Tag Archive | Novel

Interview With Author Sam Cheever and Threads of Yesterday, plus a peek at a new story!

Today my guest is Sam Cheever, who’s here to talk about herself, her writing life, and her book, Threads of Yesterday.

Welcome to Susana’s Morning Room, Sam!

IMG_7837What inspired you to start writing?

It was definitely self-defense. I had thousands of stories inside my head bashing about in an attempt to escape. It was either let them out or suffer brain damage. Some who know me would say I definitely waited too long…but I did eventually make a deal with the stories. I let them out in a controlled fashion and they stopped bashing around in my head. Although I still get the occasional masher that needs to be managed.

How long have you been writing?

I can remember writing my first poetry in high school and having the teacher read it to the class because he thought it was really good. Looking back on it now I realize how dark and angst-filled those first writing attempts were. I shudder at all that angst now. I’ve graduated to more physical writing since then. I’m really more of a blow ‘em up and smack ‘em around type of writer. It’s so much more satisfying than just sitting around fretting about something.

What advice would you give writers just starting out?

Just sit down and do the hardest thing…write. Write snippets of stories that pop into your head. Write about things that happen to you. Write whatever you care about most. Don’t try to write for a specific market if you don’t have a passion for that market. Writing is hard enough without forcing yourself into a niche you aren’t really comfortable with. Your readers will know if you don’t care about the story. And they won’t care about it either.

Start creating an online presence for yourself early, well before the first book comes out. Always be yourself. Don’t try to manufacture a persona you think will appeal. People will know if you’re not being genuine. Ultimately people buy from people they like. It won’t matter how talented you are if you treat people badly.

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

Occasionally I do. When it happens I take my dogs for a walk and let my mind rest for a while. That almost always works. The other thing I do is that I always have 2 or 3 WIPs going at a time, generally of different genres. That way if I get stuck on one, I move to a different story for a while, until inspiration hits again.

What comes first, the plot or the characters?

Definitely the plot. Once I know what I want to write about I’ll figure out what types of characters will maximize the fun and interest for that storyline. Although I write character-driven stories, I believe in a strong, unique plot. A story with no plot bores me, both as a reader and a writer.

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

Threads of Yesterday is Book 2 of a brand new cozy, paranormal mystery series. This type of story is a bit different for me as a writer, though I’ve long been a fan of the genre as a reader. The fun thing about this series is that the mysteries are based on events that happened decades or even a century earlier. Each story starts with the set-up for the mystery from the past, and then moves to present day in Yesterday’s Antiques store, where owner and amateur sleuth, Anna Yesterday discovers the mystery and sets out to solve it. The other aspect of these mysteries that makes them a lot of fun is the supporting cast of small town characters. From the geeky librarian, to the sexy ex-cop, to the wise-cracking autistic teen neighbor, these characters add interest, confusion, and fun to every storyline.

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

I’m currently trying to complete a light paranormal story that keeps getting put on the back burner because of more pressing deadlines. I’m determined to get this fun story finished so I can find the perfect home for it. Here’s a little taste from my WIP, tentatively entitled Probationary Angel:

Arele Montgomery knew two important things about Heaven. First, it was a damned judgmental place. And second, there were far too many rules.

Which was how she found herself in her current predicament.

Well the rules…and that stupid old woman who wasn’t an old woman.

How was she supposed to know the old woman wasn’t what she’d seemed? How in Heaven did they expect her to know that the gnarly, bent old creature shuffling toward the curb that day was really a bank robber in disguise?

It was true, she’d been a bit put off by the way the woman had cursed and swung a cane at her head when she’d tried to take her arm. But she’d been a full-fledged angel then, with a long, pearly stick up her ass, so she hadn’t reacted in anger. She’d smiled and reached for the woman’s arm again.

That was when the old crone had swung a large, black bag at her head and spoken to her in a voice that sounded like a hairy Italian mobster’s. “Back off, bitch!”

Arele had been too busy dodging the bag to notice when the money started flying out of it. Of course, it was much too good an opportunity for the Dark One to resist. And he’d thrown a burst of wind into the mix. Sending all that cash across the street and everywhere.

People had gone nuts, screaming, clawing, and trampling each other to get to the cash.

To make things worse, the police had been tracking the robber and were just a hair away from nabbing him. But, because of her interference, he’d gotten away. Arele still insisted that part wasn’t her fault. The parchment from legal never made it into her cloud box that morning, so she hadn’t known about the sting operation. If she had she might never have approached the robber in the first place.

As people trampled each other, her fellow guardians flitting here and there trying to protect the small and delicate, Arele just stood there, blinking. Not sure what to do. “Did I do that?” She’d murmured over and over again.

In the distance, over the roar and screech of the mass of greedy, grasping people around her, Arele could hear the Serpent laughing.

She’d been the devil’s unwilling dupe. Not her finest hour.

And now she was on probation. She’d been called to the office of Mrs. Durtz, Queen drone of Angel Resources. An angel whose pearly stick was so long it stuck up from her head and down to her feet.

She was like a cranky wart hog on a carousel ride.

The woman sat behind her white desk, gently fluttering her pristine, white wings…just because she could…and looked down a long, straight nose at Arele, her narrow lips twisted with disdain. “You broke rule number twelve thousand four hundred sixty five point six.”

Arele bit her lip and grimaced, a single, sparkling tear sliding down her pale cheek. “Which rule is that one?”

Looking smug and superior, Mrs. Durtz gave Arele a sad smile, as if pitying her for her sublime ignorance. “The ‘First create no harm’ rule of course.”

Arele frowned, “Isn’t that the physician’s oath?”

Mrs. Durtz, considering humans mere dust beneath her pristine, white feet, glowered at Arele. “Where do you think they got it? You don’t think humans are bright enough to come up with that one on their own do you?” She sneered at Arele for a moment and then looked down at her desk, reading the terse, black script from a proclamation on her desk. “Arele Montgomery, on this day, November 10th, 2013, you are on official probation.”

Arele’s wings disappeared with a pop. She opened her mouth to argue, but Mrs. Durtz held a flawless, white sheet of paper in front of her. It was filled with text, in micro font, of legalese jargon. “Sign here.”

A whimsical little pen with wings appeared in Arele’s left hand. She stared at it for a moment, until Mrs. Durtz made an ominous throat clearing sound, and then she signed her name at the bottom of the sheet. As she signed, a tear dropped onto the page and blurred the tiny, accusatory words on the paper.

Mrs. Durtz sniffed in disgust at this show of emotion.

As the pen slid off the page on the back end of the last letter of Arele’s name, the world around her started to spin and whirl. When it cleared she was standing on the sidewalk, very close to the site of the disaster, under a large tree in the shade.

She was dressed like a human woman of twenty-three.

No wings. No unearthly glow.

A kickin’ pair of leather boots hugged her slim calves. At least she was dressed well for her foray into Hell.

She still clutched the pen with wings in her left hand. As she stared at it, numb with fear and indecision, something fluttered down from the tree, bounced off her shiny white-gold head, and landed on her boots.

For expenses. Mrs. Durtz’ disembodied voice whispered past.

It was a hundred dollar bill.

Even Arele knew that wouldn’t go far in the human world of 2013. “Gee thanks,” she murmured crankily. Because now that she’d lost her wings she could be cranky.

You’re welcome, responded Mrs. Durtz.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Janet Evanovich, I love the fun, slightly frantic nature of her Stephanie Plum books. I also love JD Robb’s Eve Dallas stories. Both writers pace their books well and both are very talented in the creation of their secondary characters and the interrelationships between them. I’ve also been strongly influenced by Kresley Cole’s paranormal books. I LOVE her Valkyries and her stories keep me interested from beginning to end.

What is your work schedule like when writing?

My days are packed full. Every minute accounted for. I get up around 5:00 am and go through my emails, responding to any that need a response and addressing anything that comes out of those communications. Once that’s done I’ll usually write any blog posts or interviews I’ve committed to in the near future. Then I’ll take a break to have breakfast and take care of all my critters. Once my chores are done I’ll sit down and start working. I try to write 1k to 3k on each of 2 to 3 WIPs each day. When I get stuck or tired of writing on one story I move to another. I generally try to write a chapter a week on each of my WIPs. That seems to be a pretty manageable goal for me.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’m doing it! I always wanted to be an author and I’m very lucky to be doing what I love.

What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

Favorite? Either cake or potato chips. Least favorite? Hmm, probably liver. #:0) Though I haven’t had any since I was a kid and my mom made me eat it. Blech!

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I do a very loose plot and then pants the heck out of it. LOL I try to organize my stories into an outline but it never lasts. So I do it in sections. I’ll come up with a loose plot for the first five chapters and then regroup and figure out where I want to go for the next five. The end is usually pretty self-evident by then. I actually prefer pantsing my stories because I think they’re more interesting that way. In fact, I recently did a blog post on that very subject. You can read it HERE if you’d like.

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

I have 13 dogs. All in the house, many on the bed at night. LOL I’m a crazy lady. The bed thing can get a bit dicey. Here’s a fun blog post I did on that subject if you want a good laugh. How NOT to Negotiate with your Dog for Bed Space!

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

I think Kresley Cole is an extremely talented paranormal writer. As mentioned above, she keeps me interested from beginning to end of her stories. She also writes great characters. For romantic suspense, I love Josh Lanyon’s work. Josh writes tight plots with wonderful prose and characters that feel genuine.

What would we find under your bed?

Doghair tumbleweeds. #:0)

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

I write M/F romantic suspense/mystery and paranormal/fantasy. I also write M/M romantic suspense and paranormal as Declan Sands. In addition, I love historical and steampunk so I’ll probably try my hand at those too someday.

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

I’m interested in writing true history stories for grade school kids, to get them interested in the history of America. We’re only as strong as our knowledge of our history and kids today are sadly lacking in both knowledge and interest. Ignorance condemns us to keep making the same mistakes over and over. I think history can be made fun if it’s presented in an adventure story and seen through the eyes of people kids can relate to. That’s a pet future project for me. I don’t know if I’ll get to it next year, but I hope I’ll get to it soon.

About Threads of Yesterday

threadsofyesterday2_fullsizeA deadly secret is tangled up in Yesterday’s Threads, and Anna is racing the clock to get it unraveled.

In 1859, Elisabeth Margaret Nelson travelled to Crocker, Indiana to meet her new husband and start a new life. Her family never saw her again. The story of her death and a heartbroken husband who grieves his entire life is a sad tale for sure. But is it true?

When Anna Yesterday receives some vintage dresses from the local museum, she’s excited about highlighting them at Crocker’s annual Apple Blossom Festival. But someone wants the dresses back, and they’ll apparently stop at nothing to get them—leaving a trail of murder and destruction in their wake.

As Anna and Pratt work to uncover the deadly intrigue behind the vintage dresses, interference of another kind is working its way to the surface. All too soon, Anna and Pratt find themselves neck deep in trouble from more than one dimension—and wondering which will get them first!

http://www.samcheever.com/threadsofyesterday.html

About the Author

Award winning author of more than 40 works of fiction, Sam Cheever mixes in a little fun, a little adventure, and a little real-life spice to create her sexy fantasy and romantic suspense stories. In her real life, Sam lives on a hobby farm in Indiana with 13 dogs, 2 horses, and one husband. She writes books she likes to read and reads books she wishes she’d written. Her books are fast-paced and fun-loving. Not one of them will solve a single world problem, but you definitely won’t be bored while reading them!

To find out more about Sam and her work, please pay her a visit at any one of the following online hot spots:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | About.Me

Excerpt

Yesterday, 1859

Elisabeth Margaret Nelson shifted the curtain back and looked out the stagecoach window. Over the last few hours the flat, brown land had grown gradually greener, and had turned to rolling hills. She dropped the curtain and sat back as another wave of stomach wrens assaulted her.

What had she done? Had she made a terrible mistake? She’d walked to the end of a plank and stepped right off…that’s what she’d done. Lissie wrung her hands and looked around at the other passengers. The older man in the opposite seat, beside the window, had been staring at her from the first moment, his dark eyes speculative.

He had to wonder what a young woman was doing travelling alone, without a companion.

Lissie had begun to wonder that too. She clutched her reticule closer under that questioning gaze and gave him a small, uncertain smile.

“Do you have family waiting for you in Crocker, Miss?”

Did she have family waiting for her?

“Yes. My hu…” Lissie swallowed hard, still not believing it was true. “My husband is waiting for me.” He’d gone ahead to prepare a place for them to live. Or so that was what he’d told her. Deep down Lissie doubted a man as handsome and vibrant as Felix Bickershaw could love a girl as ugly as she.

Lissie frowned, glancing down at the overstuffed reticule in her hands. She felt the man’s eyes on her again and discreetly shoved the velvet indispensable under her cloak. They’d all told her he only wanted her dowry. Lissie had believed it was true. Though Felix looked down at her with softness in his pretty, blue eyes, there was a certain coldness waiting just beyond that look, a negligence of her regard, which convinced her he didn’t so much love her person as what it could get him in life.

Lissie didn’t care. An ugly heiress with no prospect of finding love, she’d settled instead for one-sided infatuation with a handsome man who could at least give her the appearance of a storybook life.

Lissie was sure she would eventually win him over to an abiding affection at the very least.

The stagecoach dipped dangerously and Lissie pitched forward, catching herself on the window frame before she landed in the lap of the cantankerous matron across from her. It was obvious from the woman’s stern gaze that she thought Lissie a trollop of the worst order because she traveled unaccompanied.

Lissie told herself she didn’t care. In just hours she’d see her beloved Felix and all would be well in her world.

Sometime later Lissie woke from a doze to the sound of shouting and the clanging of pans. She shoved the curtain aside and eagerly took in her first view of Crocker, Indiana. The sweet smell of countryside had been replaced by the moldering stench of animal dung, overlaid by the yeasty smell of spirits and the spicy tang of something cooking over a fire.

Lissie’s mouth watered and she covered her stomach with a hand as it rumbled unhappily. The muddy street was filled with men on horses and fast-moving carriages. The wooden walkways that lined the log and stone buildings on either side of the street were busy too. Lissie’s gaze took in the women dressed in fine clothing, carrying parasols against a burning afternoon sun and excitement seared through her.

She’d never been in a real town before. Maybe some of the beautiful, well-dressed women watching the stagecoach rumble through town would be her friends. That would be lovely.

If only they wouldn’t judge her for her plainness. Surely the cache of jewels she carried in her reticule, and the equally sparkling visage of her handsome husband would win her some friends.

For the first time in her very young life, Elisabeth Margaret Nelson realized she liked her chances for a happy future. It was a heady feeling indeed.

Guest Interview: Author Lexi Post + Giveaway

Susana, thank you so much for having me in your Morning Room. I have been having so much fun on my MASQUE Tour, and giving away these beautiful Venetian masks at each stop has been pure pleasure. I only have a few more stops after this: Caris Roane’s blog April 10, Much Cheaper Than Therapy, April 19th and Romance Beckons, May 10th, so I hope everyone will comment here so they have a chance to win this beautiful mask made in Italy.

masque_msr finalWhat comes first: the plot or the characters?

For me it is definitely the characters because I write erotic romance inspired by classic literature, so I re-read the original story and then decide who, or whose ancestor, will be the focal point. From the original story I also pull the characters’ backgrounds and what type of baggage they may carry with them. In MASQUE it is Synn whose life is in stasis as long as he stays within the Abbey walls. Unfortunately, he blames himself for the deaths of the 73 ghosts that exist there. His motivation is what built the plot.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I am 90% pantser. I need to know my characters and their GMC and what the Black Moment will be before I start writing. Once I have those, I just write, usually all at once, straight through with typos, run-on sentences, and everything. Of course, that means a lot of revision time, but I enjoy that too and over the years I found I don’t have to cut out quite as much.

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

Oh, but there is so much to tell! There is a villainous ghost who will do anything to keep from crossing over because where he is headed is not as fun as staying in the Abbey.  I also have ghosts that become more solid as the moon turns full and they disappear completely when it is a new moon. And of course, I kept the 7 colored rooms that Poe had in his story and instead of entertainment rooms, I made them Pleasure Rooms. After all, this is erotic romance 😉

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

I just sent my editor To Bea Rappaccini. This erotic romance is inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” My Bea is as poisonous as Hawthorne made his, but my Bea can expel those poisons through intercourse. Unfortunately, this  makes long-term relationships a bit difficult since she causes the men to become ill. In fact, she already put one man into a coma! So when she falls for former logger, Zach, things get interesting. I hope my editor likes it. I’m crossing my fingers.

What author or authors have most influenced your writing?

Tons, since I grew up reading Woodiwiss, Lindsey and Garwood. I think, however, that the contemporary writer that has influenced me the most has been Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James.  Her manner, work ethic, and creative genius has served as a role model, and I hope to someday have the body of work she has, well, except the mysteries. I’m the one who is always surprised by who did it, so I probably wouldn’t make a good mystery writer :-}

What is your work schedule like when writing?

When I write my first draft, it is for two months straight every day.  My best time of day is 10:00pm until 2:00am. That is when I am most creative. I also like it completely silent, so it’s a good thing I like that time of night. Then I leave the work alone for a month before starting revisions.  I do revisions during the day, along with incorporating feedback from critique partners, and polishing. I like to have multiple stories in different stages so that I always have something to work on depending on the time of day.

What would we find under your bed?

Nothing. Yup, my husband basically takes care of me by cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and running all the errands in addition to mowing the lawn and working with the Coast Guard. Yes, I am spoiled. And since he doesn’t want anything under the bed, it is completely clear, not even dust bunnies dare live there. Hey, I’m not going to rock this boat!

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?

I would love to go to Greece. I am fascinated by Greek mythology and have always wanted to visit the Acropolis.  Plus, I think Santorini or Mikonos would be great settings for future stories. Does anyone remember the movie Summer Lovers?

Do you have a favorite quote or saying?

Of course I do, I majored in literature! My favorite quote is by Walt Whitman. “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large—I contain multitudes.”  Perhaps this may shed some light on how I can be inspired by classic literature to write erotic romance 🙂

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

Oh wow, I actually got the “email.” It was almost 9:00 am and my husband was with the Coast Guard and unreachable. I opened the email and I swear my heart went into overdrive. I couldn’t even stay seated!  I jumped up and realized I couldn’t call my husband, so I dialed my critique partner who would understand my excitement.  The only problem was, I am on Eastern time and she lives in Arizona so there was a three-hour time difference. For her, it wasn’t even 6:00 am!  I could tell she was surprised and concerned when she heard my voice, but after I blurted my good news, we got to rejoice together. After that I was able to calm down enough to sit for about ten minutes at a time. I sent an email to Jennifer Ashley asking for her advice because the full manuscript was with two other houses. Then I called my sister, my mom, etc., etc. When my husband came home, I finally got to tell him. He had the coolest smile on his face and the next thing I knew he had gone down to the local beach bar to tell EVERYONE the news! Yeah, he’s a keeper.

black and whiteGiveaway

I know we all can come up with wonderful traits for our heroes in romance novels, but I’d like to know what fault a hero has had that really left an impression. Let me know for a chance to win this Venetian mask made in Italy.

Masque is available at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Ellora’s Cave

For more information about Lexi Post:

websitehttp://www.lexipostbooks.com/

bloghttp://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/LexiPost

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/lexipostbooks

Lexi Post photo smallAbout the Author

Lexi Post spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about classical literature. From the medieval work “The Pearl” to the 20th century American epic The Grapes of Wrath, from War and Peace to the Bhagavad Gita, she’s read, studied, and taught great classic literature.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it.  Lexi feels there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great classic literature.

Lexi lives with her husband and cat in the Caribbean where gorgeous sunsets, warm weather, and driving on the left are the norm.

About Masque

Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?

Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.

As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.

Excerpt

Rena spun at the deep voice that caressed her senses. Before her stood a woman’s wet dream come to life, though as a respectable woman, she shouldn’t be having wet dreams, or so she’d been informed.

The man looked as if he’d stepped out of a nineteenth-century drawing room, except his coffee-brown hair hung loose about his shoulders. She was pretty sure it should have been tied in a queue to be proper. His entire demeanor projected upper class from his sharp nose and angular clean-shaven chin, to his broad-shouldered stance. A rather tall stance it was too, with one snugly encased leg crossed over the other. But his eyes stupefied her. They appeared gray, ancient, yet flickered with bright shards of blue.

Valerie recovered first, brandishing her tightly held candelabra as she stepped forward. “Who are you and what are you doing in here?”

He straightened and gave them a formal bow. “My name is Synn MacAllistair. That is Synn as in S Y N N. I’m the caretaker of the ghosts.”

Rena took a deep breath. She could feel her cheeks heating as his voice reverberated through her body. Sin fit him. When he moved his gaze from Valerie to herself, his intense scrutiny warmed her. She swallowed. “Uh, I didn’t think anyone lived here.”

His stare held hers captive. “I do.”

Valerie retreated to stand next to her. “Oh really. With a padlock on the outside of the gate?”

He raised his right brow, the look of arrogance worthy of Mr. Darcy. “There is a postern gate.”

Rena racked her brain. She’d heard that word before. Oh yes. “I thought only the owners of a castle knew the secret to that rear exit.”

He raised his brows together. “That is true but I desi—discovered it while following a small boy around the Abbey.”

Valerie crossed her arms. “A small boy?”

“Yes. The children in the neighborhood dare each other to get close to the Abbey. They want to see the ghosts, who are quite harmless to humans.” He gestured to the housekeeper. “Mrs. McMurray here will become more solid as the full moon approaches and will be pleased to help you in any way she can.”

They turned and stared at their ghost, having forgotten her. The older woman nodded vigorously, her white cap covering her gray hair falling to the side. Mrs. McMurray’s plump frame included pudgy arms sprouting from a short-sleeved blouse and a white apron that protected her skirt, but from the knees down, she didn’t exist at all.

Rena’s heart pounded. A real ghost. If what Synn said was true, that the ghosts would become solid, the possibilities for her new venture were endless. Could the ghosts serve breakfast to the guests? How would she pay them? She couldn’t resist asking. “Are you the one who keeps it so clean in here?”

Mrs. McMurray blushed and nodded again. She actually blushed.

Synn clarified. “She and a dozen maids have kept this place clean for centuries in the hopes that someone would come here to live. Do you plan to stay?”

She turned to answer him, but Valerie gave him a disapproving look. “The real estate agent didn’t say anything about anyone living here.”

He sighed, clearly bored. “No, I imagine he didn’t. He is what we refer to as a lickfinger.”

Rena chuckled at the strange word. She couldn’t help it. It sounded backward.

Valerie didn’t find the expression funny. “Well, you need to know, Rena owns this castle now, abbey, whatever you want to call it, and she has the right to throw you out.”

Rena grabbed her arm. “Valerie.” She changed her warning tone to a more pleasant octave as she addressed the sexy man in front of her. “You are of course welcome to stay, Synn. Perhaps you can help us understand the ghosts, the history of the Abbey and anything else that might be helpful.” She smiled encouragingly. She didn’t want him to leave.

He gave her an arrogant nod. “I would be happy to be of service. Perhaps I should start by helping you to bring your personal items upstairs as the footmen will not be solid enough to lift anything for another week.”

Another week? How strange. She didn’t remember seeing anything on television regarding ghosts changing with the moon. “Thank you. That would be perfect.” She could tell Valerie didn’t trust him. She, on the other hand, was thrilled to have him in the Abbey. Anyone who could help her succeed was welcome. The fact that the man was incredibly hot didn’t hurt either.

He nodded once and held his arm out to her. She looked at her friend and shrugged, then looped her arm with his. The second they made contact, a sizzling sensation raced across her skin.

He didn’t move. Did he feel it too? He gazed down at her, his face serious. “Shall we?”

She nodded, her throat having closed at his look. There was something sensual about his lips. They were strong, full and serious and made her want to taste him. Sheesh, hadn’t she learned anything from her failed engagement? She needed to keep her libido under control. Men like Synn wouldn’t appreciate her scandalous thoughts. Besides, who used phrases like “shall we”?

Guest Interview: Author J.K. Coi

Today my guest is J.K. Coi, an Ellora’s Cave author with a new release, Dark Immortal (Book 3 in the Immortals Series). 

Welcome to Susana’s Morning Room, J.K. I love chatting with authors, especially fellow Ellora’s Cave authors!

Author_low res for webWhat inspired you to start writing? I was at home when my son was still really young, but old enough to be sleeping well through the night so you don’t get interrupted for feedings and changes every hour. And I remember thinking that the television choices SUCKED! LOL I knew I could entertain myself much better by writing my own stories.

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing forever just for fun. But professionally, it’s been about 5-6 years.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out? Don’t get impatient. Take the time to really learn your craft. If you’re going  to do it, do it right. Put out the best product you possibly can.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Sometimes I try to go over the work I’ve already written and tweak it as I try to figure out where I’ve gone wrong, but if that doesn’t work to get the juices flowing again eventually I just have to write something—anything—anyway. Even if it’s crap I can fix it later.

What comes first—the plot or the characters? For me it’s usually a bit of both. I’ll think of a character in a very specific situation, and I’ll have to build the story around that scene. Sometimes, by the end of it all that originating scene isn’t even part of the book anymore.

Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about? I’m working on a few contemporary projects, a little break from the paranormal which is really nice! But I hope to get back to the world of the Immortals soon to write the fifth book.

What did you want to be when you grew up? A ballerina, of course. And an astronaut. And a police officer. And a teacher.

What is the one modern convenience you can’t do without? My laptop. It’s my precious. 

Thank you so much for having me as your guest today. I had a fantastic time!!

J.K. Coi

About Dark Immortal (Book 3 in the Immortals series)

DarkImmortalDiana freed Alric from his prison and the insanity his captivity inflicted on him. She healed him with her passion, and now she lies broken after a vampire attack, locked deep inside herself where he cannot reach her.

The huge, muscled man leaning over the strange bed where Diana awakes is straight out of nightmares full of blood and pain. Yet she is drawn to him, her body yearning for him even as her mind struggles to make sense of a lust she can’t recall.

Alric has no intention of giving up on the woman who never stopped fighting for him. His one hope is that she will heal and remember under his familiar touch and given time. But with a demon god poised to tip the balance of power, time is not on their side.

Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/dark-immortal.html

About the Author

J.K. Coi is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She makes her home in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and son and a feisty black cat who is the uncontested head of the household. While she spends her days immersed in the litigious world of insurance law, she is very happy to spend her nights writing dark and sexy characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts

www.jkcoi.com

www.twitter.com/jkcoi

www.facebook.com/JKCoiAuthor

Guest Interview: Author Jenna Rutland

Today my guest is Jenna Rutland, a fellow member of the Maumee Valley chapter of Romance Writers of America. Jenna writes contemporary romances and her first novel, Just For the Summer, was released on March 11, 2013 by Entangled Publishing.

jennaHow long have you been writing? I’ve been a romance reader since I was a teenager and have always been a daydreamer, but the interest in writing started about 15 years ago. After every story I read, I found myself coming up with different scenarios for the characters or different endings to the stories. It made me wonder if I had the ability to write.

What author(s) have most influenced your writing? Most of the well-known authors—Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Janet Evanovich—have all made me a better writer. I have studied one author in particular – Rachel Gibson. Her characters are genuine, her storytelling is flawless, and her sense of humor all add up to the perfect read for me. I have all her books and some of my favorites are pretty worn!

Do you have a favorite quote or saying? My family will tell you that I say “happy medium” more than they’d like to hear. But that phrase can be used for everything in our life. With so much to juggle between working, writing, spending time with family, etc., I think the only way we can stay sane is to avoid trying to give everything our all, which only opens you up for failure.

Every writer dreams of getting “the call.” What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first? I wish I had a glamorous story to share. But in truth, I was sick that day and had been for several days. When the phone rang, I was actually lying in bed dosing. I checked out caller ID and saw the name of the editor who’d requested my full. I ran into my office and grabbed up the phone to learn it was “the call.” Afterwards, I sat in a daze for a minute before dancing around my office, my upset stomach forgotten. Crying with excitement, I called my husband first. Because of my wavering voice, he thought I was calling to say I was feeling worse. Instead, I got to say the words I’d dreamed to say for a long time, “I sold my book!”

What are your favorite pastimes? I love to cook. I like to read through cookbooks just for the fun of it. Enjoying a good meal with family and friends always makes me happy. Gardening gives me a great deal of pleasure but, of course, in Southeast Michigan we have only the summer months for that. I’ve recently started an herb garden that I’m thrilled about. But nothing beats sitting on the floor playing with my sweet granddaughter!

Just For The Summer.jpg - high resolution copy 2About Just For the Summer

His temptation. Her secret. Their summer.

Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbook…and to see if the baby she gave up for adoption eight years ago is happy. When she’s done with her reconnaissance, she plans to return to Detroit without any doubts about past decisions. But when she sees her little boy—indeed happy despite living with his single dad—she finds she can’t keep her promise to stay away…from her son or from his flirtatious father, who has no idea of her true identity.

Recently divorced sheriff Matt Reagan is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term—his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will hne still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?

Excerpt from Just For the Summer is available on the Entangled web site.

About the Author

Jenna Rutland lives in a small Michigan community with her husband, son and senior cat. Her daughter and son-in-law have recently given Jenna the awesome title of grandmother!

While her days are spent working as a medical transcriptionist, her nights are filled writing contemporary romance—stories of love, laughter and happily ever after. Guess which occupation is more fun?

She is a member of RWA and is active in her local chapter. After several years on the MVRWA board, she now chairs the group’s annual fall brainstorming weekend as well as acts as food coordinator for several other events.

Jenna takes pleasure in spending time with her family. She also enjoys reading, gardening and loves the challenge of a new recipe.

Jenna welcomes the chance to connect with writers and readers. For more information, head to her website, and hang out with Jenna on Facebook and Twitter.

Website:     http://www.jennarutland.com

Facebook:    http://www.facebook.com/JennaRutlandAuthor

Twitter:       http://twitter.com/jennarutland

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/jennarutland

Guest Author Selene Grace Silver On Writing Her New Paranormal Series

Welcome to the Lucky in Love Blog Hop!

luckyinloveWe have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

 Now what are those prizes?

  1. 1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
  2. 2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

To be eligible, be sure to leave a comment on today’s guest post. Be sure to include your email address in your comment so Carrie Ann can contact you in case you are one of the lucky winners! And don’t forget to answer the blog post question in your comment!

That was the Appetizer. NOW for the Main Course: Guest Author Selene Grace Silver

Hi! I’m Selene Grace Silver and just dropping in to answer some questions about my new erotic paranormal romance and to share an excerpt of Brianna’s Bewitching.

Q: What inspired you to begin a paranormal series?

A: I have always loved stories about witches. One of my deepest fantasies is to have supernatural power to make things happen simply by thinking them.

Q: Why did you create a heroine who identifies herself first and foremost a feminist?

A: I came of age during the last big wave of feminism and was influenced by the writings and academic work of women like Gloria Steinem. In my late teens and twenties, I subscribed to Ms. Magazine and read it avidly. I was aware of the blatant sexism around me and supported the passage of the ERA (which unfortunately was never ratified). I credit that women’s movement with changing the status of American women, including me, for the better. It saddens me that many young women today don’t identify as feminists because they think the term has negative connotations. Why anyone would refuse to see men and women as equal baffles me, frankly. I wanted to create a character who was beautiful, feminine, intelligent, down-to-earth, likeable and a feminist.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m revising and extending the second book in my Witches and Warlocks of Los Angeles series. It’s titled The Binding of Adara. I’m hoping to publish it sometime in April. It’s my first full-length novel.

About Brianna’s Bewitching

Brianna's BewitchingSMIt’s 1977 and Brianna Marston is a feminist finishing up her final university courses. She’s a little bit wild, but isn’t that what being young and free is all about? It’s a new age for women and she intends to reap the benefits that new status provides her. She’s focused on developing a rewarding career and finding an adventurous lover. She’s also a witch-in-training. Her inherited powers are growing faster than her skill though. She’s not sure if one of her reality shifting spells is the reason she’s become the love interest of one LAPD officer.

Jack Ross never does anything without a well-thought out plan. On track to make detective within the year, he’s lined up a perfect woman to be his wife and raise their children. She’s thoughtful, gracious, and lovely to look at, and best of all, she’s not one of those radical bra-burning feminists. She desires a traditional life as a wife and mother. If he doesn’t exactly love her yet, he’s sure that he will once they marry. He’s never been in love and it seems to him that it’s as easy to love one attractive woman as another. Then one unruly, mouthy blonde lands in his arms, disrupting all his well-laid plans.

Excerpt from Brianna’s Bewitching

The cop stared up at her, his eyebrows rising over the frame of his sunglasses, clearly astonished at her audacity. He took off his sunglasses and she was stunned by his keenly intelligent eyes. Eyes which burned with something bold, appreciative. He looked her over, his eyes studying the features of her face, trailing down her neck, then dropping down to her chest where they seemed to linger before tracing the indentations of her toned, bared stomach, pausing at the flare of her hips, and flicking over her tight jeans. His eyes burned right through the faded material. A strange tingling started up between her legs. Then he reversed the direction of his perusal until he was staring into her eyes again. His lips thinned, twisted, and something dark and dangerous flashed across his face. Maybe he was imagining spanking her. For some reason, that idea made her stomach flip in a most disconcerting way.

So she held out her shirt like a hankie and dropped in on his head.

“Why I do dee-clare, I seem to have dropped my shirt,” she mocked in an exaggerated Southern drawl. She thrust her lace-covered breasts out, fluttering her hand at her throat as if she were being overcome by the situation.

The women clustered around her laughed.

The cop dragged the shirt off his face—his face almost impassive in its self-control, she noted—and put his sunglasses back on. He reached back to his belt and unhooked his handcuffs.

“Why, officer, handcuffs?” she teased coyly, fluttering her eyes in mock fear, “I dee-clare, I hadn’t imagined you would be the kinky type. This must be my lucky day. That changes everything. Help me down, ladies.”

The crowd surged and swelled around them as more laughter rose into the air.

“Wait!” she cried, holding her hands out.

Then taking a brave breath—this is for you, Steve, she thought—she reached back and undid her bra, releasing her breasts to the bright summer sunshine and the view of hundreds of people.

The look on the cop’s face went from grim determination to something closer to black fury. He took off his glasses, folded them and stored them in his shirt pocket. His eyes were narrowed and his lips were curled back revealing gritted teeth. He looked like he might even be snarling. She’d definitely pissed him off now.

Brianna bit her lip, just a little worried, and then, following her natural inclinations, tossing caution to the wind, she bent over, letting her breasts dangle in from of his face, and draped the bra around the cop’s neck like a scarf. His eyes riveted to her chest and locked into a trance. Her nipples puckered immediately in reaction.

“Special just for you, my darling, a bra—though I don’t think it’ll fit you,” she cooed. The crowd of women around her broke into cheers and began stripping their shirts off too. Everything became very loud and chaotic. The platform she was on wobbled, shifted and disappeared from under her feet. The next thing Brianna knew, she was swan-diving forward, her tits were framing the big police officer’s face, and he was stumbling backwards trying to stay on his feet, his arms clasped around her hips, as he struggled to keep her from taking them both to the ground.

He gained control a microsecond later, outside the circle of the screaming, laughing, and stripping women.

“Now you’ve done it, sweetheart,” he told her.

What do you think are the chances of a successful match between a bra-burning feminist (who is also a witch) and a cop who wants a stay-at-home wife? Will Brianna have to use her magic to make it work, and if so, should she?

Brianna’s Bewitching is available exclusively on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Briannas-Bewitching-Witches-Warlocks-ebook/dp/B00BS2RQSI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363057620&sr=8-1&keywords=brianna%27s+bewitching

www.selenegracesilver.com

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Guest Interview: Author Carol Preflatish

My guest today is Carol Preflatish, who has a new contemporary romance out by the name of A Kitchen Affair. Welcome, Carol, and thanks for the Chocolate Rum Cheesecake Recipe too! Sounds luscious…and sinful. Just what I like!

Thanks, Susana, for hosting me here today. I love connecting with readers and I think interviews are a great way for them to get to know me.

What inspired you to start writing?

Ever since I was a kid in elementary school, I have loved to write. I took every composition class I could in high school. I did the same in college, but that wasn’t very many since the school’s English program emphasized literature.

CPreflatish_smsmHow long have you been writing?

My New Year’s Resolution for the Millennium was to write a complete novel. Hoping to get it published would have been frosting on the cake. It took me until 2009 to sign my first publishing contract.

What comes first, the plot or the characters? 

The last few ideas I’ve come up with for books have started with one character and then I build upon that. But, that’s not to say that I haven’t started with a plot idea because I have.

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

I’m trying to finish a novella about a cowboy. I have recently found that I love writing about cowboys, so there may be more of those stories to come.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? 

My favorite author is the last Robert B. Parker. I love how he can spin a mystery that brings you into the story to figure out who did it.

What did you want to be when you grew up? 

During my first year of high school, I wanted to be a laboratory technician, but chemistry thought me that I wouldn’t be able to do that. I graduated college with a physical education degree, but have never taught. I ended up going into social services instead.

What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?

I love food so much, it’s hard to decide on just one thing. I suppose it would be chicken. I think I could eat it every day and have loads of recipes to prepare it different ways. My least favorite is easy, coconut. I can’t stand it on anything and I don’t really know why.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

Normally, I’m a plotter and have my book roughly plotted out when I start on a new project. However, with the novella I am working on right now, I’m a pantser. I sit down and just start typing. So far, it’s worked out well.

What would we find under your bed? 

Oh my gosh, I would hate for anyone to look under my bed. I think right now you would find some of my daughter’s toys from twenty years ago, books that I read at night before falling asleep, and several pairs of shoes.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

I usually write romantic suspense, but I have plans to work on a police procedural mystery series. I have the first three books started with ideas for at least three more.

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

I’m hoping to get four books released this year. I think I can get three of them out, but the fourth may be pushing it. I’d love for one of those books to be that first police procedural.

Thanks again for having me here today. For anyone wanting to keep up with my writing, you can find my web page at http://CarolPre.webs.com or on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolPreflatish.

hA Kitchen Affair

When culinary student Jenny Marshall struggles to pay her tuition, she decides to become a Personal Chef to make ends meet. When the most eligible bachelor in town, Derek James, has a crisis, he hires Jenny to cook for his party and there’s chemistry from the start. Then, a manager at his company sets her sights on Derek and does everything she can to sabotage the relationship. What lengths will she go to in order to keep Derek and Jenny apart?

Here’s a recipe of one of the desserts that Jenny prepares in the book for Derek’s dinner party.

Chocolate Rum Cheesecake

For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 c. crushed chocolate wafers
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/4 c. melted butter

For the filling:

  • 2 – 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 – 12 oz. packages semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 t. almond extract
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. rum
  • 2/3 c. sour cream

Preheat the oven to 300°f. Grease a spring form pan.

To make the crust, combine chocolate wafer crumbs, sugar, cocoa, and melted butter. Press into bottom of spring form pan and chill.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth adding sugar gradually. Add in eggs one at a time and mix at low speed. Add cooled chocolate, vanilla, almond extract, rum, and sour cream. Beat at low speed until completed blended. Pour into the spring form pan and bake for 1 hour. After the hour, turn off the oven, but leave the cake in for one hour longer. Cool at room temperature and then chill for at least 24 hours before serving.

Guest Author: Ria Candro

New Release: Bonded

candro_bonded

 Book 2 in the Mating Ritual series 

When Inara crash lands on a deserted planet, the last thing she expects is to run into two stunning men from the planet Spygia—who claim she is their mate. While she’d love nothing more than to indulge in a steamy encounter—or two or three—with these gorgeous hunks, she’s on the run from the barbaric Malucons who decimated her home planet. And she’s on a mission to find her cousin, the only other survivor. Nothing, not even the promise of paradise to be found in the Spygians’ arms, is going to stop her.

When Inara refuses to be bonded to them, Neichon and Valeron strive to uncover what secrets she’s hiding before they unveil a few of their own. How will their reluctant mate react when she learns she’s destined for, not two, but four Spygian men?

Just so you know—this story contains explicit M/F/M and M/F/M/M/M scenes. Enjoy! 

A Romantica® erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

About Ria:

Ria Candro is the author of futuristic and paranormal erotic romance. When not dreaming up hot love stories, she enjoys spending time with her family in their home state of Florida.

riacandro@gmail.com

http://www.riacandro.wordpress.com