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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interview of Author Stephanie Burkhart

Today it's my pleasure to present an interview of romance author Stephanie Burkhart.





Latest book: "The Green Rose," a fantasy romance.










Buy Links:
PUBLISHER'S SITE: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-280/The-Green-Rose-Stephanie/Detail.bok
AMAZON KINDLE: http://amzn.com/B007QUBU2E
BARNES & NOBLE NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1109853031
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thegreenrose-769936-143.html
SONY EBOOKS: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/stephanie-burkhart/the-green-rose/_/R-400000000000000673505

BOOK TRAILER: http://www.youtube.com/embed/gFuFCDhZQMc

BIO:
Stephanie Burkhart was born and raised in Manchester New Hampshire. In 1986, she wanted a grand adventure and joined the U.S. Army, becoming an MP (military police). She spent 7 years stationed overseas in

In 1997, she left the Army and settled in Castaic California. She now works for LAPD as a 911 Dispatcher. She's a huge fan of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings," movies and the "Game of Thrones" mini series.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
A: I'm a panster at heart, so when I prepare to write a book, I gather my characters together, draft up character biographies and outline a plot for the first 3 chapters. I want the opening to be fast-paced, filled with action, or introduce the problem and engage the reader. I spend a good amount of prep work on the opening chapters and I usually find they're the easiest for me to write.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: I always find the middle most challenging. You have to build the conflict, the sexual tension, and allow the characters to grow emotionally, so I'm usually a bit slower here as I plot out and then write these chapters.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your heroine? Tell us about the heroine.
A: Sonia Peregrine is the crown princess of Tapin, the land of the falcons in "The Green Rose." Her father, King Julian, is kidnapped by the evil mage, Balthyser and she goes on a quest for the green rose with Prince Ivánstan. Sonia has trust issues, but she can sling a sword with the best of them. I would love for Alexandra Daddario to play "Sonia." She was "Annabeth" in "The Lightning Thief" movie.

Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as your hero? Tell us about the hero.
A: Ivánstan is the crown prince of Dahaka, the land of dragons, in "The Green Rose." He accompanies Sonia on a quest for the magical object. He's heroic, noble, and fearless – and totally "into" Sonia. He's determined to earn her trust and win her love. I would love for Kellan Lutz to play Ivánstan. His most memorable role is "Emmitt" from The Twilight Series.

Q: Do all your heroes and heroines look the same in your mind as you "head write?"
A: No. In my preliminary work, I cast my characters, forming a clear picture in my mind what they look like.

Q: What hobby(ies) to do enjoy when you're not writing?
A: Time permitting, I like to walk, play racquetball (but partners are scarce), watch Dancing with the Stars, and traveling/exploring California.

FIND ME HERE:
WEBSITE: http://www.stephanieburkhart.com
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/StephBurkhart
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/StephanieBurkhartAuthor
GOOD READS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart
YOU TUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee
PINTEREST: http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart/">http://pinterest.com/sgburkhart
DESERT BREEZE AUTHOR http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-template/StephanieBurkhart/Page.bok
4RV PUBLISHING: http://4rvpublishingcatalog.yolasite.com/burkhart.php
Victory Tales Press: http://onceuponaword1.blogspot.com/p/stephanie-burkhart.html
 
BLURB:
Eight hundred years ago on the continent of Gaia, war rocked the countries of N'Gasse, Tapin, Daháka, and Ravenrock. The fearsome wyldebeasts of the black east threatened to destroy the known world. King Xeres of Daháka gathered the most powerful magicians of Gaia along with Queen Rhysia of N'Gasse, King Erik of Ravenrock, and Nyla, the High Priestess of Tapin at Komodo Field.

Daháka brought pollen taken from the bees of the Tagrassé Forest. N'Gasse brought sap from the old mahogany trees. Tapin presented dust from falcon eggs. Ravenrock offered a rose. Together, they forged the indestructible green rose, a harbinger of powerful magic.

Using the green rose, the nobles and peoples of Gaia fought the wyldebeasts, led by the dark wizard, Augustin. Once the evil threat was defeated, the Eastern Wall was built along Ravenrock's borders to keep the foul wyldebeasts out of Gaia. Ravenrock was given the responsibility of guarding the 50,000 kilometer granite barrier.

King Xeres feared those who harbored evil in their hearts would seek the green rose. He tasked three witches to guard the flower and sent them into the heart of Tagrassé Forest.

Now, hundreds of years later, the peace of Gaia is once again threatened.

EXCERPT:
Ivánstan stood behind her, pressing the firm muscles of his chest against her back. He wrapped his arms around her waist and placed both his hands over hers. His warm breath caressed her ear and her body tingled from their contact. Despite her unease, she felt protected in his arms.

"You're tense. It's understandable, but I need you to relax -- to trust me." His voice was low and seductive. Sonia nipped at her lower lip with her teeth. How could she relax when the physical presence of him drove her senses to distraction?

"Clear your mind. Think of your father. Recall a happy memory of him. That's it -- he's smiling at you, pride on his face."

"You can see my memory?" she whispered.

"Aye. We're sharing heat -- magical heat. Now push out. Space doesn't exist. Only your father. Concentrate on his face."

Sonia drew in a breath and brought her father to mind -- the sound of his voice, deep and commanding, his face, rugged and lined, his scent, currants and earthy, his touch, gentle, yet firm. A vision of him appeared in her mind, but it was blurry and dark. Her father's tunic was torn, and he had been stripped of his weapons. The coppery scent of blood lingered over him.

Fear ripped through her and then the vision was gone. She grew limp, but Ivánstan tightened his grip. "He is not dead, but wounded and in a dark place."

"Thank Nyla," she whispered. "Is there more? Can we try again?"

"Not now. Your body is exhausted and needs rest. Tomorrow morning we can try to connect with your mother. The calling should be easier." His lips brushed against her ear, sending a warm pulse of physical awareness through her. Ivánstan was all male. Slowly, she turned around in his arms to gaze into his eyes. They were soft now, the orange reminding her of the sun; his pupils, while still slitted, were narrow.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sabrina Jeffries Visits RB4U Today!!!


Sabrina Jeffries is a multi-award winning New York Times best selling author and today RB4U is honored to have her as a guest. Her romances have a loyal following and we get to see an bit of an insight into her and the latest release, 'Twas the Night After Christmas.

Let's get to it, but first a little background on our guest today and then I'll get into the interview.

And, don't forget to visit Sabrina's author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com for more information!

 
BIO



At the tender age of twelve, Sabrina Jeffries (aka Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas) decided she wanted to be a romance writer. It took her eighteen more years to get there, during which she took a detour to get her Ph.D. in English Literature from Tulane University, but once she got the chance to write romances, she never looked back. She is now the award-winning author of thirty-four novels, five novellas, and three short stories, including the last book of her Hellions of Halstead Hall series, A Lady Never Surrenders, and her upcoming holiday hardcover, ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. Her sexy and humorous historical romances routinely land on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and have won numerous awards. She lives in Cary, North Carolina, with her husband and son.

Now on to the fun Interview Questions.

Q: What kind of research do you do for your books?
A: I generally have to do some research related to everyday life in the period, depending on what the book covers. I research the main events of the year of my setting. I pore over maps of the area and info about the flora and fauna. I also regularly use a Regency thesaurus. I don't know how long it takes me, because most of my research I do WHILE I'm writing the book. I wait until I need to know something and then I spend time looking it up. Each book usually also has a focus on some specific area (breweries, crime-fighting, attorneys, target-shooting) that I have to spend a good deal of time researching.

Q: Fascinating! You must have an extensive library for the information collected over the years. For any readers who may not have read any of your books, can you just give us a little sneak peek into your world (i.e. the type of genre you write, type of stories you like to write....etc).
A: I write historicals set during the Regency period in England. It's kind of like Jane Austen with sex. Although my novels can be very emotional, they also contain humor, strong sexual tension, and witty banter between the hero and heroine along with smart heroines who stand up for themselves against the alpha heroes. And I prefer to set my novels in places other than the usual ballrooms, etc. They take place in breweries or country houses or villages—anything less typical. The book I’m writing now includes a quick jaunt to France and a meeting with the famous real-life founder of the detective agency, Eugene Francois Vidocq.

Q: I love dialogue between the main characters that take them on the journey. Makes a much more interesting read, in my opinion. What would you like readers to take away with them once they finish one of your books?
A: Joy and laughter and a release from the everyday troubles of life. I write to entertain as well as thrill, and if I succeed at either, then I feel I've done my job.

Q: We could all use some stress release these days and your stories definitely do that. Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
A: I’d love to have a hero/heroine with a severely disabled child (I have a severely disabled adult autistic son, after all). But I think that destroys the fantasy for readers too much.

Q: I think that would be a great story. What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
A: A couple of period peep show boxes that I saw at an exhibit at the New York Public Library while I was on vacation. It spawned several scenes in the book.

Q: OMG! It is amazing where we get our inspiration. What authors have influenced you most (not necessarily in the romance genre)?
A: To be honest, my romance writing is mostly influenced by romance writers or “classics” authors who really wrote romances. I started with Grace Livingston Hill, who got me hooked on romance as a girl; Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre), Zane Grey, and R.D. Blackmore (Lorna Doone) who made me love historical fiction; and Barbara Cartland, who introduced me to the Regency period. In grad school, I discovered Jane Austen, whose books I adore to this day, and William Shakespeare, from whom I’ve learned so much about plotting and character development. I also discovered the Restoration comedy playwrights, with their excellent witty banter.

Among romance writers, I was initially most influenced by Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey, Amanda Quick, Rexanne Becnel, Mary Jo Putney, and Meagan McKinney. But recently, I’ve learned a lot from paranormal writers Nalini Singh and Lydia Dare; steampunk writer Meljean Brook; historical authors Loretta Chase, Deb Marlowe, Claudia Dain, Liz Carlyle, Karen Hawkins, Julia London, Suzanne Enoch, and Madeline Hunter and contemporary writers Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Virginia Kantra, and Elizabeth Lowell. And I’ve always been influenced by romantic suspense—authors like Karen Rose, Cynthia Eden, and Laura Griffin. I could probably list a hundred more authors, though, whom I’ve learned from. I think all writers are magpies—we pay attention to what works.

Q: Wow! What a list of influences. Can't beat the classics. What are the elements of a great romance for you?
A: Strong sexual tension is paramount. I like lots of humor, but that’s not always the book I want, so for the other kind I need a heart-wrenching plot involving well-developed characters I can really identify with and like. And I prefer to have the loose ends all tied up (unless it’s part of an over-arching series). I also really do prefer an epilogue. Oh, and some bursts of something different, either in the banter or the characters or the setting.

Q: Good point about well-developed characters no matter what. What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: I think I’m a good storyteller, which is different from being a good writer. I’m not a wordsmith—I don’t paint pretty pictures in words. But I do write what I think is fairly authentic dialogue, and I work hard to create genuine people as characters. Just don’t look to me for your word-painting.

Q: I agree, don't add flowery words to get word count up. Give me something "real". What genre would you like to try writing in, but haven’t yet done so? Why?
A: I’d love to write a sort of contemporary fantasy novel, but haven’t had time to consider it, and it would require tons of thought and time.

Q: That would be fun. If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?
A: That I play WAY too much spider solitaire!

Q: Oh, I love spider solitaire too! What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote?
A: Okay, do you mean the last line of the book I’m in the middle of? Because that’s not very interesting: “Then she turned on her heel and left.”
Or do you mean the last line of the last book I wrote? Because that one’s better: “’Oh, all right,’ he said as he carried her up the stairs. ‘I suppose it is the naughty version.’”

Cynthia: Either, but I definitely like the second one better. Well, that's enough of the probing questions. I want to thank you for honoring us with this interview and now can you tell us where to find you before we get to the great excerpt you've come to share.


BLURB:

Dear Sir,
. . . I feel I should inform you that your mother is very ill. If you wish to see her before it is too late, you should come at once. Sincerely, Mrs. Camilla Stuart
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has led an unabashed rogue’s life, letting no woman near his heart. Inexplicably abandoned as a child to be raised by distant relatives, he never forgave his parents, refusing to read any of his mother’s letters after his father’s death. Then came a letter that shook his resolve. A Christmas visit to Montcliff might prove his last chance to discover the truth of his past, and come to terms with the stranger he calls “mother.” But, when he arrives at Montcliff, he finds his mother in fine health and Mrs. Camilla Stuart, her meddling, yet utterly intoxicating lady’s companion, behind the misleading letter. Between his desire to unravel long-standing secrets about his abandonment and his introduction to the mysterious and beguiling Camilla Stuart, Pierce finds himself with plenty of reason to prolong his holiday stay.




EXCERPT
Mrs. Camilla Stuart’s cheeks heated as she gaped at Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont. How dare he refuse to remain here visiting his own mother for Christmas unless Camilla agree to spend her nights with him! What a despicable, wicked—

Then her brain caught up with her moral outrage. The earl wore a very calculating expression, as if he knew exactly what her reaction would be.

Oh, of course! He was making this up as he went along, the devilish creature. He wanted her to be so insulted by his proposition that she left him alone and stopped plaguing him about his estrangement from his mother.

That made far more sense than believing he actually meant it. She wasn’t the sort of woman whom fashionable rakehells tried to seduce. The very idea was preposterous.

She forced herself to look bewildered. “I’m afraid I don’t understand, my lord. How could I possibly entertain a worldly man like you?”

His sudden black frown only strengthened her supposition that his bargain was a humbug. “You know perfectly well how. After dinner is over, you and I will have our own party. Here. In my bedchamber, where you can slip in and out without being noticed. If I must spend dinner with her, then you must spend the night with me.”

“Entertaining you,” she said primly, buying time to figure out what answer would best gain her what she wanted. “Yes, I understand that part. I’m just not sure what kind of entertainment you want.”

He gritted his teeth. “Oh, for the love of God, you know precisely what kind of entertainment a ‘worldly man’ like me wants.”

Now that she had caught on to his game, it was all she could do not to laugh at him. He was so transparent. What was wrong with all those women in London that they didn’t see right through him?

“On the contrary,” she said blithely. “I don’t know you well enough to know what you enjoy. Perhaps you would prefer me to sing for you or dance or read you a good play. I understand there is quite an extensive library at Montcliff Manor. Your mother says you bought most of the books yourself. I’m sure there is some volume of—”

“I’m not talking about your reading to me!” he practically shouted.

When she merely gazed at him with a feigned expression of innocence, he changed his demeanor. His eyes turned sultry, and a sensual smile crossed his lips. “I mean the kind of entertainment most widows prefer.”

My, my, no wonder London ladies were rumored to jump regularly into his bed. When he looked that way at a woman and spoke in that decidedly seductive voice, the average female probably melted into a puddle at his feet.

So it was a good thing that Camilla was not an average female. In her other posts, she’d seen plenty of rakehells seducing their way through halls and balls. Even if they’d never tried their skills on her, she had a good idea how to handle such scoundrels.

This was a trickier situation, however. If she was not an average female, he was definitely not an average scoundrel.

She pretended to muse a moment. “Entertainment that widows prefer… Works of charity? Taking care of their families? No, those are not actually entertaining, though they do pass the time.” She cocked her head. “I confess, my lord, that you have me at a complete loss.”

Uh oh, that was probably doing it up too brown, for understanding suddenly shone in his face. “Ah, I see you are deliberately provoking me. Well then, let me spell it out for you. You’ll spend the night in my bed. Is that clear enough?”

He said it in such a peeved manner that she couldn’t help but laugh. “Clear indeed, though preposterous.”

His gaze narrowed on her. “How so?”

Time to let him know she had caught on to his game. “I’m aware of your reputation, sir. I’m not the sort of woman you take to bed.”

Something glinted in his eyes that looked remarkably like admiration. “I thought you said you didn’t know me all that well,” he drawled.

“I know what kind of women you are most often seen with. By all accounts, they are tall, blowsy blondes with porcelain skin and clever hands.”

He looked startled. “You do know my reputation.”

She shrugged. “I read the papers. And your mother insists upon hearing all the stories of you, even the salacious ones.”

Mention of his mother made his gaze harden. “Then you should know that men like me aren’t that discriminating.”

“Oh, but I’m sure you’re discriminating enough not to wish to bed a short, mousy, freckled servant when there are any number of beautiful blonde actresses and opera singers awaiting you in London,” she said coolly.

Crossing his arms over his chest, he dragged his gaze down her, then circled her in a slow, careful assessment that made her nervous. A pity that he had not proved to be a perfumed dandy. She could have handled one of those easily enough. But this sharp-witted rakehell with hidden secrets was unpredictable.

Camilla had never liked the unpredictable.

“And what if I say that I really am that indiscriminate? Would you then share my bed in exchange for my dining with my mother tonight?”

She swallowed. Why did he persist in shamming her when he knew she’d caught on to him?

It didn’t matter. Two could play his game. “Why not? You are rumored to be quite good at that sort of thing, and I have been married.” She couldn’t keep the edge from her voice. “Besides, the likelihood of my ever again having the chance to be seduced by such a notorious fellow as yourself is slim.”

Her frank statement made him halt, then shake his head. “Great God, Mrs. Stuart, remind me never to play cards with you. I daresay you’re a terror at the gaming tables.”

She bit back a smile. “I’ve won a hand or two at piquet in my life.”

“More than a hand or two, I’d wager.” He let out a long breath. “All right then, let me propose a bargain that we could both actually adhere to.” He searched her face. “I’ll do as you wish—I’ll dine with you and Mother. Afterward, you will come here to join me in one of your more innocuous entertainments.”

She let out a breath. She’d won! “I am happy to attempt to entertain you, my lord, if you will just give your mother a little time with you. That’s all I ask.”

“I’m not finished.” He gazed steadily at her. “In exchange for my doing so, you must agree never again to try forcing my hand in the matter of my mother.”

When she drew a breath as if to speak, he added, more firmly, “One night of watching me and Mother together should demonstrate to you why you have no business involving yourself in our relationship. But even if it doesn’t, tomorrow must mark the end of your meddling on that point. Or I will dismiss you, without a qualm. Am I understood?”

She hesitated, but really, what choice did she have? “Yes, my lord.” The dratted devil was tying her hands. She’d have only one night to attempt some repair to his relationship with his mother. But it was better than she’d had before.

A heavy sigh escaped him. “I must be out of my mind to be letting you off so easily after what you did.”

“Easily?” she said tartly. “Have you forgot that I will have to entertain you this evening?”

“Ah, yes, such a trial,” he said with heavy sarcasm. “And I’ll expect rousing entertainment, too. At the very least, you must show me your reputed ability at piquet, so I can trounce you.” He stared her down. “Now that you’ve brought me here to endure this house, it’s only fair that you join me in my suffering.”

The bitter remark gave her pause. Hadn’t Lady Devonmont said that this was the original manor house on the estate? The one where he’d grown up?

As if realizing he’d revealed more than he’d meant to, he flashed her a bland smile. “It won’t be that difficult. I can be charming when I want to.”

“No doubt,” she said dryly.

“Well then, we’re agreed. I’ll see you here this evening after Mother has retired.”

And after Camilla had put Jasper to bed, though she couldn’t say that.

Still, she hesitated, wanting to confirm one thing. Perhaps she shouldn’t press the matter, but in for a penny, in for a pound. “But you will come down to dinner first, sir?”

His face turned rigid. “That’s the bargain, isn’t it?”

She let out a breath. “I was just making sure.”

“Whatever else you may think of me,” he said sharply, “I do honor my promises.”

“Of course, my lord.”

She turned for the door, relief swamping her. She’d braved the lion’s den and survived. She’d even won a small concession. It wasn’t much, but it might be enough to soothe the countess’s hurt feelings. Spending a night “entertaining” his lordship would be no sacrifice at all compared to that.

“One more thing, Mrs. Stuart,” he said as she reached the door.

She paused to look back at him.

“You were right when you said I’m discriminating in my choice of bed partners. But you aren’t remotely mousy.” His gaze scoured her, this time with a decided heat that didn’t seem the least bit feigned.

Could he really mean it?

Oh, she hoped not. Because the last thing she needed in her life right now was a lover, not with Jasper to take care of.

Only when he had her thoroughly agitated, and not just from concern over her virtue, did he lower his voice to a husky drawl. “Fortunately for you, I’m not in the habit of abusing the trust of those in my employ, whether chaste maidens or experienced widows. So as long as you want me to play the respectable gentleman, I will do so.”

He fixed her with a smoldering look. “But let this be a warning to you. Give me an inch, and I will take two miles. If you offer more, I will be only too happy to take you into my bed.”

“Then I shall have to take care not to offer more, shan’t I?” she said smoothly.

And with that, she slipped from the room.

But as she made her way down the hall, her knees shaking and her hands clammy, she had to acknowledge that this bargain might not be quite so easy to keep. Because insane as it might be, she found the idea of being in the earl’s bed rather intriguing.

You can order my books online at any of the major online outlets
(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Books-A-Million), or at a variety of independent bookstores





Q: Great excerpt Sabrina. Is there anything else you’d like to add?


A: Nope. You’ve covered a lot!

Thank you again for honoring us with the interview and I look forward to reading 'Twas the Night After Christmas!

Cynthia Arsuaga
 



Sunday, October 28, 2012

What Do Author's Blog About?


Everyone expects authors to promote their books when they blog, but what if they don't have a book coming out, and the ones out are two to three years old?  Do they keep blogging and promoting, or do they stop until the next book comes out?

Here's my story, I wrote three books, The Catalyst, Addiction and The Deceived.  They are still up at my publisher, Eirelander Publishing if you care to check them out.  I call them, The Odyssey Mysteries trilogy, and they are set in the Midwest riverboat casino industry, which has now become mostly grounded. The books have been taken down from Amazon and other places because my publisher is redoing the covers. 

I also wrote a short story titled, A Fool's Fool, a humorous contemporary romance about harassment in the work place.  It can be found at Eirelander Publishing too, and in audio at Audio.com.  The link is below.
http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00945MFMI&qid=1347906078&sr=1-1  



Okay, I have strayed from the topic.  What I'm getting at is that most of my followers are readers not writers, and they aren't interested in reading about how you write a story.  For me, I'm fascinated by all sorts of things, and I think the people who follow me on my blog are too.  A lot of people don't follow me on my blog, but I know they go there every Sunday because I receive private messages from them instead of comments on my blog. 

Your blog followers' attention can be captured by many different subjects and you can keep them coming back for more.  Many of those people will be there when your next book comes out.
 
Now, I know some of you will disagree with me, so I'm eager to read your comments. Wink!

Sandra Marshall 
You can find me at Facebook, LinkedIn, Blog

Sandra Marshall

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nanowrimo Advice by Janice Seagraves

Nanowrimo Advice
By Janice Seagraves


The Nanowrimo starts in about a week. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is a contest to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, starting November 1 until November 30th. You can go to the website to sign up.

Congratulations for all those who entered. It’s going to be an extraordinary month.
On November first, a lot of you are going to want to start with a bang and push to get your word count up. It’s a good strategy to get your numbers high before the mid-novel slump (more on that later).

This will be my seventh year of doing the Nano, and I've won all of those years, and I have a few nifty tricks for gaining additional word count.

So here’s some advice from me:

Give yourself permission to write crap: We’re going for speed here, so writing crappy lines, and overwriting is not only okay, but necessary to succeed. Remember, while you’re working on your Nano story you’re basically writing a sloppy first draft.

Tell your interior editor to wait until November is over, and then you can edit to your heart’s desire.

Set the scene: this increases the word count and your characters aren't just standing around in a white space, saying their lines.

When setting the scene use all four senses:

Example: The surf roared as it rushed up onto the beach. Seagull screamed overhead. The smell of brine and seaweed filled her nose. Moist air blew the hair back from her face. Cold water lapped over her feet as wave after wave rushed past her toes, tumbling broken seashell across the sand. Fog waited just past the breakers, announcing it was going to be another gloomy night.

During the mid-novel slump, and yes you will have one we all do, go over your story.

I know, I know I told you not to revise or editor now. However, when you go over your nano story you can add additional details to your scenes, adding to the word count, which should get you going again.

Example: When he stared into her green eyes, he found himself wanting to kiss her.

Change to: when he stared into her sea green eyes, he noticed flecks of gold surrounded the iris.  He realized he could easily get lost in her gaze, and he very badly wanted to kiss her. 

Another way to get past the mid-novel slump is to plan for the first great reveal or sex scene in the middle of your story.

Good luck with the Nano. May you all be winners.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Janice’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice’s main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/



Friday, October 26, 2012




Your Inner Voice

I wrote this column for work, my day job, and I felt strongly about it. But, I realize it applies to writing also. So now, a little inspiration for everyone, but especially for the writer, who sometimes has little praise.

The inner voice—each of us has it calling to us. It is that part within that is so essential it drives our very life force. Without it we’d wither like flowers cut from the vine. Yet how many of us—are you one of them—ignore what the inner voice tells us?

Here is a list of popular reasons for ignoring the chatty inner self:
1) Good decisions only come from your head.
2) The right decision is the one most conventional and which encounters the least amount of resistance.
3) Why fight for something when you may have to make up ground to get where you were monetarily or socially?
4) Your family doesn’t approve.
5) All your friends will desert you.

Okay, there is such a thing as self-preservation. But that inner voice—ahh, she is rarely wrong. Think of it as your moral compass, one that always points true north. She tells you to stand up for what you believe in. She cries and mourns when you turn your back on her. You know when you go against her by her undeniable yank on you, urging you towards what you really should be doing. She is so annoying, especially if deep down you really desire to do what she says. That inner voice pushes you forward, pleading. She desperately wants you to act on what she tells you. It is time to weigh the odds. It is time to decide what’s right.

We all need something to believe in. We all need to feel special, not one day a year but with regularity and on a weekly basis. We all need to be driven by passion that requires we follow our hearts, a true love of purpose moderated by action steps to take each of us to our true home. As Glenda says in The Wizard of Oz, “You have always had it within you.”

So what do you believe in? Are you passionate about it? I hope so—you should. You have made and continue to make it what it is.

I believe in writing romantic fiction. My inner voice is doing the boogie. Will your inner voice dance with mine?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bobbye Terry's latest release is The Shadow Knows in the Briny Bay Series of mystery novellas. Watch for A Murder in Every Port, the next in the series in early 2013 from Turquoise Morning Press.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Blog: Carrie Ann Ryan: Get the Ice! Heroes are Hot!

 When you read a romance novel you're guaranteed a few things. If it's a true romance, will get your happy ever after. You get a heroine you'll want to be or want to throw off a cliff. It really depends on my mood. *wink* You’ll find yourself cheering up sometimes, and fanning her face at other times. He lives to the emotional roller coaster of having these two characters fall mild while the outside world may try to pull them apart. You'll gasp, clinch the side of your book or Kindle, sit on the edge of your seat suspense.

And if you're reading a good romance, the finder sexy hero. Sure, he may not be sexy on the outside, but he could be damn well sexy on the inside. Reading a romance novel is an escape, we know it. Look outside of the people around you, you know that not every heroine and hero is real life. You know that we see in real life, may not be the perfect romance. And that's okay, that's why we dive into these worlds and me find new people. Life isn't perfect, and neither are our heroes.

Sure they could have eight pack abs, that chiseled jaw, strong muscles, the eyes that twinkle or smolder. They could have that growly voice and that alpha male tendency to take over. But then they could be tortured, scarred, sweet, beta, an ass….

They could be anything.

And that's what makes him sexy. No matter how sexy is on the outside, what we leave with after reading is how sexy he is on the inside. It's how he takes care of his heroine. She needs to know that yes he can protect her, but she needs to build a protector self. And he needs to let it happen. He needs to know that she can be the one to protect him.

And he needs to be man enough to let it happen.

That's what makes a sexy hero. The duality of being that strong man who cares. So yes he could have the blue eyes, the secrets that make a woman want to unravel them, and chiseled muscles that beg for your tongue, (yes, I’m talking to you, my hero Matt from Charmed Spirits), but if you didn't have the personality to back that up, he wouldn't be as sexy to me.

So what do you think defines a sexy hero? Visit his looks or the way he acts smart or is it both. Or does it really matter?

***Giveaway***
Carrie Ann is giving away a Swag Pack to a lucky commenter!

BIO:
Carrie Ann Ryan is a bestselling paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate - even if it’s just in her books. Happy endings are always near - even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.

Carrie Ann’s Redwood Pack series is an bestselling series that has made the shifter world even more real to her and has allowed the Dante’s Circle and Holiday, Montana series to be born. She's also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She loves meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.

Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:
Website: http://www.carrieannryan.com
Blog: http://carrieannryan.blogspot.com
Heartthrob Haven: http://heartthrobhaven.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carrie-Ann-Ryans-Author-Page/243643205647654
Facebook Friend: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002584098860
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5360266.Carrie_Ann_Ryan


Twitter: @CarrieAnnRyan


BLURB: Charmed Spirits, Holiday, Montana Book 1
Jordan Cross has returned to Holiday, Montana after eleven long years to clear out her late aunt’s house, put it on the market, and figure out what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Soon, she finds herself facing the town that turned its back on her because she was different. Because being labeled a witch in a small town didn’t earn her many friends...especially when it wasn't a lie.

Matt Cooper has lived in Holiday his whole life. He's perfectly content being a bachelor alongside his four single brothers in a very small town. After all, the only woman he'd ever loved ran out on him without a goodbye. But now Jordan’s back and just as bewitching as ever. Can they rekindle their romance with a town set against them?

Warning: Contains an intelligent, sexy witch with an attitude and drop-dead gorgeous man who likes to work with his hands, holds a secret that might scare someone, and really, really, likes table tops for certain activities. Enough said.

Find it On:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
ARe

Find it in Print Here:
CreateSpace eStore
Amazon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY


PARANORMAL ACTIVITY



A while back a movie called Paranormal Activity was a big hit. It’s since spawned several sequels. Cameras were set up to capture real paranormal activity that occurred while the homeowners slept. I’m not sure I believe everything in the movie was real.

But I do believe in the supernatural, and I’m not the only one. Look at all the vampire, werewolf, demon, witch, ghost, etc, books and movies that are so prevalent now. Those who study popular culture say our fascination with the supernatural is a wish to escape from the trials of our world and a desire to have superpowers to give us control over events. If I were to have a supernatural power, I’d be like Samantha in the old Bewitched TV show. I’ve always wanted to be able to twitch my nose and have a clean house. That’s all the superpower I’d need.



Many of us have had brushes with the supernatural. I wish I could say I’ve had a lot of experience with psychic phenomena, but I haven’t. I’ll tell you about some of my mystical experiences, one in particular involving what might have been a celestial being.

I don’t know if you’d call this next thing mystical, but it is psychic. I’m not one of those lucky people who win lots of contests or win the lottery. In fact, I’m singularly unlucky in that respect. However, the few times I’ve won something, I’ve known I would win. I get “the feeling,” almost a lightheadedness. And “the feeling” is never wrong. Once at a writers’ conference, I was in a workshop where they were giving away door prizes. Before my name was called, I’d put down the papers on my lap and started to stand. I’d gotten “the feeling” and knew I would win. If I were to ever win big in the lottery, I’d get “the feeling” when I bought the ticket. So far that hasn’t happened.

Several years ago I had an encounter with what I believe was an angel. That day, driving back to work on my lunch hour I was stopped at an intersection. My light turned green and I started across the road. Suddenly I felt a tingling on the back of my neck, like someone breathing on my skin. Something told me to stop. I put on my brakes just as two young women sped past in another car, running the opposite red light. They never even slowed down. I may have died that day but for my “angel” whispering for me to stop.

Do you believe in reincarnation? Things have happened in my life to make me believe reincarnation is real. When I was a small child, my grandmother had paintings of scenes from Ancient Rome hanging in her house. I’d stare at those paintings and know what it was like to live there. I used to have dreams where I was dressed in flowing Roman clothes and standing in a garden decorated with Roman statuary. To this day whenever I see a wooden door in a stone wall leading to a garden, I get chills. I truly believe that in a past life I lived in Ancient Rome and had a garden with a wooden door.

When my son was three or four, he used to tell my husband and me that when he lived with his “other daddy” he had a black dog that lay at the bottom of the stairs. My son has had only one daddy, and we’re a cat family. We’ve never had a dog. I got chills every time my son told us that story. As he got older, any memories he had of his “other daddy” and the black dog left him. Children remember their past lives because they’re still close to those lives. I believe my son and I both had past life memories when we were children.

A friend once told me that when her little brother was three years old, he’d tell the family stories of living in Paris, France, in the 1700’s. He’d describe the sounds of the carriage wheels and the smells of the city. How would he have known that, especially the smells? He couldn’t even read.

I believe old houses retain an aura from the spirits of all the people who’d lived in them. Some auras are good, some not so much. A friend and I once spent a day touring beautiful old houses on one of those charity events where people open their homes to the public. My friend and I may have been extra sensitive to psychic feelings that day, but each time we went into a house, we felt its “spirit.” Some spirits were loving, but others were tinged with evil as if something bad had happened there. I still get shivers thinking about it.

Places are haunted too with the actual ghosts, rather than the auras, of ones who’d lived there. Another friend told the story of the time she had dinner at an old inn in Pennsylvania. When my friend went up the stairs to the ladies room, she saw a shimmering figure on the landing. She described it as the bottom half of a man clad in Civil War garb. Sure enough, the inn was said to be haunted by a Civil War soldier and also by a little girl who cried a lot. Other restaurant patrons reported hearing a little girl cry.

I’ve visited Gettysburg battlefield several times. Each time I’ve felt the spirits of the men who died there. It’s common knowledge that Gettysburg is haunted. I’ve visited Antietam battlefield in Maryland also. That place is haunted too, maybe more so than Gettysburg. The spirits in Antietam are very strong.

My psychic experiences are small, but I’ve had enough to convince me we are surrounded by otherworldly beings, and that each of us holds the key to opening ourselves up to these spirits. We also possess knowledge of our past lives, but that knowledge is hidden. What do you think? Have you had any paranormal activity in your lives?




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Interview of Author Kitty Barton

Today I'm presenting an interview or romance author Kitty Barton.

Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Temptation-Preview-Caspians-ebook/dp/B008BWR28C/ref=la_B008BYQCYA_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348287858&sr=1-1

BIO:
Catrina Barton is a licensed Kung Fu Instructor of the Black Dragon style and draws on that experience to make her fight scenes both realistic and action packed. She enjoys being surrounded by the stark beauty of mother nature. Whether it's a moon lit starry sky, or a picnic by a peaceful waterfall cascading from the mountain side.

Growing up no matter where she was physically, she always had at least one book in her hands and spent every free moment lost in a book. It's only natural that as she grew up, her passion for reading grew into an even stronger passion for writing Paranormal Romances. She is a proud member of PNRWriters, RBRU, SheWrites,and NaNo. She is an active participant at Critique Circle and several other crit groups.

Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I told my family. It was a shock because the book had only been out a couple days.

Q: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write?
A: Kaitlin's time out in nature. Why? Growing up I adored fishing, hiking, and camping. It was a ton of fun and great exercise too.

Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Kaitlin's father's funeral.  Losing someone that close to you is never easy and when my characters hurt, I hurt.

Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: Cadmon, he's such a complex character and I adore uncovering all his little secrets.

Q: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
A: Kung Fu, belly dancing, walking with the family.

Q: What’s your strongest point as a writer?
A: Since I started writing fanfiction in 2006 I've been told characterization is my strongest part. Lately though, I get told my writing is very dynamic.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Blog: http://kittyb78.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Kittyb78
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KittyB78
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Catrina-Barton/e/B008BYQCYA
Web: http://kittyb78.weebly.com/index.html

BLURB:
Seventeen year-old Kaitlin Sinclair's world is turned upside down when she moves to Indonesia, and discovers the secrets that threaten the existence of the enchanting Cadmon and his people. She dives into a foreign culture, full of mystique and dangers everywhere she turns, where keeping her heart safe might prove as impossible as staying alive!

EXCERPT:
Her heart stopped when her eyes settled on her boyfriend Payne, with his short black hair and wide shoulders, over by the wall of the school, kissing a blonde, wearing a skimpy skirt. His hand on her bare thigh slid up beneath the hem as he lifted her, and pressed her against his body.

She stopped mid-stride, muscles rigid, as a sudden coldness struck her core.
Kaitlin filled her lungs with a slow breath to calm the rage coursing through her, and felt the heat of the pavement through her sandals, hand tightening on the towel.She tossed the soaked towel on the pavement and stormed over and cleared her throat loudly. “So, this is where you’ve been.”

“Katie!” Payne’s startled eyes opened and he sent her a sheepish look, as he tried to push the pouty girl away.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She crossed her arms over her chest.

“It’s not what it looks like.” He pulled the blonde’s arms off his neck as a flush crept across his cheeks.

“Oh? Because it looked like you shoved your tongue down her throat.” She glared at the blonde in her tight top. “Get out of my face, Janice!” Kaitlin glared until the cheerleader’s eyes widened and she scurried off like a frightened mouse.

Her glare settled on Payne, who rubbed the back of his neck, and stared at the ground. The tips of his ears turned red. “I didn’t want to, Katie, honest.” His eyes rose to hers, and he used his apologetic look, the one that usually made her melt.

She gave a derisive snort and angled her body away from him.

“She forced herself on me.” He pushed off the wall, and moved towards her.

“She’s a cheerleader. You’re a quarterback. Don’t give me that bullshit!” Her hands balled into fists at her sides. If I wasn’t one warning away from suspension, I'd go kick her ass! She shot him her fiercest glare, with one hand on her hip. It always sent their classmates scurrying out of her way. We’re supposed to be dating exclusively, or so I thought.”

“We are.” He took another daring step toward her. “Honestly, Katie,” he wrapped his arms around her waist. “I’d never do anything to hurt you.” His voice sounded so sincere.

She closed her eyes and inhaled slow, deep breaths as she tried to reign in her temper. She blinked when his lips pressed against hers and his tongue entered her mouth. Oh no he didn’t!

He pulled away, tongue bleeding. “What the hell?”

Her hand connected with his cheek. “How dare you think you can stick that in me after it’s been in another girl's mouth?” She flexed and un-flexed her hand, fighting the urge to sock him in the jaw.

“Calm down, Kaitlin.” He grabbed her by the upper arms, fingers biting into the flesh.

"I'll show you calm," she drove her knee between his legs. His fingers loosened before he fell forward, writhing on the ground. He won’t be using that anytime soon. That thought brought her little comfort as she stormed away and climbed into her pickup. She gunned the engine and squealed the tires as she took off to the store.


Anything else you'd like to add?
Favorite personal quote:
"An author cannot grow without both constructive criticism and encouragement."

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