Thursday, February 28, 2013

Virtual book promo for Til the Last Drop by Marquis Boone

Til The Last Drop
by Marquis Boone

Author Bio:

Marquis Boone is a pastor, motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur, mentor and spiritual advisor to a host of celebrities. Marquis is the Lead Pastor of Fresh Start Church which exists to revive, refresh, release and restore people back to God. He has been deemed one of America's most influential and talented pastors in his generation. His message of resurrection, healing and restoration is unparalleled and transcending cultural barriers within the church. Boone holds a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership and Masters of Divinity from Luther Rice University. He studied at World Harvest Bible College and completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a minor in Management from American InterContinental University.

Genre: Fiction/religious/ general/medical
Publisher: iUniverse
Release Date: Jan. 24, 2013
Buy: Amazon

Arthur and Valencia share happily ever after as husband and wife until tragedy comes knocking at their door. Life deals Valencia a crisis that requires a miracle of biblical proportion. She'll have to find a love so strong it defies logic, reason and heartbreak. After receiving a life changing phone call that no one ever wants to get Valencia Todd's life is left in shambles, with no signs of ever getting better. Struck with grief, frustration, sickness, and loneliness, Valencia is determined to find the cure to life that will get her back to normal.
Til the Last Drop is a supernatural story filled with passion, pain, sadness, twists and turns that will leave you in awe. The story of Valencia and all of the drops she experiences along the way teaches, as only a few stories have done, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to never give up, and, above all, trusting God.
A vow, betrayal and story...good until the last drop.

The almighty Father stormed into the room as a mighty rushing wind. As His very presence passed by, each servant stood at attention as they lined His pathway. Gabriel followed Him very closely and spoke: “Lord, I don’t understand.”

The Father stopped midway and turned to Gabriel and gave a declaration. “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this. It is warfare, Gabriel. Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

The Father continued toward His seat. He sat in heaven exasperated. He turned and looked at His Son, who was looking down at Earth. “Son, what seems to have your attention?”

“Father, come look at this,” the Son said as He stood gazing down toward Earth at Arthur and Valencia Todd and their daughter, Lindsy Todd.

The Father walked over, joined His Son, and together they looked down at the Todd family.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Interview with romantic suspense author Brenda Gayle

Today is a virtual book tour stop for Brenda Gayle and her novel The Doubting Heart.

Brenda will be awarding one commenter at every stop a digital download of her new short story, Father of the Bride?, the first in The Wild Rose Press’s Dearly Beloved series, and one randomly drawn commenter on the tour will receive a $50 Amazon gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, leave an e-mail address with your comment here, and at any of the other stops.

A writer all her life, Brenda Gayle returned to her love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications—although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. She holds a Master's degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. A fan of many genres, Brenda is drawn to contemporary romance and enjoys creating deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense.

Welcome, Brenda. Please tell us about your current release.
The Doubting Heart is the second book in my Heart’s Desire series. The series follows the trials and tribulations of three cousins as they try to navigate the minefield of their family’s expectations to find their own path to love and happiness.

During the first book, The Hungry Heart, a fourth cousin disappears during a research project on a ranch in southern New Mexico. This becomes the catalyst for The Doubting Heart. The heroine, Shelby Holt, knows she can’t trust her heart, but when she meets the new ranch hand she doubts she can trust her head either. He looks uncannily like her mentor and best-friend, a man she respected and adored—a man she believes was murdered.

Chad Graham, burned by love and war, is not quite what meets the eye. Posing as Chad Greene, he’s come to Wildhorse Pass, New Mexico, to investigate the woman making wild claims about the death of his cousin. Can the official reports be wrong? Or is Shelby trying to ingratiate herself with his wealthy family? He knows she’s hiding something. But then, so is he.

In close proximity, despite the danger, sensual attraction simmers and deception deepens. Because the closer Shelby and Chad get to one another, the closer they get to the answer...and the closer they get to danger—until Shelby herself becomes the target of a killer.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Doubting Heart was originally called Wildhorse Pass, and the title came to me when I misread a sign while driving along a highway on the Bruce Peninsula, in Ontario. I thought “hey, that’s a neat name for a place,” and started to wonder about what type of place it would be and what would go on there. I don’t know what sort of mood I was in but I kept thinking about doubting your senses and mistaken identity, and slowly a plot formed.

After I had written it, though, I felt something was missing. It didn’t seem to be enough. My thoughts kept returning to the “other” stuff that influenced the characters, but wasn’t fleshed out in the book—specifically the dynamics of the larger Graham family that had alienated both the hero, Chad, and his cousin, Michael, thus leading to the incidents around which the book was based. I could see a larger story arc forming as I began to consider the stories of Chad’s two cousins—Hunter and Anna. And the more I worked through an overarching plot, the more I realized book made most sense as the second installment in a series I named Heart’s Desire. I then wrote what became the first book in the series, The Hungry Heart, and significantly revised Wildhorse Pass, renaming it The Doubting Heart.

Shelby lowered her gaze, allowing it to linger on his hips, admiring the way the faded denim gently hugged the firm, rounded buttocks before falling over what she imagined were strong, powerful thighs. Then he raised his head and she was treated to a glorious view of glistening droplets of water coursing down his back, past where his waist narrowed, to disappear beneath the waistband of his jeans.
Wow! The word reverberated through her mind and her skin glowed warm at the sight. She smiled, bemused by her reaction to the unknown man.
Well, it has been a while and there’s nothing wrong with looking.
He shook his head and turned towards her. The shimmering spray momentarily impeded her view of his face, then the mist fell away and everything began to move in slow motion. Her gut twisted painfully and she gasped for air.
“Hello,” he said, moving towards her, not seeming the least bit self-conscious about finding himself the object of her stare.
It can’t be! Her mind tried to make sense of what she was seeing.
He was taller, heavier—in all the right places—younger. His hair was a darker brown and longer. He was unshaven, an affectation she generally abhorred, but on him the dark stubble added an unexpected measure of sensual intrigue. The line of his chin was stronger, too, and his mouth lacked the self-deprecating smile. But his eyes.… Dark swaths of eyebrow added to their intensity and she couldn’t look away from their penetrating gray stare. Oh God, he has Michael’s eyes!

What exciting story are you working on next?
At the moment, I am finishing the third book in the Heart’s Desire series, tentatively titled The Forsaken Heart. This concludes the original story arc and wraps up a bunch of loose ends from The Hungry Heart and The Doubting Heart. I am exploring storylines for other characters in the series, so look for more in this series.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a very interesting question. I received my first publication credit when I was 14 and our city newspaper ran a half-page article I wrote about our high school band trip to Whitehorse, Yukon. I studied journalism and worked in corporate communications for over 20 years, where I became quite accustom to seeing my byline on articles and commentaries. Writing fiction, however, is quite different—more personal. I’d always written short stories for myself, but it was a friend who suggested I tackle a larger work and try to get it published. Although I had been making my living by writing for over 20 years, it wasn’t until the publication of my first book, Soldier for Love, in 2008, that I finally felt I was a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I treat my writing like a job where I’m at my computer five days a week, otherwise it’s too easy for competing priorities to creep in (such as laundry and housework). I wake up at six so I have time for coffee (which my husband makes each morning) before driving my daughter to her school bus at seven. I then wake up my son, have breakfast with him and send him off to school by eight. I’m usually up in my office shortly afterwards and review my email before I start writing. I’m at my best in the morning so that’s when I write. I’ll write until noon and stop for lunch. I don’t have a word count I aim for, but I generally try to complete a full scene before I stop. If I’m on a roll, I’ll return to writing for a few hours in the afternoon, but usually I have too many other things to do: bills, promo, volunteer work, appointments, etc. My son gets home around three, my husband at four, and then I get my daughter from her bus at four-thirty. Evenings and weekends are pretty busy chauffeuring the kids to various activities so I don’t even try to write at those times. This is the (un)glamorous life of a writer.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I need to write in chronological order. Even if I’m stuck on a scene and have great ideas for a later one, I can’t just skip over the problem scene and come back to it later. I will slog through it until it’s done. I may seriously rework it in revisions, but I need to get the essence of it down before moving on. I don’t tend to re-read books either and I think both quirks are related to my desire to keep moving forward. If I know what’s happened, I don’t necessarily want to go back and revisit how it came about.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My first memory of what I wanted to be when I grew up is a teacher. I used to play school in my bedroom, imparting great wisdom to my dolls and other stuffed animals. I then became quite interested in personality and thought I’d like to be a psychologist. I went to university and received an undergraduate degree in that discipline and came away with the knowledge that I didn’t want to be a psychologist. After a lot of soul-searching, I decided to follow my passion for writing—something I’d secretly hoped to do but hadn’t had the courage to pursue up to that point.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Lisa. Like most of your followers, I am an avid reader, but also a very fickle one. Romance is one of my favorite genres, but not my only passion. I love biographies, historicals, and women’s fiction, among others. I’d love to know what type of books others are into. Do you stick primarily with one genre or do you read many? Have you read any good books you’d recommend?

You're quite welcome, Brenda. Folks, don't forget to leave a comment here and at any other tour stops for a chance to win the gift certificate!


Buy links:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Live chat/interview with memoirist Karen Fisher-Alaniz -2/24/13

The Writer's Chatroom presents memoirist Karen Fisher-Alaniz.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Virtual book blast for Untangling the Knot by Deanne Wilsted

Today, the blog is a virtual tour stop for Deanne Wilsted as she promos her sweet contemporary romance with some inspirational elements novel, Untangling the Knot.

Deanne will be awarding a $10 Amazon or gift card (winner's choice) to a lucky person. Enter to win using the form below.

Blurb for Untangling the Knot:  
“I did what?”

Twenty-eight year old Gabriella Bessu is St. Therese’s meticulous wedding ceremony coordinator. So the fact that she has mistakenly signed her newest couple up for an annulment, rather than a wedding, sends her Catholic guilt into overdrive.

But who can blame her? The groom is gorgeous and his two kids tug at Gabriella’s heart in a way that overcomes all her best intentions. Before long she’s in over her head, fixing her mixed-up plans and helping the children and dad come to terms with their haunting grief for the mother and wife they lost years earlier.

Can Gabriella untangle her own fears and accept the messy life that God has handed them?

Excerpt from Untangling the Knot:
Mandy’s accusations rang through Gabriella’s mind and guilt practically doubled her over. She dropped her bags inside the door and went into the bathroom to splash cold water on her face. The image that met her in the mirror had shame written all over it.

What had she been thinking? Ryan and the kids belonged to Mandy and she had been acting like a lovesick teenager. Scenes from the beach flashed through her mind; Ryan’s smiles at her and the desire she’d had to reach out and kiss him. Filled with self-loathing, she shook her head to get rid of the images.

Her dropped bags at the front door mocked her, so she picked them up and dragged them to her bedroom then crumpled onto the bed. One hand over her eyes, she let the images flood her. With her free hand she reached over and switched on her radio hoping to block out the accusing voices in her head. Her favorite news show was quizzing celebrities on the week’s news, but something about their conversation alarmed her. It took a moment to realize what it was.

She stared at the radio, stunned. If Whose News was on, it meant it was Sunday . . . Sunday!

And, for the first time in years, Gabriella had forgotten to go to Mass.

Author information:
With an English teacher for a mom, Deanne Wilsted, grew up reciting conjugation instead of nursery rhymes. Now, forty years later, she's sharing that special skill through her writing and her mothering. Her first book, a contemporary romance called Betting Jessica, was released October 2011. Her second novel, Untangling the Knot, is now available from Soul Mate Publishing. She is currently marketing her third book for publication and writing her fourth, fifth, and sixth while blogging about the crazy stuff she overhears while writing.


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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Live chat/interview with freelancer Lisa J. Jackson - 2/17/13

The Writer's Chatroom presents freelance writer and editor Lisa J. Jackson.


Sunday, February 17, 2013  (rescheduled from Jan 20)

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Backstory of "Human No Longer" by Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Human No Longer Backstory
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Human No Longer. It’s my 17th published book – yeah! – and my fourth vampire novel. First, let me tell you where I got the idea for it. About five years ago, I was still trying to please the agent (who I no longer have) who’d sold four of my earlier paperback novels to Zebra in the 1990’s and, because she didn’t seem to like any of my new potential concepts, I asked her what she would like to see. Out of nowhere, she said, “You know your 1991 Zebra vampire novel, Vampire Blood? I liked that one a lot. The characters. Well, how about writing me a sort of sequel with basically the same cast, but with this premise: A woman, a mother, after being turned into a bloodthirsty vampire, must learn to adapt to the human world and still be a good mother. You know, how would she deal with everything when she had children she loved; didn’t want to hurt or leave them…but still had the need to feed on blood? Still had all the urges and desires of a vampire?
Yikes. I hated the idea but, to please her, I went ahead and begrudgingly wrote the book. I tentatively called it The Vampire’s Children or The Vampire Mother or something like that. I finished it. Not too happy with it. I had never liked writing what other people wanted me to write. Stubborn, I guess.
My agent, in the meantime, had begun her own online erotic (which I don’t much care to write) publishing company and when I’d gotten done with the novel she was too busy to even read the finished book. She handed it off to an apprentice intern. An intern? What? Who didn’t like it at all. Duh. So, disgusted, I tucked the file away on my computer and, fed up with the whole agent thing, returned to writing what I wanted to write. An end of days novel called A Time of Demons and a new vampire novel where the evil vampire wasn’t a mother. In 2010 I went with a new publisher, Kim Richards at Damnation Books/Eternal Press, and she contracted not only those two books but asked me if I’d like to rewrite, update and rerelease all 7 of my older out-of-print Leisure and Zebra paperbacks going back to 1984. Heck yes, I said! So for the next 2 years I was busy doing that. Some of those books were over twenty-five years old and very outdated. Their rewriting, editing and rereleasing took a lot of work and time.
Then, in late 2012, I decided to take a very old book of mine (Predator) which was contracted to Zebra Paperbacks in 1993 but, in the end, never actually released, and just for the heck of it, as my 16th novel, self-publish it to Amazon Kindle Direct. Just in ebook form. A kind of grand experiment. The first time I’ve ever tried self-publishing. See how it’d sell. Dinosaur Lake. A story about a hungry mutant dinosaur loose in the waters of Crater Lake that goes on a rampage. Hey, I wrote Dinosaur Lake before Jurassic Park, the book, ever came out! Really. I had my cover artist, Dawne Dominique make a cover for it…and it was stunning with a dinosaur roaring on the front. And I did everything else myself. Editing. Proofing. Formatting. With forty years and endless publishers behind me I felt I was capable. And it’d been selling so well I decided to self-publish another one…and I remembered the mother/vampire book. Hmmm. So I revamped (ha, ha, inside joke), polished, and self-published it, as well. I retitled it Human No Longer. Got my fabulous cover artist, Dawne Dominique, to make me a lovely haunting cover with a troubled-looking woman standing outside a spooky house, with two children behind her in its shadows, on the front and voila! All in all, I don’t think the book turned out half bad. In fact, with the changes I made I think it’s not bad at all. Now I just hope my readers will like it.
About Kathryn Meyer Griffith...
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had seventeen (ten romantic horror, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and two murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press and Amazon Kindle Direct.
I’ve been married to Russell for almost thirty-five years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.
All Kathryn Meyer Griffith’s Books available at here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Interview with author Christopher Savio

Today is a virtual book tour stop for novelist Christopher Savio and his novel The Daguerrotypist

Two signed copies of the book are going to be given away - see the entry form below.

I spent my life bouncing back and forth between Southern California and New Jersey. During my elementary school years I discovered that I have dyslexia. Therefore, I learned to read with a lot of help from my parents and eventually got good enough to read novels. With the influence of my father’s interest in horror movies and history, I read two things, Stephen King and history books. It’s no surprise my stories, have a touch of both in them.
Working with the public, including the rental car business, my father’s diner, and later evolving into a teacher of Native American history, criminology, and special education, has allowed me to draw upon experiences that reveal much about human behavior. My writing reflects many of the different personalities and settings have I’ve come to know first hand. Of course I’ve never come across a demon, witch, the devil himself or a serial killer, but the personalities and people I’ve met are represented within each one of my characters.

On a personal note, I have a family, a house and the white PVC picket fence. I graduated from college and have a dog my kids call Roscoe. (Max from The Beckoning) What’s of more interest to you is that my favorite hobby is writing, the scarier the better. If you love stories that will scare the pants off you that are priced for the 99 per centers like myself, then you have come to the right website.

Please tell us a little bit about the book:
Funny thing about life is that people seldom recognize its beauty or what they have until it’s gone. In 1842 New York City, Isaiah Whitfield, a pioneer in photography (daguerreotypist) and a religious zealot, is no different. Incapable of recognizing anything but the bad in the world, he embarks upon a crusade to perfect society and to bring about the Second Coming. If he can scare people away from sin, even if he has to kill the sinners to do it, Isaiah is certain that he alone can bring about Christ’s return. That is until Satan makes him an offer he can’t refuse.

In 2012, Rachel and her fiancé occupy Isaiah’s old apartment. Rachel, outwardly happy with her life, deep down wants something more. When an undeveloped daguerreotype is found hidden in her studio’s wall it sets her life and the fate of New York City on a collision course with disaster. Rachel falls hopelessly in love with the man in the old picture, but unwittingly frees the now demonic serial killer, Isaiah Whitfield, from Hell. True to form, he immediately goes on killing sprees in two different centuries.

As Rachel finds out, loving a time traveling serial killer straight from Hell has its downsides. For Isaiah, complete blindness to the wonders of this world may have ruined him for ever. Can the power and beauty of love change a demonic serial killer? Can Rachel come to her senses before she loses her fiancé and possibly her own life in the process? In the summer of 2012, the fates of many in New York City depend upon it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview with romantic suspense author Leslie McKelvey

Today we get to learn a bit about romantic suspense author Leslie McKelvey as she stops here along her virtual book tour for her debut novel, Accidental Affair.

Leslie's publisher, Black Velvet Seductions is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a lucky commentor. To be entered for a chance to win, make sure to leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And for more chances to win, follow the tour and comment at other stops.

Bio: Leslie McKelvey has been writing since she learned to write, and her mother still stores boxes of handwritten stories in the attic. Leslie read her first romance at 12 and was hooked. When her high school Creative Writing teacher told her she needed to be a novelist, she decided to give it a try. Finally, at the ripe old age of...forty-something...her debut novel, Accidental Affair made it into print through Black Velvet Seductions Publishing. The publisher has also contracted two more manuscripts, which will follow Accidental Affair shortly.

Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. During her five years of service she was stationed at NAS Miramar (think Tom Cruise in Top Gun) and was an F-14 Tomcat mechanic. While in San Diego she spent time on the carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz. The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam (on an Air Force base, oddly enough) and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.

She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert and firearms instructor for one of the most highly-respected law-enforcement agencies in the world (and one he wishes her NOT to disclose). He is her biggest supporter and her unpaid consultant on everything law-enforcement and weapons related. She has three boys, the oldest of whom will soon be wearing the uniform of a United States Marine (SEMPER FI!). She spends her off-time (kidding...WHAT off-time?) reading, taking pictures, and sending lead down range (that's shooting, for those who are unfamiliar). One of her favorite scents is the smell of gunpowder in the morning....

Welcome, Leslie. Please tell us about your current release.
Accidental Affair is the story of Dr. Laine Wheeler and Special Agent Jack Vaughn, and what happens after she nearly runs him over on a rural Montana highway. Laine is an emergency physician hiding from her past, and Jack is an undercover ATF agent tasked to infiltrate a domestic terror group. After his cover is blown he barely escapes with his life, and now that Laine has made the fateful decision to help him, both of their lives are in danger. The story follows them as they run from their pursuers across Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, and the fiery, although inconvenient, passion building between them.

What inspired you to write this book?
Oddly enough (or not), dreams often inspire what I write. I love to sleep (like every mother with children), and part of the motivation, aside from needing rest, is that I have vivid, Technicolor, action/suspense dreams. I’ll usually have one scene in a dream that spurs me to start writing, and the particular scene for Accidental Affair was the opener in which the heroine almost runs over the hero. The setting was inspired by a family trip that led us from California to Ohio through Washington State, Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas. In addition to the awe-inspiring scenery, what I remember most about Montana was the sign we saw at almost every off-ramp, NO SERVICES. As a native of California that was one of the strangest things, to travel MILES and see NOTHING. It was awesome, but also a little scary. If something happens out there in the middle of the wild, help is an awfully long way away.

            Laine took a step then stopped. What was she doing? The side of a deserted highway was no place to be a hero. She looked at the prone figure for a moment, debating with herself. A low, pained moan escaped the person, and the mournful, gravelly sound spurred her. Laine squared her shoulders. Right place or not, she wasn’t the type to run, and she knew there was no way she was going to just leave an injured person in the middle of the road. She ran around the front of the Rover, looked down at the person for a split second then knelt at their side. It was a man dressed in camouflage pants and a khaki shirt, and from the stained, disheveled state of his clothes it looked like he’d been rolling in the dirt well before his tumble down the embankment. He lay on his side with his back to her, he wasn’t moving, and the silence hung heavy. She waited a few moments, and as each second ticked off her alarm grew. Laine hesitated then pressed two fingers into his neck to check for a pulse. It was weak and thready but it was there, and she sighed in relief. Grasping his shoulder, she rolled him onto his back.
            Dark red blood stained the upper left side of his chest and Laine drew back, startled. That she had not expected. It took her a second to compose herself, and she reached for the collar of his shirt to get a look at the wound. Before she could peel back the material his fingers snaked around her wrist. She jumped and fell onto her backside, her heart nearly exploding from her chest.
            “Please.” His grip tightened slightly. “Get the bag and get out of here.” He spoke in a hoarse whisper. “They’re not far behind me.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
For all who fall in love with Jack Vaughn’s best friend, get ready. The next story slated for release is Special Agent Ted “Bear” Bristol’s, tentatively titles “Right Place, Right Time.” The 6’8” FBI agent saves wildlife photographer Beth Drummond’s life and loses his heart to her in the process, a dangerous journey that tests the boundaries of loyalty, friendship, and love.

I’m also working on a story for another secondary character from Accidental Affair, Sheriff Grant Donovan. It’s still in the creation phase, but I do believe Laine, Jack, Bear, and Beth will make an appearance. It was hard to get started on something after Bear (I’m totally in love with his character) but my editor asked me, “Would Bear want to be the reason you don’t write anything else?” I know the answer is “NO” so I forced myself to break up with him (cue sad music and sobs here) and now I find myself completely infatuated with the fictional sheriff (cue bluebirds and Cupid hearts). Crazy, I know, but that’s part of the appeal of being a writer in my genre. I get to have imaginary affairs with all my leading men….

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve considered myself a writer for as long as I could write, but I didn’t consider myself an author until I received my first publishing contract, which was in August of 2010. I remember the date because my youngest son broke his leg on August 2nd of that year. When we got home from the hospital (a week later after surgery and a titanium rod in his femur) I almost threw the contract out, thinking it was another rejection letter from yet another publisher. Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope instead of just tossing it in the recycle bin. Best way EVER to end an otherwise awful week!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m a stay-at-home-mom with three boys, 18, 14, and 9, and a cop’s wife, so I already have a full-time job. I write whenever I can. I spend most of my time (when I’m not tending to someone else’s needs) sitting in front of a computer. I make an effort to write something every day, but I am not always successful. Many times life gets in the way, and I just have to roll with it. I am almost always thinking of writing, working out scenes in my head, and I’ve had to let my family know that if they hear me talking to myself I’m not going crazy (well, not in the technical sense). I’m working on dialogue (great excuse, eh?). Many times I’ll be up until the wee hours of the morning working on a story, and I do mean WEE (circa four or five a.m.). It’s quiet then because everyone else is in bed, the phone isn’t ringing, and the television is OFF. Good times!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can story-hop with more speed than the fastest bunny in the world. I have half a dozen completed manuscripts and at least twice that number in various stages of production. I write until I either run out of ideas for a particular story, or until another, stronger idea takes over my brain. I’ve discovered I have to put down what’s in my head or I lose it, so when a great story idea appears I’ll drop what I’m working on to get the new one on paper (Microsoft Word in today’s world). After I get the initial idea down I may go back to what I was previously working on, or I may be inspired to keep going with the new one. I plan to finish them all eventually, but we’ll see how that plays out.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but in junior high I also wanted to be President (thankfully, I recognized my error about the latter and abandoned the idea not too long after that). In high school I wanted to just survive high school, but the last year or so I decided I wanted to be a dancer (in addition to being a writer). I took classes at the local junior college (GREAT performing arts program) and performed in several productions there. I’d taken dance for almost a decade as a child but gave it up when I became a teenager and was more interested in socializing than posture and ballet positions. An injury ended that dream, so it was after that I really focused on writing. Still, nothing happened for almost 20 years, but I kept writing. Just like my teacher told me….

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m an amateur photographer, and I have extensive training in firearms and police tactics. I finished 2nd in my sniper class (and I was the ONLY female), and SWAT training was AMAZING. Those guys have a tough job, but if I could, I’d seriously consider turning back time and pursuing a career in law-enforcement (it would certainly give me a LOT to write about and I do love those predominantly male environments!). I tell my hubby all the time he’s lucky to do what he does (they’ll never let ME dangle from a wire 100 feet beneath a helicopter as I’m flown into an illegal pot farm), but at least I can live vicariously through him. Cops (and the military and firefighters) never have to wonder if they make a difference in the world. I often wonder what I’ve done to contribute to society, and then I think if the books I write make someone smile, help to relieve stress, or provide an escape, I’m happy. I may not have saved someone’s life, but hopefully I made a few of their hours a little more enjoyable.

Thanks, Leslie!

Readers, don't forget about leaving a comment for a chance to win the gift card.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Virtual book blitz tour stop for Insatiable by Emily Kimelman

Today, Reviews and Interviews is a virtual book blitz tour stop for a dark murder mystery, Insatiable, by Emily Kimelman.

(Language warning, 18+)

Emily will be awarding a hand blown pint glass that her husband (a third generation glassblower) made for the launch of her first novel, Unleashed, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. If you'd like to be entered for a chance to win, make sure to leave an e-mail with your comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, visit other blog stops and leave comments there.

Author bio:

Emily Kimelman lives on a boat in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Sean and their dog Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone). Kimelman has a passion for traveling and spends as much time as possible in the pursuit of adventure.

Her Sydney Rye series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don't mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

Blurb for Insatiable:
Insatiable begins with private detective Sydney Rye living a simple, disciplined life in London, but when a dangerous man from her past calls, Rye finds she cannot turn him away. Robert Maxim explains that the daughter of a powerful friend has gone missing and he wants Rye to find her. In exchange he offers her something she had given up hope of ever having; freedom from her past.

With her dog, Blue, at her side, Rye meets up with her new partner, a handsome man she's not sure she can trust. Heading for Mexico City, they go undercover, posing as husband and wife. After meeting with the bereaved parents, Rye starts to sense that there is more going on than just a missing girl. But it isn't until they arrive in the Yucatan Peninsula, hot on the girl's trail in Paradise, that all hell breaks loose. Sydney has to reach out for help from old friends and deal with the consequences of her past, if she's going to find the girl and keep them all alive.

Excerpt for Insatiable:
Around the next bend a chicken was in the road. Jimmy saw it and swerved into a rut to avoid it. It was a wild, out-of-control move and I grabbed at the door trying to steady myself. The Jeep jerked down and then up again as Jimmy powered us out of the ditch and back onto the road. "What the fuck!" I yelled.

"There was a chicken."

"Next time fucking hit the chicken!"

That's exactly what the guy in the black Jeep did. I turned around to see the feathers exploding with a mix of blood and guts against the guy's grill. He drove through the chicken into the shade of a tree and I saw him. I saw Blane. He was wearing wrap-around sunglasses - the kind douche bags think look cool. His mouth was a straight line, his face made of stone.

I rested my new gun on the shoulder of my seat and tried to steady my aim as we raced back past the Home Depot. Jimmy swerved around other cars, at times facing oncoming traffic, to further our escape. It was impossible to get a clear shot. I turned back around as we crested a hill and we could see the town below us.

Traffic became congested as we got closer to town. I turned around and saw that Blane was stuck several cars behind us. There was no way he could fire off any rounds with all these people around. We stopped at a red light and I waved to Blane. He raised a gun and I dropped down in my seat as I heard a window shatter. It wasn't our car but the one right behind us.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Live chat/interview with writer/poet/translator Mark Statman - 2/10/13

The Writer's Chatroom presents writer/poet/translator Mark Statman.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are?


The Writers Chatroom at:

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Interview with juvenile fiction author Janel Rodriguez

Today, Reviews and Interviews is a tour stop for the book The Arts - Angels Track 1: Drawn to You by Janel Rodriguez Ferrer.

Janel will be awarding Winner's Choice of a $25 gift card to iTunes (music) or, Capezio (dance), or Utrecht (art supplies) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. If you'd like a chance to win, leave an e-mail address with your comment below. And to increase you chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave additional comments.

Like her main character, Gina Santiago, Janel is a Nuyorican who attended a Manhattan high school of the arts as an art major.

Unlike Gina, she isn’t very good at guitar and doesn’t have a rock band to call her own.

Truth be told, she never dreamed of becoming a guitarist. Instead, from the time she was a tween, she dreamed of becoming a published author of a book series. And since you’re reading this, you can see that her dream has come true!

Her first hint of an idea for The Arts-Angels series began way back when she received a pendant of St. Michael the Archangel for her sixteenth birthday.

She lives with her twin sister, Jennifer (who got a pendant of St. Joan of Arc on that same birthday, but hasn’t written any books about it) in New York City.

Welcome, Janel. Please tell us about your current release.
When Gina Santiago, a thirteen-year-old “Nuyorican” with rock star dreams, is accepted into the prestigious New York Academy of Arts and Talents, she’s completely and totally bummed. Why? Gina got in for art—not music, like she really wanted. Plus, the school is on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (in other words, filled with rich kids) and Gina doesn’t think rice and beans mix too well with caviar!

It’s Gina’s mother who’s all excited. She’s an artist, too, and wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps instead of those of her father, Michael, who also had rock star dreams but died before ever achieving them.

But it’s the footsteps of her guitar hero, Angel “Wings” Dominguez, that Gina really wants to walk in. And wearing a medal of St. Michael the Archangel in honor of both her father and her idol, Gina decides to chase after that dream—even if it means battling her mother, rival guitarists, mean teachers, and snobby frenemies do it.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wrote the very first draft of this book when I was nineteen years old. I grew up loving to read (and as a tween became particularly obsessed with the Trixie Belden series) and I knew even from very early on that I wanted to be a writer of books for young people. I was always writing stories in blank books or in loose-leaf binders. Sometimes I wrote magical adventures, other times school-based stories, etc. I also kept trying to write a whole book, but usually didn’t make it past the first chapter. I became a rather prolific first-chapter writer.

What had been a constant goal, though, was to write the kind of book (and series) that I would have loved to have read and collected when I was a tween. I believe that The Arts-Angels would have fit in very well with the other titles in my personal library of kids’ books back then, and that it does so even today: I keep an extra copy of my book just to literally sit on my bookshelf next to the other paperback series currently out for tweens that I have collected for myself!

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 4:
            When I stomped into the dance studio in my combat boots, every dance student’s head turned. As I looked at the sea of barely clad, pastel-colored bodies, I felt like a snowman at the beach.
            The dance instructor, a dark African-American woman wearing a powder-blue leotard, placed her hands on her hips like a superhero as she watched the artists stream in. “Okay, class,” she announced. “Don’t let our visitors distract you from the work you have to do today…
 “We are honored to have you as our visitors,” Madame Martin continued. “However, I ask you to please find a nice corner where you can have a good view of the action and yet not be in the way of any of my dancers. Thank you!”
            I found a corner between two mirrored walls near the piano, and settled in. Soon, the pianist was playing, the teacher was counting off steps, the dancers were dancing, and I was drawing. There was a comfort in the mutual respect between the dancers and the artists as we each did our own thing.
            After a little while, the teacher asked a student to demonstrate a particular dance sequence to the rest of the class.
            “Sage Harket, please come forward.”
            Sage—the ballet dancer who had been nice to me the day before! I sat up straighter. She turned out to be a pretty amazing dancer. As I continued to watch, I heard something to my right.
            I turned to look in the direction of the sound.
            A boy was bent over, looking at me through his legs. He looked Indian—the kind from India, not the Native American kind. His dark hair was almost touching the floor as he pointed off to the side and mouthed out two words.
            I shook my head. “What?” I mouthed back.
            He whispered. “Draaaaw herrrrrrr. Draaaaw herr—”
            He meant Sage . . .

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m editing the second book in The Arts-Angels series, which I plan to have out by April 22nd (which is Earth Day, but is also a specifically important date in the series). It is exciting because The Arts-Angels put out their first single and begin to promote themselves by using a clever marketing ploy. Willa’s back, of course, and she wants them to perform at her 14th birthday party. Much to Gina’s horror, all the other Arts-Angels want to do it! And on top of that, Uncouth Youth, their rival band, gets a lot of its own publicity because their lead guitarist, Julius Dubois (the son of a famous rock guitarist and Gina’s nemesis), gets his own reality show, so he has cameras following him all around school. And the book ends with a bang: a battle of the bands!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was in the fourth grade! I had written a short story about an obnoxious balloon for a school creative writing assignment and the teacher chose to read it aloud to the class. My fellow classmates laughed in all the right places and basically responded as though listening to her read a legitimately published work. After that I just knew writing was something I was going to continue doing because it was fun, it felt right, and other people enjoyed my work.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I still have a day job to pay the rent. Maybe one day I’ll be able to support myself as a writer. In the meantime, I have an office job Monday through Friday, and my busy days are filled with paperwork, computer work, phone work, and customer service. There was a time in my life when I was a nanny and I miss those days, sometimes! I usually don’t get the time to write until late in the evening, when everything else in my life is taken care of—at least to a certain extent. I’m a night owl, anyway, so this works out for me.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know that I have any interesting writing quirks. I do know I have the bad habit of using ellipses points all time . . .

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. :-) As I said above, it was something I knew I wanted to be since I was in the fourth grade.

But I also remember one time when I was in the first grade and we had an assignment to draw ourselves in our future profession—and I drew myself as a firefighter! I remember I drew myself in profile, in uniform, putting out a fire with a hose. My first grade teacher flipped out and kept showing it to other teachers and adults who entered the classroom. I am an artist, and my ability to draw had already been noticed in kindergarten. But that wasn’t the whole reason why she kept showing it to people. It was because there were no female firefighters at the time. I guess I was a little first-grade feminist—and didn’t even know it!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I invite them to come visit my website. The cover of Track 2 will be posted there soon. Also, if they like, my readers can submit artwork to add to the “gallery” there. Finally, I will be posting some interesting interviews with fellow authors on my blog later this month as well. Thank you!

You're welcome, Janel. Happy touring! Readers, don't forget to leave a comment for a chance at the gift card giveaway.