Kiss Me By Moonlight: Michele Zurlo

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Michele will be awarding a choice of signed paperback copy of Wanting Wilder, Mina’s Heart, Kiss Me Goodnight, or Kiss Me By Moonlight, and a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chance of winning.

Interview With Michele

Susana: Where do you find inspiration for writing?

Michele: I find inspiration all around me. A few months ago, I was hanging out in my friend’s garage/workshop, and I came up with the seed of  an idea, and then yesterday, I caught an auditory snippet of conversation from a show my kids were watching, and the rest of the plot fell into place. Many of my friends and relatives love to give me ideas that strike them, and I think they get mad when I don’t incorporate their suggestions. Inspiration doesn’t work that way. It’s a series of ah-ha moments that I have to feel a connection with, or else I can’t write the story.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Michele Zurlo copyMichele: Keep at it. I shopped Letting Go around for two years before Siren jumped on it. Also use beta readers. Once you find a good one, cherish them. Beta readers have done more for me than any editor (and please note that I’ve worked with some pretty awesome editors). Beta readers speak from the reader’s perspective. You’re not going to get “that’s not an appropriate way to use that word” when you use made-up slang. For example, In Kiss Me By Moonlight, Lacey notes that Dylan is “king of the man-look”, the kind where the item he wants is blinking in neon lights right in front of him, yet he can’t find it. As far as I know, it’s a slang term my best friend likes to use on her husband, which I thought was funny—and accurate. My editor let me have it, but she did try to figure out if it should be hyphenated. My beta readers just gave it an LOL notation, which let me know it had the intended comic effect.

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Michele: The characters always come first. Emails I get from readers always talk about the characters—how deeply they hit home, things like that—so I know my characters resonate the most in my stories.  With regard to the garage project hinted at earlier, I started with the hero and heroine. I thought about who they were and why they were there. I created and revised backstories so that we’d have conflict, and then I started thinking about the plot. With the Kiss Me series, I created Lacey first. I thought about her for a good month before I started writing anything down—and that was her first interaction with Dylan.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Michele: At one point, Dylan takes Lacey to a restaurant and they hate the food. The idea came from a date night I had with my spouse. We arranged for the kids to stay with my parents, dressed up in something that wasn’t sweats or jeans, and we went out for dinner and a show. We went to a new-to-us restaurant that served all kinds of Asian food—Korean, Chinese, Thai—and the food sucked. The human, which I love, tasted like fried chicken with barbeque sauce. It was a disappointment. That’s why I left the name of the restaurant out. If I’d liked it, I would have included the name. All the locations in the novel actually exist here in Metro Detroit.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next?

Michele: I want to switch sides. I’ve launched a publishing company called Lost Goddess Publishing. I was inspired by friends and readers who tell me they don’t have much time to read, and that sometimes they didn’t have time to get into a novel (because they don’t end up finishing the story ever) and so I came up with Hot Lunch. They are short erotic stories that can be consumed with lunch or right before your loved one comes to bed. My beta reader said the stories don’t lead to wanting to go to sleep, unless the goal was to have erotic dreams. I’m working on adding novellas to our line, and I’ll be revising and republishing my novels there as I get the rights back over the next couple of years.

About Kiss Me By Moonlight

Hey there. It’s Lacey again. Falling in love and landing Dylan hasn’t been the panacea I thought it would be. For starters, he moved into my apartment without asking, and he continues to have no respect for my need to have things in sets of six. Pile that on top of my emotional upheaval after losing my stepfather, and you have a recipe for disaster no amount of German chocolate cake can cure.

Yes, Lacey Hallem’s life remains fraught with challenge, but you know she’s a fighter. Forming a talent management agency with her best friends has been the best career move she’s ever made—even if it’s the only thing currently working according to plan. Lacey’s OCD is getting the better of her, and this time her hands aren’t the only casualty. When her lies ruin her relationships with both Kiss Me Goodnight and Dylan, she’s forced to confront her demons in ways she’s never had to before. As she once again faces her past, can she learn once and for all to let love and friendship through the barriers she’s built?

Both harrowing and hilarious, this conclusion to the tale of Lacey and Dylan will leave you laughing, crying, and fanning yourself—sometimes all at once. Michele Zurlo triumphs again in this moving story about life’s quirks and what we all have to do to get by.

Excerpt

He followed me into the apartment, hopefully noting the stiffness of my shoulders. I projected outrage as hard as I could. Lies to cover lies. I know what I’d done was wrong, and it wasn’t a little problem. I’d said it in front of the media. Not for the first time, I considered that I was a bad choice to manage his band. With my mouth, it was bound to get negative press.

Cover_KissMeByMoonlight copyI went into the bedroom and into the closet. It’s a large, walk-in number half full of his clothes. I went to my dress section and began evaluating them to figure out which one I would wear to see John’s grave. Though it had been chilly when we’d left this morning at an ungodly hour, the sun had come out for the return trip and warmed things up considerably. The ice in the parking lot was melting, and the early spring day promised to get even warmer. I selected a long-sleeved black velvet shirt and its matching full-length skirt.

Dylan stood in the door of the closet, deliberately blocking my path. He eyed the dress in my hand incredulously. “What the hell are you doing?”

I responded to him with a passively neutral expression. “Changing.”

This is my way of goading him. He has a temper, but it takes a lot to get him to explode. I have a hard time expressing anger, and I hate how Dylan gets eerily calm when he dealt with me, so this is my way of compelling him to force me to let it out. Fucked up, right?

He took the clothes from me and threw them on the floor littered with shoes. Then he gripped my chin in his cupped hand, making me face him. “No. We’re going to discuss whatever is eating you up.”

I tried to shake my  head, but he didn’t let me move. “I’m fine.”

“Liar. You’re so not fine, it’s not even funny. I haven’t seen you this way in months.”

If I take a step back, he’ll let go of me and back off. I stared at him, wondering who is going to break first.

He studied me, searching my eyes for answers I didn’t have. “You weren’t calling me a name; you were lying.”

“It’s a fine line, isn’t it?” I spoke softly and kept my gaze locked to his. “And at the end of the day, it doesn’t actually matter.”

About the Author

I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve. I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

Elsa Winckler: Touched To the Heart

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Elsa: I love to read and I read just about anything but I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I’ve always loved reading romances and when I “met” the classic authors like Jane Austen, Mrs. Gaskell, Henry James, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, etc. while studying, I was hooked for life.

I entered an Afrikaans romance competition in 2008 and was fortunate enough to win it. The prize was having my story published. Since then I’ve published ten Afrikaans romances, one English romance and the second one, Touched to the Heart, has just been published.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

elsaElsa: The best advice I think is that if you want to be writer, you must write. It’s that simple and that hard. :-)

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Elsa: I’m working on what I hope would be the next book in the series that started with Touched to the Heart. The four Cavallo brothers own and manage boutique hotels in South Africa, London and in the Seychelles. Don’s story is told in Touched to the Heart and I’m now working on Dale’s story.

Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?

Elsa: On a good day I try to write at least 3 000 words. ‘A good day’ is what I hope to have every day but unfortunately life happens in between—the washing has to be done, hubby wants to eat, I have to see my grandkids, etc. When I begin with a story, I know the characters, have a vague idea of what will happen but then the story kind of writes itself after a time. When I get to the point where I don’t have to think about what I’m writing, I know it’s going to work. But that normally only happens towards the end.

Susana: If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?

Elsa: Oh, to Tuscany, of course! I live in South Africa, a beautiful country, but there is just something about the Italian lifestyle that gets to me – probably the food. I love to eat!

Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Elsa: There is one quote that has helped me through the ups and downs of life—”this too shall pass.” It somehow reduces even the worst of times to the small incident you’ll eventually recognise it to be – one that has to end at some point.

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?

Elsa: At the moment I only write contemporary romance. I’ve tried my hand at an inspirational story in Afrikaans, which will be published next year. Paranormal stories amuse me and I think I’d like to try one at some point.

About Touched To the Heart

Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.

When it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn’t have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.

While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers—hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.

Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.

They’ve both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.

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Excerpt

Touched cover_Final copy‘I have a question,’ he said.

‘Yes?’ she said, hoping her knees would not buckle underneath her. This close, he was even more overwhelming.

‘The massage I’ve just been given, is that what you usually do?’

Her face flamed, but she ignored it and squared her shoulders. ‘You have a back problem. I tried to ease your pain. That’s it.’

‘You haven’t answered my question. Is that the usual treatment your patients get?’

‘I…yes.’ She nodded and opened the door quickly. ‘I’m sorry if you didn’t like it.’

He smiled. This time her knees did buckle and she gripped the door more firmly. His smile was devastating.

‘I didn’t say I didn’t like it.’ He bent down till his face was centimetres from hers. ‘As you very well know, I liked it just fine,’ he said, his brown eyes dark.

Link to Longer Excerpt 

About the Author

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I “met” the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.

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The Gull Motel: A Barefoot Novel by Amie Denman

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Amie will be awarding print copies of her three Barefoot novels from Turquoise Morning Press: Blue Bottle Beach, Will Work for Love, and The Gull Motel to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (US ONLY). Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About The Gull Motel

Savvy Thorpe needs a vacation. Finally finished with college, she heads to her favorite shabby motel on Florida’s Gulf Coast where her aunt and uncle always save her room twenty-four. She quickly finds out, though, that The Gull Motel is not just her home away from home. It’s hers to manage while her aunt and uncle take an extended trip.

Skip McComber, The Gull’s former maintenance man, has been working on Savvy’s nuts and bolts for years. Now the new owner of the bar next door, his mission is to renovate a pirate bar while being a walking temptation for the girl he can’t get off his mind.

For Savvy, keeping her cool running a motel in Florida heat is one thing, but navigating the steamy waters of a former fling takes a whole other kind of savvy. In addition to the motel and the man next door, Savvy stumbles on a plot to swindle land from the residents of Barefoot Key. Devalued properties tumble like dominoes until Savvy musters her colorful crew from The Gull Motel to make the pillagers walk the plank.

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Excerpt

I watched a fishing charter leave a wharf several properties farther down the beach. I could see at least half a dozen people and lots of long fishing poles sticking up all over the boat like a case of bed hair. An idea swirled through my head like the sand between my toes.

Cover_The Gull Motel“Fishing charter,” a voice said behind me.

I jumped. “You shouldn’t sneak up on people like that.”

“Hard to make noise in sand,” Skip said.

“You should try. I might have had a heart attack or something and then you’d have my blood on your hands.”

Skip picked up a long lock of hair brushing my shoulder and twisted it in his fingers. He leaned forward just a little and glanced down my shirt. “You look perfectly healthy to me.”

I stepped back, hoping to restore my heart rate to something close to healthy.

“One of these days we should talk about last spring,” he said. “Maybe over some tequila.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “I thought you would have called me if you wanted to talk. You’ve had plenty of time since April.”

Skip put his hands in the pockets of his cargo shorts and rocked back on bare heels in the sand. He was shirtless as usual. And he wasn’t taking my bait.

“Saw you staring at the fishing charter boat,” he said.

“I was thinking about something.”

“Thinking of teaming up with a local charter and offering package deals? Could be a great add-on to rooms at The Gull.”

My heart rate steam-trained up the scale again. That was exactly the idea I’d been formulating, and I didn’t appreciate him acting like it was his. The danger of years of slightly-lusty friendship is that you can know a person too well. And they’ve got your thoughts on speed-dial.

About the Author

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAmie Denman lives in a small town in her native Ohio with her husband and sons. Her two cats and large yellow labrador are kind enough to share a sunny office where she lets her imagination run wild. Reading books was her favorite escape as a child, and growing up four houses away from the community library encouraged her addiction. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys walking and running outside. The helpless victim of a lifetime of curiosity, she’s been known to chase fire trucks on her bicycle just to see what’s going on. Amie believes that everything is fun: especially roller coasters, wedding cake, and falling in love.

Amie is the author of five contemporary romance novels:

  • The Gull Motel
  • Blue Bottle Beach
  • Her Lucky Catch
  • Her Lucky Prize
  • Will Work for Love
  • He’s on Her Trail

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Melissa Fox and Ash Rising

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Melissa will be awarding an ebook copy of Ash Rising and a $20 gift certificate to Amazon or Starbucks (Winner’s Choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Ash Rising

Infiltrating an international drug cartel is the dangerous chance of a lifetime for Asher Beaulieu of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Falling in love while running the op isn’t part of the plan, but he never had much use for plans anyway. Shrouded in deception and surrounded by temptation, his charmed life explodes in betrayal and tragedy.

Ash rises from the flames a guarded, wary shadow of his former self. His past comes to revisit him, along with an annoying American DEA agent, who forces Ash to reclaim his courage and character before facing another chance at love—and an even deadlier threat.

DEA Special Agent Emmaline Justice is determined to be recognized for her work, not her sex. She doesn’t have time for an intriguing, wounded RCMP inspector. When the contacts she cultivated over long months of an international undercover investigation keep showing up dead, Emma must use her instincts as both an agent and a woman to determine Beaulieu’s role in the case and in her life.

One woman tore him apart. Another is brave enough to put him back together—if his past doesn’t kill him first.

Excerpt

His expression changed from shock to bewilderment and hurt. “Why would you be sorry you’re in love with me?”

“Because—” She winced, his words too close to what had been going through her mind. How could she explain what was obvious? Expecting him to deny, deflect, play her declaration off with humor, or even completely disregard the sentiment, she didn’t think he’d welcome her confession. “Because it appears that’s something you don’t want to hear.”

He looked completely offended, and it was her turn to be confused. When he spoke, his voice rang quiet and low, giving his words more impact. “I’ve really screwed things up if I’ve made you think that.”

“It’s just…” She floundered in her attempt to verbalize her feelings. Could she be wrong about his reaction? “I’m not sorry I love you, Ash. I couldn’t be. I thought it might be too soon, too much, that you’re not ready.”

“Ready?” He interrupted with a wry smile. “Who’s ready for that? If you’re ready to be blindsided, overwhelmed, blasted to pieces and then put back together again, well, if you’re ready for that, then it isn’t really love, is it?”

“A-Ash.”

“I was brought up by two people who loved each other—and me—beyond reason. I’ve always wanted what my parents had. I always knew when I met the right person, that’s what I’d have. That’s how they raised me.”

“You don’t have to explain. I—”

“With Liz… I loved her.” He ignored her interruption and kept his gaze level, refusing to let her look away. “I’d never been in love. Don’t know what would have happened between the two of us if she hadn’t been taken from me. Don’t know if she was the one, if she… I don’t know. And that’s okay, because there’s you.

“I didn’t expect you, Emma. You’re more than I ever expected to have, and I never thought you’d feel what I do, not now, not right away. I planned a long, patient, careful campaign. Wear you down, distract you with pleasure, make you fall in love with me. Figured you’d make me work harder than I ever had in my life, and you have. It’s been worth every second, because there’s you—only you. I love you, Emmaline. I love you, damn it. Don’t be sorry you love me, too.”

About the Author

After being rationed books by my parents like most kids get rationed candy, I turned to writing to tide me over between fixes. I love to get lost in a captivating, exhilarating story, whether reading or writing. Nothing is better than being drawn into a story so deeply you don’t realize you’re turning a page until you’ve reached the end, and the characters live on in your heart and mind long after the cover has been closed.

Having lived in the suburbs of the Mid-West, desert of the Southwest, and foothills of the Rocky Mountains, I’m now on an island in the Puget Sound with my husband and dogs.

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Teri Riggs and Resolutions

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Teri will be giving a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

Research for Novels

Doing the research for your books can be fun. You learn a lot of stuff that’s interesting, and a lot of stuff that might bore you to tears. Sometimes I’m shocked at what I find. Sometimes I already knew what pops up on my screen or in a research book. Some things I share with my family and friends, and some things I learn I’m planning to take to the grave with me.

Most authors will have to do a bit of research for their books, whether they want to or not. I write fiction only, but my readers still want the facts straight. I know there are readers who know all about weapons. A beta reader informed me once it wasn’t possible to fire a weapon the way I’d described in one scene. I went back into research mode, found what I needed, and made the changes.

One beta reader wanted to know how a heroine could have the injuries I described, but turn around a few days later and have wild monkey sex. Another change I made after more research on the injuries my heroine suffered. Do the research up front and you’ll have less embarrassing critiques from test readers.

I’ve written a historical romance and the post-civil war history fascinated me. I’m pretty sure I spent as much time reading about the time period as I spent writing the book. I think my research has made me much smarter. I know more things about random subjects than I did before I began writing. I can actually answer trivia questions every now and then.

Through my exploration of the drug trade, I learned exactly how brave the DEA, FBI, ATF, and other alphabet agencies operatives are. They risk their lives every day in an effort to stamp out the illegal drug industry. I have a new respect for them.

My biggest shock while researching? I was googling everything I could find on the prostitution business in Las Vegas. The next thing I knew, my inbox became flooded with porno sites and offers. Imagine the look on my hubby’s face when I asked him how I could keep the stuff from landing in my inbox. He brought his IT guy from his office over and had him install better anti-virus security. Did I mention the IT guy and his wife were good friends of ours or that both of their fathers were preachers? I’m sure he loved seeing the results of my research plastered all over my email.

In spite of the embarrassment, I still do the research no matter what the subject. I’m sure I’m on the NSA’s watch list somewhere. I’ve explored ways to kill people, special ops protocols, and even ways to breach the No-Fly zone in D.C.

But, at least I’m not getting all the porno emails anymore!

About Resolutions

DEA agent Eve Taylor has had her fill of alpha males. When Resolutions’ operative and former lover, Dillon “Mac” McKenna, threatened her hard-earned independence, she ran. On a mission to gather evidence against a Colombian drug-lord, Eve discovers the drug-lord is helping terrorists plan an attack on American soil. Before she can escape with the vital information, she’s captured and comes face to face with her mortality…

As a teen, Mac watched his family fall apart after his mother died doing dangerous U.N. work. The possibility of losing Eve to a mission ignited an overwhelming need to protect her. When he forced her to choose him or her job, she walked away. Two years later, it seems all his nightmares have come true and he’s tasked with rescuing her from a Colombian prison. Mac has never stopped loving Eve, but does he dare risk his heart when he’s so terrified of losing…

On the run, Mac and Eve must learn to trust each other again in order to stay alive.

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Excerpt

Resolutions1600x2400Mac shrugged right back at her. “I’ve got a news flash for you, Eve. I’m going back to San Carlos Lucas with you.”

“This is an IDEA operation. My assignment. And Rex’s. We can do our jobs.”

Mac smiled. “Not anymore, baby. Your boss hired Resolutions to get you back into the Mendoza compound. More specifically, he wants me for the job.”

“Why would I need you?” Her face reddened. “Rex and I had no problem getting past the compound walls before.”

“Are you kidding? Your team lost a man, you were captured, and almost died yourself.” He wanted to shake some sense into her. “You call that no problems?”

“I meant we infiltrated the compound without incident. I’ll make sure we get out safely this time.”

“It’s gonna be harder.” Mac wished she would listen to reason, but he knew Eve, and nothing he said would change her mind once she made it up. “After you and your team breached the compound, Mendoza doubled his security force. Chances are good you won’t be able to retrieve the hidden flash drive. Getting back inside the study—if you need another go at his computer—will be a bigger challenge. I’m the only guy who can get you past all the extra security.”

“Oh, pa-leeease! What have you got that I don’t have?

He looked at his ever-present-around-Eve hard-on and smiled sheepishly. “Well, baby, if I need to expla—”

About the Author

MEDIA KIT teri.riggs_ copyTeri Riggs was destined to be a writer.  As a small girl she didn’t read bedtime stories, she made up her own.  Who needed Little Red Riding Hood or The Three Little Pigs when there were so many great tales bouncing around in her head?  When she grew up and became a mother to three little girls, she continued the tradition of making up bedtime stories.  On the occasions she chose to tell conventional fairytales, Teri usually gave them a bit of tweaking here and there or added a new ending.  Her girls loved it.

After her daughters had the nerve to actually grow up and leave home, Teri discovered she had a passion for writing and jumped right in.  It came as no surprise she chose to write mysteries and happily-ever-after’s since that’s the genres she loves to read.

Teri lives in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, one of her daughters and two dogs that seem to think they rule the world.  And some days Teri thinks maybe they do.

Teri still frequently tells herself stories as she falls asleep.  The only difference now is she wakes up the next morning and turns her bedtime stories into books.

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Fallen Angel: Alisa Anderson & Cameron Skye

Interview: Alisa Anderson

Susana: What is the most challenging part of being a writer?

Alisa: Procrastination and focus. Two words that almost every writer I know has a hard time with. The next thing would be writing a good love scene that (a) not completely corny and stupid and (b) that it’s not repetitious and done before. Love scenes are really, really, REALLY hard.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Alisa: This might sound harsh, but I would ask that person what is that you are looking to achieve in self-publishing? I would give them the pros and the cons, and trust me there are a lot of cons. The truth is statistically the odds are stacked against us. I read somewhere that the average book will sell somewhere around 57 copies in its entire lifetime.  That’s reality.

Russell Blake recently stated in an awesome blog, it’s a myth that books sell themselves. Visibility sells books. It is highly competitive. It means constant promo and most authors hate promo. And, writing the next book is great, but you have to market THAT and the LAST one you wrote. You just do. I 100% agree with this. If you are not willing to do any of that, and you just want to write because you have to write, wonderful! You’ll succeed. But for the rest of us, it’s a long road. Just remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I believe if you work hard, you can succeed.  Just know what your definition of success is.

I know a lot of that sounds depressing. All of that being said, let me end on a positive note. There has never been a better or more exciting time to be a writer. We have so much freedom, control and power over our own destiny…it’s just absolutely fantastic to see.

Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Alisa: Well, I would love to say that I have this intelligent, literary response to writer’s block, but truthfully I don’t. I really have not found a way to deal with it. Which, explains why it takes me so long to release books. I guess the best advice I can give, but not the most professional, is that I walk away and come back when the muse hits me. I am actually working on treating my writing like the job that it is and not a hobby. Which means finding time to write EVERYDAY even when you don’t want to. It is currently a work in progress, but then again aren’t we all?

Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?

Alisa: I have a general plot summary that at times will see many revisions. My characters often talk to me, however, and in the end, they are the ones who dictate where the story goes. I have tried to go around them and trust me. It doesn’t work. Since I want to sleep at night, it’s just easier to do what they say. *grins*

Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Alisa: I am definitely a pantser.  I need a lot of freedom in how I write. I might know the end before the beginning. I might have a few lines into the next book and not know how I’m getting there. A song may pop up on the TV and it may help me plot out a scene in the book that was never there until that point. That is how my mind works.

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Alisa: Naturally working on Books Two and Three of Fallen Angel.  Continuing the Give and Receive Series.  Finally releasing Erotic Edibles, my first book of erotic poetry and my first paranormal series, called Kindred.

Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Alisa: For the longest time I wanted to be an attorney and still will debate and/or argue a point into the ground. What can I say? I’m an Aries. Everything is war and strategy to be analyzed, argued and eventually won. *grins*

Susana: What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Alisa: My favorite food has to be organic, sweet strawberries. Sooooo yummy! Least favorite is lettuce and watermelon tied. Don’t judge me. Something about the icky, gross, watery smells of both of them makes me terribly nauseous. UGH. and yes, they both really do have a smell. *gags slightly*

Susana: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Alisa: I am huge sci fi geek, i love cartoons (fairly odd parents being one of my all time favs), and i love all things super heroes. i am one big nerd girl.

Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who?

Alisa: I adore Susan Johnson. Everything she writes is decadent, erotic and delicious.

About Fallen Angel

NikkiPart1psjpeg copyWhen Jess packed up her belongings and fled her small hometown in Kansas, she never looked back. Free from her family’s dark past she was finally able to pursue her lifelong dream as a professional dancer. She never expected to find herself at his door…or at his club.

Nikolas was unlike any other man she had ever met. Sexy…Alluring…Predatory. Dangerous. The kind of man with more secrets than even she had. Every instinct warned Jess against knowing him further, but she always did like playing with fire…

Nikolas Roman took one look at Jess and knew she was trouble from the very start. But something about the defiant twist of her mouth and the wide, haunted eyes of a damaged soul touched him in places he had long ago thought dead. He knew he needed to stay far away from her for his own sanity, but like a moth to a flame he was helpless to resist…

Working at Takers gentleman’s club was the last place Jess thought she would find herself, but she quickly learned how the game was played. See what you want, take what you can get…but at what cost?

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Excerpt

This man was seriously bad news. One she knew she needed to stay away from.  She was fully aware of his reputation from Allison. Not only with the ladies, but of being a notorious Mafioso. She also knew he was very much married, an arranged marriage at that, but supposedly there was some story there and she was never discussed. Ever.

Nick swung his leg over a chair and sat down. “Okay, let’s see what you got. Get on the stage and I’ll clue Mikey when you’re ready. Oh and Manhattan…how do you feel about going topless?”

Jess hesitated for a moment before she climbed on the stage.

This was the end of the line for her. She was desperate now. If she didn’t make this work, it was back to Kansas for her. Back to her old life, back to her family…back to her father…back to his world.

Becoming the failure he always said she would be. Not this time.

He would never get the opportunity to touch her again.

She shivered. She was never going back to them. Or him. She was done with that portion of her life. Not even if said life, depended on it.

Which, in a way, it kind of did. For her piece own piece of mind, for her sanity, to escape the dark recesses of her mind and find some semblance of happiness, she needed this.  Just once, it would be nice to get a decent night’s sleep.

No nightmares. No terror filled panic attacks, wondering if tonight was the night her father emptied his gun in her head. No dreaded anticipation of what was to come.

Foul, alcohol-laced breath…sweaty hands…suffocating her…moving all over her body, touching her…violating her…going places no father should ever be…

“Kid?” Nick’s voice jolted her out of her thoughts and she looked up sharply and met his gaze. It was too soon to mask the naked fear and haunted, gnawing ache in her eyes. She knew he could see it all.

What surprised her was his curiously knowing silence. As if he knew exactly what she was thinking and feeling, and could relate. He was giving her an out.

One that she was not going to take. Jess shook herself.

“I guess I’m ok with it. But will you, I mean will they be able to touch my boobs?” If he caught the slip, he didn’t let on. “And why did you ask me where I was from, if you already knew?” She was annoyed at both him and herself for the slip and for the way he made her feel.

There was an awkward pause before Nick finally spoke. “I ask because I can. It’s my club. You got a problem, there’s the door.” Nick arched his brow at her.

She nodded and glanced away. Ass.

He continued. “Now then. No touching by others period.  However, there are no rules for me. You’ll never have to do anything you aren’t good with. I promise.”

Why the fuck did he promise that?  Jess wasn’t about to ask.

“Mikey, Hot Child in City. When you’re ready, kid.”  He leaned forwarded and put a cigar in his mouth.

As the music started playing, Jess wasn’t really sure what to do at first.  How the hell am I going to do this?  She closed her eyes and started swaying to the music.  When she opened them she looked directly at him and something took over her. She found herself dancing for him, seducing him with each hip grind and twirl around the pole.

She noticed the more she danced the harder he breathed. He was actually getting a rather large hard on and didn’t seem to care if she knew.  He was feeding her, and she got lost in his eyes and forgetting they were in a club. His club.

He was intrigued with her from the moment he saw her. Her blond hair was shining in the lights. He could see through the white tank top she wore as it stretched over her exquisite breasts. Her stomach was flat, even her belly button looked inviting to him.  Her long legs were gorgeous, and those tight black shorts she wore outlined every curve of her shapely ass.

He swallowed hard. How was it she could be so fucking hot yet be so angelic and innocent? What was she, all of nineteen? And what was it about this girl he felt he needed to protect? What was he hiding behind those eyes that hid a lifetime of pain, and were much wiser than her years? He didn’t know much about her but planned on finding out. That was for fucking sure.

He heard the music stop.

Just like that, the spell was broken.

“Not half bad. The club is open from seven till three.  The slot is two nights a week. I don’t pay my girls but you’ll be well taken care of.  Tips are yours, except for the ten percent I take off the top for allowing you to dance on my stage.”

“Your stage name is Manhattan.  Remember it.”

He got up from the chair and started walking toward the back.  He turned and looked at her standing on the stage.

“See you at six, Manhattan.

That is, if you’ll be back.”

About the Authors

Alisa Anderson

Well…Alisa did stuff and is still doing stuff. only now she has two boys crazy enough to want her as their mommy. Hey, at least she tried to warn them, so her job is done. she doesn’t like to capitalize, partially because she likes how lower case letters look visually, but mostly out of laziness. please don’t judge. it could be you. and she would say, hey. you’re alright, buddy. you’re ok in my book. now c’mere for a hug. the hug might be pushing it. air kiss? you are strangers, after all, with only a mutual love of poor grammar.

​she lives for a world full of controllable anatomically correct, android men programmed to meet her specific feminine needs (wink, wink, nudge, nudge with a big waggle of the eyebrows). who look like the rock. and ian somerhalder. and idris elba. and that’s it she promises. variety. gotta have variety, right?

​but alas…apparently that exists only in johanna lindsey’s genius mind. so until then, she enjoys her incredibly warped sense of humor. she reads tons of erotica and romantic, drippy goo that makes her heart go pitter patter. then she thought, hey. what, she said to herself. (softly, of course, so no one finds out she is indeed, 2 nuts short of a fruitcake) maybe you should write this stuff too. maybe someone will like it and maybe buy it. so she said, huh, you think? then she said, well…yeah, i wouldn’t have suggested it…(inserts sarcastic tone) and then she was like lose the attitude, ok? then she was all, would you just shut up and write, already? sheesh! and she did. :)

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Cameron Skye

When Cameron is not in the lab working toward a Ph.D., in Neuropsychopharmacology, which in laymen’s terms is basically finding the effects drugs have on mood and behavior, she is writing stories, crating vivid, intense characters you will never forget.

She believes while life can take you down every path but the right one, eventually everyone will find their happily ever after.

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Part Two coming July 2014

Part Three coming September 2014

NikkiPart2psjpeg copy     NikkiPart3psjpeg copy

Annie’s Stories (Ellis Island): Cindy Thomson

Interview With Cindy Thomson

Susana: What inspired you to start writing?

10webCindy: Genealogy. My first novel (yet to be published) is about my ancestors coming to America. I couldn’t find out everything I wanted to know about them, so I looked into the social history of those immigrants in the time they came over, right before the Revolutionary War. Then I made stuff up! From there I went on to write for genealogy magazines (stuff I did not make up) and learned about writing fiction.

Susana: How long have you been writing?

Cindy: Seriously for publication about 15 years. I have always dreamed up stories though.

Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Cindy: Because of the ability to publish quickly now by doing it ourselves, my advice is not to rush to publication. It takes time to learn the craft. I’m still learning. Never underestimate the value of a professional editor. And by professional I don’t mean English teachers or someone who also writes novels. Those people might be smart and even helpful, but someone who makes a living editing books will be the most useful to you when it comes to creating a story that will appeal to a publisher or agent. And you want your best work out there.

Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Cindy: The stories that my character Annie Gallagher treasures are not in the novel. They are referred to and somewhat described, but the stories are not there. I do, however, have them and will be making them available to my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here: www.cindyswriting.com

Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?

Cindy: I’m working on book three of the Ellis Island series, but it’s not yet contracted. I’m also working on a book that has both a contemporary storyline and a historical one. It’s fresh in my mind right now so all I’ll tell you is the historical part is 1946 at Wrigley Field and it has something to do with that big scoreboard and a female baseball franchise employee.

Susana: What are you reading now?

Cindy: Swimming in the Moon by Pamela Schoenewaldt. I love immigrant stories and hers are filled with wonderful detail.

Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Cindy: A teacher. And I was. I left the classroom several years ago but I still teach by mentoring writers through the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

Susana: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?

Cindy: Some of my readers might be surprised to learn that I’m an avid baseball fan (Go Reds!), have written baseball biographies, and am a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR.) I am often the only woman at meetings. My SABR friends know about my novels (they buy copies for their wives.) Of course my cover will be blown if I am fortunate enough to publish the Wrigley-themed novel I mentioned above.

Susana: If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you most likely want to go? Why?

Cindy: This is something my readers WOULD know. I would go to Ireland. I would also go to Wales since I recently discovered a family line that goes back to Nantucket and the Massachusetts Bay Colony and then back to Wales in the 17th century. There is plenty there to write about!

Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Cindy: The Irish are famous for their witty sayings. One I particularly like (I have a saying or a scripture before every chapter in my novel Brigid of Ireland) is this one:

If God sends you down a stony path, may he give you strong shoes.

Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?

Cindy: I have, yes. I’ve written non-fiction as well. Historical fiction is my favorite and I’d love to stick with that but I will have to see what comes my way.

Susana: What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Cindy: Very simply I’d love to have a new publishing contract. There are no guarantees in this business. The reason I’d like to continue turning out novels is because I would like more readers. They are the reason I write and it’s my desire to keep bringing my stories to them.

Susana: Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?

Cindy: Regarding my Ellis Island series contract: I was watching TV and about to go to bed. My agent lives on the west coast and I’m in the Eastern Time Zone. He called and then hung up before I could answer. He’d forgotten how late it was. But then he decided to call back anyway—he probably figured I wouldn’t mind considering what he had to say. After we talked about the offer, he told me I could go back to watching TV now. Yeah, right! I woke my husband up and told him. I’d like to say this to encourage new writers: I waited seven years between fiction contracts. I had almost given up hope, but my agent thought there was a chance for an immigrant series so I pressed on. I did have to switch time settings from what I originally had in mind, but listen to those who are veterans in the business, keep learning, and write the stories of your heart.

About Annie’s Stories: Ellis Island

Annie's Stories Coversmaller copyThe year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.

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Excerpt

The first chapter: http://files.tyndale.com/thpdata/FirstChapters/978-1-4143-6845-0.pdf

About the Author

Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research’s Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit her online at www.cindyswriting.com.

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