you for joining us here today, Sherrie, and sharing your publication story with us. ~ The Moonlighters

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Moonlight Shines on Julianne Moore, actress and author

I am so honored to be a part of this tour. Julianne Moore is one of our finest talents of our time and a personal favorite of mine, so please forgive my while I gush. I have long admired Ms. Moore for her versatile acting skills and for her humanitarian work, so this is a thrill for me. If you missed the first part of her tour, please go to my other blog at and watch the videos where Julianne talks about what it's like to be a redhead with freckles, about the name Freckleface Strawberry, and how she balances career with family.

Freckleface Strawberry and the Dogeball Bully

A Review

juliannemooreBest known for her roles in many block buster movies, such as The Hours and Forgotten, Julianne Moore is fast proving herself to be a multi-talented woman. I have long admired her for her acting abilities, for her humanitarian works, but now I have a new reason to admire her. For her writing. With a sweet sensitivity and imagination, she writes about a subject that everyone, despite their age, can relate to: The school bully. Everyone knows him, the boy who likes to terrorize those he perceives as weaker than himself. On the dodgeball court, he is king. What can be more frightening than a bully armed with a ball?

As a girl, I was not the athletic type (I blame all the years of dancing - I was an artist, not an athlete), so I dreaded going to gym class. More than anything else, I dreaded dodgeball. I knew, without a doubt, that if there was a ball thrown in that gym, it didn’t matter where I stood - it would find me. Add to that my own personal bully and school was not a pleasant experience for me. So it was that even I, as an adult, was able to connect with the character of Freckleface Strawberry. In just a few short words, I was transported back to my old gym and the fears of dodgeball and bullies. I only wish that I had come up with as creative a way to handle my fear as Freckleface Strawberry did. This is a wonderful book. If you have young children or grandchildren, do them - and yourselves - a favor and read this book to me. Hopefully, it will inspire them to face what life throws at them with the same courage as one spunky little redhead.

Here’s Julianne speaking about Being a Writer:

On Reading:

And on Writing Children's Books:

For more great videos, including interviews on Ellen and The View, you can go here.

Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully by Julianne Moore

Now Available on - To Order Your Copy Today -
For complete tour information and the complete schedule, visit her tour home page at:

Acclaimed actress, and now beloved picture book author JULIANNE MOORE and bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join talents again for FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY AND THE DODGEBALL BULLY. This time, their perky, loveable seven-year-old encounters a bully on the playground—Windy Pants Patrick—during a game of dodgeball. As the brute prepares to hurl his might at Freckleface and her friends, she must figure out how to summon the courage to stand up to him. Ms. Moore tackles this all-to- prevalent problem with both humor and grace.

It is Ms. Moore’s infusion of hilarity and heart that has won her praise from booksellers, educators, reviewers—and most importantly young readers!—for her debut picture book Freckleface Strawberry, a charming tale inspired by a childhood experience.
Nicknamed Freckleface Strawberry when she a young girl, Ms. Moore disliked the title as much as she disliked her red hair and freckles. “As a child, my hatred of my freckles was only matched by my love of reading,” said the author, who eventually grew to tolerate her red hair and freckles and find amusement in telling her own kids about her childhood nickname. Dodgeball isn’t based on personal experience, but creating a feisty character who makes the best of a bad situation—and does so with style and wit—is essential to Ms. Moore.

JULIANNE MOORE is U. S. Ambassador for Save the Children working with children and families in rural areas, focusing on literacy and early childhood education. She successfully launched the Save the Children Valentine program in 2008 whereby children’s book illustrators donated art work for cards, with the proceeds benefiting poverty in the United States. She is also a member of Reach Out and Read, a children’s literacy organization dedicated to educating parents on the importance of reading to their children, as well as an acclaimed actress who has appeared in such movies as The Hours, Far from Heaven, The End of the Affair, and Boogie Nights. Ms Moore was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting from Boston University’s School of the Performing Arts. She now lives with her husband and children in New York City.

Thank you so much for joining Julianne and I today to celebrate the launch of this wonderful book, and to Nikiki Leigh of Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours for giving me the honor of taking part in this tour. I am deeply honored. ~ Margay Leah Justice

In the Moonlight: Claire Collins

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us! Claire Collin’s newest release is Images of Betrayal. Her full length Suspense novel became available in paperback in August 2008! Her next Novel, Seeds of September is scheduled to be available by the end of the summer.

When/how did you know you wanted to write?

I started writing when I was four and I’ve never really stopped wanting to write. I’ve just developed better ideas over the years.

How long did it take you to become published?

I sent my first query letter out in 1998 or 1999. I set the concept aside for several years, then looked at it again and rewrote 90% of it. Then I spent a couple of years editing. I restarted sending out queries again in 2007. Within a year, I was fortunate enough to be in on the ground floor of a publishing company just starting out, Second Wind Publishing. My experience with the company has been fantastic.

How long does it usually take for you to research a book? Write the book?

Every book is totally different for me. Fate and Destiny took over ten years to complete and I think the research was minimal. Images of Betrayal flowed constantly and only took a couple of months for me from start to finish. My upcoming novel took a huge amount of research because it starts in 1956 and I don’t have first hand knowledge of the events of the time, so I have to learn them to write about them.

Is there any character in your books that you can really relate to?

As their creator, I think I relate to all of the characters. Each of them, even the villains, have pieces of me in them. They’re all just as closely related to me as my own family, including the weird cousins I don’t want to claim.

What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?

Get ready for the long haul. There really isn’t a good fast track to being published unless you’re willing to do it on your own. This isn’t a quick road to fame and fortune. This is all about loving the written word and the stories that go along with it. It’s a lot of hard work.

Where do your story ideas come from? Do you use people you know as characters sometimes or even sometimes a certain event from real life happenings?

I have tons of ideas. I could be driving to work and see someone sitting at a bus stop and before I get to work, I’ve created an entire life story for them. I use personality pieces from actual people I know, but that’s where the similarity tends to end.

Getting back to your books coming out soon. Tell us a little about what to expect from them.
Here’s a teaser for you:

In 1956, Tommy Benson left the plains of Kansas for a new start in California. Little did he know when he started driving down Route 66 that his childhood friend Lainey had stowed away in his truck. Seeds of September relates the story of Tommy and Lainey's life together through fifty years of joys and sorrows and an everlasting love.

When and where can we purchase your books?

My books are available from the Publisher at, on Amazon, and on Smashwords.

What are you reading right now?

I spend a lot of time reading novels written by new authors at Second Wind. I’m always amazed at how talented they are and what wonderful stories they create.

What are your experiences with publishers and agents?

I probably sent out more than 30 queries trying to get someone interested in my first book. Even getting a nibble was rare. I had a couple of agents who responded with interest and had me dangling on the hook for an extended time before they rejected me. I’m privileged to now be a part of Second Wind.

What will the role of the Internet play in the future of publishing?

The future of publishing is a huge topic. I could write pages and pages about that subject alone. I will just summarize by saying that I hope to be along for the ride as the publishing world changes over the next few decades.

Why did you choose your genre?

Authors get to choose their genres? I just start writing and the novel comes out, then I have to figure out which cookie cutter mold it fits into. They never do fit just right.

Have you ever gotten to a point where a story wouldn't come? If so, how did you get back on track?

I’ve hit that point with everything I’ve ever written. Sometimes I’m lucky and it lasts a few minutes. Sometimes, I’m not so lucky and it lasts for weeks or months. Suddenly, the next word will come and the story takes off again.

What do you think is the most important characteristic of a prolific writer?

Ask me in twenty years when I have the experience to answer that question.

If you could choose one thing to be remembered by, what would it be?

Wow, I hope I’m remembered by almost everyone I meet for one reason or another. I guess I hope that when my children remember me, they remember how much I loved them. No fame or fortune can do that.

Some authors start out with a plot in mind, others with characters whom they’ll follow to reveal the theme. What works best for you and why?

I tend to see a character and I start writing about them and they tell me their story.

Many writers have had success writing in different genres. Do you think it is difficult to switch over to another genre?

I don’t think any of my books fit tightly into a specific genre. They all have aspects of other genres. I plan on writing across genres.

Where did you receive your most valuable lessons in becoming a writer?

I think I learned the most valuable lessons after the book was published and I had to go out and tell people it existed. I’m just a horrible salesperson.

Do you belong to a critique group or have a critique partner? Which do you prefer?
Would you recommend critique groups to other writers? If so, what elements, in your opinion, make a successful writer’s group?

I have 5 or 6 people who read what I write as I’m writing. They’re invaluable.

Is writing your full time job or do you have another job also?

I actually have several other jobs. I’m a wife and mother of four. I work full time at a job that pays the bills. I also work diligently on a start up business that doesn’t pay anything yet, but I’m hoping will replace my day job at some point. Somewhere in all of that, I write.

What do you do to unwind in your free time?

What’s free time?

Thank you, Claire, for sharing your time with us today. It was a pleasure to have you here. ~ The Moonlighters

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone!

I'm sure many of you have plans this weekend, but for those of you who who don't, or would just like to share, please tell us some of the stories and memories of Memorial Day celebrations you may have!

I'll add my story in the comments section later tonight!


Friday, May 22, 2009

A Hodgepodge of Distraction

Today is a hodgepodge of topics, things currently on my mind, either driving me insane or just life in general.


For my family today is the first day of summer break! And things are crazy already. *laughs* Does it ever slow down? When I’m dead maybe, but I have doubts death will be slow. *grins* Death will probably be a series of rollercoaster rides all designed to speed up the reincarnation process. If one believes in rebirth anyway.

This past Thursday my oldest son graduated from elementary school and is now officially a Middle Schooler. Wow! Where did the time go? My baby is becoming a little man. And at eleven, that little man is almost as tall as I am. Of course since I’m vertically challenged, that’s not saying a whole lot. *wink*

And the colossal attitude of the “tween years” is starting to get him into a lot of trouble at home. From the back talking to the attitude, I’m wondering if any of us will survive the ups and downs of hormones. My once sweet, easy child can go from docile to monsterish in .01 seconds flat. It’s amazing. Truly! But equally frustrating.


Did I say I enjoyed writing? Well, I lied! This week I have hated it with a vengeance. My muse has gone on strike, or maybe taken a hiatus for summer break. Damnation! *stomps foot dramatically and childishly, then pleads in desperate whiny voice* Please come back!

My writing is worse than stalled…it’s obsolete and has left me frustrated and wanting to bang my head against the wall. Grrr…I need the act of writing to keep me somewhat sane and normal. While that may sound crazy, when I’m writing I am in a much better mood compared to when I’m not. So writing affects my moods, as does the non-writing hiatuses.

Hopefully, now that school is over I’ll be able to concentrate on my writing, but doubtful. I tend to do less writing during the summer because the kids are home. And my husband starts his two week vacation today! Joy! Awesome! Super! That’s means lots of writing, right? ACK! That means little to NO writing. *whimpers*


Okay, so after my heart monitor thingy, I decided I really needed to get serious about my heart health. In all honesty, I just don’t want to hear my cardiologist fuss at me anymore. Does that sound strange? I didn’t like hearing, ‘you’ve gained this much weight since last year’. No, kidding! I have scales. And if I didn’t, my clothes are dutiful in telling me when I’ve added a few pounds. *rolls eyes* They’re so rude! So, anyway, I’ve lost a whopping 2 pounds in three weeks! *cheers, then bangs head against the wall* Why does losing weight have to be so difficult while gaining it is as easy as eating pie, chocolate, chips, nuts, burgers…yeah, you get the picture?

And so with that, I’ll leave you to a good Friday and hopefully an awesome weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please Welcome Author...Denysé Bridger!!

Denysé Bridger:

I did this interview awhile back, and it was never published, so I thought, well, why not chat about the paranormal and the fascination with vampires that readers and viewers alike never tire of…

What it is about the vampire genre that appeals to you?

I don’t honestly know if there is any one thing that particularly appeals to me about the vampire genre. I think it’s more to do with the way a story is told, and the allure of an endless life in which you can tell all kinds of tales without the necessity of having to kill off your characters. There is the undeniable lure of the darkness and the shadowy dangers found there. We all tend to like to be frightened, within safe confines mostly. Vampires are appealing to many people because they represent the chance to fulfill all your dreams. They are apart from the law, above justice, and really, they can DO anything and survive, for the most part. Their power is in their limitless potential. Good and evil are lines that blur, and become irrelevant because the vampire is a law unto himself, so power is part of the allure as well… All in all, it’s a myth and the darker side of fantasy that makes it seductive… There’s a whole world of possibilities, and the romance genre really opened the doors to explore vampires not as monsters but as immortal creatures with souls and hearts that can be redeemed and recovered by true love. Traditionally the vampire is a creature to be feared and loathed, but in romance he gets to be a man, tortured by his immortality in many cases, wretched and lonely, in search of the person who can restore him to some humanity. These are men who were wrongfully turned, or who embraced the darkness, then became trapped by it. In romance, despite the flippancy of the words, you can create a vampire who is able to be dominated by the most basic of human needs, his need for love and acceptance.

I began writing vampire romance when I started writing stories based on Forever Knight. The allure began with a campy little series called Cliffhangers on NBC, I think it was, and the Dracula segment that featured Michael Nouri as the vampire Count. From that point onward, I have periodically drifted back to vampire romance and vampire tales that were not always romance based. I have a book in the works now that presents an interpretation of vampirism that I’ve been told is somewhat unique, so perhaps it’s time to actually polish it and get it submitted somewhere??

Do you feel that you were always on a path to being a writer? What was the road that brought you to the point where you wanted to do this? How did you break in?

I think writing is something that is, if you’ll pardon the use, in the blood. I have always written stories in one way or another. I used to find when I watched a film or show that I loved, I continued to “write” adventures for the characters I loved long after the screen went black, so it became a much busier world in my head, and then at the age of 21, I began to write the stories down. A friend introduced me to the world of fan fiction, and from there, I began to crave original worlds to play in, places where my rules were the ones that brought people to life. My vampire books have been among my most successful titles, and they are very sexy in style, and sometimes violently graphic as well. All the things one expects of beings who are ruled and driven by bloodlust.

Are you able to take a step backwards, look at your body of work and convey how you feel that you've evolved as a writer?

Evolved is a wonderful word to describe it. Each work gets stronger, in technical skill and in story-telling terms. You learn more by the mistakes you make than you ever do by the things you get right. I’ve said many times before in interviews that going back to rewrite your past work is a waste of time, it’s all a journey. You improve as you go, and the published works are your testament to your personal growth as an author and in some ways as a maturing individual. We learn to be subtle, to use an economy of words to convey the essence of a scene. I don’t like books that take away all the work for a reader, either. If you’re not willing to work with me, it’s not my job to fill in every blank in the story, I want you to think about what you’re reading as you’re being entertained, and to draw your own conclusions, because that makes the reading experience unique to every person’s perspective.

What can your readers expect from you in the future?

More romance, more fantasy, more vampires… including a Victorian era gentleman who is as deadly as he is elegant. Just more stories and more mayhem in general, I guess. I love my job!!!

My first release with FIREDRAKES WEYR is a special book for me, a combined fantasy epic and sensual romance. It’s called ROYAL CONSORT, and the cover has been done, and it’s stunning. My partner in Italy, (and the love of my life), is actually my cover model for it. I’ve attached the cover here, he’s a handsome, sexy guy, and he is also one of the most romantic and gentle men I’ve ever known.

There’s a trailer for the book already, and I hope the release date is soon… I can’t wait to see this one out there!

Please feel free to drop by my website, it’s filled with free reads, great books, and all kinds of cool stuff!!! Thanks for having me as your guest today, too!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

From Conception to Birth, Or One Book’s Journey to Publication

Hey, everyone, I have to do the proud mom thing today and take my daughter for a college placement test, so I am posting an old favorite of mine (some of you might have seen it elsewhere on the Internet) for today. Hope you enjoy it, Margay

Ah, the first blush of romance. The first time you see the idea, sitting there in the corner of your mind, trying to get your attention in that inconspicuous manner these ideas sometimes adopt. You look away, convinced that there is no way this idea could possibly go anywhere. It’s just a fluke, a fling. Surely, you’ll forget it by morning. But when you look back, the idea is still there, sitting in the corner, flirting with you. So what’s a harmless little flirtation? You approach the idea cautiously, in a manner you hope is suave and sophisticated, but as you get closer, your excitement rises. Your heart begins to race. You lick your lips in anticipation. It’s even more exciting up close. So you flirt with it, spend the night with it, take it home with you. In the morning, you’re surprised that it’s still with you. After two months, you begin to believe this idea has a future. So you cultivate it, give up sleep for it, nurture it as it grows within you. Soon, what began as a nugget of an idea in your mind blossoms into a full-blown creature. It grows within you, like a fetus in a womb, becoming bigger by the month, more substantial. You can almost feel it move within you; you carry it everywhere, wherever you go, it’s there with you. All of your energy is devoted to it.

After a suitable gestation period, your little nugget of an idea, which you have affectionately begun to call “the book” while you search for the right title, is ready to make its appearance. Your months of labor are about to pay off as you prepare to deliver your book into the capable hands of the publisher who will introduce it to the world. But wait, his assistant has to help you clean it up a bit first and you are struck by the niggling thought, What if my baby’s ugly? What if I put this out there and no one likes it? But with the reassurances of your publisher, you clean the book up and send it back, maybe with a prayer or two, and you wait. Now it’s time for your baby to prove its worth.

As you can tell from my whimsical tale above, writing and publishing, to me, often mimic conception and birth. The stages of both are remarkably similar. There is the courtship period when you are first introduced to the idea that will one day take over your life. Followed by the get-to-know you period during which you decide whether or not the idea has longevity and you want to commit to it. Once you make that commitment, there is the gestation period – I think you can guess what happens here. The idea grows and grows, taking on a life of its own, convincing you that you are mad, suffering from a hormonal imbalance, or both. But in the end, it’s worth it because you deliver a rollicking, three hundred page epic that someone is bound to love – and not because they’re related to you.

So I guess you could say that Nora’s Soul is the first of my literary babies. She is almost six months old now, having made her debut in November, and growing stronger every day. Bringing her to the attention of the public is similar to the care and nurturing of an infant, requiring constant vigilance. Yet the pay off is that people are noticing her, some are cooing over her, and others even want to take her home with them. She may just be crawling now, but soon she will gain her legs and walk on her own – and I will sit back in amazement like any proud mother, thinking, Wow, I can’t believe I created that! And in the grand tradition of mothers everywhere, I will want to create another one, forgetting all of the pains and labor involved in the process. Keep your eyes open for the debut of Nora’s brother (figuratively speaking, of course), Dante. Thank you for riding along with me on this whimsical journey into my take on writing. I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Please Welcome Author...Ericka Scott!

Genre Bending

The upsurge of e-publishing has led to the evolution of fascinating genres. Readers are no longer required to read straight mystery, suspense, or horror. Head on out to the popular e-publishers and you can now find erotic horror, paranormal mystery, and romantic thrillers (not to be confused with romantic suspense) and vampires-in-love (or lust) living in worlds peopled by faeries, werewolves, and magicians. Throw in a few gods and goddesses along with some merfolk and other creatures of legend. A discerning reader can now have it all.

Never one to write inside the box, I write seductive suspense, my own special blend of eroticism, mystery and suspense. I’m celebrating my second year as a published writer and glad that my journey is just beginning.

This year has been one of accomplishments. I finished my first full-length novel and attended my first writer’s conference. I’ve also accumulated an enormous number of rejection letters from agents for my novel. After attending the conference, I’m sure I understand the reason. It doesn’t “fit” the conventions of a mystery, a romantic suspense, or a paranormal thriller. But as books evolve, so do genres, so I’m sure I’ll find a market for my novel about a psychic, a skeptic, and a serial killer.

To celebrate the e-book, I’m participating in Brenda Novak’s auction to benefit diabetes research -- . My donation is a Sony e-book reader loaded with ALL of my published e-books. So, if you have a chance, stop by and take a look, or place a bid.

Thank you so much for letting me come here today to expound on the joys of e-publishing. I’m going to leave you with an excerpt from Song of Seduction, a chilling little tale about sirens that will do more than sing your socks off! Enjoy!

by Ericka Scott
Copyright 2009

“I’d like to charter your ship.”

“It’s a yacht,” Yoshiko Moto murmured under her breath, but she didn’t give her visitors any other indication that she’d heard them. She’d seen them coming up the pier. At first glance, they looked like typical tourists or cruisers looking to sail to Australia. However, they didn’t pause to study any of the flyers advertising the different packages offered by the various cruise vessels. Instead, they headed straight for her and The Orpheus.

She studied them out of the corner of her eye while she whisked the rag across the fiberglass, the smell of bleach drying out the inside of her nose. There were three men. The one in the lead was a small, older man in Bermuda shorts and an ill-fitting Hawaiian shirt patterned with purple and pink birds of paradise flowers. The second was a nerdy boy; a very tall boy with too-long dark hair and a dreamy expression in his eyes. He, too, wore a Hawaiian shirt, but his was decorated with large pink flamingoes.
The last man was oh-my-God gorgeous.

He was six feet tall, with a dark olive complexion and curly black hair. Unlike his companions, he was dressed in dark khaki slacks and a tight, pale blue polo shirt. His eyes were hidden behind black wraparound sunglasses. At the sight of his bulging biceps, her hormones did cartwheels, and a punch of desire hit her low in the belly. Oh, she’d like to take him for a ride in her boat, right here, right now. Forget his friends.

“Excuse me,” the old man said, raising his voice. “I need to talk to you about chartering your ship.”

“It’s a yacht. Ships are much bigger.” Despite her annoyance, her tone didn’t hold the venom she would have liked. In fact, if anything, her voice was breathless. Possibly a result of applying elbow grease in an effort to remove blood stains from the deck.
It was late in April, and she hadn’t been planning on chartering The Orpheus anytime soon because she’d just gotten back from a rather eventful trip involving a band of pirates. As a result, she planned to take a few days off to restock and recover.

“You’re our last hope,” the man insisted. “Please!”

The words were typical. All but the please. She glanced around. Sunshine gleamed off the hulls of a half-dozen other charter boats at the pier.

She motioned toward the nearest one. “There are other charter boats available.”

“Yes, but I was told you were the only one who had ever been there before,” the man who was obviously the leader of this little group insisted.

Despite the sunshine, she shivered.

There. No, he couldn’t be talking about the island. Only one other person knew about it—her ex-best friend Jenna. Six months ago, she would have sworn Jenna wouldn’t tell a soul. But a lot had changed since then.

“We were drinking at Rick’s last night, and a woman named Jenna gave us your name.” The man shielded his eyes from the sun. “She was intoxicated, but I sensed she was telling us the truth. Was she?”

Shit. To lie or not to lie? In the end, she opted for the truth. She stood up slowly, letting the kinks out of the muscles of her legs and back. “Yeah, she was telling you the truth. But did she tell you what you’d find there?”

“I know what I’m going to find. We’re from the School of Biology at Stanford University. I’m Dr. Trevor Strong, and these are my research assistants, Aaron and Nico.”

She recognized Dr. Strong’s name and felt as if her blood had suddenly turned into a cold current when she realized what he was there for. But she wouldn’t let on. She’d get more information by playing dumb. “Am I’m supposed to be impressed?”

Yoshiko put what she hoped was a dubious expression on her face. Of course, she was impressed. Just a few months ago, Dr. Strong had gone into some unexplored area of Russia and come out leading a unicorn. The result of his discovery had been a veritable swarm of researchers scouring the globe for mythical creatures. It was just a matter of time before someone turned their attention to all the tiny, unexplored islands in the Pacific Ocean.

“I don’t have to impress you. I just have to convince you to take us to Anthemoessa,” Dr. Strong said.

“Anthemo—where?” Yoshiko pulled a face. A small spring of hope bloomed only to be dashed when Aaron answered in a dull, academic voice.

“Anthemoessa is the mythical island where the three sirens settled after they were turned from handmaidens of the goddess Persephone into sirens by her mother, Demeter. In most historical works, they’re depicted as birds with the heads or upper bodies of woman. Sirens have voices—”

“Of angels and lure men to their deaths. Blah, blah, blah,” Yoshiko interrupted with a shrug. The historical works were right, but only up to a point. So these academic did know what they were looking for. But did it really matter? They were men, and they would end up like every other man who had come close to the island. Dead.


Ericka Scott is a multi-published, bestselling author of seductive suspense. She's written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days, when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had a maid, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children. You can find out more about her at

Monday, May 18, 2009

In the Moonlight: Rie McGaha

Pump Up Your Book Promotion
“We take books to the virtual level!”


Rie McGaha was born and raised in northern California along the shores of Humboldt County where her grandmother often took her to search for seashells and watch the humpback whales migration. Though her father was a bit of a gypsy and moved his family all over, Rie always enjoyed the trips back to Eureka, California where many of her 12 children and 23 grandchildren still live.

As a dreamer of dreams and being born with a a gypsy soul, Rie has lived all over the United States. Settling in SE Oklahoma with husband, Nathan, she enjoys a quiet life in the Kiamichi Wilderness where she takes in abused and neglected animals, nurses them back to health and tries to find them new homes. The ones that don't find new homes remain with Rie and she currently has 18 dogs and 1 cat.

Between her husband, children, grandchildren and all of the animals, Rie tries to find a few moments to write. She is currently working on Ancient Blood, the sequel to Blood Line, and Caleb and Arion the second and third installments of the My Soul To Keep Trilogy. She also writes reviews for Romance Writers United.

For more information, visit Rie at or read her blog at


Truck driver, Joshua Kaine and his wife, Jessie, enjoy the freedom of the open road until one night on a lonely country road Josh is attacked by a rabid dog. After killing the animal, Joshua becomes very ill, but quickly recovers. Weeks later, when the full moon rises and Josh begins howling, the trouble has just begun.

Drawn by an unknown force, Joshua finds himself in a remote mountain area at The Gathering where he meets Garan, a gray wolf who has walked the earth for thousands of years, and Joshua learns the rabid dog was actually a werewolf and his clan is now after Josh.

On the run, hunted by a clan of werewolves, and searching to undo his plight, Josh ventures into the swamps of Louisiana in search of an old, black woman who holds the key to his existence. Josh is pushed to the limits, and when the merciless werewolves kill his wife, the hunted becomes the hunter.


A Little More Moonlight & Lace...Lots of Mayhem!

Thank you for having me as your guest. I love the name of this site, it fits my novel, Blood Line, perfectly!

Blood Line is a modern-day werewolf story unlike any I've ever read, and hopefully, unlike any you've ever read. This novel pushes the envelope with deadly sword fights, witchcraft, werewolf battles to the death, and of course, hardcore sex, none of which is for the feint of heart!

Blood Line wasn't my idea, it was actually a dream my husband, Nathan, had. He's a truck driver and a huge sci-fi fan, and one night while on the road, he dreamed he was attacked by werewolves. Of course, I just laughed at him. Believe it or not, this isn't the weirdest dream he's ever had either! Later on, as I thought about his dream I began to think, hey, this could be a book, and then the voices in my head started talking and didn't shut up until I had written the entire book. Although the original manuscript took about a week to write, it took nearly three years of rewrites and editing before it was actually published.

I love to write in this genre because anything is possible. Characters and events can be skewed to fit whatever the imagination can dream up, and my imagination seems to find the edge and then jumps right off.

Blood Line was written as a stand alone, but one of the main characters, Ganda, who is half witch and half werewolf, become one of the favorites not only of the readers, but of reviewers and myself alike, and the voices in my head demanded she have her own novel. I've been working on the sequel, Ancient Blood, that takes us back to ancient Egypt and tells Ganda's story, for about a year and a half. I was beginning to think it would never be finished but then archeologists discovered a new pyramid last fall and it was exactly what I needed to complete the story!

My current novel, Calen-is the first book in the My Soul To Keep Trilogy is due to be released this month. I am currently working on edits and hopefully, it will be available the time this goes to post. My Soul To Keep is a paranormal, time travel, erotic romance that has elements from nearly every genre!

I think it's a lot of fun to write wherever my mind takes me and to just let my imagination flow in whatever direction it chooses. I never know what's going to come out because the voices don't consult me, they just get my fingers going over the keyboard! Right now, they have a great vampire story in progress and I'm really excited to find out where it's going to go!

Rie McGaha...fantasy that keeps you up

Thank you, Rie, for stepping into the Moonlight with us today and sharing a little bit of your Mayhem with us! The Moonlighters - Carrie, Gracen, and Margay

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dragons, Sea Creatures and Camorses - Oh My!

Happy Sunday Everyone!

This week, I decided to blog today (Sunday) so that Rie McGaha could join us on Monday.

Right now you might be thinking, I know what dragon is and I could hazard a guess what might be meant by sea creatures, but what the hell is a camorse? I’ll get to that...eventually.

In regular novels, besides well-developed characters, creatures and pets that exist in a story can help anchor a character in the reality of that story, and by extension, the reader. We have furry and/or scaly friends that put a smile on our faces just by looking at them. For many readers, the pets and animals that characters encounter or see along the way help to make the setting feel more real. If an author wants a reader to believe they are in Africa on a safari, there best be mention of rhinos, elephants, giraffes and anything else that might be expected. If it’s not there, there should be a very plausible reason offered to the reader.

With this in mind, what do you do in a futuristic society on the other side of our known universe and then some, where things change and the normal earth pets may not have been able to survive space flight? You make up new ones. This is easier to do if enough time has passed from when the colonists arrived and when the story is being told.

As with any world, there are always things that need to be considered when creating new creatures and pets for people to encounter. Are the creatures a common sight, are they rare or dangerous, do they have special abilities, and do the people that encounter them have special abilities? Plus there’s the, “when,” to consider, such as when in my planet’s time-line is my story taking place? Have animals been domesticated into pets, or is it something that all children get to do as a rite of passage? Is the setting a city, village, farm, desert-like or jungle-like and is there order, chaos, or savage-like qualities involved? Will the pet be just a pet or will it become a companion and protector? Then of course one has to consider if the pet is right for the person receiving it. How well will they get along?

That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg here because I know at some point after my original group has arrived and made its home on the planet, a drifter colony ship arrives bringing with it many earth things (some readily accepted, some not so accepted), including animals. Then there becomes the question of what animals were able to survive on this ship? How will they react with the animals and ecosystem already in existence on this planet and what effect does the planet have on these alien animals? Some people might say I’m over thinking the matter, but I can’t just have some earth things effected and not others and the effect needs to be across the board and consistent, at least that’s how I see it.

Originally, when I started this whole mess, I didn’t have the original settlers bringing any pets, but I couldn’t figure out why, until it was revealed to me that almost every animal was stored using a DNA profile to be, “brought to life,” after arrival and success of the colonization process could be determined. It was later that I determined the colony ship would contain, "live," animals. How else could one live on a ship with the same people with no true means of escape? Animal companions of some sort would be required to retain sanity. Even Data had a cat. The question now is, what kind of pets and animals will survive with the drifter colony?

As I didn’t originally know what the new planet’s effects on earth stuff would be, I began mapping out some of the indigenous plants and animals that could be found. There are aquatic pets, aquatic foods and land pets. The first pets I started to map came to me this past Christmas, but I’m still working out the exact details. I have two similar species that aren’t related but seem to look similar, but that appears to be changing everyday, along with the names.

Since there is still great mystery surrounding the Founding Families’ bloodlines, they have a special pet of their own. Not sure of the name yet. In fact, I thought I had written down all of the details, but I can’t find where I wrote them (too damn many notebooks to look through!), so they might still be just in my head. One name that came to mind just now is something like Neon-Globe or something like that, not sure if I like it though.

Since colonists arrive later and bring non-Founder DNA with them, the non-Founder bloodlines had to have access to pets as well, just not the same ones. The name given to the generic aquatic creature that anyone can have because they are as prevalent as goldfish are here on earth, is the Disco Ball, but even that could change as I am, at this moment beginning to get a more distinct picture of these creatures in my head. The name was given because it is spherical in shape (but that shape doesn’t seem right anymore) with fixed eyes and at night can give off soft, relaxing hues of purples to reds and back again. They tend to make great natural nightlights for small children.

The indigenous land creatures needed to be just as interesting as the aquatic life. The first creature I developed was thanks to my husband and because I love them and feel there really aren’t enough of them anywhere! Steve plays Strato-Baseball and every year we always go in search of interesting names to go with the teams he makes. I started helping him name his teams. He can be quite creative, but he does like rhyming names. He said that, since I help him out with his team names, he should be able to help me with my creatures. He is just fascinated by those dogs with the fur that grows to look like carpet piles called the Commodore DogCommodore or Komondor. That morphed into the Common Door Dragon. For this one, I took my idea for their arrival from Jayne Castle’s dust bunnies. In her books, the dust bunnies just show up on your doorstep one day, but not to everyone and never when you want one and when you least expect it.

My common door dragons are relatively small in size (about the size of a large cat to medium-sized dog – as far as anyone really has stated anyway), at least as far as the duration they remain with the person and they like to hang out on the ceilings, especially above door frames and entrances. Their favorite hobby is hiding in the shadows and dropping down onto unsuspecting people entering a room or the house/castle. They are known to make a laughing sound when they make people scream. Running gets them to roll around on the floor. The colors range all across the spectrum as well. They can be one color or many. There are generally two ways to distinguish between male and female dragons: size (males are generally larger) and eye shape (females have pointier eye sockets but rounder, doe-like eyes and things that look like lashes coming from the lids at the outer ends of the eyes). Yes, they can fly and start fires, but if you’re lucky, they’re already house-trained when they arrive. There have been a few unlucky receivers that had to deal with fire damage as their young dragon learned to control its fire-breathing.

As much as I love pets, I had to devise a non-motorized form of transportation that directly tied in with why they left earth in the first place. The first two things that came to mind as inspiration were horses and camels. Since I didn’t want anything in this project to be simple, I chose a sort-of combination of the two. A swift creature with working capabilities and could survive under the hot desert suns and can go for longer periods of time without water. What to name it? Well, I started by trying to combine the two names of the creatures that inspired it. The first one that came to mind was, well, just not acceptable, and I think you’ll understand why: Hor + mel = Hormel.

Now these wouldn’t be good for eating, so I decided to keep looking. Then I thought of Hamel. Well, all that does is make me think of a really great figure skater named Dorothy and a certain Jedi Knight. There was another one shot down. Next option was Cam + orse = Camorse. I liked that one and it showed promise. However, I think the name needs to change so that I can use the name Camorse to classify the creature that occurs when they try to breed old earth animals (it has to do with the planet’s effect on anything earth related).

Aye, there’s the rub, the naming conventions for the indigenous creatures needs to be different than that for those brought from earth. That means I am either on a quest for a new name, or on a quest for a new indigenous creature that can be used for transportation. I'm beginning to think that I just might go the mythical route entirely, but not quite sure. We'll see what happens in the upcoming months.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Moonlight Shines on Juliet Waldron

Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Juliet Waldron’s newest release is an old-fashioned romance/family saga. Hand-me-Down Bride is available in paperback and in Kindle format as of April, 2009.


This book is available in Kindle format @

When did you know you wanted to write?

I had my first play produced in the 4th grade—for the other 4th grades. I loved to read, and so it just seemed to naturally follow that I loved to write, too.

How long did it take you to become published?

I’m still working toward the big time NYC goal, but I’ve been published in e-book and small press format since 2000. It’s been good to receive validation from readers!

How long does it take you to research and to write a book?

Depends on the book. A big semi-biographical historical takes a long time, at least for me, because I like to study the characters carefully and really do the primary source digging that it takes to find the real story. I'll tell the truth as I see it, even if it isn't pretty. Romances take me about 14 months. I’m not a fast writer, and I always do a lot of chopping and changing, especially after the characters stand up, begin to walk around--and start arguing with me!

What advice would you give to those who are trying to become published?

Learn the craft before you go public. Work is involved, not just desire.

Where do your story ideas come from? Do you use people you know as characters?

Always. Fortunately, I’ve known a lot of really off-the-wall people!

You were recently published. How does this feel?

It’s always good to get another “baby” out of the drawer! It makes me anxious, too, though, because I hope readers will like my story.

Getting back to your new book. Tell us a little about what to expect.

I wanted to write a traditional romance, and had a true story—of my immigrant great-grandmother--upon which to base it. Hand-me-Down Bride is set in Dutch country, quite near where I now live. More than sixty percent of Americans have German ancestors, but because of two terrible world wars, this heritage has been swept under the rug. Germans might not seem, on the face of it, to offer as much sexy fun as those hot-blooded Celts, but their traditions are a strong influence upon today’s American. And even these stolid, stern farming volk had story-worthy family problems—and romance!

When and where can we purchase your books?

Now! At

and at Second Wind Publishing

What are you reading right now?

Audrey Braver’s Helluva Guy, Badeaux Knights by Suzette Vaughn, and Firefly Beach by Meira Pentermann, and The Free Negress, Elizabeth," which is based on a remarkable true story from 18th Century Suriname.

What was the book that most influenced your life?

Many, but I’d have to single out The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Although this is ostensibly a mystery, it started me on the path to a deep study of history, and to look further than mass market biographies for true story. I’m a huge fan of primary source.

If you had a book club, what would it be reading?

Well, my books, of course! These are Mozart’s Wife, Independent Heart (A Revolutionary Romance set in the Hudson Valley), and Hand-me-Down Bride, all available through Amazon, as print and as e books. Genesee, winner of the 2003 EPIC Best Historical, is set in Leatherstocking Country in N.Y. State.

Give us some “good to know” facts about you.

I’ve lived in Barbados and in England, in fact went to school there. My Dad disappeared in my early teens and my Mother took off for “more exciting” parts. We didn’t live as wealthy travelers, either, but as ex-pats, scraping by. I learned a lot in those days about how “the other half” lived, and in the W.I. saw the Third World up close. The experience has served me well as a writer. I was always an edge of the playground kid, so this “exile” was an extension of being outside looking in. It reinforced my tendency to listen and watch others.

Favorite ways to unwind?

Music, from Classical to Rock, Folk and World. I like to dig in the dirt. Gardening sounds a bit too organized for what I do. Every year I get tomatoes and salad, at least, and I’ve planted 25 trees on our small property. I’m definitely a tree hugger. Everyone ought to hug a tree once in a while, just to feel it “being.” I’ve got grandkids, but they are at a distance, so we’re into presents, phone-calls, and emails to keep up. I ride my bike and I walk, but I’m sightseeing, not speeding. My husband and I ride his Hyabusa, but for both of us this is more enjoying the countryside than zooming. Fortunately, we live in a little motorcycle heaven, here in Pennsylvania, with lots of scenic back roads and old time diners. The other fun thing is cats. I’ve got four, and they are all huge characters, and they require a lot of my time, because I’m their resident doorman, groomer, and housekeeper. As my lonely, now deceased neighbor lady used to declare: “Kitties are a whole lotta company.”

What role will the Internet play in the future of publishing?

It’s already playing it, by providing niches for writers who don’t fit into the NYC molds, writers who have talent and something to say. I look forward to the break down of these traditional monopolies, who really haven’t served readers particularly well.

What’s your next project?

Wish I had time for some new creation, but at this point, I’ll probably be re-working some of my 13 “drawer babies.” (They should be called “file babies” or something now, shouldn’t they?) I am the re-write Queen!

Have you ever got to the point where a story won’t come?

Never, not once I write that first chapter.

What is the most important characteristic of the prolific writer?

As Jimi Hendrix said, “Get Experience!” The stories will come.

How do you come up with original story lines?

Ever heard that old joke about “stranger than life?” Look around. Stories are next to you in that line at the supermarket.

Some authors start with plot, some with characters. What works best for you?

If I’m writing historical, the plot naturally comes first. It isn’t always clear, even with the big fat biography in hand, who the characters really are. That takes time to understand.

Many writers have success switching genres. Do you think it is difficult to switch?

Well, I have no inclination to write chick lit, (I’m too darned old) but I could go to paranormal, fantasy or S/F without difficulty . I love messing with Time and building worlds.

Critique partners?

I believe in ‘em. I’ve belonged to some wonderful writer’s groups, too, and received a lot of constructive criticism there. No group or partner at the moment, and I miss it. However, if there is a lack of sincerity and helpfulness in the group—run like mad. Negativity, cruelty, and one-upmanship are poison, and can easily kill a budding writer.

Are you a full time writer?

Yes, for years now, thanks to increasing age and my husband, generous patron of his own starving artist.


Yes, I go to a few as they are the only way I know to get a face-to-face with an editor or agent. They are expensive and can be demoralizing, but they can also give you lots of information on publishing, and you can meet some terrific people at conferences, too. Some huge ones, like RWA Nationals, are mostly marketing extravaganzas for the multi-published. Stick to regional conferences, if you’re interested in that market. You can still talk to editors and agents, go to informative presentations, and come home with both your ego and your pocketbook intact.


Rich in detail amidst the charm of Pennsylvania Dutch country, HAND ME DOWN BRIDE is a tender love story set among family rivalries and powerful enemies. This is a book that will grab you by the heart strings from the very first sentence—and never let go.

--Jacqueline Lepore: A HANDFUL OF DUST

From the first page of Juliet Waldron’s tender romance, the reader will be rooting for beautiful, mail-order bride, Sophie. Far from home, newly married and even more newly widowed, she is left virtually penniless and adrift in post Civil-War Pennsylvania. Unfamiliar with the language and resented by her dead husband’s family, the last thing she expects is to be is attracted to another member of the haughty Wildbach tribe. Karl Joseph is still trying to forget his wartime experiences, and the painful relationship he had with his late father.

The author has a way of blending all the special elements which make an engaging romance, from the old time country setting to the twists and turns of the love story, as Karl and Sophie rebuild their lives and discover a surprising new love.

Barbara Workinger,

Author of Amish Country Mysteries