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!

Links:

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME AND SO MUCH MORE!


I know ya’ll are extremely tired of excuses from me for not keeping up my end of the blog.  I am so sorry!  I have been slammed with school stuff, and working out a plot for a new book, and getting over being sick.

My wonderfully planned Thanksgiving holiday with fellow and fantastic author Lil Gibson who does an awesome Feline Predators of Ganz series did not happen.  Both my daughter and I came down, she a day before and myself the evening before we were to leave, with something akin to the flu.  Not fun at all. We had to make an emergency run to the grocery store for food, since the cupboards were bare due to our planned trip.  There we stocked up on munchies, food for Thanksgiving dinner, and meds.

I was bummed in so many ways, because we had planned to get together with Eliza March, who ya’ll know is an extraordinary author, as well as queen of the freelance articles, Jen Akers and her darling husband and sister. Oh well, we are going to try the trip again in the Spring.

Now, keep an ear and eye open because debut author CJ Bahr is going to be on my blog, yes right here, on the 18th of this month. Her fabulous ghost romance “Walking Through Fire” is totally awesome!

Okay, a lot of you already know, but today is my birthday.  Not saying how old, but old enough to take it easy…lol.  However, I had to take a Criminology Final today and Praise the Lord, I made 97!  I am thrilled since I was exempted from my History final due to an A in that class.  I had to stand in line to get car tags and then developed a headache, but headache be gone in the name of Jesus. I want to celebrate my life. God has been so good to me, and I want to get caught up so I can get back to writing and not just plotting.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is release day for Mary Morgan’s latest book, book two in her Dragon Knight’s Series, called, “Dragon Knight’s Medallion.”

I will try to do better on Thursdays and my weekend recaps.  And if I don’t, then send me a note and tell me to get the lead out!

Hugs to you all and happy holiday!  God Bless!

Faith

Sunday, November 16, 2014

SATURDAY & SUNDAY RECAP!

Greetings everyone!  This weekend was a bit frantic. We had a lovely but intimate birthday party for my mother-in-law. Then I spent time on homework, reading, and then hit the mattress for some sleep.  Today, it has been homework again.  I will be so glad for this semester to be over.

The diet has not been too bad.  I did lose about 3 pounds.  And I have not starved!  So, I will be trying to maintain the watching what I eat this week also.  

Thanksgiving is almost on top of us.  Why not stop off here and tell me what you are thankful for this year.

Until next time, read a good book, enjoy life, and don't forget to tell those you love, you love them!

Faith

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BE PREPARED TO BE MESMERIZED AS WE WELCOME GUEST AUTHOR SHARON BUCHBINDER

I met Sharon years ago, and not only is she a good friend, but a most talented author.  So, let's all get comfy and see what inroads we can make into the mind of this one awesome lady!





Faith: Please tell us a bit about yourself.


Sharon: My husband and I live in beautiful Baltimore, Hon, and live in purple clothes during the Ravens season (no, there are no other teams!) Dem O's are beginning to grow clothing in my closet, as well. We have a handsome son, beautiful daughter-in-law, a darling grandson and a menagerie of cats and dogs.

Faith: I know that you write text books, but when did you decide you wanted to do creative writing?

Sharon: I have always been a story-teller. As a child, I got into a lot of trouble for "making things up." Now, I get rewarded for making things up. I love being able create heroes and heroines readers can relate to—even crazy cat ladies. I've been writing fiction since I was in middle school and have the rejection slips to prove it. In high school, I even submitted a script to "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." on yellow-lined paper in pencil. Not surprisingly, that was rejected, too. I wanted to be a novelist, but my stomach always wanted to be fed, so I went into healthcare, a career choice I do not regret. I met my husband at a hospital (he was medical student and I was an intravenous therapist) and I've had a great career in healthcare and higher education. When I turned 52, I had my mid-life crisis. Some people buy sports cars. I "ran away" for a month to our second home in Florida and wrote the first draft of Some Other Child, which is now (almost ten years later!) in the Crimson Line of The Wild Rose Press.


Faith: Did you know that you wanted to write romance?


Sharon: Not right away. After I published some short stories in horror and mystery, a friend recommended I join the Maryland Romance Writers (MRW). I joined in 2005 and found friendship, support and the opportunity to develop as an author with MRW and the Romance Writers of America (RWA). I published my first short story in romance in 2007 with the Wild Rose Press, and I've been pecking away at the keyboard ever since, like one of Skinner's rats, going after the pellet of publication, blending my love of mystery, suspense, and the supernatural under the broad umbrella of romance. 

Faith: And your busy schedule of everyday life, how did you manage to find time to write?

Sharon: I confess, I write my fiction in sprints. I love research, and can fall down that rabbit hole pretty easily. However, I like to think that the end result justifies my deep dives into research. After I spend a lot of time in a subject area, I try to weave the material into the story without lecturing the reader. My best time to write, honestly, is on a long plane ride or in a hotel room when I have no distractions. The second best time is when we spend weekend or vacations in our home in Florida and I have mornings to write, and the afternoons to play. The rest of my life, I do sprints on weekends. And since my novels tend to run long (80-85K), that means it can take me a while to finish a novel. 

Faith: Tell us out of your romance books which is your favorite and why.


Sharon: Obsession is my favorite published novel. I enjoyed the research and the writing of that book. The ripped from the headlines human trafficking theme, combined with the cartel versus cult scenario, gave my heroine and hero a great romantic suspense plot plus the internal and external conflicts required for a good read. I also loved writing about the angels in the story.

Faith: Do you have a favorite character and if so why?

Sharon: The hero and heroine in Obsession. Alejandro Torres is tough, smart, sexy, and kind--all while under cover playing a cartel thug. Angie Edwards has overcome many obstacles in her life to become a strong person. Angie is motivated to be the best person she can be for the sake of her son, Jake, something every woman can relate to. 

Faith: What was your reason for writing Obsession what type of feedback have you gotten from writing about that subject?

Sharon: Social justice is very important to me and human trafficking, i.e., modern day slavery, is truly women's issue. Bringing this out of the shadows and into the light of day was one of the reasons I wanted to write this story. Women and children are the most vulnerable. We often think of men as the perpetrators of this transnational crime, however, women can be ringleaders and operators of trafficking syndicates, too. The feedback on the book has been excellent. Amazon and Goodreads reviews average over 4 stars, with 35 and 30 ratings, respectively. It was a finalist for an EPIC award for romantic suspense in 2014 and won second place in the 2013 Paranormal Romance Guild's reviewer's choice award. 
 
Faith: When you're not writing what do you like to do for pleasure?


Sharon: When attempting to make students, colleagues, and babies laugh, I can be found herding cats, waiting on a large gray dog, fishing, reading, going the movies (3D preferred!) or wining and dining with good friends.


Faith: Can you tell your fans anything about yourself that they don't already know?


Sharon: Fun fact: My husband and I used to breed and show cats. In 1982, we had the best Egyptian Mau (a spotted cat) in the United States. Her name was Tiye and she was a bronze Egyptian Mau. She loved to be shown and charmed judges all over the country. Here's a link to a photo of her http://www.egyptianmau.org/stars/grands/grands80_81.html


Faith: What type of advice would you give to would be authors?


Sharon: In addition to Winston Churchill's line, "Never, never, never give up," I would add "Don't try to be another author. Have your own voice." 


Faith: When did your first book come out and how did you feel when you saw the cover?


Sharon: When my novella, Kiss of the Silver Wolf, came out, I wept for joy. I first wrote the story in 2005, then re-wrote and re-wrote it. It was finally published by The Wild Rose Press in 2010.  The cover was breathtakingly beautiful and fit the story perfectly. It felt so wonderful and validating to have a good home for my book baby.

Faith: Can you give us an insight into what you're writing next?


Sharon: My most recently completed book is Kiss of the Virgin Queen, a retelling of the story of the relationship between the King Solomon and Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, and the impact of that epic romance on their current day descendant, jinni hunter Eliana Solomon and her love interest, jinni exorcising psychiatrist, Artie Shahani.  It is under review now (fingers crossed!)


Now I'm working on Kiss of the Burmese Prince, the story about a jinni hunter retracing her "crazy" grandmother's bedtime stories about her journey into the Jinni Realm during World War II in the China-Burma-India theatre. The jinni hunter follows her grandmother's journal and discovers the truth of her own origins and finds love along the way.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

KICKING AND SCREAMING!


Okay, instead of talking about my weekend, let’s talk about my week ahead.  I am going to go, kicking and screaming, on a diet.  YES!  A four-letter word that puts the fear in me. I am Southern to the bone, and I love my meat, potatoes, bread, and sweets. Yes, I know that in moderation they aren’t so bad, but I have a habit of wanting to overindulge in the food of my choice.



I am a writer, I am up late at night, and I get a “don’t care if it goes to my thighs” craving for sweets. So, here’s the deal.  My darling daughter, and yes, I still love her although she is forcing me to give up a lot of my COMFORT foods, and I will be trying to maintain a healthier eating style. Blech!  Nasty! But in order to stick around longer in life, and since as she says, “I’m her only living parent,” I am going to try to do as she asks.



Now, that doesn’t mean you might not hear me scream in your neck of the woods when she puts something made of fruit in front of me instead of gravy and biscuits, but I promise to try and keep my yelling and frustration to a minimum.  But, at the moment all I can see is the disappearance of bread, sweets, and YES, and this is going to be one of the hardest to give up, a decrease in my Diet Cokes.  I love my caffeine.  I don’t drink coffee, and I need that bit of zing to get me going in the morning and keep me going during the day.



So, if you happen to see one of my heroes or heroines begging for mercy, it means I am taking out my diet woes on them. 



Until next time, say a prayer that I won’t hurt someone who walks by me with the desired food I am used to consuming. Hey, I’m talking about big time hurt when it comes to separating me from the food I love. 



Now, tell me what is the one food you would hate to give up while on a diet?

And please come back on Thursday November 13th, for a wonderful time with guest author: Sharon Buchbinder. Her paranormal romance, "Kiss of the Silver Wolf" and her suspense romance, "Obsession" are riveting.


Hugs!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

SATURDAY & SUNDAY RECAP!


Wow, did the week fly by or not?  The good news is our new furnace is in, and although it’s cold in my neck of the South, I am warm and toasty.  I have been busy writing, but not writing what I want to. Three papers due for school, but now they are in the bag or shall we say the school’s website.  Yeah!  I have already fired off questions for the most talented and wonderful author Sharon Buchbinder, who will be my guest here on November 13th. She can truly write a great paranormal romance as well as suspense. I love reading her work.

So tell me, what type of weekend have you had?  Is it cold out your way?  Have you read any interesting books?  And if you haven’t why not? There is still time to check out The Wild Rose Press for their “Hauntings From the Garden” collage of books.  There are a lot of good authors who have participated in this series, and take it from me the pages are filled with romance and the substance needed to take one away from life’s troubles.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

SATURDAY & SUNDAY RECAP!


Well, it’s been one heck of a weekend after one heck of a week.  Sorry for not posting earlier.  My dear, sweet, prayer partner, a seventy-nine year-old blind man, passed away early last Monday.  It was a shock, and it hurt to lose someone who has been like a dad to me. 

And on Thursday, I had cataract surgery on my left eye. The one that had a retina detachment back in February and caused me to go blind for almost three weeks.  Suffice it to say, I went back to day job, but still have a bit nausea and a headache. I put both those down to stress and too many Ibuprofens. 

Now, yesterday, my younger sister had a ruptured appendix, which required emergency surgery, but she is doing great.  Thank you Lord!

I hope to be back on track next week with my Thursday Pick Me Up.  I know I said I would try to do it and then just have it scheduled to post but that just did not happen.

So, until next time, read a good book.  Try one of mine if you have not already done so, and try buying from the publisher site itself.  It is an awesome way to get better deals and to help out the authors!

Hugs and God Bless!!!!