Thursday, February 12, 2015

AND NOW FOR THE AWESOMELY TALENTED DESIREE HOLT



I had the pleasure of meeting Desiree back in 2007 at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Houston, Texas. We shared some small talk and she was so kind to an unpublished author. I have never forgotten how she encouraged me to keep trying!  Now, lets chat with one sweetheart of a lady!

 Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Texas, in the Hill Country which of course is why cowboys are so prominent among my heroes!). I live in a typical small Texas town and you’ll find snippets of it in a lot of my books. I’m a voracious reader and own more than 2,000 titles. I’m also an avid football fan. Oh, maybe rabid would be a better word, especially where my Michigan Wolverines are concerned. Maybe because my first writing job was as the first female sports reports at The Michigan Daily. I love to watch movies, either action/adventure or a good love story, and I love hanging out with my kids, all of whom are adults making their own lives.
 Have you always wanted to write?

 Yes, but I didn’t really get the chance until I finally retired. I did some newspaper work, writing s a stringer for several local weeklies, and for the magazine at both universities where I worked. I also did a lot of public relations copy, but not much fiction. But I kept notebooks with ideas scribbled in them, and as soon as I was retired I went to work on them and haven’t stopped!

 Was it hard to write erotica?
 Not as much as I expected. When the opportunity presented itself my husband suggested I buy a few books, read them and see if I felt comfortable. And I did, more than I expected. I think it’s because all my stories are character-driven, and sex is a natural progression of the development of a relationship. I don’t believe in gratuitous sex just for the sake of sex. It has to be meaningful and part of the story. So if I concentrate on my characters it’s a lot easier than you might think.

 And do you have a favorite genre you like to read?
 Two,actually-contemporary romance and action/adventure.
 What can you tell us about how you felt when your first book was contracted?
I was so excited I could hardly stand it. The word came through an email from the publisher. I oriented it out and sat staring at it for so long my daughter, who was at my house at the time, said, “Mom, it won’t disappear. I promise.”
 Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

I love all my readers. They are the people I write for. I love hearing from them, talking to them, meeting them and getting feedback. Even not for them, writing would be a very solitary, unrewarding occupation. I want them to know I am always accessible and always listen to them. I have actually written books based solely on requests from my readers so keep those emails coming.

 And what advice would you care to give to aspiring authors?

Learn your craft. Join a critique group and soak up the feedback. Search on line for any sites that give hints on the do’s and don'ts of writing. Love what you do and do what you love. But above all, stick to it, even if you only write a page a day. This is a very competitive business and it’s very easy to get discourage. But if you stay with it, set goals and keep to a schedule, success can be yours.

 What is the one book you feel the closest to?

I’d say Do You Trust Me. It’s set in San Antonio and uses a lot of background from the city. It also has some great scenes in Maine, where I grew up, so I was able to combine two of my favorite places. Plus I was able to combine my favorite genres—action/adventure, romance, erotic romance. And I am still in love with my hero, Connor McCall. I keep hoping he’ll show up at my front door.



 And just in case you didn't know this about Desiree...
Referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published erotic romance author. A graduate of the University of Michigan her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.


She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Ellora’s Cave Golden Ankh and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. Currently she has signed on as a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.


 And here are just a few reviews about her work...

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)
Holt knows what her fans will love.”

(RT Book Reviews)
“Holt delivers with delicious love scenes, a believable story and characters you care about. “

RT Book Reviews

Well-written erotica filled with modern-day cowboys.—John Rodzilla, Emerson Univ., Boston The Library Journal

Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog.

“I have read many stories by this author and she never disappoints. She knows how to bring out the best in her characters that help you connect with them.”

Romancing the Book 

“Ride the Mustang by Desiree Holt is everything you come to expect from Ms. Holt.”

Sizzling Hot Reads

Learn more about her and her novels here:





Twitter @desireeholt

Monday, February 2, 2015

AND THE WINNER IS....

JULIA!!!!!!!!!  Julia please send me a private message with your email addy before the 9th of February so Nancy can get you your copy of "The Warrior Prince."  

Coming up this  month, my guest authors are Desiree Holt and Amanda McIntyre!

Friday, January 30, 2015

PLEASE MAKE WELCOME THE FANTASTIC NANCY COHEN! AUTHOR OF FANTASY AND CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE!



Theme Parks: Fun or Fright?


Nancy J. Cohen




Do you love theme parks, or do you consider them scary places? Some people view these tourist traps with distaste, similar to circuses with their creepy clowns, dangerous acrobatic acts, and animal abuse. Others love the fantasy presented in their rides, familiar characters, and whimsical scenery. I’m one of the latter, although I am a fan mainly of the Orlando parks and not others. I view the neighborhood carnival through the same wary lens as I do the circus.



The bigger theme parks, however, hold an attraction for me. They can be fascinating places, magically transporting you to a realm of happiness, peace and joy. I’ve gone to Walt Disney World to celebrate my engagement, the release of my first published book, and recently our thirty-eighth anniversary. We’ve brought our kids there every year almost since they born.

Because these places elicit strong emotional responses, I’ve gravitated to using theme parks as a major element in my romantic fantasy Drift Lords series. But here I have turned them to a dark purpose, sort of like Ridley Pearson’s “Disney After Dark” books.


In my stories, the evil Trolleks—invaders from another dimension via a rift in the Bermuda Triangle—have turned theme parks and other tourist attractions to a nefarious purpose. Each of my three installments that are currently available uses this innate fear to create a sinister atmosphere in a place we look to for fun and frivolity.



Warrior Prince contains Drift World, an adult role-playing theme park in Orlando where you can live out your dream job. Nira, our heroine, visits the attraction while on an information-gathering mission. She hears an odd buzzing in her head in the presence of her guide, a lovely blonde woman named Algie, whose secrets Nira means to unravel.



Her ears tuned in to the buzzing noise in her brain. Beyond the omnipresent sound rose the splash of water, the droning of an airplane overhead, the flap of a flag in the breeze. Absent were the happy chatter and laughter of families like at other theme parks. Why this struck her as odd, she didn’t know. But something wasn’t right about this place.

In Warrior Rogue, the action takes place in Hong Kong at an attraction called Dragon Balm Gardens. What’s our hero’s quest? Why, to find the dragon, of course. This place is even less appealing than the one above. Drift Lord Paz Hadar and his lady friend, Jen, visit the park.


“What’s inside that place?” He stopped beside a mural featuring an azure sky and fluffy white clouds. Against this placid background, two dragons spewed cords at each other. The cords made a symbol in the center that looked a bit like the mansion on the hilltop.


Jen perused the pamphlet. “The pagoda contains Buddhist relics and the ashes of monks.”


Further along, they came to a scary statue of a husky man with big eyeballs, a wide sneer, and a muscular body. He carried a curved blade and looked as though he could come to life in an instant. The next path wasn’t much better. Paz glanced in horrified fascination at ancient punishments depicted by grind stones to press a person to death, body stretchers to pull limbs apart, and tools to cut out tongues from gossipers and to sever hands from thieves.

Ugh. Can it get any worse? In Warrior Lord, we’re back to a happy land called Jolheim Gardens in Copenhagen. Our heroes, Magnor and Erika, are searching for a clue to the fabled Book of Odin. They enter the Grote Mine ride, which seems innocuous. Or is it?


Short fellows with big eyes and funnel-like ears waved at them on their journey along the track. The small folk, busy digging for glowing rocks, wore friendly smiles under their miner’s helmets.


They got so close to one that she could see its eyelashes. Admiring the detail, she noted the sad look in his eyes, the smile that appeared more like a grimace, and the tear that streamed down one cheek. A tear? Water must be leaking from somewhere above.



Was it? Or were these people more real than visitors were led to believe?


It’s so much fun to create these places where guests go for fun and find frightful happenings instead. I’ve even included a derelict theme park in my latest work in progress, #13 in my Bad Hair Day mystery series. It seems I gravitate naturally to these tourist attractions.


So what about you? Do you adore theme parks or hate them with a passion? Which one is your favorite?



All commenters will be entered into a drawing for a free ebook copy of Warrior Prince.






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Nancy J. Cohen writes the humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series featuring hairdresser Marla Shore. Several of these titles have made the IMBA bestseller list. Nancy is also the author of Writing the Cozy Mystery, a valuable instructional guide for writers on how to write a winning whodunit. Her imaginative romances have proven popular with fans as well. Her titles in this genre have won the HOLT Medallion and Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. A featured speaker at conferences, libraries, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who's Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets.


















Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I can’t say that I’m sorry to see 2014 behind me.  It was a year filled with thorns. I lost my sight in one eye for almost three weeks and ended up having two separate surgeries and three procedures.  I also spent most of the year sick with sinus infections and back problems.  Yet, I survived and God is so good. I am blessed.  My lovely and talented daughter Amanda was a rock and a blessing during all of these trials.

Last night on the stroke of midnight, I welcomed the New Year in by having prayer with my daughter, thanking God for his blessings and for 2015 to be a much better year. Does that mean I wait on God to just hand out his mercy and grace? No. I will be doing my part in trying to follow his guidance so I receive the blessings he has for me and mine.

One thing good about 2014 is I QUIT smoking. I started vaping instead. NO more tar on my lungs, no more smoke in my hair or clothes, and no more second hand smoke for my daughter. I am thrilled to say I have not had a real cigarette in almost a month. SOMETHING I never thought I would say and not be bald from pulling my hair out.
Anyone interested in quitting, try the VAPENSTEAD store. It is amazing!

I am wishing all my family members, friends, online and off, the most blessed New Year ever. I know it’s been hard for a lot of you.  You know who you are, and I am praying this year is better all the way round. And for all the birthdays and posts I missed, just know I am thinking of you!

Hugs and God’s Blessings!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

PLEASE MAKE WELCOME DEBUT AUTHOR AND HOLLYWOOD MUSIC ASSISTANT, CJ BAHR!

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, I have to tell you I fell in love with "Walking Through Fire" when I read it!  Simon is an outstanding hero, and I believe you all will enjoy the awesome and talented CJ as she talks about her life, her dream, and her plan for more books!

 

Faith: Good morning, CJ! It is so good to have you with us here on the blog.  Please tell us a bit about yourself for those who don’t know. 

 

CJ: During the day, you’ll find me editing music for ABC’s hit comedy, The Middle.  As a music editor for Film and Television my career spans over 25 years with credits ranging from The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Father Of The Bride, to Northern Exposure and The Following.

 

When I’m not editing music, I’m editing words.  I was first published in 1994 with a short story called “Does The Shoe Still Fit You Now?”, a sequel to Cinderella, in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress Anthology.  Walking Through Fire is my first novel, published by The Wild Rose Press.

 

I live in sunny Burbank, California, working in Television and writing two WIPs at the same time, while sneaking out to ride my horse and find time to cuddle with my cats and read.

 

Faith: Working in Hollywood has to be way exciting. On a scale of 1-10 how does having your book contracted and published compare?

 

CJ: Having my book contracted and published is a solid 10!  Hollywood really isn’t all that exciting in post production, and achieving a life long dream definitely out weighs the glamour of Tinsel Town.

 

Faith: Is there anything particularly memorable for you about being contracted?
 

CJ: My first sale (the short story) I was notified by mail, so selling Walking Through Fire was my very first “call”.  I don’t think there’s a single author out there who doesn’t find her/his call special, but mine might be one for the books because I received my call on April 1st.  That’s right, April Fool’s Day.  I was so happy it wasn’t a prank!  It made the day very memorable.

 


 

Faith: When growing up, then you dream of being an author? If so why or why not?

 

CJ: Growing up, I was always an avid reader, which I think inspired me to start writing.  After all, there were stories I wanted to read, but hadn’t been written!  The idea of being an author gradually snuck upon me.  I always excelled in my English classes, and wrote for a few school papers, but it wasn’t until a friend showed me the open submission for Sword & Sorceress, I decided to try and get paid for my writing.  There was nothing like your first acceptance letter to instill confidence.  It was after that I thought I might have the talent to continue and aspire to my dream of writing a novel.

 

Faith: How did you come up with the plot and characters for “Walking Through Fire?”

 

CJ: It’s an interesting story how I came up with the idea for Walking Through Fire.  I don’t usually dream, or should I say, I don’t ever remember my dreams.  But one day, I was in that weird place where I wasn’t quite asleep but wasn’t awake and a very vivid scene in full color unspooled in my mind like watching a movie.  There was a man chained to a wall inside a cave, and the tide was coming in.  He couldn’t escape.

Why the heck did I dream that?  I still don’t know to this day.  It wasn’t like I was under a bunch of stress.  And I don’t dream of men drowning.  Completely bizarre.  It was very detailed.  So I wrote it down and got to thinking.  Who was this man and why did he drown?  Once I answered those questions, Simon MacKay, my hero was born, and the story of a Scottish ghost romance came together.

 

Faith: Who is your favorite character in the book?

 

CJ: I love writing villains, but if I have to be honest, Simon steals my heart.   It was so much fun writing a ghost, but making it an original/different take on ghosts.  Plus he ran the gamut of emotions of bitterness to kindhearted; it was great being inside his head.  And of course there was the fabulous conundrum of Simon’s:  If he fulfilled his family’s legacy he would lose the one thing he had wanted most in life—a true love.

 

Faith: Is there anything you would change about your book if you could do it over?

 

CJ: I’m very happy with Walking Through Fire.  I worked very hard on having a complete polished tale.  I can’t think of much I’d change, maybe perhaps having more time with my villain, Alex MacKenzie.  I think he might have gotten short changed.

 

Faith: Speaking of ghosts, do you have any type of paranormal background or experiences?

 

CJ: No personal experience, though I’d love to have one.  I’m addicted to all the ghosting hunting shows on TV (which I made my heroine and her best friend fans of).  I even went ghost hunting a time or two, but sadly had no luck.  My favorite time was in San Diego’s Old Town, which is famous for the Whaley House, the most haunted house in Untied States.  It was major fun writing the ghost-hunting scene in Walking Through Fire.  At first I was having trouble writing it until a critique partner suggested I write it from Simon’s POV, then everything clicked.  That chapter still makes me smile—ghost hunting from the ghost’s point of view.

 

Faith: Is there anyone in your life that may have influenced your desire to write?

 

CJ: My parents were most influential in me becoming a published author.  They instilled my love a books and reading through example.  I can’t remember a time when they didn’t have a book in hand.  I have three older sisters and they always read as well.  I was reading well above my pay grade by the time I entered school.  My mother was an avid romance reader and my father loved all those military suspense books by Dale Brown, Tom Clancy and Clive Clusser.  I have quite the eclectic reading list.  Currently I read mostly paranormal romance, urban fantasy and straight fantasy, I suppose leaning toward what I like to write.

 

Faith: What do you have planned next in the way of books?

 

CJ: I’ve got two.  While I was waiting to see if anyone wanted to publish, Walking Through Fire, I decided to challenge myself in my next endeavor and write in first person, which lent itself to an urban fantasy.  It stars a snarky, kick-ass time cop heroine, and might even be series worthy.

 

I normally only work on one manuscript at a time, but when your editor tells you she loves a particular character in my novel and I should tell that person’s story, who would be crazy enough to say no?  So I put my thinking cap on, needing to solve a few tricky problems and have come up with, Forged In Fire, a spin-off starring a certain character from Walking Through Fire (I can’t tell you or there will be major spoiler alerts!).  No ghosts this time, but there is a Highwayman.

 

Faith: Is there anything you would like to say to aspiring authors?

 

CJ: Never give up!  If you want to be an author, first, write, and keep on writing.  It’s easy to throw in the towel when all you get are rejections.  I’m super glad I didn’t else I wouldn’t have a novel published today.  You can do it.  Perseverance is the key.

 

Faith: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

 

CJ: Thank you for picking up my book and giving a debut author a chance.  I have received some lovely reviews I cherish, since people not only took the time to read my story, but then decided to share their opinions and get the word out about Simon and Laurel.  It means a great deal to me.  Thank you!

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