July 22, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Pathogen by E.L. Loraine

  What if the government doesn’t want a cure? 

A
blinding light in the Southwestern sky changed everything. Nothing worked
anymore and all Alexis could do was hope that her boyfriend and fellow
scientist Jackson would still head to New Orleans for their week end together. 

She
couldn’t help thinking the worldwide pockets of viral outbreaks and this were
 somehow connected. If she and Jackson combined
their efforts just maybe they could stop this before it became an epidemic.
 

Now
she was stuck on the road alone and it wasn’t long before she
realized
it was too late; they couldn’t out run a virus. If the world was over run all
they 
could do now all they could do was to figure
out how to survive and keep the uninfected from becoming, mindless, flesh
eating monsters. Now there’s something else, a mutation a strain of virus the
government doesn’t want to cure and they want Alexis and Jackson to help them
harness it. They aren’t about to let that happen.
 

The
world and character building of best-selling author E.L. Loraine with the
specialty horror telling skills of Tim Frasier has combined in this
 dystopian –
Pathogen. It’s chilling in an all too believable way. 
Amazon: 

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Here are a few short Teasers from
Pathogen!!

Teaser #1
While Jackson’s exterior was the definition of calm and control,
he was screaming inside. He had to get Alexis out of New Orleans. He approached
the compound commander, Major Johnston, and made a calculated plea.
“I need to get to New Orleans. One of the world’s top
pathologists is there, and would be invaluable in fighting whatever we’re up
against.”
Teaser #2
Alexis frowned, gun at the ready, and continued up the stairs,
alleviating further squeaking by positioning her feet on the extreme sides of
the treads.
She stopped at the landing and stood there holding her breath,
listening, trying to decide what to do. Moving to the door to her right, sure
the whimpering sound was coming from that room, she slowly reached out to the
knob.
In one movement she twisted the knob, and shoved the door hard.
The door swung to her right, banging on the wall behind it. Lexy moved through
the opening and into the interior of the room with her gun close to her body,
rotating first to the left and then to the right.
Nothing.
Teaser #3
She moved further inside, aiming the pistol back and forth, as
she looked through the room.
She gulped and took herself in hand, preparing inwardly for the
next move.
Stepping to the closet door she took another quick breath,
gripped the knob and pulled it open.

Immediately, something inside the closet screeched and Lexy
dropped down to one knee, gun extended, with a screech of her own.


I grew up in a small northern Minnesotan town, married my high
school sweetheart, had two beautiful children and as soon as we could, we moved
to a warmer climate. I have worked with my husband building and decorating
custom homes for years. After loving every kind of vampire book, movie, and
series, I decided that I wanted to know more. I can write a book I thought, how
hard can that be? Well….very hard. But I stuck to it and finished my first book
Royal Blood Chronicles Book One, Katrina, The Beginning, in August 2009. There
are now nine books in that series; The Protectors, The Dark Prince, Cain, the
Quest, Bloodline and Legacy, Redemption and Destiny, and book nine Sabine, with
book ten- Power of the Secret -out this fall.
I’ve also started to write mystery/suspense contemporary adult
romances under my E.L. Loraine brand. The first release is Corporate Ties, A
Silken Ties Novel, the second a sweeter romance – Western Escape. A second
Silken Ties Novel will be released in August 2014.

The feedback has been great. I have also released Phantom Lives – Collier, and
new paranormal series, book two of that series Phantom Lives – Power, book
three to be out around Christmas. I also have just published book one of my
Shifter Chronicles – Green River. My parents always told me that I could do
anything that I wanted, work hard, study, and do it right. I believe that and
live that way every day.

I started writing this new vampire series for teens and their
moms because I myself wanted something different to read. I was tired of all
the modern versions of vampire books, there had to be more to these long lived
beings. Where had they been, what had they seen? I wanted, no I NEEDED to know
more so Royal Blood Chronicles was born! Strong female characters and action
and adventure mixed with romance, friendship and a historical backdrop. Phantom
Lives continues with another strong female character, which is very important
to me. Phantom Lives is a modern day, paranormal romance, filled with mystery,
magical places and beings.

 Facebook:


Goodreads:
A Red Coat PR Interview!
RCPR: Your newest book, PATHOGEN releases onOctober 28th.  Tell us a little about it.
Elizabeth: I was invited to write a short story for an anthology and worked with Tim Frasier on a piece. We just clicked, and I asked him if he would write this story with me, an idea I’d had for a while. Two scientists, who are in a long distance relationship are set to meet each other again in New Orleans when the world suddenly changes. Pathogen has been released and an EMP has taken out almost all communications, electrical and power. Now the main characters, Alexis and Jackson are trying to get to each other. The government and other factions also want them to stabilize the Pathogen, if not cure it. Both sides want to control it for their own purposes. So they, along with a band of people who they’ve joined or helped along the way are on the run.
RCPR: I have to say, your cover is a mixture of stunning and freaky.  What inspired the idea for the cover and who was your designer?
Elizabeth: Conzpiracy Digital Arts does most of my covers, he’s amazing, but horror is his specialty. I only have to give him a concept and then get out of the way. This scientist has been infected. Because it’s true; you can’t run from a virus.
RCPR: Your tag line, “What if the government doesn’t want a cure” is amazing!  Do you personally believe in government conspiracies or does it just make for a good book?
Elizabeth:  Oh I love a good conspiracy and I believe they go on. Yes I believe not every faction of the government knows everything about the others. It’s scary, that’s what makes it good.
RCPR: PATHOGEN is a co-written venture that you partnered with Tim Frasier on.  How did you find the process of co-writing to be?
Elizabeth: It was amazing and while Tim wasn’t sure if it would work it has and our style and our imaginations mess seamlessly. It started out by Tim writing Jackson’s part and I wrote Lexy’s point of view. Once they were together however we just took turns, each writing around 1000 words a day and passed it back and forth. We had the first book done in six weeks, the second in an additional five weeks. We wrote a novella, a prequel next and will start the third book next week. I have to say it was soooo fun. It was like Christmas morning every day waiting to read what he’d written and adding to the story.
RCPR: Aside from the horror/thriller genre, what other genre’s have a dabbled in?
Elizabeth: I started writing YA fantasy and paranormal, but now I also write romance/mystery and thrillers too. I find it keeps writing exciting to try new things and engage a new audience.
RCPR: With the new year quickly on approach, are there any new writing goals that you’re thinking of setting for yourself in 2015?
Elizabeth: I am expanding my YA series Royal Blood Chronicles and Phantom Lives as well as my Lillian, a Vampire tale series. We will continue the Pathogen series or maybe a spin off or something new. Silken Ties, the adult romance/thriller series will get two novels next year as well.
RCPR: As an author, the more you write the better you become.  Have you ever been tempted to go back and re-work your first books?  Did you?
Elizabeth: I have been through all of them again yes, and may do it again. You’re always learning so I may do a re-write on the first books again. That’s what’s so great about self publishing, you’re in charge.
RCPR: Do you tend to do a lot of research for your books or do you like to create new rules and history?
Elizabeth: I do a lot of research, but it is fiction after all, so I mix the real history with my fiction. I do the same with anything I’m writing. If it’s about the FBI, the military, government, serial killers, whatever. I do the research. I really enjoy that part of writing.
RCPR: If you could spend a day in any time period in history, which would it be and why?
Elizabeth: I think I’d like to see the early West so mid 1800’s would be my choice, but all history fascinates me. Walk with Louis and Clark.
RCPR: What is your biggest writing pet peeve? Why?
Elizabeth: Writing the dreaded blurb! I hate condensing an entire novel into a two paragraph blurb and I know I’m not the only one.

 Did you know there is a Release Party for Pathogen on October 28th from 6pm-9pm EST? No you didn’t well be sure to click the link below so you can join in the fun!

Got Indie? Meet the Authors of Indie BookFest 2014!

Hop around and Meet the Authors of Indie Book Fest 2014. Each stop features an author and a contest!

Learn more about me…Raine Thomas!

Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself. I write Young Adult and New Adult romantic fiction. Six of my books are Young Adult Fantasy Romance, two are New Adult Contemporary Romance, and my latest release is a New Adult Paranormal Romance with Sci-Fi elements. Clearly, I can’t be pigeon-holed into a specific genre!

I’ve been writing for most of my life in one form or another. I didn’t realize I wanted to be an author until much later in life, though. Losing my job due to the economic downturn in 2008 was my wakeup call. I wrote the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy while looking for work, and the rest is history.

When was your first book published? All three books in the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy released on the same day: July 24, 2011.

Why did you decide to become an Indie Author? At first, it was because I received numerous rejections from literary agents and I realized that none of them believed in my stories as much as I did. So I figured why not? Once I published independently and realized how much flexibility I had with it, I didn’t even think about looking back!

Are you currently working on anything? I participated in the Take Me to Your Reader anthology, which released on Tuesday, February 11th and benefits the UtopYA Conference. I’m also in the midst of releasing a New Adult Paranormal Boxed Set with amazing authors Kristie Cook, Lynn Rush, R.K. Ryals, and Rachael Wade. It’s called Curses, Fates & Soul Mates and it releases on February 17th. My latest novel, Return of the Ascendant, will debut in the boxed set.

Who and what inspired you to write? My mom and my teachers encouraged my love of writing. The first event I remember was a literary fair in the fourth grade when a project I wrote took an honorable mention. Looking back, I can safely say that knowing my teacher liked my book enough to enter it into the fair was enough to keep me writing.

Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing? As I mentioned above, I started writing at a young age. My cousin actually nurtured it during the summers when I visited her as an adolescent and teenager. She wanted me to write stories for her to read, and I wrote a few pages a day…just enough to keep her hanging on for more. It was a great way to hone my skills, and I use some of what I learned even today.

What is on your writing playlist for your book(s)? I listen to all kinds of music when I write, from movie soundtracks to Top 40 hits. It depends on the type of book I’m writing (contemporary versus fantasy, for example) and the scene I’m writing. Music often guides my writing, so it has to set the right tone.

Who is your favorite character in your books? So far, I think my favorite character is Zachariah from my Firstborn Trilogy. He’s the hot, cranky “bad boy” with a heart of gold. Writing him is always a joy.

What is your favorite book of all time? I honestly don’t have one…I have many!

Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books. Because they provide an exciting escape and a happily ever after. :)

Book Spotlight + Giveaway: THE CONVERSATIONALIST by Justin Bog

I was thrilled to have the chance to interview a wonderful author friend of mine, Justin Bog, when I found out about his upcoming release, The Conversationalist. His book Sandcastle and Other Stories has been very well-received by reviewers, and I’m sure his new release will top the charts! Please check out my interview with Justin and the exciting excerpt he shared with us. Then enter the giveaway for your chance to win a copy of The Conversationalist!

First, let’s learn a little more about this amazing writer…

Justin Bog pursued an English Degree at the University of Michigan, followed by Film and Music Appreciation classes—finally graduating from Bowling Green State University with an MFA in Fiction Writing. Currently residing in the San Juan Islands just north of Seattle, Justin has the opportunity to focus on his novels and short stories, while contributing commentary and reviews of Pop Culture. Justin continues to engage his lifelong passion for writing in combination with his curious mindset as the Senior Contributor and Editor at In Classic Style. Sandcastle and Other Stories was his first book, followed by the newly released literary suspense eNovella, The Conversationalist. Look for Justin Bog’s first novel, Wake Me Up, a psychological family drama, to be published by Green Darner Press in January 2014.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

Hmm…please forgive the namedropping (I didn’t “know” them), but seeing celebrities where I used to live was an everyday occurrence and kind of surreal. They were low key and the locals treated them that way. I helped set up author events and sell books to some of the local actors, musicians, writers of renown, as a bookstore clerk for Chapter One Bookstore in Sun Valley, Idaho. From Arnold and Maria, to Bruce and Demi, their lives had some semblance of privacy there; Bruce Springsteen and Patty Scialfa shopped there, Jamie Lee Curtis (a prolific children’s book author) and Janet Leigh (who wrote two books—one, a terrific remembrance of the year filming Psycho) gave book signings…Tom Hanks would come into the bookstore, when he was in town, for a New York Times. Mariel Hemingway and John McEnroe gave book signings for their memoirs. And there are many more. I was a fly on the wall.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your novella. What inspired you to write it?

The Conversationalist is about a single guy, Patrick, who is in his thirties—despite his closed off nature, he seeks human companionship. He doesn’t know how to date very well. The story begins during one such date. The voice of this man named Patrick came slowly—he’s distant from most people, tries to hide this fact, or pretend he’s relating, listening, when really his mind isn’t there; he’s not present. From childhood, this hollowed-out guy has become quite good at pretending. Off-center characters interest me. Trusting them, or not trusting them, is key to the stories I tell. I am inspired by so many buttoned-up people I’ve met. My writing mind always wants to figure out why, and what leads any person to be “this” way. I use fiction to answer the question of motivation. Having said this, my fictional characters aren’t based on anyone real. I wondered what would happen if someone believed Patrick was rude to women, and what if this someone wanted to teach him a lesson.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

Patrick was fun to write about, but there is a varied cast of supporting characters who are curious and complex, bizarre and funny. I like Mrs. Claire Brown, a nontraditional student with an axe to grind because she’s insecure about the choices she’s made in her own life, and loves to be defensive about these choices. We’ve all met people like Mrs. Claire Brown.

What is something you think people should know about your novella before they start reading?

I write psychological stories about people going about their lives, running into trouble, or causing trouble. I have a dark sense of humor, and hopefully this comes through as well.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

Most are short story writers, but their novels are terrific too. Shirley Jackson, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Stephen King, Cris Freddi, Margaret Atwood, Rachel Ingalls.

Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

The most recent books that made me pay attention were Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Both are worth reading to see great writing and rule breaking when it comes to narrative structure. Exciting to read. The one book that I return to time and time again is The Shining by Stephen King. I loved the dark psychological forces at work, the subtext, and the true terror the situation evokes…I get scared each time I read it.

What are you reading right now?

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories by Simon Rich—he’s a writer for Saturday Night Live and his short character-based situations make me laugh. Comedy is not an easy thing to write well, and Simon Rich never fails to amuse with a good skit or situational joke. I have the honor of being up on the Short Fiction Panel, early June (only a few days away as I write this) in Chicago, with him and Amina Gautier, during this year’s Printers Row Lit Fest. I’m reading both Rich’s and Gautier’s books in preparation for this book festival event, and their stories are incredible. Amina Gautier’s first collection of short stories won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and it’s titled At-Risk. Love it.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

After I gave a reading of the first section of The Conversationalist and The Virtue of Minding Your Own Business, a short story from Sandcastle and Other Stories, someone in the audience told me that my writing was natural, beautiful to listen to, and layered with meaning. My jaw almost hit the floor. I couldn’t believe it.

Okay…quick response time. What is your fave:

Food? Chili Cheese Fries (I even wrote a haiku in their honor)

orange chili cheese fries
a red hot lover’s delight
rings/tofu dog smiles

Guilty pleasure? Besides Chili Cheese Fries, I’d have to say watching episodes of Gilmore Girls. (The writing is so good.)

TV show? Besides Gilmore Girls (Do you sense a pattern here?), my heart belongs to Buffy.

Beverage? A tie between water and espresso.

Place to be? Home with my mate and Zippy and Kipling, my two long-coat German shepherds.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy reading my stories. I have the best time creating them, inventing the situations, and allowing the characters to lead me to curious places. Thank you for listening.

Where can we stalk you?

Amazon Author Page ~ A Writer’s Life Blog ~ Twitter: @JustinBog ~ Facebook Author Page
Justin, thanks so much for taking the time to share this with us! Thank you, as well, for offering to give away a copy of The Conversationalist, which I’m sure my readers would feel honored to win. Why don’t we tell them a little more about the book and share an excerpt to really catch their attention?

Book Blurb

A Green Darner Press eNovella Exclusive:

The Conversationalist—a novella of literary suspense

There’s something wrong with Patrick. People whisper about him; most want to help him, as if he’s a songless bird with a broken wing, make him a project, set him up on a date with a best friend . . .

On one such date, Wendy sits across from Patrick and tells him she’s afraid to die. She wonders what it’s like. What if this is all there is? “My mother died a year ago . . . horribly,” she says. Patrick listens; it’s all he’s pretending to do.

There’s something wrong with the way Patrick treats the women he dates, his friends, his family . . . no one can ever get close to Patrick, and no one will ever be able to uncover his secret.

Enter Justin Bog’s dark world and strike up a dialogue with The Conversationalist.

Included: a Foreword by Rachel Thompson, author of Broken Pieces, and a bonus short story, Mothers of Twins, from Justin Bog’s first collection of psychological tales, Sandcastle and Other Stories.

Excerpt from The Conversationalist

Wendy sits across from me and tells me she’s afraid to die. She wonders what it’s like.

“What if this is all there is?” she says.

It isn’t easy for me to listen to the words Wendy speaks. My index finger traces through the condensation at the base of my martini glass as her forlorn questioning waves hit me. I don’t repeat to her out loud her last yearning words in a combative tone. I want to. Inside, thoughts about life, death, endings, unfairness turned to bitterness, propagate.

“My mother died a year ago,” she says, lowering her voice as she glances at the diners around us, “horribly.” I don’t know Wendy well enough to understand if she’s embarrassed by her own boldness, revealing a personal lament right out in the open, or by her mother’s ill fortune.

I watch her lips move, opening, pressing tightly together then opening again, sipping hot coffee. She didn’t add anything sweet to hers.

There’s a catch in Wendy’s voice when she finishes her story, as if something keeps snagging on a hook down her throat. I hope the coffee soothes her ache.

“You realize you need to move on with your life, right? I mean, you’re always going to grieve,” I say. “It’s over now. Think about what your mother would want you to do.” I let her see nothing but concentration on my face, while inside I’m perplexed, a sweating liar. The image of my own mother tries to surface and it takes all I have to stifle her visage from taking over my every thought.

“I keep thinking about train accidents,” Wendy says. She lifts a pale hand to her cheek and brushes a loose strand of hair away. “And how stupid they are.”

I nod my head and try to listen. All I see is my mother’s downturned mouth, how quick her unpleasant countenance turned into a scowl. I would flee the room, the home, walk, run away to the cliff-side pathways, meander for hours until safe to sneak back . . . mother in a gin-fueled stupor, now passed out and harmless. Wendy isn’t a mind reader. She sees only steady concern, and this is too easy for me to pull off.

“How awful,” I say, “no one thinks of trains anymore, even when they rush right through Seattle and northward, hugging the coastline. They stop us when we least expect it.” And this isn’t the right thing to say either. I can see Wendy coming to the same conclusion, and I ask her if she’d like to change the subject.

Only a month ago, Wendy, a friend of an acquaintance, took me into her confidence, or wanted to place me in that position: noble listener—I found it all a bit desperate. On that first date I drove her to a quiet, secluded dinner at The Chuckanut Manor, a family-run establishment looking out over the oyster-rich waters of Puget Sound. Once seated and waiting for a very dry martini (no vermouth and lots of olives), I’d need at least two just to settle into a functioning haze, a single glass of pino grigio for Wendy, gulf prawn and avocado cocktails to start, she allowed me to prattle on about my cat, Roadway, who needed an operation on her kidney, and how much it would cost; let me ask her what she would do: pay the horrendous and expensive bill or acquiesce to Roadway becoming roadkill. She listened to my sorry tale; it’s where my mind was at on that day.

Now, a month later, I sit, foggy, a similar state of mind, in a different seafood restaurant with a locals-know-every-secret bar, two happy hour martinis downed, fidgeting with my napkin below the lip of the table, and I barely hear Wendy ask me another question. She brought a bag of them tonight.

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Book & Author Spotlight: SQUALOR, NEW MEXICO by Lisette Brodey

It’s my pleasure to introduce my blog readers to a wonderful author, Ms. Lisette Brodey. Lisette and I connected on Twitter and quickly realized we share a love of reading, writing, and supporting fellow authors. First I’d like you to get to know her better through a brief Q&A session. Then I’d love for you to read the excerpt from one of her popular novels called Squalor, New Mexico. You’ll find lots to love about this amazing writer!

Please read on and and show some comment love…

About the Author:

Lisette Brodey is originally from Philadelphia and moved to New York after high school. It’s a really long story, but she is now residing in Los Angeles. She’s published three novels, Crooked Moon, Squalor, New Mexico, and Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! Her fourth novel, in the YA paranormal genre, is due out this summer.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

As a lifelong writer, you’d think I’d be a member of a writer’s group or two. But I like to be different, so I’m a member of SAG-AFTRA. I lurk in the background of TV shows and movies once in a while. Oh, and I really despise beets.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your book. What inspired you to write them?

I don’t know that my style of writing is unique to the world of writing, but that said, every author’s product is uniquely theirs.

I write character-driven novels with multilayered plots. Even if there are one or two main characters, my books will always contain several characters who have their own story arcs. And I love secrets and revelations, so there are always plenty of those. I’m inspired by people and by ideas that stick in my head and stubbornly refuse to leave.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

That’s always a tough question. It’s hard to choose just one. In Crooked Moon, I most enjoyed writing one of the two main characters, Frankie, and her mother, Ruby. Both women were in such deep pain, but they were funny, vulnerable, and most of the time, each woman expressed herself without reservation.

With Squalor, New Mexico, a coming-of-age story that spans seven years, I really loved writing the main character, Darla McKendrick, who doggedly pursues the truth about her mysterious aunt Rebecca while growing into her teen years. This book was special to me because Darla grew up before computers and cell phones were a part of our world, so her sleuthing and her mystery solving were done without the aid of technology.

With Molly Hacker Is Too Picky!, Molly and her coworker Randy were just a delight to write. I had so much fun with them both.

In my YA paranormal (title yet to be released), there is a young teenage boy who really makes me laugh. He’s out there somewhere, and I’ve just channeled him.

What is something you think people should know about your book before they start reading?

I spent a lot of time writing and editing whatever book you are reading. To answer a FAQ, none of the characters are me, but there are certainly bits and pieces of me in many of them. I cannot write any story without humor in it. As you read this book, I’m somewhere working hard on the next one.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

My reading time is limited, so when I do find time, I’m almost always reading books by indie author friends who have supported me. I don’t like to name them only because there are far too many, and I would hate to leave anyone off the list.

If I had a lot of reading time, I’d like to read many books by classic authors, especially Charles Dickens, Sinclair Lewis, and Wilkie Collins.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

I appreciate all of the many kind words that have been said, but here is part of a review of Crooked Moon by author Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick that truly honored me:

Crooked Moon remains intimate, by showing us people who want to cry—and we want to cry with them—because sometimes a weary heart cannot help it. Ms. Brodey’s wonderful story remains intimate, by giving us such very small joys, which nonetheless make us rejoice when we find them. From such writing we celebrate characters for our lifetime, characters like Willy Loman, Tom Joad, Martha Hill, and Melanie Hamilton. Crooked Moon’s Frankie Cavalese—Mary Frances to her brother—is one such unforgettable character. She breaks our hearts as she succumbs to the weariness in her soul. Lisette Brodey lets us put our arms around this character, to embrace her and help her find strength again.

Okay…quick response time. What is your fave:

Food? – Thin crust pizza

Guilty pleasure? – Going to the movies every weekend

TV show? – Scandal

Beverage? – A fine cognac accompanied by some dark chocolate

Place to be? – Anywhere I can be with the people I love. And if those people are in cool, exotic places—all the better!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

There are a lot of wonderful books out there to read, and I appreciate each and every reader who chooses to read one of mine. I hope you enjoy my novels and the characters. Thank you very much.

Where can we stalk find you?

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website for Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

EXCERPT FROM Squalor, New Mexico

(To see the first part of this excerpt, visit my post on The Writer’s Voice)

Today, with my youth far behind me, I realize that my childhood perceptions, though surprisingly accurate at times, were also severely hampered by my limited time on earth. Observing my father’s quintessentially dad-like behavior back then (because of the profound effect it had on me), I assumed that God had repeatedly pressed his dad mold into a giant slab of dough, thus creating an abundance of men just like my father and dispersing them at random throughout the world. Like a baker who has baked too many cookies, God had made too many dads just like mine. They were everywhere: my friends had them for fathers, they appeared on television sitcoms, and they modeled men’s clothing in Spiegel catalogs.

My father was a complex man who hid behind a stereotype well into his forties. And even after that, he never really let go of it. For a long time, I was too young to understand the pain that he carried in his baggage. Deathly afraid of confronting his past, he clung tightly to society’s perceived notions of fatherhood and husbandhood, obfuscating reality as if doing so would somehow ensure an error-free existence. He seemed content to exclude spontaneity and risk-taking from his life, thereby eliminating a great deal of the reward that can come from living each day like a new adventure. Don’t misunderstand me: our home was not without mirth or joy, but most of it was like prescribed medicine, safe if taken in controlled doses. And sadly, my father’s fears and regrets were echoed by my mother, only she had the added burden of trying to keep all of our lives free of malice and discontent: as if anyone, no matter how smart or skilled, could really accomplish that.

A real dilemma for Mom was when someone unwittingly asked her a question (especially when Dad was around) that required her to take a stand. No matter how Mom chose to handle the situation, her answers were always very calculated and clichéd, leaving little room for spontaneity or originality. Often afraid of expressing herself, or of discussing matters with me that Dad might not approve of, Mom would preface her remarks with “Between you, me, and the lamppost, Darla,” a temporary absolution that would then allow her to proceed with whatever “secret” was on her mind.

Aunt Didi, on the other hand, didn’t mind being outspoken or controversial at all, but like Mom and Dad, she didn’t reveal a lot about herself or the family.

One night, a few weeks after that day when I had heard Mom and Aunt Didi discussing Aunt Rebecca, my curiosity got the better of me, as it often did. It was a Saturday night, and Aunt Didi and Uncle George had come over for dinner with their three girls. Aunt Didi was in the kitchen helping Mom prepare dinner, and I sat in the living room with Dad, Uncle George, and my cousins. Suddenly, I just had to know, so I said to my father, “How far are we from Squalor, Dad?”

“Just a hop, skip, and a jump if we’re not careful, Darla.” He laughed. “What kind of thing is that to ask?”

“No really, Dad,” I pressed. “How far are we from Squalor?”

“I really don’t understand your question, sweetie,” he replied in all sincerity.

I was getting frustrated. My voice got louder. “Come on, Dad. How far are we from Squalor? You know, where Aunt Rebecca lives?”

Dad and Uncle George turned quickly to look at each other. And as she seemed to do on so many occasions, Aunt Didi burst forth from the darkness, a virtual Johnny-on-the-trouble spot, to diffuse an unpleasant situation before it got out of control.

“I’ve explained this to you before, Darla,” Aunt Didi said, wiping her hands on her apron. “Squalor is in New Mexico and that’s very far away from here.”

“Is that why Aunt Rebecca never visits?” I asked. “And how come we never visit her?”

“She lives very far away,” she repeated, looking angry and uncomfortable. “Why don’t you just forget about Rebecca?”

“But why?” I persisted. “And how come we never talk to her on the phone?”

“Darla,” she said impatiently, “there are far more important things for you to concern yourself with than Rebecca.”

“Like what?”

Aunt Didi looked despairingly at my father.

“Like…the tickle monster!” Dad shouted as he lurched toward me with his rapidly moving fingers. “The tickle monster is going to get you…and your cousins, too!”

The four of us reacted appropriately and ran screaming out of the room. Dad’s quick thinking was an effective, albeit temporary, solution to the problem. But I’ve always been persistent when I want to know something. An hour later at the dinner table, I had not forgotten my original curiosity.

“I don’t understand why Aunt Rebecca can’t come visit us,” I blurted out.

Uncle George, who had been quiet on the matter up to this point, looked extremely agitated. He was a far less patient man than my father, and when the going got tough for Uncle George, the tickle monster never came to save the day.

“Darla, listen to me,” Uncle George barked. “We don’t see your aunt Rebecca because, well, as your aunt Didi says, she lives in Squalor, and knowing Rebecca, you can be damn sure there’s no way she’ll ever get out. That’s it now!”

“She could screw her way out!” I said helpfully.

My cousins giggled and covered their mouths.

“Jesus! What’s going on here, Maggs?” Dad asked my mother.

“What the hell did you tell this kid?” Uncle George asked Aunt Didi.

“Darla, a lady doesn’t use those words,” Dad admonished me.

“But Aunt Didi—”

“I knew it,” Uncle George said, nervously rattling the ice cubes in his glass.

Aunt Didi remained uncharacteristically quiet.

“Jesus, Maggs,” Dad said again.

“Won’t everybody please calm down?” Mom asked sweetly.

Aunt Didi rolled her eyes and stuck her chin in the palm of her hand.

“Darla,” Mom began, “we all feel very bad that Aunt Rebecca lives so far away—in New Mexico—and it’s very upsetting to talk about it, for many reasons. So please, dear, let’s forget about it until—”

“Until I’m older?”

“Well, yes,” she said, breathing a little easier. “Until you’re older.”

“Much older,” Uncle George mumbled under his breath.

“Okay,” I said. “Could you pass the butter, Dad?”

Book Spotlight: FROM THE SHADOWS by Christina Moore

From the Shadows: A Shadow Chronicles Novel

Synopsis:

Shapeshifter Juliette Singleton left her home to escape the oppressive concern of her family…and the memory of being raped. She finds little solace, however, as her sleep is plagued with nightmares, forcing her to re-live the brutal assault over and over again. Race Covington, a chimaera, thought he was the only one of his kind. Then he reunited with Juliette, whom he had known as a child, and discovered to his delight that he was not alone after all—and the both of them discovered that they were destined to be together. Meeting her mate leads Juliette to open up about the attack and begin the healing process, while Race believes meeting his mate means it is definitely time to escape the employ of a dangerous and vindictive vampire. They decide it is time to start their lives over again—together—but going home proves to be harder than they expected when they are forced to confront a dangerous foe neither could have ever imagined.

Excerpt:

I must have been more tired than I thought, either from my virtually sleepless nights or from having to expend so much energy to stay a dog, because I fell asleep soon after he turned the TV to a football game. I wasn’t much into watching the game when I’d rather be playing it, so I’d closed my eyes thinking I’d get up and sneak out when I heard him go to the bathroom.

Next time I opened them, however, the TV was off and I was alone in the room, the only light coming from the parking lot lights shining through the blinds on his windows. Thankful that my energy hadn’t run out while I slept and caused me to automatically revert to my human form (as I knew sometimes happened to an exhausted shifter), I raised my head and looked at the clock on his cable box, noting that it was just after midnight. Shit, I thought sourly. None of the busses would be running at this hour and I had no money for a cab—how the hell was I going to get back to my hotel room?

Obviously I had no choice but to walk, but if I did so as a dog I chanced being picked up and taken to the pound, which was definitely not a situation I wanted to end up in. My only other option, as I saw it, was to go in human form…and to do that, I was going to have to steal some clothes. I felt bad about having to turn thief on someone who had only been nice to me, but there was nothing else for me to do. Stepping down off the couch and stretching, I then walked down the little hall and into the bedroom. On the wall directly in front of me was a closet, to my right the bathroom, and to my left was a large area with a bed and a desk. I didn’t see a dresser so it appeared that all his clothes were in the closet.

Glancing in the direction of the bed, I listened for a brief moment to the sound of the stranger’s steady breathing. He was sound asleep. I phased back into my human form and stepped to the closet, sliding the left-hand door open as soundlessly as I could. I grabbed an OSU hoodie off its hanger and quickly pulled it over my head. Now I needed pants. A second’s glance told me that the side I had opened was all shirts, so I slid the door closed and stepped over to the right. Opening that door, I found the matching bottom and took them off the hanger. After sliding the door closed again, I stepped into the sweatpants as quickly as I could, tightened the drawstring and knotted it so they wouldn’t fall down, then turned and walked cautiously out of the bedroom.

I paused when I reached the front door, wishing I could have thanked the man for being so nice to me. But it was impossible, I thought with a sigh, and reached up to turn the deadbolt.
“Were you really going to leave without even saying goodbye?”

Interview with Author Christina Moore

What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve wanted to write for a very long time. In fact, when I was about 20, I started writing a romantic suspense novel I’d titled The Princess Spy, and I think I got about seven or eight chapters into it before I stopped writing it. I don’t recall the reason why I stopped, but I would certainly love to find the notebook it’s written in so I can polish it up and finish it.

How did you come up with the titles of each book?
For the Shadow Chronicles, I wanted something thematic, so each of the books will have the word “shadows” in it. The same goes for my romantic suspense series, Firehouse 343—the first four books will have the word “fire” in it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
None that I can think of. I just hope that readers enjoy it!

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not in any of the books I’ve written so far, but I was in a car accident this past January that I’ll be writing into my next Firehouse 343 novel.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries/thrillers influence me. I know these are genres and not individual books, but I really couldn’t put a finger on any one particular book or books that have influenced me more than any other. I think any book that I read and really enjoy influences me in some small way.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I think I have two—Nora Roberts and Deborah Cooke. Both of them not only write sexy, irresistible male heroes, but strong, capable female heroines, and I really like it when the female characters start out strong and end strong.

What book are you reading now?
I actually read a book called The Marine’s Babies by Laura Altom on my recent birthday. It’s one of Harlequin’s American Romance line of stories.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kristine Cayne, Shayne McClendon, and Mina J. Moore, to name a few. Their books are really entertaining reads that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit. I met these wonderful ladies through Facebook and we have become pretty good friends.

What are your current projects?
Right at the moment I’m planning a new book which may be a stand-alone, but has the potential to be the first in a series. It will depend on how it turns out. When I’ve finished it, I plan to write the next book in the Firehouse 343 series.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
There’s nothing major, but if I were so inclined, I might re-word a few scenes to make them work differently.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I don’t really know how or when, except my earliest memory involving writing goes back to when I was in grade school, and I’d written some short story (just a few paragraphs, I imagine) that was apparently good enough to be brought to the principal’s attention. It involved dinosaurs. But ever since then, when I’ve had to do any creative writing, I’ve strived to make it interesting.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Naming characters can be a challenge. Sometimes I get an idea in my head of their personality and can’t find a name to fit. I also sometimes find it difficult to write action sequences, or to transition from one scene to the next.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting it finished, really, was the hardest part of From the Shadows. When I first started writing it, I had a pretty good flow, but unfortunately I go through these periods where I just can’t seem to get motivated. The writing still goes on in my head, but getting the work done is a struggle. A lot of that has to do with outside stress in my life that’s not related to my writing. Thankfully I’m in a really good place right now, so the creativity is flowing!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing and editing and character development are hard work. Keeping the plot flowing and tying everything together really does take a lot of effort. Writing isn’t just sitting down and writing; there’s so much more involved than just typing or writing the words—especially if you’re an indie like me and you have to do most of the post-writing work yourself.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Go for it. If you have an idea rolling around in your head, sit yourself down and write it. Just get it all out and worry about making it presentable later.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so very much for buying my book. I really hope you enjoyed it enough to come back for more!

What would you do in a zombie apocalypse should it occur on Black Friday?
I would be hoarding bottled water and canned goods, I ain’t gonna lie. I’d be getting my hands on some strong slicing weapons like swords or machetes, and I want a crossbow with as many arrows as I can get my hands on.

If you could interview one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Lochlan Mackenna from The Shadow Chronicles. He’s got a secret that he hasn’t told anyone, and I’d try to get him to tell. He’s also a flirt and he’s sarcastic, which I love. I’d also want to interview Logan Kilbride from Firehouse 343. Like Lochlan, he’s a sarcastic, flirtatious guy, and what woman wouldn’t want to get to know a sexy, single firefighter better?

Fave character(s) not your own?
In books it would be Sherlock Holmes and Eve Dallas. In the movies, James Bond and Aragorn. On TV, Dean Winchester and the Tenth Doctor.

Is there any musical group or singer that inspires your writing?
Oh, absolutely. When I’m writing, I like to think of songs that would make for a good soundtrack to certain scenes, just like in a movie. I often hear 3 Doors Down, Linkin Park, and Nickelback in my head, and I’ve also thought of Hunter Hayes, Kelly Clarkson, and Patty Loveless, among others. I’ve made lists of the songs that got me through my books and plan to get them up on my blog one of these days.

Author Links:
Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon Author Page

Author Bio:

Christina Moore proved she had a talent for writing fiction in grade school when a story about a dinosaur so interested her teacher that it was brought to the principal’s attention, and she was highly praised for her creativity. Although she doesn’t recall the details of that childhood tale, the feeling of accomplishment stayed with her throughout her life. Deciding in her teens to indulge in her passion for storytelling, Christina delved first into fan fiction, which she has written off and on for several years. Her mother said to her when she was just 14 that she “could write this stuff,” and a long-time friend once told her she had the talent to be a professional writer; so after procrastinating a lot longer than she should have, she put her mind to writing something she could sell.

After working on her first novel during NaNoWriMo 2010 and editing and revising the story throughout the next year, Christina made her professional debut in January of 2012 with the paranormal romance Chasing Shadows, followed by an erotic short story entitled The Beauty in the Black Room and the romantic suspense novel Fire Born, both also published in 2012. Currently she resides in Ohio, where she has lived all her life.

When not allowing the characters in her imagination use her to tell their stories, she enjoys a great movie, good times with family and friends, and being “hu-mom” to two Chihuahuas and two Siberian Huskies. Christina always keeps a notebook handy to jot down ideas for future stories and is currently working on her fourth novel.

Christina’s published works:
The Shadow Chronicles – Chasing Shadows and From the Shadows
Firehouse 343 – Fire Born

Writer Wednesday: Erica Lucke Dean, Author of TO KATIE WITH LOVE

Happy release day to my friend and fellow author, Erica Lucke Dean! I don’t think I’ve ever met another author who was so excited about sharing her book with the world, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the celebration. We’re very fortunate that Erica agreed to an interview, because now that her new book, To Katie With Love, has hit the shelves, she’s sure to be the next bestseller! Be sure to read on for details about how you can pick up Erica’s new release and enter her giveaway. :)

First, let’s learn more about this amazing author:

Author Bio: After walking away from my career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, I moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains where I live in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with my workaholic husband, my 180lb lap dog, and at least one ghost. Much like the main character in my newest book, To Katie With Love, I’m a magnet for disaster, and have been known to trip on air while walking across flat surfaces. How I’ve managed to survive this long is one of life’s great mysteries.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

When I’m not busy writing or tending to my collection of crazy chickens, diabolical ducks, and a quintet of piglets, hell bent on having me for dinner, I’m either reading bad fan fiction or singing karaoke in the local pub.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in To Katie with Love. What inspired you to write it?

As I mentioned, I’m a huge fan of karaoke (I try to go at least once a week) and I actually wrote chapter one of the book while sitting in a smoky bar waiting for my turn to go sing. Other than my husband, sitting across from me, I was amazed to discover there wasn’t a single good looking guy in the place, and it made me realize how lucky I was to be out of the dating game. From that realization, Katie James was born.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

I feel very connected to Katie, and I’m madly in love with Cooper, but I had the most fun writing Silvia and Vicky. Mostly because they’re both devious in different ways. They kept me laughing the whole time.

What is something you think people should know about To Katie with Love before they start reading?

To Katie With Love is a fun romp with a zany cast of characters and a healthy dose of fluffy romance. But there are twists along the way, and I think the best advice I can give is to just have fun.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

My personal stash of books is varied. I’ve been known to read Jill Shalvis, Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, James Patterson, Dakota Cassidy, Michelle Rowen, and some chick named Raine Thomas.

Aww…I’m honored to be among such great company! Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

Stephen King’s 11/22/63 blew me away.  I literally read the whole book in one sitting. I had to nap while my Nook charged, but other than that, I read it from beginning to end without stopping. Almost 900 pages at once is a crazy ride. But they don’t call him the master for nothing.

What are you reading right now?

You mean when I’m not reading bad Twilight fan fiction? (Hey, don’t judge…I read the shampoo bottle too.) I actually just finished a beta read of Canvas Bound, book one of Laura M. Kolar’s Captive Art series. That book is going to rock when it’s released in the fall.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

I’ve been told I “nailed the voice” and I write awesome dialogue. And that I’m funny.  I have friends who call me when they’re down in the dumps, solely for my entertainment value. I guess there are worse qualities to have, right?

I couldn’t agree more! Okay…quick response time. What is your fave:

Food? My current food obsession is a buffalo chicken wrap at the Whistle Stop in Blue Ridge. I get it every Tuesday when I go to sing karaoke.

Guilty pleasure? This is where the Twilight fan fiction comes back into play. It is most definitely my guilty pleasure.

TV show? The only TV show I really pay attention to these days is The Vampire Diaries. And in an awesome twist of fate, my daughter will be appearing in an upcoming episode as an extra. But I don’t have any good scoop. She’s been sworn to secrecy as to what happens in that episode.

Beverage? Since I’ve given up Diet Coke, my beverage of choice has become root beer. IBC if at all possible, but I know I need to kick the root beer habit too, and stick to water. It’s a hard habit to break.

Place to be? My favorite place to be is honestly at home in my pajamas. And that’s just sad. Haha…I’m really a homebody. But if I had to pick a second place it would on stage, belting out Stevie Nicks on a karaoke stage.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I would just like to thank my readers. Being a writer can be a very solitary existence, and without readers, we’re really just writing for ourselves. The people who follow my blog are some of the most devoted fans/friends/family I could ever ask for, and I can only hope I’m as lucky with the readers of my books. I owe every success to the readers. So thank you!

Where can we stalk find you?

My website : www.ericaluckedean.com, Twitter : www.twitter.com/ericaluckedean, Facebook : www.facebook.com/ericaluckedean, Goodreads : www.goodreads.com/ericaluckedean

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Now that we’ve learned a little more about Erica, check out the blurb for her fantastic new book, To Katie With Love, just released by Red Adept Publishing!

Banker Katie James has a serious thing for romance novels. She’d almost rather settle for a fictional boyfriend than risk her heart on a flesh-and-blood man. Besides, the only real guy she’s remotely interested in is her rich, unattainable client, the mysterious Cooper Maxwell.

Looking less like the ultra-conservative man she knows and more like a drop-dead sexy character from one of her books, Cooper crashes Katie’s 29th birthday party. But one too many drinks lands Katie in uncharted territory… Cooper’s bedroom!

Drunk on love, Katie dives headfirst into the relationship only to discover that Cooper is keeping secrets… dangerous ones. As if things couldn’t get worse, her meddling mother makes a surprise visit, digging up a whole new set of problems.

Who would have guessed having an assassin for a boyfriend would be the least of her worries?

Find it on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and Kobo.com 

Add it to your To-Read list on Goodreads!

Enter the GIVEAWAY!!

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Writer Wednesday: Thriller Author Allison Cosgrove

Please help me welcome author Allison Cosgrove to today’s blog. Allison’s new book, Sacrifice of Innocence, was just released about a week ago, and it’s making its way up Amazon’s charts. Recent reviews indicate that this tale of mystery and suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat. You can (and should!) purchase the book on Amazon or Smashwords today!

Let’s learn a little more about this amazing author:

Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she works in retail by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.

 

 

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

I AM CLINICALLY INSANE. Seriously. I make my crazy world look simple but let me tell you between raising three kids, a handful of novel characters, a hubby, three cats, a pile of paperwork from the stores I manage and all the trimmings that come with a family and social obligations I have little time to breath! :)

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your books.

I take bits of reality and stuff my books with them. It makes you wonder if these things no doubt exist. I enjoy giving people the creeps.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

Stan. He’s your average guy who has his flaws like everyone else.  I enjoy working with him because everyone loves the underdog and he reminds me of myself as there was a time when many people doubted my capabilities just as they doubt his.

What is something you think people should know about your books before they start reading?

I try to get as close to reality as the fictional world will allow me. So I do a lot of research and try my best to ensure that my facts are accurate! :)

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

Stephen King, James Patterson, Nora Roberts  (JD Robb) and Kathy Reich.

What are you reading right now?

I have a few on the go at the moment.  Dying to Forget  by Trish Marie Dawson, 11/22/63 by Stephen King and 50 Shades of Grey by EL James.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

I think the best thing someone has ever said to me would have to be that they were unable to stop reading the book until they got to the end. As a reader as well as an author I know how amazing a book has to be to keep me fixated for that amount of time so to have someone say that they were engrossed that much is a true compliment!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading these books as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Where can we stalk find you?

Blog & Website

Author FB Page

Books FB Page

Twitter

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Thanks so much, Allison, for taking the time to visit with us. Good luck on the new release!

Meet K.J. Hunter-Brown, Author of COUNTERPART

Last month, I was part of the cover reveal tour for the exciting upcoming novel by K.J. Hunter-Brown, Counterpart. Since the book releases on February 13th, K.J. decided to host a giveaway to build up the already exciting buzz about the debut. I wanted to have K.J. on the blog so we could all learn more about her, so let’s get to it!

Author Bio:

I was born in a little country called, New Zealand. Yes, it’s not a part of Australia but it is the little country beside it. I spend majority of the time living in my imagination. I spend a majority of my time reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi movies (I’m a nerd and proud!), listening to music, and going on an adventure with my characters (that’s my favorite one).

 

 

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

I never knew what I wanted to be, and I’ve been spending the last three years of my life experiencing different things. I guess after studying subject after subject, I turned to reading to get me away from it. After I read book after book, I decided to write my first novel, which isn’t Counterpart. Actually, that novel is under someone else’s care for the time being. Counterpart was my third novel I wrote, but the second one that is finished.

I wish I could write something like, “I’ve been writing since I was a young age,” but I can’t, because that’s not true. However, I’ve been reading since the day I understood the first word of the book.

And for the most important questions, I have no children, and I live in a small but quaint house.

I dream big, and have no limitations. Someone once told me that “The sky is the limit” and I took that advice, and forever re-quote it to myself. My family and friends are my biggest supporters, even though some of them like to be competitive over who is the biggest fan.

I believe everyone can reach their dreams, if they kept on their own two feet and never gave up.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your book. What inspired you to write it?

I think that there is a lot of unique elements within Counterpart. We have a lot of history brought in, a lot of supernatural appearances and a steamy romance that always leaves the main protagonist coming back for more. And, I know that a lot of stories have those elements, but I think the ones used in this one are very unique and realistic.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

I would have to say Maya (Counterpart), only because there is a lot of me in her. And, I’m still trying to figure out if that is a good thing or not. She has attitude, humor, and always seems to get trouble, much to her best friend’s dismay.

What is something you think people should know about your book before they start reading?

I consider my book an underdog. You’re hesitant at first, not knowing what you’re going to get when you turn the first page, but in the end, I think you will fall in love with the characters as much as me. The story has humor, action, angst and kissing. The four best things.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

I have a lot of authors that I adore, but recently, I’ve been reading debuts from other authors, mostly in the Contemporary side. A story I recently finished was called, The One For Me by Layla James, and I thought that was a very interesting read, and kept me entertained for the whole two hours that I read it.

Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

I can’t really pinpoint a singular book, but a lot of novels have touched me in different ways. I think that’s one of the things I love about reading – other than the fact that it gives you a break from reality.

What are you reading right now?

Right now, I’m reading Kiss Me by Jillian Dodd.

Okay…quick response time. What is your fave:

Food? I have always loved Mexican food.

Guilty pleasure? I don’t really have a guilty pleasure. I don’t usually feel guilty over things that pleasure me…

TV show? At this very moment, it would have to be, The Walking Dead. Hands down.

Beverage? Coffee, and sugar-caffeinated drinks that leave me awake all night. (Good times.)

Place to be? My bed. No hesitation. My bed is my favorite place to be.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I would love to thank every single reader that gets their hands on my book, and goes through the journey of reading it.

Where can we stalk find you (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, website, blog, etc.)?

You can find me on:

Twitter: @kayjazx

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6580505.K_J_Hunter_Brown

Blog/Website: http://kayjazx.blogspot.com/

Thanks again for sharing more about yourself and your upcoming release, K.J.! Now, I hope everyone will enter the giveaway. Be sure to comment and let K.J. know what you think!

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Writer Wednesday: Historical Romance Author Suzan Tisdale

As a fan of historical romances, I’m delighted to have author Suzan Tisdale visiting the blog today. Suzan and I connected on Twitter and she’s quickly become one of my favorite online buddies. Let’s learn a little more about her, and then you can check out her books!

Author Bio:

Suzan lives in the Midwest with her verra handsome carpenter husband and the last of their four children-a 14 year old, 6″3’, built like a linebacker son. Suzan and her husband are currently accepting monetary donations to help both feed and keep their son in shoes.

They live in a quiet little hamlet where the only traffic jams occur in the very early morning hours when they must wait for the wild deer and turkey to cross the road.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

I have addictions to: chocolate, coffee, and purses. My grandchildren are perfect. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world. I drink Gentleman Jack Daniels from a coffee cup — no ice, no coke, just Jack.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your books. What inspired you to write them?

I love to blend a little mystery in with my historical romance novels. I have six books planned for my Clan MacDougall series. All my heroes are honorable men, men who will do anything they must to keep those they love out of harm’s way, and they have no fear of fighting to the death for their families. And my books tend to stay on the ‘clean’ side of things. My books are as far from ‘erotica’ as you could get. I keep it that way so that nearly everyone could read them and not be embarrassed. ;o)

My inspiration…I love historical romance. It is a means to escape from the every day ordinary things. I love being whisked away to another time and place, learning about the way life was long ago.

Who is (or has been) your favorite character to write and why?

I love all of my characters, even the bad guys! I am currently working on Book Three titled Wee William’s Woman. I’d have to say Wee William has been the most fun to write. He is also the one I hear the most about from my readers — they all love him. There isn’t anything ‘wee’ about Wee William. He’s nearly seven feet tall, with arms and legs the size of tree trunks and hands like buckets. But it is his heart and his love of bairns (babies) that people love about him. He vows there isn’t a woman in all of Scotland worth shaving his beard for…but he might just do that in book three! ;o)

What is something you think people should know about your books before they start reading?

My books are clean but there is lots of romance!  My heroes and heroines are romantically linked but without vivid details.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

Wow! This is a long list! My favorites are: Carmen Caine, Laurin Wittig, Amanda Forrester,  Julie Garwood, Emery Lee, Ava Stone, and Katie McAllister. Emery, Ava, and Katie all write historical romance, but set in Regency period. The others are why I write my books set in historical Scotland.

Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

It isn’t just one book, it was a series of books. Carmen Caine’s Highland and Heather series is was got me hooked on this genre. Laurin Wittig’s The Devil of Kilmarten, is also one of my favorites. It is because of these two women that I started writing in the genre that I write in.

What are you reading right now?

Nothing at the moment, but I recently finished Highland Surrender, by Tracy Brogan and enjoyed it very much!

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

When a reader wrote a review that said my first book, Laiden’s Daughter, was right up there with Hannah Howell, Catherine Bybee and Julie Garwood! That made me cry happy tears of joy for about three days. I mean, really? I bow at the feet of Julie Garwood and can only pray to write as well as she does. To have a complete stranger say that about my books, well, it leaves me awestruck and humble and very happy!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I love hearing from readers! Even if they didn’t care for a particular character, I still love hearing from them! ;o) It is because of my readers that I get to have my life long dream of writing full time fulfilled. ;o)

Where can we stalk find you?

Twitter: @suzantisdale

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuzanTisdaleromance

Blog: http://www.suzantisdale.blogspot.com

Thank you so much, Raine, for inviting me to do this! You are such a sweet young lady! ;o) I enjoy talking with you and I am very glad we met — even though it was on Twitter! Maybe someday we’ll all get together in ‘real life’ to meet in person. I’ll bring the chocolate and the Jack Daniels!

~   ~   ~

It was my pleasure, Suzan. You can bet I’ll take you up on that offer! Now everyone should go and pick up your books on Amazon today: Laiden’s Daughter and Findlay’s Lass.

Writer Wednesday: Bethany Lopez, Author of MAKE IT LAST

Followers of my blog know what a fan I am of Bethany Lopez. Her Stories about Melissa books make up one of my favorite contemporary YA series out there. You also know, based on my recent cover reveal for Make it Last, that Bethany has ventured into the New Adult market with her new Friends & Lovers trilogy. I’m thrilled to see that Make it Last has soared to the top of the sales charts on Amazon…and I’m sure Bethany will see much more success to come!

I’d love for you to learn more about this wonderful author, so I asked Bethany to take the time to answer a few questions. Please check out what she had to say…and then go and buy her books! You can pick up Make it Last on Amazon here.

Now, take it away, Bethany…

Please provide a brief bio.

Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult novel. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her contemporary Young Adult series, Stories About Melissa. Ta Ta for Now!, xoxoxo, and Ciao are available now. Bethany is currently working on a Contemporary Fantasy YA and a Contemporary NA Trilogy.

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include.

I have been in the Air Force for fourteen years. My favorite base was in Belgium. I lived there for three and a half years and it was an amazing experience.

Tell us about some of the unique elements in your book. What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to write a trilogy that featured all of the same characters, with each book focusing on one of the couples, like a Nora Roberts trilogy.

Who has been your favorite character to write and why?

In Make it Last, I really enjoyed writing Kent and Rich, but my favorite character from anything I’ve written would be Nissa. Nissa is a modern day Fairy Godmother and I loved writing the magical and innocent elements of her character.

What is something you think people should know about your book before they start reading?

It runs short. That has been the biggest complaint so far, that readers wished it was longer.

When you have time to read, who are some of the authors whose books you have to have on-hand?

My go to writers are Nora Roberts and Stephen King, they have been since I started reading. I will pick up anything written by the lovely Raine Thomas, Chelsea Fine, M. Leighton, Tiffany King, and Abbi Glines, to name a few…

Tell us about a book that resonated with you (either recently or prior to your writing career).

When I was younger, Little Women was the book that made me love to read. IT was the book that scared me to death and made me want to write. Recently, Shatter Me just blew me away!

What are you reading right now?

Elder by the incomparable, Raine Thomas! :)

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your writing/books?

When readers say my characters are believable/relatable, I think that is a huge compliment. Also, when they say that they can’t wait for my next book to come out, I get warm fuzzies!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I have been amazed and humbled with the release of Make it Last. I appreciate everyone’s support and want to thank everyone who has supported me and the book.  I am very grateful!

Where can we stalk find you?

IAN – http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/bethany-lopez.html

Webpage – http://www.bethanylopez.blogspot.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/BethanyLopez2 – @bethanylopez2

Facebook – http://on.fb.me/LypEaO

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/bethanylopez2/

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us, Bethany! We all wish you much success with the Friends & Lovers trilogy. It’s been a lot of fun reading them, and I’m on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next!