Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Welcome to Barbara Edwards

Today I have Barbara Edwards on my blog.

Welcome Barbara, Tell us a little about yourself:

I’ve been ebook published for ten years so I’m one of the pioneers in the business with Another Love a historical romance at WingsEpress. The changes have been mind-boggling and I’ve had to learn about using my computer. I spend time on many loops, do blogging, and find time to work on my next book.

What do you like the most and the least about writing?

What I like the most is telling my stories. I love having a reader say she likes this character or that scene. And getting a good review is the cherry on top of my ice cream sundae. What I like the least is being interrupted while I’m writing. There are hours, even days, when business or life in general keeps me away from my stories.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Ancient Blood by Barbara Edwards is a paranormal romance from The Wild Rose Press

Lily Alban escapes a murderous stalker, but his vicious attack leaves her with the ability to see auras. She finds safety in the tiny hamlet of Rhodes End where a stranger stands out like a red light. Try as she might to deny her growing desire for Cole, she seeks his help but soon discovers the man she loves is not a man at all.

Werewolf Cole Benedict resists his attraction to Lily. A botanist researching the healing herbs to find a cure for Lycanthropy, he’s determined to protect Lily from her stalker as well as himself even in human form, but instinct takes over when he changes to his inner beast.

Together they must use their extraordinary gifts to catch Lily’s stalker before he attacks again, but revealing their secrets to one another could destroy their growing love or save them both.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I’m in the middle of Book Three in the Rhodes End series tentatively titled Ancient Curse. I also have a contemporary romance about Civil War reenacting under consideration.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

Dear readers? Oh my, I feel like Ann Landers giving advice. I want you all to enjoy my books. I hope you have an ebook reader so you can download the short stories and carry the long books with you everywhere.

Here’s an excerpt from Ancient Blood:

“Lily?” His strong hands gently cupped her shoulders.

“Don’t, please don’t.”

She pulled away, fully intending to flee. Her resistance shattered, and she turned into his embrace. It was too late to escape. Pressing against his strength, she wound her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. His erection prodded her stomach, and she moaned. A heavy groan filled his throat as he lifted her from her feet. He kicked the bag aside as he sat her on the counter.

“I can’t wait,” he growled. His flaring aura spiraled with colors she couldn’t name. She caught her breath. One hand burrowed through her hair, keeping her still as he stepped between her thighs. “You’re all I could think about all day.”

Clasping her bottom, he slid her to the edge of the counter. With his lips claiming her mouth, he unbuttoned her slacks, than lifted her slightly to push them down and off.

The cold surface only made her more aware of his scorching heat. His rough denim pants scraped her inner thighs in contrast with the silky hair under her palms. Her pulse leaped, and she gasped. His male scent mixed with hints of the wild forest filled her nostrils. When his fingertip explored the heated moisture gathering at her juncture, she tightened her thighs around his hips.

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Visit my website: http://www.barbaraedwards.net

I regularly post on: http://barbedblog.barbaraedwards.net/ or http://barbaraedwardscomments.wordpress.com/

Thank you for being my guest today, Barbara.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Welcome Alison Chambers

My guest today is Alison Chambers

Welcome to my blog Alison, tell us a bit about yourself:
I’ve been writing since I was eighteen. After reading a lot of Nancy Drew books. I decided to try to write one myself. Since then, I’ve always liked mysteries, especially when the woman is the brave heroine. I’ve spent most of my career in communications and public relations, mainly working with national and local medical associations, so I was able to do a lot of writing in those professions. I also managed to write seven novels and am working on the eighth. “The Secret Sentinel” is available from www.thewildrosepress.com and “The Montezuma Secret” is available from Amazon.com and Smashwords.

What do you like the most and least about writing?

I like creating suspenseful scenes in mysterious places and love heightening the tension as much as possible. While I don’t mind editing, I hate fact-checking, making sure all the descriptions are consistent and that the plot has no holes in it. It’s tedious, but it has to get done!

Give us a peek into your latest published work? Here's a blurb from "The Montezuma Secret"

Hunky Trey Zacco, gritty survivalist and host of the Miami-based Holiday Channel’s hit "Wildman" series and glitz and glamour girl, Erica Kingsley, host of the channel’s "Lap of Luxury" show, are thrown together in the steamy jungles of Belize as a publicity stunt. Erica’s father, Arthur Kingsley, the owner of the Holiday Channel, has proposed the angle, not only to boost ratings, but also as a way to toughen up his spoiled daughter. And Kingsley wants them to search for Montezuma’s lost gold, presumably moved to Belize from the Guatemalan jungle. Zacco cannot hide his resentment at having to share the spotlight with the flighty fashionista Erica, and he locks horns with her every step of the way even as both try to ignore the strong physical attraction growing between them. But when Arthur Kingsley’s plane crashes in the jungle on his way to film the opening of the show, Trey and Erica launch a desperate search to find him. And when, one by one, members of the camera crew are killed and the equipment sabotaged, Trey and Erica find themselves stranded in the middle of the jungle with sultry producer Morgana Montez, Trey's ex-lover, where no rescue crew can reach them.

What's next on the writing horizon for you?

The one I’m working on now is called “Prisoner in his Arms.” It’s a follow-up to “The Secret Sentinel” with a lot of “National Treasure” clues and rhymes. It takes place in a number of mysterious settings around Boston and Washington, D.C. I love developing the relationship between the characters—he the sexy bodyguard and she the damsel in distress searching for the mysterious Virgo Stone which she must find in ten days or her father will die and terrorist attacks will be unleashed on the capitol right before the Presidential inauguration.

Is there anything else you want to tell readers?

The e-publishing world is an exciting and growing one for readers and authors alike. Because of it, we have witnessed the demise of traditional bookstores, including one major one, Borders. It will be interesting to see what will happen next. For authors: keep writing what you love and never give up. Try to block out the critics and naysayers, keep learning and persevere! For readers: there are a lot of options out there. Read what you enjoy, experiment with e-readers and e-books and keep expanding your horizons. I love Half Price Books, because I can read more books that way (because they’re less expensive) and try different books in different genres and on different subjects. It’s a lot of fun!

Here's an excerpt from "The Montezuma Secret"

"Up?" she pointed, unable to believe her ears.
Trey gave her a hard shove.
"Get going!"
"But how?"
"Grab the vines and pull yourself up!" he shouted over the thundering rain.
"You must be joking! It’s got to be one hundred feet high!"
"Good calculation. Now move!"
She stood her ground. "But why?"
"A. There’s no other way. B. I’m ordering you to. And you’ll listen if you ever want to get out of here."
Trey stifled an urge to smack her luscious wet bottom and watched in amusement as she struggled to grab hold of the slick vines, then smirked as she scrambled up a few feet and then landed in the muck with a splat. Her thick mane of black hair, once so splendidly coifed, was heavily matted and caked in mud.
"Again!" he yelled.
Raindrops, big as bullets, pelted her mercilessly. "I can’t do it. It’s impossible."
"Watch the master," he said, stowing the camera in his backpack.
He brushed her aside and grabbed one of the sturdier vines, then pulled himself up arm over arm with the agility of a spider monkey until he reached the top of the cliff where he had a perfect view of the lush jungle canopy and could see for miles.
"Now you know how it’s done. Get your ass up here or I’ll leave you behind."
"You can’t do that. You wouldn’t."
"Pull yourself up, Kingsley. If you have to, use the side of the cliff to push off and boost yourself higher. But watch out for the holes. There may be spiders and bats hiding in those nooks and crannies."
Erica re-tied her sagging ponytail and pinned it to her scalp. Her breath was ragged, her heartbeat erratic.
From above, she heard the sudden monotonous drone of a plane’s engine cutting through the rain splatter, then listened to the sputter as the motor spit and coughed, struggling to stay aloft. Wings slashed through the jungle over her head five hundred feet from her, both turbo props flaming. The plane wobbled and rolled before hitting the ground with an ear-splitting shriek of steel against steel followed by a blinding explosion of light that knocked her off her feet.
A sickening sensation shot through her and she suppressed the urge to vomit. The stench of black smoke as dark as blood filled her nostrils. She knew what had happened. She hoped to God she was wrong, but more than ever she wished with all her heart and soul that she was still safely home in Miami Beach and that she had never come.

From a safe distance, comfortably positioned to witness the entire spectacle, a smiling figure breathed a sigh of relief. It had all gone according to plan. On schedule and on time. They were right where they needed to be. Soon they’d both be dead and no one would be the wiser. Untimely accidents. Marauding terrorists. Ancient Mayan curses. Any excuse would do. Completely believable, considering the dangers of the jungle. They’d just disappear. Perfect. Simply perfect.

Click here to purchase

SUMMER SALE: Only $.99 in e-book format for your Kindle, PC, MAC, iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, or Android
FIVE STARS: "Excellent writing! Enjoyable hero and heroine! Great romance! Fast pace! I read it straight through! Author thorough in research! I lived the experience!"--A reader on Amazon.com

Visit me at www.alisonchambersromance.com or http://alisonchambers.blogspot.com

Thank you for having me!

It was wonderful to have you here today, Alison.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome to Vonnie Davis

Today my guest is Vonnie Davis

Welcome to my blog, Tell us a little about yourself:

I’m a retired technical writer who is living her dream: I’m writing. My husband is also an autho. His novel, The Phantom Lady of Paris, was released three weeks ago. So we’ve each had a book come out within the past month. We’re in major book promotion mode here at the Davis household. My life is enriched with three grown children and six fantastic grandkids. One could say I’m a late achiever. I never started college until I was forty-four. I found the love of my life at the age of fifty-five. And at sixty-three, I’m achieving a dream—having my first book published.

What do like the most and the least about writing?

Sharing what I dislike the most is easy—the self-promotion. I’m of the generation that was taught, “Self-praise stinks.” I struggle with saying, “Hey, I wrote this fantastic book and you have to read it.”

What I enjoy most is having characters who reach out from the computer screen, grab me by the throat and growl, “Pay attention! This is how the scene should go!” The characters and I don’t usually get on such intimate terms until chapter five or six. Once they start ordering me about, all I do is take dictation.

Give us a peek into your latest published work?

Nurse Rachel Dennison comes to Texas determined to prepare her new patient for a second round of chemo. What she isn’t counting on is her patient’s twin brother, Storm Masterson. Despite her initial attraction, Storm has two things Rachel can’t abide: a domineering personality and a fiancĂ©e.

Half Native American, with the ability to have "vision dreams," Storm dreams about Rachel for three nights before her arrival. Both are unprepared for the firestorm of emotions their first chance encounter ignites.

Ultimately, it is Rachel’s past—an abusive, maniacal ex-boyfriend—that threatens to keep them apart…and Storm’s dreams that bring them together again.

What’s next on the writing horizon for you?

I have two projects with editors at The Wild Rose Press. One is a short story set in Texas—oh, I do love cowboys, contemporary or historical. The other was a stretch for me to write. Mona Lisa’s Room is a romantic suspense set in Paris with an American woman celebrating her fortieth birthday, a younger government agent and vengeful terrorists. This is the first of a trilogy. I’m currently working on the first book of a series set in a small mountainous community with a host of interesting characters.

Is there anything you want to tell readers?

I’d rather ask them something, if that’s okay. Please in your comments, tell me what types of romance you like to read? What types of heroines do you enjoy most? Wounded? Comical? Strong and determined? And, of course, I’d love to hear about the types of heroes you sigh over and fall a little in love with.

This is the opening scene of Storm’s Interlude –

Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.

Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his privates with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.

She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.

The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt.

Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.

Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.

Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.

Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.

He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”

What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”

There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he struted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.

She swore she wouldn’t look in her rearview mirror. Nope, she would not look. Like a magnet emitting a powerful homing signal, her eyes slowly slid to the glass surface. He was standing where she’d left him….. So, do you think she went back???

Please stop by my blog sometime to visit. Right now I’m part of a Mega-Author Blog Hop. Stop by, follow the directions and leave your comment and email address for eligibility in my drawing. http://www.vintagevonnie.blogspot.com

Visit Vonnie's website by clicking here

Buy Links for Vonnie's book either paper or e-book:

Amazon click here

The Wild Rose Press click here

Thank you for being my guest today Vonnie.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Perils of Social Media

A few weeks ago I did a blog about professionalism and I thought it was a good time to discuss social media.

I didn't create a Facebook account until after I sold my first book, knowing it was a good tool to showcase myself as an author and for some promotion. I don't post very much only when I have news to share. It's quite all right that I have family members who have friended me on Facebook, because they know this is for my writing and that is about all I post from my Facebook account. My writing, I keep it professional. That doesn't mean I won't post a "what am I doing" type of status, readers want to know more about me.

I didn't join twitter until about a month ago when I bought a smart phone. My account again is for my writing. Because I was twitter phobic, I started following people and reading what they tweeted to get a better understand of this form of social media.

I didn't think I'd like twitter, but I do. I'm learning more about other writers and the publishing industry than I thought I would. And I'm enjoying myself.

Yet, there are a few things that have turned me off and that has to do with what authors are posting. Here are a few things to think about before you post:

  • Never tweet or Facebook anything you don't want to be in the digital cloud forever

You're tweets and FB posts don't disappear they stay out there

  • Think before you tweet or FB post

Is this something you really want to say to 5,000 people or more who in turn tell everyone they know (especially if its negative).

  • If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all

Remember your followers on twitter and FB don't necessarily know the publishing world, they may complain about how your books are released, the prices, both print and e-books, etc. Be gracious and let them know you share their concerns but you have little control. Do not get upset at them for complaining to you, they have no other outlet. Offer to email them a more detailed explanation, but don't tell them that complaining to you as the author is the equivalent of complaining to the moon because it's full tonight.

  • Always remember you may have followers who will talk about what you tweeted or FB

One of the things I learned in my years in customer service is that an unhappy customer will tell 5 people they were unhappy, and then they will tell 5 people, and so on. A happy customer is more than likely to tell 10 people they are happy, and recommend your book or your facebook page or website or whatever.

As authors we are in the public's eye more than ever with social media. And as professionals we need to make sure we stay professional.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcome Sharon Hamilton

Today my guest is Sharon Hamilton.

Here's a blurb:

Book I of The Guardians

Claire, an unconventional Guardian angel sent to save a sexy Brazilian-born painter from killing himself, discovers Daniel has been preyed upon by a powerful dark angel posing as his best friend and agent. Although successful at saving Daniel’s life, Claire is in danger of losing her own when attraction to her handsome charge blooms into a forbidden love.

The dark angel offers her what she’s only dared to dream about—an eternity with Daniel. Will she sacrifice her soul, or sacrifice a lifetime with a man she knows she was created to love?

Here's Sharon's Story about how she started writing the books:

Angels and the Heaven That Could Be

I was raised in a traditional family, or as traditional as a family could be in Northern California during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. And yes, we had our fair share of quirky characters, as all families do. Laced in there were some serious hours doing service at our local church, mostly because that’s what my parents had done, how they had met, in the shadow of my grandfather, who was an evangelist.

Let me set you straight here, this isn’t about religion or much of anything in the way of values, other than as it relates to my characters. I’ve always said I’m a Christian with a bent antennae. I’ll explain.

I was given a unique view behind the curtain, to see whatwent on behind the production number that was the stage. And that’s where I think the real story is. I got to see the women, kids in tow, coming to my grandfather’s house in the middle of the night, after being beaten by a raging husband. Those things really do happen in the real world. I’d see them at breakfast the next day, and watch as my grandfather would hand out a free meal or a little money to people out of luck. He told me the “hobos”, as we used to call them, marked his fence so one that followed would know there was a kind person living there who might share a scrap of food. I once gave my favorite teddy bear to a little girl who was about 4 and clearly was afraid. I was afraid too. Afraid for her future. I often think of her little face, standing in my grandfather’s kitchen, barefoot, with syrup running down her chin.

What has always interested me is what makes people do the things they do. And what choices they make in life. I didn’t want to go into religious studies. I wanted to know what motivated them. So, in college I majored in Psychology.

Years later, after raising a family of my own and now beginning to see them have children, I still don’t really know what makes people do what they do. But I know how to write it down.

Angel is my first book, and it was the book that seized me one cold December day when I was visiting my daughter for her college graduation in Portland. We were snowed in that day, and the graduation (mid-year, smaller) was cancelled. And like the famous story of Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein, we started talking about stories as we went around the room. I had been dreaming about angels, but not anything close to the angels I’d learned about in Sunday School. These were fully fleshed out beings with personalities, in a beautiful place with gardens and classrooms so they could learn about human life.

My blonde angel character was innocent, but drawn to the human world like a moth is drawn to a light fixture. The story developed that her attraction to all things human was what made her such an effective Guardian Angel. And she had a 100% track record, unlike anyone else.

I constructed a world around her and the possibility that she might fall in love so hard, that she wanted to give up her wings and become human. And so I explored what that would look like, how she would feel, and what the consequences would be.

The premise became: Heaven isn’t 100% perfect by design. The Underworld isn’t 100% evil by accident.

I began thinking that she would test the premise that all beings had free will, human as well as angelic. And I wanted her to push the boundaries. And not just push them, I wanted her to fall off the edge and watch her recover, if she could.

Thirty days later, in mid January, I had that first draft done. It was 92,000 words. I asked other writers I was becoming friends with if that was normal, and realized I am a prolific writer. Now that version has been re-written over 50 times now, vetted and critiqued on the contest circuit, where it did very well. It took a lot of people to help me wrestle with this behemoth first novel. But the end result is something that is near and dear to my heart. The premise and the ending remained the same.

I’m now on my 4th book in the angel series.

You might ask me if I believe in the presence of a higher power. And I have to say, when I shut my eyes and tune out everything else, that someone else is there.

I hope you enjoy the journey I’ve taken. No, it probably won’t send you back to church.

If you'd like to buy Sharon's book here are the links:

Click here for Barnes & Noble

Click here for Amazon

Thanks for being my guest today Sharon.