Welcome to my domain...if you dare...

Welcome to my blog about life as a writer and the craziness it involves with struggles of daily life. Make yourself at home but only if you don't mind a little messiness from time to time. This isn't the Home and Garden blog or Martha Stewart so don't expect cute little crafts with homemade goodies. That's not happening in the world of vamps, weres, and other things that go bump in the night...well...maybe homemade blood cakes topped with 'scream a la cream' sweetness along with the sexy alpha males who serve it up.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Writer's Wednesday....Kasey...

Author Kasey...
Today's special guest is fellow Ass Cheek Angel blogger, Kasey.  With this being her first interview and a little shy about it, she asked me to use her first name only at this time.  Sounds fine with me.  In fact, I think it adds a whole mysterious element to her persona.  Don't you think?  Yeah, I believe so, too!  Well, I don't want to embarrass her any further so let's give her a warm welcome.  Hello, Kasey!  *waves and grins*

I'm curious to find out if you have a certain area or place you like to create stories.  I have learned that most writers do in fact.  Where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite place to write is in my apartment, with my iTunes playing in the background.

What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?

The most difficult for me is emotions. I know how my characters are feeling, but sometimes I forget to convey that in my writing.

I find that difficult at times, too.  Do you have critique partners?

Not at the moment, but I would like to find some nearby.

Good luck with finding the perfect critique partner(s) for you.  It's important for a writer to have a compatible critique partner and it's a definite plus when he/she lives in close proximity to you. 

If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would get the part?


I actually do pick pictures of actors to represent my characters. For my work in progress, I have a young Orlando Bloom. My book is a YA novel that takes place in high school, so I try to find pictures of the actor around a certain age so they look like they could still be in high school.

Ohhh, Orlando Bloom!  Now we're definitely curious about this YA novel of yours.  Please tell us a little about your WIP.

My work in progress is a young adult novel that takes place in a high school in Minnesota. Right now I have a trilogy planned and each book will have its own fairy tale them without magical elements. The first one is a Cinderella story.

Now that we know that a certain actor could portray your hero.  How likely are people you meet out in everyday life to end up in your next book?

Somewhat likely. A lot of stuff that happens to me or to people I know may end up in my writing in one form or another, but it usually has changed in meaning when I am done with it. People always tell me to write what I know, so if I know about it, it may show up in my writing.

Good point, Kasey.  So if you could switch places with one of your characters would you?

As of right now, I would not switch places with them. I am not sure if I want to go back to high school.

LOL!  No, I suppose I wouldn't either.  Been there.  Done that.  And have the therapy bills to prove it...uh...sorry.  Ok, moving on now...

Is there a particular fable/tale you would love to write your own version or spin on it?

Beauty and the Beast, but if all goes well with the first book, that is the second one that I have planned.

I'm even more intrigued about your trilogy now!  I look forward to reading your stories when the books are published and released. 

What is your favorite romance movie?

Love Actually.

That's a great movie!  Love it.  How about a favorite actor/actress/both?

Colin Firth and Hugh Grant have been favorites of mine consistently over the past 10 years. As for actresses, I like Kiera Knightly.

They're all in 'Love Actually', too.  Wow!  I don't think that's a coincidence at all, huh?  No wonder you love that movie.  It's filled with a phenomenal cast.

Well, since you've mentioned Colin, Hugh, and Orlando, that leads me to wonder what qualities do you admire most about a man?

Someone who is honest and can make me smile.

I absolutely agree with you, Kasey.  I believe those attributes are quite important in a man.  Well, do you believe in love at first sight or just lust at first sight?

I do believe in both at first sight. I have had lust at first sight, but while I have never been in love at first sight, that does not mean it can't happen. Usually, I am a person that takes a little longer to build deeper relationships with people, so while I am not sure if I am a person that could fall in love at first sight, that does not mean other people can't.

What is your favorite time of year?

Spring. I love when everything begins to turn green again and it starts to warm up.

I also love spring and the different smells that come with it; fresh cut grass, spring rains, and the beautiful flowers.  Do you have a preference when traveling; such as a tropical or European vacation?

Both have their advantages, but I enjoy traipsing around Europe and visiting all these old places where so much history took place.

Well since you mentioned history, if you could time travel would you go forward or backward?

Backward. I think it would be easier to go to a time and place where you know what to expect than to go into the future where all the variables are unknown.

That's definitely one way to look at it for sure.  We're at the close of our time together.  One more question for you, Kasey.  What is your favorite writing conference to attend?

The RWA in Orlando two years ago. I meet some amazing people there (my fellow AssCheekAngel bloggers) and some author's who gave me a lot of encouragement.

Oh, yes indeed!  That was a favorite one of mine as well.  We gathered some wonderful memories and insightful information from NRWA in Orlando that year.  I can't wait to attend another one and see you and the other angels. 

Thank you for being my guest, Kasey.  I really enjoyed you taking the time out of your busy schedule to join us.  I look forward to your return visit.

Tempting Tuesday...Need To Come Clean?



Sometimes, you have to get clean to get a little dirty. Right?  Yeah, that's what I thought as well.  Enjoy, everyone!  :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Angela Blount


Author Angela Blount
My special guest for today is author Angela Blount.  Angela and I met through our local RWA chapter (Heart of Dixie) and I quickly learned how much we both love science fiction and paranormal.  I'm really excited that she's sharing a piece of her writing process and her personal interests with us.  So without waiting any longer, let's give a warm welcome to her. 

Hello, Angela! *waves*  Thank you for spending time with us today!  Please sit and relax....I promise I won't bite.  Lol.

Seriously though, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on writing.  Let's begin with:
What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?

For me, it's emotions. I like to think I'm a pretty even-keel, well controlled sort of person. But to convey intense emotions properly, I've found that I need to make myself feel them. Whatever emotion I'm writing about, I try to reach back through my memory and let myself relive a moment when I experienced that same feeling--dredging up the physical sensations and thoughts that came with it. Sometimes it's a pleasant experience. Other times, it's a bit like self-induced Post Traumatic Stress. >.<

I absolutely agree with you.  Dealing with emotions can be mentally and physically exhausting as a writer.  Tell us a bit about your process for selecting a character in your book.  How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

No one is safe. I'm incredibly guilty of borrowing small pieces from people I come across and stowing certain quirks away for future use. I hope they can consider it a compliment. If not, then I hope it's not recognizable enough to be proven in a liable lawsuit. ^_^

I always love hearing about a person's real life romance.  We would love to hear about yours.  Please tell us about it.

Mine is actually a pretty long and unusual story, which is why it ultimately became my first book--a coming-of-age memoir titled 'Once Upon A Road Trip.'

As a naive 18-year-old fresh out of high school, I decided to go on a 2-month road trip all around the eastern U.S. and Canada--visiting landmarks I'd only read about in books while staying with the generous families of friends who, up until that point, I'd only known over the internet. (Sounds a little crazy, I know. You should have seen my poor mother's reaction. >.<)

I'll skip over all of the intrepid details and just say that the last person I met on that trip is now my husband. I mistakenly thought that he couldn't get too attached to me in 4 days time. I'd never had a boyfriend before, and a long-distance thing sounded like a hopeless way to start out my first relationship--so when he asked to keep me, I turned him down. I left thinking I'd had a sort of abbreviated summer romance, and that was the end of it. Wrong again. Never underestimate the sweet tenacity of a love-struck southern boy.

Our 10-year anniversary is coming up this summer. ^_^

Wow!  Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!  I love stories like that.  Thank you for sharing it with us.  I actually got goose bumps from hearing it. 

Here's a safe question for you.  If you could time travel would you go forward or backward?

Forward. I'm a bit of a speculative sci-fi junkie--I can't wait to see what happens next. ^_^

While I respect history, it never held a lot of appeal for me. History involves dates...which are really just numbers...and numbers remind me of math. *shudder*

Math. UGH!  *shudders*  Yeah, not my strong suit either.  I guess that's why we love to write, huh?  Heehee.

Tell us a little about your WIP.

My current book is a dark, contemporary YA romance. I say dark only because it touches issues like depression and self-injury. I never imagined I'd be writing about modern day high school dynamics (without throwing in a were-badger or mutant superpowers), but this story just won't go away quietly. So hopefully I can do it justice.

Those are definitely some serious issues in our society today, especially with our youth.  I applaud you for taking on such strong topics.  I'm sure this story will be a great read as well as a instrumental tool to help troubled youngsters. 

Ok one last question for you, Angela.  What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Get connected. If you can't find a knowledgeable writing group that meets near you, join one online. Your skills will advance much faster within a support group that can offer you workshops and feedback. I didn't know how much I didn't know until I joined the RWA. And honestly, that's probably for the best! If I'd realized the learning curve I was about to scale, I might have been intimidated into having second thoughts.

Also, take the time to review books you're reading. Even if it's just for your own archival reasons on a site like Amazon or Goodreads, reviewing will help you analyze what you do and don't like about books and why. It has a lot of potential to give you a new insights into your own writing.

Wonderful advise, Angela!  Thank you again, Angela, for being my guest on the blog.  I can't wait to have you back and discuss your book releases which I truly believe will be in the near future!  

To learn more about Angela and her work, please feel free to visit the following sites:

http://perilous1.blogspot.com/

https://twitter.com/#!/Perilous1

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4269099-angela-blount


Monday, April 9, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Summer Ready?


Ok, here's a little inspiration for us all to get summer ready.  WOW!!!  It's definitely time to hit the gym. :)



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Elke Feuer



Author Elke Feuer


Today I like to welcome good friend and fellow Ass Cheek Angel, Elke Feuer, to the blog.  I had the privilege to meet Elke about three years ago at the NRWA conference in Orlando, Florida.  I am so thrilled she's sharing a bit about herself to all of us!  Thank you, Elke, for being here.  *waves*

So let's jump on in, shall we?  Good.  What music are you listening to lately?

Usually I listen to salsa or jazz when I’m writing, but lately it’s been a mishmash of what’s on my playlist. My new WIP is still making up its mind what it likes better.

Ohhh, salsa and jazz. I love it!  Sounds very intriguing and sexual...ahem..but let me get my head back in the interview now.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, how likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

Very. I love studying people whether it’s while talking to them or watching them interact. I make up stories about them and soon I’m scribbling their imagined lives in my journal.

That's a great idea for writers!  However, I must make a mental note to watch what I say and do the next time I'm around you. LOL.  If you could time travel would you go forward or backward?

Definitely backwards. History fascinates me, especially how people lived and survived with the challenges they faced during their time.

I agree.  I believe we can all learn so much from the past.  What is your favorite time of year?

There’s no winter on island only rainy and dry season, but from October to February the temperature drops to the seventies and we get lovely cool breezes. Coupled with the friendliness that comes with Christmas and it’s my favorite time.

Tell us a little about your WIP.

My latest project is called For the Love of Jazz:

To launch her restoration architecture company, Josie Fagan must convince Patrick Pullman she’s the only one who can restore his unique 1940s bungalow. She gets more than she bargains for when a condition of the contract is that she stays at the house with him, and what Patrick Pullman wants, Patrick Pullman gets…


She feels an immediate connection not only to Patrick and his house, but to the previous tenants, Patrick’s uncle and his lover, Lola, who disappeared fifty years ago. Is the attraction between Patrick and Josie real, are Lola and William still acting out their unfinished lives or is the house just haunted?

Patrick Pullman doesn’t believe in ghosts or that his house is haunted, but when he starts having visions of Lola, maybe Josie isn’t crazy after all. Will they find out the truth before she disappears too?

Excerpt:

“I want you to stay at the house during the renovations and not take on other clients until my job is done.”

“What?” He couldn’t be serious. She searched his face. He was. “Why do I need to stay at the house?”

“I need this project finished in ten months and that will mean having you close to discuss design and restoration changes. Living at the house is the best option and also eliminates the risk of theft.” He leaned back in his chair. “Room and board is free. You don’t want to waste money your business needs, do you?”

Damn! He knew about her finances and was going to play hard ball. She had no intention of letting him use it against her or backing down. She was the best candidate and they both knew it. “I want a flattering personal reference,” she countered.

A cocky grin curved his lips. “Then I want guarantees.”

She held his gaze.

“You’ll get your reference if you meet my ten month deadline, if I’m satisfied with the quality of the work, and if the job comes within budget.” He moved his chair back into the upright position.

“That will not include changes you make to my original estimate or if you select inferior products,” she added quickly.

His smile broadened and a boyish dimple winked at her.

Was he enjoying this?

Damn him, he was!

She didn’t like it one bit. He was taking away the control she wanted, needed to have. The excitement she felt when he agreed to hire her vanished. The masculine atmosphere that had floated in the air like cheap cologne when she arrived squeezed around her to uncomfortable.

“Do we have a deal?”

               *********************************************

I can't wait to get my hands on "For The Love of Jazz" when it's released. I look forward to seeing it on the bookshelves soon.  Thank you again for being my guest, Elke.  I hope to have you return soon.

Thanks for having me, Kellie/JD. For more information about me check out my blog and author page on Facebook at:










Monday, April 2, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Feeling Cheeky?


Feeling a little cheeky, aren't ya?  Well then, go on and take a bite but heed to some warning...he bites back.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Pain Release


After all the shit that played out over the past few months for Maria and Stefan they needed a release.  Release from all the pain, hurt, and betrayal from various people in their lives.  Family and friends became more obsolete for them.  It became apparent that many didn't trust in their love; therefore, didn't even trust in their decisions regardless if it made Maria and Stefan happy. Sad. Really sad.  The truth of the matter was, they relied solely on one another.  People really didn't care whether the two were soul mates.  Yet, they were in fact and then some.  So when it was all said and done, the anguish from the people who supposedly 'stuck by them no matter the situation' proved they only supported and loved Maria and Stefan when it would somehow benefit them as well.

Maria wept when Stefan held her as she released the hurt she received from another family member.  Hitting the wall and screaming with rage, his fury ignited within his body knowing she ached.  He didn't want to damage her any further; yet, when their passion burned from their love and the stupidity from others, something snapped for both of them.  Grabbing her tear-streaked face, he rained kisses all over her cheeks.  The more he kissed, the more he yearned for her.  She returned his kisses with an equal fervor.  Wrapping her legs around her man, she needed him closer more now than ever.  All the heartache and turmoil from betrayal spilled over into their frantic need for one another.  Driving Maria to the floor, Stefan groped her luscious body with the intent to rid her of any remnants of lingering wounds from others.  He wanted his touch to heal her, where any past offenses from others were easily forgotten.  He desired her smile and laughter not only for herself but for the healing of his scars, too.    

Somehow they both would survive and come out on top again.  They had each other for support and unconditional love.  Everything else didn't really matter.  Only their love and trust proved concrete for them and that's what really counted.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Andrea Laurence



Author Andrea Laurence
Debut Author Andrea Laurence had been seriously writing romance for over eight years before she got the call that her book (number 11!) was being published by Harlequin Desire. Her first release, What Lies Beneath, comes out April 3rd. The follow up book, More Than He Expected, will be out in July 2012.

Writer's Wednesday welcomes author and fellow Heart of Dixie chapter member, Andrea Laurence to the blog.  She's on a very special blog tour and I'm so thrilled she's joining us today!  Thank you, Andrea, for being my guest.  Please tell everyone about your blog tour.

Today kicks off my blog tour! I've included details below, but be sure to comment today and sign up for my newsletter to get one entry each. Then follow me on the tour and you can win a copy of What Lies Beneath and a pink sea-glass silver heart pendant!


Wow! Those are some great prizes for a lucky participant.  Your book alone is a treasure, let alone a beautiful pendant.  Well speaking of your book, What Lies Beneath, here's a blurb to tempt the readers into wanting more.  A list of various book purchase links are provided for them as well. 



WHAT LIES BENEATH
April 2012, Harlequin Desire #2152

She’s Awake. So Why Can’t She Remember?

They say she’s Cynthia Dempsey, fiancée of media mogul Will Taylor. But try as she might, she can’t recall their high-society life or the man sitting by her hospital bed. Though her body certainly remembers him. Even as she senses the distance between them, the electricity when they touch is undeniable.

Will can hardly believe Cynthia’s transformation. Gone is the ice queen who betrayed him, and in her place is a woman who seems genuine and warm. But can he risk his heart again, not knowing what might happen when her memory returns?

Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble/Nook, Books A Million
              ***********************************************************
 I can't wait to get my hands on your debut release, Andrea!  Sounds like there's a lot of turmoil within this story.  Please tell us a bit about your writing process.  What is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?

Emotion. I always get notes from my editor that my characters aren't fully processing their feelings on the page. I add more. Still not enough. I add more. Not quite there. I get to the point where I wish they would just shut up and get some therapy – editor is happy. I guess it's probably because I'm not an overly dramatic or emotional person. I just don't process things like other people too. I'm very logical. So I have to work extra hard at getting those emotional reactions out there.

I know I have a certain place where I love to write.  Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a big overstuffed chair and ottoman in my living room where I do most my writing. I used the money from my first advance to get a laptop and I love the liberating feeling. Makes me regret the money I paid for the really nice desk I have in my office. The office I almost never use except to store books. Sad.

If you could switch places with one of your characters would you?

Probably not. Yes, they get their happily ever after with a millionaire (I write for Desire) but I make their lives hell before they get there. I crashed my heroine's plane and put her in the hospital for more than a month with multiple reconstructive surgeries. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Ouch!  Yeah, I don't think I'd want to switch with any of your characters either. LOL.  So, is there a particular fable/tale you would love to write your own version or spin on it?

I've always loved Beauty and the Beast – the grumpy, disfigured hero and the beautiful woman who sees beyond his exterior. That's a great storyline that can be adapted so many ways. I'm excited to share that I'm actually writing my own take on the B&B plot with a Desire I have coming out in late 2013/early 2014. It's the second book in the miniseries I'm working on now. No titles yet. The hero's was burned with acid and he's hid himself from the world, building a software empire from the safety of his office. The heroine is his temporary secretary and she can't stand all the mystery cloaking him. She's stubborn and pushes her way into his world, and into his heart.

I definitely have to keep my eyes out for that one when it's released.  I  look forward to reading your version of Beauty and the Beast. 

Ok, now let's get to the food segment.  Oh, I didn't tell you?  Yeah, there's always food on my blog...heehee. What is your favorite dessert?

I love chocolate, I'll eat it every day if I can get my hands on it, but if given a choice, my favorite desert ever is crème bruleé. I absolutely adore it. I even have my own blow torch so I can make it at home from time to time. Not too often though, because its soooo fattening. But it must have the crunchy top. If a restaurant makes it ahead and refrigerates it, the top gets mushy and that's such a letdown.

No, a mushy top definitely will not do but I'm so pleased to hear you're a chocolate lover as well.  The world does seem yummier with a taste of chocolate.  Just sayin'. 

Well Andrea, please tell us.  Do you believe in love at first sight or just lust at first sight?

This isn't a very romantic answer, but no, I don't believe at love at first sight. Yes, you can be attracted to someone, but you can't truly love them until you get to know them. That initial passion, that desire that pulls you to someone – that's just biology. The species tricking you into breeding with an attractive male specimen. Real love comes later after that rush wears off. It's the snuggling on the couch watching a movie and sharing popcorn. Packing their lunch before they go to work. Buying you flowers when they know you've had a bad day. Holding their hand while they bury their mother. It's not sexy, but it's true — real love is holding your hair back while you throw up.

That is absolutely true.  I've always believed it's the little things that add up to make the eternal love story. 

Thank you again, Andrea, for being my guest.  I wish you the best of luck on your blog tour and on your debut release, What Lies Beneath.  I love to have you as a return guest in the near future.  

Here's additional information regarding Andrea Laurence's blog tour and contest.  Don't forget to leave a comment.  Good luck to everyone! 

Blog Tour & Contest! Don't forget my blog tour contest! Receive an entry for commenting (one per blog) and a second for signing up for my newsletter (http://eepurl.com/e3O5k). The winner will receive a pink sea-glass heart locket pendant and a personalized autographed copy of What Lies Beneath. Small Print: The winner will be chosen at random after the conclusion of the blog tour – Friday, April 27th and announced on the Writing Playground blog (http://www.writingplayground.blogspot.com/). The winner will have 7 days to contact the author at author@andrealaurence.com with her mailing information or the prize will be forfeited and re-awarded.





Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...It's All About Rafe.


The cover is hot and what's inside is even hotter. 
This is one spectacular story you don't want to miss.

Today's Tempting Tuesday is all about Rafe.  Rafe who?  You might ask.  Well, Rafe McBride of course.  He's the hot hero in Jennifer Jakes' romance, "Rafe's Redemption". 

I love this story about Rafe McBride and Maggie Monroe so to celebrate their romance and Jennifer being a finalist in the Colorado Romance Writers 2012 Award of Excellence Award, it's all about Rafe today. 


Please enjoy some tantalizing pictures which were all Rafe inspired.  Thank you, Jennifer Jakes, for sharing Rafe and his story with us.  Congratulations, sweetie, and good luck! 

To learn more about Jennifer Jakes and the rest of her fabulous books, please visit her website and blog:











Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Noelle Pierce

Author Noelle Pierce
I first met this phenomenal lady at the Georgia Romance Writer's Moonlight and Magnolia's Conference this past fall.  Noelle Pierce is an author who is constantly on the move.  Not only is she one talented author, she's also knows how to cut a rug on the dance floor.  *grins*   I'm so excited about all of us getting to know Noelle a little bit better.  Although, I will mention I probably have an advantage over most of you since she was one of my roommates at the conference. *heehee*

Hello, Noelle.  Thank you so much for joining us today.  Since I mentioned dancing, let's start off with you telling us a little about your music taste.  What music are you listening to lately?

I listen to all sorts of music, but when I write, I have a playlist that will get me in the mood. Classical or instrumental piano for my historicals, alternative music for my paranormal. Additionally, each of my stories has a theme song that I can listen to on repeat to get me in the mindset to write that particular story. Sometimes the theme song has the right lyrics, other times it's a feel of the music; I just know it when I hear it.

Sounds like you have all your moods covered for the different genres as well as your own personal tastes.  I love the variety, not only in your music tast but in your writing, too.  Please tell us a little about your WIP.

My current story is a contemporary paranormal romance, about a rogue elemental out to destroy the human race. The person elected to stop him is a misanthrope, and she needs to convince four other humans to help. Things are further complicated when Irina (the misanthrope) and her bodyguard, Fontaine, develop feelings for each other. If they give in, Fontaine will lose his ability to protect her.

The original idea came from the pentacle symbol—a five-point star enclosed in a circle—representing the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and spirit. Irina is the Spirit, and the other four are "pedigrees," pureblood descendents of each elemental race. Since the elementals are tasked with keeping the earth in balance, I wondered what would happen if one of them got tired of humans making it more difficult for them.

Ohhhh, what a great concept!  I love how you used the five elements into a romance story.  The mention of the five elements reminds me of the different seasons, too.  With that being said, what is your favorite time of year?

Spring! The weather is temperate, the trees and flowers are blooming, and it's my kids' birthdays! *grin*

Well, happy early birthday to them!  Spring time is the perfect weather for parties.  Well, what type of vacations do you prefer?  Tropical or European vacation?

European, hands down. I grew up on the beach, so I've seen plenty of sun and sand, thank you. *grin* Seriously, there's something about being in Europe that gives me a feeling of peace. I love to walk around and see evidence of history that's more than a few hundred years old.

Awwww, Europe!  That's my cup of tea as well.  I see a future trip in the works....strictly for story research, you know. *giggles*  Is there a particular fable/tale you would love to write your own version or spin on it?

Actually, my historical romance novellas were inspired by the myths of the constellations. I've got Andromeda and Cassiopeia, so far. Eventually, I'd love to do a fairy tale series, but with the less well-known stories, like Rose Red, the Wild Swans, or the Nightingale.

I can't wait to read that fairy tale series.  Please keep us posted on those projects.  I'd love to have you back to discuss them.  Well, Noelle, we're coming to an end of our time together.  For your final question, what advice would you give aspiring authors?

Only to be selective and use your best judgment in what advice you take. Be wary of taking advice on writing and publishing from people who have never been published, or who don't work in the industry. Also be cautious when you hear the words "always" and "never." Very few things are that absolute.

Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us today.  I greatly appreciate you being my guest.  I look forward to seeing you at the next M&M conference, too. 

To learn more about Noelle Pierce and her books, please visit the following weblinks.  BTW, Noelle's website is gorgeous!  Oh, she also does a little graphic design, too.  So you definitely want to check out her site and see her amazing talents in that area as well as her historicals, paranormals, and erotica books.  There's something for everyone. 

http://www.noellepierce.com/

http://www.facebook.com/noellepierceauthor

http://www.twitter.com/noellepierce



Monday, March 12, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Tattoo Who?




I can't speak for anyone else...but I'm really digging the tatt.  Just sayin'.  Enjoy!  :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Patricia Preston


Well, today on the blog, I like to welcome Patricia Preston.  Hello, Patricia!  *Waves and grins* Thank you for being my guest.  I'm so pleased for your visit.  Patricia writes charming historicals which will lure readers to enjoy true romance at it's finest.

Hey! Thanks for the invite, Kellie and I hope you enjoy my enticing answers to all your questions.

I'm sure I will along with everyone else.  So let's get this party started.

Ok, let's first talk a bit about your road to publication.  Was it a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

Let me change the word, tiring, to painful and I’ll go with that. Or maybe that should be infuriating jog…or even laborious jog…how about nerve-wracking…I could go on all day.

LOL!  I understand.  With that being said, let's share a bit about your recent release, Almost An Outlaw, with everyone.

My novella, Almost An Outlaw, is a short, fun read that contains a tall, dark handsome rancher, a dazzling heroine, a few famous outlaws, a really bad guy, some steamy scenes and suspenseful moments. Amazon link: http://amzn.to/zjO9gL.  Get it while it is still a 4-star read!



What Reviewers Are Saying…


"ALMOST AN OUTLAW by Patricia Preston is a worthwhile read for an easy afternoon. A little spicy, a little sweet and overall delightful, this is a short story you won't be sorry you picked up."~Lisa Jo, Romance Reviews

Book Blurb:


Rancher Austin Cade rides into Liberty looking for his old comrades, the James-Younger gang. He needs their help tracking down the horse thief who's stolen his prized mare. In town, the former gunfighter is reunited with Darcy, the first girl he ever kissed—and never forgot.

Young widow Darcy Branson owns a shop full of fashionable ladies' attire, but continues to wear mourning black so she won't forget her role in her husband's death. Austin stirs a passion inside her that has long been dormant, but can Darcy learn to believe in Austin—and love—enough to let go of her tragic past?

Time is rapidly running out... As a cousin to Jesse James, Darcy has attracted unwanted attention, thanks to her rumored association with the gang. Soon Austin and Darcy are faced with confronting not only their growing desire, but danger in the form of a deadly bounty hunter...

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

April 1874 Liberty, Missouri

“I wouldn’t wait nine years on any man.” Darcy Branson spoke to Emma Nash as they stood in the fitting room of Darcy’s dress shop. The upcoming marriage of Darcy’s cousin, Jesse James, to his longtime sweetheart, Zee Mims, was the subject of speculation among those who knew about the secret wedding. Darcy thought nine years was an unreasonably long courtship.

Of course, there was a lot to be said for waiting. If she had waited that long before marrying Stephen, she might have learned the truth about her Prince Charming before it was too late.

“At least Zee isn’t going to end up an old maid like everyone thought,” Emma said.

Darcy nodded as she helped Emma try on a lovely gown of topaz silk faille. However, there were much worse things than being an old maid. Like being a vengeful wife who had gotten her husband murdered. That was, indeed, worse.

Emma smiled with excitement as she looked at her reflection in the cheval mirror. “I do love this dress,” she said. “I don’t know how I will ever repay you.”

“You owe me nothing.” Darcy smiled, happy that she could provide a pretty gown for Emma, who could not have afforded it otherwise. Some of the well-to-do old biddies in town said she was too generous toward the less fortunate. She didn’t think so. Generosity reaped its own reward. “Mister Caruthers will be completely smitten with you.”

Blushing at the mention of her beau’s name, Emma turned to Darcy. “Why don’t you wear that emerald gown you bought in Saint Louis to the wedding?”

“No.” She always wore black.

“It is time—”

“No.” It would never be time.

“Stephen has been dead for almost three years now. Long enough that no one would think ill of you if you put aside mourning colors.”

Darcy removed the tape measure that hung around her neck. She was a graduate of the San Francisco Academy for Young Ladies, where she had been taught good manners and social graces. She knew exactly what was and was not proper. She sighed. “The rules of etiquette change nothing.” They were only words in a book. “They can’t change what is inside me.” They couldn’t change what she had done. She splayed her hand over the waist of her black bodice. “Black suits me.”

The jingle of the bells attached to the front door of the shop came as a welcome diversion. She left Emma to admire herself in the mirror and went to wait on her customer. She stopped short when she saw the customer was a man. Rarely did a man enter her dress shop, only the occasional local business owner looking to buy his wife or sweetheart a gift. The tall, dark-haired man standing with his back to her as he looked at the ready-made frocks on display looked more like a gunman than a gentleman. A black duster fell from the wide span of his shoulders to his knee-high boots, and he held a center-dented black hat in his left hand. Men who dressed like him lived in the saddle. Uneasiness spread through her. The large bounty offered for her cousins, Frank and Jesse James, had brought a number of unsavory men into the town of Liberty. It was a dangerous time, especially for those connected to the outlaws. No one trusted outsiders.

The customer appeared particularly interested in the expensive emerald gown that Emma had suggested she wear to Jesse’s wedding. It was a lovely dress. One she had fallen in love with the moment she saw it in Saint Louis.

She squared her shoulders as she made her presence known. “May I help you?”

            ******************************************
I'm so intrigued by this gem of a story!  I love historicals and I am anxious to read Almost An Outlaw.  Thank you for sharing it with us and congratulations on the wonderful reviews as well!  Well, let's continue on with the interview, shall we?  Yes.  Good.  *rubs hands together and giggles*  Where is your favorite place to write?

In my writing room. It is the only place where I am surrounded by all my stuff. Research books, music, corkboard with notes pinned all over it. And, a magnolia coaster for my glass of sweet iced tea.

Sounds perfect to me.  I always love listening to all kinds of different music.  What music are you listening to lately?

I listen to a lot of soundtracks. It depends on the story I’m writing. It was old rock for The Yard Sale. Right now, it is bluegrass for Laid to Rest.

I love how a story can have its own soundtrack.  Speaking of stories, please tell us about your real life romance.

Well, I’ve been married three times. You know, I took this test in the new issue of Psychology Today and found out I am “single at heart”. Who knew?

Wow!  That's some interesting bit of information there.  If you could switch places with one of your characters would you?

Yeah. I’d switch places with the heroine in Lady Silver. Why? Because Nicole is living in the French Quarters and she has a rugged army captain infatuated with her. Of course, living in 1814 would have its drawbacks like no shampoo, no deodorant no penicillin. I’d probably end up with chronic head lice and strep.

What is your favorite dessert?

Hot fudge cake hands down. You can tell that from my big ass.

Ha.  That sounds like me too. I love hot fudge and I have the big ass to prove it, too.  LOL!
What is your favorite time of year?

Fall! I love the fall weather and, of course, the colors. I love deep reds, oranges and gold. October is my favorite month.

What vacation do you prefer?  Tropical or European vacation?

European. I don’t care anything about sunny beaches and getting skin cancer. I would love to go to France. I’d love to explore some castles and see quaint villages. Rick Staves has a dream job, don’t you think?

Ok, we have time for one last question.  Would you please tell us a little about your work in progress? 


Mamaw Pat is writing the funniest story ever! 
I am writing a series of humorous Southern short stories known as Down Home Humor. The first one, The Yard Sale, is about a gal who has lost her job, the bank has foreclosed on her house and her husband has run off with another woman. A shorter version of the story made the finals in several writing contests. I’m hoping to release the extended version in April. Following it will be Laid To Rest, a Southern comedy featuring Darlene Higginbottom (my Madea) and Lady Silver, a historical romance set in New Orleans.
I love Twitter and would love to have you follow me @pat_preston http://bit.ly/y0Ip80 and I also have an author page at Facebook. http://on.fb.me/ugF43b

You can check out my webpage at http://www.patricia-preston.com/. It will be undergoing an overall soon. And, my Welcome to Dixie blog is at http://www.patricia-preston.blogspot.com/

Thank you again for joining me today on the blog, Patricia!  Oh and thank you for providing the the pictures especially the cute picture of your grand babies with the quote, too!  I love it!  I greatly appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. I can't wait to have you return for another visit.




Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Never Letting Go





Once the police come and gone, Laney's knees finally buckled from the day's chaos.  Her head ached from the ugliness she'd witnessed in the last twenty-four hours.  If she saw anything with crimson red in it or on it, she'd probably have herself committed to an asylum.  That's how badly the day fucked with her head.  Now, all she craved was peace of mind and restful sleep.  If only that could happen soon. 

As Laney struggled to gather the strength to leave her once safe haven: home, the screams of her best friend tortured Laney's now fragile mind.  She needed to get far away from the pain.  Her body still shook from the terror of seeing Abigail's petite frame beaten black and blue.  Not an inch of her body was spared from the hours of brutality spent on her.  Laney threw up from the site alone; not to mention the distressed phone call she received while Abigail was being victimized.  The whole sick, twisted event caused her insides to tighten with fear and dread.  She ultimately knew the end result.  Unfortunately, she'd seen it time and time again; yet, this was the first time it had hit so close to home.  Laney actually had a relationship with the victim this time.  Abigail.  It was bad enough that these perverted crimes happened but throw in a person whom she knew and all bets were off.  God, she hated that.

Laney made her way back to Eric's place.  He was the one person who calmed her.  He always had a soothing effect on her.  Today, she needed his strength more than ever. 

Pushing open the front door, Laney entered the living room and dropped her duffel bag on the floor.  She wasn't even thinking about unpacking at that moment.  She just needed him.  "Eric!"  She cried as she stumbled into the hallway towards the kitchen.  The sound of pots banging clued her in that he was most likely in there. 

"Eric!'  Her mind began to race with instant fear.  What if?  What if he was gone too? "Eric!"

"What?  I'm in here, Laney.  What's..."  He stopped abruptly at the sight of Laney's disheveled appearance.  Her eyes conveyed the look of a crazed woman.  He instantly ran to her.  "Baby, what happened?"

As soon has he touched her, the tears flowed down Laney's cheeks.  "Ab...Ab...Abi..Abigail." 

"What about her?"  His green eyes narrowed in on hers.  He had a knack of getting to the issue by just a single look.  She needed that and so much more from him right now. 

"She's dead."  Laney's voice sounded so dull and robotic.  No emotion, just matter of fact.  Not at all like the vivacious person Abigail called her.  Laney sobbed uncontrollably at the simple memory.  Funny how the small things can really set a person off. 

"I don't understand, Laney."  Eric held her close as she cried.  "How?" 

"He came for her.  Her of all people.  He wants to hurt me by taking the ones close to me away."  Her crying became more frantic and hysterical.

"Shhhhh....baby.  I'm here. You'll catch him soon and he'll pay for his crimes.  We'll get through this."

"No!"  Laney shoved Eric away from her.  "WE won't.  You can't be a part of this, Eric!  Don't you see?  He'll come after you like he did Abigail.  I don't want you hurt or..."

"Laney, baby, calm down."  Eric's soothing voice calmed her nerves to some degree but he realized she needed a gentle nudge.  "Honey, go take a bath.  I'll finish dinner and then we'll discuss this.  Together."

"But.."

"Go soak in the tub, please.  Let's figure this out later."  A gentle smile spread across his face.  The genuine gesture definitely had the impact on Laney which Eric wanted. 

His hands turned her body towards the bathroom.  He guided her into the room, then ran a hot bath for Laney.  As Eric left Laney alone, he silently prayed the bath would miraculously wash away the day's nastiness for her.

While Laney bathed, it seemed like a lifetime flashed by for her.  Although a short period of time went by, the water's warmth eased some of the tension from her body. 

Without realizing it, she exited the bathroom and stood naked in the Eric's room; she eyed her duffel bag on the bed.  Eric must have brought it in here for her.  She opened it up to put on something comfortable.  Yet as she took out a pair of flannel pajamas, her mind thought only of Abigail.  Laney's eyes teared up again and she sobbed uncontrollably.  She bawled from the deep pain of loosing her best friend.  Loosing her too soon in life.  Loosing her in such a gruesome way. 

Eric heard the agonizing wails throughout the house.  Since dinner was prepared and being kept warm, he was no longer in the kitchen.  He decided to clear his head with a quick cardio workout on the treadmill.  Knowing most likely that Laney needed time to get her thoughts together, he didn't want her feeling rushed with anything, even dinner. Yet, when the sound of her frightful screams tore through the house, he dashed to her without hesitation. 

As he entered the bedroom, the sight of her balled up and sobbing on the floor ripped at his heart.  She was so strong and resilient.  He'd never seen her so broken. 

When he reached her, Eric knelt down and gently pulled Laney up.  "Sweetheart.  I'm here.  I'm not going anywhere.  Let it all out, baby." 

Laney's tear-stained face and bloodshot eyes locked onto Eric's calming demeanor .  It was then she realized that she could and would never send him away.  He was as stubborn and bullheaded as she was at times.  He wouldn't allow it.  Besides, together they made an unstoppable team.  His strength and logical mind eased her frustrations and fears.  He alone.  Nothing else and no one else.

"Ok."  She choked back a sob.  "I'm never letting you go, you know that right?"

"Of course, baby.  I'm not letting you go either.  Besides, neither one of us would allow that to happen anyways."  He kissed her forehead as he wrapped his arms around her body. 

Laney clung to him as if he were a life preserver.  He was her rock, especially when it came to dealing with the nightmares from her work.  "Never letting go."  She whispered into his ear.  "Never."

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Writer's Wednesday....Cherie Marks




Well, today I welcome author Cherie Marks to the blog.  Cherie and I met during the National Romance Writers of America conference in Orlando a couple of years ago.  She is a phenomenal woman and one spectacular writer.  Please join me as we get to know Cherie a bit more. 

So Cherie, was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

It was probably more the hot coals route. I over-think everything, and publication was no different. I read the blogs of agents, editors, authors, and other industry people, and narrowed my choices to three online publishers to submit a short story I’d completed, edited, and sent to fellow readers. It wasn’t the first story I’d submitted, but an editor at The Wild Rose Press was willing to take a chance on it.

What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?

Study the market you want to break into. If you’re trying to get published in a particular house or market, see what’s popular there. Don’t necessarily change what you’re writing or how you write based on your findings, but use them as a guide to see if your work will even fit there or if you should look somewhere else. Somewhere out there is an audience waiting to find what you write. Do your homework and go where the audience already is.

That is definitely some great advice, Cherie.  I agree that all authors should do their research and homework when pursuing a publishing house.  Well speaking of publication, what did you do to celebrate when your first book was published?

Eat, of course! I’m a foodie at heart, so hubby and three kiddos went out to one of our favorite restaurants, Carrabba’s (unsolicited plug, but they could pay me in food).

LOL!  I love it.  Girl, that's sounds like exactly what I would do, too. Yep, bring on the food.  Let's go ahead and take a look at your recent publication, 'Into the Fire'. 

Blurb:

Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.

Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.

Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?





Excerpt:


His hands burned with awareness of where they rested. His pulse raced, and her lips were mere inches from his. As if time stopped completely, they stared at each other, and for the life of him, Luke couldn’t seem to remember why he’d come in here.

Shyann shook off the haze first. “Let me go. I can get this without you.”

Against his need and with exaggerated motion, he pulled his hands away. She stumbled and eyed him suspiciously but went back to jumping for a high box.

Although he appreciated the bounce of her breasts each time she leaped upward, he forced himself not to stare, gathering some of his ingredients instead. But after watching for a few more seconds, with an irritated grunt, he reached around her, grabbed her target, and handed it to her.

“I said I didn’t need your help.”

“Fine, I’ll put it back.”

His hand touched the box, and she pulled it behind her. The motion caused their bodies to collide again. Her liquid brown eyes blazed up at him, and even as a small voice in the back of his brain screamed he didn’t have time for this, he couldn’t seem to pull away. She looked so damn soft and vulnerable, and all he wanted to do was step out of the way of her win, give it all to her because she deserved it. But first, he wanted to kiss her, a long, hot, turn-their-knees-to-jelly kiss.

Steamy indeed!  I love the excerpt and the book cover is absolutely hot...uh...no pun intended.  Well, let's move on to another area.  Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in chemistry at first sight. Whether you’re trying or not, there are going to be some people you click with easier than others, there are going to be some people who you are instantly attracted to, and there are going to be those who instantly butter your bread, so to speak. It’s just a little nature mixed with a little pure chance.

Wow!  I love how you explained that.  Now, what is your favorite romance movie?

Though many have tried to imitate the greatness of it, Love Actually is my favorite forever. I love the way the stories weave in and out of each other, and I love particularly Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon’s story of the British Prime Minister falling for the food service girl and the scene where Colin Firth proposes in front of all those people is just so romantic. So much is revealed about how we fall in love, how love changes, the sacrifices of love, and how love endures. It’s a great movie to watch anytime.

As we come to the end of our interview time together, Cherie, what advice would you give aspiring authors?

Be persistent! Never take rejection personally or as the end of your journey. Learn from it then move forward.

So true.  Thank you for visiting us on the blog today and sharing 'Into the Fire' with everyone.  I greatly appreciate you allowing us to get a glimpse into your thoughts.  I look forward to having you on the blog sometime in the near future. 

Thank you so much for letting me hang out today! Love a good blog guestie opportunity!

To learn more about Cherie Marks and all her writing, please visit any of the following links:

Into the Fire Amazon BuyLink: http://tinyurl.com/3f7vfnp

Into the Fire BN Buylink: Barnes and Noble

Into the Fire TWRP BuyLink: http://tinyurl.com/3mfn3zj
http://www.cheriemarks.blogspot.com

Facebook-- http://on.fb.me/qRl1lD

Twitter— http://twitter.com/cheriemarks



Tempting Tuesday....Strawberries Delight




Beth always had a thing for chocolate and strawberries. Once Stephen placed the scrumptious treat to his lips, that’s all the invitation she needed to taste a sample of his luscious mouth. Hmmmm…..Yeah, a second serving is in order indeed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Writer's Wednesday....Barbara Bettis



Author Barbara Bettis

Today, I welcome my friend and historical romance author, Barbara Bettis to the blog.  Barbara is a member of my dear Ass Cheek Angels blog group.  I'm really excited about her being here today!  Plus a little birdie told me that this is Barbara's first blog interview.  YAY!  Congratulations, Barbara and thank you so much for allowing me this honor.  I am thrilled to high heavens that you agreed to break into this process with me.  I promise to be gentle...heehee.  Uh-hum, well with that being said, let's give a warm welcome to Barbara. 

Me:  Hi, Barbara!

Barbara:  Hi JD. Thanks for inviting me today. I’m happy to be here. And a little nervous, because this is my first blog appearance.

Me:  That's quite understandable, dear.  I get a little nervous from the whole blog thing myself.  How about you start off by telling us a little bit about your writing projects and such. 

Barbara:  I have completed three English-set medieval romances. My very first is still dear to my heart--isn’t every writer’s first one special? It had its run, then went into the files as I worked on the next hero and heroine. However, I pulled it out recently to see if it might be salvageable. I took some off the top, a little around the middle. 

Me:  Yes, that sounds all to familiar, Barbara.  'Been there and done that' myself.  So, what is the most difficult for you to write: Characters, conflict, emotions?

Barbara:  Yes. Actually, I think it’s emotions. I love doing characters and conflict, but I do face a challenge with getting the emotions layered in.

Me:  Do you have critique partners?  If so, can you tell us a bit about them?

Barbara:  I am so lucky to have fantastic, talented critique partners. In two groups, actually. One group is online and one meets every Tuesday afternoon in town. The online group has five, each in a different genre. One is published in Western historical and pirate time-travel; one is published in contemporary romantic humor; one has a terrific historical novel on sub through her agent, and the fourth is shopping her delightful steampunk.

The in-town group of four writers is just as varied. One partner has her Regency out this month with Avalon; one has her Western historical inspiration out on a full request sub, and the third is an award-winning YA and paranormal author who’s beginning the submission process.

The great thing about both of these groups is that each person brings a different ‘eye’ to the process. They’re all great, supportive ladies who are always there for each other.

Me:  Sounds like you have some remarkable critique partners there, Barbara.  It's so true that each one can bring a different perspective into a piece of writing.  Now, where were we?  Oh yes!  If you were going to cast the hero of your book, what actor would get the part?

Barbara:  Oh, my goodness. An easy question to answer. Richard Armitage. He’d be perfect as Sir Giles. He played the villain, Sir Guy, in the BBC series Robin Hood and the hero, John Thornton, in BBC’s North and South. Tall, dark-haired. He’s not just vapid, magazine-ad ‘pretty.’ He’s interesting looking, intriguing. (I’d say ‘layered’ but every time I do these days, I think of Shrek. LOL).

Me:  *fans self after viewing images of Richard Armitage* Oh my, he is one 'layered' actor indeed.  Shrek's the last thing I'd think of, Barbara.  Just sayin'. *winks*  Anyway, we should get a move on with the interview.  So, if you could time travel would you go forward or backward?

Barbara:  Back, of course. But I’d have to take a supply of headache meds. And a toothbrush. And my favorite books. And one or two personal items. Since that probably wouldn’t happen, I guess I’d just be dropping back for a visit.

Me:  LOL!  You sound like me.  I definitely would take along my favorite books as well.  Plus, a woman's got to have some of the modern conveniences with her; such as a toothbrush. LOL. 

Ok, Barbara, you've made it to the final question.  See?  Everything's gone like smooth sailing, right?  It looks like it to me.  Well, here's the last round of torture, ah-hem, I mean question for you...heehee.  What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Barbara:  Start as early in life as you can, and have patience while you learn the craft. Find some good critique partners. Develop a thick skin, because when the rejections come you must persevere. Develop a daily writing habit. And read, read, read.

Me:  Great advice, Barbara!  One must definitely develop thick skin in this line of work.  Well, Barbara, thank you so much for joining us today on the blog.  I had so much fun and I hope your first time in the 'hot seat' wasn't so scary for you after all.  I look forward to having you on the blog again someday soon.

Barbara:  Thanks again for inviting me, JD. It’s been fun.


You can learn more about Barbara Bettis and her writings at:

www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com





Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tempting Tuesday...Shipwrecked



Although the island's exotic allure transfixed Rafael and Hannah, neither one of them yearned to call the place their new home. Shipwrecked for almost two weeks, the lost couple became disillusioned about ever being rescued.  The beauty of the island seemed too serene for them.  Both couldn't deny the appeal of the island's mysterious sensuality.  The underline current of danger and sexual energy surged through the air.  It stirred even the most docile animals into a frenzy, let alone a man and a woman with intimacy issues.

As Hannah sat on the white sand beach, the tropical winds wisped her sun bleached hair against her cheeks.  Her mood sobered with thoughts of their current situation.  Stuck. Lost. Forever gone from home and loved ones. 

She continually combed her fingers through the grains of sand.  The motion soothed her uneasiness to some degrees; yet, her anxiety level peaked daily within her soul.  The need to be off the island gnawed at every fiber of her being.  Her mental and physical state grew more unstable and unhealthy with each passing day. Hannah didn't know how much more she could take of the deserted island, especially being stuck on it with Rafael Ramirez. The man reeked of chauvinism and arrogance.  Sure, he was a sea captain and had a lot of knowledge of the open sea and various exotic places around the world but Hannah cringed every time he opened his luscious mouth. She hated the fact that she even noticed his lips, and even worse was how each word sexually stimulated her as they tumbled out of his mouth. 

"Senorita?" 

Hannah's hands fisted in the sand as she heard his deep Hispanic accent.  That voice should be illegal and definitely not on a male as attractive as Captain Rafael Ramirez.  He embodied everything she vowed to stay away from all of her adult life.  Arrogant.Wild. Handsome. She'd learned the hard way that those three combinations were dangerous when it came to men.  Oh and the fourth thing to stay away from was most definitely...dangerous.  Yes, Rafael Ramirez was one dangerous man.

"Senorita Hannah?"

Liquid heat instantly pooled between Hannah's thighs when she heard Rafael speak her name.  It was a good thing there was a breeze blowing other wise she'd probably melt right there on the beach.  Although she wanted to be left alone, she didn't want to appear rude. 

"Yes, Captain?"

"Are you ok?  I know this isn't an ideal situation but we are on an extraordinary island.  Are we not?"  Rafael stretched out both arms indicating the island's beauty and vastness.

Hannah snorted.  "No I'm not ok, Captain.  I'm missing home.  I'm ready to get off of this rock."  Her toes bunched into the sand as her fingers remained fisted.

"You're frightened, Senorita Hannah? Of this island?"  He eyed her curiously.  His sharp eyes keyed onto her body's reactions.  He sensed deep fear and tension within her.

Hannah stared out across the ocean's horizon.  The rhythm of the waves crashing against the shore hypnotised her. That was fine with her.  She wanted to be hypnotised and 'lost' in the moment.  She wanted and needed to forget about the horrors of the past week.  First, there was the loss of the crewmen and the ship during a hurricane.  Then she and the captain barely survived the wrath of the ocean and came upon this strange and mysterious island.

She couldn't quite put her finger on it but something wasn't quite right with the island.  It didn't help matters either that she experienced strange and evil nightmares every night since they washed upon the shores of this mysterious place.

Her nightmares consisted of a creature with glowing crimson eyes with large canines.  Each nightmare involved the creature mutilating someone.  Sometimes, Hannah knew the person.  Sometimes, she didn't.  Either way though, it was highly disturbing to her.  Hannah shivered as she relived that horrors from each person's death.  Their screams of terror echoed through her head.  Every night she had nightmares.  Every night she dreaded the dark. 

"Yes.  I am."  Her voice faint and distant even to her own ears.  "Aren't you, Rafael?"

Bittersweet emotions ran through Rafael as he heard Hannah say his name.  Pleased because she actually spoke his given name; yet, distressed that she said it due to her overwhelming fear.  He hated to see her so frightened about their situation. 

"Hannah, don't be frightened.  I'm here and I will never leave you unprotected."  He laid his hand upon her shoulders to caress and ease the tension out of her.

Instead of helping though, it made things worse.  Hannah leaped up and swirled around to face Rafael.  "Don't!  Don't touch me.  It doesn't help."

Baffled by her reaction, Rafael dropped his arms to his sides.  "I didn't mean to offend you.  I only wanted to offer comfort.  I see that me doing so only caused you more anxiety.  I apologize."

Screaming, Hannah fumed at Rafael's words.  "Stop it! I don't want apologies. I don't want your protection.  I just want to go home!  I need to go home!  Hannah's words trailed off as she bolted towards the ocean.  Her skirt swished against her sun kissed calves.  Ordinarily, Rafael would have thought the sight was damn sexy but then he realized she dove head first when she ran out into the shore line and began swimming out into the deep. 

Fuck.  Rafael made a mad dash after the hysterical woman.  Adrenaline pumped through his veins and heightened his senses.   What the hell was she doing? 

The waves smashed into him as he reached for Hannah's leg.  They both were knocked under by the powerful force.  Rafael kept a tight grip onto Hannah's leg as he tugged her tightly to his body.  As he swam back to shallow waters, she flung her arms out, kicking and spewing water from her mouth. 

"Leave me alone, Rafael!  Let me be, please!"  She pushed him which caused her to land butt first on the shallow bottom.

"Damn it, Hannah! You just can't swim across the ocean.  Be sensible for God's sake.  Are you deliberately trying to kill yourself?  Are you?"  As Rafael asked the questions, he saw the answer in her eyes.  Damn.  "Why, Hannah? Why would you do that, sweetheart?"  He towered over the wet and distraught female.  His breathing ragged from the high adrenaline and assertion. 

Hannah's head jerked up and locked onto Rafael's eyes.  The term of endearment threw her off balance.  If anything it calmed her nerves.  She didn't understand why that one word settled her but at the moment she didn't really care. 

Reaching up and grabbing onto his thighs, Hannah needed to pull herself up.  She needed to be closer to him. She needed him.

Rafael's breathing slowed down with each tentative movement Hannah made towards him.  He watched her intently with the eyes of a predator; yet, he wanted to protect her not devour her.  Or did he?  He honestly didn't know at the moment.  Although, every fiber of his being ached for her and wanted her as his own.

Holding her head within his two hands, he bore his eyes into hers.  "I'll keep you safe. You have nothing to fear from me, Hannah. Ever."  At first, his lips brushed gently against hers but then he boldly staked his claim by possessing every inch of her mouth.  She was his and he would protect her with his life. No matter the cost. 

Hannah cried as she heard his reassuring words.  "I know you will, Rafael.  Somehow, I know you will.  Thank you." 

As Rafael held onto Hannah and silently prayed for a miracle, his eyes searched the jungle line for any potential danger.  Within moments a menacing howl echoed from the jungle forest and reached out to the sea water.  Closing his eyes, he feverishly kissed Hannah.  She kissed him back with great intensity as well, until she stared into the crimson eyes from her nightmares.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Writer's Wednesday...Frederick J Arceneaux

Author Frederick J Arceneaux
Today on the blog, I welcome a newly published author as my special guest and he's male at that!  I'm really excited about introducing Frederick J Arceneaux to everyone.  Fred is a member of two Romance Writers of America chapters, the Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic. His debut novel, "MIRRORED" is a supernatural thriller which will leave the readers a little frightened; yet, begging for more.

Thank you, Fred, for joining us today.  I greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer some questions about your writing journey and process.  With that being said, let's begin!

So Fred, was your road to publication a delightful stroll in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals?

My road to publication was long and difficult. It took me 8 years, 7 of them learning the craft of writing and discovering my signature writing style and genre.

I know I love to write while I sit in my favorite over sized chair.  Where is your favorite place to write?

In my study at home, very few distraction.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

Very likely indeed, most of my characters are taken, from people I meet in real life. Some of them are composites of two or more individuals.


Speaking of books, here's a sneak peak of "MIRRORED" for the readers:

Blurb:

Christine Albright was, drawn into the center of an eight- year old double homicide while furnishing an old Thibodaux, Louisiana plantation house under renovations. The only survivor of the attack on her family, then eight -year old Celestine Badeau is now sixteen and being, pursued by the demon sent by the vo doo woman Old Tre intent on killing her. The mystery of these murders exposes Christine’s dark past, being, possessed by a demon as a teenager. The accidental meeting between Christine and Celestine sets into motion horrors straight out of Hell. Their only defense is their faith in God.




Excerpt:
CHAPTER ONE

October 1997, Birmingham Alabama

While the events of that day were far from ordinary for the fourteen-year-old girl tied to her bed, for Father Victolini they were all in a day’s work. His calm, however, did little to ease the mind of the girl’s mother. Although only thirty-nine, lines of weariness and distress etched Cynthia Albright’s cheeks, and she grasped the priest’s arm in a gesture both pleading and full of fear.

“Father Victolini, do something.” His hand covered hers, white against the austere blackness of his sleeve, as it clutched him, and he squeezed gently in a gesture of reassurance. “Cynthia, I promise I won’t give up until Christine is freed. But I caution you, cases such as your daughter’s often take days to resolve.” He looked over at her husband. “Robert, take your boys downstairs, and don’t let them back up tonight!”

The older boy, seventeen-year-old Bobby, protested as he pulled his arm free from his father’s restraining hand. “No! She’s my sister, and I can’t leave her, not while she’s like this.”

Father Victolini caught Bobby’s eye, his look stern yet compassionate as he spoke to him. “Tonight will be too dangerous for you and your family. Take your brother, Steve, and stay downstairs. No matter what you hear, do not come up here! Do you understand me?” Bobby knew by Father Victolini’s tone that he had no choice but to obey. Stubborn reluctance etched on his face, he led his brother down to the sitting room, followed by their father, and the three of them sat without looking at one another. Robert quietly instructed them to take out their rosaries.

As the sound of their strong voices lifted in prayer, the hallway lights outside Christine’s bedroom suddenly went out, leaving Cynthia and Father Victolini temporarily blinded by the unexpected darkness. From inside Christine’s room, an unnaturally deep, coarse, guttural male voice said: “Come in Priest. I have been waiting for you.”

Cynthia looked at the priest, tried to say something to him, but the shock of that unearthly voice stunned her senses and prevented her from getting a sound out of her throat.

Father Victolini sighed and let his eyes adjust to the darkness as he slowly entered the room.

Once inside, he heard the bedroom door slam shut behind him and whirled around to grab the door handle, turning it as he attempted to open the door. It jiggled but remained, to all intents and purposes, firmly locked.

“Father, open this door! Why did you shut and lock it?” Cynthia’s frantic voice rose in evident fear, then she called out to her husband. “Bob, get up here. Father Victolini has locked himself inside Christine’s room.”

Bob Junior and Steve bolted past their father, headed for the stairs, but their father’s stern command stopped them in their tracks. “Hold it, boys. Stay down here, and keep praying. I’ll take care of this.” Robert ran up the stairs to his wife’s side and attempted to open the door. “Father, unlock this door now!”

“I didn’t lock the door. Get the key, and try to open it.”

Bob rushed to the end of the hall and into the master bedroom. A moment later, he came back with the key and inserted it into the lock. The key turned easily but the tumblers did not, and he scowled his bewilderment and rattled the handle in frustration. “Father, the door is unlocked.”

“Be patient, Bob. The door will open soon.”

Father Victolini turned to the figure lying in bed. He knew it was Christine, but it did not look like her. Staring up at him was a voluptuous blonde in a nightgown with her hands and feet tied to the bedposts. The figure spoke with a soft and seductive tone.

“Father, come closer. You like what you see; you used to. Come closer and untie me so I can give you what you’ve not had in years. You loved it and took it as often as you could. Don’t you still miss it? You can have it again.”

Father reached for the crucifix hanging from a cord around his neck. “May God rebuke you for tempting me and possessing this innocent girl.”

The thing that controlled Christine’s body ignored Father Victolini’s commands. “Innocent? Who is innocent? Look at me, priest. This is what you crave. You couldn’t get enough when you didn’t have that collar around your throat.”

The thing had the appearance of sensual lust and Father Victolini struggled within himself to resist its temptations. “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command that you depart from her now!”

At these words, the figure in bed changed back to Christine and called out to her mother. “Mommy, come here and help me. It’s gone, and I’m okay now.”

The bedroom door instantly opened, and Cynthia saw her little girl. She looked tired but appeared normal. Cynthia rushed past Father Victolini to her daughter’s bedside.

“Mommy, untie me, and let me hug you.”

Cynthia began loosening Christine’s right wrist.

“No, don’t; get away from her!” Father Victolini shouted a warning, but too late. Her right wrist freed, the figure in bed struck Cynthia across her face and blood welled from a long scratch to run down Cynthia’s left cheek. She looked bewildered, and small wonder. Her daughter would have never done such a thing. Repulsed, she jumped away with her gaze fixed upon Christine’s face, which was suddenly dry and covered with fine scales, having a serpent’s open mouth with fangs ready to strike.

                                 ***********************************

Wow! That's some beginning chapter you have there, Fred.  It definitely grabs the readers up front and center.  Well I can see why your publisher, Astraea Press, snatched up this gem of yours.  On that note:  What was the best advice you were given leading you to getting published?


To stop trying to force my writing into a genre I’m not good at. To write from my heart those genres that I enjoy. Less than a year later I sold my first manuscript.

Sounds like some excellent advice was given to you.  I definitely agree that authors should write what they love.  Ok, one last question for our readers, please.  This one is unrelated to writing.  What music are you listening to lately?

Old time Rock and Roll from the 50’s and early 60’s.

Oh yeah, you can never go wrong with some classics in the mix.  Those two decades contributed some of the best music for that era and future generations.  I love listening to some Elvis and Ray Charles as well.

Thank you, Fred, for being my guest today.  I thoroughly enjoyed having you for a visit.  Please feel free to come by anytime. 

You can learn more about Frederick J Arceneaux and the purchase of "MIRRORED" by visiting his website and the following links: 

Website: (http://frederickjarceneaux.webs.com/)

Youtube video; MIRRORED;
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQPqOEP9bCA&feature=plcp&context=C3683b1cUDOEgsToPDskL_hUZQ-iJ8RoTn4b7vG1TZ

http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=7105165
Astraea Press - E-Publisher

https://www.createspace.com/3762139
Create Space - Print

http://www.amazon.com/Mirrored-ebook/dp/B006SBB31U/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327166930&sr=1-1
Amazon books - ebook and print